Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya told Newsweek that COVID-19 lockdowns are “the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years.”
The medical professor warned that lockdowns are disproportionately impacting the poor and making wealth inequality worse.
He also explained how the areas that imposed the most draconian lockdowns didn’t see the most success in controlling the virus.
“I stand behind my comment that the lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years. We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation,” said Bhattacharya.
“At the same time, they have not served to control the epidemic in the places where they have been most vigorously imposed.
In the US, they have – at best – protected the “non-essential” class from COVID, while exposing the essential working class to the disease. The lockdowns are trickle down epidemiology,” he added.
The professor suggested that policies should have been designed to protect the vulnerable and not used to put entire populations under de facto house arrest.
“People who are older have a much higher risk from dying from COVID than people who are younger… and that’s a really important fact because we know who his most vulnerable, it’s people that are older. So the first plank of the Great Barrington Declaration: let’s protect the vulnerable,” Bhattacharya said.
“The other idea is that the lockdowns themselves impose great harm on people. Lockdowns are not a natural normal way to live.”
Bhattacharya is one of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which has received over 13,000 signatures from medical and public health scientists.
The declaration states that “lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” citing “worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come.”
A peer reviewed study published in January by Stanford researchers found that mandatory lockdowns do not provide more benefits to stopping the spread of COVID-19 than voluntary measures such as social distancing.
After analyzing the data, the researchers found “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country.”