It’s incredible how, not only have I needed to defend scientists these last 14 months, but also science journalists. The assault on science in America in 2020-21 has been unprecedented. My defending science/scientists a new side occupation for me. Links to papers in attached link
In America, much of this coming from two areas:
1) Political extremism on the far right, rising out of Texas where I live and work, of late linking to QAnon and other craziness.
2) Predatory or weaponized health communication from the Putin-led Russian Government.
These elements were also true for the antivaccine movement I’ve been fighting for many years. But now it’s more organized and globalized. So far the US Govt, UN agencies, the academies, and most academic societies haven’t shown much appetite to confront it. So I will keep on...
This outdated pre-internet approach of “shhh, don’t talk about it, it’s a fringe element and if you talk about it you’ll give it oxygen” still pervades many of the science agencies, societies, academia. I counter it’s just their excuse for inaction and a cover for risk aversion

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More from @PeterHotez

24 Feb
Many thanks ⁦@KatyTurNBC⁩ ⁦@KatyOnMSNBC⁩ for hosting me with ⁦@carolelee⁩ ⁦@ashishkjha⁩ we spoke about some exciting new on J&J vaccine, likely to be released soon through FDA EUA, although only 3 million doses so far. Image
A few things: we need to move quickly ahead of the SGTF variants, so having additional doses is a big plus, given we’ll need about 0.5 billion immunizations to fully vaccinate the US population
Also looking at phase 1-2 data, my guess is giving a second dose will give protective immunity equivalent to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech and more durable protection, so don’t be too surprised if a 2nd dose is recommended down the line
Read 4 tweets
22 Feb
1/10: Today we are commemorating the loss of 500,000 American lives from #COVID19. Looking forward to the remarks by the POTUS later on today or tonight. How did we get to this awful place?
2/10: From my perspective there are 4 major factors:
1) Unique aspects of SARS CoV2 and COVID19
2) Missed opportunities in our national response
3) Insistence in 2020 to have the states lead
4) White House anti-science disinformation campaign
3/10: Regarding the unique aspect of the virus, for me it was the "Janus Face" of the SARS-2 coronavirus and its ability to replicate in high numbers in mouth, nose, throat. It meant there were 2 groups of individuals: asymptomatic spreaders, and those becoming very sick.
Read 11 tweets
21 Feb
..and they were pretty brazen about it. In 2020, second to deconstructing the Trump White House antiscience disinformation campaign, I worked to downplay the spectacular claims of pharma company press releases, remindIng American audiences they were meant for shareholders, not us
This was a flaw of Op Warp Speed: never adopting a communication strategy. The gap was filled by company press releases making it appear like vaccines appeared like magic without reference to the more than a decade of NIH Wellcome investments in spike protein targeting R&D.
This in turn caused a segment of the public to distrust COVID19 vaccines, something for which I’m still doing damage control
Read 6 tweets
20 Feb
Many thanks ⁦@kendisgibson⁩ ⁦@LindseyReiser⁩ for hosting me ⁦@MSNBCweekends⁩: Due to our power disruptions, Texas has now fallen to the bottom of % population vaccinated according to NYT Tracker. We need to make up for lost time to get ahead of B.1.1.7 variant
I certainly share POTUS statement that we can get to normalcy by end of 2021, actually I’m even more optimistic, I think by August-Sept if the stars ⭐️ align. The issue is this: the American lives lost between now and then. Maybe a range between 0.5 million to up to 1 million?
The former number is what happens if we get ahead of the variant and move us up quickly to 3 million immunizations per day. The more devastating number is what happens if we screw around and don’t pick up the pace
Read 4 tweets
18 Feb
1/4: Many thanks ⁦@NicolleDWallace⁩ for hosting me today ⁦@DeadlineWH⁩ with ⁦@MaraGay⁩ ⁦@DavidJollyFL⁩ speaking on sharp declines in life expectancy from #covid especially in Black and Brown communities, I pointed that life expectancy numbers = averages
2/4: but that my read between the lines is that it means losing a generation of African American and Hispanic moms and dads in their 40s 50s 60s parents of teenagers or young adults, young grandparents. I called this “historic decimation”
3/4: I also very much appreciated @MaraGay comments on the stark reality that every African American adult knows someone who has suffered or lost their life from #COVID19. Last year I predicted this and said COVID will go from a public health to homeland security crisis from this
Read 4 tweets
16 Feb
Not sure how many times we can revisit this, but this is the last of it from my side: 1. I receive no funding from industry or vaccine manufacturers, either personal or institutional. 2. Bill Gates does not give me his money (although that would be nice). Additional info below:
1. Our only link with industry is German Merck KgaA (totally different from the American Merck & Co, the vaccine manufacturer, they were permanently separated due to WWI) graciously helps us improve production yields for our schistosomiasis vaccine for poorest people in Africa
2. With Gates, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation previously funded our human hookworm vaccine, but no longer. That program continues through NIAID NIH support
Read 5 tweets

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