Three epidemiologists, the eminent Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University, and I wrote the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) on October 4, 2020.
That one-page document proposed a very different way to manage the COVID-19 pandemic than had been used up to that date. The lockdown-focused strategy much of the world followed mimicked the approach Chinese authorities adopted in January 2020.
Governments imposed lockdowns on the premise that there was nearly unanimous scientific consensus in support of them. Yet, an extraordinary policy like a lockdown should require an extraordinary scientific justification. Only near unanimity among scientists, backed by solid empirical data, suffices.