A new report released on Monday has dire news for the United States. According to scientists and researchers, the country will not reach the “herd immunity” threshold. That means that the virus cannot be irradiated in short order. Instead, it will be a constant concern moving forward.
Among the factors in the country falling short of herd immunity is widely circulating variants, as well as constant hesitancy about the vaccines. It is the hesitancy, in particular that has some critics blaming the Republican Party and Fox News for the US falling short.
As the New York Times reported, when vaccines for the coronavirus were still just a glimmer on the horizon, the term “herd immunity” came to signify the endgame. That would become the point when enough Americans would be protected from the virus so we could be rid of the pathogen and reclaim our lives.
Now, while more than half of adults have received the vaccine, daily rates are beginning to slip. It is those rates that are concerning experts in the field. Those same experts say all is not lost. Eventually, if people continue to get vaccinated, the disease will turn into something far more manageable. At the same time, people getting sick and dying will become an annual occurrence. How manageable the coronavirus becomes is still unknown.
Blaming The Right For No Herd Immunity
Twitter, on Monday voiced its collective opinion as to why the country isn’t hitting the goal. Quite a few users believe the conservative talking heads should take the blame.
“The determined efforts of the Republican Party and Fox News have likely made the virus endemic,” one user posted.
Another expanded the blame to podcasters.
“We will not reach Herd Immunity in America because a large enough segment of the country gets their medical advice from podcasters saying whatever first pops in their heads.”
We will not reach Herd Immunity in America because a large enough segment of the country gets their medical advice from podcasters saying whatever first pops in their heads.
— Mr. Newberger (@jeremynewberger) May 3, 2021
“Way too many people, lead by Trump and the GOP statements, think herd immunity is a term from nature,” another Twitter user said. “It isn’t. It comes from vet medicine and cattle herds. The term has ALWAYS implied the use of a vaccine to reach high immune status, not natural infections.”
“Experts say we won’t reach herd immunity,” another posted “WHY? Because half the country–same half that bought Trump’s Big Election Lie–doesn’t believe in science or social responsibility.”
What That Means Moving Forward
The same experts who believe herd immunity won’t be attainable aren’t predicting doomsday. Continued immunization, especially for those high-risk will be crucial in the coming years.
“The virus is unlikely to go away,” Rustom Antia, an evolutionary biologist at Emory University in Atlanta told the Times. “But we want to do all we can to check that it’s likely to become a mild infection.”