In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” talk show, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows made clear that the Trump administration has abandoned any effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said, instead claiming, “We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”
Meadows’ statement is the most explicit declaration to date that the White House is implementing a policy of “herd immunity,” allowing the disease to spread unchecked throughout the population.
Last week, two unnamed White House officials told the press on background that the Trump administration supports the Great Barrington Declaration, which calls for the abandonment of efforts to contain the disease, including the prohibition of large crowds and other “superspreader” events.
But Meadows’ statement makes clear what this policy, cynically presented by its apologists as “protecting the elderly,” will be in practice: nothing will be done to stop the spread of the disease.
Instead, those who fall severely ill are to rely on therapeutics that have proven only marginally effective, and vaccines that do not yet exist. That is, they will simply be allowed to fall sick, and the elderly will be allowed to die.
After Meadows made these statements, CNN moderator Jake Tapper said, “We’re getting the hook from your team over there at the White House,” cutting the interview short. It can be surmised that Meadows, who did not seem to be fully in possession of himself, said too bluntly what the administration is actually doing.
Meadows’ admission corroborates the analysis of the World Socialist Web Site that the White House’s embrace of the Great Barrington Declaration amounts to support for what can only be construed as a policy of mass homicide. As we wrote last week, the White House “plans to allow additional hundreds of thousands of people to die amid a global resurgence of the pandemic caused by the premature abandonment of business closures and other efforts to contain the pandemic.”
These comments come amid a massive resurgence of the pandemic in the United States. On Friday and Saturday, the US recorded a record 81,417 and 79,453 cases, respectively. All over the country, hospitals are once again filling up, as epidemiologists warn that hundreds of thousands more people will die this fall and winter. The United States has had 8.89 million cases of COVID-19 and over 230,000 deaths.
In chilling remarks on Friday, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned: “We are at a critical juncture in this pandemic… Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in cases, and that is now leading to hospitals and ICUs close to or above capacity, and we are still only in October.”
He continued: “We urge leaders to take immediate action to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing, and schools shutting again. As I said it in February and I am repeating it today, ‘this is not a drill.’”
A recent study published by Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness attempted to look at the “staggering and disproportionate” number of COVID-19 fatalities in the United States to determine how many could have been avoided. Using comparative analysis, the study estimated that “at least 130,000 deaths and perhaps as many as 210,000 could have been avoided with earlier policy interventions and more robust federal coordination and leadership.”
The number of hospitalizations in the United States has grown by more than 40 percent nationwide. At least 38 states have reported a rise in hospitalizations over the last week, which underscores the ludicrous character of the argument that rising numbers are a byproduct of increased testing.
Dr. William Haseltine, a world-renowned infectious disease expert, speaking to the Daily Beast, offered sobering words, stating, “You should be prepared for how bad it’s going to get. We’re looking at easily an excess 100,000 infections a day and overwhelmed hospitals all over the country.”
The initial wave of the pandemic in the spring was centered essentially in the densely populated Northeast. In contrast, the second wave over the summer remained regional, affecting the Sunbelt states. More specifically, facilities like retirement homes, meatpacking plants and prisons were hardest-hit. Presently, infections are being traced to family gatherings, schools and universities, religious services, cafes, bars and athletic events across all urban settings.
Dr. Haseltine continued, “We’re not even near the peak. What we can hope for is that this will plateau at 100,000, and that enough people will get scared enough, and that enough hospitals will get overwhelmed that it convinces the American public to wear masks, social distance, and exercise caution.”