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A man who advocated for lockdowns stood to make a profit from thier continuance. Early on in the pandemic, Tomas Pueyo predicted that 10 million Americans could have died if political and community leaders did not drive people indoors. Pueyo is the VP for an online learning company.
The article he wrong on Medium was shared widely and went viral. But it turns out that Pueyo is also the Vice President of an online learning company that stood to make great gains from lockdown.
Peuyo is the Vice President of Growth for Course Hero, a position he took on in November of 2018. Course Hero is an online learning platform that has made great strides amid the closing of school and universities due to the coronavirus pandemic. It has raised $80 million in funding.
Pueyo's first COVID-19 piece on March 10, "Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now," reeled in 40 million views and was translated into 40 different languages, a fact which Pueyo touted proudly. It had reportedly been supported and endorsed by the likes of former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, and Harvard Professor Steven Pinker.
Peuyo penned a second article for the platform just 9 days later, on March 19, writing: "If we do nothing: Everybody gets infected, the healthcare system gets overwhelmed, the mortality explodes, and 10 million people die."
He added: "We’re about to face the biggest wave of pressure on the healthcare system ever seen in history. We are completely unprepared, facing an enemy we don’t know. That is not a good position for war."
Tech Crunch reported that "in Course Hero's case, the new capital comes as a stark contrast to how the business functioned before 2020," adding that "after launching, the startup waited eight years to raise a $15 million Series A. Now, after going another nearly six years without raising venture capital, Course Hero has closed two rounds in this year alone."
Pueyo has been pinned for not only hiring a PR firm to promote his coronavirus posts back in March, but has perhaps contributed to the heightened alarmism of the population with the intent of cashing in on that fear.