Fauci Calls Herd Immunity 'Nonsense and Very Dangerous'

Edward Kim  |

Video source: Yahoo News YouTube channel

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is blasting a declaration by three scientists that supports the concept of “herd immunity,” a concept that the White House is using to bolster a push to reopen schools and businesses.

Fauci said herd immunity — the idea that a disease will stop spreading once nearly everybody has contracted it — is “nonsense and very dangerous” in an interview with Yahoo News.

The idea is being pushed by three scientists in a document called "The Great Barrington Declaration," which calls for only protecting those who are “vulnerable” while allowing an uncontrolled outbreak among everyone else, letting them all get infected with COVID-19.

Anybody who knows anything about epidemiology will tell you that that is nonsense and very dangerous because what will happen is that if you do that, by the time you get to herd immunity, you will have killed a lot of people that would have been avoidable.Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said earlier this week, “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic.”

A group of 80 scientists denounced herd immunity as a "dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence" in an article published in The Lancet on Thursday.

Any pandemic management strategy relying upon immunity from natural infections for COVID-19 is flawed. Uncontrolled transmission in younger people risks significant morbidity and mortality across the whole population. In addition to the human cost, this would impact the workforce as a whole and overwhelm the ability of health-care systems to provide acute and routine care. Furthermore, there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection and the endemic transmission that would be the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future."Scientific consensus on the COVID-19 pandemic: we need to act now," Nisreen A. Alwan et al., The Lancet, Oct. 15, 2020

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