King's College London psychology lecturer Stuart Ritchie is on a mission to take on prominent Covid deniers, "lockdown sceptics", and influencers and celebrities who spout anti-scientific guff.
His Anti-Virus website issues clear point-by-point takedowns of their claims and misconceptions, providing links to relevant research to stop people being misled by spurious claims.
He told Kim Hill on Saturday Morning one common claim was that the world was over-reacting and Covid-19 was similar to the flu, and had a similar infection rate, when in fact the infection rate for the flu was much lower.
"The other related argument people make is they say 'well 99.5 per cent of people survive Covid so why are we making such a big deal of it', and that of course sounds like a very high number but if you apply only a 99.5 per cent survival rate to millions of people catching the disease, that's a lot of deaths, that's hundreds and hundreds of thousands of deaths. And so it seems really callous if you really think about the numbers."
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The website was aimed at people who hadn't made up their mind about claims, people who had come across sceptic arguments and wondered "is that really the case?".
"It really is for the third parties here, the people who are observing the debate rather than for people who have already strongly made up their minds."
The website says the arguments made by Covid sceptics "are frequently misleading, misconceived, or based on misunderstandings of the evidence. We believe these mistaken arguments are often dangerous, since they might lead people - or entire countries - to take fewer precautions against this deadly virus".
It lists common Covid sceptic claims, and then debunks them. They include: Covid is only a problem for the elderly and vulnerable, people are dying *with* Covid, but not *of* Covid, and PCR tests are not finding real cases.
Kim Hill said the latter was one people often contacted her about, saying the PCR test should not be used.
Ritchie told Hill the PCR test had some limitations, but the people using it were aware of them; it would sometimes generate an ambiguous result, which highlighted the need for a re-test; and lots of safety procedures were built into it.
"It's not as if the PCR results are giving us these bizarre numbers compared to what we would expect from other sources."
Ritchie said a lot of Covid sceptics wanted to believe conspiracy ideas because they desperately wanted life to go back to normal - to visit friends and family and go out to bars and restaurants - luxuries people in New Zealand still had.
"I think the kind of desire outweighs reality for a lot of people so they start to see only the evidence that would imply that actually, Covid isn't so bad."
Ritchie is also the author of Science Fictions, a book about the shortcomings of scientific research.
He said a lot of the Covid science was "nonsense" and it was important to apply a level of scepticism.
"The problem is you need to be able to update your beliefs and the Covid sceptics, as we show, as we document on our website, have fundamentally not made good predictions and have not updated their beliefs on the basis of new evidence," he said.
"And you know, what else is science except updating your beliefs on the basis of new evidence."