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Waters Slams Trump Administration Appointees for Promoting Strategies to Infect Americans with COVID-19 Through Herd Immunity

December 16, 2020
Press Release


Waters Slams Trump Administration Appointees for Promoting Strategies to Infect Americans with COVID-19 Through Herd Immunity

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services and member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, issued the following statement after Congressman James E. Clyburn (D-SC), Chair of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, released evidence that Trump Administration appointees promoted herd immunity.

“The emails exchanged between then-Trump Administration appointee and science advisor Paul Alexander and other senior Trump Administration officials are yet another example of the absolute contempt Trump and his political henchmen hold for our country and our people. Just the thought alone, that those tasked with protecting Americans from the deadly coronavirus were exchanging emails with the words “we want them infected,” is unconscionable and their actions are nothing short of criminal.

“Now, as the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on our communities, the truth is revealed that Trump appointees wanted younger, healthier Americans to contract the potentially deadly disease. On July 24th, the same day that over 1,000 people died in the U.S. due to COVID-19, Alexander wrote in an email to senior Trump officials, "Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…"

“Through pressuring states to open up and reverse lockdown restrictions, Trump appointees were determined to push their herd immunity strategy through at the expense of millions of people. In their efforts to pursue herd immunity, they suggested to continue public messaging encouraging hand washing, proper hygiene, and social distancing in a dishonest attempt to cover themselves in case their un-scientific plan resulted in severe illness and increased hospitalizations among otherwise low-risk individuals.

“As a member of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, I’ve witnessed just how careless the Trump Administration has been in responding to COVID-19. From their failure to fully employ the Defense Production Act to boost production of critical supplies needed to stop the spread of the virus and protect our frontline workers, to their incompetent and uncoordinated efforts to increase testing and contact tracing, it seemed as though they had failed at every turn. However, as these emails show, it seems that leaving Americans out to die was part of their plan all along.

“From the very beginning, Donald Trump told his people to “slow the testing down,” and suggested people inject themselves with disinfectant. He told the American people that the virus would go away like a miracle, while simultaneously telling others that he knew how deadly the virus was, but that he “always wanted to downplay it.” When Governors asked for help, he turned his back and told them to figure it out on their own and then paraded through the very states he denied help to, and held super-spreader events that led to more deaths and more cases.

“To date, this pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people in this country and has infected millions more. Hospitals are at capacity, our healthcare system is exhausted, and people are in hospital beds clinging to life with everything they’ve got. Meanwhile, Trump Administration officials are saying “who cares” and strategizing on how to reach herd immunity, rather than protect the American people from contracting the virus in the first place.

“The conduct of Dr. Alexander and all of those involved in his plot to infect millions of innocent Americans trying their best to survive this deadly pandemic, is inhumane, immoral, and must be held to account. I urge the Department of Health and Human Services to cooperate fully with Chair Clyburn and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis’ investigation to hold the Trump Administration appointees, who have purposefully tried to put the lives of Americans at greater risk, to account.”