Changes At COVID Conspiracy Nonprofit Follow Important Context Report
The Brownstone Institute appears to have parted ways with one of its fellows after a report by Important Context highlighted public calls for violence
Last week, Important Context and the OptOut Media Foundation published a lengthy report on the mysterious funding behind the Brownstone Institute, a shadowy nonprofit COVID-19 misinformation hub with connections to Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Since then, the dark money group appears to have undergone a shake-up.
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In our story, we noted that Brownstone had tacitly encouraged radicalism among its supporters. We highlighted a Dec. 2021 Brownstone article by the group’s founder, Jeffrey Tucker, which featured an image of a guillotine and called for “consequences” for public health officials and policymakers who had sought to limit the spread of COVID. We also highlighted the group’s affiliation with Dr. Paul Alexander, who served as a science adviser to the Department of Health and Human Services science adviser during the Trump administration and had infamously advocated for mass infection as the path to COVID herd immunity.
Alexander was announced as a paid Brownstone fellow in November despite the fact that a month earlier, he had called to hang former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, and other public health officials in a post on his Substack. Those calls continued while he was affiliated with Brownstone. Our story highlighted a particularly deranged rant of Alexander’s from December. That same month, Brownstone had been confronted on Twitter about its fellow’s calls for violence but did not respond.
However, in the days following the publication of our story, which directly quoted the violent tirade, Brownstone appeared to quietly part ways with Alexander. He is no longer listed as a 2023 fellow on the group’s ‘About’ page. His author bio page also no longer mentions the fellowship. He has similarly been cut from Brownstone’s November announcement of the 2023 fellows.
These changes appear to have been hastily made. The announcement still celebrates “the first seven fellows” despite now only showing six. There even remains a direct reference to Alexander that seems to have escaped notice. Included in the announcement were statements of gratitude to Brownstone’s donors from each fellow. Originally, Alexander’s was featured first, which readers may discern from an awkward callback to “Paul” in the new leading statement from Brownstone fellow and senior scholar Tom Harrington, a Professor Emeritus of Hispanic Studies at Trinity College.
“I am truly humbled to be given the opportunity to continue doing what is no doubt the most important work I have ever been called on to do, in conjunction with by far the most impressive set of thinkers I have ever been associated with,” Harrington wrote. “And, again as Paul suggests, it is your intellectual and spiritual generosity and never-ending devotion to the truth that has set the tone for the project.”
Three days after our story was published, Alexander melted down about it on his Substack. In a post, which has since been edited, he republished our piece in full and claimed we had mischaracterized his support for violent retribution against public health officials who tried to mitigate the spread of COVID.
“I have always said, if a proper legal court with a judge says they must hang for the deaths they have caused, then they must hang!” Alexander wrote. “I will not argue against a judge's ruling, would you?”
Inquiries from Important Context to both Tucker and Alexander have gone unanswered.
This story has been updated with more details about Alexander’s calls for violence.