Who are the ISD? The Latest challenge to Science and Logic – Interesting

Got another interesting email the other day, similar to the ones I’ve received from Newspapers planning hit-job articles – common enough when you discuss science and data since March 2020. But this time it’s coming from a corporate think-tank outfit – the London-based Institute for Strategic Discussion (ISD).  At the end of this post I’ll share a summary of the organization sent to me by an Irish investigative-type network associate – very interesting. But firstly here’s the email I received:

EMAIL from ISD received Nov 3oth:

Name: Institute for Strategic Dialogue
Email: xxxxxx@isdglobal.org
Message: Dear Mr Cummins,

I am writing to you about an upcoming report due to be released by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue that makes references to you.
In order to ensure fair reporting, we would like to give you the opportunity to comment on the statements made about you in the report.

Specifically, the report states that:
You were “until 2020, a ketogenic diet influencer, who pivoted towards criticizing lockdowns and pandemic restrictions”;
You use your YouTube and Twitter accounts to spread “claims that experts say are based on faulty science”;
You posted a video in September 2020 that “falsely claimed that the pandemic had run its course by June due to people already being immune to COVID-19 after exposure to similar viruses.”

If you would like to comment on any of the statements made above, please reply to this email by 1pm GMT, Friday, December 3rd.

Regards,
Institute for Strategic Dialogue (no person signed the email)

MY REPLY EMAIL within the deadline:

Dear <no person>
Thanks for the courtesy of the opportunity to clarify; sadly this practice is not so common over the past year. Some brief facts surrounding the quotes you have furnished:

You were “until 2020, a ketogenic diet influencer, who pivoted towards criticising lockdowns and pandemic restrictions”;

Please see attached bio for fair representation. Further, in March 2020 I began analysing Covid 19 and the political response to same. Note that I had initially supported restrictions and actually called for – amongst others – more robust mask wearing recommendations. I am on the record since March/April 2020 on this, e.g. please watch a minute or so from this point (published April 14th 2020):  https://youtu.be/gjMMDTCiUzU?t=2010

You use your YouTube and Twitter accounts to spread “claims that experts say are based on faulty science”;

My position would be very much aligned with the Harvard/Oxford/Stanford expert professor-lead Great Barrington Declaration, which proposes that focused protection for the susceptible would be a far more scientific solution to the pandemic challenge. Ref:  https://gbdeclaration.org/view-signatures/  (~60,000 medical/scientific professional signatures so far)

You posted a video in September 2020 that “falsely claimed that the pandemic had run its course by June due to people already being immune to COVID-19 after exposure to similar viruses.”

At 6.4, the death rate per million of population in Ireland in 2020 was not materially different from prior years. No-lockdown Sweden’s death rate was similar to 2013, and lower than most previous years (refs in attached excel). Note also that Sweden now cumulatively has zero excess mortality over expected, for the overall period Jan 2020 to Nov 2021.
If you wish to stick with the broad feel of your quotes (as data context may not be included in the report regardless) – then the following would be fair quotes that represent the actual situation:
 
1.   I was “until 2020, a metabolic health researcher/influencer, who pivoted towards challenging the science and data behind lockdowns and pandemic restrictions”
2.   I use my YouTube and Twitter accounts to “share extensive data and analyses which challenge the claims made by many experts”
3.   I posted a video in September 2020 that “proposed that the pandemic had had it’s worst impact already by June, due to substantial community immunity to COVID-19 (gained after exposure to SARS CoV2 itself, and cross-immunity from prior coronaviruses).  Also proposed was that lockdown policies could backfire – leading to a higher impact on mortality over the next season and long term”   (the latter piece in red is crucial for context, but I can understand why it would not be included)
Yours etc.
Ivor Cummins
But the key thing is…who are the ISD?
Below is the downloadable/reviewable PDF content sent to me by my investigative guy (thanks for this btw, won’t name you as agreed)

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