President Donald Trump doubled down on his claims that coronavirus would “disappear” with or without a vaccine, this time claiming the US would develop what he referred to as “herd mentality”.
“With time it goes away,” Trump told George Stephanopoulos during an ABC News town hall on Tuesday evening.
“You'll develop, you'll develop herd – like a herd mentality. It's going to be, it’s going to be herd-developed, and that's going to happen. That will all happen. But with a vaccine, I think it will go away very quickly,” he said.
Trump seemingly conflated “herd mentality” for “herd immunity” – a controversial strategy to combat the pandemic, which kicks in when enough people develop immunity to prevent the spread of a disease.
This comes in direct contradiction of White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has repeatedly dismissed herd immunity as an acceptable way of quelling the pandemic.
Sweden, for example, adopted the herd approach and didn't impose a lockdown. The country ended up with far more deaths than countries that fully enforced lockdowns.
The internet rushed to mock Trump on 'herd mentality' – especially because this is not the first time he confused the phrases.
While Trump’s inability to use correct terminology is a hilariously alarming problem in and of itself, that is definitely not the biggest issue at hand.
One user wrote, “Just no. Herd mentality, you ignoramus, is why the United States has more than 6.6 million cases and more than 195,000 deaths”
If this is really Trump’s current strategy, as one Twitter user put it, "it is a death sentence for the economy and millions of American lives".