Dr Anthony Fauci warned about a staggering death toll from the coronavirus, particularly among vulnerable people, if the US allows the infections to sweep across the country in a bid to achieve possible herd immunity.
“If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms … a lot of people are going to die,” the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said during a live Instagram session Thursday with actor Matthew McConaughey, CNN reported.
“You look at the United States of America with our epidemic of obesity, as it were. With the number of people with hypertension. With the number of people with diabetes. If everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable,” said Fauci, 79, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Herd immunity is reached when a large part of the population — about 70 per cent to 90 per cent, becomes immune to a virus either through infection and recovery or through inoculation.
At that point, it is tougher for a virus to spread, so even people who haven’t been infected or vaccinated have some protection.