Not all medical professionals agree that austere COVID-19 precautions are the best course for effectively combating the pandemic — despite what the media may want Americans to believe. Over 12,000 medical and public health scientists and over 38,000 medical practitioners recently signed a petition calling for an end to lockdowns.
The Great Barrington Declaration is a petition signed by nearly 700,000 citizens and about 50,000 medical and public health professionals. The signatories have “grave concerns” about the effects of COVID-19 policies on physical and mental health. The petition argues that most people are at low-risk for suffering harm from COVID-19 and that the risks of continued isolation are actually greater than those of the COVID-19 virus itself. The petition also argues that lockdowns are ineffective and only help to delay the inevitability of herd immunity. Unfortunately, instead of investigating this strategy and debating its merits, the media and Big Tech have either attacked or censored it.
To date, 698,024 concerned citizens, 12,873 medical and public health scientists, and 38,809 medical practitioners have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, a plan and petition calling for the end of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The document was authored by Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University, biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, a professor at Oxford University and an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases; and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.
“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection,” the authors wrote.
The petition says that there are other health risks besides COVID-19 — and those risks are being neglected.
“Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short- and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health — leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden.”
As our understanding of the virus grows, our policies should change to reflect increased knowledge, the petitioners say. “Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.”
The petition states that herd immunity will be reached in time, but lockdowns only delay herd immunity and cause suffering for those not at great risk from the virus.
“As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all — including the vulnerable — falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity — i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable — and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”
The authors do not say that no precautions should be taken. For example, they call for nursing homes to use staff with immunity and perform frequent testing. The elderly and those with underlying health conditions should have groceries delivered and only gather with family members outdoors.
The signatories say that those who are not at high risk for COVID complications should be encouraged to return to life as normal. Simple hygiene precautions such as handwashing should be taken, but schools should open and extracurricular activities should be allowed to restart. They also advocate that young adults should return to onsite work rather than work from home.
In October, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it is now opposed to lockdowns as a primary COVID-19 strategy due to the economic damage they cause to poor people.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media and Big Tech rejected the Great Barrington Declaration out of hand and tried to suppress it. Instead of interviewing the authors and debating their plan, for example, reporters and pundits chose instead to investigate the petition’s funding sources and signatories. PolitiFact rated any social media posts summarizing the plan as “half-true” because anyone reading them would be “left with the wrong impression about the safety of such a plan.” Meanwhile, Big Tech gave its opinion by censoring the Great Barrington Declaration. Google shadow banned it, while Facebook flagged it as false news.
The media and Big Tech says that we should “trust the experts,” but only those experts, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who adhere to a certain approved orthodoxy. The Great Barrington Declaration is a well-thought-out plan that should be considered, debated, and — if determined to be practical — implemented. Its authors believe that it is important to take precautions to protect the elderly and those with compromised immunity, but evidence increasingly shows that lockdowns do more harm than good. Forcing people to remain in their homes and isolated causes great harm to their mental health. A recent poll showed that the only people whose mental health has improved during COVID-19 are those who regularly attended religious services — and even that positive activity has been hindered by lockdowns. Keeping schools closed is causing children to suffer emotionally and hinders their ability to get a quality education. Shutting down businesses inflicts substantial damage on the economy and is resulting in massive business failures and job loss. Everyone must do their part to try to protect the vulnerable, but if there’s a way to do that without needlessly hurting the healthy and society at large, wouldn’t it at least be worth consideration?
Check out the Falkirk Center podcast with Dr. Jay Wesley Richards on the price of panic: