Midsommar was one of the weirdest hit movies in recent years. It’s a folk horror film about 4 young Americans who visit Sweden to attend a bizarre variation on the annual Midsommar/Summer Solstice festival. The film tells the tale of a cult who performs human sacrifices. It’s powerful but strictly fictional stuff. As far as I know, there are no Midsommar death cults except in the corridors of power in Stockholm and Washington.
The first time I mentally linked the movie Midsommar to the pandemic was when the Swedish government experimented with the use of herd immunity to combat COVID-19. It was a disaster leading to the highest death rate in Europe.
One of President Trump’s top medical advisers is urging the White House to embrace a controversial “herd immunity” strategy to combat the pandemic, which would entail allowing the coronavirus to spread through most of the population to quickly build resistance to the virus, while taking steps to protect those in nursing homes and other vulnerable populations, according to five people familiar with the discussions.
The administration has already begun to implement some policies along these lines, according to current and former officials as well as experts, particularly with regard to testing.
The approach’s chief proponent is Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist and fellow at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution, who joined the White House in August as a pandemic adviser. He has advocated that the United States adopt the model Sweden has used to respond to the virus outbreak, according to these officials, which relies on lifting restrictions so healthy people can build immunity to the disease rather than limiting social and business interactions to prevent the virus from spreading.
Sweden’s handling of the pandemic has been heavily criticized by public health officials and infectious-disease experts as reckless — the country’s infection and death rates are among the world’s highest. It also hasn’t escaped the deep economic problems resulting from the pandemic.
But Sweden’s approach has gained support among some conservatives who argue that social distancing restrictions are crushing the economy and infringing on people’s liberties.
You know things are weird when right-wing Americans want to emulate the Swedish government in anything. With its cradle-to-grave welfare state, Sweden has long been anathema to the American right. Then came COVID and the herd immunity theory. Who knew that freedom and rugged individualism were synonymous with death?
Estimates for the share of a population that would need to be infected have ranged from 20 percent to 70 percent. Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, said that given the transmissibility of the novel coronavirus, it is likely that about 65 to 70 percent of a population would need to become infected to achieve herd immunity.
In the United States, with a population of 328 million, reaching a 65 percent threshold for herd immunity may require 2.13 million deaths, assuming the virus has a 1 percent fatality rate, according to an analysis by The Post.
The high priest of the Trump regime’s death cult is a libertarian doctor named Scott Atlas. He has not practiced medicine in 8 years but has President* Pennywise’s ear in as much as that windbag listens to anyone.
The name Atlas also evokes this old comic book ad:
In the ad, muscleman Charles Atlas claims he can make a man out of a wimp who had sand kicked in his face on the beach. Scott Atlas advises the sand-kicking bully who I call the Impeached Insult Comedian. They’ve gone from sand-kicking to human sacrifice in the blink of an eye.
We’ve heard other Trumpers advocate letting the elderly die for the good of society. It’s a fallacy that only old people die of COVID-19: some 25,000 people under 65 have died of it. That number will rise dramatically if the administration “goes herd.”
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that Team Trump is using the Ayn Rand playbook. This is a country in which an Idaho state senator has proposed making Atlas Shrugged required reading for high school students, after all. What have they done to deserve Rand’s turgid, dull prose? Freedom, man.
Another Atlas is shrugging right now: Dr. Scott the current high priest of the Trump/Midsommar death cult. Freedom, man.
The GOP is allegedly pro-life. It’s an ironic label given the Trump regime’s disastrous handling of the pandemic. They’ve gone from “Morning in America” in 1984 to Midsommar in America in 2020.
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, the last word goes to the trailer for Midsommar: