Vinay the Conspiracy Bear
If you've followed my blog or twitter, you've perhaps seen one or both of my #longcovid "Mean Tweets videos."Vinay the Angry Conspiracy Bear." Some understood the #parody while others were confused wondering, "what's up with the bear reference, why a children's book, and what the heck is the reference to sauna?"
Why the bear? He continues to feed me (pun intended) with ridiculous tweets that gaslight and spread misinformation around protecting against the dangers of Covid and potential of that leading to Long Covid? One might ask, why would he care?
The answer to that is in part, "follow the money" famously coined in the classic movie, "All the President's Men." Hal Holbrook, playing "deep throat" in a dimly lit garage explains to journalist Bob Woodward (played by Robert Redford) that he couldn't divulge everything, but suggested Woodward, "follow the money."
I'll admit, I didn't fully understand Prasad's "over-the-top" campaign against reasonable safety measures. A few replies to my video and a few DM's dropped in my twitter enlightened me as to the (what seems like) financial motivations. He does take on a lot of "headwind" against notable names like Putrino, Resia, Kell, and Ely who all warn of the dangers of Covid and Long Covid and are seeking a solution. Alternatively, Vinay chooses to gaslight.
I honestly asked Vinay (aka Dr. Seuss, aka #saunastalker,) to join the Long Covid Lounge hosted by Dave known as "D-Bone" on twitter to tune in and understand why his messaging is so hurtful. I also wondered as a supposed Dr. sworn by the hippocratic oath of ethics to be so unethical and how could the University of California San Francisco let him run amok.
The first domino to drop was shared by Kathryn on twitter.
Taylor Nichols helps explain and connect those "dots" in his article in Medium, "COVID Contrarians and the Influence of Funding in Medicine."
He states, "My opinions have continued to state that unfortunately, politics have played a dirty hand with the management or should I say mismanagement of Covid-19 in the U.S. and around the world."
In my opinion, Trump downplayed it, mocked mask-wearing, and vilified "Saint Fauci." As a result, those that vote "red" have become anti-science, anti-mask, and anti-vax.
Back to the thread connecting photos of Vinay Prasad on the corkboard. Nichols does a much better job than I could, but the short version is that (John Arnold of) The Arnold Foundation has seemingly noble intentions but includes a mission statement that includes education and election reform and "scientific research reform."
This is where Vinay's insane motivations enter the picture. Nichols write, "He has been loud and wrong for years now, which has only been amplified over the course of the COVID pandemic."
Some of Arnold Foundations efforts "lean left" which is surprising that "masking" and vaccines (which are typically "left" positions) are strongly opposed by the "sauna stalker."
Despite not being a pediatrician, Vinay gets on his soapbox dishing out advise for parents and children around masking and vaccines.
The second "domino to fall" was an article by Jonathan Howard. He wrote for Science Based Medicine (what a novel concept,) "Are Vaccine-Advocates “Idiots”, Indifferent to the Death of a Mentally Ill Woman and Her Family?" Tragically, a woman ended her life along with her two boys and the king of empathy, tweeted and incorrectly connected the dots to societal failures around Covid. What? or more appropriately, "what the fuck??"
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