Appearing on Fox News this past Sunday, April 11, Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas claimed that his state was "very close to herd immunity.
This statement was met with immediate, contradictory fact-checks from multiple experts.
"I don't know what herd immunity is...[but it] looks like it could be very close to herd immunity."
Greg Abbott claimed his state could be "very close" to herd immunity. https://t.co/uQIxtWjllg— HuffPost (@HuffPost)1618208777.0
Speaking to The New York Times, infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm disagreed strongly with Abbott's assessment. He commented:
"There is no way on God's green earth that Texas is anywhere even close to herd immunity."
There is no way on God’s green earth that Texas is anywhere even close to herd immunity,” Osterholm, who is directo… https://t.co/Hb1jE96auO— KP🌎🌱😷✌️ (@KP🌎🌱😷✌️)1618213628.0
Osterholm went on to say:
"Look no further than Michigan and Minnesota, which have much higher rates of vaccination than Texas. And we're already seeing widespread transmission."
For years, @GregAbbott_TX 's flat demeanor gave the illusion of competence. Not anymore. Bungled #Harvey, deadly… https://t.co/YmXQW9OaOK— Matt Angle (@Matt Angle)1618278666.0
@HuffPost Is this the same guy who thought the Texas power grid was immune to subzero winter weather even though ev… https://t.co/V9XnCd4I7N— James (@James)1618209602.0
@HuffPost Not true. He ended the mask mandate and opened us up 100% when numbers were still too high. When I went o… https://t.co/hr4k1N4mkZ— Michele E. Gwynn (@Michele E. Gwynn)1618211511.0
Cardiologist Jonathan Reiner, noting that herding immunity generally occurs around 70-80% immunity, told CNN:
"I know what herd immunity looks like. We're not close to that yet ... We're not close to that in Texas, and we're actually not close to that in the United States yet."
@HuffPost Less and less people are testing thats why our numbers are low. Low numbers are showing up to testing centers.— MM (@MM)1618213805.0
@HuffPost He must mean herd mentality.— GretchenArt (@GretchenArt)1618208839.0
Wrong, @GregAbbott_TX! Texas is close to herd mentality, not herd immunity. Unfortunately, it's the same in Miss… https://t.co/KiaiQF9Ob4— Rocky Macy (@Rocky Macy)1618209274.0
About 32% of Texans have currently received a vaccine, and Reiner also pointed out that the last 20-30% are often the hardest to administer due to people who are scared of vaccinations.
@HuffPost https://t.co/38aXvfD66F— Teddy Ritter (@Teddy Ritter)1618224327.0
@HuffPost It is too bad he doesn’t know what herd immunity means.— Fmilinaz (@Fmilinaz)1618279073.0
He is so stupid...a complete embarrassment https://t.co/SmhTkw5Eqx— Trekkie from way back (@Trekkie from way back)1618211367.0
Abbott was widely mocked online for his misunderstanding of such an important subject.
And he was sooooo ignorantly wrong. https://t.co/qWxuki7s23— Greg Todd (@Greg Todd)1618209302.0
Listening to Greg Abbott talk about herd immunity is like scraping my face on sandpaper 😑— It's just Mak (@It's just Mak)1618328130.0
State leaders like Greg Abbott should have a better-than-average grasp of basic science when it comes to public health issues, but that does not seem to be the case.