…and exposing the crass and criminal political game-playing by which this unremarkable virus is being used to destroy lives, liberty and the rule of law.
ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13, the Edmonton, Alberta Community and Public Services Committee held a “zoom” hearing concerning, among other things, a proposed extension of its existing “Temporary Mandatory Face Coverings Bylaw”. Many people spoke in regard to the proposal; the words of one unusually-qualified expert speaker, Dr. Roger Hodkinson, merit particular attention: Listen to Hodkison’s four-and-a-half minute statement here.
In his remarks, Hodkison refers to “the Great Barrington Declaration”. This “Declaration” is a statement initially made in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in early October by Drs. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations; Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases; and Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.
Since its initial posting, the Declaration– which reflects the same in-depth knowledgeable consideration of the actual facts of C19 and the pernicious use of induced public panic in response to the virus by political and commercial interests briefly presented by Dr. Hodkinson– has been endorsed (as of November 21, 2020) by 35,237 medical practitioners, 12,115 medical and public health scientists, and 638,924 concerned citizens. Here is its text:
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.
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.
Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. 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. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.
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.
I encourage everyone to sign the Declaration (which you can do here) and to forward this article as widely as possible so many, many more can do the same, upping its throw-weight.
All the “lockdown” and related policies which the declarants denounce and reject are illegal, of course– at least here in the USA. (See here, here, here and here.) So, in theory, the Great Barrington Declaration is perhaps superfluous, however admirable.
But when people are afraid, respect for the law erodes. What is necessary is to show people that they needn’t be afraid.
At the least people need to learn to fear the “lockdowns” and their evil effects more than a virus which is no great threat in the first place, and for which we have a natural defense, if we will give it its chance to do its job rather than diminishing its strength through enforced isolation.
BTW, AN INDEPENDENTLY-VIRTUOUS background presentation by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya can be found here, and is also highly recommended. My only caveat with this latter recommendation concerns Dr. Bhattacharya’s unfortunate use of the wrong starting point (March of 2020) for his analysis of an accurate case fatality rate (CFR), which skews his CFR conclusions upward considerably higher than they should be.
In fact, C19 infections numbered in the millions in America well before March. Using CDC plotting metrics, the number of infections in America that ran their entire course from start to finish before March was between 36 and 51 million, producing a total of only 108 fatalities (previously 97, but adjusted upward recently by the CDC through retroactive ascription of C19 as a cause of death in 11 additional cases). See the documentation here.
Ironically, my first awareness of Dr. Bhattacharya came in April when I was looking for confirmation of my arguments regarding the far-more widespread incidence of infection– and the implications of same– than was being accounted-for by policy-makers. I was very pleased to find Bhattacharya’s independent investigation of C19 infections in Santa Clara County, California (through the mention of it in this similar report regarding Los Angeles County), where he and his team discovered that contra the 1,000 such infections reported by county authorities, there were actually 50,000 such infections or more at the time.
In light of the omitted consideration from Dr. Bhattacharya’s analysis, it can be seen that the actual CFR average is much less that the 0.2 on which he settles. Further, in light of the fact that even the vast majority of fatalities in the elderly which are ascribed (however casually) to C19 actually occur in victims of multiple co-morbidities— that is, dire and potentially-fatal prior-existing conditions– Bhattacharya’s characterization of C19’s threat to seniors as being dramatically more dire than the typical seasonal flu is also a considerable overstatement.
Nonetheless, Dr. Bhattacharya’s overall discussion of C19 and the wrong-headed (if not deliberately-bent) public policies deployed in response to it is very well-taken and very much worth reading.
FINALLY, FOR THIS LITTLE C19-HYSTERIA touchdown, there is this, as posted at OffGuardian:
Portuguese Court Rules PCR Tests “Unreliable” & Quarantines “Unlawful” Important legal decision faces total media blackout in Western world
An appeals court in Portugal has ruled that the PCR process is not a reliable test for Sars-Cov-2, and therefore any enforced quarantine based on those test results is unlawful.
Further, the ruling suggested that any forced quarantine applied to healthy people could be a violation of their fundamental right to liberty.
All in all, I urge everyone to remember:
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.”
“A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.”
-Edward R. Murrow