Marty Makary, a professor and surgeon at Johns Hopkins, has predicted the end to the coronavirus pandemic could come by this summer, should daily infections continue to drop.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Makary argued the United States was already witnessing a sizeable and steady drop in numbers following the distribution of different coronavirus vaccines.
“There is reason to think the country is racing toward an extremely low level of infection,” Makary said in the op-ed, where he argues the U.S. will “have herd immunity by April.”
“Amid the dire Covid warnings, one crucial fact has been largely ignored: Cases are down 77% over the past six weeks. If a medication slashed cases by 77%, we’d call it a miracle pill. Why is the number of cases plummeting much faster than experts predicted?” he asked.
He continued: “In large part because natural immunity from prior infection is far more common than can be measured by testing. Testing has been capturing only from 10% to 25% of infections, depending on when during the pandemic someone got the virus. Applying a time-weighted case capture average of 1 in 6.5 to the cumulative 28 million confirmed cases would mean about 55% of Americans have natural immunity.”
“Now add people getting vaccinated. As of this week, 15% of Americans have received the vaccine, and the figure is rising fast,” Makary wrote.
“As more people have been infected, most of whom have mild or no symptoms, there are fewer Americans left to be infected. At the current trajectory, I expect COVID will be mostly gone by April, allowing Americans to resume normal life,” he predicted.
The professor added:
In my own conversations with medical experts, I have noticed that they too often dismiss natural immunity, arguing that we don’t have data. The data certainly doesn’t fit the classic randomized-controlled-trial model of the old-guard medical establishment. There’s no control group. But the observational data is compelling.
I have argued for months that we could save more American lives if those with prior Covid-19 infection forgo vaccines until all vulnerable seniors get their first dose. Several studies demonstrate that natural immunity should protect those who had Covid-19 until more vaccines are available. Half my friends in the medical community told me: Good idea. The other half said there isn’t enough data on natural immunity, despite the fact that reinfections have occurred in less than 1% of people—and when they do occur, the cases are mild.
But the consistent and rapid decline in daily cases since Jan. 8 can be explained only by natural immunity.