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Mask skeptic Harvard epidemiologist takes to Gab as Twitter lockout enters fourth week

Martin Kulldorff continues publishing on the harms of lockdown, effectiveness of natural immunity.

Published: June 4, 2021 4:00pm

Updated: June 5, 2021 11:13pm

Twitter suspended a prominent critic of COVID-19 policies for claiming that public health officials inadvertently killed elderly people by emphasizing the protective powers of masks.

That was three weeks ago, and there's no indication Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff is close to regaining access to his account.

But it hasn't stopped the vaccine safety pioneer from sharing his perspective with the public in essays and posts on LinkedIn and even the conservative-heavy Gab.

"I had no choice but to speak out against lockdowns," Kulldorff wrote in a June 4 essay for Spiked, a British online publication that has frequently challenged the U.K.'s harsh COVID-19 policies.

The same day, radio host Michael Smerconish published an essay on the protective power of natural immunity by Kulldorff and his collaborators on the public health statement known as the Great Barrington Declaration, Stanford Med's Jay Bhattacharya and Oxford's Sunetra Gupta.

"As scientists, we have been stunned and disheartened to witness many strange scientific claims made during this pandemic, often by scientists," the epidemiologists wrote. They cited a statement, signed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Wolensky, that doubts the effectiveness of "natural infection" in warding off further COVID-19 infection.

The trio waded into political waters this spring by appearing with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on roundtable discussions questioning common COVID-19 political responses. They joined him a second time after YouTube removed video of the first.

Kulldorff confirmed to Just the News he was using LinkedIn as an alternative to Twitter but didn't mention his Gab account. He didn't answer how he plans to communicate going forward in light of social media censorship.

Twitter did not respond to a query about what Kulldorff must do to regain access to his account, but Bhattacharya told Just the News that Twitter is "conditioning his return" on retracting "a true statement about masks."

This is nothing compared to Guatemalan 'death squads' he faced

The Harvard professor's lockout wasn't his first dispute with Twitter, which also prevented users from interacting with a Kulldorff tweet it labeled "misleading." He had said not everyone needs vaccines, including children and those with previous infections.

On the other side, the CDC also kicked him off a vaccine safety panel for publicly questioning its recommendation for a pause in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The agency agreed with his conclusion days later.

But Kulldorff apparently didn't share his Twitter ban, which was circulating on Twitter, under any other account until a week later on Gab. That account appears to have been set up in response to the ban, given that his first interaction is a May 13 "repost," the platform's version of a retweet.

The Twitter email notice said he violated its policy on "spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19." 

Kulldorff had said some high-risk elderly people died because they were "[n]aively fooled to think" they didn't have to socially distance if they were wearing masks. "Public health officials/scientists must always be honest with the public."

This tweet "may pose a risk to people's health" because it "goes directly against guidance from authoritative sources of global and local public health information," Twitter said. It did not give him an option to challenge the lockout or remove the tweet to get back in.

To the contrary, Kulldorff wrote on Gab: "By making people think that masks work better than they do, Twitter and others has [sic] endangered lives."

While his Twitter account remains live, Kulldorff's most recent published tweet is May 9. He shared a National Review article on how the pandemic "became an unshakeable moral purpose" for some people who refuse to re-enter normal life despite widespread vaccine availability.

He has since taken to sharing overlapping but not identical content on Gab and LinkedIn, both his own writing and that of others. Kulldorff appears to be more playful on Gab, where he shared a satirical article from The Babylon Bee criticizing Florida for having fewer COVID-19 deaths than "science" would allow.

His most recent essay in Spiked defends the "focused protection" approach he has taken since early in the pandemic and responds to criticism.

"As a public-health scientist with decades of experience working on infectious-disease outbreaks, I couldn’t stay silent," he wrote: "Not when basic principles of public health are thrown out of the window. Not when the working class is thrown under the bus." 

He shrugged off accusations of being a "Koch-funded right-winger" because he had seen much worse as a human rights worker in Guatemala, where "military death squads" once threw a hand grenade in his house.

Censorship by Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, and his removal from the CDC panel, is directly related to the documented failure of lockdown policies, Kulldorff wrote. 

"Had we been wrong, our scientific colleagues might have taken pity on us and the media would have gone back to ignoring us," he said. "Being correct means that we embarrassed some immensely powerful people in politics, journalism, big tech and science. They are never going to forgive us."

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