Several influential Icelandic doctors, businesspeople and politicians are amongst those to have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, Vísir reported this morning.
The Great Barrington Declaration urges countries around the world to move away from harsh disease control measures and instead aim to protect particular vulnerable groups, whilst the freedom of the less vulnerable remains largely unimpaired.
Their website declares: “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.”
The declaration was written by Dr. Martin Kulldorf of Harvard University, Dr. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University Medical School. All three are epidemiologists with wide-ranging expertise in biostatistics, immunology, vaccine development and infectious disease outbreaks. The declaration has a list of official co-signers, and an option for the general public to sign.
“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,” the declaration reads.
Multiple Icelanders have signed the declaration, with signatures visible here. The list includes, for example, Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, investor; Heiðar Guðjónsson, CEO of Sýn; Anna Hrefna Ingimundardóttir, economist and director of the Economic Department of the Confederation of Icelandic Employers; Þorsteinn Víglundsson, CEO of Hornstein and Védís Hervar Árnadóttir, communications manager at SA.
Þórólfur Guðnason, the epidemiologist advising the Icelandic government on their approach to coronavirus prevention, said in the civil defence briefing yesterday that the nations of the world are far from reaching herd immunity. He added that he finds it unbelievable that doctors are saying the best method is to let the virus spread, being of the firm opinion that suppressing the virus is the best of a bad group of options. This meeting was reported on by the Grapevine yesterday.
Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.
You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!