A proposal known as the Great Barrington Declaration has found a receptive audience at the White House to the dismay of most scientists, the Washington Post reports.
The document codifies a strategy to allow SARS-CoV-2 to spread among young people to build up herd immunity and enable the economy to largely remain open, the Post says. It adds that Scott Atlas, an advisor to President Donald Trump on COVID-19, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar have met with the trio behind this idea.
But Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, tells the Post the document does not represent the views of most epidemiologists. "This is not mainstream science. It's dangerous. It fits into the political views of certain parts of our confused political establishment," he says.
The Infectious Diseases Society of America has further denounced the proposal. "'Community immunity,' or 'herd immunity,' a goal of vaccination campaigns, should never come at the cost of planned exposure to infection of millions of additional people as well as the severe illness and preventable deaths of hundreds of thousands of people," it says in a statement.