Medical experts fact-check Trump official who pushed herd immunity by saying 'we want them infected'
A Trump appointee inside the Dept. of Health and Human Services was actively pushing the fallacious policy known as "herd immunity," and specifically said "we want them infected" with the coronavirus.
That appointee, science adviser Paul Alexander, was a top aide to Michael Caputo. Caputo, who is not a medical expert but a political strategist and lobbyist, served as President Donald Trump's eyes and ears inside HHS until his sudden medical leave of absence after a major scandal.
"There is no other way, we need to establish herd [immunity], and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD," the July 4 email from Alexander to Caputo and six other HHS officials reads, as Politico reports.
"Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…
Just a few weeks later Alexander again pushed the dangerous herd immunity policy, which coincidentally is the same one disgraced now-former Trump coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas would begin to promote when he joined the White House August 1.
"[I]t may be that it will be best if we open up and flood the zone and let the kids and young folk get infected" in order to get "natural immunity…natural exposure," Alexander wrote on July 24 to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Caputo and eight other senior officials.
The fact that a federal government official was promoting a deadly policy of infecting Americans with a deadly virus that has already killed more than 310,000 people in the U.S. has drawn massive outrage, especially among medical experts.
Here's a sampling.
Epidemiologist and Health Economist Eric Feigl-Ding did not mince words:
⚠️Holy crap—“WE WANT THEM INFECTED”. WH & HHS advisor demanded “herd immunity” strategy. Disgusting! “Infants, kid… https://t.co/QTuOfgV7bQ— Eric Feigl-Ding (@Eric Feigl-Ding) 1608143489.0
Researcher, ebola and coronavirus expert, Dena Grayson, MD, PhD:
‼️A top Trump appointee—Paul Alexander—repeatedly urged top health officials to adopt a "herd immunity" approach to… https://t.co/JYMSILWVjc— Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@Dena Grayson, MD, PhD) 1608140702.0
@angie_rasmussen These folk keep popping up like mushrooms. So damn unethical. We probably need additional laws aga… https://t.co/QS4uu1ZXKd— Dr. Faris Durmo MD., BSc. (@Dr. Faris Durmo MD., BSc.) 1608141953.0
Appalling criminal dereliction of duty as a physician and public health official. Let's remember who Paul Alexander… https://t.co/2MIY7RlZm9— Douglas Chin MD FACS (@Douglas Chin MD FACS) 1608148635.0
@politico Um.... No. Dr. Alexander, herd immunity is achieved by vaccination, not by intentionally exposing million… https://t.co/rLLJLi2SMt— Douglas Chin MD FACS (@Douglas Chin MD FACS) 1608149011.0
Guess what? All those "herd immunity by natural infection" proponents arguing that COVID-19 doesn't harm young peop… https://t.co/E5577xwjAS— Prof. Gavin Yamey MD MPH (@Prof. Gavin Yamey MD MPH) 1608148877.0
Herd Immunity as a strategy: “that way lies madness” You killed all my elderly patients you monsters https://t.co/k1IGw5ZTfY— Alicia Skarimbas MD (@Alicia Skarimbas MD) 1608145622.0
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