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No Government Intervention for Next Wave of COVID-19: Dr. Jeffrey Barke

No Government Intervention for Next Wave of COVID-19: Dr. Jeffrey Barke

A frontline doctor said the right response to a future wave of COVID-19 should be based on focused protection without government intervention or medical mandates.

Currently, a new variant—the Omicron sub-variant BA.2—is quickly spreading across the United States, Europe, China, and other parts of the world. Early reports indicate that the variant seems more transmissible, but there’s no conclusion yet as to whether it will cause a large spike in infections.

As of March 12, the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron is estimated to be 23.1 percent of the coronavirus variants circulating in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“The approach to COVID in the future should be one based on focused protection, not government intervention, not tyrannical emergency mandates, etc.,” Dr. Jeffrey Barke told NTD’s Capitol Report on Mar. 16. “Those haven’t worked. They’ve done more harm than good.”

Barke is a board-certified primary care physician in private practice for over 25 years. He’s also a member of the advocacy group America’s Frontline Doctors.

“Of course, we expect variants of Delta and variants of Omicron and coronavirus to be present, and likely for many, many years,” Barke said. “The good news, though, is as each variant comes to be, we hope that it will be less severe and less detrimental. Plus, so many people now have natural immunity and some vaccine immunity that should be at least partially protective against any variant that comes out.

“The lockdown should never have occurred to begin with. It was the wrong approach,” Barke said. “Studies have shown that the lockdown and the government action on COVID was more detrimental than the virus itself.”

A January study (pdf) by Johns Hopkins University showed that the lockdowns had had little to no effect on COVID-19 mortality—reducing mortality only by 0.2 percent on average.

Government intervention, such as lockdowns, travel bans, school or business closures, and mask or vaccine mandates, have been highly controversial. Critics have claimed that lockdowns had caused spikes of mental problems, drug overdoses, and domestic violence. School closures also led to learning loss in children, among other issues.

According to CDC data from May 2020 to April 2021, the United States recorded 100,306 drug overdose deaths, up from 78,056 deaths the year before—a 28.5 percent increase.

Last year, a study from the National Commission on COVID-19 and Criminal Justice found that domestic violence incidents increased 8.1 percent in the United States after lockdowns were implemented.

In January, a new report released by the UK, UNICEF, and the World Bank showed that school closures have caused “large and persistent damage to children’s learning and well-being.”

“The proper approach, in my opinion, is the one put forward by the Great Barrington Declaration, Jay Bhattacharya and company,” Barke said. “And that is an idea of focused protection.”

The Great Barrington Declaration was co-authored by Bhattacharya, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, and Dr. Sunetra Gupta. The declaration called for focused protection, saying COVID-19 responses such as lockdowns, contact tracing, and isolation impose enormous unnecessary health costs on people and, in the long run, would lead to higher COVID-19 and non-COVID mortality.

“We know who this virus harms, and it’s not young, healthy people. This virus primarily harms older folks and those with significant comorbidities underlying illness. Those are the folks we should be protecting and being careful,” Barke said.

CDC’s data showed that nearly three-quarters of COVID-19 deaths in the nation were seniors 65 years and older, while young people, especially those under 30, only represent less than one percent.

No Government Intervention for Next Wave of COVID-19: Dr. Jeffrey Barke
CDC data about COVID-19 deaths by age group. Data as of Saturday, March 19, 2022, 1:14 PM ET. (Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

“For the rest of us, we should pretty much go about our business,” he said. “Many younger people have natural immunity, so they should not worry. Children do great, not just my opinion. If you look at the CDC’s own data, less than 18 years old, there’s been around 900 deaths over the last two-plus years.”

“While every one of those deaths, of course, is a horrible tragedy, the reality is almost every single one of those deaths—in kids less than 18 years old—have been in kids that have significant underlying comorbidities.

“We’re talking about childhood cancer, blood disorders, diabetes, obesity, and so forth. Healthy Kids simply do not die of COVID 19. They have a greater risk of dying in a traffic accident or from seasonal influenza. So we should be leaving our children alone. We should not be vaccinating them with an experimental vaccine. We should not be masking them.”

On March 2, President Joe Biden released the National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, saying, “Our path forward relies on giving schools and businesses the tools they need to prevent economic and educational shutdowns.”

The Biden administration also hopes to approve vaccine access for young children, which some FDA advisors have expressed concerns about potential government mandates.

“We must continue the effort to provide more vaccines and boosters. We must get a vaccine approved for the youngest children. We must continue to improve how our schools and workplaces cope with COVID,” Biden said in a Mar. 17 statement.

“We must take special care to protect the vulnerable from COVID, even as many restrictions are lifted. We need to provide tests, and treatments, and masks.  We must fight the virus overseas, prepare for new waves, and new variants—all of which can be coming.  And we must work with Congress to fund these vital steps, as time is running out to stay ahead of the virus.”

Masooma Haq contributed to this report.

Original link : No Government Intervention for Next Wave of COVID-19: Dr. Jeffrey Barke