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HomeCOVID-19Fury at BMJ’s outrageous bid to smear Covid dissenting doctors 

Fury at BMJ’s outrageous bid to smear Covid dissenting doctors 


LAST week the British Medical Journal published an article that was extraordinary even by its own very variable standards, entitled Understanding and neutralising Covid-19 misinformation and disinformation.  

You will have no problem guessing the content of this patently unscientific piece of propaganda. It was clearly targeted at the doctors and scientists whose evidence-based research and professional observations and medical experiences have given them no option but to challenge and question the official Covid narrative.  

The purpose is patent. It attempts to discredit a number of ethically motivated pressure groups and two in particular – the United Kingdom Medical Freedom Alliance (UKMFA) a body which advocates for every individual’s right to informed consent, bodily autonomy and medical choice, and the Health Advisory and Recovery Team (HART) – in that time-honoured Big Brother way that George Orwell so chillingly first depicted. It is clearly designed to ensure that no members of either group get anywhere near the official Covid-19 Inquiry. 

The authors of this vile calumny betray themselves immediately with an opening ‘key messages’ doublespeak that could be straight from the pages of Nineteen Eighty-Four

  • Research on the political and commercial determinants of health points to the importance of understanding how evidence is generated and promulgated. 
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, several groups have been active in opposing evidence-based public health measures. 
  • A rapid rise in misinformation and disinformation in digital and physical environments over a short period is called an ‘infodemic’. 
  • Active management of infodemics must form part of a comprehensive pandemic response. 
  • Further investigations into the social and public health effects of misinformation groups are needed to inform policy. 

The directors of the UKMFA unsurprisingly infuriated by it, have sent an open letter of complaint to the BMJ’s editor-in-chief, Dr Kamran Abbasi, directing him to the insinuations and unsubstantiated and unreferenced allegations concerning their organisation. They say (putting it more politely than I certainly would) that the article ‘appears to seek to undermine (their) contribution to a critical debate of national importance’. There is no ‘appears’ about it. It does seek to.

The approach of the authors, the letter states, ‘borders on the defamatory, is manifestly unscientific, and falls short of the editorial standards that the BMJ professes to uphold’.

The call by the article’s authors to promote and enforce only one ideology in a totalitarian way, the smearing of named organisations and its stated aim to outlaw any other viewpoint, write the UKMFA directors, should have made it unsuitable for a respected scientific journal such as the BMJ.  It is a damning letter. You can read it in full here

Outrageously the UKMFA were not offered the customary right to reply by the BMJ before the article was published. They have rightly requested an immediate retraction of the article and a published apology.

Further condemnation comes from Dr Elizabeth Evans, the UKMFA’s CEO, shocked by the tone and text of the article and that such an article could ever have been published by the BMJ.  

She writes to TCW that ‘it is deeply disturbing that there should be such a blatant push to silence legitimate scientific debate and to seek to exclude opposing voices from the Covid-19 Public Inquiry’.  

Dr Evans contends that the main aims and objectives of a public inquiry are to scrutinise and evaluate all the policies that the Government implemented and to do a retrospective full cost-benefit analysis and assessment of any resulting collateral damage: 

‘Now is the time to calmly and rationally assess all the arguments and evidence that campaigning groups have tried to present but, due to extreme censorship, were deliberately kept away from the public and political sphere for debate.’

The BMJ article has also come in for a scathing attack from Dr Ros Jones (retired consultant paediatrician, member of HART and convenor of CCVAC, Children’s Covid Vaccine Advisory Committee). She has written to both the Journal’s Editor and to Yuxi Wang the lead author of the defamatory attack. To Professor Abbasi she points out that the reference they quoted for these three organisations (UsForThem was the third) was from the ByLine Times and the BBC, ‘hardly known for their scientific credentials’. She notes with sorrow that BMJ has been, during the last two years, ‘one of the few journals which appeared to be keeping an open mind on the scientific basis for lockdowns, school closures, masks and random testing’, going on to say ‘It would be a tragedy for science if it closed its pages to anyone questioning potential risks of mRNA vaccines and the wisdom of rolling out a drug to literally billions of people world-wide, in particular children, before completing basic safety investigations’. 

To Dr Wang she’s written that as the lead author of a series of letters to the MHRA, the JCVI, the CMOs and the GMC, she was particularly disturbed to find that he classed these as misinformation. Had he actually read any of their publications?  Assuming not, she attached the latest letter, ‘signed by a number of eminent professors and others with huge accumulated experience and academic backgrounds’ which provides links to the previous letters dating back to May 2021 prior to the conditional marketing authorisation for children, with numerous references from high ranking journals.  

She concludes, ‘It would be very helpful if you could look through these and provide references for any statements you disagree with’. 

Dr Jay Bhattacharya, the renowned professor of medicine, economics, and health research policy at Stanford University in California, has called out the ‘authoritarian nonsense’ proposed by the article’s authors, in a strongly worded tweet, saying it violates ‘key civil rights’ and is  ‘inconsistent with long-standing free speech norms in democratic countries’. He is right.

Let’s hope with his voice backing his British colleagues, BMJ will come to their senses.

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Kathy Gyngell
Kathy Gyngell
Kathy is Editor of The Conservative Woman. She is @kathygyngelltcw on GETTR and is back on Twitter.

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