The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has sought to distance itself from one of the agency’s former advisors—personally installed by President Trump—who the results of a watchdog investigation published Wednesday show repeatedly advocated for allowing millions of young and middle-aged Americans to become infected with Covid-19 over the summer in a push for the HHS to pursue a controversial “herd immunity” strategy.
“Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk,” wrote Alexander in a July 4 message to his boss, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michael Captuo, saying “we want them infected” to help “develop herd.”
Similarly, on July 24, Alexander wrote to the Food and Drug Administration’s Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Associated Commissioner for External Affairs John Wagner and numerous top HHS officials arguing that it “may be best to open up the flood zone and let the kids and young folk get infected.”
In the emails, Alexander also acknowledged that the Trump administration was aware its policies would increase the spread of Covid-19, urged HHS staff to release more “positive statements” in support of the administration’s pandemic response and cast blame on scientists like Dr. Anthony Fauci for offering less rosy assessments of the situation, accusing them of trying to “make the president look bad.”
“So the bottom line is if it is more infectiouness [sic] now, the issue is who cares? If it is causing more cases in young, my word is who cares…as long as we make sensible decisions, and protect the elderely [sic] and nursing homes, we must go on with life….who cares if we test more and get more positive tests,” Alexander wrote to senior HHS officials on July 3.