Rep. Karen Bass: ‘What the administration is doing without really acknowledging is adopting a strategy of herd immunity, which means everybody just needs to be exposed’
‘I believe what the administration is doing without really acknowledging is adopting a strategy of herd immunity, which means everybody just needs to be exposed, we need to recognize that people will die.’
The line above came Thursday from Rep. Karen Bass, a potential running mate for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, as the California Democrat criticized what she described as the Trump administration’s “rush to open up the economy” following lockdowns imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Herd immunity refers to when a sufficient portion of a population becomes immune to a virus to make its spread unlikely. The condition typically occurs through vaccination, but can happen through infection. Some political commentators have made similar points as Bass, saying governments cannot admit that they’ve given up on beating the coronovirus, and that herd immunity is now the objective.
“I believe because of COVID, this election is a matter of life and death, if we don’t have the leadership to bring this under control,” Bass also said, in remarks at a virtual event hosted by the National Press Club.
“I’d love to go to a restaurant or to go visit friends, but you can’t just deny things and expect it to get better. How on earth can you expect the economy to get back if you can’t contain the virus?” she added.
Bass, who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, remained tight-lipped on possibly becoming Biden’s running mate, but she did respond to a question on what makes for a good vice president.
“When he was sworn in the last time, he inherited an economy that was a disaster, so if anybody is equipped to figure out how to get out of a disaster, it is him,” Bass said, referring to when Biden himself became vice president in 2009 during the financial crisis. “I believe he needs a partner in that. Somebody that is willing to say, ‘I will take this piece, I will focus on this, while you’re putting the world back together.’”
“What I’d bring to the table regardless of where I am is my deep commitment to do whatever is necessary to heal this country,” the congresswoman also said.
Biden has promised to pick a woman to be his vice president, and Bass is considered a contender, along with other Democratic politicians such as Sen. Kamala Harris of California, former national-security adviser Susan Rice, Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Rep. Val Demings of Florida. The 77-year-old’s age has prompted questions about whether he would serve two terms as president and heightened interest in his choice for his running mate.