A Defence of the Great Barrington Declaration

Today we’re publishing a point-by-point rebuttal of the criticisms of the Great Barrington Declaration set out in Anti-Virus: The COVID-19 FAQ, Neil O’Brien’s website devoted to attacking “Covid sceptics”. It’s by George Dance, a former chairman of the Ontario Libertarian Party. Here are the first three paragraphs:

The Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), under which thousands of scientists and medical practitioners have called for a end to lockdown policies, was drawn up last October 1st-4th, was announced on October 5th, and was already being denounced on October 6th. Over the next month, the GBD and its message were virtually buried beneath an “avalanche of scathing criticism condemning it as ‘very dangerous, unscientific, unethical, total nonsense, dangerously flawed, conspiratorial and grotesque’. Among the critics were prominent role-players such as World Health Organization director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, British chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, and US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci”. Defenders of the lockdown consensus released a counter-manifesto, the John Snow Memorandum, ironically named for epidemiology’s most famous dissenter from a scientific consensus.

At the time I read everything I could on the topic and made copious notes, hoping to write my own perspective on the GBD. Long before I was in a position to do that, though, the debate had moved on, and I never had an opportunity to revisit the subject.

Fortunately, there is a new FAQ in town: Anti-Virus: The COVID-19 FAQ. This new FAQ may not be the best place to go for scientific advice about the disease; the ‘doctors’ behind it seem to mainly have doctorates in economics and psychology (though I have read that there is an anonymous scientist involved), and some of their claims, such as “Covid still has a high fatality rate among younger people”, seem supported more by semantics than by science. (“Younger” in context turns out to be “younger than 65”). But at least the FAQ has revived the Declaration and assembled a ‘best of’ the criticisms levelled against it, making it worthwhile to revisit the debate.

This is an excellent, very thorough demolition job. Worth reading in full.

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