Aaron Ginn, a Republican activist and former member of Mitt Romney’s campaign, published a couple of days ago an article on Medium.com, titled “Evidence over hysteria — COVID-19”. Ginn apparently has a Bachelor’s of Arts/Science degree, and has been involved in the Lincoln Network, a conservative organization that aims to improve the use of social media by Republicans. He has no background in infectious disease epidemiology. His misleading piece has been read by millions of people and has been spread around on right-wing media sites.
Ginn’s article represented an effort to advance the Republican agenda of downplaying the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. It was, thank goodness, thoroughly deconstructed and debunked on Twitter by an actual scientist, Professor of Biology, Carl T. Bergstrom, based at the University of Washington. Prof. Bergstrom describes his work this way on his personal webpage:
I am a Professor of Biology at the University of Washington.
The unifying theme running throughout my work is the concept of information. Within biology, I study how communication evolves and how the process of evolution encodes information in genomes. In the philosophy and sociology of science, I study how norms and institutions influence scholars’ research strategies and, in turn, our scientific understanding of the world. Within informatics, I study how citations and other traces of scholarly activity can be used to better navigate the overwhelming volume of scholarly literature. Lately I've become concerned with the spread of disinformation on social networks, and I'm trying to figure out what we can do about it.
After Prof. Bergstrom published his tweets destroying the misleading argument put forth by Aaron Ginn, Medium.com apparently thought it best to unpublish Ginn’s dangerously misleading article. Conservatives are crying “censorship” and “First Amendment rights”, and are angry that they have been denied one platform to spread their dangerous disinformation.
The Republican party is a plague on our republic.
This is why Republicans hate higher education.
UPDATE: I’m no fan of the Twitter thread format, and have heard the complaints about that format in the comments as well. Following the suggestion of annieli, I tried using the “thread reader” page to make it more readable. I’m not sure how well that has worked, but have posted that version in the comments below.