Dr. Fauci criticizes concept of coronavirus ‘herd immunity’ embraced by White House: ‘Risky’ and ‘total nonsense’

Coronavirus
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 in September.(Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, listens during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Hearing on the federal government response to COVID-19 in September.(Graeme Jennings/Pool via AP)

Dr. Anthony Fauci is criticizing a declaration by a group of scientists that supports the concept of “herd immunity,” which the White House is using to bolster a push to reopen schools and businesses.

Fauci says backing herd immunity — the idea that a disease will stop spreading once nearly everybody has contracted it — is “total nonsense.”

The top U.S. infectious disease expert says: “If you talk to anybody who has any experience in epidemiology and infectious diseases, they will tell you that that is risky and you’ll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and death,” he told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday.

“So I think that we’ve just got to look that square in the eye and say it’s nonsense,” he said.

The U.S. leads the world with 7.9 million coronavirus cases and nearly 217,000 confirmed deaths. Globally, there have been 38 million reported cases and 1.09 million confirmed deaths.

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