Health official calls for halting lockdowns
By Jerry Bellune
Lexington County has been rapidly reopening businesses, churches and schools.
Reopening and increased testing has led to reporting of more covid-19 cases here.
Is that bad? No, says Dr. David Nabarro, the World Health Organization’s special covid-19 envoy.
He agrees reopening is needed and continued lockdowns are not.
Nabarro has urged world leaders to stop using lockdowns as the primary control against the spread of covid-19.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro said.
“The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
Nabarro pointed to the collateral damage of lockdowns.
“Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry, for example in the Caribbean or in the Pacific, because people aren’t taking holidays.
"Look what’s happened to small farmers because their markets have got dented.
"Look what’s happening to poverty levels.
"It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year.
"We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition because children are not getting meals at school and their parents, in poor families, are not able to afford it,” he said.
“We appeal to all world leaders. Stop using lockdown as your primary control method. Develop better systems for doing it.
"Work together and learn from each other but remember lockdowns just have one consequence and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.
Nabarro isn’t the only scientist opposing lockdowns.
A number of medical or public health scientists and medical practitioners have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which states that “current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”
The signatories include:
- Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.
- Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.
-Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.
The declaration states, “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.”