Sunday, August 8, 2021

Snowjobbers try to rewrite history (2)

How the lockdown lobby rewrote history | spiked - Phillip W. Magness:

April 7, 2021 - "A bizarre Covid-19 conspiracy theory appears to have taken root among the epidemiologists and public-health officials who still support lockdowns... [that] Great Barrington Declaration co-author Sunetra Gupta, her Oxford colleague Carl Heneghan, and Sweden’s state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell ... convinced UK prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak to abandon a so-called ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown during an audience in late September. Had the UK gone back into lockdown around the beginning of October instead of a month later – proponents of this theory maintain – it would have avoided its disastrous second wave over the autumn and winter

"Deepti Gurdasani, an epidemiologist at Queen Mary University in London and a principal organiser of the pro-lockdown John Snow Memorandum, has aggressively promoted the [theory].... As early as December, Gurdasani blasted Downing Street for supposedly listening to the ‘dangerous ideology’ of Gupta, Heneghan and Tegnell, which ‘has cost thousands of lives’ and sought to replicate the ‘dangerous’ Swedish strategy.... The same narrative has become a favorite of Devi Sridhar*, an anthropologist and Snow Memorandum co-signer who frequently appears in the UK media.... Attempting to explain why her own lockdown approach did not work, Sridhar wrote on 5 January that ‘chancellor Sunak invited Heneghan, Gupta and Tegnell to advise on strategy. That says it all’....

"Gurdasani, Sridhar and other lockdown advocates of the John Snow Memorandum crowd want you to believe that they were patiently counselling the government to adopt an early lockdown between the end of September and mid-October, only to see their advice deflected by Downing Street due to the interference of Gupta and the other dissenting scientists. The record reveals a very different story....

"Indeed, what we see when we look at the words of these lockdowner scientists and pundits is nothing short of a conscious attempt to rewrite their own positions from the period when the conspiracy theory that they’ve now adopted was allegedly playing out. As I documented last autumn, the overwhelming media narrative from late September and early October explicitly deflected attention away from the prospect of a second lockdown. Scientists such as Gupta, Heneghan and the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD) signers, they vigorously maintained, were arguing with a ‘strawman’ of renewed lockdowns that nobody was seriously proposing or considering anymore....

"On 11 October, Guardian columnist Sonia Sodha wrote, ‘The [Great Barrington] declaration sets itself up against a straw proposal that nobody is arguing for – a full-scale national lockdown until a vaccine is made available’. By 30 October, Sodha was already contradicting herself and revising her own history, tweeting, ‘Wish we’d had a circuit breaker lockdown when SAGE first recommended it’. By mid-December, she was touting the conspiracy theory about Gupta, Heneghan and Tegnell’s Zoom meeting with Downing Street. More recently, she has become an advocate of de-platforming the same scientists from British media channels for their anti-lockdown heresies.

"Sridhar’s own navigation of the lockdown question followed a similar course. Although she now chastises opponents of the ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown proposal from the events of 20-21 September, and faults them for Britain’s second wave, Sridhar wrote a bizarre op-ed in the Guardian on 10 October, purporting to oppose ‘continual lockdowns’.... Sridhar would doubtless insist that her own re-adoption of lockdown advocacy about a month later arose from a failure to heed her earlier advice.... Even then, it’s difficult to square her mid-October position with her newfound claim to have recognised the wisdom of a national lockdown some two to three weeks earlier than the 10 October op-ed....

"The most astounding attempt at revisionism, however, came from Gurdasani – the Snow Memorandum organiser, who has since tried to blame the UK’s Covid failures on Gupta, Heneghan and Tegnell over the September Zoom conference. She now depicts herself as an early lockdown advocate whose advice from September was shoved aside and ignored. Yet as late as 26 October, Gurdasani was still pushing the same ‘lockdowns are a strawman’ line that had dominated the previous month of UK media coverage. Writing for the Byline Times, a London-based blog that has pushed multiple unhinged conspiracy theories of its own about the Great Barrington Declaration, Gurdasani described lockdowns as ‘a strawman that the science is not only not advocating for, but very keen to avoid’.... As Gurdasani and another Snow Memorandum signer told the Byline Times’ readership, ‘Unfortunately, the proponents of herd immunity have had a huge impact on responses to the pandemic, effectively creating the lockdown strawman’, and insisting that this presented a ‘dangerous false dichotomy’.

"With Gurdasani stressing that she was keen to avoid future lockdowns – a ‘strawman’, in her own words – as late as 26 October, one begins to wonder how she could have supported the very same ‘strawman’ over a month earlier on 20 September, the date on which the dissenting scientists allegedly wrested control of the UK’s pandemic response. Perhaps the lockdowners’ latest conspiracy theory has another, as of yet undisclosed twist to it – this one involving a time machine.

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See also: Snowjobbers try to rewrite history (1)

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