By Eric Holder
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2020 Oct 8, 11:07am
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Thousands of medical and public health experts have signed on to a declaration calling for an end to lockdown policies in favor of a more targeted approach to combatting the coronavirus pandemic.Harvard University professor Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Oxford University epidemiologist Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford University physician and epidemiologist Dr. Jay Bhattacharya wrote and published “The Great Barrington Declaration” on Sunday. It has since drawn tens of thousands of signatories.By Wednesday morning, nearly 3,200 medical and public health scientists, nearly 4,800 medical practitioners, and over 73,100 others had signed onto the declaration. The declaration comes as some elected officials in the U.S., such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, are cracking down again on their states with renewed lockdown measures.“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 declaration begins.“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. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice,” it continues.The doctors say that the current approach to fighting the pandemic — locking down wide swaths of the economy and barring people from gathering in places such as schools and churches — “will cause irreparable damage” if continued until a vaccine is readily available to the public.Instead, the doctors recommend a targeted approach that protects high-risk populations, such as the elderly and those with co-morbidities. The doctors also point out that for many people, especially the young, “COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.”The doctors endorse the same strategy followed by Sweden’s government in fighting the virus, known as herd immunity. As more people from less at-risk populations get the virus and build up an immunity, the threat of the virus to society at large falls.“As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls,” the declaration says. “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 doctors recommend special protections be put in place for people that live in nursing homes, for example. Staff at such facilities should have immunity to the disease and rotating staff should be done as little as possible.The vast majority of people should be “be allowed to resume life as normal,” the doctors say.“Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home,” the declaration says. “Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.”
Reddit moderators removed The Great Barrington Declaration, an anti-lockdown statement by some of the world’s leading epidemiologists. The censorship is proof that social platforms, like mainstream media, are not welcoming of discussions surrounding alternatives to lockdown.The Great Barrington Declaration was published last week, and, at press time, it had about 240,000 signatures. The declaration proposes what the authors call “Focused Protection” for the pandemic rather than total lockdowns.“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 declaration explains.The declaration was originally authored by three experts in the field of epidemiology; Dr Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, Dr Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford, and Dr Sunetra Gupta of Oxford.The proposal borrows from the traditional approach to pandemics, which has been emulated by countries such as Sweden. It is a more realistic approach that factors in the economic consequences of a lockdown.The declaration was posted on two Reddit channels; r/Coronavirus and r/COVID-19. The former has 2.3 million members while the latter has 300,000 members. However, shortly after the article was posted, moderators of both channels removed it.The groups are coronavirus discussion forums where members post news and reports related to the pandemic. Additionally, The Great Barrington Declaration is an article authored and signed by leading health experts. For these reasons, the censorship of the article is surprising.Moreover, the declaration does not go against Reddit’s content policy.On the r/COVID-19 subreddit, which is more academic-oriented, moderators gave the following explanation for the removal of the article:“Posts and, where appropriate, comments must link to a primary scientific source: peer-reviewed original research, pre-prints from established servers, and research or reports by governments and other reputable organisations. Please do not link to YouTube or Twitter.News stories and secondary or tertiary reports about original research are a better fit for r/Coronavirus.”In short, the moderators deemed the article a “news story or tertiary report,” rather than a scientific source of information.The moderators of r/Coronavirus, a more general forum where the r/COVID-19 moderators suggested the declaration belongs, moderators removed the article and explained:“Content must not be spam or be promotional in nature. Spamming the same or very similar posts or comments, as well as self-promotion of any kind will likely lead to a ban. Scams will be reported to authorities.”The declaration is neither self-promotion nor spam. It is a statement by health experts trying to tell the world there is an alternative approach to the pandemic, that has actually worked in some parts of the world and used in previous epidemics.While Reddit, like other social platforms, has the right to moderate content, censoring such an article goes against their culture and mission statement of bringing “community and belonging to everybody in the world.
Why can’t we talk about the Great Barrington Declaration?The three scientists who created it aren’t outliers or cranks, but professors at Oxford, Harvard and StanfordYou probably haven’t heard of the Great Barrington Declaration. This is a petition started by three scientists on October 4 calling for governments to adopt a policy of ‘focused protection’ when it comes to COVID-19. They believe those most at risk should be offered protection — although it shouldn’t be mandatory — and those not at risk, which is pretty much everyone under 65 without an underlying health condition, should be encouraged to return to normal. In this way, the majority will get infected and then recover, gradually building up herd immunity, and that in turn will mean the elderly and the vulnerable no longer have to hide themselves away. According to these experts, this is the tried and tested way of managing the risk posed by a new infectious disease, dating back thousands of years. ...So why haven’t you heard of it? The short answer is there’s been a well-orchestrated attempt to suppress and discredit it.
The objective of the lockdown is political, not public health.Unfortunately these guys are not going to succeed spreading actual information. The forces against them are motivated by politics and will censor and demean them if possible.
Issue: February 8, 2021Facebook deletes epidemiologists behind The Great Barrington DeclarationSunday marked a week since Facebook “unpublished” a page set up by a group of epidemiologists and public health scientists gathered around the “Great Barrington Declaration” initiative.As these university professors, physicians, and scientists said the removal of the page happened when a message was posted fully supporting a voluntary, not forced, Covid 19 vaccine plan.“There has been no option to review this decision,” the group behind the declaration tweeted, adding that there is also no route to appeal it.
Why did Trump talk up HCQ so much but then never took it when he got COVID? Serious question.
Yes, this is the same reason that HCQ is disparaged
The objective of the lockdown is political, not public health.
they could not get fast-track emergency approval to release their experimental "vaccines" if there was an effective treatment in the offing.
Robert Sproul saysthey could not get fast-track emergency approval to release their experimental "vaccines" if there was an effective treatment in the offing.This doesn't make sense. HCQ studies came out, and the drug started being used, long before the first vaccines became available. HCQ isn't a cure for Covid, nor a replacement for vaccines. The two are not mutually exclusive, not even in the marketplace of ideas.(This isn't an endorsement of the vaccines currently in release, but a rebuttal to the claim that HCQ was suppressed as a possible impediment to vaccination programs.)
“The Political Takeover of Medicine and the Patient/Doctor Relationship Must End”: The Physicians Declaration vs. COVID Cultism"We cannot sit idly while patients are forced to go home and sicken in place. These policies may actually constitute crimes against humanity."
Kulldorff and Bhattacharya Respond: The Collins and Fauci Attack on Traditional Public HealthDecember 31, 2021On Oct. 4, 2020, with professor Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, we wrote the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). Our purpose was to express our grave concerns over the inadequate protection of the vulnerable and the devastating harms of the lockdown pandemic policy adopted by much of the world; we proposed an alternative strategy of focused protection.The key scientific fact on which the GBD was based—a more than thousand-fold higher risk of death for the old compared to the young—meant that better protection of the old would minimize COVID deaths. At the same time, opening schools and lifting lockdowns would reduce the collateral harm to the rest of the population.The declaration received enormous support, ultimately attracting signatures from more than 50,000 scientists and medical professionals and more than 800,000 members of the public. Our hope in writing was two-fold. First, we wanted to help the public understand that—contrary to the prevailing narrative—there was no scientific consensus in favor of lockdown. In this, we succeeded.Second, we wanted to spur a discussion among public health scientists about how to better protect the vulnerable, both those living in nursing homes (where approximately 40 percent of all COVID deaths have occurred) and those living in the community. We provided specific proposals for focused protection in the GBD and supporting documents to spur the discussion. Though some in public health did engage civilly in productive discussions with us, in this aim we had limited success.Unbeknownst to us, our call for a more focused pandemic strategy posed a political problem for Dr. Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci. The former is a geneticist who, until Dec. 19, 2021, was the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH); the latter is an immunologist who directs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). They are the biggest funders of medical and infectious disease research worldwide.Collins and Fauci played critical roles in designing and advocating for the pandemic lockdown strategy adopted by the United States and many other countries. In emails written four days after the Great Barrington Declaration and disclosed recently after a FOIA request, it was revealed that the two conspired to undermine the declaration. Rather than engaging in scientific discourse, they authorized “a quick and devastating published takedown” of this proposal, which they characterized as by “three fringe epidemiologists” from Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford.Across the pond, they were joined by their close colleague, Dr. Jeremy Farrar, the head of the Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s largest nongovernmental funders of medical research. He worked with Dominic Cummings, the political strategist of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Together, they orchestrated “an aggressive press campaign against those behind the Great Barrington Declaration and others opposed to blanket COVID-19 restrictions.”Ignoring the call for focused protection of the vulnerable, Collins and Fauci purposely mischaracterized the GBD as a “let-it-rip” “herd immunity strategy,” even though focused protection is the very opposite of a let-it-rip strategy. It’s more appropriate to call the lockdown strategy that has been followed a “let-it-rip” strategy. Without focused protection, every age group will eventually be exposed in equal proportion, albeit at a prolonged “let-it-drip” pace compared to a do-nothing strategy.When journalists started asking us why we wanted to “let the virus rip,” we were puzzled. Those words aren’t in the GBD, and they are contrary to the central idea of focused protection. It’s unclear whether Collins and Fauci ever read the GBD, whether they deliberately mischaracterized it, or whether their understanding of epidemiology and public health is more limited than we had thought. In any case, it was a lie.We were also puzzled by the mischaracterization of the GBD as a “herd immunity strategy.” Herd immunity is a scientifically proven phenomenon, as fundamental in infectious disease epidemiology as gravity is in physics. Every COVID strategy leads to herd immunity, and the pandemic ends when a sufficient number of people have immunity through either COVID-recovery or a vaccine. It makes as much sense to claim that an epidemiologist is advocating for a “herd immunity strategy” as it does to claim that a pilot is advocating a “gravity strategy” when landing an airplane. The issue is how to land the plane safely, and whatever strategy the pilot uses, gravity ensures that the plane will eventually return to earth.The fundamental goal of the GBD is to get through this terrible pandemic with the least harm to the public’s health. Health, of course, is broader than just COVID. Any reasonable evaluation of lockdowns should consider their collateral damage to patients with cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other infectious diseases, as well as mental health and much else. Based on long-standing principles of public health, the GBD and focused protection of the high-risk population is a middle ground between devastating lockdowns and a do-nothing, let-it rip strategy.Collins and Fauci surprisingly claimed that focused protection of the old is impossible without a vaccine. Scientists have their own specialties, but not every scientist has deep expertise in public health. The natural approach would have been to engage with epidemiologists and public health scientists for whom this is their bread and butter. Had they done so, Collins and Fauci would have learned that public health is fundamentally about focused protection.It’s impossible to shut down society completely. Lockdowns protected young low-risk affluent work-from-home professionals, such as administrators, scientists, professors, journalists, and lawyers, while older high-risk members of the working class were exposed and died in necessarily high numbers. This failure to understand that lockdowns couldn’t protect the vulnerable led to the tragically high death counts from COVID.We don’t know why Collins and Fauci decided to do a “takedown” rather than use their esteemed positions to build and promote vigorous scientific discussions on these critical issues, engaging scientists with different expertise and perspectives. Part of the answer may lie in another puzzle—their blindness to the devastating effects of lockdowns on other public health outcomes.Lockdown harms have affected everyone, with an extra-heavy burden on the chronically ill; on children, for whom schools were closed; on the working class, especially those in the densely populated inner cities; and on the global poor, with tens of millions suffering from malnutrition and starvation. For example, Fauci was a major advocate for school closures. These are now widely recognized as an enormous mistake that harmed children without affecting disease spread. In the coming years, we must work hard to reverse the damage caused by our misguided pandemic strategy.While tens of thousands of scientists and medical professionals signed the Great Barrington Declaration, why didn’t more speak up in the media? Some did, some tried but failed, while others were very cautious about doing so. When we wrote the declaration, we knew that we were putting our professional careers at risk, as well as our ability to provide for our families. That was a conscious decision on our part, and we fully sympathize with those who instead decided to focus on maintaining their important research laboratories and activities.Scientists will naturally hesitate before putting themselves in a situation in which the NIH director, with an annual scientific research budget of $42.9 billion, wants to take them down. It may also be unwise to upset the director of NIAID, with an annual budget of $6.1 billion for infectious disease research, or the director of the Wellcome Trust, with an annual budget of $1.5 billion. Sitting atop powerful funding agencies, Collins, Fauci, and Farrar channel research dollars to nearly every infectious disease epidemiologist, immunologist, and virologist of note in the United States and UK.Collins, Fauci, and Farrar got the pandemic strategy they advocated for, and they own the results together with other lockdown proponents. The GBD was and is inconvenient for them because it stands as clear evidence that a better, less deadly alternative was available.We now have more than 800,000 COVID deaths in the United States, plus the collateral damage. Sweden and other Scandinavian countries—less focused on lockdowns and more focused on protecting the old—have had fewer COVID deaths per population than the United States, the UK, and most other European countries. Florida, which avoided much of the collateral lockdown harms, currently ranks 22nd best in the United States in age-adjusted COVID mortality.In academic medicine, landing an NIH grant makes or breaks careers, so scientists have a strong incentive to stay on the right side of NIH and NIAID priorities. If we want scientists to speak freely in the future, we should avoid having the same people in charge of public health policy and medical research funding.