McEnany says herd immunity has never been COVID strategy, despite Trump comments
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that "herd immunity has never been a strategy" for the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus, after the president claimed on Tuesday that the coronavirus would disappear when people develop "a herd mentality."
Why it matters: A state of herd immunity, in which widespread outbreaks are prevented because enough people in a community are immune to a disease, would likely cause mass death if not pursued by way of a vaccine. The magic number often cited for herd immunity is a minimum of 60% of the population.
Driving the news: Trump claimed at an ABC town hall on Tuesday that the coronavirus would "disappear" over time without a vaccine, although he noted that "it's going to go away a lot faster with it."
- In response to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos saying that the virus would go away over time with "many deaths," Trump added: “And you’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be — it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.”
- McEnany said that Trump was noting that countries can reach herd immunity over a period of time.
The bottom line: A coronavirus vaccine is needed to reinforce herd immunity, especially without a significant loss of life.