May 6, 2021

Facebook removes page of international disease experts critical of COVID lockdowns

Facebook removes Great Barrington Declaration Page
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Facebook removes Great Barrington Declaration Page

The page “disappeared without warning,” said Stanford University epidemiology a professor Jay Bhattacharya.

Facebook this week removed the page of a prominent international group of disease experts that for months has been critical of COVID-19 lockdowns, with the social media page reportedly being deleted without warning or explanation. 

The Great Barrington Declaration made headlines last year with an international trio of epidemiologists arguing against the ongoing regional and national shutdowns worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The declaration, which has so far been signed by nearly 800,000 individuals worldwide, including tens of thousands of medical professionals and experts, expressed “grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies,” and urged public officials to adopt more targeted approaches to virus mitigation. 

The declaration was first promulgated in October 2020. Yet this week, Facebook apparently removed the declaration’s page from its servers. The page as of Thursday was no longer available on Facebook. 

“The link may be broken, or the page may have been removed,” the page’s error message read as of Friday morning.

Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of epidemiology at Stanford University and one of the original signatories to the document, confirmed to Just the News the page’s removal. 

“It has apparently been disappeared without warning,” he said.

He noted that there were “other pages up with similar names,” yet those pages did not come from the official Great Barrington coalition. 

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the removal on Friday morning.

The Great Barrington Declaration

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.

On October 4, 2020,

Sign the Declaration hier

Source: justthenews

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