Lock Down the United States for Five Weeks to End COVID-19

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We are scientists, business leaders, professionals and concerned citizens, and we are asking President Trump to immediately implement a nationwide five-week lockdown across the United States. The alternative to this action means accepting the deaths of millions of people and prolonging for years the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression – or ever. Implementing a lockdown will save lives and lead to a faster economic recovery. Prof. Yaneer Bar-Yam, PhD, founder of the New England Complex Systems Institute and EndCoronavirus.org explains how and why a five-week lockdown would work in a USA Today op-ed and in this explanation. Please sign this important letter – for humanity.

Update in response to questions: when planning your charitable giving, please be aware that donations made on the change.org website go to change.org, not endcoronavirus.org or any COVID-19-related relief effort.


Dear President Trump:

We are scientists, business leaders, professionals and concerned citizens. We write to urge you to immediately implement a five-week lockdown across the United States. This is the only way to defeat COVID-19 and get the economy back on its feet within two months. There is no middle ground. The alternative to this action is accepting the deaths of millions and prolonging for years the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression -- or ever.

We know from China that a five-week lockdown can eliminate COVID-19 – but only if it is strictly enforced. We know from Italy that anything less than a full lockdown will fail. That’s why Italy has tightened its measures and is now beginning to see good results.

After the five-week lockdown, we can contain the very small number of remaining infections with vigilance, testing and contact tracing, as the economy recovers.

The human and economic benefits of a lockdown will be immediate and dramatic. The stock market will surge when people realize the worst is behind them. This will be the fastest and steepest stock market boom in history. Businesses will reopen. Tourists will start coming back to the United States. Investment will pour in from countries that didn’t take the firm actions necessary to stop the virus. Much of this is happening now in China, and it will happen here too.

Some argue we should just reopen the economy, let the disease run its course and try to isolate the old and sick as best we can.  This would be catastrophic for our economy. If this path is taken, millions of sick and elderly Americans will die. Young people will be hospitalized with severe cases and some will die. And the disease will linger for months or years, continuing to wreak havoc on our economy. It’s even possible that people who were infected once can become infected again.

If we don’t take radical action, here is what the next one year to two years will likely look like in the United States:

  • Continued stock market decline.
  • Many industries will collapse and not recover for years: airlines, tourism, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, brick-and-mortar retail.
  • Countries free of COVID-19 will ban travel to and from the United States. Americans will be banned from visiting these and other countries due to our high level of infection.

We need strong leadership from you to end this crisis now. Please impose a strict five-week national lockdown now. The virus is growing exponentially every hour we delay. If you impose a lockdown now, history -- and voters -- will remember you as the strong leader who acted to save his country in our darkest hour.



Yaneer Bar-Yam, PhD, Founding President of the New England Complex Systems Institute

Michael Blum, PhD, Biophysics, Founder, Rayonix, LLC

Sam Harris, PhD, Neuroscientist, Author; Making Sense Media; Waking Up

Douglas R. Conant, Retired CEO, Campbell Soup Company; Founder and CEO, ConantLeadership

Gene Allen, President, Decision incite

Sue Antoni, Former Senior Vice President, Sinaiko Healthcare Consulting

Susan Cain, New York Times bestselling author

Samuel Curtis, Schwarzman Scholar, Tsinghua University

Dr. Corinne Deurdulian, MD

Emily Elson, Licensed Psychotherapist 

Dr. Rohan Ganguli, MD, Psychiatrist

Aaron Green, PhD, Principal, Iridium Consulting

Annaka Harris, Science Writer; Making Sense Media; Waking Up

Steven Hassan MEd, LMHC, NCC, Member of the Program in Psychiatry and the Law, Freedom of Mind Resource Center, Inc.

Nancy Hayden, PhD, National and Global Security, Sandia National Laboratories

Todd Hylton, PhD, Professor of Practice, UC San Diego, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Daniel F. Kelly, MD, Director, Pacific Neuroscience Institute; Professor of Neurosurgery, John Wayne Cancer Institute; Providence Saint John’s Health Center

Marissa King, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Yale University School of Management

Emily J. Klein, PhD, Professor, Montclair State University, Department of Teaching and Learning 

Amy Lenclos, LMHC, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Dr. Bernie Lewinsky, M.D, F.A.C.R., Owner, Western Tumor Medical Group, Inc.

Dr. Ralph Massey, MD

Rob May, Venture Capitalist, General Partner, PJC

Ali A. Minai, PhD, Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Cincinnati

Gila Massey, Optometrist

Asra Q. Nomani, MA, Journalist; CoFounder, Pearl Project; CoFounder, Citizens Task Force 

Orli Peter, PhD, Clinical Neuropsychologist; Owner, Center for Accelerated Psychology

Leigh Pughe, Nurse Practitioner, New York

Joe Santaniello, Republican Political Consultant, Director of Government Affairs, The Zerobase Foundation

Ryan Scott, Chief Technology Officer, InLife Claims

Laurie Shiers, Owner, Brainchild Coaching

Nancy Snow, PhD, Public Diplomacy Writer, Author, Professor

Michael F. Wells, PhD, Neurobiologist, Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, COVID-19 National Scientist Volunteer Database Coordinator