Signed in early October, 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration proposes an alternate method for handling the COVID pandemic. This statement advocates for a risk-based approach to mitigation, in which most people under the age of 60 are able to go about their lives as usual, while older individuals take extra precautions.
In the first part of our blog series on the Great Barrington Declaration, we delved into the specifics of how this approach to COVID mitigation might work. Now, we’ll take a closer look at the individuals who signed the document, as well as the primary sources of criticism thus far.
Who Wrote Signed the Great Barrington Declaration?
A variety of respected professionals were involved in the development and signing of the Great Barrington Declaration. The document was drafted by:
- Dr. Sunetra Gupta — Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford University
- Dr. Martin Kulldorff — a biostatistician and epidemiologist with the Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics
- Dr. Jay Bhattacharya — a research associate with the National Bureau of Economics Research
The declaration is sponsored by a libertarian think tank known as the American Institute for Economic Research. It was signed by everybody from oncology professors to microbiology specialists. Experts from fields such as finance and psychiatry also offered their support.
Who Is Opposed to the Great Barrington Declaration — And Why?
A variety of prominent politicians, scientists, and medical professionals have spoken out against the Great Barrington Declaration. British Academy of Medical Sciences President Robert Lechler, for example, believes that the proposal is “unethical and simply not possible.”
Likewise, the British Prime Minister’s Official Spokesperson questioned whether it would be reasonable “to rely on an unproven assumption that it is possible for people who are at lower risk, should they contract the virus, to avoid subsequently transmitting it to those who are at a higher risk.” Similar criticism — and debate — can be expected as we continue to navigate the pandemic.