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Why Isn’t ‘Natural Immunity’ A Consideration? These Scientists Are Downright Mad

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Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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History is littered with scientists who were right about a controversial field of study or question, but were cast aside by society as “crackpots.”

It used to be offensive to ask doctors to wash their hands, and smoking cigarettes was long-pushed by the health establishment as a healthy activity. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. This time, the outcasts were scientists and experts who cautioned against lockdowns and emphasized the promise of natural immunity.

There are a number of thinkers and researchers who fall into this category, but three stood out: Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford; Dr. Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford; and Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard.

These highly qualified experts wrote the Great Barrington Declaration, a document that advocated for localized protection of vulnerable populations, and against lockdowns that impeded on the lives of the young and healthy.

Leaders throughout the world largely disregarded the advice of these experts, instead opting to lock down their economies. (RELATED: Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya: Lockdowns Haven’t ‘Contributed In Any Meaningful Way’ To California’s COVID-19 Death Toll)

The underlying premise of the Great Barrington Declaration and other pieces like it was that natural immunity from COVID-19 is quite strong, a large portion of the population is at relatively low risk from the disease, and therefore a level of herd immunity can be reached if those people become infected and then immune while the elderly and sick are protected.

In a recent piece for Spiked, Kulldorff describes how the scientists were treated as fringe conspiracy theorists who were putting millions of lives at risk. “Some colleagues threw epithets at us like ‘crazy’, ‘exorcist’, ‘mass murderer’ or ‘Trumpian.’ Some accused us of taking a stand for money, though nobody paid us a penny,” he wrote.

“Opposition to lockdowns had been deemed unscientific. When scientists spoke out against lockdowns, they were ignored, considered a fringe voice, or accused of not having proper credentials.”

The Great Barrington Declaration has since been signed by tens of thousands more medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners. Still, they were dismissed by most corporate media outlets and government officials.

An article in Science-Based Medicine by Dr. David Gorski called the trio “COVID-19 Deniers” and equated them to creationists, HIV deniers and climate change deniers. Others said they were advocating for a “dangerous plan.”

U.S. News ran a piece describing the declaration as the result of “arrogance [leading] to recklessness.” Vox deemed the project an “ethical nightmare.” (RELATED: ‘Sinister Overlay’: Stanford Professor Criticizes Health Experts Ignoring Natural Immunity)

Government officials have been dismissive of any talk of natural or herd immunity as well. Dr. Anthony Fauci said talk of herd immunity is “nonsense, very dangerous.” World Health Organization chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said a herd immunity approach is “unethical.”

More and more research continues to emerge supporting the idea that natural immunity is strong and long-lasting, though. The pandemic largely spared the young and the healthy from serious illness and death, and through a combination of half the population being vaccinated and tens of millions having natural immunity, the U.S. seems to be more or less reaching herd immunity.

In other words, many of the arguments made by Bhattacharya, Gupta, Kulldorff and others like them have been borne out. Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) insists that recovered COVID-19 patients must be vaccinated and will not issue revised behavioral guidance to individuals who have natural immunity but are not vaccinated.

Despite being proven largely correct, the recommendations made by these scientists are still being ignored. Lockdowns may be over in the U.S. as the country moves beyond the pandemic, but it remains to be seen if signers of the Great Barrington Declaration will ever be credited for their different views on how to respond to a pandemic.