Antivaccine activists and quacks often weaponize legitimate concerns about industry conflicts of interest in medicine into the “shill gambit,” in which they accuse critics and defenders of science-based medicine of being in the pay of big pharma. However, the rise of physician-influencers and, in particular, Subscription Substack show that not all conflicts of interest are from industry or even financial.
In 2010 I wrote about how I define “antivaccine.” Has my definition changed since COVID-19? Yes and no, but that’s why an update was needed. So what does “antivax” mean now, since COVID-19?
COVID-19 contrarian Dr. Vinay Prasad attacks the pandemic “misinformation police.” He needs new material, having recycled the same tropes he used to attack skeptics before the pandemic.
Recently, antivaxxers were all over social media after Tucker Carlson touted a “revelation” that the phase 3 clinical trial used to support licensure of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine didn’t examine its ability to block transmission as meaning that its inability to block transmission had been “covered up”. It wasn’t, and antivaxxers are ignoring everything we’ve learned over the last two years to make the claim that vaccines “don’t prevent transmission”.
Earlier this week, Mother Jones published an article about Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dr. Oz’s (a.k.a. America’s Quack) promotion of antivax quack Joe Mercola, who is now a leading source of COVID-19 disinformation. We warned you about this when it happened. Few listened.