The murderous pseudoscience of “herd immunity”
By Andre Damon
16 May 2020
On May 12, Foreign Affairs, the leading journal of the US foreign policy establishment, carried an article arguing for large portions of the US and world population to be infected with COVID-19. The article is headlined “Sweden’s Coronavirus Strategy Will Soon Be the World’s: Herd Immunity Is the Only Realistic Option—the Question Is How to Get There Safely.”
It concludes, “Efforts to contain the virus are doomed to fail in many countries, and a large percentage of people will be infected in the end.” It asserts that “managing—rather than defeating—the pandemic is the only realistic option.”
The central argument made by the proponents of “herd immunity” is that once enough people become infected with COVID-19, perhaps 50–70 percent of the population, rates of infection will naturally fall.
As a corollary, the proponents of herd immunity claim that efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic, such as testing, contact tracing and isolation of those infected, as well as the closure of schools and businesses, should be abandoned to allow the disease to spread as widely as possible.
Two developments this week have exposed this pseudoscientific theory as false and dangerous. In congressional testimony on Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci made clear that there exists no conclusive evidence that infection with COVID-19 results in longterm immunity, seconding the warnings of the World Health Organization (WHO) last month.
Moreover, countries all over the world have begun reporting the results of large-scale tests of their populations for COVID-19 antibodies. Universally, these tests have shown that, even in areas with the worst outbreaks, only a small fraction of the population has been infected.