"Herd Mentality": Trump Rolls out his Final Solution for COVID-19

Thom plus logo Last month Donald Trump brought a Fox News radiologist into the White House to advise him on the coronavirus.

Dr. Scott Atlas has no meaningful experience or training in public health or infectious diseases, but he offers his opinions in a way on Fox News that impressed Donald Trump.

His principal opinion is the idea of "herd immunity" (although he is reluctant to use the phrase) , which, if pursued in America, would mean several million deaths and tens of millions of people permanently disabled with heart damage, strokes, dementia, chronic fatigue and other long-term health conditions that result from even mild cases of this infection.

We don't know if Atlas has falsely claimed that masks are ineffective because he wants as many people as possible to be infected to bring about his herd immunity idea, or if he is just deeply and profoundly stupid, but, in either case, he's apparently now the guy running the show.

Proof of that came last night when Donald Trump told George Stephanopoulos that he was trying to bring us to "herd mentality," catching himself as he almost said out loud the word "immunity." Like Atlas, he has to avoid that phrase because he knows real scientists ridicule the idea and no developed country is willing to treat their people so badly and have so many of them die and be permanently disabled.

But it's the cheapest, easiest way to do things, and that has always appealed to Donald Trump who is fundamentally lazy, and generally tries to cut corners and BS his way out of situations rather than give them serious thought or work. Trump has also been promoting herd immunity and variations on it ever since April 7 when it was reported that the virus disproportionately killed Black and Brown people. Statistics show that only about 20% of all non-geriatric coronavirus deaths are White people.

When that news became widely known, he started suggesting that masks don't work, a claim he repeated last night at his ABC Townhall. After all, in his mind killing off a lot of Black and Brown people while providing herd immunity to White people sounds like a great final solution.

This is probably why he's packing White people into his rallies. He thinks that if most Americans get can just quickly get infected, "the virus will just magically go away" because the Black and Brown people will die off and the White people will develop herd immunity.

As an added bonus, when large numbers of elderly people of all races die off, it will reduce the costs to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which may strengthen Trump's argument that all those programs should simply be shut down. He has, after all, promised that if he is reelected he will end Social Security within three years. It seems that would only work best if most Social Security recipients were dead.

Back in January, February, March, or April Donald Trump could have pursued a policy like Taiwan did of widespread mask-wearing, testing and contact tracing. Taiwan has not had a single new case since April 12, and it's been months since anybody there died as a result of local transmission. They have the virus under control, and they never even had to shut down their economy because the mask-wearing, testing and contact tracing was so successful. Life is largely back to normal there, with malls open, sporting events happening, and their economy is projected to grow almost 2% this year.

The Trump administration was moving in that direction until April 7, when the report came out that most people dying were not White. That appears to be when Trump and Kushner made the decision to shift to a herd immunity strategy. Trump and his circle appear to be such virulent White Supremacists that even public health policy is contaminated by their deep-seated, long-held racism.

A new administration can't come fast enough.



stopgap's picture
stopgap 2 years 37 weeks ago

Well, we know “Herd Mentality” is not the answer. “Herd Mentality” is how Trump became president in the first place.

Again, I still think he’s trying to make the pandemic worse and use it as part of his strategy to stir up chaos and turmoil for the purpose of suspending or canceling the election, declaring marshal law or what ever term they make-up to justify making Trump president for life. Otherwise, he will go to prison, and that is a reality he will do anything to avoid.

The Woodward tapes prove that he has a clear understanding of the dangers of the virus, therefore he must have an ulterior motive for all his crazy actions. Remember he didn’t really plan to be president, but now that he is, the power has gone to his head and at the same time exposed him to accountability by accelerating the machinations of justice that he has previously been able to out run.

There is no way out!

Other than remaining where he is! I think is was Confucius that said, “he who rides the tiger, cannot dismount.”

alis volat's picture
alis volat 2 years 37 weeks ago

Today Trump, along with Dr. Atlas, held a presser that was right out Roy Cohn's playbook. You simply declare victory and walk away leaving everyone else to argue. It centered around claims of a vaccine by election day. But then 2 minutes later he was saying well maybe there will be one by then. He just keeps contradicting his own statements and tells the reporters they are the ones that have a problem.

As for Dr. Atlas, if 78 of my colleagues wrote this about my recent work, I sure as the hell would wonder what I'm doing wrong: "falsehoods and misrepresentations of science" that "run counter to established science".

Atlas will pay for being subservient to an idiot. Dr. Redfield did today...Trump called him "confused". How can these world renowned doctors even stand next to him? Do Fauci, Birx, and Redfield stay for the American people? They absolutely know he is a sociopath, and that means they are objects to him not people.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 2 years 37 weeks ago

Wielding ultimate power over others is the ultimate ego trip, and Trump is 100% ego -- a malignant narcissist incapable of identifying with the pains and struggles of those less privileged, especially of an ethnicity other than stupid fcking white man.

In that regard, apart from being an exceptional dullard, he is no different than every other two-bit tyrant populating the bloodstained pages of the history of Western civilization's ruthless expansion into "savage" lands and the ensuing genocide against indigenous people who refused to submit to systemic racism, unadulterated greed, and the white power structure of the time.

Trump checks off all the boxes. It's no wonder a portrait of Old Hickory hangs proudly in "his" Oval Office, an inspiration to white-trash bigots everywhere that this land is their land, period.

You too could become president -- the ultimate power trip. If you had a rich, racist daddy with no scruples who groomed you how to lie, cheat, and steal your way to the top, you too could have all the "losers" and "suckers" kiss your ass. That means every other human being on planet Earth who is not his excellency Donald J. Trump, "the chosen one."

Legend 2 years 37 weeks ago

The POTUS has laid down his cards. It is herd (mentality) immunity. He knows more than all of the Generals and the Doctors. Fauci is on the back burner. An Xray specialist is now the epidemiologist. Trump found his front man. Millions have to die to obtain herd immunity. But that does not take into account the long term effects that the survivors of this virus have. Somewhere around 200 million have to get this virus to have heard immunity. Forget any real science in this decision. We are at 6.6 million known cases. Vote as if your life and health depend on it. It probably does. Trump says we will have a vaccine before the election. The head of the CDC says late 2nd quarter or 3rd quarter 2021. Trump says that he is confused. Meanwhile the Economy is a Ponzi scheme. A House of cards. GDP down 33% but the stock market and the 1% are doing fine. You cannot travel anywhere. The other countries have banned us because we have kooties. Unless you are Brad Pitt.




logicalthinker 2 years 36 weeks ago

You talked about right wingers saying only the weak wear masks.

Do you know who wears masks in literature? Superheros.
Why do superheros wear masks? Not to protect themselves. They wear masks to protect the ones they love.

Be a superhero. Wear a mask to protect the ones you love.

whatabout's picture
whatabout 2 years 36 weeks ago

Well, we know there is at least one sane person in Oregon.

"An Oregon woman forced a suspected arsonist to the ground at gunpoint after she found him on her property with matches, dramatic video footage shows."

Nice job young lady, looks like a Smith and Wesson M&P . I hope she is registered to vote.

That state could either use a few million more like you or lose a few million less like you.

djgilbert 2 years 36 weeks ago

Perhaps the analogy is to the chickenpox parties that Brits have famously done. I remember this practice when we lived in an expat neighborhood with Brits in Europe.

Chickenpox has a fatality rate in the U.S. of around 1 in 60,000 cases about 0.0017%.

If we were to infect 70% of the U.S. population with this fatality rate, the death toll would be a few thousand.

COVID is different. Google's tracker is showing about a 2% fatality rate for COVID in the U.S. Infecting 70% of the U.S. population (~230 million) for herd immunity would result in 6.8 million deaths at the current fatality rate.

Also, if a 40% hospitalization rate were to prevail, that would mean 92.4 million hospitalizations or a bit less than a third of the population.

Sustaining an economy with a third of the population in the hospital does not seem possible. Looks like a black plague system collapse for our economy!

avn013's picture
avn013 2 years 36 weeks ago

Don't know whom you are talking about. Not only i have to deal with the current pandemic, (which is upsetting my everyday routine, and is likely to get much worse before a reliable vaccine (which does not cause autism) is found, manufactured, and distributed to enough people that herd immunity is established), but chronic problems instead of being addressed are simply getting worse.

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