Over 4,000 medical professionals, including epidemiologists, doctors, and public health officials from around the world, have signed a declaration urging “focused protection” of the vulnerable and building herd immunity.
In a letter titled the “Great Barrington Declaration,” the group insists that abandoning the draconian restrictions on public movement in deference to protecting the most vulnerable, practicing common sense hygiene and maximizing herd immunity is the best course of action in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 letter reads.
“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.”
The medical experts go on to say that educational institutions should re-open for in-person instruction and extracurricular activities, such as sports and organized social functions, should resume.
“Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home,” the letter continues. “Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sports, 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.”
Included as signatories on this letter are:
- Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist. He has expertise in infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.
- Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist whose expertise covers 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 on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.
The signatories to this letter maintain that the current lockdown policies are producing serious short and long-term public health issues including worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes and deteriorating mental health.
“Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available,” they wrote, “will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.”