HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Climate Science Denial Ne...

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 08:40 PM

Climate Science Denial Network Behind Great Barrington Declaration (on herd immunity)

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.
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.


Twitter users are reporting finding among the declaration's thousands of signatories experts such as:

From Sky News:

Coronavirus: 'Dr Johnny Bananas' and 'Dr Person Fakename' among medical signatories on herd immunity open letter
Other listed supporters include Dr Harold Shipman and Dominic Cummings of "Durham Univercity".

A widely-circulated open letter calling on governments to pursue herd immunity is counting homeopaths, therapists and fake names among its "medical" signatories, leading to accusations that it falsely represents scientific support for the controversial position.

The Great Barrington Declaration, a letter organised by prominent advocates of herd immunity, claims to have been signed by more than 15,000 scientists and medical practitioners, as well as more than 150,000 members of the general public.

Yet Sky News found dozens of fake names on the list of medical signatories, which anyone can add to if they tick a box and enter a name. These included Dr. I.P. Freely, Dr. Person Fakename and Dr. Johnny Bananas, who listed himself as a "Dr of Hard Sums".


Fake signatories were inevitable as the declaration was opened up to public subscription without any checks on bona fides, but its principles have in any case been challenged by real experts such as Scottish Government adviser Professor Devi Sridhar:

Channel 4 News

"They haven't thought it through, in terms of what it would feasibly mean."

Professor Devi Sridhar, of Edinburgh University, says the Great Barrington Declaration against blanket lockdown restrictions is not scientific or accurate.

[Twitter video]

3 replies, 575 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 3 replies Author Time Post
Reply Climate Science Denial Network Behind Great Barrington Declaration (on herd immunity) (Original post)
Denzil_DC Oct 9 OP
al bupp Oct 9 #1
Thekaspervote Oct 9 #2
crickets Oct 9 #3

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 09:53 PM

1. Uh, great post, I guess...

Made me laugh & cry at the same time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 10:13 PM

2. I hope they are one of the 300,000 projected deaths by the end of the year

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Fri Oct 9, 2020, 11:04 PM

3. "Koch-funded network" -- Well, that explain a lot. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread