Donald Trump mistakenly refers to “herd immunity” as “herd mentality” during a disastrous town hall
Remember having a president who knows what words are? Yeah, me neither. On Tuesday night during his socially distanced town hall, President Trump blustered his way through all sorts of topics, but of course, the topic of the night was COVID-19. After telling a young voter that he didn’t downplay the pandemic as he’s been accused (he told her he actually “up-played it,” which is… not a word), he then told ABC host George Stephanopoulos that the coronavirus will “go away” once we get to “herd mentality.” Not herd immunity, he said herd mentality. That’s right, the president of the United States says that if you think like a herd, you won’t get COVID-19.
During the 90-minute event, Trump answered questions from voters and Stephanopoulos, and as expected, it was pretty much a disaster. One moment in particular was when Trump and Stephanopoulos had a conversation about the virus and how we’ll eventually get rid of it. Trump claimed that the virus would “disappear” on its own, adding that “it would go away without the vaccine, George.”
TRUMP: It is going away— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 16, 2020
STEPHANOPOULOS: Without a vaccine?
TRUMP: Sure. Over a period of time
S: And many deaths
TRUMP: It's gonna be herd developed pic.twitter.com/dtJRE7XwFX
“It would go away without the vaccine?” Stephanopoulos pressed him. “Sure,” Trump said, “over a period of time.”
“And many deaths,” Stephanopoulos reminded him, clearly referring to the “herd immunity” that conservatives seem excited about.
“And you’ll develop, like, a herd mentality,” Trump added, seemingly confusing on the terminology. “It’s gonna be herd developed…I believe we’re rounding the corner.” Unfortunately, there was no time to confront the president’s scientifically inaccurate mumbo jumbo as Stephanopoulos had to go to a commercial break.
Let’s assume for a moment that the president was actually referring to herd immunity, if we relied on herd immunity –which happens when a large portion of the population becomes immune to a virus — Fauci says (via The Hill) it would result in a “totally unacceptable” number of deaths and The World Health Organization (via PBS) says that herd immunity “is not a solution we should be looking to.”
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Let’s take care of our wellbeing during COVID-19. Health and social inequities, like discrimination and lack of access to healthcare, have put some of us in racial and ethnic minority groups at increased risk of getting COVID-19. This can lead to anxiety and depression. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-273-8255. Here are some ways we can take care of our #wellbeing. – Connect with our friends, families, and people we trust – Find time to unwind with activities we enjoy – Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate – Eat well, exercise, and get plenty of sleep – Take breaks from news stories (repeated news about the pandemic can be upsetting) https://bit.ly/COVID-ManageStress
“‘We’re nowhere near close to [herd immunity], which means this virus has a long way to burn in our communities before we ever reach that,’ Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program told CNBC.
So no, President Trump, the virus isn’t just going to disappear because you said “herd mentality” during a televised interview.