Video: No California doesn’t have ‘herd immunity’ to COVID-19 (Non-fiction)

Rebecca Watson, former co-host of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe and the founder of Skepchick, has a new video debunking the claim that California residents have herd immunity from COVID-19.

You can’t argue against it just because it may support some future conservative talking point, right?

Only, it’s not science. I am blown away by how misleading that article was. Remember the first Stanford researcher the article quoted, Victor Davis Hanson? He had nothing to do with the study. At all. He’s with the conservative think tank the Hoover Institution, while the actual scientists who did the study told Slate “Our research does not suggest that the virus was here that early.” Despite that, the KSBW mentioned Hanson early on, said he was with Stanford which would obviously cause people to assume he was one of the Stanford researchers who performed the study, gave him space for several quotes that are blatantly incorrect, and only later mention the “the study’s co-lead Eran Bendavid,” which by saying co-lead obviously people will assume the other co-lead is Hanson, since he had so much attention for the bulk of the article.

The full transcript is available here.

As she points out, there are problems with the current antibody tests and even so, the results don’t show that enough people have the antibody to provide immunity.  That’s also assuming that having the antibody means a person is immune, which researchers are still trying to determine.

It should also be noted that Illinois Governor JB Pritzker today mentioned the shortcomings of the antibody tests as a reason he’s not relying on them right now to determine policy.


Leave a Reply