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Specious Arguments Against Herd Immunity

In a fair fight between herd immunity and lockdowns, herd immunity wins hands down.Herd immunity maintains freedom, a normal economy, the option to develop vaccines, and it reduces the risk that vulnerable people will get infected. Lockdowns destroy freedom, destroy the economy, cause greater numbers of ancillary deaths, produce psychological harm and prolong the process of gaining widespread immunity via the exposure of invulnerable people to the disease.

Herd immunity gets bad press, however. It’s almost as if there were a concerted conspiracy against it. Articles that come up in searches tend to be against the idea of herd immunity, but they present specious arguments against it, or otherwise make assumptions that load the deck against herd immunity. Somehow, the deep state medical forces influence many media sources against herd immunity. Here are some examples along with their misleading arguments.

Up first is PBS. Their show claims to explain “Why herd immunity is ‘dangerous’ as a COVID-19 strategy”, as if they already knew it was dangerous. They cite “public health experts” as support, and right away we see that medical bureaucrats are at work introducing their biased view of the matter. And the article right away mentions that the Trump administration is open to the idea of herd immunity. Political bias comes into the argument, for in PBS-land herd immunity simply can’t be right if Trump thinks it may be right. Next comes an expert who brings up measles and polio as diseases where herd immunity didn’t wipe the disease out. No, it did not, but who says that herd immunity precludes the development of an effective vaccine or other preventive measures? To assume that, as this expert does, is to erect a straw man as an argument. It is also to commit another argumentative fallacy, which is the comparison of the imperfect to Nirvana or perfection. The issue is not whether vaccines should be precluded in favor of herd immunity, because both can happen. They are not mutually exclusive as the PBS headline suggests. The pro-vaccine medical establishment is posing this false binary choice. This is specious argumentation.

The actual choice that’s important right now when there is no known vaccine is a degree of herd immunity versus a lockdown, both being measures that are supposed to mitigate the contagion and save lives. Lockdowns do not save lives; they take lives. Herd immunity, even imperfect herd immunity, reduces contagion and still allows protection of the vulnerable. It allows for multiple treatment tactics and doesn’t bank on a vaccine that may or may not be forthcoming and may have its own dangers. Herd immunity buys time to understand the disease better and develop means of fighting it.

The anti-herd immunity crowd is actually the same old anti-Trump crowd and pro-vaccine crowd. PBS leads the pack. A Sciencealert article also is strongly against the idea of herd immunity. The author just about dismisses it out of hand. The title embodies the Nirvana fallacy: “Here’s Why Herd Immunity Won’t Save Us From The COVID-19 Pandemic”. Who says that herd immunity is supposed to “save us”? This author speaks of a “tidal wave” and doesn’t think that herd immunity will stop it. Well, maybe not entirely, but lockdown surely won’t, and it will produce more deaths from other causes. The destruction of freedoms of all sorts via lockdowns will surely cause a major reduction in free markets and that will reduce living standards drastically. It will also let loose such forces as antifa and BLM. This author goes on to make a series of outrageous quantitative statements. The main one is that infected people are all sick, using 70 percent as an example. In reality, vast numbers of immune people are only temporarily sick. He goes on to suggest that herd immunity makes “it incredibly risky for anyone over a certain age to leave their house lest they get infected, forever.” This ignores entirely that younger people have already passed through the infectious stage, which is the benefit of herd immunity. This author too awaits the development of a vaccine. This author too has the false idea that herd immunity precludes a vaccine being developed. This is a major fallacy, and if the proponents of herd immunity present it in this way, then they are doing a major disservice to the idea. Herd immunity should be seen as a strategy that reduces contact of vulnerable people to those who are relatively invulnerable and who are no longer infectious; and it should be seen as the main alternative to the disastrous lockdown approach.

Almost everywhere one looks, articles lambaste herd immunity. A Washington Post link reads “The idea of herd immunity to manage the coronavirus should ring alarm bells.” Politics and deep state medicine are once again boldly on display in this article. It reads “the Trump administration’s aggressive push to reopen businesses and schools is rooted in herd immunity theory” and it cites the “experts”: “NIH Director Francis Collins condemned conronavirus herd immunity-based responses, calling them ‘fringe’ and ‘dangerous,’ while World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called it ‘scientifically and ethically problematic.'”

These “experts” would have children forever masked, forever distanced from one another, and forever distanced from their parents and close relatives. They would have them isolated. They would endorse lockdowns forever. Reasoning that is scientific is not at all problematic concerning herd immunity. Pragmatically, businesses must be reopened or else worse consequences follow. The people who are fringe and dangerous are these medical “experts”. They seem to come from a place of ignorance of how human beings have survived past diseases and tragedies of all sorts without the benefit of vaccines or obeying the dictates of so-called experts whose whole livelihood hinged on being known as experts and dispensing advice, albeit useless and dangerously deadly advice like locking everyone up.

Mentions of a possible vaccine in this blog should not be construed as either an endorsement of or a warning against routine and/or mandated vaccine therapies.

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8:03 am on November 2, 2020