At least that’s what I said when I heard about this.
What is it? A super secret meeting (their words, not mine) of “infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists” took place a week or so ago. They recommend herd immunity in a controlled manner and lots of other things. (I’m summarizing).
And, then deemed it the “Great Barrington Declaration”.
I hadn’t heard about it until someone sent me a news article. So, I did a phone-an-epidemiology-friend (actually, a lot of them) and they hadn’t heard of it either.
I’m part of a large epid group (3000+) and many (not all) hadn’t heard about it either.
Once I (and many epid/infectious disease expert friends) looked into it – some of us did a collective “The What?”
Here are some thoughts:
1. The claim is that 6000+ epids and public health specialists signed it. But, if you go look into the actual document, many are not. You can’t see the real names for proper transparency and vetting of credentials, training, and expertise. If you look at some of the main names, you’ll find CVs without those credentials. To sign, you add your name and click a button. Some signees are “Johnny Bananas” among others.
2. I know there are a lot of big named universities and Professors of XYZ on the list. 𝐋𝐨𝐨𝐤 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐧𝐚𝐦𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡. Some (several) of the authors are funded through side hustle institutes or groups that have an agenda or certain ideologies that intersect with Plandemic (remember that a few months ago???).
Just because you have a big-named University or fancy title does not make someone qualified. Which brings me to the next three points…
3. For security reasons, I’m not going to specifically name any of these people or institutes/groups. One of the think-tanks behind the declaration is funded by far right-wing billionaires – that’s just one example.
4. The lead authors have a certain history of scientific thought about COVID that sway away from science and towards partisanship in a few ways. I’m being hedgy here – again. For a reason.
5. Some of the main authors have self-declared titles of “infectious disease scientists/experts”. But, again – look behind that. Go to the CVs and see if that title holds true. One of them has ONE paper on infectious diseases and the rest are related to lots of things very much unrelated to infectious diseases, modeling, pandemics, epidemiology, public health…And, no proper training.
6. This is not a global movement, as has been self-declared. This feels very fringe-sciencey. Many of us feel this way and it’s frustrating to have “science” usurped in sneaky ways. Did you know fake news spreads 6 times quicker than real news? Be careful about catchy headlines regarding a “global movement of scientists”. Sometimes that is true and other times it is not.
So, be cautious about this declaration. You can tell I’m being hedgy. And, I’m doing it for a reason. I would encourage you to look behind the names and declaration. Who is reporting on it-What newspapers, networks, etc? Who are the funders and think-tanks? Who did OR didn’t sign it? I personally don’t know one person who signed it. The scientists I trust that have earned the right to speak about pandemics through decades of training and work did not sign it. And, I asked a lot of scientists that I trust who have no side-hustles, political agendas, or funding. Just food for thought today.
𝐈’𝐦 𝐭𝐫𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞-𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐈’𝐦 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥. 𝐁𝐮𝐭, 𝐈’𝐦 𝐧𝐨𝐭. 𝐈𝐟 𝐰𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐚 𝐕𝐞𝐧𝐧 𝐝𝐢𝐚𝐠𝐫𝐚𝐦 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐩𝐨𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐬, 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐧𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐥𝐲 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐥𝐚𝐩 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐩𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭. =)
So, please know that I say all of this to encourage caution, promote nonpartisan science, and educate the public on what science is and is not.
This is about scientific integrity. Objective and unbiased science.
-Friendly neighbor epidemiologist
***This week, I’m going to do another post on the science of what the Declaration claims. Some of it is good. Some of it is really risky and I want to devote an entire post about it. Stay tuned for Part 2.***