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Expert Predicts Full Herd Immunity in US by April, But Others Disagree

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UPDATE, Mar. 5, 2021: About a week after the publication of this commentary, Health Feedback published a fact check calling into question the assumptions and qualifications of the author of the Wall Street Journal opinion piece upon which it is largely based.

“The headline’s claim is built in large part on the assumption that ‘55% of Americans have natural immunity’ to COVID-19 through prior infection. However, experts who reviewed the article told Health Feedback that this assumption wasn’t supported by the data,” according to Health Feedback. “Marm Kilpatrick, a professor at the University of California Santa Cruz who studies disease ecology, found that the article’s figures for the number of COVID-19 infections detected by testing, as well as the infection fatality rate — which measures the proportion of infected people who die from the disease — were unsubstantiated.”

“Tara Smith, an epidemiologist and professor at Kent State University, refuted the article’s claim that ‘when [reinfections] do occur, the cases are mild,’ citing a case report documenting COVID-19 cases around the world that were more serious upon reinfection,” the article also stated.

Smith was also cited as saying the opinion piece was largely erroneous, “probably because the author has no background in infectious disease.”

The fact check calls into question other claims made by the author of the opinion piece, Johns Hopkins professor of surgery Marty Makary, and concludes with this statement: “In summary, the Wall Street Journal opinion piece’s claim that the U.S. will achieve herd immunity by April 2021 is unsupported by the available data. Its claim that natural infection confers sufficient herd immunity to end the COVID-19 epidemic in the U.S. also doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, when we consider the example of Manaus [Brazil]. The city experienced a largely uncontrolled spread of COVID-19, which resulted in a high infection rate. Yet the city still saw a resurgence of COVID-19 that was worse than the first wave.

“While the U.S. is indeed experiencing a fall in the number of new COVID-19 cases, scientists have urged Americans to avoid complacency given the threat posed by the new virus variants.”

The Western Journal has therefore changed the title of this commentary to reflect this information, which we include here for added context. We have also removed the video that was earlier included in the commentary, but have otherwise left the commentary as originally published.

COVID-19 could be gone as early as April, as plunging infection rates suggest the United States is on the verge of achieving herd immunity.

That’s the prediction of Dr. Marty Makary, a surgeon and professor at Johns Hopkins University.

The left-wing media continues to stoke hysteria and panic as Democratic lawmakers push for more shutdowns. But Makary underscored that coronavirus cases have tumbled 77 percent over the past six weeks.

“At the current trajectory, I expect Covid will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life,” Makary wrote Thursday in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed.

“There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection. As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected.”

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Makary explained that the consistent and rapid decline in daily infections since Jan. 8 cannot be attributed to lockdowns or to changes in people’s behavior. Indeed, he said everything points to natural herd immunity as the cause for dwindling infections.

“Behavior didn’t suddenly improve over the holidays; Americans traveled more over Christmas than they had since March,” he wrote. “Vaccines also don’t explain the steep decline in January. Vaccination rates were low and they take weeks to kick in.”

Unlike the unscientific shutdowns and mass school closings pushed by left-wing bureaucrats, Makary said his prediction that COVID-19 will be mostly gone by April is based on laboratory studies, mathematical data, conversations with experts and medical literature.

He pointed to the Brazilian city of Manaus, where herd immunity has been documented in the medical journal The Lancet.

Last year, the establishment media repeatedly dismissed the notion that herd immunity could stem the coronavirus.

Critics said this was because they wanted to prolong the panic in order to make the case for mass mail-in voting and to convince Americans to vote out then-President Donald Trump.

Now that Democrat Joe Biden has been installed as president, the media is starting to admit that herd immunity is not a crazy idea — especially in light of the fact that the United States has survived numerous pandemics over the past four centuries. And herd immunity played a role in those recoveries.

“Some medical experts privately agreed with my prediction that there may be very little Covid-19 by April but suggested that I not to talk publicly about herd immunity because people might become complacent and fail to take precautions or might decline the vaccine,” Makary wrote. “But scientists shouldn’t try to manipulate the public by hiding the truth.”

Makary, who’s pro-vaccine, urged the nation to reopen schools and ease shutdowns to curb the psychological damage many have suffered because of such measures.

One tragic fallout has been the alarming spike in youth suicides stemming from the shutdowns.

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In April 2020, two California physicians posted a YouTube video urging lawmakers to reopen America, slamming the nationwide shutdowns as unwarranted.

Instead, Drs. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi argued that herd immunity was a better approach to combatting the coronavirus without destroying the economy and ruining people’s lives.

Erickson and Massihi are emergency-room physicians who co-own Accelerated Urgent Care in Bakersfield, California. They have a combined 40 years of experience treating viruses and respiratory infections.

Last year, the duo praised Trump for his handling of the coronavirus crisis and for pushing to keep America open.

Predictably, YouTube censored and removed the doctors’ video (which got 5 million views).

At the time, Erickson also claimed that physicians around the country were being pressured to inflate coronavirus infection rates and deaths. Why? Because hospitals reportedly got huge amounts of federal money for every COVID-19 infection and death they recorded, so there was a built-in gravy train in place.

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“We’ve been to hundreds of autopsies,” Erickson said. “ER doctors now [say], ‘When I’m writing my death report, I’m being pressured to add COVID. Why are we being pressured to add Covid?’ To maybe increase the numbers, and make it look a little bit worse than it is?”

Erickson’s observation echoed the assertions of Republican Sen. Scott Jensen of Minnesota.

Jensen, who is also a physician, said artificially inflating the number of COVID deaths enables states to receive more federal money.

“Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate,” Jensen told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in April 2020, according to USA Today.

“Why? Because if it’s a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for — if they’re Medicare — typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000. But if it’s ‘COVID-19 pneumonia,’ then it’s $13,000. And if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000.”

While left-wing politicians gain power by infringing more and more of our civil liberties, taxpayers are always burdened with footing the bill for this massive unconstitutional government overreach.

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