‘Great Barrington Declaration’ a Fake, secretly funded by Koch ‘Science Denialist’

Open letter calling for new Covid-19 strategy also signed by ‘Prof Cominic Dummings’

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Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton, said the declaration was “a very bad idea” and doubted that vulnerable people would be able to avoid the virus if it was allowed to become widespread.

“Ultimately, the Barrington Declaration is based on principles that are dangerous to national and global public health,” said Head.

Guardian: An open letter that made headlines calling for a herd immunity approach to Covid-19 lists a number of apparently fake names among its expert signatories, including “Dr Johnny Bananas” and “Professor Cominic Dummings”.

The Great Barrington declaration, which was said to have been signed by more than 15,000 scientists and medical practitioners around the world, was found by Sky News to contain numerous false names, as well as those of several homeopaths.  This from Byline Times:

“Documents seen by Byline Times confirm that the Great Barrington Declaration advocating a ‘herd immunity’ approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has been sponsored by an institution embedded in a Koch-funded network that denies climate science while investing in polluting fossil fuel industries.

On 3 October 2020, the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), a libertarian free-market think-tank in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, hosted a private gathering of scientists, economists and journalists to discuss responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them was the distinguished Oxford University epidemiologist Professor Sunetra Gupta, among the most vocal proponents of a ‘herd immunity’ strategy.

The Great Barrington Declaration, after the town in which it was created, was drafted by Gupta with two other top US scientists, Professor Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University and Stanford Fellow Jay Bhattacharya. The Declaration itself – which calls for only the elderly and vulnerable to be quarantined while encouraging young people to contract the virus – was signed by an initial batch of some 35 scientists.

As of the time of writing, the Declaration claims to be signed by over 5,000 ‘Medical & Public Health Scientists’ and 11,267 ‘Medical Practitioners’, along with over 155,000 members of the general public.

The claim that “thousands of scientists” are supporting the Barrington Declaration was reported far and wide by major media outlets from the BBC to the Daily Mail. But when I attempted to check how the signatory process works, I discovered that there was no vetting procedure in place for signatories – anybody could become a confirmed signatory of the Declaration and be categorised as a scientist or medic by falsifying entry information and ticking a box. By experimenting with the process myself, I was able to add myself as a signatory under the ‘Medical & Public Health Scientists’ category and received an automated email confirming this.”

Others listed include a resident at the “university of your mum” and another supposed specialist whose name was the first verse of the Macarena.

Sky News discovered 18 self-declared homeopaths in the list of expert names and more than 100 therapists whose expertise included massage, hypnotherapy and Mongolian khoomii singing.

The declaration has also been accused of ignoring the growing evidence on long Covid, whereby thousands of fit and young people who contract the virus have been left with debilitating symptoms months after a mild infection.  Read more…

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/09/herd-immunity-letter-signed-fake-experts-dr-johnny-bananas-covid

Climate Science Denial Network Behind Great Barrington Declaration

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I felt like this was an unfair representation of the facts. People who avoid facts so they can blame the Koch brothers seem to be incapable of discussing real life in non-partisan terms.

    The reality is that the pain caused by the lockdown is extreme and falls disproportionately on the poor and immigrant families. The people I work with will testify to the futility of non-English speaking parents trying to school their kids virtually while wondering how they will eat the next day. The impacts on mental health and social disintegration are very real – 70% of Canadians aged 18-34 said they had mental health impacts from the COVID response. I could go on.

    The real question is whether developing herd immunity is realistic, and if so in what timeframe. A more detailed proposal would allow a civil debate on whether any of the truly crappy options available to us are on the whole better than the lockdown strategy. The Singapore strategy where you just lock down everything without exception for 3-4 weeks, watch the infections go away, and re-open with effective testing and tracing should also be discussed.

    • Since their kids are in cages, I don’t think there is much concern about unlocking them, sending them to school or whether they get COVID. Defending the Koch brother, the one not dead yet? Give me a break.

  2. Your expert “Dr” Nafeez Ahmed has a degree in…. international relations. He’s been busy polishing his laurels, but they still aren’t anything near the expertise of the named signatories.

    Also, if you took time to visit the Great Barrington Declaration page, you’d see anyone can sign it, which means your complaint about the obvious fakes signing it is also specious. I don’t know why groups thing public signings have any value, but its probably the same people who think change.org has any redeeming moral benefit, so whatever. But it also stands that the “arguments” your article puts forth are silly, at best.

  3. This article is long on ad hominems and short on rational fact-based arguments. It makes no attempt whatsoever to engage fairly with its opponents’ arguments and explain why they are wrong. Whenever I read this kind of bullshit article I move a few degrees toward the camp of its opponents. I have to assume that the reason the authors are slinging ad hominems rather than rational arguments is that they don’t have a leg to stand on.

  4. Excellent example Tommy. There is no evidence of ‘herd immunity’ developing in the Native American people to small pox. Through our absolutely criminal media and POTUS, 30-40% of Americans believe this turd immunity conspiracy.

  5. A bioweapon for which “herd immunity” is even a possibility? What kind of a bioweapon would that be? It’s like saying that the smallpox-infested blankets that were given to the Plains Indians was an attempt to develop herd immunity to smallpox. No it wasn’t, it was an attempt to kill as many Native Americans as possible.

    COVID-19 was designed to target the elderly, the infirm, and especially people of color. The Kochs of this world are doing their best to cull the human herd of so-called useless eaters. Like his pal Henry Kissinger said back in 2016, “Depopulation should be the highest priority of US foreign policy towards the Third World.”