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Elect Biden for better COVID-19 plan

The Trump administration, Governor Reynolds, Joni Ernst and Republicans seem to have settled on a national strategy for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Fauci, a physician and immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases since 1984, has been replaced as the guide and spokesperson for the administration by Dr. Atlas — a radiologist.

Atlas has questioned the value of mask wearing, social distancing and preventing children from exposure — all factors in the approach of Fauci, Dr. Birx, the surgeon general, the CDC and the NIH. Instead, Atlas suggests that the role of government should be merely to protect its most vulnerable citizens — the immune-compromised and the elderly — he doesn’t give a plan for that, however — and let COVID-19 take its course for the rest of us. He suggests that “most people infected by the coronavirus will not get seriously ill, and when enough people will have antibodies from COVID-19, it will deprive the virus of carriers.” In other words, “herd immunity.”

Two important issues Atlas doesn’t explain are:

• If infected, how long will immunity last. The CDC cannot confirm that a person cannot be re-infected in a few months. Immunity today doesn’t mean immunity in three to six months.

• What percentage of the population needs to be infected for herd immunity to work? For this particular coronavirus, doctors estimate that about 60 percent to 70 percent of the population would need to have antibodies in order to have herd immunity. Sixty percent of 330 million Americans would mean that 198 million Americans must be infected in order for herd immunity to be accomplished. The result is that tens of millions of Americans would have to die in order to achieve Atlas’, Reynolds’, Ernst’s, and President Trump’s goal of herd immunity.

While Marshall County’s 14-day positivity rate is 12 percent and Story County’s is 21 percent, super-spreader events at Boone Raceway occur. Reynolds refuses to mandate anything except closing a few bars, sending workers in meat-processing plants back to work and reopening schools with in-person instruction. Ernst goes along with Trump and Atlas by suggesting the COVID numbers are inflated.

It seems to me that the best alternative is to vote Trump and Ernst out of office, elect Biden who has a plan to attack COVID based on science, with empathy and understanding. Don’t listen to Trump, vote only once.

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