Danger to the world": 1,200+ scientists denounce Boris Johnson's plan to end UK COVID restrictions
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More than 1,200 scientists from around the world have condemned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's plan to lift nearly all Covid restrictions in the United Kingdom on Monday, with some of the experts holding an emergency summit on Friday to warn that prematurely ending public health precautions in the country would lead to a surge in infections that could enable vaccine-resistant variants to develop and spread rapidly around the world.
During Friday's summit, epidemiologists and physicians compared Johnson's decision to proceed with so-called Freedom Day on July 19th despite a sharp uptick in Covid-19 cases to the pursuit of "herd immunity by mass infection," The Independent reported.
Forgoing almost every mandatory rule on mask-wearing and social distancing before the pandemic has been contained poses a "danger to the world," they warned.
William Hasteltine, a leading AIDS researcher and chair of Access Health International, said that he was "extremely dismayed to see the very rapid rate of increasing infections in a population" that is as vaccinated as the U.K.
Roughly two-thirds of the U.K.'s adult population has been fully inoculated, according to government figures, but cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have increased by 34.9%, 43.4%, and 57.4%, respectively, in the past week.
"I believe that the strategy of herd immunity is actually murderous," Hasteltine continued. "I think that's a word we should use, because that is what it is. It is knowledge that you are doing something that will result in thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of people dying."
"It is a disastrous policy," he added. "It's been clear that that's been the case for some time, and to continue to espouse that policy is unconscionable."
"Danger to the world": 1,200+ scientists denounce Boris Johnson's plan to end UK COVID restrictions | Salon.com