U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Wednesday that pursuing herd immunity as a way to combat the coronavirus is a potentially catastrophic nonstarter.
Adams wrote on his personal Twitter account that large numbers of people would need to be infected to achieve herd immunity without a vaccine and this could overwhelm health care systems and lead to many complications and deaths.
“So far, there is no example of a large-scale successful intentional infection-based herd immunity strategy,” Adams tweeted, adding that the best methods of safety are wearing face masks, washing hands and practicing social distancing.
Adams’ thoughts on herd immunity come as White House senior administration officials ponder the Great Barrington Declaration that advocates for ending lockdowns, building immunity and pushing for those who are not vulnerable to the coronavirus to resume normal life, CNN reported.
As of Wednesday, the U.S. had roughly 8.2 million coronavirus cases and 221,000 related deaths, both tops globally, according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.