News Bite

Top Epidemiologists: ‘Grave Concerns About Damaging Impacts ...Of Prevailing Policies’

'Most compassionate ... to let those less at risk ... build up immunity through natural infection'

A petition authored by prominent epidemiologists that advocates for children returning to school and an end to government COVID-19 lockdowns has garnered 550,159 signatures thus far, including 10,835 from medical and public health scientists and 30,105 from medical practitioners, according to its website.

The Great Barrington Declaration was launched Oct. 4 and saw the number of signatures more than doubling, in a single week, from the 239,479 it had on Oct. 12.

The website for the Great Barrington Declaration summarizes the statement this way: “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.”

The declaration itself states, in part: “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.”

It also states: “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.”

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.