U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday that a “herd immunity” approach to combating COVID-19 could “lead to many complications/deaths.”
Adams posted the comment on his official Twitter account, along with a link to a recent article from The Journal of the American Medical Association entitled “What is Herd Immunity?”
“The summary: Large numbers of people would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine; this could overwhelm health care systems and lead to many complications/deaths,” Adams tweeted. “So far, there is no example of a large-scale successful intentional infection-based herd immunity strategy.”
Instead, Adams urged people to “wear masks,” “wash hands” and “watch distances.”
The surgeon general’s comments come after the White House embraced a controversial declaration by a group of scientists calling for an approach that relies on “herd immunity.”
The so-called Great Barrington Declaration, which claims on its website to have been signed by more than 9,000 medical and public health scientists around the globe, opposes lockdowns and argues that authorities should allow the novel coronavirus to spread among young, healthy individuals while protecting the elderly and the vulnerable.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases, has called the concept “ridiculous” and “total nonsense.”