by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
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. …
… 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. …
… 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.