The United States reported over 1,400 coronavirus deaths on Tuesday — the highest daily total in over a month. The U.S. death toll is nearing 196,000. During a town hall event hosted by ABC on Tuesday, President Trump repeated his claim that the coronavirus would “go away.”
President Donald Trump: “We’re going to be OK. And it is going away. And it’s probably going to go away now a lot faster because of the vaccine. It would go away without the vaccine, George. But it’s going to go away a lot faster with the vaccine.”
George Stephanopoulos: “It will go away without the vaccine?”
President Donald Trump: “Sure, over a period of time. Sure, with time, it goes away.”
George Stephanopoulos: “And many deaths.”
President Donald Trump: “And you’ll develop — you’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be — It’s going to be herd-developed.”
President Trump appeared to be referencing herd immunity. Epidemiologists don’t know how many millions more people would need to be infected for the United States to reach herd immunity — or even if herd immunity is possible for the novel coronavirus. By one count, adopting a herd immunity approach could lead to the deaths of over 2 million people in the U.S.