In a repeat of the Trump administration’s calls to “slow the testing down,” the Biden administration and state governments are working to cripple the reporting of COVID-19 testing in the United States to cover up their massive failure to protect the population from the pandemic.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been in discussions with the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists about a directive that “would direct states to limit daily case reporting,” according to a report published last week in the New York Times.
The move to shut down reporting of individual cases has no scientific or medical basis. There are no reputable public health experts, virologists, or epidemiologists—outside of those employed by the White House as press surrogates—who favor reducing reporting of COVID-19 cases. And there has never been a precedent for a government abandoning efforts to track, isolate, and contain a SARS-like pathogen.
Rather, the aim of these efforts is to cover up the policy of the federal and state governments of deliberately allowing COVID-19 to spread throughout the population in accordance with the pseudoscientific theory of “herd immunity.”
States led by far-right Republicans are already slashing testing and reporting. Tennessee, run by the far-right governor Bill Lee, who refused to recognize the election of US president Joe Biden, has already stopped daily case reporting, switching to a once-per-week system of reporting tests.
Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo said Monday the state intended to “unwind” the “testing mentality.” Ladapo reports to Governor Ron DeSantis, a right-wing ideologue who also refused to acknowledge the outcome of the 2020 election.
Even more states plan to end weekly reporting, with many “that are still doing daily reporting eager to make the shift in the coming months,” Marcelle Layton, chief medical officer at the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, told the Times.
The moves to end case reporting by states and the federal government are a continuation of the criminal “herd immunity” policy initiated under the Trump administration, which deliberately sabotaged the country’s testing infrastructure to promote the mass infection of the population.
In a report published at the end of 2021, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis reported, “Trump Administration officials purposefully weakened the [CDC] testing guidance to reduce the amount of testing being conducted and obscure how rapidly the virus was spreading across the country.”
Trump’s efforts to limit testing was part of a “dangerous ‘herd immunity’ strategy,” promoted by “fringe epidemiologists,” according to the report, which put “millions of lives at risk.”
Likewise, now, a group of “fringe epidemiologists,” led by the “herd immunity” proponent Monica Gandhi, is promoting and justifying the Biden administration’s efforts to cover up its criminal mishandling of the pandemic.
Gandhi advocates allowing COVID-19 to become “endemic,” permanently circulating in the human population, with the unstated consequence of killing children, the elderly, disabled and immunocompromised at significant rates in perpetuity.
On the basis of this homicidal policy, Gandhi calls for the government to no longer report individual cases on the national level. “For Gandhi, that balance lies in health departments tracking case counts internally and only alerting the public on hospitalizations and deaths,” writes the Guardian.
“Once you have accepted the virus is endemic, just like influenza, then you never track cases because we never screen like this for any other viruses; we track what is causing disease and getting people hospitalized,” Gandhi said.
In other words, the effort to cover up cases is a critical component of allowing the disease to spread unchecked throughout the population. If those who are exposed do not know it, they will simply spread the disease further, allowing the disease to infect enough of the population to reach “herd immunity.”
“The reason we tracked cases is because we were hoping we could eliminate the virus, but it’s not in the nature of the virus to eliminate it,” Gandhi said, falsely stating her own preferred policy of deliberate mass infection as inevitable.
“The country hasn’t totally transitioned to this idea that we can’t eliminate it,” she said, in reference to the overwhelming view in the population that the government should not facilitate the infection of the entire population with a deadly disease.
In an Ask Me anything session on the LockdownSkepticism subreddit, dominated by the right and frequented by fascists and conspiracy theorists, Gandhi was asked about the “approach advocated in the Great Barrington Declaration,” to which she replied, “immunity to COVID-19 does develop (even after natural infection of course).”
To promote the mass infection of the population, Gandhi has repeatedly claimed that “herd immunity” is around the corner and that the pandemic will imminently end.
In February 2021, Gandhi said “yes” when asked, “Do you believe we’re truly near the end,” adding “we’re panicking way too much about the variants.” Within months, the Delta variant would cause a massive surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Then, in September, Gandhi told the same absurd lie. “I truly, truly think we are in the endgame,” Gandhi said, before the Omicron variant caused the latest surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. “The cases will start plummeting in mid-to-late September and by mid-October,” she asserted. “We will be in a manageable place, where the virus is a concern for health professionals, but not really for the general public.”
In May, Gandhi falsely claimed that children “are not vectors” for COVID-19.
“We no longer need to identify and have public health manage every single case of the variant because for most people, that will result in relatively mild illness, so we need to focus our efforts and resources on our most vulnerable groups,” Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said in a news conference last week.
The term “most vulnerable groups” is a reference to the formulation in the Great Barrington Declaration, a manifesto for a herd immunity policy endorsed by Trump White House officials whose implementation has killed millions of people around the world.
Despite President Biden’s claims to “follow the science,” his administration has embraced the Trump administration’s policy of “herd immunity.”
Last month, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain retweeted a statement by JPMorgan Chase that “we do not expect Omicron to impact the growth outlook in any significant way, but rather it is likely to accelerate the end of the pandemic.”
This statement has no basis in public health whatsoever, and is opposed by all reputable epidemiologists, virologists, and public health experts. The experiment with “herd immunity” by the Trump and Biden administrations has already killed 848,826 Americans, and unless the government is stopped, hundreds of thousands, or millions, more will die.