“We wish them to get contaminated,” the Trump HHS-appointed worker mentioned in an electronic mail to show infants, youngsters and adolescents to Covid
A man without a mask walks through a crowd in New York City on December 13, 2020.
Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images
A Trump official for the Department of Health and Human Services this summer repeatedly urged the adoption of a Covid-19 strategy in the US that keeps businesses open while exposing “infants, children, adolescents” and others to the coronavirus to do so – referred to as herd immunity according to emails from the House legislature.
Rep. James Clyburn, DS.C., chairman of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, who received the emails, said the documents showed “a harmful pattern of political interference by administrative officials.”
The emails surfaced as part of an investigation by the House’s coronavirus subcommittee into suspected political interference by the Trump administration. The investigation came after former HHS Scientific Advisor Paul Alexander and Trump’s longtime ally Michael Caputo were accused this summer of being involved in the work of professional scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Dr. Interfering with Anthony Fauci, the country’s leading infectious disease specialist.
Alexander was ousted when Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs, left HHS on vacation in September.
HHS Secretary Alex Azar has denied allegations of political interference in his department in Congress.
Alexander wrote in a July 4 email to Caputo and six other HHS communications officials that the US must establish herd immunity by “allowing non-high-risk groups to expose themselves to the virus.”
“Infants, children, adolescents, young people, young adults, middle-aged people without conditions, etc. have little to no risk … so we use them to build a herd … we want them to get infected. … and recover … with antibodies, “he wrote.
Alexander later brought the proposed strategy to the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, as another email shows.
“It may be best that we open up and flood the zone and let the children and young people infect while we acutely imprison the elderly and at risk” in order to achieve “natural immunity … natural exposure” he wrote to Hahn, Caputo, and other HHS officials on July 24. Caputo asked Alexander to dig deeper into the idea, as further emails show.
Caputo, who was recruiting Alexander, left HHS for a 60-day medical vacation in September after saying in a video posted on his personal Facebook page that CDC scientists were involved in “riot” against Trump. Alexander’s departure was announced in the announcement of Caputo’s medical leave.
“His emails have absolutely nothing to do with department strategy,” said an HHS spokesman. “Dr. Paul Alexander previously served as temporary senior policy advisor to the assistant secretary for public affairs and is no longer with the department.”
The new emails provide a powerful glimpse into Caputo and Alexander’s attempts to downplay the pandemic as the coronavirus quickly spread across the country, particularly in the sun belt, and the death toll rose.
“As the virus spread across the country, these officials ruthlessly wrote, ‘Who cares? “And,” We want them to get infected, “Clyburn said in a statement.” They privately admitted that they “always knew” that the president’s policies would in certain cases lead to an “increase,” and they did planned to blame professional scientists for spreading the virus. ”
On June 24, Alexander wrote to Caputo and two other HHS officials, “We always knew when you relax and open up that cases are going to arise.” Then he asked, “But are the new cases problematic?”
“We also need to promote the good stories we know of elderly people with serious conditions, who get them and survive … that is the key to telling,” he added.
In the emails, Alexander criticized fierce scientific advisers to the government, including Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases. In an email to Caputo and other HHS communications officials on July 3, when US cases were close to 2.8 million, Alexander complained that Fauci had warned the public to “expect a dramatic increase in the spread”.
“He just won’t stop !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He can’t keep silent … and he’s not on the same side of the government … does he think he’s the president? ?? “” Alexander added.
In the United States, more than 16.7 million people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 to date, and more than 306,000 people have died in less than a year, according to Johns Hopkins University.