WASHINGTON, DC, Jan 5 – The omicron variant is putting a new focus on the Great Barrington Declaration [GBD] – a take on how to deal with the COVID pandemic published by three credible infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists. Its authors are Doctors Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University; Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, and Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School.
They argue that lockdowns and other extreme anti-COVID precautions have “been a devastating public health mistake. Their GBD solution is simple: take measures to protect the segments of the population that are most vulnerable – senior citizens and those with underlying medical conditions and allow the more resilient among us to achieve herd immunity. Even the Centers for Disease Control [CDC] recognizes that “Older adults are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. More than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65. The number of deaths among people over age 65 is 80 times higher than the number of deaths among people aged 18-29.”
According to GBD author Dr. Bhattacharya, “we can’t stop the spread of COVID, but we can end the pandemic.” In his words:
“The arrival of the omicron variant has led some politicians and public health grandees to call for a return to business closures and ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdowns.
“The variant has been found worldwide, including in the US and the UK. The variant has already surpassed delta – dominant before omicron – in the UK.
“Early reports from South Africa confirm that the variant is more transmissible but produces a milder disease, with a lower chance of hospitalization and death upon infection.
“The end of the pandemic is primarily a social and political decision.
“Since we have no technology to eradicate the virus, we must learn to live with it. The fear-based lockdown policies of the past two years are no template for a healthy society.
“The good news is that with the new and effective technologies available and the focused protection ideas outlined in the GBD, we can end the pandemic if only we can muster the courage and political will to do so.
“In Sweden and many US states that have eschewed lockdowns, the pandemic is effectively over, even as the virus continues to circulate.
“As normal society resumes, the vast majority will find that living with the virus is not so hard after all.”
Rob Arnott is the founder and chairman of Research Affiliates. In a unique Opinion article he penned for the Wall Street Journal earlier this week, he opened it with this sentence: “Should I try to catch the omicron variant of Covid to advance the cause of herd immunity?”
Arnott went on to explain that “The prudent response to omicron might be to encourage vaccinated people and even unvaccinated young adults to catch it while protecting the at-risk population. One measure of a pathogen’s lethality is the case fatality rate—the ratio of the death toll to the known cases. The 28-day average case fatality rate in South Africa, the likely origin of the omicron variant, tumbled in the past six weeks from 8% to 0.2%, barely higher than for the flu. Omicron will assuredly confer new, complementary antibodies on its victims, providing an additional measure of immunity to more lethal Covid variants.”
Dr. Bhattacharya and his GBD colleagues came under fire from Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor, calling the Great Barrington Declaration “nonsense” and “dangerous.”. Meanwhile, during a recent interview with CBS News, he embarrassed himself when he said that Republicans who criticize him are “really criticizing science because I represent science.”
As for Rob Arnott, he’s an informed and knowledgeable layman who concluded his Opinion article by declaring, “Let’s explore unconventional answers to end this protracted nightmare. I am not trying to catch omicron. But I am not afraid: catching it may very well reduce, not increase, my risk of dying from some future Covid variant.”
And the Great Barrington Declaration is a well-documented treatise that poses what many consider a rational approach for dealing with the threat of COVID and that has won support by more than 61,000 medical practitioners and medical & public health scientists worldwide. It is notable that Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens [AMAC] was among the early supporters of the GBD; she signed the Declaration on behalf of herself and of AMAC early on in 2020.
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