Three of the world’s top epidemiologists have collected thousands of signatures from prominent scientists and members of the public from around the world calling on governments to end public lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on protecting the vulnerable.
The Great Barrington Declaration, released on October 4 by epidemiologists and professors Martin Kulldorff, M.D., of Harvard University, Sunetra Gupta, Ph.D., of Oxford University, and Jay Bhattacharya, M.D., Ph.D., of Stanford University, states “those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal.”
Lockdowns, the authors state, cause “irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.” The epidemiologists recommend an approach they call “focused attention”: measures that primarily protect nursing home residents.
Kulldorff, Gupta, and Bhattacharya describe themselves as representing the “Left and the Right” and say they were prompted to write the declaration because of their “grave concerns” about lockdown measures.
Four days after the declaration was released it had collected 139,414 signatures. The document has caught the attention of the Trump administration. The Washington Post reports October 14 that the scientists met with U.S. Health and Human Services Director, Alex Azar and Scott Atlas, a Hoover Institute neuroradiologist and advisor to President Trump.
“In the conversation with Martin Kulldorff, PhD (Harvard), Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD (Stanford), and Sunetra Gupta, PhD (Oxford), we heard strong reinforcement of the Trump Administration’s strategy of aggressively protecting the vulnerable while opening schools and the workplace,” tweeted Azar, October 5.
The declaration has eight paragraphs and is named after the Massachusetts town where it was drafted.