I am getting a bad feeling about this. A not yet peer reviewed pre-print.
Some people cannot ever admit that they are wrong or so it seems. They can dig for themselves a hole with the spade of pride. They can refuse to see what is happening before their eyes because they MUST be right. Macho bullshit can lead to a new pile of corpses because until their “position” becomes so obviously untenable they will refuse to admit any error. By the time it is untenable it is already too late.
We are hearing crazy PR terms like messaging.
I hope that this hole digging dynamic does not come into play. Once one has bigged something up so big, it is much harder to back down.