In the early days of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping across the world with little information as to how to prevent or treat the disease. At that crucial point in time, it was thought that the world’s scientists and doctors were all working together to find the best possible alternatives. Looking back, we can see that many of the brightest ideas, the theories that would have worked best, from treatment to prevention, to possible eradication of the effects of COVID-19, were silenced. We can clearly see now the divide in what would become policy, not matter how detrimental to people and society, and what would become silenced, censored, and labeled as misinformation. Today, we see the narrative of what had been accepted falling apart as countries begin to drop policies, yet the censorship by those who originally brought these ideas is still strong.
Harvard Epidemiologist Speaks Up on Lockdowns Only to be Censored
Martin Kulldorff is a biostatistician and epidemiologist specializing in infectious disease outbreaks and the safety of vaccines. He has developed numerous software products, was a professor for ten years at Harvard Medical School and co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration. Kulldorff is also the senior scientific director of the Brownstone Institute. Kulldorff has a world-renowned, academic history that produced statistics used by world leaders to analyze vaccine safety.
In April of 2020, Kulldorff had hit a road-block looking for a publisher on his written piece regarding lockdowns. Kulldorff finally resorted to posting his article to his LinkedIn account. Kulldorff’s article has been deleted, along with his LinkedIn profile. Ultimately, due to public backlash, the LinkedIn profile was reinstated. The article remains hard to find due to Google and other search engine algorithms. You can find it here.
What was Kulldorff’s position that caused such drastic measures? His article suggested a targeted approach using age-specific guidelines to reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19:
Among COVID-19 exposed individuals, people in their 70s have roughly twice the mortality of those in their 60s, 10 times the mortality of those in their 50s, 40 times that of those in their 40s, 100 times that of those in their 30s, 300 times that of those in their 20s, and a mortality that is more than 3000 times higher than for children. Since COVID-19 operates in a highly age specific manner, mandated counter measures must also be age specific. If not, lives will be unnecessarily lost.
Study to Support Kuldorff’s Article Released by Johns Hopkins
Just last month, a study was released by Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise. That study consisted of reviewing 18,590 studies that may have impact on the hypothesis that lockdowns and other similar policies had little effect on reducing COVID-19’s mortality rate. The study ultimately stated:
They were separated into three groups: lockdown stringency index studies, shelter-in-placeorder (SIPO) studies, and specific NPI studies. An analysis of each of these three groups support the conclusion that lockdowns have had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality. More specifically, stringency index studies find that lockdowns in Europe and the United States only reduced COVID-19 mortality by 0.2% on average. SIPOs were also ineffective, only reducing COVID-19 mortality by 2.9% on average. Specific NPI studies also find no broad-based evidence of noticeable effects on COVID-19 mortality.
While this meta-analysis concludes that lockdowns have had little to no public health effects, they have imposed enormous economic and social costs where they have been adopted. In consequence, lockdown policies are ill-founded and should be rejected as a pandemic policy instrument.
Many critics are trying to discredit the study. Will this study also fall to censorship or will it be allowed to stand? Only time will tell.
Great Barrington Declaration
On October 4, 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration was drafted and signed by infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists from around the world. Since that time, it has garnered more and more support, now signed by more than 920,000 even as many of those people have been censored. The Declaration raises the grave concerns of these authors and signers regarding the policies that were put into place around the globe. It states:
The Great Barrington 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, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection.
Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice.
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.
As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.
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.
Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals.
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. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.
Unfortunately, the authors and signers of the declaration have also been cast aside as spreaders of misinformation and fringe doctors and scientists while the world has stood by and watched exactly what they had warned against come to fruition.