Marsh: Poor choice of words on COVID-19 cases

The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said he used a poor choice of words when he suggested rising COVID-19 numbers were a good thing and he wanted more people to get infected with the new coronavirus.

Posted: Jul 11, 2020 8:41 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Republican leader of the Alabama Senate said he used a poor choice of words when he suggested he wanted more people to get infected with the new coronavirus.

“It was a poor choice of words on my end,” Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh told The Associated Press, saying he didn’t wish for anyone to become ill.

Marsh drew criticisms for comments to reporters Thursday when asked about rising COVID-19 infection numbers in Alabama. He suggested more infections meant the state was closer to herd immunity.

“I’m not as concerned so much as the number of cases, 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 told news outlets.

“I don’t want any deaths, as few as possible. I get it. So those people who are susceptible to the disease, especially those with pre-existing conditions, elderly population, those folks we need to do all we can to protect them.”

The Anniston Republican told the AP on Friday that “it was a poor choice of words.”

Marsh said if a vaccine doesn’t come, he hopes herd immunity will eventually protect people from the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

“I don’t wish for people to get the disease. I do wish for herd immunity,” Marsh said.

Herd immunity is when enough people have had a disease and developed immunity that the virus cannot spread easily. But doctors have cautioned they don't yet know if COVID-19 survivors have long-term immunity.

“At this time, scientists do not know whether persons who have had COVID 19 will have immunity that lasts for a long period of time. Currently, it appears that at least 60% to 70% of persons would need to have COVID 19 for herd immunity and, again, no one knows how long this immunity would last,” Dr. Karen Landers, Assistant State Health Officer for the Alabama Department of Public Health, told news outlets.

So far about 1% of the state population has reported a positive test result, according to numbers from the Alabama Department of Public Health.

The state has had more than 51,000 total confirmed cases of the virus, according to data released by the department Saturday morning. At least 1,086 people in Alabama who contracted the virus have died.

The Alabama Democratic Party criticized Marsh's comments.

“It is this type of dangerously stupid thinking that hurts Alabamians. We need politicians to just shut up and listen to health officials," the party wrote on social media.

_

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 70930

Reported Deaths: 2043
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5852126
DeSoto383233
Harrison271036
Madison252172
Jackson243047
Rankin238241
Jones196562
Forrest188957
Washington177146
Lee165742
Lauderdale148196
Neshoba132095
Lamar126518
Bolivar118940
Warren116637
Oktibbeha115739
Lowndes112140
Panola110818
Sunflower110128
Lafayette104321
Scott102521
Copiah98029
Leflore97169
Pike96638
Holmes93850
Yazoo88214
Pontotoc8769
Grenada86326
Lincoln86244
Monroe85855
Simpson84232
Leake81127
Coahoma81013
Wayne80521
Tate76030
Marshall75710
Union75017
Marion69821
Adams65528
Covington65015
Winston64417
George6269
Pearl River58440
Newton57512
Tallahatchie56311
Attala54425
Walthall52122
Chickasaw50219
Prentiss47510
Noxubee47212
Tishomingo4639
Alcorn4475
Calhoun4309
Tippah42614
Hancock41915
Smith41913
Jasper41610
Itawamba41410
Claiborne41114
Clay41114
Tunica3708
Clarke35928
Montgomery3558
Lawrence3408
Yalobusha32010
Humphreys30912
Quitman2751
Greene26713
Carroll26411
Webster25413
Jefferson Davis2526
Perry2518
Kemper24614
Amite2446
Stone2356
Wilkinson23114
Sharkey2147
Jefferson1978
Benton1591
Franklin1422
Choctaw1384
Issaquena272
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 102196

Reported Deaths: 1825
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13682262
Mobile10836223
Montgomery7009153
Madison558135
Tuscaloosa437880
Unassigned411368
Baldwin379129
Shelby341437
Marshall321438
Lee273547
Morgan245720
Etowah221934
DeKalb187014
Calhoun186719
Elmore178939
Walker158466
Houston149313
Limestone140713
Russell13982
St. Clair138820
Dallas134925
Franklin131522
Cullman125212
Colbert124318
Lauderdale121920
Autauga119622
Talladega110314
Escambia109917
Jackson10914
Tallapoosa88379
Dale86329
Chambers85238
Blount8485
Chilton8439
Clarke83010
Coffee7926
Butler77936
Covington76321
Pike7187
Marion59426
Barbour5906
Marengo57817
Lowndes57624
Bullock49411
Hale49026
Bibb4655
Washington46113
Winston45911
Perry4524
Wilcox44510
Monroe4276
Pickens42010
Randolph40511
Conecuh39810
Sumter37119
Lawrence3643
Macon34415
Crenshaw3398
Cherokee2938
Choctaw29212
Clay2785
Geneva2742
Henry2733
Greene25611
Lamar2372
Fayette2345
Cleburne1311
Coosa1063
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