Monday, January 31, 2022

#2511: Gary Barnes

Gary Barnes is an antivaxx writer and conspiracy theorist who has written for instance for TruthKings, the website run by antivaccine loon Sherri Tenpenny. Like antivaxxers in general, Barnes blames the vaccines. He often does so under the pretext of JAQing off, of course. But it is the vaccine.


So for instance, when Prince died in 2016, Barnes penned ‘Vaccine Injury Suspected InPrince’s Death’, the title being formulated that way to sort of hide the fact that the one suspected vaccine injury was him, based on nothing whatsoever except what he could pull out of his own ass. Basing his article off of the claim, from Prince’s management, that Prince was suffering from the flu (a common management claim about artists who are suddenly absent; Prince did not have the flu, Barnes stated that “suspicion is now high that Prince was potentially given a flu shot injection or heavy doses of Tamiflu. Prince suffers from epilepsy, and the flu shot can be deadly for those suffering from that illness.” Of course, vaccines are safe in children and adults with epilepsy, for whom routine vaccines on the vaccination schedule are still recommended. Concluded Barnes: “The key will be the discovery of Prince being given a flu shot, which isn’t clear as of yet. However the situation seems to reflect such potential.” ‘seems’ means seems to Barnes, and it seems that way to Barnes because he’s a dingbat. Even commenters on antivaccine sites had to ask why on Earth Prince would receive the flu vaccine if he already had the flu.


Barnes also engages in wishful thinking. In 2017, for instance, he claimed gleefully (and reflecting the antivaxx movement’s sharp turn to the right) that “[a]ccording to sources, the CDC has been ordered by Trump to remove all vaccine related information by February 18th of this year.” Yes, he relied on … ‘sources’. He seems to have gotten the idea from the Salt Lake City Guardian, a well-known fake news website with no named owners, boards or journalists. The fact that he didn’t name them as his source suggests that Barnes was, at some level, aware of the shoddiness of his source.


As for conspiracies, Barnes has suggested that pharmaceutical companies created the Zika virus to push vaccines and that “vaccines are a part of a large global holocaust against the black and Muslim community.”


Diagnosis: Armed with nothing but his imagination, his ass, and wishful thinking, Barnes is trying his hardest to undermine people’s trust in science and the best means people have for protecting themselves against potentially debilitating disease. Yeah, it’s rot all the way down. And yes, his rants do receive (some) exposure, and they do cause harm.

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