Alabama state Sen. Del Marsh (R) told reporters on Thursday that he would “like to see more people” contract COVID-19 in order to create herd immunity in the state.
Marsh was asked about Alabama setting a new daily record for COVID-19 cases after the state reported 2,164 cases on Thursday.
“I’m not as concerned as much as the number of cases — and in fact, quite honestly — I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it,” Marsh said.
“I don’t want any deaths, as few as possible in the state, I get it. So those people who are susceptible to the disease, especially more serious, those with pre-existing conditions, elderly population, those folks, we need to do all we can to protect them. But I’m not concerned.”
Marsh added that he wants “to make sure everybody can receive care.”
WSFA reporter Lydia Nusbaum shared footage of the exchange on Twitter.
Sen. Del Marsh says he is not concerned about reaching more than 2,000 cases in one day.
Marsh says he wants to see more people with COVID-19 because "we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it." pic.twitter.com/JH43IJCdUw
— Lydia Nusbaum (@LydiaNusbaum) July 9, 2020
Marsh, who serves as president pro tempore of the Alabama state Senate as well as on Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s (R) COVID-19 task force, appeared to be referring to herd immunity.
“Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Often, a percentage of the population must be capable of getting a disease in order for it to spread. This is called a threshold proportion. If the proportion of the population that is immune to the disease is greater than this threshold, the spread of the disease will decline. This is known as the herd immunity threshold.”