A powerful Alabama Republican state senator who serves on the governor’s coronavirus task force says he wants to see more people contract COVID-19.
Del Marsh, president pro tempore of the state Senate, made the remarks on Thursday after Alabama set a new daily record for coronavirus cases.
“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, so those people who are susceptible to the disease, those with pre-existing conditions, elderly population, those folks, we need to do all we can to protect them. But I’m not concerned.”
More from the Daily Beast: Marsh, who was tapped in March to serve as president pro tempore on Gov. Kay Ivey’s COVID-19 task force, appeared to be referring to the concept of herd immunity, which means that once a certain threshold of infections is reached and immunity builds in the population, the virus won’t be able to spread as easily. Scientists have already cautioned that a herd immunity strategy won’t be effective against COVID-19—a warning grimly illustrated in Sweden, where an anti-lockdown strategy led to a death rate among the world’s highest, at 43 deaths per 100,000 people. Marsh’s comments were in stark contrast to a sobering warning from the Alabama Hospital Association that the state’s hospitals are already under strain and yet rising numbers haven’t even taken into account the surge of cases expected to come as a result of the Fourth of July weekend.
It’s not the first time Marsh has taken an unconventional stance on an issue. Back in 2015, he said he opposed same-sex marriage for budgetary reasons.
“You gotta look at the financial aspect of this as well,” Marsh said at the time. “Let’s face it. If gay marriage is approved, I assume that those types of unions, those people would be entitled to Social Security benefits, insurance. Where does it end?”
A few reactions below.
Del Marsh once again wins the award for dumbest politician in Alabama, and that’s saying something when Mo Brooks attributed rising sea levels to rocks falling into the ocean. https://t.co/5bvPzdIIZU— Dylan (@DylanFromBHM) July 10, 2020
As any resident of Anniston will tell you, Del Marsh is the dumbest motherfucker in the entire state https://t.co/chZwdpA3Yi— erek smith (@Erek_Smith) July 10, 2020
Stupidity aside, it is nice to see so many Alabama Republicans suddenly so sold on evolution. https://t.co/7jE4bCTvFC— Josh Moon (@Josh_Moon) July 9, 2020