(WASHINGTON, D.C) — As the national COVID-19 death toll creeps toward the 220,000 mark, several theories have sprung up regarding a potential way to curb new infections and deaths — herd immunity.
Doctor Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, slammed the suggestion on Thursday and called the notion dangerous.
“That declaration has a couple things in it that I think are fooling people, because it says things that are like apple pie and motherhood,” Doctor Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told Good Morning America.
Fauci continued, “If you just let things rip and let the infection go — no masks, crowd, it doesn’t make any difference” and that the idea is ” ridiculous because what that will do is that there will be so many people in the community that you can’t shelter, that you can’t protect, who are going to get sick and get serious consequences.”
Fauci also warned that, “You’ll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and deaths” should the nation try to pursue herd immunity.
With flu season officially here, Fauci also remarked that he foresees a “concerning” winter due to the stark rise in new cases and deaths.
The U.S. death toll is now expected to rise up to 240,000 by November 7, which is five percent higher than last week’s estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As it stands Thursday night, the nation has suffered 217,721 fatalities due to COVID-19.