The Collins crock

Bret Baier interviewed NIH Director Francis Collins on Collin’s last day in office this past Sunday. Baier did a poor job, letting Collins disparage the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration as “fringe epidemiologists” without providing any notion of their professional prominence, the substance of the debate, or their sapience on the issues, for that matter.

The topic sentence of the declaration called on the public health authorities to take into account “the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies” and “recommend[ed] an approach we call Focused Protection.” Baier quoted recently disclosed emails between Collins and the fallacious Dr. Fauci in which Collins called for “a quick and devastating published take down” of the declaration.

Collins’s email itself notes that one of the “fringe epidemiologists” is Nobel Prize-winner Michael Levitt (misspelled “Leavitt” by Collins). He is Professor of Structural Biology at Stanford. He holds an endowed chair in cancer research at the Stanford School of Medicine. His professional background is posted here (more here: “Since 28 January 2020, Levitt, his Stanford group and an international team of volunteers have worked tirelessly on data analysis of COVID-19”). His Twitter feed is here.

Another is Martin Kulldorff. Dr. Kulldorff is in fact a distinguished epidemiologist. He is a member of the faculty of both Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His professional background is posted here. His Twitter feed is here.

Another is Jay Bhattacharya. Dr. Bhattacharya holds both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. He is Professor of Medicine with a focus on health policy at Stanford. His professional background is posted here and here (“Dr. Bhattacharya’s research focuses on the health and well-being of vulnerable populations, with a particular emphasis on the role of government programs, biomedical innovation, and economics”). His Twitter feed is here.

Drs. Kulldorff and Bhattacharya are two of the three founding fellows of Hillsdale College’s new Academy for Science and Freedom in Washington. The third is Dr. Scott Atlas. Hillsdale’s press release is posted here.

Collins appears to be a happy idiot, and stupidity explains a lot, but at this point it must be worse than that. He really should be called to account. To say the least, the issues remain alive. Baier’s interview was a lost opportunity.

Dr. Bhattacharya has posted a long Twitter thread responding to Collins. He takes up the Collins crock in a useful and illuminating fashion. Below is the first tweet of the thread, which is quoted at length in Debra Heine’s American Greatness column here. You can also pick up the Twitter thread in its entirety here.

UPDATE: I forgot about Sunetra Gupta. She is also one of the original authors or proponents of the Great Barrington Declaration. Dr. Gupta is Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at Oxford University. She is an expert in the field of infectious diseases. Her professional background is posted here. Her Twitter feed is here.

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