Trump appears to be confusing “herd mentality” with “herd immunity,” which occurs when a sufficient number of individuals develop immunity to prevent the spread of disease.
Trump went on to insist that the United States was “turning the corner” on the coronavirus, which has killed nearly 200,000 people in the United States. Top health officials, meanwhile, put warns of the possibility of a dangerous public health situation in the fall if a second wave of COVID-19 coincides with influenza season.
Last week, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Senior HHS official accuses scientists of plotting against Trump | House Democrats launch investigation into political interference in CDC science publications | Trump administration seeks to expand Mexico City’s abortion policy Trump says he’s not afraid of contracting coronavirus at gatherings Woodward: Restricting travel from China was not Trump’s idea MORE, a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said he disagreed with Trump’s claim that the United States was rounding the “last round On the virus.
“A lot of people agree with me,” Trump told Stephanopoulos when pressed by Fauci’s disagreement. “You look at Scott Atlas. You look at some of the other doctors who are very – from Stanford. Look at some of the other doctors. They think maybe we could have done it from the start.
Atlas, a senior researcher at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, was added as one of Trump’s coronavirus advisers in August. The Washington Post reported last month that Atlas was pushing the White House to adopt a “herd immunity” strategy, although the White House denied that the administration had ever considered such a policy to combat the coronavirus pandemic. .
The president offered a consistent defense of his response to the coronavirus on Tuesday, despite criticism of his rhetoric about the virus and his administration’s handling of the pandemic. Polls show a majority of Americans disapprove of Trump’s handling of the virus.
Trump has denied publicly downplaying the virus, despite a recording of a March interview with reporter Bob Woodward in which he admitted to “downplaying” it in order to avoid “panic.” Trump has said he does not seek to be dishonest with the public and said he has no regrets about his response, saying his administration has done a “great job.”
The president has also repeatedly touted his administration’s work to secure a vaccine, saying that at some point a vaccine could be ready in “three weeks, four weeks” – a statement that is sure to meet with skepticism. within the health community. Fauci said a vaccine could be available by the end of the year.