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COVID-19: Great Barrington Declaration by Medical Professionals and Epidemiologists

Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it — Lloyd Chambers. That applies to climate science, COVID-19, and Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Repudiating rational debate on science is as ANTI-science as it gets, yet this attitude has become the new norm in not just the social programming networks (“news”) but it is being used to harass, intimidate and silence those in science and medicine who dare to disagree. The silencers refuse to debate the issues—that speaks volumes.

RE: The Doctor Is In: Scott Atlas And The Efficacy Of Lockdowns, Social Distancing, And Closings.
RE: Martin Kulldorff, professor, Harvard Medical School: Letter to the editor: Scott Atlas and lockdowns
RE: COVID-19: Great Barrington Declaration by Medical Professionals and Epidemiologists
RE: The data is in — stop the panic and end the total isolation
RE: Time to Steepen the Curve and Accelerate Infection of Low-Risk People
RE: AIER: “The Pandemic that Killed Debate”

I’ve signed it. This declaration is the most rational approach we have to COVID-19.
Lloyd Chambers, B.S, Stanford University

UPDATE: Google (alphabet) is taking pains to place crackpot posts about the the Great Barrington Declaration high in the ranking so as to misrepresent it. But this is not news; Google has long been a major manipulator of public opinion, by suppressing results that do not agree with its politics.

Update: see: WSJ: Epidemiologists Stray From the Covid Herd

The Great Barrington Declaration

[emphasis added, click through the title above to read at the source and/or sign it]

Oct 4 2020

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

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. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

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

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. 

Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. 

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. 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. 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.

On October 4, 2020, this declaration was authored and signed in Great Barrington, United States, by:

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring of infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

WIND: anyone who values a faux safety over their liberty deserves neither.

This is not about any particular policy or issue. It is about the refusal to debate the issues knowing that many policies are hugely destructive, and that these policiues are killing people now and will kill many more—many more than COVID-19. To refuse to have that discussion is grotesquely unethical.

Professionals who shirk their moral and professional responsibilities by refusing to debate the issues are anti-science, anti-reason, and anti-humanity.

The lives of my 80-year-old parents are dear to me. But the lives of my ~20 year old children are more dear, with 60 years to go. In my mid 50’s, I have increased risk too (especially with a recent health condition). My wife is much older than me so she has even higher risk. Yet I’ll take that risk, I’ll take one for 'the team'. It’s the only moral thing to do.

As a moral proposition, it is grotesque to damage a huge majority with very long lives ahead of them for the benefit of the few, many of whom have very little time left with or without CV19*. It is a moral imperative to fix these terrible policies.

We didn’t know enough in March about COVID-19, perhaps even into April. But those times are long gone. Now, COVID-19 policies have devolved into tryrannical and wholly arbitrary rules that are killing people—far more than COVID-19 (whose death numbers are total GIGO). Still, there is a 'benefit' for collectivist mentalities: prepping the populace to accept totalitarian measures, softening up the populace for more invasive controls of any imagined future threat. Where in the constitution were these sweeping martial law powers including de-facto house arrest ever granted? Michigan finally figured it out, but what is the penalty for a governor whose core instincts are dictatorial in nature?

* And anyone dumb enough to believe the claimed COVID-19 death toll should not even be in the conversation. The count is utterly corrupt on an intellectual and financial basis, as is public record.

WSJ: Epidemiologists Stray From the Covid Herd

Oct 23 2020

Great Barrington Declaration co-authors Martin Kuldorff and Jay Bhattacharya on the costs of lockdown, the science of immunity, and the politicization of the coronavirus pandemic

...I interview the two men jointly by Zoom—Dr. Bhattacharya in California, Mr. Kulldorff in Massachusetts. The former speaks of a “systematic media campaign” against the declaration. He says Google “shadow banned” the text in the days after it was published. “If you typed in ‘Great Barrington Declaration,’ what would happen is that the actual website would appear on the second or third page, buried under a whole long list of negative stories.” (The matter has since been resolved, he says.)

I discover a similar problem with “herd immunity,” which the declaration sets out as the end point to be reached after societies have minimized “mortality and social harm.” On the morning of our interview, I search Google for “herd immunity” and find that the three links highlighted by the search engine as “Top Stories” are uniformly negative.

“The politicization of Covid,” Mr. Kulldorff says, “is extremely unfortunate. People automatically assume what your political beliefs are based on your views on the pandemic. This is very strange, in my mind.” Dr. Bhattacharya adds that “the traditional markers for political identity have absolutely no meaning” in the context of Covid. Illustrating the point, Mr. Kulldorff says he has defended Sweden’s Social Democratic government...

Dr. Bhattacharya cites an example of Covid politics that he found “shocking.” When Black Lives Matter protests broke out in the spring, “1,300 epidemiologists signed a letter saying that the gatherings were consistent with good public health practice.” The “same epidemiologists” were arguing that “we should essentially quarantine in place.” In his view, this opened up the letter’s signers to “appropriate criticism, that they’d asked people to shut down their businesses, stay out of schools, stop worshiping, and yet they’re saying it’s OK to protest. It just reeked of political bias.”

...

What unites the two men is their revulsion against the “current Covid policy.” This policy “violates every single value I hold dear,” Dr. Bhattacharya says. “Every single one.” Elaborating, he says he accords paramount importance—“derived, in my case, from Rawlsian and Christian commitments”—to the protection of the vulnerable and the poor world-wide from “avoidable death and suffering.” The lockdowns have “manifestly failed to do this by inducing economic collapse that has placed the lives of 130 million poor people world-wide at risk of starvation.” 

He also values “the norms of medical ethics that militate against doing harm to patients.” The current lockdown policy, in his telling, asks children and young adults—“who face more medical and psychological risk from the lockdowns than they do from Covid infection”—to accept this harm “in the false hope that this sacrifice will protect the vulnerable people.”

...

Mr. Kulldorff says the Covid-19 restrictions violate two cardinal principles of public health. First, “you can’t just look at Covid, you have to look holistically at health and consider the collateral damage.” Among the damage: a worsening incidence of cardiovascular disease and cancer and an alarming decline in immunization...

Mr. Kulldorff’s second principle: “You can’t just look short-term.” Dr. Bhattacharya says we will “be counting the health harms from these lockdowns for a very long time.” He says anti-Covid efforts are sowing the seeds of other epidemics: “Pertussis—whooping cough—will come back. Polio will come back because of the cessation of vaccination campaigns. All these diseases that we’ve made substantial progress in will start to come back.” 

...

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