Herd Immunity is a Dangerous Notion

Multiple health organizations issued a joint statement against the Great Barrington Declaration, which is a herd immunity strategy petition advocated by some outlier physicians and apparently the President’s senior advisors.

Great Barrington Declaration calls for end to lockdowns, shift to herd immunity | CTV News

This notion is dangerous because it puts the entire population, particularly the most vulnerable, at risk. Young people are not all healthy, and they don’t live in vacuums. They interact with family members, co-workers and neighbors. Inviting increased rates of COVID-19 in young people will lead to increased infection rates among all Americans.


UPHE stands with the overwhelming majority of medical organizations and health experts in rejecting such an unethical and unscientific strategy.

The President’s comments made two days ago at his townhall meeting that, “85% of the people that wear masks catch it,” isn’t remotely true, and it is wildly irresponsible for him to make statements like that. Furthermore, his statement, “We have therapies now, and cures, maybe. You can use the word cure,” is also not true, especially given the latest study on Remdesivir, one of the drugs that the President received and highly praised. It showed that it does not improve outcomes or shorten the duration of illness.

In order to achieve herd immunity, the declaration espouses allowing “those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”

This recommendation, according to the statement on APHA website, ignores reliable science, would take far too long and would result in needless death. 


Calling attention to the new data that shows the focus of new hotspots are family gatherings, and the spread of COVID within family units, UPHE joins national officials urging people to adopt pandemic cautious behavior even within households and among families as much as possible. Extended family gatherings under these circumstances are dangerous.