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Herd immunity would be deadly

To the Editor:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage throughout the U.S. as people continue to contract the illness, require hospitalization and die. Rates of infection are rampant in many states, predominately those with Republican governors and/or legislatures that are following Trump’s insistence on not taking appropriate steps to curb the spread of infections.

Having totally failed to exercise any leadership in addressing the virus, Trump and his administration simply declared that the problem is over. The policy is to go for herd immunity, a concept that has been denounced as ineffective and dangerous.

What is rarely noted by the media is the fact that COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disease; it is also a blood and blood vessel disease. According to some reports as many as 30 percent of those infected have other medical and/or mental problems after recovering from the respiratory phase. Continuing fatigue and “brain fog” are common complaints. Some of the medical problems are debilitating and persist for months if not forever.

The problem with the herd immunity concept is that it will not only result in the deaths of millions, it will result in continuing conditions among tens of millions of US citizens. Check the numbers.

There are approximately 330 million Americans. Herd immunity would require at least 70 percent, or 231 million, to contract COVID-19. If the death rate drops from the current 3 to 2 percent due to better treatment, the virus will kill more than 4.6 million Americans. Another 99 million will have persistent medical conditions of which some may be permanent. Talk about preexisting conditions.

This is the “plan” that the Trump administration has adopted. The only way to change that is to elect Biden president.

Norman Hoffman

Waynesville

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