As reported in last week’s Trends Journal article, “THE GREAT BARRINGTON DECLARATION: NO COVID FEAR,” on 4 October, a document stating the continued lockdowns are “producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health” was first signed by the lead authors and then followed by nearly 3,000 scientists and public health officials, over 3,700 physicians, and 60,000 members of the general public. Known as The Great Barrington Declaration (after the town in Massachusetts where it was first signed), its website offers the opportunity for additional signatures.
Newsweek reported that as of last Friday, 12 days after the document was first released, the list of signatures had grown substantially to over 10,000 scientists, over 27,000 doctors and public health officials, and over 500,000 citizens.
Among the statements made in the Declaration:

  • “As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies… Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people.”
  •  “Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.”
  • “Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza.”
  • “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”
  • “Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport, and other cultural activities should resume.”

The three leading authors of the Declaration are Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Professor of Medicine at Harvard University; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Epidemiologist at Oxford University, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Professor at Stanford University Medical School.
Dr. Laura Lazzeroni, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and a specialist in biomedical data, said she signed the Declaration because “a number of scientists and non-scientists alike tried to raise questions about both the effectiveness and the potential harms of the lockdowns as long ago as March… But honest and investigative scientific discussion has been difficult to achieve this year.”
TRENDPOST: The devastating effects of the continued lockdowns around the world continue to increase. Last Thursday, a study by the Center for Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University reported, “We find that the monthly poverty rate increased from February to September 2020, even after taking the CARES Act’s income transfers into account. Increases in monthly poverty rates have been particularly acute for Black and Hispanic people, as well as for children.”
The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that close to 900,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, an increase of nearly 77,000, or nearly 10 percent, from the previous week.
The rise in poverty is even more critical in dozens of countries worldwide along with dangerous food shortages caused by the global shutdown.
On 16 April, as reported in the Trends Journal, the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) revealed that the lockdowns imposed on over 100 nations were likely to cause an additional 130 million people to suffer acute food shortages.
Updating the tragic consequences of continued lockdowns, on 17 September, David Beasley, Executive Director of the WPF, stated,

As COVID-19 pushed countries everywhere to lock down, the equivalent of 400 million full-time jobs have been destroyed, and remittances have collapsed. The impact has been felt hardest by the two billion people who work in the informal economy around the world – mainly in middle and low-income countries.

Already only one day’s work away from going hungry, in other words living hand to mouth. You and I have food in the pantry in a lockdown. We have enough food for two or three weeks. These people don’t have that luxury. If they miss a day’s wages, they miss a day’s worth of food and their children suffer. They don’t have the money to buy their daily bread in those circumstances. This inevitably creates a risk of rising social tensions and instability.

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