Senior Trump Administration officials said the release of the Great Barrington Declaration essentially endorses what President Donald J. Trump has said since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Three of the world’s top infectious disease scientists and epidemiologists wrote the declaration, which came from the entire spectrum of the political world. Ultimately they concluded the appropriate policy with the pandemic is to aggressively protect the vulnerable, open schools, open businesses, open society and end the prolonged lockdowns.
The declaration and its policies have been endorsed by more than 8,000 medical scientists and public health officials across the world.
In addition, over the weekend the World Health Organization officially changed its policy and stated strongly that prolonged lockdowns must end because of their significant harm.
“This public declaration and really a worldwide endorsement by the scientific community at the highest levels aligns very strongly with what the President has said for months,” said one senior administration official.
The senior official pointed back to Trump’s initial diagnosis that the cure could not be worse than the disease.
“The President’s policy of protecting the vulnerable and opening society is now very publicly aligned with what many of the world’s top epidemiologists and health policy experts have been saying – that is lockdowns do not eliminate the virus,” the senior administration official said. “Lockdowns are extremely harmful.”
Throughout the COVID crisis the administration has protected the vulnerable through policy that centered around extreme mitigation, social distancing, extra hygiene, masks when appropriate, providing personal protective equipment, strategic testing as well as developing drugs designed to reduce hospitalizations and saving lives.
According to one of the senior administration officials, 46 percent of the top six cancers in the United States were not diagnosed compared to last year.
“That does not mean the cancers went away, of course,” he said. “It means that many of these people will come back with more advanced disease. Delaying their treatment and their diagnosis is very damaging.”
Another senior administration official told The Iowa Standard that the prolonged lockdowns are specifically destructive to working-class people and minority populations. He noted a one percent increase in unemployment results in a one percent increase in suicide.
“That is very much concentrated at the lower end of economic distribution,” he said.
In addition, concern over income inequality was mentioned. In 2018 and 2019, the wage gap and wealth inequality margin was declining. However, with each lost year of job experience, lifetime earnings are expected to decrease three percent.
There is also human capital deficits that happen. Not all students have the same access to remote learning. Missing out on educational instruction will harm children down the road. Schools also provide key nutrition for some students and many child abuse cases are discovered and reported in the schools.
Europe thought it had defeated the virus with its prolonged lockdowns, but that is not proving to be true.
“The reality is that the virus does not disappear by restricting activity,” said a senior administration official.
Instead, the curve can be flattened and time can be bought initially, which is exactly what the Trump Administration did.
Lockdowns are a luxury of the rich. And while these lockdowns are in response to COVID, it is important to remember the lockdowns impact daily life in many harmful ways.