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Say No More

September 1, 2020

At the CFI blog: Ben Radford digs into the panic over rumors about “zip tie abductions” spread on social media.

September 10 at 7pm ET: Skeptical Inquirer Presents features Seema Yasmin on “Viral BS” and medical myths. Register here.

French satire publication Charlie Hebdo is reprinting the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that it published in 2015, on the eve of the first trial over the mass murder of its staff by Islamist extremists.

A former director of the National Institutes of Health and the president of the Rockefeller Foundation write at NYT: It’s time to ignore the CDC on the coronavirus: “These changes by the C.D.C. will undermine efforts to end the pandemic, slow the return to normal economic, educational and social activities, and increase the loss of lives.”

The White House’s new medical adviser, Scott Atlas, is going with the “take the punch” approach to the pandemic, leaning on herd immunity as the way through. The Post, with my emphasis:

Atlas, who does not have a background in infectious diseases or epidemiology, has expanded his influence inside the White House by advocating policies that appeal to Trump’s desire to move past the pandemic and get the economy going, distressing health officials on the White House coronavirus task force and throughout the administration who worry that their advice is being followed less and less.

The Post also reports on the White House pressure campaign against federal scientists to approve convalescent plasma.

This is not a joke. A COVID-19 vaccine is threatened because of a monkey shortage.

Twitter takes down a QAnon post lying about COVID-19 deaths that was retweeted by the President of the United States of America.

The Twitter account of Herman Cain, who died of COVID-19, is being used to downplay COVID-19.

Ross D. Silverman navigates the various scenarios that could unfold if a COVID-19 vaccine emerges, with religious liberty exemptions being the big x-factor.

In Germany, right-wing extremists try to storm the Reichstag and engage in other violence, all because they claim not to believe in the pandemic and don’t like masks.

The Post profiles Micah Conrad, a young filmmaker whose side gig editing video for an antivaxxer conference turned him into, well, an antivaxxer.

The 7th Circuit says the ministerial exception doesn’t give free license for abuse and harassment of employees.

Gary McLelland of Humanists International details the steps required to vet humanists at risk around the world who request aid.

LA Times editorial on the coming SCOTUS case on discrimination against LGBTQ Americans by religious foster agencies: “The real question [is] whether a religious organization that receives government money can violate civil-rights laws. The answer is no.

Linda LaScola, cofounder of the Clergy Project, muses on how horrible it feels to think about the possibility of Trump being an atheist. (Also, I didn’t know Dr. Fauci identified as a humanist!)

Sociologists at CNN: Trump can’t take the evangelical vote for granted. I am skeptical of this extraordinary claim.

American Christians: Do they go? Eh? Eh? Are they go-ers? KnowwhatImean? Nudge nudge? Pew says, yes, half of them do. Say no more.

I’m going to tell you right now, I don’t understand what is going on with this “Christians Against Dinosaurs” thing, and I suspect that they don’t either.

Trump’s EPA: Coal plants can go back to poisoning the water more.

Trump says people in “dark shadows” are controlling Joe Biden. This is a job for Joe Nickell!

Harriet Hall debunks the “Taopatch” which is supposed to use lasers or something to improve your wellness. I thought it said “Tacopatch” at first, which sounded way messier.

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at centerforinquiry.org/coronavirus.

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.