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Physician/Economist Speaks Out to Set Record Straight on COVID-19

As one of the three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, M.D., has been on a campaign promoting commonsense strategies in dealing with COVID-19.

The Stanford University professor of medicine and economist testified at a  November  8 U.S. Senate Committee Hearing titled “Early Outpatient Treatment: An Essential Part of a COVID-19 Solution, Part II” (see related article, page 12).

On October 9, Bhattacharya participated in a Hillsdale College Free Market Forum in Omaha, Nebraska on the economics of the coronavirus. The Great Barrington Declaration is a statement signed by more than 750 thousand concerned citizens, medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners calling for an end to the pandemic lockdowns and focusing efforts on those most at risk of death from the virus.

“We know the people who are vulnerable, and we know the people who are not vulnerable,” said Bhattacharya. “To continue to act as if we do not know these things makes no sense.”

At the Hillsdale event, Bhattacharya stated he wanted to “present the facts about how deadly COVID-19 actually is,” who is most at risk, and who is most harmed by lockdowns.

Here are the major takeaways from Bhattacharya’s presentation:

  • Based on seroprevalence studies, the global COVID fatality rate is between 0.2 and 0.3 percent. Earlier, much higher projections were based on underestimates of how many people were infected by the virus and showed evidence of immunity.

“The majority of people who are infected by COVID have mild symptoms or no symptoms at all,” said Bhattacharya.

  • The danger of COVID-19 varies greatly among age groups, yet the public health response has been to treat all age groups as being equally at risk. The fatality rate for those age 70 and older is 4 percent. This year, more children have died from flu than COVID-19.
  • Lockdowns as a public health measure are unprecedented in history.
  • Lockdowns have been devastating in the developing world.

“In the last 20 years, we’ve lifted one billion people worldwide out of poverty. This year, we are reversing that progress,” said Bhattacharya.

  • Herd immunity is not a strategy but “a biological fact,” and it is what ends infectious diseases. The vaccine will help.

—Staff reports

 

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