Medical experts v anti-vaxxers: the Covid-19 information battle
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On one side is the “anti-vax” movement, a constellation of groupings drawn from across the ideological spectrum, far-right opportunists and celebrities including the former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown.
On the other is the NHS, virtually the entire medical community, government departments and Brown’s former Stone Roses bandmate John Squire.
Brown, who is one of the latest British celebrities to act as a conduit for the spread of misinformation about coronavirus, appears to be revelling in his newfound role after tweeting: “NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX.” In an apparent response, Squire tweeted less than an hour later: “Wear a mask. Stay safe. Look after yourself and others.”
The Northern Irish musician Van Morrison has also joined the ranks of the Covid sceptics, describing the British government as “fascist bullies disturbing our peace” in one of three new tracks he has written to protest against safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus. He criticised “celebrities telling us what we’re supposed to feel”, but denied he was one of them.
“No more lockdown / No more government overreach / No more fascist bullies / Disturbing our peace,” he sings on No More Lockdown. “No more taking of our freedom / And our God-given rights / Pretending it’s for our safety / When it’s really to enslave.”
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