This lengthy letter signed by over 800 Yale professors, most of them qualified in Public Health, Medicine, and Epidemiology, has just been published:
The Yale letter agrees with many of the points I made in my previous post, which Medium censored twice before (so far) allowing to remain posted. Specifically:
- Science needs to guide messaging to the public, and no government official should make misleading or unfounded statements, nor pressure others to do so.
- Policymakers should base decisions on social distancing measures and closures on the best available science.
- Mandatory quarantine, regional lockdowns, and travel bans have been used to address the risk of COVID-19 in the US and abroad. But they are difficult to implement, can undermine public trust, have large societal costs and, importantly, disproportionately affect the most vulnerable segments in our communities.
- Voluntary self-isolation measures are more likely to induce cooperation and protect public trust than coercive measures, and are more likely to prevent attempts to avoid contact with the healthcare system.
- Where mandatory measures are used, steps must be taken to ensure that people are protected from job loss, economic hardship, and undue burden.
- Individuals must be empowered to understand and act upon their rights.
- The effectiveness of regional lockdowns and travel bans depends on many variables, and also decreases in the later stages of an outbreak.
Also of major import, John Ioannidis, a world-renowned scientist, qualified in the Departments of Medicine, of Epidemiology and Population Health, of Biomedical Data Science, and of Statistics at Stanford University, has published an urgent communique available here . It is offered in open access, pre-publication, because of the time-sensitive nature of its contents.
The paper’s abstract is brief and pithy:
“The evolving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic1 is certainly cause for concern. Proper communication and optimal decision-making is an ongoing challenge, as data evolve. The challenge is compounded, however, by exaggerated information. This can lead to inappropriate actions. It is important to differentiate promptly the true epidemic from an epidemic of false claims and potentially harmful actions.”
One particular item of his long list of bullet points is relevant to the censorship of my previous article:
- Of the multiple measures adopted, few have strong evidence, and many may have obvious harms
I’m nobody. Just a biomedical copy editor, science fiction author, and disabled chiropractor. But I can recognize when actions are not justified by the research available. Now, world-class Ivy-League epidemiologists and public-health experts with a bird’s-eye view are forcefully stating the same thing I observed from my mousehole.
Will you listen? Will you make your voice heard as a voice of restraint and reason? Or will you join the mass, lemming-like rush over the precipice?