Trump Falls For ‘Dr. I.P. Freely’ Joke On Bogus COVID-19 Scientist Study
In news that would be funny, if not for the 216,000 dead Americans and more than a million dead from coronavirus worldwide, the Trump administration is touting a “scientific analysis” signed by doctors with very obviously fake names. The New York Times reports that the White House is promoting a so-called study, signed by nearly 10,000 “medical & public health scientists,” arguing COVID-19 can be beaten through herd immunity, or the notion that purposeful spreading of the virus will eventually just render the whole population immune.
But a Sky News report found a large number of the doctors had totally fake names, or were not actually doctors. Their review of the doctors who had signed found the names “included Dr. I.P. Freely, Dr. Person Fakename and Dr. Johnny Bananas, who listed himself as a ‘Dr of Hard Sums.’”
"Sky News found dozens of fake names on the list of medical signatories, including Dr. I.P. Freely, Dr. Person Fakename, and Dr. Johnny Bananas." White House Cites Herd-Immunity Petition Signed by Fake Experts https://t.co/MX49EaYfPi via @thedailybeast
— Meg Gardiner (@MegGardiner1) October 14, 2020
The “study” in question is not a study at all, it’s basically a glorified Change.org-style petition where any old moron can check a box claiming that they’re a doctor. It’s called the The Great Barrington Declaration, and since their bullshit names were exposed, the group has removed the names of the so-called doctors who had signed on.
One of the greatest panel discussions I've ever heard was with noted epidemiologists Dr. IP Freely and Dr. Johnny Bananas. https://t.co/1sG0L5tExM
— Masked-up Dance Dad (@ColoUte) October 14, 2020
The stupidity does not end there. Sky News also found a doctor who listed his credential as a “PhD Durham Univercity,” a number of homeopaths claiming that as a medical credential, as well as hypnotherapists, massage therapists, and a “therapeutic sound practitioner.”
“One medical professional on the list gives his name as Dr Harold Shipman, a general practitioner in the United Kingdom,” according to Sky News. “A GP called Harold Shipman killed more than 200 of his patients before he was arrested in 1998.”
If you think Dr. Johnny Bananas is bad, the petition was also signed by Dr. IP Freely and Dr. Person Fakename. Going the herd immunity route wasn't bad enough they are joking around with a plan for our health. https://t.co/3S69UHYDmu
— Right Matters 😷🌊 (@RestinpeaceRBG) October 14, 2020
The World Health Organization describes treating COVID-19 with herd immunity as “simply unethical.” And some sham online petition is not the same thing as a scientific study or legitimate paper published in a medical journal. We hate to piss in your Cheerios, President Trump, but a paper signed by Dr. I.P. Freely is not a legitimate medical study.