Sunday, July 21, 2024

Scientists urge worldwide spread of COVID-19 to create ‘herd immunity’

A group of international scientists has called on the world’s governments to support a plan to allow COVID-19 to spread to ‘low-risk’ groups in the hope of achieving ‘herd immunity’ while leaving high-risk groups like Seniors to essentially fend for themselves.

The Great Barrington Declaration, devised by a trio of researchers and asking for online signatures of support, proposes that countries abandon their restrictive COVID-19 strategies.

“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,” the trio state.

“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 these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.”

They suggest a “balanced approach” which would allow those with minimal risk of death from COVID-19 to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through “natural infection”. 

It’s an approach they’re calling ‘focused protection’.

“By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors.”

“Staff rotation should be minimised. 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. 

The plan has been devised by Dr Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University; Dr Sunetra Gupta, a professor and epidemiologist at Oxford University; and Dr Jay Bhattacharya, a public health expert and professor at Stanford University Medical School.

The trio (pictured) argue that COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions are having “devastating effects” on public health by disrupting routine care and harming mental health, with the underprivileged bearing the greatest burden.

The declaration has been co-signed by 35 other health professionals from the UK, USA, India, Israel, Sweden, Germany and New Zealand and has so far received more than 50,000 signatures of support from members of the public.

“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,” they say.

One critic of the plan has slammed it as “grotesque”, claiming it amounts to a cull of sick and disabled people.

Associate Professor of Cellular Microbiology at the UK’s University of Reading, Dr Simon Clarke said there was no evidence to suggest that a long-term “passive approach” to COVID-19 would have any merit.

“Despite the huge advances in our understanding of the coronavirus and resulting infection, we don’t know that herd immunity is even possible,” he said.

“Natural, lasting, protective immunity to the disease would be needed and we don’t know how effective or long-lasting people’s post-infection immunity will be.

“Just to find out whether this is possible, would be to consign a great many more thousands of people to their deaths, and many more would be left suffering from the effects of long COVID, which even less is well understood.

“There is also the fact that we haven’t properly got to grips with how to shield vulnerable populations adequately and neither do we have the capacity in the UK to test for asymptomatic infections.

“Furthermore, we’re also still only scratching the surface of how the virus is transmitted,” Dr Clarke said.

To read more about the declaration, visit this link: https://gbdeclaration.org

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