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An Alternative to Lockdowns: Declaration Offers Trump a Chance to Lead on ‘Science’


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National Review

Douglas Axe, William M. Briggs & Jay W. Richards

October 9, 2020

O n October 4, Harvard’s Martin Kulldorff, Oxford’s Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford’s Jay Bhattacharya gathered at Great Barrington, Mass., to pen a declaration that, in just five days, has gained some 15,000 signatures from doctors and health scientists. The declaration calls for a smart alternative to the lockdowns and social-distancing rules that Joe Biden insists are based on “the science.”

Other experts have been quick to offer criticisms, of course. But that’s how science works. It rarely speaks with one voice. And this is why the declaration matters: It snatches the science card from Biden and everyone else who claims the science should dissuade us from returning to normal life.

Trump now has the chance to take the science card himself — legitimately. He doesn’t need to pretend all scientists agree, or appeal to his own impressive recovery from COVID-19. Instead, he should remind everyone of the true cost of shutting down schools and businesses and churches.

Barrington reminds us that the burden of proof was always on those who called for Draconian lockdowns. That’s because of the severe costs of these measures. As their declaration notes, the “current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.” These include cancers that go undetected because of reduced screening, worse outcomes from cardiovascular disease, deteriorating mental health, and increased harm to at-risk children. All of these risks are especially acute for the young and the less affluent.



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The Great Barrington Declaration

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. 





H/T Dr. Larry Arnn/Hugh Hewitt

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After The Great Barrington Declaration, No One Can Honestly Say ‘Science’ Demands Lockdowns

While left-leaning media and pundits claim that evidence and science guide their decisions, the Great Barrington Declaration proves their ignorance and dishonesty.

Helen Raleigh

October 12, 2020

Last month, the prestigious Scientific American magazine announced that for the first time in its 175-year history, it would endorse Joe Biden, the Democrat nominee, for the 2020 U.S. presidential election. In a statement, the editors of the magazine blasted the Trump administration for its handling of COVID-19 and concluded that “Donald Trump has badly damaged the US and its people – because he rejects evidence and science. It’s time to move Trump out and elect Biden, who has a record of following the data and being guided by science.”

Biden has said many times — including in the last presidential debate — he doesn’t think we should reopen our economy until a COVID vaccine is available. Maybe it’s time to ask the editors at Scientific American and Biden if there is other evidence and science they choose to ignore?

Last week, the three leading scientists drafted and posted The Great Barrington Declaration, a public petition calling for an end to the lockdowns and returning life to its pre-pandemic norm, except for the most vulnerable segments of our population.


Will We Heed New Advice?

Based on the increasing number of signatures, the message and the recommendations the Great Barrington Declaration proposes has received wide support. Of course, there are detractors. Some of the loudest objections have come from others in the medical community. Some argue there is not sufficient data to support the assertion that herd immunity to COVID-19 offers people long-term protection. Some fault the Great Barrington Declaration for failing to mention mass testing and contact tracing. These are all valid points.

Fortunately for mankind’s long-term survival, our science community doesn’t have one, uniform voice. It is clear that the science on COVID-19 is not settled and we have much to learn about the virus. But we can’t afford to put our society, economy, and living a normal life on hold while we are searching for answers and solutions.

It is also concerning how little coverage the Great Barrington Declaration has received from America’s mainstream left-leaning media and pundits, who claim that they let evidence and science guide their decisions. They have, however, no issue rejecting science when it doesn’t match their narratives. So who is anti-science now?

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