by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The attacks on free speech and science are unrelenting. Academic publisher Elsevier’s suppression of an article documenting the myocarditis risk of the COVID-19 vaccines, with no excuse or pretext offered, is incredible enough. Viewed alongside Twitter’s censorship of the American Heart Association, YouTube’s suppression of a panel discussion of vaccine mandates on Capitol Hill, and the Orwellian call by National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins for critics of the government’s COVID-19 policies to be “brought to justice,” the trend is positively chilling.
Now more than ever, we need substantive debate about decisions that affect the health of hundreds of millions of people, including views counter to official positions. Instead, we have National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci’s absurd claim “I represent science” as proof of how one-dimensional our COVID-19 policymaking has become.
These are just a few examples of the wave of censorship that has accompanied COVID-19, uniting government bureaucracies with obedient news media, academia, scientific publishing, and powerful Big Tech companies. Above all, this concerted campaign suppresses all disagreement about topics including potential early treatments, the natural immunity of recovered individuals, and the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. Differing viewpoints on these topics are swiftly labeled “disinformation,” but in fact represent principled dissent based on a large and growing body of scientific evidence.
In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, the censorship aims to stamp out any questions about a universal vaccination program that, it is now clear, was based on the false premise that low-risk individuals must get vaccinated to halt the spread of COVID-19 and end the pandemic. Almost a year into the global vaccination campaign – and starting long before omicron arrived – all the data stand in stark opposition to this belief.