A GOP lawmaker in Alabama said he’s “not concerned” about the current spike in the number of new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state.
“In fact, quite honestly, I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it,” Alabama state Sen. Del Marsh told reporters Thursday.
“I don’t want any deaths, as few as possible,” continued Marsh. “So those people who are susceptible to the disease, especially those with pre-existing conditions, elderly population, those folks, we need to do all we can to protect them. But I’m not concerned. I want to make sure that everybody can receive care. And right now we have, to my knowledge as of today, we still have ample beds.”
Check out Marsh’s comments here:
Sen. Del Marsh says he is not concerned about reaching more than 2,000 cases in one day.
Marsh says he wants to see more people with COVID-19 because “we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it.” pic.twitter.com/JH43IJCdUw
— Lydia Nusbaum (@LydiaNusbaum) July 9, 2020
In his comments, Marsh ― who sits on the state’s coronavirus task force ― appeared to reference the controversial idea of herd immunity.
It contends the virus will not spread as easily once a certain high percentage of the population has contracted the contagion, or been vaccinated, and therefore developed the relevant antibodies.
However, the concept has been contested by scientists and public health experts ― and could still be a long way off from happening, if it does at all, even with a vaccine.
Marsh’s comments drew scorn on Twitter:
Umm @SenatorDelMarsh are you aware that dying from COVID isn’t the only metric? That it is chronic and can affect your health the rest of your life? Additionally Spain discovered thru study that herd immunity isn’t an option without a vaccine. Antibodies don’t stick around.
— HRCSuperVol1 (@hrcsupervol01) July 10, 2020
We don’t even know if herd immunity response happens with this disease, it’s novel.
I honestly am so weary of these people talking about life and death as if it means nothing.
— christina louisa ?? Χριστίνα (@WatersOfMarch11) July 10, 2020
Alabama on Wednesday recorded its highest ever tally of new cases ― more than 1,800 ― according to the state’s Department of Public Health:
Dr. Don Williamson, the president of the Alabama Hospital Association, warned Thursday that the state’s daily infection count will likely spiral in the coming weeks because “none of these numbers reflect the effect of the Fourth of July.”
“Because we are looking at an incubation period here of minimum days, up to 2 weeks, and usually there’s a lag of about a week from infection to being hospitalized, or a week to two weeks, and so we are probably not going to see the real impact on the healthcare system until next week, and the week after,” Williamson told WBRC.
“There is major movement in the wrong direction, and really these movements have accelerated and that’s the most concerning part of this,” Williamson added. “It’s the trajectory of the curve.”
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.