We learned during a December 16 House committee hearing that in June and July Trump's political appointee, Dr. Paul Alexander, pushed HHS Health and Human Services) to adopt herd immunity as a policy. The scientists continued to advocate to wear maks and social distance but the message coming from the President was very different. The scientists' voices were played down or shunted aside or ridiculed.. In August Trump appointed TV herd immunity advocate, Dr. Scott Atlas, as his COVID-19 adviser in the White House (He resigned Nov. 30).
The herd immunity theory is that if enough got the disease, the disease would go away. After all, that was how the medieval bubonic plague (black death) killed 10% to 20% of the population of cities and the Spanish Flu ended with over 675,000 estimated dead by 1919 in the US that was one-third the population size of 2020. Either the population was made immune by surviving the disease or they were dead. Any number of experts believe herd immunity in COVID-19 would result in two million dead plus Americans. By June, Sweden had tried herd immunity and so many died, they had to abandon their policy. Their experience was no secret. I had been following the issue in early summer and the advocates for herd immunity policies ignored the Swedish experience. It was widely reported worldwide. December 17 in his annual address, the King of Sweden said their approach "has failed". Coronavirus: Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf says coronavirus approach 'has failed' - BBC News
This Trump-backed initiative, in action and mostly in podium and tweet words explains so much why Dr. Anthony Fauci was demonized and sidetracked for advocating mask-wearing and social distancing, that wearing a mask became so politicized, why Trump held super spreader events, and how it happened that the US had the highest death rate in the developed world. President Trump will go down in history for his great lies. It was "just like the flu" and we "are rounding the corner" it will "go away in the spring". This was not due to his ignorance. It was intentional because in February he admitted on tape to journalist Bob Woodward it was air born and more deadly. If the purpose was to keep business open and the economy viable, Trump succeeded with stimulus checks and warm weather until then did not. Now in the fall and early winter, it was not just hot spots that had to close down, but nearly every state is facing a resurgence and shutting down again. It will be until late June 2021 that herd immunity will be achieved with enough of the population getting the shot. The more who are immunized, the death rate should slowly decrease. That is the sad good news.
From my blog posting about Sweden's experience in May 2020 updated :
Sweden has received great praise from the anti-stay at home activists in the US. Let them get herd immunity. No stay at home rules., they demand. Those advocates look to Sweden as a model of no required rules to stay at home, schools are open, and it is open for business,. It is an apple to oranges comparison with the US. Those on the right should consider what makes Sweden different than the US. It is socialized...no one goes without good health care; there are no really poor people living cramped in rooms because they have a tax policy that accomplishes far less income disparity.. If you want to stay at home because you fear you may get the virus, you get 100% of your salary. What part of this would the right-wing in our country like to adopt.if they want that outcome. because they have a tax policy with still accomplishes little income disparity. If you want to stay at home because you fear you may get the virus, you get 100% of your salary. In spite of that, they still have 6 times the deaths as their neighboring Socialist countries who instituted stay at home and other strict.rules and not great economic gain.
Per Financial Times in early May, Sweden will likely feel little benefit to its economy. Current growth figures are about the same as Norway and 10% better than Finland. https://www.ft.com/content/93105160-dcb4-4721-9e58-a7b262cd4b6e?fbclid=IwAR21e-GeSCoC6Yhiu-EHMKAI6EXTaOs15VrR071QGtprqcKEfmFSyGOZFoA
Per Reuters,“The healthcare system is under great pressure,” said Per Follin, the head of infectious disease control in Stockholm. “We need to keep going with the measures we have so this ends quickly.”