Trump official pushed for herd immunity, calling for low-risk Americans to be infected, emails show
A Trump administration official pushed for a herd immunity strategy to respond to coronavirus, writing that it is good for lower-risk people to be infected with the virus, according to emails obtained by Congress.
Paul Alexander, at the time a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) science adviser, referred to younger people and lower-risk people in an email and wrote, “we want them infected.”
“Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…and recovered…with antibodies….hospitals are NOW geared, PPE in place, ICUs beds are on the ready, doctors and nurses alert, the syndrome is crystalized… etc,” he wrote in a July 4 email to other HHS officials obtained by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
A wide range of health experts has denounced the herd immunity strategy he advocated as leading to unnecessary deaths.
HHS response: “His emails absolutely did not shape department strategy,” an HHS spokesperson said Wednesday in response to the emails’ release. “Dr. Paul Alexander previously served as a temporary Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and is no longer employed at the Department.”