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Letter: Attempting to defeat COVID-19 through achieving herd immunity could kill many Americans 

Letter to the editor paso robles daily news
–Several months ago, Rush Limbaugh explained “Herd Immunity” to his listeners: “I can explain herd immunity and I can probably explain it in the simplest, least complex way that you’ve ever had it explained to you. In a nutshell, if enough people get the virus and thus have the antibody, when you get the virus — and we’re gonna assume you survive it — you now have an antibody to it. You have an immunity to it.”
Several “Fox and Friends” hosts picked up on this idea and promoted the concept.

We now hear ‘herd immunity’ being flown by the White House as a possible National policy. Contrary to CDC recommendations, COVID-19 pandemic precautions are being flaunted: testing and contact tracing have been reduced, masks and social distancing are not required, and students are being asked to return to classrooms.

Unfortunately, this approach assumes that while our least-at-risk citizens continue the commerce of our nation and develop antibodies against the virus, many in our increased-risk groups would die. This Culling the Herd side-effect of herd immunity would kill many senior citizens, black and brown Americans, the obese, and those with underlying medical conditions: diabetes, heart disease, asthma, valley fever (Over 100,000 US deaths by last June, nearing 200,000 today).

Around the world, COVID-19 is being defeated through the use of science. Are we willing to defeat it by sacrificing so many America lives to achieve herd immunity?

Herd Immunity Explained by Mayo Clinic
Herd immunity and COVID-19 (coronavirus): What you need to know:

1. Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70% of the population — more than 200 million people — would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the epidemic.
2. If many people become sick with COVID-19 at once, the health care system could quickly become overwhelmed.
3. This amount of infection could also lead to serious complications and millions of deaths, especially among older people and those who have chronic conditions.
4. It isn’t yet clear if infection with the COVID-19 virus makes a person immune to future infection. Research suggests that after infection with some coronaviruses, reinfection with the same virus is possible after a period of months or years.

John Lamb
Paso Robles

Editor’s note: Letters to the editor are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paso Robles Daily News or its staff. We welcome letters from local residents regarding relevant local topics. To submit one, click here.