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WINNIPEG, Manitoba, June 25, 2021 (Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms) –The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms today released “Lockdowns and the Science of COVID,” a paper based on the medical and scientific evidence presented recently before the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench by expert witness Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.

Dr. Bhattacharya is a tenured Stanford professor of medicine, with particular expertise in the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. As a co-author of the Great Barrington Declaration, he and over 50,000 medical doctors and infectious disease specialists have called on governments to lift lockdown restrictions on healthy people and instead provide ‘focused protection’ to the elderly and infirm. This would allow for herd immunity to develop safely amongst healthy people.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya

Dr. Bhattacharya served as an expert witness on behalf of several Justice Centre Applicants in a Charter challenge to Manitoba’s lockdown restrictions. The hearing concluded in May, and the Court’s decision is pending.

“For over fifteen months, Canadians have had their Charter freedoms violated by lockdown policies that don’t stand the test of science,” says lawyer Allison Kindle Pejovic, staff lawyer at the Justice Centre.

“The opinions expressed by Dr. Bhattacharya give us ample reason to doubt the medical and scientific basis for lockdown measures,” stated Pejovic.

This paper provides medical and scientific evidence to support the following:

  • COVID does not pose a serious threat to the health of the population
  • COVID spread by asymptomatic (healthy) people is rare
  • Lockdowns violate principles of good health policy and public health practice
  • Lockdowns are not necessary to maintain and enhance health and well-being
  • Lockdowns are harmful to the health of the population
  • Variant strains of COVID do not justify continued lockdowns
  • Lockdown harms are not equitably distributed
  • Children do not pose a high risk of disease spread
  • Contact tracing is not effective in controlling disease spread
  • Lockdowns are especially harmful to young adults
  • Religious services are beneficial to participants and can be held safely
  • Restaurants and bars can be opened safely
  • Gyms, martial arts studios and other physical fitness venues benefit public health and can operate with minimal risk of disease spread
  • Focused protection is a better way to protect the population without impairing human rights, civil liberties and basic principles of public health
  • There is lasting natural immunity after recovering from a COVID infection
  • A positive PCR test does not prove that an individual poses a risk of infecting others
  • Florida is an example of a jurisdiction that had success following the focused protection approach
  • Florida fully lifted lockdown measures by September 2020, including masks mandates, and fared better in terms of age-adjusted COVID mortality rates than California, which had one of the strictest lockdowns in the United States.

“In the past fifteen months, politicians and chief medical officers have asserted repeatedly at news conferences that lockdowns are scientific and evidence-based, without providing the public with that scientific evidence,” continues Pejovic.

“The evidence tells us that lockdowns are a poor response to COVID-19, and that lockdowns are not a justified violation of our Charter rights and freedoms,” adds Pejovic.
“Our challenge to Canada’s federal and provincial governments boils down to this: after fifteen months of locking people down, isolating them from their friends and family, closing schools, bankrupting businesses, and closing houses of worship, show us your science,” concludes Pejovic.

Reprinted with permission by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms