Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, disputed CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky's contention that COVID-19 variants could set back the march to herd immunity from COVID-19 during a Thursday afternoon appearance on Fox News' "The Story."
Walensky on Wednesday called the various COVID-19 scariants, er, variants a "wild card" that could "reverse" the progress made so far.
The CDC director said COVID-19 variants "are a wild card that could reverse this progress we have made and could set us back." Wednesday (5/5), Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that current vaccines "are protecting against the predominant variants circulating in the country." pic.twitter.com/8yIuT5nbal— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@wjz) May 5, 2021
In an op-ed for the New York Post published Tuesday titled "Don’t buy the fearmongering: The COVID-19 threat is waning," Makary argued against buying into the "fear" that variants could "evade vaccines."
Look at the facts: About 57 percent of adults are vaccinated and approximately half of unvaccinated people have natural immunity from prior infection. That’s why US cases have been plummeting, down 31 percent over the past 18 days.
To put things in context, during the mildest flu season in the last eight years, there were 24 million cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and approximately 447,000 daily cases during its peak week. By comparison, we’re averaging 49,641 daily COVID cases. That same mild flu season resulted in 280,000 hospitalizations. By comparison, current COVID hospitalizations as of May 1 are 34,905.
Let me be clear: COVID is not the flu, and we should not downplay the risk among susceptible people. But for the millions of Americans who are immune and live where the cases are low, the public-health threat is now defanged and below seasonal-flu levels. Given the harm of social isolation, we need to abandon the goal of absolute risk elimination at all cost.
"Look, we’ve had dozens of variants and they’re all entirely encompassed by the vaccine and preventing serious outcomes," Makary told Fox News anchor Trace Gallagher. "So, we've got to be careful right now and not scare people. People need something to look forward to and if you look at the numbers, we’re doing well right now."
The Johns Hopkins surgeon went on to debunk the desire among some health officials, sometimes referred to as "zero COVID," that COVID-19 can be eradicated completely.
Well, unfortunately, we have this perception now that's being created by some public health leaders that we need to reach total eradication. We're not gonna get to total absolute risk elimination. That is a false goal and quite honestly it’s being used now to manipulate the public. We heard today again from our public health leaders that if we get to 70% vaccination, then we can start seeing restrictions removed. That’s dishonest. Most of the country is at herd immunity. Other parts will get there later this month. San Francisco had 12 cases yesterday, most asymptomatic. What do you call that? I call that herd immunity. And I think what's happening is our public health leaders are dismissing natural immunity from prior infection, which changes the path to get to more population immunity. It invokes mandates, it means kids may have to get it and it demonizes those that are hesitant rather than respecting their decision.
Blue-state lockdown-lovers drunk on their own power like Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who insist on a 70 percent vaccination rate in order to ease up on mandates and restrictions are ignoring the science completely in order to hold their people hostage to an unobtainable, unnecessary goal.
Indeed, you don't have to have a medical degree to know that the formula for herd immunity has always been vaccinated plus natural immunity, but then again, when have Democrats ever been good at math?