In the article, Doctor Marty Makary states that he sees the US reaching "herd immunity" in the near future and that “COVID will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.”
To support his opinion, Dr. Makary cites the recent decline in COVID-19 cases as evidence that the US is close to herd immunity. In the last six weeks, COVID-19 cases have decreased by 77 percent. Furthermore, the COVID Tracking Project has determined that the seven-day rolling average of daily cases has fallen from 250,000 a day in mid-January to 64,000 as of February 21st.
His opinion doesn't align with health professionals that represented both the Trump and Biden administrations. For example, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky believes the decreased number of cases is attributed to Americans practicing social distancing more. However, Dr. Makary believes that the US is almost at levels of natural immunity and claiming that COVID-19 tests are only representative of “10% to 25% of infections.” If he is right, around 55% of Americans would have already had the virus.
“As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected,” Makary wrote. “At the current trajectory, I expect COVID will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life.”
Other health professionals disagreed with Makary. Dr. Scott Gottlieb stated his belief that the US would never reach herd immunity. He believes that COVID-19 will be an endemic but will be transmitted much less frequently.
“I don’t really think we’re ever going to reach full herd immunity,” Gottlieb said. “This isn’t going to be like measles or smallpox, which just sort of goes away. COVID is going to continue to circulate at a low level.”