On Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and three medical experts took a blowtorch to Google for banning from YouTube a video of them discussing COVID-19 science.
“They say it’s misinformation even though Google and YouTube routinely host conspiracy theory videos ranging from the cause of the 9/11 attacks to the role that 5G networks play in causing COVID-19,” DeSantis said in a press conference. “You can pretty much find any misinformation under the sun on Google/YouTube.” He blasted them for acting as a “big tech council of censors in service of the ruling elite.”
Last week, Google pulled a video of DeSantis on March 18 discussing COVID-19 with medical scientists Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, and Dr. Scott Atlas, who all hail from elite institutions — Stanford University, Harvard University, and Oxford University. All but Gupta, who is based in the United Kingdom, also joined DeSantis’s April 12 press conference to respond to Google’s ban.
“For science to work, you have to have an open exchange of ideas,” Bhattacharya said Monday. “If you’re going to make an argument that something is misinformation, you should provide an actual argument. You can’t just take it down and say, ‘Oh, it’s misinformation’ without actually giving a reason. And saying, ‘Look it disagrees with the CDC’ is not enough of a reason. Let’s hear the argument, let’s see the evidence that YouTube used to decide it was misinformation. Let’s have a debate. Science works best when we have an open debate.”
“I’m very worried about the future of science because science is dependent on free exchange of ideas and it has been for 300 years now. So if this continues, this kind of attitude, the censoring of scientific views, then I think we have reached the end of 200 years of Enlightenment,” Kulldorff said Monday.
Preventing Open Inquiry Kills People
In taking down videos of the March 18 panel, YouTube was “really continuing what they’ve been doing for the past year: stifle debate, short-circuit scientific inquiry, make sure that the narrative is not questioned,” DeSantis said. “And I think we’ve seen already that that has had catastrophic consequences for our society.”
DeSantis noted that big tech took the lead in “censoring criticism of lockdowns,” while a good deal of scientific evidence clearly shows lockdowns have caused countless deaths and worsened millions of diseases worldwide, including in the United States. “Perhaps if we had had a freer exchange of ideas during those critical months, perhaps we would have been able to avoid” some of these terrible consequences, he said.
The doctors on the panel argued that overall it’s clear scientifically that lockdowns make a pandemic much worse. That’s because in the long run, lockdowns do not reduce COVID-19 infections, they said, while imposing massive, lifelong penalties on especially the poorest people. Estimates say lockdowns will eventually cause tens of millions of additional deaths worldwide by worsening poverty, tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, starvation, cancer, heart attacks, suicide, and much more.
“The lockdowns are the single biggest public health mistake in history,” Bhattacharya said on the banned March 18 panel. He said lockdowns are psychologically compelling to rich societies terrified of death, but are not only ineffective at stopping disease and death, they also make both worse. He noted a few minutes later:
The international evidence and the American evidence is clear: The lockdowns have not stopped the spread of the disease in any measurable way. The disease spreads on aerosol by droplets, it’s a respiratory disease. It’s very difficult to stop. The idea of the lockdown is incredibly beguiling… but humans are not like that. What’s happened instead, we’ve exposed working class, we’ve exposed poor people at higher rates. We’ve created this illusion that we can control disease spread when in fact we cannot.
Atlas noted that when comparing excess mortality rates across states and countries, locales with severe lockdowns have fared no better and often much worse than locales with lighter or nonexistent lockdowns.
“The lockdowns actually killed people, destroyed lives, destroyed families,” he said. “…Our country, more than any other country, frankly, was willing to sacrifice its children out of fear.”
Lockdowns Are Bad for People, But Good for Google
Keeping people at home indefinitely has also drastically increased people’s screen time, which provides Google more ad revenue and influence over how people think and the information they receive. Screen use is correlated with obesity, and obesity puts people at a dramatically higher risk from COVID-19.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 78 percent of those hospitalized with COVID were obese, and lockdowns have directly contributed to a huge increase in First World obesity, especially among children. Among people who have died while COVID-positive, according to the CDC, 94 percent had other significant medical conditions, including diseases exacerbated by obesity: diabetes, cardiac arrest, and heart failure.
“The laptop class, they have protected themselves through the lockdowns while we have thrown the working class under the bus,” Kulldorff said during the panel discussion Google banned.
In both discussions, the doctors noted that besides being generally ineffective, mass lockdowns also drag out the disease, requiring those vulnerable to try to protect themselves for a longer time, increasing their risk of dangerous infection.
“The belief that the pandemic could be suppressed through these lockdowns meant that, in a lot of places in the world, people did not use focused protections of the old,” Kulldorff said on March 18. “They thought the lockdowns would protect them, but they didn’t… I think that’s very tragic and it has led to many unnecessary deaths among our senior citizens.”
Manufacturing a Deadly Consensus
YouTube told the Wall Street Journal last week that they hid the panel video “because it included content that contradicts the consensus of local and global health authorities regarding the efficacy of masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.” As the Journal pointed out, however, the doctors’ criticism especially of masks for children and vaccinated people aligns with World Health Organization guidelines.
In addition, “The ‘consensus’ that we see is somewhat of a synthetic consensus, because there’s experts and scientists who disagree with the ‘consensus’ who realize what the data said but they don’t want to stick their neck out because there is serious consequences,” DeSantis noted in the press conference.
That pressure has included all DeSantis’s panelists facing mobs of students and professors at their own institutions. On Monday, DeSantis noted the irony of Google banning professional discussion from doctors whose scientific research has been cited by Google Scholar more than 10,000 times, more than 17,000 times, and more than 25,000 times, respectively.
Unchecked Cancel Culture Will End Science, Freedom
Three of the four doctors on the March 18 panel authored the Great Barrington Declaration, a statement now signed by nearly 14,000 medical scientists and more than 42,000 health practitioners, as well as nearly 800,000 “concerned citizens,” that promotes based on the scientific evidence the policy of focused protection in response to COVID, instead of ineffective mass lockdowns.
Signers of the declaration include epidemiologists, medical researchers, and public health experts from prestigious universities, top medical corporations, and government agencies throughout the world. Those who sign are subject to political, social, and career pressure, making it likely many medical experts have kept private their agreement with the declaration’s scientific argument that lockdowns do more harm than good.
“These sort of attempts to censor and these ad hominem rebukes… it doesn’t just stop the scientific truths from being arrived at, it stops excellent people from being willing to state what they believe, to be willing to serve in the government, to be willing to help the country,” Atlas noted Monday. Atlas has been repeatedly canceled on YouTube and Twitter for referencing research that contradicts false corporate narratives about COVID-19.
For a cheat sheet summarizing and quoting more scientific arguments these four doctors made during DeSantis’s March 18 panel, go here. Or watch the whole thing here, and the April 12 press conference that included more scientific COVID information here. You will notice immediately that their scientific claims contradict the majority of big tech and corporate media-fueled narratives about COVID. In addition, it’s clear that indefinite suspension of civil liberties is the ultimate goal of all the falsehoods, exaggerations, and fear-mongering.
It’s clear from the existence of the Great Barrington Declaration, myriad studies contradicting the overall U.S. political response to COVID, and the purposeful atmosphere of fear that YouTube’s claimed “consensus” of “authorities” is a smokescreen for pushing authoritarian public policies and cultural norms. They say it’s because “science,” but their actions will help destroy science by enforcing a culture of fear that cancels the open pursuit of truth, which is the basis of all science — and all free societies.
Censorship is paralysis of our society's nervous system, and even a little bit of it erodes our defenses against it getting worse and worse. These actions by the tech overlords move us a little closer to the PRC model of information control. It's a mistake, and it's dangerous.
— zooko❤ⓩ🛡🦓🦓🦓 (@zooko) March 29, 2020