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PROFILE: Prof. Francois Balloux... award-winning viral influencer?
Reviewing the record of award-nominated COVID "influencer" & UK government advisor Francois Balloux
On June 16th, 2022 the British government advisor Francois Balloux tweeted the following to a colleague:
“I’ve probably written worse tweets than you ever did, confusing ones, conducive to misinterpretation. I generally wrote them late at night, when drunk. Then, as you stated, more people read my altered-state-of-consciousness-shit-posting than any will ever read a paper of mine.”
Now, as a fan of whiskey as well as shitposting, there’s generally nothing wrong with this. However, there’s one small problem. Francois isn’t just an anonymous shitposter. Professor Francois Balloux is the director of the University College of London Genetics Institute and has directly advised the British Government on their SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response. With over 152,000 followers on Twitter, and frequently quoted in the global news as an expert, Balloux has an incredible responsibility to the public to be open, up-to-date, and honest with them about the ongoing COVID disaster. Sadly, he has done anything but.
In fact, Balloux has been nominated by Susan Nasif O-Adorisio for the 2023 Social Media Awards “COVID-19 Influencer” for “helping us all make sense of the pandemic.” Well, with multiple years of drunken shitposting under Francois’ belt, let’s review the “sense” he has made of the COVID pandemic - and see if Francois has had clear eyes, or was little more than lost in the sauce these past few years.
Francois Balloux Declared that PPE was Prolonging the Pandemic
On December 27th, 2021, Francois Balloux tweeted that personal protective equipment was actually prolonging the pandemic, contributing to the growing stigma, harassment, and even violence against those who have continued to protect themselves from infection with SARS-CoV-2.
In England between January and July, over 51,000 vaccinated people died. Many preventable deaths could have been averted if these people were wearing quality PPE such as an FFP3 or N95 mask. Instead, Balloux insists that this would have simply “delayed” their death and that they would have “prolonged” the pandemic by not dying faster. Francois is demanding the deaths of his fellow countrymen in a misguided delusion that this would bring an end to the pandemic.
Instead, Francois himself has been infected with the SARS-Cov-2 virus at least 3-4 times now, according to his own Twitter feed, and has lost his sense of taste and smell - indicating brain damage and leaves one questioning if Francois is fit to continue advising the British government on the ongoing pandemic.
Francois Balloux declared there was “no risk” to children from SARS-CoV-2. It is now the leading disease killer of children & disabled many more.
In July of 2020, as the UK had strict protections in place to protect children from infection, Francois Balloux used this as justification to declare that children faced “no risk” from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and “play a tiny role” in transmission. Both of these statements are completely false.
COVID is now the leading disease killer of children in the USA, UK, and Australia - and more obviously, children who are infected with an airborne virus at school don’t have anywhere to quarantine except at home with their families, multiplying the number of infections - which has led to a massive number of children that have lost a primary caregiver, in the millions. Bereavement is one of the leading contributors to academic hardship in children, and Balloux simply refused to factor this into his guidance. Amazing what you forget when you’re drunken shitposting to an audience of 150,000+ around the globe before your government Zoom call.
On top of this, COVID has disabled tens of thousands of children across the United Kingdom. Here is a sample of the suffering that these children are suffering as a result from the virus that UK government advisor Francois Balloux declared was “no risk” to them, from January 20th, 2023:
When criticized on this declaration by Dr. Harry J. Thomas of Austin Gastroenterology, Francois replied “the risk… is so small, statistically, that I I’m relaxed with my statement of ‘no risk’ to them.” Francois was more than happy to write off needless, preventable child deaths as he nursed the bottom of a whiskey tumbler, because it was just a few dead kids according to his back-of-napkin math.
Francois Balloux declared that Long COVID disability “doesn’t matter.”
On September 09th, 2022 Francois Balloux tweeted in response to a story about how multiple COVID infections left the friend of Punisher: War Zone’s director Lexi Alexander wheelchair bound and in incredibly poor health.
Of course, when you’re demanding that the entire population be repeatedly infected with SARS-CoV-2 multiple times a year - a small percentage of a huge number is still a very large number of casualties - dead and disabled casualties. Since we know that alcohol impedes one’s ability to mentally compute math and statistics, we know that the good Professor completely failed to consider this basic fact. We also know that drunkeness can impede one’s empathy, leaving one to declare that Long COVID disability simply “doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.” Bad outcomes are individualized and out of the realm of responsibility for this boozed-up UK government advisor and public pro-viral influencer.
It’s worth mentioning that on November 9th 2021, Francois Balloux revealed he had post-COVID brain damage that destroyed his sense of smell:
Francois Balloux has repeatedly declared a pre-emptive end to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
On August 13th, 2020, Francois Balloux tweeted that the pandemic would end in mid-2021, regardless of the availiablity of a vaccine:
It is now April of 2023. Balloux has never apologized for this. Liqour makes you less likely to self-reflect and feel guilt, so maybe this was just another drunken shitpost.
Francois Balloux advocated for the mass infection of “healthy” children
On January 26th 2022, the good Boozefessor tweeted out that we must mass infect children as soon as possible - paralell to the Koch-funded Great Barrington Declaration’s pseudoscientific ideal of mass infection somehow ending pandemics, a concept that has never been acceptable in “bog-standard infection disease epidemiology.” Of course, 1/4 of children are estimated to have a pre-existing condition, and thus not simply “healthy.” They were infected anyways.
Francois has, may I remind you, directly advised the British government on how to handle the COVID pandemic. Francois is, as described in a previous article about Long COVID and children, an unhinged medical radical knowing that most children have yet to be vaccinated against COVID:
For this, Francois is considered a sort of enlightened COVID centrist worthy of awards? Really? Much like how drunken driving is considered reckless and a criminal offense, drunken epidemiology and pandemic mismanagement should result in similar consequences, not celebration at a gaudy award ceremony.
SARS-CoV-2 remains an ever-evolving virus that has killed and disabled many children across the UK - and yet, Francois Balloux will tell you this “doesn’t matter.”
Francois Balloux has rallied against air filtration & ventilation to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections, even when many studies extoll the benefits
On September 28th, 2022 Francois tweeted from the bottom of a glass that it’s “remarkably naive” to suggest we could “stop transmission of respiratory pathogens.”
Which goes to show the pure ignorance of Francois Balloux, Enlightened COVID Centrist, who claims to have an “interest in Infectious disease epidemiology, pathogen genomics and global health” when just months before in March 2022, an “Italian study shows ventilation can cut school COVID cases by 82%.” Clearly, Mr. Balloux is far more interested in his liqour shelf than “global health,” writing off the benefits of preventing COVID infections that have killed and disabled so many children around the globe as “remarkably naive.”
Many pro-COVID influencers shared this sentiment, including Prof. Irene Petersen of the University College of London, who wastes all of her time on Twitter screeching at random people to just ingest the virus and accept all of the harm that has been well-documented in actual academic research. Is this what college tuitions are paying for? Worthless bums who sit on social media all day and encourage disease, death, and disability instead of doing the actual work to bring an end to this ongoing global disaster? Is this how one wins awards nowadays? One has to wonder…
Francois Balloux said getting COVID would protect you from COVID for about two to three decades. He has had it at least four times now.
Of course, Balloux later declared that bad outcomes from COVID reinfections “do not matter in the grand scheme of things,” desperate to protect his clout and refuse to accept any responsibility for repeatedly getting it wrong on SARS-CoV-2. This is an incredible example on the harms of “drunken courage,” and academic malpractice. No wonder the Boris Johnson government loved Francois - he frequently declared that the best response to COVID was no response at all! Let’s party!
Francois temporarily deleted his Twitter after amplifying a junk pre-print arguing that SARS-CoV-2 was engineered in a Chinese laboratory
Alex Washburne is a pro-Barrington Brownstone-allied bullshit artist who published a pre-print arguing that SARS-CoV-2 was a synthetic virus developed in a Chinese laboratory - a “bioweapon,” if you will. So Francois is now saying he encouraged the mass & repeated infection of children with a Chinese engineered bioweapon. Pretty awkward! I sure wouldn’t want anyone to know I was directly advising the UK government on this matter as a pro-infection advocate!
The pre-print was soon debunked and Balloux humiliated. He ended up deleting his Twitter account, then returning - later declaring “COVID Twitter” to be little more than “performative.” Just why was the pre-print retracted? Well, I’ll let infamous anti-kale activist Dr. Christos Argyropoulos from the University of New Mexico explain:
So let me get it straight: someone wrote a smoking gun paper, without checking the postulated technology leaves no smoke behind, failed to control appropriately the rest of the analysis, someone else applauded without checking the technology and accounts went missing ?
Why did Balloux fail to account for this when he “replicated the key findings?” Why didn’t Francois offer an apology for this reckless incompetence when he reinstated his Twitter account? I mean, we’re talking about a UK government advisor here - if we don’t have accountability in our experts when they get it wrong, how would we ever prevent further mistakes that can cost people their lives?
A further breakdown of Washburne’s pre-print and its many flaws can be found here.
Francois Balloux declared “there is no such thing as ‘damage to immunity’ due to COVID”
On April 03rd, 2023 the viral boozehound tweeted that all of the research and studies pointing to immune damage from COVID infections was “no such thing” and simply “uninformed, nonsensical scare stories.”
This is complete nonsense. Multiple papers and publications from institutions around the world have found immune system damage as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the COVID-19 disease dating back multiple years now. Here is a recent publication from scientists based out of Indonesia, on March 30th, 2023:
Long COVID is the consequence of multiple immune system dysregulation, such as T-cell depletion, innate immune cell hyperactivity, lack of naive T& B cells & elevated signature of pro-inflammatory cytokines.. as with other systemic viral infections such as with Ebstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalo virus, hepatitis C virus, human herpes virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) & many more, COVID-19 is associated with prolonged multisystemic symptoms that follows the acute infection.. Individuals with long COVID could develop new onset or worsening of previous underlying multisystemic disorders, ranging from myocardial inflammation, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, abnormal gas exchange, diabetes, pancreatic injury, gut microbiome disturbance, dysautonomia, myalgic encephalitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), kidney injury, coagulopathy, endothelial dysfunction, stroke, and even infertility.. there is also an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest, heart failure, death, stroke, and new-onset diabetes..
Here is a paper from Chinese scientists in the journal Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy from February 27th, 2023:
T-cell infection by SARS-CoV-2 and associated immune responses are correlated with disease severity and prognosis of COVID-19. Lymphopenia is associated with increased disease severity in COVID-19. Significantly lower circulating T and B cell counts were observed in patients who died from COVID-19 compared with survivors. Moreover, SARS-CoV-2 infection causes aberrant lymphocyte activation and dysfunction. COVID-19 patients displayed hyperactivated T cells which are prone to apoptosis and dysregulated cytokine responses.1 Some evidence suggests the infection of lymphocytes by SARS-CoV-2, including colocalization of SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and lymphocytes in lung tissues of COVID-19 patients and strands of SARS-CoV-2 sub-genomes in immune cells from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and sputum samples of severe COVID-19 patients.2
Francois Balloux, who claims to have an “interest in Infectious disease epidemiology, pathogen genomics and global health” apparently does not stay up to date on the latest literature and makes bold declarations from a place of toxic ignorance. I suppose someone should call these actual scientists in China & Indonesia to inform them that the British government’s top COVID advisor has declared their work to be “nonsensical scare stories.” I’m sure they would just love to hear this!
In conclusion, the place for Francois Balloux isn’t an awards ceremony - it’s a tribunal to fully examine that full breadth of the deaths and disability caused by his drunken incompetence, scientific illiteracy, and smug disregard for the lives and health of his fellow countrymen during a national crisis.
Francois Balloux has frequently been endorsed by other COVID influencers including Duke’s Gavin Yamey, even after Francois has repeatedly demonstrated an inability to get the facts right, much less the basic principles of infectious disease epidemiology.
As early as the winter holiday season of 2021, Francois Balloux had already checked out from his responsibilities. In the words of Cambridge psychologist Lucy Cheke, who puts it more bluntly than I could:
One of the reasons this is not an easy message to convey, is that the subtext is: sorry guys, if SARS will kill you you're dead. If it will permanently disable you, consider yourself permanently disabled. Its just a matter of time, and I'm cool with that.
Whilst frontline doctors and nurses have fought to save lives, whilst laboratory researchers worked to understand the virus, and frontline workers in Western nations were suffering with insufficient protections from governments that didn’t value their lives, Francois Balloux has experienced the pandemic from his couch - binge drinking and “shitposting” instead of doing any actual work to save lives.
There is nothing award-worthy from these multiple years of professional misconduct. Susan, I would humbly suggest you retract your nomination of Mr. Balloux, and consider putting your time towards helping prevent further needless death and disability, instead of rewarding a worthless layabout boozehound for failure.