A growing list of 3,500 medical experts are sounding the alarm on the detrimental impacts of strict coronavirus lockdowns and are urging policymakers to pivot their pandemic approach to one of “Focused Protection.”
“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,” wrote the authors of The Great Barrington Declaration unveiled Sunday. “Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health … leading to greater excess mortality in years to come.”
Several harmful consequences of the lockdown measures that doctors pointed to included lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health. The absence of kids in school, “is a grave injustice,” they note.
“Keeping these measures in place,” they wrote, “will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.”
Instead of the “lock everything down until there’s a vaccine” approach, the prevailing one in most states today that’s being promoted by the Democratic Party, the signatories of the Barrington Declaration are calling on public officials to adopt a targeted handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Their recommended path for dealing with the public health emergency, dubbed “Focused Protection,” calls for lifting restrictions on the general population to develop herd immunity while implementing measures to protect the vulnerable.
“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.”
Measures to protect the at-risk community highlighted include tighter restrictions surrounding nursing homes and essential item deliveries to vulnerable people.
Prominent signatories of the declaration include 2013 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Michael Levitt, who endorsed the document co-authored by Drs. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University, Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, and Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University. Kulldorff, Gupta, and Bhattacharya have each recently provided counsel to the White House in navigating the subsequent phases of the pandemic.
In addition to the more than 3,500 medical experts and counting who have signed onto the accord, nearly 30,000 members of the general public have also made their mark.