Several people have been kind enough to read my book and write thoughtful reviews (Pandemic Accountability Index, Gunnar Hamann, Dr. Christopher Lane, Michael Hiltzik). Other people, who have yet to read it, weren’t so kind, or thoughtful. Two of my critics said the following:


In my book, I quote people like Mr. Tucker and Dr. Bhattacharya accurately and extensively, and it’s gratifying how many readers have commented on the thorough references. In fact, my book opens with this quote from Dr. Bhattacharya, which comes from a roundtable discussion with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on July 26, 2021. He said:

We have protected the vulnerable—by vaccinating the older population, we have provided them with enormous protection against severe disease and death. That’s why you see, even as the cases have risen in Sweden in the past wave, or in the UK in this past wave, and in Florida in this past wave, the number of deaths have not risen proportionally. Why? Because we protected the vulnerable. The key thing to me is hospitalizations and deaths from COVID. While we’ve done an incredible job at decoupling the cases from the deaths, the public focus on cases at this point, I think, only serves to panic people without actually serving any other public health purpose.… I don’t think the delta variant changes the calculus or the evidence in any fundamental way.

In reality, the Delta variart changed the calculus and evidence in a very fundamental way, and this was obvious within days. Six weeks after Dr. Bhattacharya said the vulnerable had been protected, headlines declared “4 Kids Among Florida’s COVID Death Toll as State Sets Another Record for Fatalities“. Calling me “inane” doesn’t change any of this.



I explicitly call attention to importance of quotes in the book’s first chapter. I wrote:

Large portions of this book are merely quotes by contrarian doctors. Please read them carefully and judge for yourself whether they aged well or not. Also pay close attention to the tone and language these doctors use. Watch some of their YouTube videos. What words do they use to describe the virus? What words do they use to describe the vaccine and other measures to control COVID? Are they willing to share bad news about the virus? Are they willing to share good news about the vaccine?

Not only do these quotes bolster my arguments, it’s the only way to be fair to the people I discuss. Their words belong to them, even if the consequences belonged to others.

Predictably, my critics did not extend the same courtesy to me. They tried to make strangers’ words belong to me. Despite not quoting me at all, they claimed I believe:

  • Living your life is an irresponsible act
  • Sending your kids to school is an irresponsible act
  • In lockdowns with no logical endpoint
  • In lockdowns forever
  • The public should avoid COVID to protect doctors (discussed here)
  • That people should hide away forever
  • That people should be used as lab rats for iterative vaccine development

By putting absurd words into my mouth to argue against their own fantasies, Dr. Bhattacharya tricked his audience, while ducking what I actually wrote. This is what is so pernicious about these juvenile straw man arguments and immature insults. For example, although the Great Barrington Declaration still claims people can hide from the virus and herd immunity will arrive 3-6 months, Dr. Bhattacharya scolded me saying in his “rebuttal” by saying:

There is and was no way to hide away from the virus forever without harm to your physical, psychological, and economic health.

Dr. Bhattacharya isn’t refuting me. He’s catching up to me. Here’s what I wrote two years ago in an article advocating for pediatric vaccination:

It seems implausible a large percentage of unvaccinated young people will be able to avoid the virus for years to come. As such, I suspect that most everyone will gain immunity to COVID-19 eventually. It’s just a question of whether it’s through the vaccine or virus.

Meanwhile, here’s what Dr. Bhattacharya wrote two years ago in his anti-vaccine article “The Ill-Advised Push to Vaccinate the Young“:

The idea that everyone must be vaccinated against COVID-19 is as misguided as the anti-vax idea that no one should. The former is more dangerous for public health.

Dr. Bhattacharya felt vaccinating everyone would be “more dangerous” than vaccinating no one. Calling me “covidian” doesn’t make this age any better.

Worse than this, Dr. Bhattacharya now holds me responsible for words he wrote at the pandemic’s start, when he surmised that COVID had “one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%”. I was busy in the hospital at the time and said very little. That’s why, despite his childish taunts of “lockdowner”, Dr. Bhattacharya can’t quote me as saying:



Over a million Americans are dead already, and millions more would have died had we let the virus run rampant before anyone was vaccinated. Calling me a “lockdowner” doesn’t change what Dr. Bhattacharya wrote.

I invite people to disagree with my words, so long as they are my words. Thus far however, my critics have lacked the courage to quote me at all. Sadly, Mr. Tucker and Dr. Bhattacharya have been so warped by the rewards of social media engagement from unquestioning strangers, they can only robotically repeat the exact same insults and canned responses to all of their critics. They no longer even pretend to engage on the substance of what I actually said- much of which is simply quoting what they actually said.

Their response tells you everything about them and nothing about me.



  • Dr. Jonathan Howard is a neurologist and psychiatrist who has been interested in vaccines since long before COVID-19. He is the author of "We Want Them Infected: How the failed quest for herd immunity led doctors to embrace the anti-vaccine movement and blinded Americans to the threat of COVID."

Posted by Jonathan Howard

Dr. Jonathan Howard is a neurologist and psychiatrist who has been interested in vaccines since long before COVID-19. He is the author of "We Want Them Infected: How the failed quest for herd immunity led doctors to embrace the anti-vaccine movement and blinded Americans to the threat of COVID."