After Twitter removed left-wing activist Prashant Bhushan’s anti-mask tweet more than two weeks ago for spreading misinformation, many expected the former AAP member to calm down. However, in a tweet today, Prashant Bhushan attempted to slyly push the anti-vaccine narrative by raising doubts as to the efficacy of vaccines in the U.K. vis-a-vis India.
In order to make sure his tweet stays up and is not removed from Twitter, Bhushan masked his anti-vaccine narrative in the garb of criticizing “graphs”.
People use the graph of falling cases& deaths alongside rising vaccinations in UK, to show how effective vaccines are to stop the Pandemic. But see the same graph in India!— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) April 26, 2021
I am not saying that Vaccines are responsible for the current wave, but graphs are not necessarily evidence pic.twitter.com/7TSJIHY6rh
In order to prove Bhushan’s anti-vaccine tendencies without a shadow of a doubt, one only needs to read Bhushan’s own words. On February 1 of this year, Prashant Bhushan announced that “Covid is naturally dying down in India!” and therefore the Finance Minister’s allocation of Rs. 35,000 crores to private vaccine companies at the time was somehow incorrect. Bhushan referred to the vaccines as “untested” in order to further propagate his anti-vaccine narrative.
FM announces 35,000 Cr of our money to be spent on Pvt Vaccine Companies for untested Vaccines at a time when Covid is naturally dying down in India! But this money cannot be given to poor migrant labour who lost their jobs or to Farmers for MSP on their crops. Wah FM sahiba!— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) February 1, 2021
On February 15, Bhushan once again questioned people who are “promoting untested vaccines in India”. In the same tweet, Bhushan makes assertions that Coronavirus is somehow slowing down in India, and laughably declares that Delhi and Mumbai are “at herd immunity”. For someone who has been this categorically wrong about the pandemic, we wonder why Prashant Bhushan continues to comment on it.
Don’t understand why people are still promoting untested Vaccines in India when Daily Covid cases, active cases&Covid deaths are down to 10% of peak&deaths are <100 daily. Sero surveys show that >30 Cr have been infected with death rates <1/2000. Delhi,Mumbai are at herd immunity https://t.co/m0g28iOmiZ pic.twitter.com/IRbEb6CMQY— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) February 15, 2021
On March 30, Bhushan made his biggest anti-vaccine comment. In a tweet, Bhushan falsely claims that the vaccines promoted by the Government, including Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN, are ineffective against the U.K. strain and the South African strain. However, a recent ICRM study concluded that COVAXIN is effective against both the U.K. variant and the South African variant. Prashant Bhushan provides no evidence for his claims of ineffective vaccines, obviously.
Amazing how Govt&media is hyping the fresh Covid wave& Vaccines, w/o asking whether fresh wave is due to UK & South African variants; &if these vaccines are effective against Variants. Punjab reported 84% of new cases are UK Variants. Studies show present vaccines are ineffective— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) March 30, 2021
Bhushan’s Anti-Mask tendencies
In a tweet on April 10, Bhushan wrote, “The data suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block transmission of viral and infectious disease such as COVID-19. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects”. He had added this text from the quoted report, asking his followers on Twitter to “read this detailed study on Masks”.
Soon after he posted this anti-mask tweet, he was widely criticized on social media by users of all ideological leanings, including left-wing personalities. Many people had reported the tweet as spreading misinformation. As a result, Twitter removed the Tweet later in the day, saying that it violates Twitter Rules.
Drawing conclusions from Bhushan’s own words, it seems obvious that Prashant Bhushan inhabits some vaccine hesitancy, which does not come as a surprise considering he’s an Anti-Masker as well. However, the one thing which all the above-mentioned tweets/examples make clear is this, Bhushan is not a person to listen to when it comes to COVID-19, about masks, vaccines, or anything really. People will be much better off following the advice of doctors and scientists rather than a has-been political activist.