SOMERS, Connecticut – Epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff, Ph.D. told attendees at Hillsdale College’s Blake Center for Faith and Freedom Thursday evening that government health agencies that forced lockdowns and coerced mass vaccinations to manage the COVID-19 pandemic have thrown the basic principles of public health “out the window.”

Swedish native Kulldorff, who is on leave from Harvard University and is a founding fellow of Hillsdale’s Academy for Science and Freedom, is also a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, a document published in October 2020 that has since been translated into 44 languages and signed by nearly 1 million scientists, physicians, and citizens.

The Declaration, also co-authored by Oxford University’s Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, expresses the “grave concerns” of infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists regarding the “damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies,” specifically the lockdowns, which, the authors warned two years ago, were already “producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health.”

In keeping with the Declaration, Kulldorff said at the Blake Center that sound public health at the start of the COVID pandemic would have meant a focus on protecting the elderly, the most vulnerable.

“We have to protect the old” who are at “higher risk,” he said. “And we have to let young people live their lives in order to minimize the collateral damage” from the pandemic, referring to the learning, social, and spiritual losses, associated with school and church shutdowns, and the resulting mental health declines in young people.

In his address, Kulldorff reviewed Hillsdale Academy for Science and Freedom’s “Ethical Principles of Public Health,” co-authored by the epidemiologist himself and other prominent scientists and public policy experts.

One principle states, for example, “Public health requires public trust.”

“Public health recommendations should present facts as the basis for guidance, and never employ fear or shame to sway or manipulate the public,” it says.

“Medical interventions should not be forced or coerced upon a population, but rather should be voluntary and based on informed consent,” another principle says. “Public health officials are advisors, not rule setters, and provide information and resources for individuals to make informed decisions.”

Kulldorff referred to coercive vaccination policies as “stupid public health policies,” that have now likely caused such a level of distrust among the public who, as a result, will probably avoid other public health recommendations, including other vaccines.

The epidemiologist joined a federal lawsuit in August against Joe Biden and major officials of his administration over Big Tech’s censorship of COVID-19 information.

During his address, Kulldorff also referred to as “dangerous” the law signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) last week that allows the medical boards of California to be used as government overseers as they threaten doctors with loss of license if they provide their patients with informed consent information about COVID-19 that is inconsistent with the government’s narrative.

“I think the lawsuits are important, but it’s not going to make a big difference,” Kulldorff acknowledged to The Star News Network. “Ever since we wrote the Declaration two years ago, it was clear to me that we were not going to convince any politicians. We were not going to convince any journalists. We weren’t going to convince any of the leading scientists. We had to convince the public.”

Kulldorff said we are now “living with the consequences” of political influence on science and medicine.

“The only thing that will make a change, I think, is that we’ll be seeing the public has more of an understanding of what a disaster this was,” he said. “The politicians have to follow along because they know how to read the public. The journalists eventually have to follow along. Scientists are going to be the last ones to change. They haven’t done that yet.”

Blake Center Executive Director Labin Duke, who began the event with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, told The Star News Network some might be confused by Kulldorff’s public health policy presentation held at a venue for “Faith and Freedom.”

“What does Faith and Freedom have to do with science, some might ask,” he said. “But, in fact, the pandemic affected everybody, including the churches and people of faith who have been challenged on whether or not a particular decision was one that was loving towards their neighbor, or whether or not they had the right to go and worship. So, I think Kulldorff’s work and the work of the Academy for Science and Freedom is really important to discussing how matters of faith actually do intersect.”

Massachusetts-based physician Dr. John Diggs reacted to Kulldorff’s presentation first by agreeing the COVID pandemic “has taught us that truth and freedom remain central pillars in a free society.”

“At this late date, the importance of the Great Barrington Declaration looms large,” Diggs told The Star News Network. “Dr. Kulldorff highlights the current failings of American public health. The foundational principles have been routinely violated in all English-speaking countries to a degree that was previously imaginable only in totalitarian societies. As a result, the public no longer trusts public health.”

Diggs observed Kulldorff’s sharing of his experiences about the active suppression of his views as a scientist “reminds us how ethical principles are among the first casualties of destruction of personal freedom.”

“The new Academy for Science & Freedom at Hillsdale College is an institutional effort to re-attach public health and science to their ethical moorings,” he added. “As a practicing physician, it was heartening to hear that ethical principles have not disappeared; they have been attacked and ignored rather than supplanted. Hillsdale College is right to tie science, freedom, and truth together. There is no other way.”

Dennis Crowe, a resident of Madison, Connecticut, expressed to The Star News Network, his disappointment in hearing Kulldorff discuss “how much the science has been stymied by political motivations.”

“Everything that he talked about was, basically, here’s the information we had, some it was good, some of it was allowed to go out,” said Crowe, a retired engineer at Sikorsky Aircraft and a former Navy pilot. “Some of it was stymied because of interests, other interests that were conflicting with the interests of science itself.”

Crowe said news stories of medical staff being fired because they wanted to report adverse reactions to the COVID vaccines, or of hospitals reporting deaths as “due to COVID,” rather than actual illnesses such as diabetes or cancer, are all “very depressing.”

“It tells you that none of the numbers are credible,” he said.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Martin Kulldorff” by Thérèse Soukar. CC BY-SA 4.0.