Fauci firmly rejects herd immunity strategy after Trump toys with it: 'We're not there yet'

(Image credit: Screenshot/Twitter)

Dr. Anthony Fauci is pushing back against the advice of somebody one Trump administration official called the "anti-Dr. Fauci."

Neuroradiologist Scott Atlas, a top medical adviser to President Trump who has no background in epidemiology, has reportedly been pushing Trump toward the controversial theory of herd immunity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. And after Trump brought it up with Fox News' Laura Ingraham on Monday, Fauci seemingly decided it was time to fire back.

"Herd immunity is that when you have enough people who've either been infected and/or vaccinated and protected" from the virus, "there's enough protection in the community" and the virus slows its spread and perhaps even stops, Fauci explained Wednesday to MSNBC. "We're not there yet. That's not a fundamental strategy that we're using. The fundamental strategy ... is to try to prevent as many infections as you possibly can" by identifying a case, isolating the person who has it, and contact tracing where they've been, Fauci continued.

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Trump told Ingraham on Monday that "once you get to a certain number [of coronavirus cases,] it's going to go away." That's untrue, and not how things worked in Sweden when it tried the herd immunity strategy.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.