The embrace of antimask and antivaccine views by the right wing is due to more than just clever reaching out by antivaxxers. There’s a big money astroturf machine encompassing various “think tanks” behind it.
It’s been several years coming, but President Biden’s issuing of a vaccine mandate for federal employees and large employers has removed all doubt that the Republican Party is not just anti-vaccine mandate. It’s antivaccine.
Cranks love a heroic persecution narrative, and the climate science-denying right wing think tank American Institute of Economic Research (AIER) has a doozy: COVID-19 “anti-lockdown” cranks like Scott Atlas and those behind the Great Barrington Declaration are the new abolitionists! This is a page from the antivax playbook.
Apparently signed by thousands of scientists, the Great Barrington Declaration argues that lockdowns in response to the coronavirus pandemic do more harm than good and that society should use “Focused Protection” for the elderly and those at high risk for severe disease and death from COVID-19 while letting the young go about their business normally. A closer look reveals that COVID-19 deniers are taking a page from a very old denialist propaganda playbook.