Trump: “It’s probably gonna go away now a lot faster because of the vaccine. It would go away without the vaccine.”
Stephanopoulos: “It would go away without the vaccine?”
Trump: “Sure. Over a period of time. Sure, with time.”
Stephanopoulos: “And many deaths.”
Trump: “You’ll develop like a herd mentality. It’s gonna be herd-developed and that’s gonna happen.”
Ignoring what was either a normal error or a slip of the tongue, Trump's sanguine attitude toward achieving herd immunity suggests that he is unbothered by the possibility of a million or millions of deaths, mostly among more vulnerable members of the population.
Of greater concern is that we don't have a real plan to ramp up the manufacture and delivery of a two-dose vaccine to a sufficient number of residents to achieve herd immunity via vaccination.
First of all, there is no reason to assume a vaccine will be anywhere near 100% effective, so we will likely need very high compliance. But large swathes of the public have already indicated that they will refuse vaccination because of fears that the vaccine will be dangerous. So we may have to wait until the herd immunity is achieved through a combination of vaccines and many more cases (and deaths) before we are in the clear.
Against this backdrop, Trump continues to hold maskless rallies without social distancing.