December 18, 2020

Because Republicanism has become synonymous with dishonesty, a large part of political news coverage must now be devoted to simply debunking the lies they tell. This public service is performed more than ably by Brianna Keilar on a regular basis. Never so thoroughly, though, as on Thursday, when she spent nine full minutes on a supercut of the GOP lying about herd immunity: first denying that they ever advocated it as an approach to COVID-19, then a parade of clips wherein they did just that.

KEILAR: Throughout the pandemic, even as trump administration officials all the way to the top insisted they were not pursuing herd immunity with the laissez faire response to the coronavirus, their words and actions gave them away. [...]With the coronavirus, in the absence of a vaccine, 2 million Americans would have to die to achieve herd immunity. Needless to say, it is not a public health strategy.

We learned a former top appointee of the president's urged health officials to make it so, according to emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee. Paul Alexander, former senior adviser at Health and Human Services department said in July that Americans, quote, "Must go on with life." He said this: "So the bottom line, if it is more infectious now, the issue is who cares. If it is causing more cases in young, my word is who cares, as long as we make sensible decisions, and protect the elderly and nursing homes, we must go on with life. Who cares if we test more and get more positive tests."

In another email, he writes there's no other way, we need to establish herd. And it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD. And he pushed his caps locks button to make the point. So adamant was he that herd immunity was the only way to address the virus.

Keilar went on to explain that HHS insists it isn't the department's official policy, (Paul Alexander couldn't be bothered to respond to CNN's requests for comment,) but it sure seems to be the Trump administration's policy, no matter what Kayleigh McEnFuckinLiar says at her propagandapaloozas.

In September, the press secretary said this:

MCENANY: Herd immunity, so-called theory, was something made up in the fanciful minds of the media. That was never something ever considered here at the White House.

No, Kayleigh, just the White House DOCTOR, Scott Atlas. He, also denies pushing herd immunity, saying such accusations were a "disgusting lie," but Keilar goes on to play quite a few clips of him pushing that very approach. She prefaced the clips by saying, "It may be disgusting, but it is not a lie. It's the truth. Here's tape of Dr. Atlas pushing herd immunity."

ATLAS: We can allow a lot of people to get infected, those who are not at risk to die or have serious hospital requiring illness. We should be fine with letting them infected, generating immunity on their own, and the more immunity in the community, the better we can eradicate the threat of the virus, including the threat to people who are vulnerable. That's what herd immunity is.
When younger, healthier people get the disease, they don't have a problem with the disease. I'm not sure why that's so difficult for everyone to acknowledge. These people getting the infection is not really a problem and in fact, as we said months ago, when you isolate everyone, including the healthy people, you're prolonging the problem because you're preventing population immunity. Low risk groups getting the infection is not a problem.

Then Keilar played tape of Donald Trump advocating herd immunity. Then Tucker Carlson. Then Laura Ingraham. Then three of her guests.

Then, though, Keilar discussed the "right-wing's darling," Sweden's Prime Minister, who had adopted herd immunity approach to the pandemic for his nation, and is now very, very sorry.

KEILAR: The PM goes on, understating the obvious, here, "Some conclusions about where we could have been better have already been drawn." They have been. Drawn by a death rate that approaches that of the U.S. Even with Sweden's universal health care system and liberal work leave policies.

But Fox championed Sweden as the example to follow and viewers listened and they're doing this again right now, telling people to get together for the holidays.
INGRAHAM: Of course act cautiously. But Christmas is meant to be spend with family, not isolated in lockdown. Joining me now, Dr. Scott Atlas.

Yes. THAT Scott Atlas.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.