Medical experts: Lockdowns do more harm than good is a declaration by Martin Kulldorff, Sunetra Gupta and Jay Bhattacharya reported at NY Post. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
On Oct. 4, 2020, three preeminent experts — Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, an epidemiologist at Oxford University; and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a physician and epidemiologist at Stanford University — delivered the following declaration, calling for a different approach to dealing with the novel coronavirus than the lockdown model:
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 — that is, 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. This is 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 polymerase-chain-reaction 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 homes. When possible, they should meet family members outside, rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multigenerational 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 handwashing 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.
Since the declaration was published, more than 2,000 public-health scientists and more than 2,000 medical practitioners have signed it, as have nearly 40,000 members of the general public. You can add your signature to the declaration online at https://gbdeclaration.org.
See Also Herd Immunity Already? summarizing interview with Professor Sunetra Gupta.
via Science Matters
October 7, 2020 at 03:36PM
In an interview with publicist Roland Tichy, Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt – one of the founders of Germany’s modern environmental movement – said we have in fact three generations time to revamp the world’s energy supply system to one that is cleaner and sustainable.
He rejects the Fridays For Future claim that there are only 12 years left.
Climate catastrophe not taking place
In the interview, moderator Tichy reminded that civilization began 7000 years ago, a time when it was “3°C warmer than today”, and Vahrenholt responded saying he expects civilization to continue for another seven thousand years. There was no tipping point back then, why would there be one today? “Warmth and moisture have always been good for mankind,” said Vahrenholt. “Cold has been man’s worst enemy.”
Plenty of time to move rationally
The German professor also said that the claimed catastrophe “is not taking place” and that policymakers are trying to use “panic and fear to get the people to act.” Much of the warming measured since 1850 is the result of natural warming taking place due to the end of the Little Ice Age, he explained.
Germany’s green fantasy
Later the German professor of chemistry calls the belief that wind and sun are able replace fossil fuels “fantasizing” and that Germany, with its 2.3% share of global CO2 emissions, can rescue the global climate “a fairy tale”.
Meanwhile, the warming of the last 150 years is in large part caused by natural cycles. “In the 20th century the sun was more active than at any time over the past 2000 years.”
Economically, Vahrenholt believes that a frenzied rush to renewables will lead to “horrible” economic consequences from European industrialization.
On the topic of a scientific consensus, the German professor says this is a claim made by the IPCC, which run by the UN with an agenda behind it.
Electric cars a “crackpot idea”
Vahrenholt also believes electric cars powered by batteries is not a feasible technology, and that other experts quietly call it “a crackpot idea”, and don’t speak up for fear of losing research funding. The vast majority of funding comes from the German government.
“Paris Accord already dead”
The professor of chemistry, co-author of a recent bestseller, also describes Germany as a country in denial when it comes to the broader global debate taking place on climate science, and declared the Paris Accord as being “already dead”.
“The Accord is already dead. Putin says it’s nonsense. […] The Americans are out. The Chinese don’t have to do anything. It’s all concentrated on a handful of European countries. The European Commission in massively on it. And I predict that they will reach the targets only if they destroy the European industries,” said Vahrenholt.
He characterizes Europe’s recent push for even stricter emissions reduction targets to madness akin to Soviet central planning that is doomed to fail spectacularly.
Jay Ambrose explains in his article at the Record-Courier (Kent, Ohio) Trump has the virus and Democrats have their faults. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.
President Donald Trump has been infected by the COVID-19 virus, and no doubt there are thousands out there saying it serves him right, that he has shrugged his shoulders at the pandemic, even refused to wear face masks and has caused thousands of deaths.
I would say something different, that this is still another event marking 2020 as one of the strangest years in American history, one that signals good reasons to shake and shiver, and not only because of a frightful pandemic and an ultra-bizarre president.
Have you noticed principle-shattering leftists, bureaucratic rot, a racial justice movement overtaken by unjust riots, the war on law enforcement, congressional extremism, media degeneration, social media mayhem, and that some of the science deniers about climate change are the totalitarian alarmists?
Yes, Trump has been a helter-skelter messenger on the pandemic, an occasional absurdity promoter and a misleading dueler with a gotcha press. In the early going, he seemed almost as unconcerned as Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Joe Biden and half of everyone else. But the administration was up to all kinds of meaningful, media-neglected actions early on, with some of the goofs actually coming from the CDC.
Trump was definitively instructed by critics that he had no authority over the states. That is correct, and it is the states that have made the mistakes in resolving this deadly medical mystery, not him.
The Washington Free Beacon recently ran a list of Biden’s phony campaign assertions about Trump and the virus, and keep them in mind in assessing how miswrought his own leadership could be. He said Trump silenced a CDC expert when he didn’t, that he called the virus a “hoax” when he was referring to Democratic shenanigans, that he eliminated a pandemic office that had instead been reconstituted, that he put no pressure on China when he did, that he reduced our CDC scientists in China when he didn’t and that he refused virus test kits from the World Health Organization that never said we could have them.
I know, only Trump “lies” are important, but he is not lying when he says it is crucial to get the economy started again. If you think that doesn’t matter as much as virus dangers, look at the white working class in which 150,000 people have long been dying of alcohol, drugs and suicide each year at least partly in reaction to economic shifts taking away jobs. We could have years of struggle if we don’t get started while at least being as careful as Sweden that has handled the virus pretty well without a shutdown.
Trump helped put together an outstanding economy before the virus while Biden wants debt more than Trump does and taxes and more regulations that would in effect be another shutdown that he says he might call for anyway.
Biden also says he might favor packing of the Supreme Court, an extreme leftist position that could lead to parties rearranging the court and thereby destroying it whenever they resumed control of the White House and Senate. This is the Democrats today, the party that worked with the FBI to indulge in a farcical investigation of the Trump campaign coordinating with the Russians in illegal means of winning in 2016. Information is mounting about the connivance in all of this.
It’s no small thing to try to unseat a president illegitimately and intimidate governance for more than two years, and the current treatment of Biden’s conflicts of interest as nothing much shows a morally twisted prejudice.
My point in all of this is that the election-year issues aren’t as straightforward as some pretend, that, while Trump is scary, the other side is in some ways far scarier, that preserving Republican control of the Senate is imperative and that the public should consider varied points of view. Meanwhile, I wish Trump, his wife and other virus victims the best while hoping he may return for another debate with a touch of humility.
via Science Matters
October 7, 2020 at 02:59PM