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Herd Immunity To COVID Is Not Reckless. It Would Protect The Vulnerable


Herd Immunity To COVID Is Not Reckless. It Would Protect The Vulnerable

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Why is the press and officialdom suddenly shrieking about “herd immunity”? On Oct. 12, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said pursuing herd immunity is “unethical.” Within hours, most of the media broadcast the same message. It’s as though someone sent out a list of talking points.

“Sweden’s experiment with herd immunity is unethical and undemocratic,” Australia’s ABC intoned, “and reveals an underlying political pathology.” According to Fortune, herd immunity against SARS-CoV2 is a “myth.”

Time called Sweden’s coronavirus response a “disaster.” “From early on,” the magazine claimed, “the Swedish government seemed to treat it as a foregone conclusion that many people would die.” The Washington Post is claiming that herd immunity is now the White House’s “strategy,” supposedly on advice from White House advisor Scott Atlas.

“Herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus,” claimed the head of WHO, “not by exposing them to it.” According to him, “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic.”

This is misleading. First, herd immunity is all about exposure. A study of nearly 6,000 individuals out Oc. 13 finds that, outside one outlier, the COVID-positive patients sampled retained their immunity to the disease for at least five to seven months, the duration of the study. After enough people get and recover from an infection, the virus loses most of its routes for new infections. Indeed, the main purpose of the annual flu vaccine is to speed up herd immunity by reducing the number of susceptible people. Just as huddling inside in the winter helps spread flu, and thereby pneumonia, so herd immunity helps bring down death rates in the summer.

Second, herd immunity isn’t so much a strategy as a fact of life when dealing with infectious agents like the coronavirus. Even the Time article that lambasted Sweden admits that it’s not quite fair to say the Nordic country pursued a herd immunity “strategy.” Rather, it had an anti-lockdown policy. Still, any strategy that ignores herd immunity is foolish, since that is precisely how infection rates fall in pandemics.

So why the renewed furor over herd immunity? We suspect it’s really aimed at the thousands of scientists and medical practitioners who have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which invokes the term favorably.

For lockdown partisans in the press and Big Tech, the declaration is a clear and present danger. They’re working hard to suppress it. After all, it refutes the narrative that all scientists agree with the lockdowns. Its three principal authors hail from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford universities. They have as many scientific chops as any of the lockdown partisans.

So the media have done everything they can, first to ignore, and then to tar, feather, and misrepresent the scientists who organized this effort. The campaign against a supposed “herd immunity strategy,” or what some call the “let people die” approach, is really a proxy war against the declaration.

Other, pro-lockdown scientists have now responded to the Great Barrington Declaration with the “John Snow Memorandum,” published in The Lancet on Oct. 14. Predictably, Dr. Anthony Fauci, when asked about the declaration, called it “dangerous” and “nonsense.”

This looks like a smear campaign designed to prevent Americans, including the president, from hearing the scientific case against the lockdowns. That’s much easier to do if the public thinks the only alternative is letting people die. But the scientists behind the Great Barrington advocate nothing like that. They call for focused protection, a strategy that confers the greatest benefits with the fewest costs. These scientists argue that population-wide lockdowns are all pain and little gain. They also know that we’re going to reach herd immunity at some point whatever our approach. How much damage we cause in the meantime is the question.

Finally, they know that the elderly are about 1,000 times more at risk of death from COVID-19 than the young. Therefore, they argue, we should end the disastrous lockdowns, focus on protecting the most vulnerable, treat those who get sick with all the tools in our arsenal — including those President Trump received — and let immunity build up among those with very little risk.

This wasn’t the initial Swedish approach. That country failed to protect and sequester nursing homes, which were the source of most Swedish deaths.

The alternative is to keep pressing lockdowns, no matter the cost in lives and wellbeing, until a vaccine is available for all. That should be a non-starter. In our new book “The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe,” we show that the forced lockdowns had no discernable effect on the spread of the coronavirus. Worse, they will kill more people than the virus itself.

The Great Barrington Declaration has it right. And so does President Trump. But he has not yet clearly embraced the science and the many scientists who can provide the scientific heft behind this policy. That policy is focused protection. It is the most ethical and rational choice. The media campaign against “herd immunity” is a cynical effort to keep this approach from gaining traction.

Jay W. Richards, Douglas Axe, and William Briggs are the authors of “The Price of Panic: How the Tyranny of Experts Turned a Pandemic into a Catastrophe.”

Democrats Vote Against CHIP Funding Ahead of ‘Schumer Shutdown’


Reported by Joel B. Pollak | 18 Jan 2018

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/18/democrats-vote-chip-funding-schumer-shutdown/

186 House Democrats voted against keeping the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) funded for the next six years as they opposed a stopgap spending measure in the House of Representatives Thursday that would keep the government open for the next four weeks.

Senate Democrats were likewise poised to vote against CHIP, as they declared earlier in the day that they had the votes to filibuster the spending bill and shut down the government. (Republicans have taken to calling the impending shutdown the “Schumer shutdown,” for Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), in response.)

CHIP provides funds for health insurance for children from low-income families who are not poor enough to be eligible for Medicaid. CHIP funding is the number one issue for American voters overall, according to a recent poll by Politico and the Harvard University School of Public Health.

When he won Alabama’s special election for the U.S. Senate last month, Doug Jones called on both parties to put politics aside and vote to fund the CHIP program:

“Take this election,” Jones said, “take this election where the people of Alabama said we want to get something done, we want you to find common ground, we want you to talk. Take this opportunity in light of this election and go ahead and fund that CHIP program before I get up there. Put it aside and let’s do it for those million kids and 150,000 here in Birmingham, Alabama.”

Congress did not do so, but Jones proposed a bill last week that would extend CHIP funding for five years — one year shorter than the stopgap spending bill Democrats are rejecting.

CNN political analyst Gloria Borger offered her version of Democrats’ argument Thursday: “If this is so important to you Republicans, why didn’t you take it up earlier this year when you could have, when the Democrats wanted to deal with it? I mean, children’s health insurance is something that you can bring up on the floor any time and renew it, and they’ve been screaming about it — the Democrats have been screaming about it for quite some time.”

Voters in contested House and Senate districts this year can expect to see Republican advertisements noting that Democratic incumbents voted against funding CHIP. Only six House Democrats broke ranks to vote with the GOP.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak

Physician: Lifting DDT Ban Could Stop Mosquito-Borne Zika Virus


waving flagby Dr. Susan Berry, 9 Feb 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/02/09/physician-mosquito-borne-zika-virus-should-prompt-rethinking-of-ddt-ban

The executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) asserts that a lifting of the ban on DDT could prevent the spread of the Zika virus, just as it could have wiped out malaria.

Dr. Jane Orient tells Breitbart News the major public health measure required to combat the Zika virus pandemic is mosquito control and says, “DDT was the most effective public health weapon of all time.”

Orient continues:

The ban on DDT was basically the decision of one man, William Ruckelshaus, going against a mountain of evidence on safety and enormous health benefits. It was said that, “If they can ban DDT, they can ban anything.” And that’s how the EPA power grab started. Millions of African babies have died and are still dying of malaria because if it.

“Substitute pesticides are far more toxic and expensive,” she adds. “People are advised to use insect repellents such as DEET — which is absorbed through the skin, and safety in pregnancy is not established.”

Orient’s view is shared by president of Pioneer Energy Dr. Robert Zubrin, who recently wrote at National Review, “The most effective pesticide is DDT. If the Zika catastrophe is to be prevented in time, we need to use it.”

Zubrin observes the pesticide’s history:

DDT was first employed by the U.S. Army to stop a typhus epidemic in Naples that had been created by the retreating Germans through their destruction of that city’s sanitation system. Subsequently, Allied forces used it in all theaters to save millions of disease-ravaged victims of Axis tyranny, and after the war employed it to wipe out malaria in the American south, southern Europe, and much of south Asia and Latin America. The benefits of these campaigns were unprecedented. As the National Academy of Sciences put it in a 1970 report: To only a few chemicals does man owe as great a debt as to DDT. It has contributed to the great increase of agricultural productivity, while sparing countless humanity from a host of diseases, most notably perhaps, scrub typhus and malaria. Indeed, it is estimated that in little more than two decades, DDT has prevented 500 million deaths due to malaria that would otherwise have been inevitable.

Zubrin asserts that environmentalists such as Rachel Carson, author of the 1962 book Silent Spring, propagated the notion that DDT was harmful to bird populations.

“This was false,” he writes. “In fact, by eliminating their insect parasites and infection agents, DDT was helping bird numbers to grow significantly.”

Nevertheless, Zubrin notes environmentalists launched an aggressive “massive propaganda campaign” that would ultimately ban the use of DDT.The Leftist Propagandist

According to Orient, Zika is not a new virus, having been first identified in humans in 1947 in Uganda’s Zika Forest. Nevertheless, CDC director Thomas Frieden observes the virus’s association with microcephaly and other fetal harm.

“There is no definitive proof that ZVD has caused birth defects,” Orient notes. “In fact, the evidence is against it. In Colombia, 3000 pregnant women had ZVD — with no microcephaly. In Brazil, only 17 of 404 cases of confirmed microcephaly were positive for ZVD. ZVD has been known since the 1940s as a benign disease, with no reported birth defects.”

Orient also advises against exposing women who may be pregnant to drugs or vaccines that have not been through thorough safety testing. She notes that, last year, Brazil mandated the pertussis vaccine for all pregnant women — without proof of safety during pregnancy.

Regarding the fear that Zika could spread through the United States via illegal immigrants, Orient believes that ZVD is perhaps one of the least important of the kinds of diseases that could be transmitted in that way. A concern she has is that President Obama proposes to spend $1.8 billion on the ZVD threat — which is now being used politically to promote abortion in countries where it is currently illegal — while “other genuine threats proliferate.”

“We could stop transmission now with effective mosquito control in affected areas,” Orient says.

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