The Unmasking of Deepti Gurdasani: Disinformation and Misrepresentation

Deepti Gurdasani is a lecturer in Machine Learning at Queen Mary University in London. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she became a loud voice advocating on behalf of the extremist ideology for Zero Covid with a special focus on how kids are, in her view, ‘huge spreaders’ of the virus and therefore needed every aspect of their lives curtailed. In this report, we investigate some of Gurdasani’s claims and find purposeful disinformation emanating from her around schools and their alleged impact on community transmission rates.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

Stephen Hawking

Executive Summary

Deepti Gurdasani consistently blames schools and school children for being a ‘huge contributor to COVID-19 spread’. She has called for children from the ages of 5 upwards to be masked when at school and devised a detailed infographic on the various restrictions that should be placed on them in schools to prevent the spread that she claims is emanating from them. We found evidence that she is deliberately misrepresenting the data around schools reopening in March in England by claiming graphs show something they don’t. We also found evidence that she wilfully used graphs that had incorrectly added denotations that were also meant to misinform and suggest something that wasn’t true and found evidence that when challenged on her claims that the denotations on the graphs didn’t correlate with the dates of school reopening she would then fabricate the claim that schools actually opened earlier than the government claimed.

Investigation

Deepti Gurdasani, works at the Queen Mary University of London as a “Lecturer in Machine Learning”.

Like many of the ZeroCovid micro-grouping, Deepti was an obscure figure pre-COVID. Since then she, like her colleagues, have sought out as much media attention as possible in order to promote their objectives. Their position is fringe and radical. Complete elimination of a virus from the face of the Earth. Whilst never detailing how this could be done and how you could have every country in the world working to the same agenda at the same time. They’ve also never presented a cost-benefit analysis detailing how their goal could be reached, the costs to the world both financially and in terms of health and how long it would take and what happens if it proves too difficult? Who decides when the plan was failing? If the plan fails, then what next?

On the face of it, Zero Covid is a great idea. But so is Zero Cancer and Zero Obesity, two diseases that on their own kill far more people than COVID-19. But as time has gone on and the chances of achieving their goal has been pushed further and further away from them, the more radical and unhinged this band of extremists has become. I have detailed elsewhere on this website how obscene some of their ideas are, the majority of which are centred around children. They have this curious and concerning fixation with children with one such member of this cabal calling for kids to be anally swabbed to test for the virus before being permitted back into school.

Deepti’s fixation is also with children, but hers is directed more at getting them to wear masks from the age of 5+ and to make their school lives as unbearable as possible. Here is her rule set for how their school lives should be managed.

To achieve her goal of complete systematic control over the lives of children she will even misrepresent the data on schools and child transmission rates, as I will show in this investigation, to keep the attention on herself. For Deepti this is more about not being seen to be wrong. In this report I detail how she brutally goes after those of notable profile that dare to offer an opposing view on Covid restrictions to hers whilst she happily spouts disinformation, uses dodgy graphs and makes stuff up.

Deepti Goes After Professor Carl Heneghan

Professor Carl Heneghan is a highly esteemed academic who holds the very prestigious title of “Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine and Director, Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine” at Oxford University. He is also an NHS Urgent Care GP and an NIHR Senior Investigator. Unlike Deepti who is a lecturer in “Machine Learning”, his experiences and knowledge are very relevant to COVID-19 and the surrounding science. However, her disdain for Professor Heneghan is well publicised. She has called his work “evidence-free” and “pseudoscience” whilst refusing to debate with him because she believes she doesn’t wish to afford him the honour.

What escapes Deepti is that whilst she may not owe Professor Heneghan anything, apart from an apology, debating is about two opposing views being challenged to help better inform debate and the public understanding of the topic being discussed. How she personalises such a thing and then attacks her proposed partner in the debate speaks to how unprofessional, undignified and ignorant she is as a person and an academic. I am not sure Professor Heneghan even offered her a debate. It is my understanding this was a suggestion made by a random Twitter user. This didn’t stop her taking the opportunity to attack him, though.

On a personal basis, I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered such arrogant, disrespectful views like this before from one academic towards another. This is an insult to academia as a whole and to the onlooker makes her appear unintelligent, rude and insecure in her ability to debate those who disagree with her.

So can we assume that Gurdasani’s views are scientific and correct? Are we to assume that she is in a position to ‘lecture’ anyone?

Are we to believe that Gurdasani’s information is authentic and therefore not fake? Obviously, she has never spread “non-evidenced narratives”, right?

Wrong!

Deepti Gurdasani spreads fake information

As referenced elsewhere in this report, Deepti’s primary focus is on children and what seems to be her never-ending attempts to make their lives unbearable. In the above tweet, she claims that “Schools are a huge contributor to transmission” without providing any evidence for this claim. (I emailed her seeking the evidence for this claim, but she has to date refused to provide me with any.)

During the same thread, she goes on to reference graphs from a Kit Yates wherein she narrates, “It’s very clear that we saw increases in infection in schools after they opened, with declines during Easter break.”

Here are the graphs in question (the ‘dated text boxes’ were added by Yates). Dataset is C/O gov.uk via Independent Sage.

Let’s get a few dates right first before continuing:

source

With that established, now let’s take a quick look at these graphs.

For some reason, Yates, whom Deepti referred to support her argument of schools driving transmissions, moved his denotations (black vertical lines) to the left away from the important dates in question. I have therefore placed red lines where his black lines should be. What’s important to focus on is the black line that runs from left to right signifying the “Under 20” age group, therefore the school cohort.

I have added red arrows to reference the increase in “cases” beginning before schools returned on the 8th March, and to highlight the fact that cases began dropping before schools finished for Easter break on 1st April. Yates’ lines seem to be aimed at making the evidence fit a narrative. By bringing his lines to the left it makes it less obvious that the rise and fall in cases doesn’t relate to schools returning and finishing, but that the rise began before schools returned and fall before they finished for Easter.

He did the same for the age breakdown graph which I have again had to fix with red lines.

It now becomes a bit clearer of what his intentions may have been, and they certainly don’t seem honourable. It is even more concerning that Deepti looked to him for the evidence to underpin her argument that schools drive transmissions without firstly verifying the validity of the graphs she was about to use as evidence.

Before proceeding, let’s go back to an Independent Sage report of 26th March that includes their own denotations and shows how “cases” had already begun to rise before schools went back in March. Pay attention to the age 15-19 cohort (yellow) whose ‘case rates’ level out upon school reopening.

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Worth noting as well at this stage (I’ll come back to testing shortly) that Lateral Flow Testing began to surge before schools returned, which explains the increase in “cases” witnessed above before 8th March re-opening date.

Source

So the increase in “cases” is directly due to an increase in testing before and after schools opened in March, and NOT as a result of children returning!

Next is the England data for Rapid Lateral Flow tests conducted before schools returned after the lockdown in March, then before, during and after the Easter break.

This testing data fits perfectly with the rise in “cases” noted in the “iSage” graphs. However, again we see a rise and drop in “cases” dependent on testing.

This Twitter user points out the obvious. Even ignoring the fact that cases rose before schools commenced and dropped before schools finished, he asks about the lag period we keep hearing about. Recall the “Just wait two weeks” mantra we’ve been force-fed for 15 months?

Deepti dismisses this lag period now as it doesn’t suit her narrative and then goes on to introduce another false claim that ‘many schools closed earlier than 1st April on the 26th March’ before deflecting to January. In fact, Deepti is quite wrong here as schools in Scotland closed on the 26th March for Easter, but not in England. (I emailed Deepti for her evidence of these 26th March early closures, but she has so far declined to respond.)

But let’s for a minute accept what she’s saying; let’s even give her an advantage and suggest that the majority of schools closed in England on the 26th March (red denotations added).

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Even taking the 26th of March as a finishing date for Easter, the data still shows that “cases” had already begun dropping as testing had started to be wound down. But that is irrelevant, as schools didn’t cease to 1st April in England. What I am trying to show is that even if we afford her claims a major boost in authenticity, they are still implausible. But for her then go on and dismiss the “lag period” – from contact to infection – shows a deliberate intent to misinform and shape the narrative.

This Twitter user tries to tell Deepti that the dates are wrong and that Kit Yates is ignoring the many people telling him so. Both Yates and Gurdasani ignored these pleas for corrections. (I emailed Yates for clarification of his denotations and why he chose to offset them to match with the trend lines. He has so far declined to comment.)

Sarah concludes by explaining to Deepti that “Rates were already going back down by then” (before schools finished for Easter). Of course, Sarah’s protestations were ignored – they didn’t fit with the narrative the lecturer was trying to sell.

This is extremely dishonest from both Yates and Gurdasani. When inaccuracies are pointed out, the very least you can do is provide a generic response. I emailed both about these issues and received no response.

Who is Kit Yates?

Kit is a “Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mathematical Sciences and co-director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath” and a member of the extremist Zero Covid grouping Independent Sage. Independent Sage also is the home of lifelong member of the Communist Party, Susan Michie.

Gurdasani is blinded by ignorance

Shamez Ladhani is a Paediatric infectious diseases specialist @StGeorgesHospital and an Epidemiologist for @PHE_uk. On the 23rd April, he tweeted the following,

The “little bump” he was referring to, can be seen in the area within the red box in this next image.

That bump can also be seen in the testing data from the UK Government.

Test more, you’ll find more.

Deepti is quick to react to anyone suggesting that schools reopening were not the disaster she had predicted, and this exchange was no exception.

And in her rush to challenge the data she supplied the graph I have analysed from Yates, showing an increase in positive test results before schools reopened and a drop before they finished for Easter.

For Deepti, like her Zero-Covid colleagues, it isn’t about cool heads and rational debate. It’s about reactionary ignorance and in that ignorance, they will happily grasp at any evidence they feel supports their claim in the hope that nobody fact-checks them. Fact-check them and this is the result:

Deepti’s 3rd Wave – That Didn’t Happen

On the 20th March, on LBC Radio, Deepti claimed that we were already in a “3rd wave” of the pandemic.

Adam Brooks is the landlord of several pubs in England and after listening to the radio interview with Deepti on LBC he responded by calling her claims “Fear mongering nonsense.”

After a brief exchange, they both would agree to check back in with each other in a month to see who was right. Adam left it two months before contacting Gurdasani and as no 3rd wave had been evidenced in the data he was interested in hearing what she had to say about her incorrect prediction. Gurdasani responded by blocking him.

And given that none of the data supports her claim, it would appear that her reason for blocking Adam, rather than engaging with him as she agreed to, is more to do with her being wrong and not wishing to draw any further attention to that fact.

Source

Where is the rise in cases? Where is the “3rd wave”? Indeed, just a few days ago, the Telegraph would report that the “Death rate in England is lowest since records began”.

The message here from Deepti seems to be that it’s OK for her to fearmonger by claiming on national radio we were in a 3rd wave – but nobody has the right to then challenge her disastrous predictions. It’s best just pretending she didn’t make the prediction and move on. However, if someone she disagrees with made such a claim on national radio, she would be after their blood!

How difficult would it be so simply admit to being wrong, or even to offer a more politically correct excuse of “being overcautious”? I experienced this same arrogance when I exposed her Zero-Covid colleague Trish Greenhalgh on spreading disinformation on UK national TV. Rather than admit she was wrong, she doubled-down by grasping at another false claim.

Unfortunately, we’ve grown to accept this as the academic norm in the era of Covid – but it isn’t. It’s just that social media amplifies ignorance and abuse, and it gives a false sense of reality that, outside of social media, doesn’t exist to the extent Twitterspere would lead you to believe it does.

Deepti Gets Called Out On Israel Claims

This exchange points to just easily Gurdasani believes that her evidence-free claims should be taken as fact. Why I highlight his exchange is because it’s important to note that quite a number of her claims are massively overstated or at times even just made up. When she is challenged – this is exposed time and time again. But expose her often, and you get blocked, which only serves to ensure her echo-chamber remains intact with dissenting voices silenced.

Takeaway Points

Deepti is a person of little etiquette and even less professionalism. With those traits, she was always destined to find a home with the Zero-Covid cult. However, these people cannot be dismissed with any degree of ease. They’re determined, driven and unrepentant towards their objective and the more difficult that objective becomes, the more dangerous these people become.

She has attacked esteemed academics who to my knowledge have never once provoked her or even responded to her provocations. People such as Professors Carl Heneghan, Sunetra Gupta and Karol Sikora. She seeks to be popular – to be recognised – and watching her peers (Ding, Greenhalgh et al) she realises that the more fabulist and arrogant you are, the more you frighten people, the greater your following will be. Truth and facts play a supporting role to scaremongering and fabulist tweets.

I’ve laid out in this investigation how in a rush to appear right Deepti Gurdasani grabbed graphs with manipulated denotations to underpin her central claim on the entire Covid debate which is that kids are major spreaders and need to be controlled. It didn’t matter that the graphs she chose to use didn’t show what she wanted them to show, she narrated her tweets to present them as if they did. For over a year we have had it drilled into us that there’s an “incubation period” or “lag period” between initial contact–>testing positive–>showing symptoms–>hospitalisation etc. Deepti is happy to wave this scientific fact in this instance and instead urge you to believe what she is telling you.

Gurdasani is a very poor advertisement for academia and scientific honour. Along with her Zero-Covid colleagues, they have used social media to indulge in behaviour akin to drunken bar-room brawling that serves nobody concerned.