Focused Protection from COVID-19: 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.”  So reads the opening statement of the Great Barrington Declaration.

From October 1-4, 2020, the American Institute for Economic Research hosted a remarkable meeting of top epidemiologists, economists, and journalists, to discuss the global emergency created by the unprecedented use of state compulsion in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. The result is The Great Barrington Declaration, which urges a “Focused Protection” strategy.

Written from a global public health and humanitarian perspective, primary authors of the Declaration wrote it with special concerns about how the current COVID-19 strategies are forcing children, the working class and the poor to carry the heaviest burden.

These infectious disease experts note that “the response to the pandemic in many countries around the world, focused on lockdowns, contact tracing and isolation, imposes enormous unnecessary health costs on people. In the long run, it will lead to higher COVID and non-COVID mortality than the focused protection plan we call for in the Declaration.”

The Declaration was written from October 2 to October 4, 2020. It was signed on October 4, after which it was sent to scientific colleagues. It was released to the public on October 5.

The Declaration was written and signed at the American Institute for Economic Research, located in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, hence the name of this important document.

After finishing the Declaration, the three authors—Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Martin Kulldorff—emailed a few colleagues asking them if they would co-sign. Most agreed. These original 30+ co-signers are listed on the front page, together with others that were added later.


Who are the authors?

Dr. Kulldorff works on research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the non-profit Fund for Public Health in New York City, some of which is related to COVID-19. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation.

Dr. Bhattacharya research funding over the past 22 years of his career has come almost entirely from grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture, and participation on contracts with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) via a government contracting research group, Acumen, LLC. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation.

Dr. Gupta’s research funding over the last 30 years has principally been through fellowships and investigator awards from the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council.  She has also received funding from the UKRI, the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust, the Emily and Georg von Opel Foundation and the Oxford Martin School. She and Dr. Craig Thompson have developed a novel method for producing a universal influenza vaccine (derived from a mathematical model) and this has now been licensed and is going through early testing. She does not hold any consultancy contracts or stock shares in any commercial company.


Signatures as of Dec 24, 2020

  • Medical practitioners:   39,384
  • Medical & Public Health Scientists:  13,046
  • Concerned Citizens:  709,444


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