by Brenée Goforth
Media Manager & Communications Associate, John Locke Foundation
New COVID-19 recommendations were recently published by the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER). The so-called, Great Barrington Declaration, is a guiding document authored by well-respected academics, epidemiologists, scientists, and health-care professionals which advocates for a “Focused Protection” strategy to defeat COVID-19. The authors of the declaration write:
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 recommended an approach we call Focused Protection.
The declaration describes Focused Protection thusly:
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 higher risk. We call this Focused Protection.
One of the main authors, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University, biostatistician, and epidemiologist, explains the benefits of Focused Protection in the video below:
The authors recommend low-risk individuals, like K12 and young undergraduate students continue with their schooling. They write:
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 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.
Read the full Great Barrington Declaration here. Watch the paper’s main authors discuss Focused Protection with AIER here.