A leading virus expert has slammed a former Tory politician who has reinvented himself as a pandemic conspiracy theorist.
Hugh Pennington compared David Clews – who believes the vaccine is “committing murder” – to people in the Middle Ages who blamed witches for plague outbreaks and accused him of “talking b******s”.
Clews, 39, was a Tory-turned-Labour councillor in Paisley before joining campaign group Scotland In Union. He now links up with conspiracy theorists across the globe by spreading videos on the secretive Telegram messaging app and publishing on his Unity News Network website.
Clews was yesterday part of a protest at Glasgow Green against the planned vaccination of 5-11-year-olds.
Pennington, who is emeritus professor of bacteriology at Aberdeen University, said: “More than 250,000 scientific papers have been
published on this subject and they all say the same thing. None of them say it’s not a real virus or has been made up.
“It has already killed more than 150,000 people in the UK and 800,000 people in the US. If that’s not a pandemic, I don’t know what it is.”
The 83-year-old added: “The evidence is as good as you could ever want. Persuading them is a waste of time because they are beyond persuading.
“It goes back to the Middle Ages when the plague was all the fault of the witches. Some things never change.”
Clews’s website has given a platform to conspiracies that Covid-19 was planned by governments around the world. And despite promising to have been “fact-checked”, Clews was unable to provide evidence to back up claims when approached by the Sunday Mail.
Caroline Grattan, whose 88-year-old mum Margaret Johnston died in a nursing home in Tullibody, Clack-mannanshire, in May 2020, said she is horrified by anti-vaxxers insisting Covid is all part of a government cover-up.
Caroline, 56, said of Clews: “He clearly hasn’t lost any close member of his family to it. It is very annoying because they can’t imagine what people go through when they lose a loved one to the virus.”
Clews, who runs his website from a flat in Renfrew, recently led an anti-lockdown convoy from Scotland to London.
He sells anti-vaccine material including a card for £5 which parents are urged to give to their children. It states: “I am not allowed to be tested or vaccinated.”
In one video, Clews said people were dying as a result of taking the vaccine. He claimed: “People are dropping like flies. Footballers, athletes, musicians, perfectly healthy people are just dropping dead.”
The Sunday Mail approached Clews, who said: “The mainstream media says the science on this is settled but there are different ways of looking at it.”
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