The head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota blasted claims that a 20% coronavirus infection rate would provide herd immunity as “pixie dust” and “pseudo science.”
In an interview with NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” Dr. Michael Osterholm asserted the COVID-19 infection rate would have to reach at the very least 50-70% to provide an element of protection for the general population.
His assertion was aimed at claims by White House Coronavirus Task Force aide Dr. Scott Atlas that herd immunity would be effective at a 20% infection rate level.
“That 20% number is the most amazing combination of pixie dust and pseudo science I have ever seen,” he said, adding “It is 50[%] to 70% at minimum.”
According to Osterholm, even that rate “just slows down transmission, not stop it.”
“This virus is going to keep looking for wood to burn for as long as it can,” he said. “Our goal is to get as many people protected with vaccine” and to explain in the meantime why mitigation efforts work.
“That’s what we need to do right now and we’re not doing it.”
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