Stanford medical professor Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (pictured on right) has said Covid-19 lockdowns are “the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years.”
Dr. Bhattacharya told Newsweek that places with the more restrictive lockdowns had done untold harm to the poor, who he says were disproportionately affected by the shut downs.
“I stand behind my comment that the lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years. We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation,” the professor said.
The professor claims hunger and food insecurity has risen to a level not seen for decades, along with a rise in child poverty to 140 million people.
“At the same time, they have not served to control the epidemic in the places where they have been most vigorously imposed. In the US, they have – at best – protected the “non-essential” class from COVID, while exposing the essential working class to the disease. The lockdowns are trickle down epidemiology,” he insists.
The professor suggested that rather than putting the entire population of a city or country under “house arrest”, policy-makers should have focused on quarantining the vulnerable as much as possible.
“I would advise people who are at high risk of carrying COVID to not mingle with older, high-risk people who haven’t been vaccinated,” he said.
“That may involve recommendations for social distancing in some places and mask wearing in other places. Those kinds of policies are fine when they make sense.
“People who are older have a much higher risk from dying from COVID than people who are younger…and that’s a really important fact because we know who is most vulnerable, it’s people that are older. So the first plank of the Great Barrington Declaration: let’s protect the vulnerable.
“The other idea is that the lockdowns themselves impose great harm on people. Lockdowns are not a natural normal way to live.”
Bhattacharya co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration with two scientists from Oxford and Harvard, in a plea to world leaders supported by over 13,000 medical and public health scientists opposing lockdowns.
Ads displaying the declaration were printed in newspapers around the world.
It states that “lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” by “worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come.”
A peer reviewed study by Stanford researchers in January found that mandatory lockdowns did not help more in decreasing the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.
The researchers found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”