This victim shaming of #COVID19 patients is part and parcel with alternative medicine beliefs that I've been discussing for many years, the delusion that, if you only eat the right foods and live the right lifestyle, you can be more or less immune to infectious disease. 1/
Interestingly, Bob Costas, of all people, once nailed the nonsense of this belief when in 2009 @billmaher claimed that because he was so healthy he wouldn't catch the flu on a plane. Costas' retort? "Oh, come on, Superman!" 2/…
While it is true that it is better to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and otherwise live a healthy lifestyle than not, it won't make you immune to disease. It might, for instance, decrease your risk of certain cancers, but you can still get cancer. 3/
That doesn't even consider the fact that there are a lot of diseases that are just inherent to aging whose risk you can lower but never even come close to eliminating. Then there are genetic and familial predispositions. 4/
Add to that socioeconomic factors that make living the "right" lifestyle or eating the "right" healthy diet difficult, if not impossible, and you see where this is going. 5/
The problem with this belief system is the negative flip side of it, which we see in Mr. Hague's Tweet. If you can so effectively prevent disease by living the "right" lifestyle, then if you get sick that must mean you weren't doing that; i.e., it's *your* fault you got sick. 6/
Perhaps my favorite example to cite of this most despicable point of view comes from—who else?—antivaxxer @delbigtree. 7/
In June 2020, @delbigtree did an episode of @HighWireTalk where he basically blamed those at high risk for severe #COVID19 (type II diabetes, obese, etc.) for being that way and did it in the most explicit fashion. 7/…
I transcribed part of what @delbigtree said, so that when the video disappeared it wouldn't be lost. Read it and see what I mean. He even tries to sidestep the issue that age in and of itself is a huge risk factor for severe #COVID19. 8/
Amusingly, @delbigtree then went on to portray himself (and his righteous "healthy" viewers) as benevolent, willing to go out there and "Catch this cold" in order to protect these poor schmucks who had destroyed their own health. How magnanimous of him! 9/
Of course, whenever I see someone like @delbigtree advocate for going out there and catching #COVID19, my response is always: You first. Oddly enough, Mr. Bigtree does not seem to have taken me up on my offer. 10/
I mean, I'm sure there are lots of his listeners who have #COVID19 who would be more than happy to spend a couple of hours in a small, poorly ventilated room, the better to make sure that the intrepid @delbigtree does indeed "catch this cold." 11/
In any event, never forget that attitudes like those of Mr. Hague and @delbigtree have long been a major part of the belief systems that underlie alternative medicine modalities. 12/
It's basically magical thinking (if I am righteous I will not get sick) and victim blaming (if you get sick you must not be righteous). 13/13
One more. According to this thinking, if you get sick you must not be righteous, or you must not be pure. 14/14…
Sometimes this goes to ridiculous and dangerous extremes, as when @delbigtree flew to a quack clinic in Mexico to get a transfusion of "unvaccinated" blood, risking bleeding to death because of his refusal just to take a transfusion. 15/15…

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More from @gorskon

5 Oct
Indeed. Worse, when this is pointed out to the doctors paddling with the current, inevitably they blame those of us trying to beat back against it for not doing science communication right, as if we are contributing to the river's flow. 1/
The doctors who prefer to rest rather than row have always been with us. Prepandemic, writing for @ScienceBasedMed, @drval coined the term "shruggie" to describe such doctors, most of whom just have a hard time believing how bad the misinformation is. 2/
Shruggies are bad enough, but at least they usually don't actively make things worse. Docs who start paddling with the flow of the river do. And then they blame those trying to stem the tide of misinformation for having "done science communication wrong." 3/3
Read 6 tweets
5 Oct
Yep. I was warning that #VAERS would be misused by antivaxxers this way since before any #CovidVaccine got an EUA, as were others familiar with antivax misinformation. I’ve been writing about how antivaxxers misuse VAERS since around 2006. @OpenVAERS deception is nothing new.
Provaccine advocates found it very frustrating how hardly any of our colleagues listened to took the warnings seriously, even though we had been showing how antivaxxers had been abusing #VAERS this way for two decades at least.
The only difference between disinformation efforts like @OpenVAERS and, pre-pandemic, dumpster diving #VAERS studies by antivax quacks Mark and David Geier claiming to show that vaccines cause autism is scale.
Read 4 tweets
3 Oct
I keep looking at this quote by Dr. Prasad and wondering: What history books on Nazi Germany has he read? Because the ignorance there is astounding. Hitler worked to turn himself into a dictator beginning the day he assumed the office of Chancellor or Germany. 1/
Also, President Hindenberg died in August 1934, a year and a half after Hitler had become Chancellor. (He was very old and in ill health.) The quote above makes it sound as though Hindenberg hung around until 1939, which is ludicrous. 2/
Hindenburg was complicit in Hitler's becoming dictator, too. For example, besides having appointed Hitler as Chancellor after the Nazis won a plurality, he approved the Reichstag Fire Decree, which suspended various civil liberties. 3/
Read 11 tweets
2 Oct
The only "idiot move" last night was for a comedian to pontificate so utterly confidently on science and medicine that he clearly doesn't understand.🙄
Since last night, I've been thinking. Are Daniel Whitney's "vaccine skepticism" and appeals to "natural immunity" his real views, or are they performative? After all, if your stage persona is a stereotypical redneck, your audience won't appreciate you supporting #CovidVaccine.
If your stage persona is "Larry the Cable Guy," a stereotype of the rural working man whose catchphrase is "Git 'r done!" you know your audience will expect you to spew the same sort of ignorant #COVID19 contrarianism that they believe in. Failure to do so risks alienating them.
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep
So, later this afternoon I’m going to get my 5G topped up. I’m only on one bar and fear that I’ll drop back to 4G LTE soon. (Also, spoons don’t stick to me anymore.) Can anyone tell me what to expect? Was it the same or worse than dose two?
5G reacquired.
16 hrs later, my 5G is back up to 5 bars, but that top up might have been a bit too energetic. I'm also experiencing fatigue, muscle aches, and chills. In retrospect, it was wise to schedule the booster on a day before a day when I had nothing scheduled and could stay home.
Read 9 tweets
30 Sep
As @AlanLevinovitz points out, “natural immunity” has always been an antivaccine trope with strong association with “purity.” I’ve been writing about this for years and have long liked to invoke Gen. Jack D. Ripper describing this phenomenon.
For example, nine years ago.,,…
It’s thus utterly unsurprising that antivaxxers are invoking the same “purity of essence” tropes for #COVID19.…
Read 4 tweets

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