by Julie Kelly
Since the early stages of the coronavirus crisis, any viewpoint or research running afoul of the accepted doctrine conceived by the credentialed class has been censored.
Social media platforms, internet search engines, and other monopolistic guardians of information decided at the very beginning that they would determine which content would be available for public consumption; “false claims or conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations and local health authorities that could cause harm to people who believe them” would be subjected to Facebook’s reject button, according to a January 2020 statement released by the company.
Twitter announced it would prompt users to follow “credible, authoritative information” on the virus. None other than the World Health Organization, the agency that has flubbed the pandemic every step of the way, partnered with Twitter to judge what is credible and what is not.
A YouTube video produced in March by Dr. John Ioannidis, an early critic of the government’s handling of the virus, was removed for violating the company’s terms of service. Another widely-viewed video featuring two California emergency room doctors describing their experiences with people suffering the consequences of lockdowns and the emerging data about the virus’ lethality met the same fate in April. Ditto for a July video that showed several doctors condemning the detrimental effects of the lockdowns and promoting the reopening of schools and businesses nationwide.
Posts about hydroxychloroquine, including a tweet by the president’s son, are also banned. The president’s tweet earlier this month claiming the flu is as deadly as COVID-19 was flagged by Twitter for “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information” about the virus.
But the only thing that’s “harmful” to the public as this crisis continues is the suppression of information that—based on data, research, and experience—contradicts what the public has been brainwashed to believe.
The left-leaning scientific and public health community decided back in January what the accepted “facts” would be; nine months later, even as we know much more about how the virus spreads, who it impacts, and how to manage it, dissent is not permitted.
“It’s a combination of Orwell and Kafka,” Dr. Scott Atlas, the president’s new coronavirus advisor, told me during a lengthy call Sunday afternoon. The Stanford fellow and public policy expert is under fire from coronanoia propagandists for bringing some common sense and common decency to the debate. It is Atlas who now has the president’s ear while Drs. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx are justifiably on the outs.
Atlas discovered early Sunday morning that Twitter removed two of his tweets critical of mask mandates. The first tweet included, as Atlas explained, studies from Oxford’s Center for Evidence Based Medicine, the WHO, and the Centers for Disease Control as well as observational examples from Miami-Dade, Los Angeles County, Hawaii, and several countries where cases are rising despite near-universal mask use. To clarify that his point concerned government-imposed mask mandates, Atlas subtweeted his initial tweet to clarify that his position aligned with the president’s.
“Use masks for their intended purpose—when close to others, especially hi risk. Otherwise social distance. No widespread mask mandates,” Atlas tweeted. But Twitter nonetheless purged the original tweet for violating its rules.
The blue bird’s expurgator failed to identify which precise “rule” Atlas broke. Nor did the platform dispute Atlas’ accurate conclusions that plenty of cities and counties are seeing lots of positive tests even though residents have been wearing masks for the better part of half the year. Twitter also did not challenge the WHO or CDC comments that Atlas cited.
“That’s a common sense policy on how to use masks,” Atlas said. “But it’s contrary to widespread obsession with masks and the narrative that we typically hear from the media. Twitter will not allow evidence even with quotes.”
Face coverings aren’t just a public obsession but a hot-button campaign issue. All-powerful Democratic and Republican office holders routinely blurt “wear a mask!” orders at powerless constituents. During last week’s dueling town hall meetings, Trump and Biden faced questions about mask use at the onset; Biden has suggested, then flip-flopped, then suggested again he would impose a national mask mandate if elected. He’s on the quasi-campaign trail wearing two masks at a time.
But the science on masks is far from settled. Experts such as Fauci are now backtracking on their initial opposition to mask use; the media’s coronavirus darling is attempting to rewrite history to downplay his early objections.
“Contrary to what we thought, masks really do work,” Fauci said during a glowing “60 Minutes” profile segment that aired Sunday night. “It became clear that cloth coverings . . . and not necessarily a surgical mask or an N95, cloth covering work.” With this, Fauci pulled out a homemade-looking mask, put his fingers all over it, put it on for the camera, took it off, and stuffed it back in his suit pants pocket. Science!
There is no controlled study examining whether face masks, especially the bespoke kind that most people wear, are effective in stopping the spread of infected COVID droplets by asymptomatic carriers—a claim that is itself without hard proof. (Fauci opposes a controlled trial, he said, because it would allow people not to wear masks.) A Danish scientist who has conducted the only known study on masks and COVID-19 told Alex Berenson, a former New York Times reporter and lockdown critic, that his study would be available “as soon as a journal is brave enough,” to publish it, implying the results would contradict current mask dogma.
Roughly half the recent studies cited by the CDC as evidence of the efficacy of mask wearing were authored by Chinese authorities.
Despite what Silicon Valley’s Democratic Party oligarchs believe, or want their users to believe, we continue to learn more and more about the complexities of this virus. It is completely inimical to science to think that the groupthink that besieged us back in March and April should still apply today.
Further, the mitigation strategies must be considered in their full context. The side effects of the scientific community’s premature prescription to COVID-19 are as bad, if not worse, than the disease itself. This is what keeps Atlas up at night and keeps him working amid the external and internal forces aligned against him.
He choked up telling me about two emails he received on Friday. A woman encouraged him to keep fighting; her husband had committed suicide that week from the consequences of the lockdown. Another woman emailed Atlas to commend him for his advocacy because her teenage daughter also had attempted suicide for the same reason.
“They are desperate and begging me not to give up,” Atlas, a Chicago native, told me. “I cannot quit because so many people are desperate for me to speak the truth. They have nobody. These people pushing lockdowns have massive blood on their hands.” He receives hundreds of emails a day from suffering Americans and others all over the world, and has for months.
Atlas didn’t name names—unlike his fellow White House Coronavirus Task Force colleagues who are orchestrating media hit jobs to discredit him and the president by extension—but referred to the “massive egos” of public health officials publicly invested in the inhumane, unscientific strategy to keep schools and business closed down regardless of the lasting damage.
“Public health leaders in the United States are destroying the country and killing people. But their reputations are on the line, their stature depends on coverage by their friends in the media, they made predictions without a full understanding of what’s going on,” he told me.
The country, Atlas said, is in dangerous territory if people who show data contrary to conventional wisdom are silenced.
“This will mark the downfall of the United States if censorship of information is allowed,” he lamented. “It honestly is the end of the country.”
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Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review.
Photo “Masks” by Baker County Tourism CC BY-ND 2.0.