On October 1-4, a trio of epidemiologists met in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, to discuss an alternate strategy for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. Dr. Martin Kulldorff , Dr. Sunetra Gupta , and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya called their approach: Focused Protection. It provides a way of protecting the vulnerable while still minimizing impact on other physical and mental issues.
In an interview with Freddie Sayers, Dr. Kulldorff said, “When confronted with public health, you cannot look limited to one disease. You have to take a look at public health very broadly.” He said our current strategy is not very effective, and worse, it “has produced an enormous amount of collateral damage.” He listed, “plummeting vaccination rates, less cancer screening, worse outcomes from coronary disease and mental health problems.”
At the close of their meeting Sunday, they released the official statement of their proposal known as the “Great Barrington Declaration.” They admit that the Declaration itself is nothing revolutionary. In fact, many scientists have been saying the very same things since March. But those recommendations have been dismissed in favor of more draconian methods.
Protect the Vulnerable, Free the Children
To this trio of scientists, “protecting the vulnerable” is not just a concern about people in high-risk categories. Although it certainly covers that. His or her Declaration states: “Keeping these [current] measures in place until a vaccine is available may cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.” They're concerned about the wider social harm the present strategy is inflicting, both now but for the future.
Current policies have been most severe to children who are the least at risk of mortality due to COVID-19. Allowing children revisit school, they argue, isn't just best for their long-term mental and physical health, however it would ensure a quicker road to herd immunity. That’s the point at which the rate of new infections becomes stable, which may be helped by a vaccine.
Within the first 24 hours of its release, the Declaration received a lot more than 5,000 signatures. This morning, it garnered hearty approval by Sen. Rand Paul:
You can see the full Declaration here, together with each of the doctors’ impressive bios and the growing quantity of signatures. And you can watch their full interview with UnHerd below: