Who is Paul Alexander? Donald Trump's recruit wanted Americans to contract Covid-19 to acquire 'herd immunity'

In September, Alexander was dismissed from the HHS, two days after former assistant secretary Michael Caputo went on medical leave

                            Who is Paul Alexander? Donald Trump's recruit wanted Americans to contract Covid-19 to acquire 'herd immunity'
Donald Trump (Getty Images)

Did the Trump administration push for herd immunity? A few internal emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee’s coronavirus select subcommittee have revealed that Donald Trump appointee Paul Alexander, who previously served at the US Department of Health and Human Services, wanted all Americans “infected” with the deadly Covid-19 virus. 

In the emails that have been shared with Politico, Alexander has written to the former assistant secretary at HHS, Michael Caputo about a plan including herd immunity. He has spoken about opening schools and “flooding” the zone, to ensure a majority of the population is infected. He argued that in herd immunity, the virus would run out of hosts and die eventually. 

What he said in email to Caputo

Michael Caputo (Getty Images)

On July 24, Alexander reportedly wrote to Caputo and eight others saying, “There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD.”

He added, “Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected. It may be that it will be best if we open up and flood the zone and let the kids and young folk get infected" in order to get "natural immunity…natural exposure.”

In another email to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, Alexander has referred to the younger section of the society as the “most potent weapon” and argued that colleges stay open to allow the virus to spread rampantly.

His letter to Robert Redfield read, “we essentially took off the battlefield the most potent weapon we had...younger healthy people, children, teens, young people who we needed to fastly [sic] infect themselves, spread it around, develop immunity, and help stop the spread.”

Even though HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified that herd immunity was not a strategy of the US government, one of Trump's former appointees implied that “It was understood that he spoke for Michael Caputo, who spoke for the White House. That’s how they wanted it to be perceived.”

Where is Paul Alexander now?

A spokesperson for HHS told Politico that Alexander’s suggestion “absolutely did not” shape department strategy and that they did not go ahead with his demands. They further revealed that Alexander was no longer a part of the department. The statement read, “Dr Paul Alexander previously served as a temporary Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and is no longer employed at the Department.”

In September, Alexander was dismissed from HHS, two days after Caputo went on medical leave, when his emails were seen criticizing Dr Anne Schuchat of CDC for urging people to wear masks when the infection was at it its peak. Alexander has accused her of “embarrassing the president” and called her “duplicitous”. The leaked emails obtained by the New York Times illustrated how they challenged science and tried to silence agency staff. 

Who is Paul Alexander? 

Alexander is a Candian health researcher who garnered immense attention for his response to the Covid-19 pandemic while serving as an aide to HHS assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo under the Trump administration. He was also teaching as a part-time assistant professor at McMaster University in Ontario until September 2020.

He was chosen by Caputo as the assistant secretary for public affairs at HHS after Trump expressed that he wanted Caputo to “bring expertise” to his new position.

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