Health Care

Scientists Slam White House for Herd Immunity Claim

Scientists Slam White House for Herd Immunity Claim”

Several public health experts have criticized the Great Barrington Declaration, authored by infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists, which states that the most "compassionate approach" to the COVID-19 pandemic "balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity".

Though the lockdowns were "highly effective at reducing peak demand for intensive care unit (ICU) beds", the researchers explain, these measures "also prolong the epidemic" by preventing the virus from naturally moving through low-risk populations and building herd immunity which then serves to protect the vulnerable, including the "older age groups".

As supported by the results of the Edinburgh study, the Declaration's "Focused Protection" calls for allowing "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".

Herd immunity helps protect people who have compromised immune systems, stopping the spread of disease to the wider population.

The Times reported that during a White House call on Monday two White House officials cited an October 4 petition titled The Great Barrington Declaration, with more than 9,000 signatories worldwide that condemns lockdowns and pushes for businesses and schools to reopen to achieve herd immunity, suggesting that young people are at "minimal risk of death" from coronavirus.

Bhattacharya replied "Denying herd immunity is like denying gravity".

Some studies have indicated that antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, wane months following infection, suggesting that the body does not maintain long-term immunity to the virus.

The authors also noted that it is possible to become reinfected with Covid-19.

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While emphasizing vigilance in protecting the vulnerable, the GBD classifies school closings as "a grave injustice" and asserts that "those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal", while incorporating "simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick".

Regardless of the declaration suggesting that mortality and social hurt needs to be minimized till herd immunity is reached, one of many co-authors, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, beforehand advised KYR information by way of electronic mail, that they "usually are not advocating a "herd immunity technique".

"Letting the virus circulate unchecked therefore means allowing unnecessary infections, suffering and death".

The researchers cautioned that there is now no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after natural infection.

"You'll wind up with many more infections of vulnerable people, which will lead to hospitalizations and deaths".

"We can not afford distractions that undermine an effective response; it is essential that we act urgently based on the evidence", the group writes.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testifies before a House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. "If you let infections rip as it were and say, 'Let everybody get infected that's going to be able to get infected, and then we'll have herd immunity.' Quite frankly, that is nonsense, and anybody who knows anything about epidemiology will tell you, that is nonsense and very risky".

World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the concept was "unethical". She's an alumna of Boston University and has reported for the Wall Street Journal, Science, and The Boston Globe.

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