Laurie Garrett Misinforms America on “Herd Immunity”

***Special to Fed Up Democrat***

By Becky Johnson

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October 28, 2020, Seaside, Ca. – MSNBC is a major, mainstream news outlet which has taken a decidedly biased attitude towards Democrats and against Republicans, especially regarding the upcoming November election. That said, it has a duty to faithfully report facts on the coronavirus pandemic to its viewers, especially in a segment complaining about “misinformation.” But having Laurie Garrett as their spokesperson, does not accomplish this goal.

In a short, 9 min segment, where she was tasked with “debunking” Trump’s seeming embrace of the Great Barrington Declaration, penned on October 4th by 3 distinguished epidemiologists and medical experts. Instead, she needs to be debunked herself.

First, she fails to properly identify what “herd immunity” is. She calls it a “policy” when in reality, herd immunity is a fact. Virtually every viral epidemic in the history of the world has ended when a varying percentage of the at risk population contracts & recovers from the illness, usually imparting lifelong immunity in the individual. This is clearly true for chickenpox, the measles, mumps, and probably for unique strains of influenza. Coined in 1933 by A.W. Hedrich, an epidemiologist from Johns Hopkins University, he observed that when 68% of the population had contracted the measles, a protective level, which he dubbed “herd immunity” was reached. That tended to signal the end of the epidemic.

Then Garrett claims, without any source whatsover , that “80% – 90% infection”is needed to reach herd immunity and that NYC only has 21% of its population who have developed antibodies to COVID19. Garrett is just making these numbers up. Look at what we do know: The Diamond Princess had 19% of those aboard infected. NYC has had 27% infected & the epidemic is basically over there. (Garret’s claim of “21%” is the number reported in April which she didn’t bother to update for MSNBC).

Then,she attacks scientists with a lot more lofty credentials than her own 4-yr B.S. degree (including all 3 of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration) when scientists such as Dr. Mike Yeadon, formerly of Pfizer, claim that herd immunity for COVID19 is likely 25%.

Four or five major papers have come out recently which show that cross-immunity from 4 other circulating coronaviruses, which cause the common cold, along with the seemingly widespread resistance children have to infection, illness AND transmission, combined with the number who have already recovered from coronavirus, and hence, are now likely immune, herd immunity will NOT result in “an enormous death toll.” In fact, it makes a second wave unlikely as well.

Garret falsely claims the Great Barrington Declaration “was funded by Koch Industries.” While Koch DID fund a PR firm called “Emergent Order” which has worked with the American Institute for Economic Research in the past, the CEO has gone on record that their company did NOT fund the Great Barrington Declaration. But is Garrett concerned that a Koch-industry aligned group funded the UK Imperial Model by Neil Ferguson, that was 500% wrong? Her outrage appears very selective.

The Deadline White House clip with host: Nicole Wallace from Oct 14th is here: