The Clark County Health Department is now issuing weekly COVID-19 reports. The last update was issued Thursday, July 1. Here is the latest data:

  • 138 additional cases (confirmed and probable) since last update
  • 24,540 confirmed cases to date (+111 since last update)
  • 1,564 antigen probable cases to date (+27 since last update) 
  • 155 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 2.6% of hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 cases and persons under investigation for COVID-19 (awaiting test results)

Deaths

  • 288 total deaths to date (254 confirmed, 34 suspect)
  • 1 new confirmed death since last update: a woman 80+ years old with underlying health conditions

Rates

  • COVID-19 activity rate is 67.5 cases per 100,000 over 14 days (down from 95.4 cases per 100,000 last week)
  • COVID-19 new hospital admission rate is 1.8 per 100,000 people over 7 days (down from 2.2 per 100,000 last week)

Learn more at the Clark County COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data 

Vancouver, WA — New research has found an association between early-onset colorectal cancer (EO-CRC) and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). EO-CRC is defined as being diagnosed with colorectal cancer before age 50. The Nurses’ Health Study 2, a prospective study followed roughly 95,000 female nurses between 1991-2015. The participants who consumed 2 or more SSBs per day in adulthood had a more than doubled risk of EO-CRC when compared with those who consumed less than 1 serving per week. This risk rose by 16% for each additional SSB serving per day. SSBs, which include sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, and fruit drinks, make up almost 40% of added sugar in diets in the US and 12% of Americans consume 3 or more of these daily. A cola has about 39 grams of sugar, which is approximately 10 tsp of sugar per can. That’s a lot of sugar. 200 years ago, the average American consumed 2 pounds of sugar per year. Today the average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar annually. My goodness, that is 30 five-pound bags of sugar per year.

Consumption of added sugar has become a real problem for the United States. In 2013, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a study attributing 25,000 deaths in the United States to added sugar. In 2019, the AHA published a study that found consuming more than two sweetened drinks per day increased their risk of death by 21%. Excess sugar intake can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes, all of which can contribute to inflammation and cancer. Additionally, tumor cells take up more sugar (glucose) than healthy cells. In a presentation by Dr. Johannes Czernin from UCLA, he states that tumor cells take up 30 times more glucose than healthy cells. This increased glucose uptake is used diagnostically for cancer patients. For Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, patients must fast for at least 6 hours before their imaging and no carbs/s. for at least 24 hours to starve the cancer cells. Then they are injected with a sugar that has a radioactive tracer tagged onto it.  The PET scan tracks the uptake of sugar/radioactive tracer throughout the body and identifies the areas with the highest consumption. These areas with high consumption of high sugar/tracer, show up as hot spots on imaging indicate the presence of cancer because cancer loves sugar.

Not only is the cancer being fed with the sugar, but the sugar also increases insulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1).  As the name suggests, growth factors make cancer grow. Insulin also increases inflammation. At the end of the day, it all comes down to inflammation. We tell our patients that inflammation is the cause of all disease and it is a common thread we see in our cancer patients. Short-term inflammation can be beneficial for things like wound healing or your body fighting off an infection like influenza. But chronic inflammation is the villain here. Symptoms of inflammation can be vague like joint pain, allergies, fatigue, or poor digestion. These symptoms are like your car’s check engine light and they’re telling you that something isn’t right. When your check engine light is on, you take your car to the mechanic so they can diagnose the problem. The same should be true for your body; you should be working with a Naturopathic physician who can connect the dots to determine why your body’s check engine light is on.

Dr. Cynthia Bye, ND, FABNO, is a Fellow of the American Board of Naturopathic Oncology (FABNO), the only FABNO located in southwest Washington, she did a residency at Cancer Treatment Centers of American, and she has been working in cancer care for 20 years. There are less than 150 Naturopathic doctors in the United States and Canada that have been board certified as FABNO. She works with you to figure out why your check engine light is on.  Through a full review of the system, head to toe she connects the dots as to why it’s on. She works with you to teach you how to take care of yourself. To create lasting lifestyle changes and turn off the “check engine light”.

Each person and each cancer are different, and Dr. Bye utilizes individualized therapies based on your needs. The goal is to work with cancer patients to identify causative factors that cause inflammation. Many things cause inflammation. Dr. Bye supports cancer patients as they go through their treatments with well-researched protocols to reduce side effects without interfering with the treatment, tie up circulating tumor cells to reduce the risk of metastasis, and help cancer patients recover from their treatments. Once treatment is finished, she works with patients to help them recover from radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery using protocols to decrease recurrence risk if they no longer have evidence of disease. For patients with residual disease after treatment, we support their recovery, improve their quality of life, and work to slow down the cancer process. 

Even though signs of chronic inflammation are like a check engine light, your body is not like a car. If your car breaks down, you buy a new one….. You only get one body, and it is the vehicle through which you experience your life. When your “light” comes on, being proactive by changing your lifestyle, and taking charge of your health is the best investment you can make. An easy way to start is by taking the sugar out of your life.  Dr. Bye, works with cancer patients, family members of cancer patients, and individuals looking to reduce their risk of cancer.

To learn more, visit www.cynthiabye.com

Hur J, Otegbeye E, Joh H, et al. Sugar-sweetened beverage intake in adulthood and adolescence and risk of early-onset colorectal cancer among women. Gut. Published Online First: 06 May 2021. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2020-323450

Malik, V. S., Li, Y., Pan, A., De Koning, L., Schernhammer, E., Willett, W. C., & Hu, F. B. (2019). Long-Term consumption of Sugar-sweetened and artificially sweetened beverages and risk of mortality in us adults. Circulation,139(18), 2113-2125. doi:10.1161/circulationaha.118.037401

PET/CT Cancer Imaging: Cancers Eat a lot of Sugar [Video file]. (2013, August 1). Retrieved from https://www.simmsmanncenter.ucla.edu/center_events/petct-cancer-imaging-cancers-eat-a-lot-of-sugar/

Vancouver, WA — As more people are testing positive for COVID-19 in Clark County — and as the activity rate climbed to 147.6 cases per 100,000 — the Clark County Public Health examined the data to find out why people are seeking testing.

“The vast majority of people who test positive are getting tested because they have symptoms of COVID-19 or because they know someone who tested positive or had symptoms of COVID-19,” the health department said.

Anyone who experiences COVID-19 symptoms should seek testing right away, they advise. If you’re in close contact with someone who tests positive, please stay home for 14 days to ensure you don’t infect others if you also get sick. 

Learn more about what to do if you test positive or are a close contact of someone who tests positive at the health department website: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/novel-coronavirus

Tuesday’s COVID-19 update

  • 61 new confirmed cases (20,459 to date)
  • 10 new antigen probable cases (854 to date)
  • no new deaths
  • 252 total deaths to date (224 confirmed, 28 suspect)
  • 537 active cases (confirmed and probable cases in isolation period)
  • Clark County COVID-19 activity rate is 147.6 cases per 100,000 (up from 139.8 cases per 100,000 last week)
  • 23 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 4 people hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

Confirmed cases are people with a positive molecular (PCR) test for COVID-19. Antigen probable cases are people with a positive antigen test and no molecular test.

Camas, WA — Clover Podiatry, owned and operated by Dr. Tek Fish, a foot and ankle surgeon, recently opened it doors in downtown Camas. 

A foot and ankle surgeon, as well as a foot and general physician, Dr. Fish treats any issues and ailments from the knee down, which includes skin, muscles, bones, and tendons. 

“We’re happy to be here,” said Dr. Fish. “Clover Podiatry treats ingrown toenails, warts, heel pain, plantar fasciitis, ankle sprains, and diabetic foot care.”

He said heel pain is the same as plantar fasciitis — it’s an overuse injury of the heel, usually from tight calf muscles. 

“It happens when you puts too much stress on the tissue on the bottom of your foot,” he said. “It comes from being on your feet too much and not having the right support. Orthotics and stretching are some of the best ways to prevent it. Shockwave therapy is one way to treat it.” 

His clinic also treat ailments that require surgery, such as ankle fractures, bunions, hammer toes, wound care, and trauma. Hammer toes is an imbalance in your foot muscles and results in your toes curling up. People with diabetes get it, too, and it’s corrected through surgery. 

“It’s a fairly simple surgery,” he said “Almost all surgeries I perform are at PeaceHealth.”

He also treats sports injuries like turf toe or ankle sprains, fractures, and shin splints, “which we try to manage with conservative care.”

Most of the time Clover Podiatry doesn’t require referrals. The clinic accepts most insurances: Medicare, Medicaid, Premera Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Regence, United Health Care, Lifewise, Molina Healthcare, etc.

Dr. Fish also encourages patients to wear medical grade orthotics, which are pre-fabricated and available at his practice for 1/3 of the price. 

The move back to the Pacific Northwest in July with is wife Kimberly Fish, a Physician’s Assistant, and his toddler daughter, Devri, was a homecoming for Fish, who grew up in Hockinson.

“We moved back to the Pacific Northwest in July, bought the building on September 1 and spent a couple months renovating it. I grew up in Hockinson, went to Heritage High School, attended BYU (competed on their track team and studied landscape management), then I went to podiatry school at Kent State U, College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated in 2017.”

Dr. Fish stayed in Cleveland for three years of surgical training, and then decided plant roots once again in the Pacific Northwest.

“We plan to be active in the community, and we’re just really happy to be here,” he said.

He also has his own blog, which you can read at his website: www.cloverpodiatry.com

Fish
Clover Podiatry offers high quality orthotics at 1/3 the price.

Vancouver, WA — According to Clark County Public Health, COVID-19 activity rates plummeted from 209 cases per 100,000 to 137 cases per 100,000 this past week.

Here’s the latest COVID-19 update:

  • 24 new cases
  • 8,135 cases to date
  • No new deaths
  • 221 total deaths to date (199 confirmed, 22 suspect)
  • 245 active cases (in isolation period)
  • 34 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 1 person hospitalized awaiting COVID-19 test results

Learn more on the Clark County Public Health COVID-19 data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data

Vaccination Update

The Washington State Department of Health received its shipment of Pfizer vaccine for the Clark County Fairgrounds vaccination site. That means the fairgrounds will be open this week to fulfill its second-dose appointments.

Anyone who received their first dose at the fairgrounds site should have received an email from Safeway after receiving their first dose. That follow-up email contains a link to schedule an appointment for the second dose. 

Appointments are best. But anyone who was unable to get a second dose appointment scheduled or didn’t receive the confirmation email, can take their vaccination card and ID to the fairgrounds and receive their second dose without an appointment.

The fairgrounds site is open 9 am to 5 pm Tuesday to Friday and 9 am to 3 pm Saturday.

First-dose appointments are not available at the fairgrounds this week.

COVID-19
Vaccines.

Clark County Public Health issued a statement over the weekend that people who visited a Camas salon recently may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should quarantine at home:

Anyone who visited Stellar Hair Design in Camas between 10 am and 7 pm Jan. 19-23 or Jan. 26 may be at risk of contracting COVID-19. Skamania County Community Health and Clark County Public Health have been unable to identify and notify individuals who may have been exposed. It’s unclear how many people may have been exposed.

Individuals who visited the salon during those times should quarantine for 14 days from their most recent visit to the salon during that timeframe.

Health officials recommend anyone exposed to COVID-19 quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms. People who do not live or work in a high-priority setting – such as long-term care facilities, health care facilities, food processing facilities or jails – may shorten their quarantine in the following circumstances:

• If a person who is in quarantine has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 10.
• If a person who is in quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 test and has no symptoms, quarantine can end after Day 7. The person must be tested on or after Day 5, and quarantine cannot be discontinued earlier than Day 8. Even if a negative test is received before Day 8, the quarantine period should still be a full seven days.

Anyone who has been in quarantine should continue to monitor their symptoms through Day 14. If they develop symptoms, they should isolate themselves immediately to avoid infecting others and seek testing for COVID-19.

COVID-19
Ready for take out or delivery. www.champpizza.com

As practitioners of naturopathic oncology, we know that the vast majority of cancer diagnoses occur within 5 years of a major trauma. These include the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, to name a few. However, even early childhood trauma can have negative health outcomes many years after the fact. ACEs, or “Adverse Childhood Experiences” are recognized by the CDC as contributing to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression, and cancer. When I did my residency at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, all patients had the option of seeing a Psychoneuroimmunologist (PNI). Big word, but basically their job was to ferret out the traumas that impacted the patient’s psychology that impacted the nervous system which ultimately impacted the immune system. 

The underlying issue is “toxic stress.”  This is a prolonged period of stress in which the body is responding physiologically without ever being given a chance to recover. This leads to immune suppression, increased blood sugar, and changes in brain chemistry that predispose people toward anxiety and depression. As many know, toxic stress can lead to stress eating and poor nutritional choices. Ironically, sugar and carbs can increase serotonin transiently which makes you feel better short term until the blood sugar drops and that is another stressor. Stress also tends to reduce our exercise and can lead many times to substance use like alcohol, marijuana, and other recreational drugs. The consequence of these stress behaviors results in increased blood sugar, insulin, obesity, insomnia. All of which increases inflammation and reduce immune function and thus increasing the probability of major disease such as cancer.

As naturopathic physicians who specialize in oncology, we take a detailed look at all aspects of every patient’s health. This includes mental and emotional health. Everyone experiences stressors in their lives. Some people have more trauma than others. What matters is how each person copes with these major stressors. Naturopathic medicine emphasizes lifestyle and nutritional medicine as a first-line approach to health and healing. For example, studies show the simple act of meditating for 15 minutes daily can make an enormous difference in brain function and levels of stress hormones in the body. Making sure to eat whole foods instead of processed “frankenfoods” gives the body what it needs to heal and remain healthy. We also have other tools to address toxic stress such as botanical medicine, targeted supplementation, and homeopathy. When appropriate we will refer our patients for additional counseling. 

If you have experienced a major trauma and are struggling with your health, call our office today to make an appointment.  We take a whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and healing.  No stone will be left unturned.  

Yours in health,

Cynthia Bye, ND, FABNO

Board certified in Naturopathic Medicine

360-695-8800

www.cynthiabye.com

Vancouver, WA — Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the last Clark County Public Health update was Wednesday morning (included all cases reported to them on Tuesday). Today’s update includes new cases reported to Public Health on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • 849 new cases (average about 170 cases/day Wed-Sun)
  • 8,841 cases to date
  • 397 active cases (currently in isolation period)
  • 77 COVID-19 patients hospitalized
  • 9 persons under investigation (PUIs) for COVID-19 hospitalized

The health department provided this reminder about active cases: “This reflects the number of confirmed cases who are currently in their isolation period. For most people, isolation is based on when symptoms began, not when they received the positive test result. Some individuals learn they are COVID-19 positive and only have a few days of isolation remaining.”

You may also learn more on their COVID data webpage: https://clark.wa.gov/public-health/covid-19-data

If you’ve been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, please stay home for 14 days from your last contact with the sick person.

Staying home for the full 14 days – even if you have a negative COVID-19 test – is important because it can take up to 14 days for an infected person to develop symptoms. But people can spread COVID-19 before they know they are sick – up to two days before symptoms develop.

People in quarantine should not go to work, school, child care or church, or participate in other social or community activities. This ensures that if a person in quarantine does get sick, they don’t spread the virus to others.

COVID-19
www.acreativetwistcorp.com

Olympia, WA — Governor Jay Inslee warned Tuesday that hospitalizations statewide continue to rise in rates similar to the early days of the pandemic as coronavirus continue surge and indicated he may expand business restrictions. 

He repeated his concern about families meeting for the Thanksgiving holiday, but emphasized that Washington is doing better than other states by limiting contact this weekend. 

Inslee spoke with his wife, Trudi, in a public address on November 12 that prohibited families and friends gathering on Thanksgiving. He mandated that families stay home with immediate members of their household.

Inslee is clearly concerned about the direction the state is headed in with its COVID-19 cases. The state’s cases are now soaring at 300 per 100,000 residents when the desired rate is 25 per 100,000.

Clark County’s COVID-19 activity rate is climbing rapidly. This week, the rate increased to more than 359 cases per 100,000 residents – up from 254 cases per 100,000 last week.

“We’re concerned Thanksgiving gatherings will cause our case numbers to rise even higher,” said Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health Director. “Please celebrate safely and only gather with the people you live with.”

The increase in COVID cases has increased the possibility that local hospitals may need to suspend elective procedures and non-emergency operations. 

“We cannot tolerate the continuation of that straight up curve for very much longer,” Inslee said. “And what we have done is we’ve hard targeted reductions of social interaction in the hope that we can change the slope of that curve. But if it does not, we will have no other option but to extend those restrictions to other parts of the economy.”

Inslee also expressed concern for the frontline healthcare workers who have worked in challenging conditions for more than eight months. He’s worried about their well being as many are hitting burn out.

Mathaesthetics
www.acreativetwistcorp.com

Great Barrington, MA — The Great Barrington Declaration, which offers an alternative COVID-19 national and global strategy, was penned by professors at Harvard, Oxford and Stanford universities on October 4, and released to the public October 5, calls for “focused protection” by letting young and low-risk populations carry on with their lives, while protecting the immune compromised and elderly.

It’s been discussed and debated since its early October release, but is it based on proper science?

The Declaration was written by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta and Dr. Martin Kulldorff. 

Dr. Martin Kulldorff is a professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta is a professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is a professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

The declaration was signed by more than 40 other medical and public health scientists and medical practitioners worldwide.

“As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls,” the declaration authors write. “We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e. the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity.”

Who initiated the Declaration?

Dr Kulldorff invited Doctors Bhattacharya Gupta to Massachusetts to record a video outlining an alternative to the current COVID-19 strategy. While meeting, the three spontaneously decided to also write a short declaration to summarize their thinking. 

Why was the Declaration written?

The Declaration was written from a global public health and humanitarian perspective, with special concerns about how the current COVID-19 strategies are forcing children, the working class and the poor to carry the heaviest burden.

The full text of the Great Barrington Declaration

“The Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection. 

“Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

“Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

“Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

”As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

“The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection. 

”Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. 

”Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.”

On October 4, 2020, this declaration was authored and signed in Great Barrington, United States, by:

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. 

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

Clark County Public Health Response

Lacamas Magazine asked Clark County Public Health to respond to the Great Barrington Declaration. This is their official statement:

“The way to herd immunity is through vaccination; not by letting people contract a deadly disease. And we are a long way from herd immunity.

”It’s estimated that less than 15 percent of the US population has been infected with COVID-19, yet more than 220,000 people have died. To reach herd immunity, we suspect we’ll need at least 60-70% of the population to become infected. That would mean millions of additional infections and several hundred thousand more deaths – and that’s if the immunity from a COVID-19 infection lasts. And for those who survive COVID-19, we still don’t know the lasting health impacts those individuals will endure.

“While the idea of isolating the vulnerable and opening up society for everyone else may sound appealing to some, it’s not practical. If the virus is spreading in a community, it can make its way to vulnerable populations. Young healthy people can and do contract COVID-19. Then they take it home to their family members, to school to their classmates and teachers, and to work to their colleagues. Vulnerable people still interact with others. They may live with other people or have caregivers. They still need groceries and medical care. They cannot be completely insulated from the rest of the community. We can protect our most vulnerable by wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distancing and practicing good hand hygiene – the things necessary for slowing the spread of the virus in our community.

”Tom Frieden, the CDC director from 2009 to 2017, wrote an opinion piece on herd immunity and COVID-19 for the Washington Post. It’s worth a read: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tom-frieden-herd-immunity-wrong-solution-coronavirus/2020/10/16/acb4ae8a-0fe6-11eb-8074-0e943a91bf08_story.html

”For a look at herd immunity a little closer to home: The CDC is doing a large-scale geographic seroprevalence survey that looks for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among people who had blood collected and tested by commercial labs in certain areas of the U.S. Western Washington is one of the regions. The latest data (samples collected July 6-7) show a seroprevalence estimate of 1.3%, and the seroprevalence has consistently been less than 2.5% in Western Washington. You can check out the data from the survey here: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#serology-surveillance.”

Video Links

Do the three authors have any conflicts of interest? 

According to their website, Dr. Kulldorff works on research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration and the non-profit Fund for Public Health in New York City, some of which is related to COVID-19. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation. 

Dr. Bhattacharya research funding over the past 22 years of his career has come almost entirely from grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the US Department of Agriculture, and participation on contracts with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) via a government contracting research group, Acumen, LLC. He has never accepted or received any funding from pharmaceutical companies, nor from any other large corporation. 

Dr. Gupta’s research funding over the last 30 years has principally been through fellowships and investigator awards from the Wellcome Trust and the European Research Council.  She has also received funding from the UKRI, the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust, the Emily and Georg von Opel Foundation and the Oxford Martin School. She and Dr. Craig Thompson have developed a novel method for producing a universal influenza vaccine (derived from a mathematical model) and this has now been licensed and is going through early testing. She does not hold any consultancy contracts or stock shares in any commercial company. 

Other Responses

Critics of the declaration say the event where it was signed was hosted by the American Institute for Economic Research, a conservative free-market think tank located in Great Barrington, and is politically motivated.

“From a public health and ethical viewpoint, the fact that the Great Barrington Declaration is now the Trump administration’s official policy is deeply troubling,” Dr. Gavin Yamey, a physician and professor of global health and public policy at Duke University, wrote October 14 in TIME. He says this “letting the virus rip” approach is “dangerous and inhumane.”

The Infectious Diseases Society of America issued a statement denouncing the Great Barrington Declaration, calling the herd immunity strategy to COVID-19 “inappropriate, irresponsible, and ill-informed.”

The Director-General of the World Health Organization said during an October 12 media briefing: “Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic.”

The Great Barrington Declaration signers aren’t backing down, and continue to defend their positions.

The authors also acknowledge that many online signatures are not actual doctors or experts in this field.