by Freddie Sayers
Friday, 9
October 2020

Is The Guardian planning an attack on the Great Barrington scientists?

Professor Martin Kulldorff of Harvard is the latest scientist in the firing line
by Freddie Sayers
Profs Martin Kuldorff (L), Sunetra Gupta (C) and Jay Bhattacharya (R) met at Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Last night The Guardian sent the following email to Professor Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, one of the three initial signatories of the ‘Great Barrington Declaration’ calling for a different approach to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email

Already registered? Sign in

The article is yet to be published, but it looks very much like a move to delegitimise the ideas of these eminent scientists by smearing them by association. As Professor Kulldorff told The Guardian, he had never heard of the ‘Richie Allen show’ before he was invited on, and as a public health expert, he thinks it’s his duty to talk to all audiences in any case, whatever their beliefs.

I hadn’t heard of the show either (the website looks like lots of conspiracy theories), but is the fact that Kulldorff appeared on it really the big story? Surely the right thing for a newspaper to do is to engage in good faith with the arguments being presented, rather than to impugn integrity using Facebook shares as some sort of hard evidence.

This sort of thing is happening more and more often. Professor John Ioannidis at Stanford was subject to an extraordinary smear campaign after his ‘Santa Clara County’ study into seroprevalence. Buzzfeed even went so far as to imply financial wrongdoing on the basis of a $5,000 contribution by someone in the airline industry. The idea that a world-renowned academic would throw away his career for a $5,000 donation is absurd, and Stanford’s own investigation concluded that there was no conflict of interest whatsoever. But the rumour remains — the mud has been thrown and his reputation has been successfully tarnished.

I don’t buy into any of the conspiracy theories around the pandemic. Not 5G, not Bill Gates, not ‘Plandemic’ — I think we got into this mess with lots of frightened people trying to do the right thing with bad information, and lots of weak political leaders without clear values trying to protect their reputations. It’s more banal but, to me, just as alarming as any conspiracy.

Surely it would be better for powerful organisations like The Guardian to accept that these scientists are sincere and accomplished and are simply taking a different view as to how best to defend the greater good. The smear approach is a weak way to attempt to win any argument.

Join the discussion

To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.

Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bob thrasher
bob thrasher
2 years ago

The “$5,000 contribution” is about as laughable as Trump’s pushing hydroxychloroquine because he has a $15,000 stake in a Dodge&Cox mutual fund with one position in a company making, the now out-of-patent, HCQ.

2 years ago

The scientists appear to form two camps: one for herd immunity and one decrying it. Both camps know more than the Guardian does about the behaviour of the virus.

Billy Fild
Billy Fild
2 years ago

Why do so many assume the Media & Govt is telling us the whole truth? Alternative views here I think all ought consider for what they are worth or not worth:-:-

Dr Hodkinson (PS There are other many other Dr’s saying much the same & “internet character assignation’s” soon follow this





the great barrington declaration



Too much seemingly expert commentary that does not conform to “narrative” is going down the “internet memory hole” …sometimes within hours…why?