The names change, but the song remains the same. Such is antivax rhetoric during the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cue Dr. Lee Hieb from 2015, who very much resembles a familiar figure in 2022.
A couple of days ago, Joe Mercola tried to seem “reasonable” by contrasting himself to other quacks by “conceding” that SARS-CoV-2 actually exists. Last night Dr. Vinay Prasad tried to do the same thing by “analyzing” the appearances of conspiracy theorists on Joe Rogan’s show. The parallels are eerie.
There have always been “reasonable” apologists for the antivaccine movement. Thanks to COVID-19 their prominence has increased as they mistakenly conflate “antivaccine” with “vaccine hesitant.”
Medical Hypotheses is a fringe journal published by Elsevier that’s long been known for publishing pseudoscience, such as antivax and HIV/AIDS denial. In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s now back with antimask nonsense.
Regular readers of this blog know that many forms of quackery and science denial have conspiracy theories associated with them, but a further examination suggests that all science denial a form of conspiracy theory. In the middle of a deadly pandemic, it is a form of conspiracy theory with potentially deadly consequences.