On May 27, the NITI Aayog issued a statement whose aim was to bust myths floating around the COVID-19 pandemic.
Seven myths were addressed by Dr Vinod Paul, who leads the health, nutrition and HRD verticals at the NITI Aayog.
As part of the Union government's core pandemic response team, Dr Paul also chairs the Empowered Group on Medical Infrastructure and COVID Management Plan, the National Task Force on COVID-19 as well as the National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for COVID-19.
The NITI Aayog statement provoked a virtual storm of controversy.
Among others, R Ramakumar, a professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai who describes himself on Twitter as an economist with an above normal interest in politics, tweeted a point-by-point rebuttal.
He began by saying:
We leave it to you to decide whose argument makes more sense.
Myth 1, as addressed by Dr Paul.
Rebuttal 1, by Professor Ramakumar
Myth 2, as addressed by Dr Paul.
Rebuttal 2, by Professor Ramakumar.
Myth 3, as addressed by Dr Paul.
Rebuttal 3, by Professor Ramakumar.
Myth 4, as addressed by Dr Paul.
Rebuttal 4, by Professor Ramakumar.
Myth 5, as addressed by Dr Paul.
Rebuttal 5, by Professor Ramakumar.
Myth 6, as addressed by Dr Paul.
Rebuttal 6, by Professor Ramakumar.
Dr Vinod Paul had a final point to make. It required a clarification that was later added in italics.
It even required Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who heads India's COVID-19 Economic Response Task Force, to enter the fray.