News Story

Leading Scientists Condemn Lockdowns, Call For ‘Focused Protection’

25% of adults 18-24 have considered suicide during the pandemic

Nearly 12,000 medical and public health scientists and 34,000 medical practitioners have signed onto an online declaration that advocates for a COVID-19 strategy that reopens schools and ends government lockdowns of business and the economy.

The Great Barrington Declaration has been endorsed by 11,797 medical and public health scientists and 33,938 medical practitioners in the 35 days since it was launched Oct. 4.

The proposal is garnering ever more endorsements even as Michigan experiences record numbers of daily new cases. The increases have come despite a new statewide face mask mandate and a barrage of pronouncements from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that the public needs to do more.

Michigan reported a record 6,494 new cases on Saturday, Nov. 7, according to

“Basic epidemiological theory indicates that lockdowns do not reduce the total number of cases in the long run and have never in history led to the eradication of a disease,” the Barrington Declaration’s FAQ states. “At best, lockdowns delay the increase of cases for a finite period and at great cost.”

The Great Barrington Declaration states that the damage from lockdowns will be seen in the form of increased deaths from other illnesses. These excess deaths will not appear in the current year’s mortality statistics, and will happen because large numbers of people have been prevented or discouraged by lockdowns from obtaining cancer screenings, vaccinations and other preventive measures and therapies.

The declaration also points to the mental health impacts generated by the constant messaging by government officials of the risk of dying of contracting COVID-19.

The Great Barrington Declaration cites a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that stated one in four people ages 18 to 24 have seriously considered suicide during the pandemic.

The declaration’s signatories advocate for what it calls “focused protection.” They define this approach as minimizing the risks faced by older people and other high-risk groups while letting children and young adults live without restrictions imposed by government lockdowns.

The Great Barrington Declaration also states that older people who are deemed to “essential workers” but cannot afford to stop working are being put at unnecessary risk by staying in the workforce. Those workers should get funding for a three-to-six month sabbatical from work, according to the declaration.

Eventually, the Great Barrington Declaration says, herd immunity will take place, no matter what governments and politicians say or do.

“Sooner or later, herd immunity will be reached either through natural infection or through a combination of vaccinations and natural infection,” the declaration stated.

The Great Barrington Declaration was written by three medical experts. They were Dr. Martin Kulldroff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, a professor at Oxford University with expertise in immunology, vaccine development and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases; and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist and professor at Stanford University.

There were 43 other co-signers that were medical or academic experts.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.