Trump and some of his whacky medical followers suggested herd immunity as the way to solve the coronavirus problem. Waste no money seeking a vaccine. Do nothing. Eventually the population will all have been infected and those surviving will have anti-bodies to protect themselves from future infection.

Neither a humane nor intelligent way to resolve the COVID-19 problem.

I compare the present day herd immunity approach to one similar which Hoover followed when the Great Depression began to unfold in 1929. His thought was to let nature take its course. Some would be financially ruined. However the problem would cure itself in due course.

How wrong he was!

Hoover’s approach was a lassiz-faire one. Hands off. The problem would cure itself. The herd insanity.

Hoover feared direct aid to people in distress would cause them to lose the incentive to work. The  same argument Republicans have been making again for 20 years. Rumblings of which we have begun to hear with the $900 billion stimulus package in the process of being passed today.

Those saying if monies (a pittance at $600 or $1,200) is given to those in need, they will continue to expect it. The Republican attitude lets not teach them bad habits.

This is the cry some Republicans over the weekend have been uttering. A cry which makes me fearful another stimulus package next year will be difficult to pass.

Hoover had a further approach. Encouraging volunteerism. The rich  helping those without in their time of need.

In Trump’s first 2 years, I heard this so much from friends. Affluent ones. We’ll take care of our neighbors. Government assistance is not required.

I would then ask when was the last time they went to help a sick neighbor, brought food to a neighbor, contributed to needy causes $10,000 or $100,000. Each looked at me as if I was crazy. People talk a good game, but are not necessarily there when needed.

The two years leading up to the 1932 election saw the U.S. increasingly in dire straights. Hoover recognized his herd approach had failed. He had a few federal programs initiated. It was too little too late.

Hoover was an extremely intelligent man. In the 1920’s, Franklin Roosevelt said Hoover would make a great President. Hoover’s reputation as an economic genius arose from two experiences.

He headed a program to feed starving Europeans following World War I. A very successful program. Then moved on in 1921 to become Secretary of Commerce. A position he held till his successful run for the Presidency in 1928.

The U.S. was booming in 1928. Whether on the farm or in the city, people were making money.

The economy was turning false. However few recognized it.

Prior to 1929, the economic vitality of the U.S. was in agriculture. Suddenly agriculture began failing. Farmers could not sell what they grew. Ergo, farmers did not have the money to purchase manufactured goods. The factories had to lay off people because no one was buying their products. Many corporations went out of business.

A recession was inevitable. A nation cannot have both agriculture and manufacturing on the down sweep at the same time. Unemployed persons have no money to purchase anything.

In the 1928 election, Hoover ran on a platform of “A chicken in every pot and 2 cars in every garage.” By 1932 when he ran against Roosevelt, people were lucky to be able to buy an apple on a street corner. No one had money to buy one car, let alone two.

The stock market crashed in October 1929. Rich and poor alike wiped out financially. Some of big dollars, others of the small pittance they had been able to hoard.

Panic ensued. Banks failed. People had no money to pay off loans. The credit necessary to to move an economy was not available.

Up to one third of the economy was unemployed. More and more families homeless.

Home foreclosures were rampant through out the country. Farms and city. People were angry. Big time.

An example is what occurred in western Iowa. Those about to lose their homes and farms wanted the courts to delay mortgage foreclosure cases. Borrowers could not win a foreclosure case against a bank. Delay was the only way they could keep a roof over their heads and hold out till the economy turned around so they could pay.

Judges were only concerned with moving cases. The banks legally were entitled to win. Equity played no part in the decisions of the courts.

People in one Iowa area raided the court house. Dragged a judge out of his court room. Took him into the country. Threatened to lynch him. Fortunately, the threat did not turn into reality.

More such disturbances occurred. The National Guard had to be called out to restore order.

By the 1932 election, Hoover’s popularity was next to nothing. As previously indicated, there was no chicken in every pot. Forget 2 cars in every garage. There was not even one.

Roosevelt recognized what was needed to restore the economy and help the people. Gigantic federal assistance. Jobs, food on the table, etc. The government was the only entity that could guaranty them.

America needed American dollars to survive.

The concept of federal herd immunity went out the window.

Enjoy your day!




  1. Herd immunity on medical merits was never going to work on our current Covid pandemic either, and not just because of the possibility (apparently now coming true) of mutations alone.

    We needed leadership, not foolishness. Let’s hope it’s not too late.

  2. Hey Lou, I just read where Ben and Jerry’s will be launching a new Kaepernick-inspired flavor called “Change the Whirld.”

    Now that’s “Key West”

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