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Stanford University doctor: 'You are mistaken' if you think coronavirus lockdowns provide safety


He said they have 'enormous negative effects'

Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Dr. Jayanta Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University, said people are "mistaken" if they think coronavirus lockdown policies are a solution that proves safety from COVID-19, PJ Media reported.

Bhattacharya recently led the largest COVID-19 antibody study in the United States, testing thousands of staff members of 27 Major League Baseball teams to get a better idea about how widespread the novel coronavirus already is. Based on this and other research, Bhattacharya is opposed to continuing the lockdowns, and said they may even cause unnecessary harm.

"I think in the back of people's heads there is this idea that somehow we can eradicate this disease if we just stay locked down," Bhattacharya said, during an interview with Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institution. "That is not possible. The serologic evidence, even in the MLB study, suggest this. It suggests the epidemic is too widespread to eradicate."

In Bhattacharya's estimation, the lockdowns have not moved the population toward elimination of the virus, but rather delayed the spread. As a result, whenever lockdown restrictions are lifted, the virus will inevitably spread again. Meanwhile, there will have been serious harms — for public health and world economies — caused by the lockdowns.

"There is no safe option," Bhattacharya said. "If you think that having a lockdown will provide you safety, you are mistaken. Because the problem is this lockdown has had enormous negative effects on the health of people in the United States and around the world."

Bhattacharya suggests lifting widespread lockdowns in most locations based on local data, rather than continuing them on such a wide national scale when only a few locations have been severely impacted. The focus, he said, should be on protecting at-risk people, sharing clinical information to improve treatment, and studying the virus further to more precisely determine who is at-risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya: His new MLB COVID-19 Study and the Dilemma of the Lockdownyoutu.be

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