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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
Abbott was widely mocked online for his misunderstanding of such an important subject.
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.