Then-HHS science adviser Paul Alexander called for millions of Americans to be infected as means of fighting Covid-19.
Public health experts have decried calls to deliberately infect younger, healthier Americans with Covid-19, saying that it would unnecessarily put millions of people at risk of long-term complications and even death. “We certainly are not wanting to wait back and just let people get infected so that you can develop herd immunity. That’s certainly not my approach,” Fauci said in September.
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who chairs the coronavirus subcommittee, said in a statement that the documents “show a pernicious pattern of political interference by Administration officials.”
“As the virus spread through the country, these officials callously wrote, ‘who cares’ and ‘we want them infected,'” Clyburn added. “They privately admitted they ‘always knew’ the President’s policies would cause a ‘rise’ in cases, and they plotted to blame the spread of the virus on career scientists.”
Clyburn said that the documents — which the Trump administration only released to his subcommittee after the election, more than two months after his probe began — underscore why HHS must cooperate with his investigation and that CDC Director Redfield must appear for an interview about an email that he allegedly told staff to delete. Otherwise, “I will be forced to start issuing subpoenas,” Clyburn said.
The email cache provided a real-time look at the administration’s deliberations as the Covid-19 crisis first began to rebound during the summer.
“So the bottom line is if it is more infectiouness [sic] now, the issue is who cares?” Alexander wrote in a July 3 email to the health department’s top communications officials. “If it is causing more cases in young, my word is who cares…as long as we make sensible decisions, and protect the elderely [sic] and nursing homes, we must go on with life….who cares if we test more and get more positive tests.”
“How can this be researched and proven true or false?” Caputo asked Alexander in one July 25 email exchange, after Alexander had emailed Hahn and nine top communications officials across HHS and FDA about the value of herd immunity.
Alexander wrote back with data that he said he’d pulled from several studies, including a link to a June 30 Quanta Magazine article about the “tricky math” of herd immunity.