The Federalist, a right-wing publication that is one of President Donald Trump's most reliable defenders, has published an editorial that advocates deliberately spreading the coronavirus in a "controlled" manner as part of a strategy to end the pandemic more quickly.
The editorial, written by an Oregon-based dermatologist named Douglas Perednia, argues that social distancing will do too much harm to America's economy, and that more "outside the box" measures are required to curb the disease.
The solution, he writes, is controlled voluntary infection.
"CVI involves allowing people at low risk for severe complications to deliberately contract COVID-19 in a socially and medically responsible way so they become immune to the disease," he writes. "People who are immune cannot pass on the disease to others."
He then compares his proposal to the "chicken pox parties" that parents use to develop herd immunity among groups of children by deliberately exposing them to the disease.
"All the neighborhood children were invited to play with the infected child with the understanding that they would probably become infected as a result," he writes. "The entire community would get the disease out of the way in one little local epidemic. Since many childhood diseases are far more severe if contracted as an adult, voluntary infection minimized the potential for future adverse consequences."
The trouble, however, is that neither chicken pox nor measles require the kind of mass hospitalization that we're now seeing with COVID-19. Additionally, scientists say that they're still working to learn more about the virus, and there's no guarantee that even young people will emerge from it unscathed.
Despite this, however, Perednia believes that his voluntary coronavirus infection plan's "possibilities are endless."