Grifty, conspiratorial and anti-science. The vaccine-skeptic summit was peak Bronson.

It’s largely a masterclass in manipulation: I’m letting you in on a secret; They are not telling you the truth; We’re just pursuing the Truth.

Good evening, Alaska!

In today’s edition: Bronson took the stage at the covid-19 skeptic summit this weekend and endorsed the conspiracy theory that it’s a bioweapon, it’s the last day of the special session and the reading list.

Grifty, conspiratorial and anti-science.

When Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson took the stage at ChangePoint Alaska church for a summit health-care system skeptics hocking their alternative treatments to covid-19 and conspiracies about how the latest bioweapon is the “manipulation of gene therapy” this weekend, he looked perfectly at home.

To raucous applause that outdid even the recent run of Anchorage Assembly meetings, Bronson took the stage with an introduction by a doctor who’s favored hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19 as the man who “helped organize a lot of what’s happening behind the scenes.”

“For political reasons, we didn't want my fingerprints all over it,” Bronson said, launching into a lengthy diatribe about how the Media doesn’t want you to know the Truth about covid-19 and treatment. How he’s not actually anti-vax or anti-mask or a pot-stirrer, but simply someone who believes in freedom.

“I don’t think there’s any evil people involved in this but I think there’s a lot of wrong people and our job is to bring them over to the truth based on the facts,” he told the audience, which regaled him with more than once with a “Let’s Go Brandon” chat.

And flip through the videos of the summit and there’s benign-enough advice about staying healthy and treating inflammation, but it all came with heaping helpings of widely discredited claims sowing doubt about the efficacy of vaccines and hyping up unsubstantiated treatments like ivermectin and vitamin supplements as the effective treatments that Big Medicine and, as Bronson frequently reminded, Big Media don’t want you to know about. It’s largely a masterclass in manipulation: I’m letting you in on a secret; They are not telling you the truth; We’re just pursuing the Truth.

Bronson put on a particularly grave tone when talking about researcher Li-Meng Yan, who published a widely challenged paper that claimed covid-19 is a Chinese bioweapon (which was largely copped from a website linked to Steve Bannon) and was the star guest of the summit, and told the audience, “We literally have a lot of security in this room because the Chinese government is after her.”

Well, how could you not believe that?!

Because it sure sounds like Bronson does.

“This is an intentional thing,” he told the audience about covid-19 and the ensuing public health mandates. “It’s to separate Americans from Americans based on whatever they can find. Whatever creates friction in society.”

One of the biggest questions around the event—which had a $20 entrance fee for both the morning and afternoon sessions—is the financial interests of everyone involved. As a Dr. Tom Hennessy, an epidemiologist with the UAA College of Health, told the Anchorage Daily News a typical health seminar like this one would come with disclosures of each speaker’s financial interests. In a world where mislead individuals are spending hundreds of dollars on supposed miracle treatments for the virus, that unsurprisingly didn’t happen here.

“These are part of the standards for accreditation of continuing education for health care providers,” Hennessy wrote in an email to the outlet. “Without such disclosures, presentations could become sales pitches or business ventures under the guise of medical education.”

Bronson wasn’t the only elected official to participate in the summit or the meetings surrounding it. In a photo posted by one of the speakers, Bronon poses alongside Sens. Lora Reinbold and Roger Holland along with Reps. James Kaufman, Sarah Vance Kevin McCabe, Ron Gilham and Ken McCarty. In another posted by Reinbold, Attorney General Treg Taylor was also at the table.

The final day of the special session

Today’s the final day of the year’s final special session, which comes to a close without any votes on a PFD or any pieces of the fiscal plan. It comes on the heels on the Department of Revenue’s early announcement that revenue forecasts are looking quite a bit better thanks to oil’s rising prices (though, it’s important to note that it’s also based on likely unrealistic forecasts for production). Anyways, better start digging:

Reading list