Herd immunity: a strategy for mass death

Swedish authorities have not officially adopted “herd immunity” (which most scientists believe is achieved when more than 60 percent of the population has had the virus!). But “herd immunity” is no doubt the government’s strategy in keeping schools, restaurants, and most businesses open.

In any case, speaking at a press conference in April in Geneva, WHO epidemiologist Dr Maria van Kerchief stated that indication of antibodies in somebody does not equate to their immunity from the disease.

Sweden’s anti-social policies have given comfort to the far right, to populist politicians like Boris Johnson and neo-fascist social engineers like his chief adviser Dominic Cummings. It has been used as a model by the corporations, banks and even the trade unions for a premature reopening of factories, businesses and schools.

By adopting the social-Darwinist strategy of “herd immunity”, whether more-or-less openly as in Sweden or disingenuously as in the U.S. and the U.K., the U.S., Sweden, the U.K. and several EU states have derogated on any realistic plan to stop the spread of this deadly disease. Whatever temporary effect they have had, the lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe have not been used to implement the WHO’s stipulated essential measures of testing, quarantining and contact tracing (excepting to some extent Austria and Germany) which is the only effective method available to stem the Covid-19 tide; and, moreover, which has already been used effectively in China (4634 deaths, to 18 May) and South Korea (263 deaths, to 18 May). Compare the U.S. (90978 deaths, to 18 May) and the U.K. (34636 deaths, to 18 May) the top two highest death rates globally.

Failure to implement testing, according to the sacked U.S. health official, Dr Rick Bright, has led to the egregious death toll from the Coronavirus in the U.S. Bright stated he was ousted from a high-level scientific post after warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic. “Without clear planning and implementation of the steps that I and other experts have outlined, 2020 will be the darkest winter in modern history,” Bright stated.

Rather, like many E.U. countries and the U.K., it’s becoming business as usual in spite of the alarmingly increasing number of deaths worldwide.  Abandoning the only measures capable of containing the disease, testing, isolation and tracing, and simultaneously forcing the reopening of factories and businesses will ensure (cf the warnings of Dr Anthony Fauci) a tsunami of Covid-19 deaths in the near future.

The alarming rise in Covid-19 infections in Ireland’s meat processing plants, staffed mainly by immigrant labour living in unhealthy overcrowded accommodation and working in the most appalling conditions, is already a reality.

This was executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies programme Mike Ryan’s response at the briefing on 11th May when asked about the policy of “herd immunity”:

“Humans are not herds. Herd immunity is a term taken sometimes from veterinary epidemiology where people are concerned in animal husbandry with the overall health of the herd. An individual animal in that sense doesn’t matter from the perspective of the brutal economics of [that] decision-making.”

The term ‘herd immunity’ is meant to be used for vaccines, not illnesses — which can kill people.

The use of the term, Ryan said, “can lead to a very brutal arithmetic which does not put people and lives and suffering at the center of that equation.”

“This idea that maybe countries who had lax measures and haven’t done anything will all of a sudden magically reach some herd immunity, and so what if we lose a few old people along the way. This is a really dangerous, dangerous calculation.”

These words reveal the deepening crisis in our so-called civilisation. Measures that would not look out of place in Adolf Hitler’s Germany are being openly discussed and adopted by western liberal democracies. 

Patrick Carey

Image: Nickolay Romensky, CC BY 2.0