Dr. Khaldun addresses Michigan’s COVID-19 committee

According to Dr. Khaldun, 80% of the people living in Michigan would need to be infected with the virus for herd immunity to work
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 5:32 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun appeared virtually before the legislature’s COVID-19 oversight committee. She says that right now the best way to fight the virus is by wearing masks, respecting social distancing and washing our hands, because herd immunity is not an option.

“We have to remember the enemy is the virus. The enemy is not the policies,” said Dr. Khaldun. “We know masks prevent the spread of droplets. That’s why they wear them in healthcare and that’s why we are wearing them now to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.”

According to Dr. Khaldun, for herd immunity to work as some people have suggested, 80% of the people living in Michigan would need to be infected with the virus.

“That’s inhumane. We can’t have six million additional Michiganders infected by the disease. We can’t have an additional 30,000 Michiganders die as a strategy for herd immunity,” said Dr. Khaldun.

She said that for herd immunity to truly work, we need a vaccine. She told lawmakers there are 30 potential vaccines in phase three trials. On Friday, The Michigan Department of Health and Human services submitted its vaccine plan to the CDC. It includes making sure the people who need it the most will get the vaccine first- primarily healthcare workers.

“As we get broad availability of the vaccine, that’s when we would engage with our other community partners,” she said.

The oversight committee says it will not release a report until after the general election.

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