Donald Trump's administration may have pursued a "form of targeted genocide" with the proposed approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, a columnist recently wrote.
The reports that some top advisers pursued a controversial idea of reaching "herd immunity" may have been an attempt to target marginalized people using the pandemic as a vehicle for the policy, noted William Rivers Pitt of Truthout, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on social justice issues. Pitt wrote in response to reports that some members of the administration sought an approach that would have allowed young and more healthy individuals to become infected to reach herd immunity, which is a point when enough individuals within a given population had contracted the coronavirus that it gives widespread protection.
"If the facts hold true, Trump and his people attempted, and at least partially accomplished, a form of targeted genocide against the people, and particularly marginalized people, using COVID-19 as the vehicle for policy," he wrote. "Capitalism demanded the nation not shut down and the workers keep working, even in the teeth of a lethal pandemic. Lacking a vaccine for all those months, the only viable solution that satisfied 'the markets' was to let the virus burn through the population — particularly disabled, elderly, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, low-income, houseless and incarcerated populations — unchecked."
As The Inquisitr reported, leaked email showed adviser Paul Alexander advocating for a similar strategy that would allow infants, teens, and middle-aged individuals with no major risk factors to become infected to develop widespread protection. The email, published by Politico, appeared to run counter to the advice of public health experts who have said that pursuing herd immunity would be dangerous and not effective.
The report noted that Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, pushed back against previous suggestions from Trump advisers about pursuing herd immunity. He said in an interview with Meet the Press that it would actually take as much as 75 percent of Americans becoming infected to reach that mark, not the 20 percent mark suggested by Trump adviser Scott Atlas. The clip of his appearance can be seen on YouTube.
In his column, Pitt said that the United States could have successfully pursued a strategy that kept businesses closed and advised Americans to remain at home with the proper support. He blamed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for blocking this by not allowing for a second stimulus that directly helped Americans.