07 October 2020 22:34
A group of prominent international scientists is calling on governments across the world to move away from lockdowns as part of their Covid strategies, and to allow young and healthy people to return to a normal life, while protecting the most vulnerable. The proposal, called the Great Barrington Declaration, calls for a herd immunity approach, which it says would allow the virus to spread in low risk groups and would help to quell the pandemic. It also calls for "Focused Protection" through adopting measures to better protect those who are at highest risk. The declaration says "current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short term and long-term public health". It goes on to list lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes and fewer cancer screenings as some of the negative impacts.
It calls for schools and universities, restaurants and businesses to re-open, and for sport and cultural activities to resume. The Declaration has been signed by some experts from the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham and Sussex. But it also has some critics. Greg Gonsalves a scientist from Yale University has called it "grotesque", and said herd immunity strategies were about "culling the herd of the sick and disabled". The Great Barrington Declaration can be read in full here