As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States passes 6 million, with a death toll of over 183,000, the Trump administration is loosening coronavirus restrictions, fast-tracking vaccine approval and disregarding safety tests, and now one of Trump's top medical advisers is pushing for the country to adopt a controversial "herd immunity" strategy, raising alarm among public health officials.
Washington Post health reporter Yasmeen Abutaleb says Dr. Scott Atlas is not an epidemiologist and was brought on specifically because he would back President Trump's position "about how the pandemic was going, that the threat was receding, that the country should reopen."
Democracy Now! also speaks with Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves, who argues the U.S. is already following an "implicit" herd immunity policy. "They realize it's politically toxic, so they don't want to use the phrase, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is a duck," he says.
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