Great Barrington Declaration

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya,

A senior Alberta doctor who caused a firestorm after an address about COVID-19 to a city of Edmonton council committee says all businesses should be allowed open and lives return to normal, as recommended by the Great Barrington Declaration.

Dr. Roger Hodkinson says the virus is no worse than a “bad flu” and told the committee it should follow the doctrine set out in the declaration.

Called the Great Barrington Declaration, the group issued a letter in October saying “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. 

“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.”

The declaration was signed in Great Barrington, Mass., by Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School.

It was co-signed by 20 other medical experts. Since being posted online tens of thousands of other doctors have signed it and thousands of members of the public around the world have signed in support.

The group said lockdowns around the world are causing more problems than they solve.

“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,” the declaration reads.

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

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“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. 

“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. 

“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. “

Canada has seen 314,000 cases of coronavirus resulting in 11,248 deaths. Worldwide, there has been 55.6 million cases with 1.34 million deaths.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief

Dave Naylor is News Editor & Calgary Bureau Chief of the Western Standard based in the Calgary Headquarters. He served as City Editor of the Calgary Sun & covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years.

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