Astrophysicist and famed science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson appeared on The Highwire, an antivax video podcast, to “debate” its host, antivax propagandist Del Bigtree. This incident demonstrates quite well why it is almost never a good idea for a scientist to agree to “debate” science deniers.
Del Bigtree almost bled to death from hemorrhoids, but still refused transfusion from donors vaccinated against COVID-19. Instead, he flew to Cancun to get “unvaccinated blood” at a quack cancer clinic. This sort of disinformation can kill. In Bigtree’s case, it almost did.
An old school “vaccines cause autism” antivaxxer hosted new COVID-19 antivaxxers at an antivax conference last month. Although one new antivaxxer, Geert Vanden Bossche, was discomfited and pushed back against old antivax tropes, the rest joined Del Bigtree in spewing longstanding antivax tropes.
Del Bigtree’s antivaccine group ICAN has claimed a huge “victory” over the CDC over the bogus antivax claim that vaccines cause autism. It’s really a huge nothingburger, a grifting fundraising tactic.
Misrepresentation of VAERS reports has been a longstanding antivaccine propaganda technique. Now Del Bigtree has gotten his hands on V-Safe, the system created to track adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination. The results are, predictably, disinformation.