Jay Bhattacharya RESPONDS to Francis Collins: “On TV today Francis Collins doubled down on his lies and propaganda attack and on the Great Barrington Declaration. If you read the GBD, you will not find the words “let it rip” because the central idea is focused protection of the vulnerable”


Fox News' Bret Baier asked Dr. Francis Collins about his email calling the Great Barrington Declaration authors (@DrJBhattacharya, @MartinKulldorff) "fringe epidemiologists."

Collins: "Hundreds of thousands of people would have died if we had followed that strategy."

Uh … 🤔

Originally tweeted by Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) on December 19, 2021.

We now know the origin of the term — it came from the mind of Collins and Fauci. When reporters started asking me why I wanted to "let the virus rip", I was puzzled. Now I know that Collins & Fauci primed the media attack with the lie.


I was also puzzled by the mischaracterization of the GBD as a "herd immunity strategy". Biologically the epidemic ends when a sufficient number of people have immunity, either through COVID recovery or vax. Lockdown, let-it-rip, & the GBD all lead to that. (3/n)

As @MartinKulldorff has said, it makes as much sense to say "herd immunity strategy" as it does to say "gravity strategy" for landing an airplane. The only question is how to land safely, not whether gravity applies. (4/n)


So the question is how to get through this terrible pandemic with the least harm, where the harms considered include all of public health, not just COVID. The GBD & focused protection of the vulnerable is a middle ground between lockdown & let-it-rip.(5/n)

Lockdowners like Collins & Fauci presumably think that focused protection of vulnerable is impossible. They could have engaged honestly in a discussion about it, but would have found that public health is fundamentally about focused protection.

Some in public health did engage civilly in this discussion about strategies for focused with me and it was productive. (7/n)

Instead, Fauci & Collins decided to smear @MartinKulldorff, @SunetraGupta, me, & supporters of the GBD. They lied about the ideas it contains and orchestrated a propaganda campaign against us. (8/n)


In this propaganda and smearing war, they joined Jeremy Farrar, the head of the Wellcome Trust, and Dominic Cummings, former consigliere to UK PM Boris Johnson. (9/n)

They engaged in ad hominem smears, calling @SunetraGupta, @MartinKulldorff, and me "fringe" epidemiologists. It is an odd argument given my decades of NIH-funded research. Does Collins & the NIH fund many other "fringe" scientists? (10/n)

So, why do Fauci & Collins engage in ad hominem & lies instead of honest scientific discussion? I don't know fully, but part of the answer lies in another puzzle — their blindness to the devastating effects of lockdown on the poor & vulnerable. (11/n)


For instance, the economic devastation of poor counties caused by rich countries shutting down has contributed to tens of millions facing starvation. I could list many more harms… We will need to work hard to reverse the damage. (12/n)


COVID panic mongering by Fauci & Collins led countless school districts to shut schoolhouse doors, especially for poor kids who could not afford private school, especially in blue states. The harm to our kids will last a generation. (13/n)


Fauci & Collins are silent about lockdown harms because they are culpable. The sad fact is that they won the policy war, they got their lockdowns, and now with other lockdowners, own the harms. They cannot deny it. The GBD warned them. (14/n)

They also cannot say that the lockdowns worked to suppress COVID. In the US, we followed the Fauci/Collins lockdown strategy and we have 800k COVID deaths. Sweden — more focused on protecting the vulnerable — did better & cannot be ignored. (15/n)

Not hearing much these days about Sweden.

Originally tweeted by Newman Nahas (@NahasNewman) on December 19, 2021.

Though lockdowns seem so sensible to some as a way to stop disease spread, in fact, they protect only a certain class of people — the laptop class — who are permitted to work from home. Lockdowns are a "let it drip" strategy. (16/n)

Collins in his interview with Bret Baier says that "history will judge", and he is right. It will judge those in charge of the COVID policy, and it will not judge kindly. He smears the GBD & its authors because he has no substantive argument left. (17/n)

This would be damaging enough if Collins & Fauci were not also in charge of $41 billion that funds nearly every epidemiologist, immunologist, and virologist of note in the US. Their smear of the GBD is a signal to other scientists to stay quiet about lockdown folly. (18/n)

The conflict of interest created here is at least as great as traditionally recognized conflicts that, for instance, pharma-funded scientists face. Collins and Fauci should have recused themselves from COVID policymaking. (19/n)

Francis Collins' interview with Baier marks a sad end to an illustrious career, and I take no joy in saying so. Fauci should join him in retirement. They have done enough damage.


Originally tweeted by Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) on December 20, 2021.

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