President Donald Trump unveiled the United States' new policy on COVID-19 during the ABC News Town Hall Tuesday night, saying that he wants to create a "herd mentality." While Trump presumably meant "herd immunity," MSNBC host Rachel Maddow walked through the qualifications of the doctor who gave him that idea and why he has no idea what he's talking about.
At the top of her show, Maddow showed side-by-side examples of the recommendations sent to states with growing COVID-19 infections and how they have changed since Dr. Anthony Fauci is no longer Trump's chief adviser on the virus. In early September, the federal government sent a notice to South Dakota, saying that they were among the top 15 highest states with the coronavirus. They were in "the yellow zone," and there was a list of things that they should do to slow their spread. Chief among them was to institute a state-wide mask order.
Weeks later, when South Dakota became the worst state in the country for the spread of the virus, they got another letter informing them what they should do. Even though they were far worse than all other U.S. states, there was no recommendation for a mask order.
The reason for that is that radiologist Scott Atlas, who does MRI's of people's brains for a living, convinced Trump that spreading the virus faster was the way to go.
The "herd immunity" idea was first tried by Sweden when the virus got to their country. It didn't work, and they were forced to abandon it. Still, Dr. Atlas thinks he knows more than all of the virologists and Center for Disease Control experts.
What Atlas and Trump failed to mention, however, is how Americans achieve such immunity. To do so would require 65 percent of the United States to get the coronavirus. With 330 million people in the United States, that would mean that 215 million Americans would need to get the virus. The mortality rate for COVID-19 in the United States is about 2.97 percent. So, 2.97 percent mortality of the 215 million Americans that it would take to achieve a herd immunity means killing 6.4 million American deaths.
Dr. Atlas is essentially telling Trump and the viewers at Fox News to let 6.4 million Americans die. Even if there were miracle cures and genius treatments, that's still millions of Americans dead. Millions. That doesn't even count the number of Americans who will be forever struggling with heart inflammation, will need lung transplants, may lose all sense of taste or smell or suffer from other coronavirus after-affects.
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