FRANKFORT. Ky. (WDRB) -- Gov. Andy Beshear blasted a reported push by a White House adviser to adopt a controversial herd immunity strategy to fight COVID-19.
In short, herd immunity means allowing the virus to spread so more healthy people can catch it and build immunity. According to the Washington Post, White House pandemic adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist, is advocating for the strategy, which is being used by Sweden.
Kentucky's governor and public health commissioner, Dr. Steven Stack, ripped the idea.
“I will say that it is incredibly reckless," Beshear said. "We'd lose over a million people. I'm absolutely against it. We should not be that callous.”
Stack called the strategy not only “reckless” but “irresponsible.”
“It's a failure of leadership," he said. "It's the kind of language that shouldn't be coming out of a serious, educated professional in that role at the national level."
Even as the virus continues to spread, the Beshear administration announced it is raising capacity for child care centers in Kentucky from 10 children allowed in a room to fifteen.
“We know we're at a plateau," said Eric Friedlander, secretary for health and family services. "We've seen our positivity rate begin to decline. We think this is an important step."
The administration is also moving to deal with temporary child care operations that have popped up across the state as well as NTI (non-traditional instruction) pods being created to assist children with online learning.
The state is providing funding and support to help those facilities become fully licensed child care centers.
“It means that the adults will have background checks, which is incredibly important,” Beshear said. “It will mean that they are monitored at least by a state organization to ensure the kids are not neglected and in a safe environment.”
The moves come after the state reported a record number of COVID-19 cases last week.
But Beshear noted that, although the total number of cases increased, the positivity rate has declined to 4.42%.
“The good news is fewer percent of people being tested are testing positive, he said. "So we have a lot of the virus. We're also testing a lot, which is a good thing."
The governor said the lower positivity rate shows the mask mandate is working, but he said the total number of cases may not begin to drop because more people, especially students, are active. He noted that some school districts have begun in-person classes against his recommendation.
“We're going to see sports," Beshear said. "We probably let our guard down a little bit, and we're still staying relatively stable."
Even if COVID-19 cases do not begin to decline, Beshear said he has no plans to push back his recommendation that schools fully re-open on Sept. 28.
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