Great Barrington Declaration
The Great Barrington Declaration is a statement drafted at the American Institute for Economic Research. It advocates an alternative, risk-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. World Health Organization and numerous academic and public-health bodies have stated that the proposed strategy is dangerous, unethical, and lacks a sound scientific basis.
About Great Barrington Declaration in brief
The Great Barrington Declaration is a statement drafted at the American Institute for Economic Research. It advocates an alternative, risk-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Health Organization and numerous academic and public-health bodies have stated that the proposed strategy is dangerous, unethical, and lacks a sound scientific basis. The declaration makes no mention of physical distancing and masks, nor of testing and tracing. It does not mention testing any people outside of nursing homes, or tracing any high-risk people without putting them at risk. It was sponsored by a libertarian think tank that is part of a Koch-funded network of organizations associated with climate change denial. Instead of selling false hope that will predictably backfire, we must focus on how to manage this pandemic in a safe, responsible, and equitable way, the authors say. The declaration was authored by Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University. The authors say that, instead of protecting everyone, the focus should instead be on \”shielding\” those most at risk, with few mandatory restrictions placed on the remainder of the population. They want to end stay-at-home orders and other mandatory restrictions on activities. Instead, they want individual people, based upon their own perception of their risk of dying from CO VID-19 and other personal circumstances, to personally choose the risks, activities and restrictions they prefer.
The more likely outcome, they say, would be recurrent epidemics, as was the case with numerous infectious diseases before the advent of vaccination. They believe that these infections will produce herd immunity, which will eventually make it less likely that high- risk people will be exposed to the virus. The American Public Health Association and 13 other public- health groups in the U.S. warned in a joint open letter that the GreatBarrington Declaration ‘is not a strategy, it is a political statement. It ignores sound public health expertise. It preys on a frustrated populace. It is not about protecting everyone. It is about protecting those at risk and avoiding the societal harm of the pandemic lockdowns.’ The declaration names specific economic changes that the signatories favour: resuming life as normal, with schools and universities open for in-person teaching and extracurricular activities, re-opening offices, restaurants, and other places of work, and resuming mass gatherings for cultural and athletic activities. By October, many of these things had already happened in some parts of the world, but likewise were restricted, for instance; quarantines of schools, travel advisories, restrictions on meeting other people and partial closures of pubs and pubs and restaurants. It has been intentionally kept to a short, single-page statement devoid of details about how, for example, low-risk members of households can get infected without putting it more publicly-appealing to make it more accessible.