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Silencing Covid science

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Doctors and scientists have had their homes invaded by police, faced imprisonment and lost their jobs because they questioned the Covid-19 narrative, a new study has discovered

The true extent of the censorship and suppression of doctors and scientists who did not follow the mainstream narrative of the Covid-19 pandemic is finally coming to light. Scientists have lost their jobs and doctors have been barred for speaking out against lockdowns, mask-wearing and vaccinations or offering effective treatments.

One doctor has had a $1 million lawsuit filed against him for taking an alternate view, and another had his home raided by police, who didn’t even have a warrant. Dr Jackie Stone, a doctor in Zimbabwe who successfully treated Covid patients with ivermectin and colloidal silver, faces imprisonment, and many other doctors—such as leading cardiologist Peter McCullough—may lose their licenses.

Scientific papers have been retracted and their authors have lost their posts at universities and research centers or been “named and shamed” by medical authorities.

These examples are just a snapshot of the backlash against dissenters and are based on interviews that Israeli researchers have carried out with just 13 doctors and scientists who have questioned the narrative. This superficial analysis suggests that many thousands more have lost their jobs and had their reputations trammeled by authorities who have worked hand-in-glove with governments, mainstream media and websites, including social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, to silence alternative voices.1

The researchers fear the official narrative wasn’t created only to protect the public and avoid confusion but has been influenced by commercial interests that have earned vast sums from the Covid outbreak.

As the BMJ’s executive editor Kamran Abbasi put it in the early days of the epidemic, “Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleased state corruption on a grand scale and it is harmful to public health.”2

In the last couple of months, Pfizer’s chief financial officer David Denton has told institutional investors that Covid-19 is a “multi-billion-dollar franchise for years to come” and has tripled the price of its mRNA vaccine this year.3 Earlier in the pandemic, another drug company official described the outbreak as like being “Christmas every day.”

But it hasn’t only been Big Pharma that has driven the narrative. Google has, until recently, banned any content that suggested the virus “escaped” from a research laboratory in Wuhan, China, and yet for the past 10 years has been funding virus research through the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York foundation that has channeled research grants from the US to China.

Even independent “fact-checkers,” the website police squad that has “corrected” contrary views, are not so independent. The International Fact-Checking Network, which is run by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, is funded by Facebook and Google, the US government and the Koch Institute.4

Don’t declare

Google, the web’s major search engine, changed its algorithms so that search results for the Great Barrington Declaration all but disappeared. The declaration was created by three epidemiologists from Harvard, Stanford and Oxford Universities who argued that lockdowns were socially and economically damaging and that it was sufficient to focus on protecting the most vulnerable. Facebook later deleted a page set up by scientists linked to the declaration.

YouTube removed a recording of an official public hearing on the pandemic that featured Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis and the authors of the declaration. One of them, Harvard professor of medicine Martin Kulldorff, one of the most-cited epidemiologists in the world, was separately censored by Twitter.

The social media giants were complying with an official line promulgated by Dr Anthony Fauci, fondly referred to as “America’s Doctor,” who headed up the country’s Covid response. Fauci had falsely claimed the declaration’s central theme was to “let the virus rip.”

Fauci had responded to Francis Collins, who was head of the US National Institutes of Health, to stop the declaration gaining traction. In an email uncovered as part of a Freedom of Information request, Collins told Fauci that “this proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists [sic]. . . seems to be getting a lot of attention” and that “there needs to be a quick and devastating published takedown of its premises.”

Don’t say a word

The Israeli researchers, led by Yaffa Shir-Raz, a health and risk communication scientist at the University of Haifa, carried out in-depth interviews with 13 doctors and scientists who had been censured for questioning aspects of the standard Covid-19 narrative, such as the virulence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, social distancing and mask-wearing, the use of effective therapies, and the safety and efficacy of the vaccines.

Although the 13 are based in seven countries, they all report uniformity in the responses against them, including exclusion, derogatory labeling (such as “conspiracy theorist” or “anti-vaxxer”), hostile comments and threatening statements by the media, dismissal, official inquiries, revocation of their medical license, lawsuits and retraction of scientific papers after publication.

One scientist, who had questioned the narrative, had been vilified in a national newspaper as a quack, an anti-vaxxer and a Covid denier. But sometimes third parties were used, such as a Wall Street Journal article quoting a junior doctor who disparaged the views of three of the world’s leading epidemiologists who created the Great Barrington Declaration. Others had their views “corrected” by “fact-checkers” who criticized statements that were never even made but that “all trace back to the vaccine manufacturers or the vaccine stakeholders,” one respondent said.

After being “corrected,” the respondents said their names and reputations were so blackened at work that they were dismissed or forced to resign. One doctor, whose therapy resulted in his hospital having one of the lowest Covid death rates in the world, was eventually forced to resign after journalists started visiting the hospital. He was vilified and slandered, so he left, he told the researchers.

Others were dismissed. One was told that his contract would not be renewed at the medical unit where he worked, and two universities that he was associated with also stripped him of his professorship with no explanation or right to respond.

Others were defamed by their own official bodies. One respondent said that of the 55,000 physicians registered in his country, his name was the only one listed on the government website as a source of “disinformation.”

One reported having a $1 million lawsuit filed against him for “violating terms of my separation agreement” by mentioning his employer in presentations that questioned the Covid narrative, even though no association had ever been made. Another had his home raided by the police on the orders of his medical board even though they didn’t have a warrant to enter his home.

Most of the respondents had published papers retracted, and one was so intimidated that he refused to add his name to any future research.

The five-point plan

The censorship has followed one or more of the five tactics outlined by researcher Sue Curry Jansen and Brian Martin, a co-author of the study with Shir-Raz, that are employed to discredit opposing voices.5

  • Cover-up: If the public doesn’t know about censorship, they don’t get upset about it. Third-party sources and “fact checkers” are routinely used to discredit opposition claims, which provides the justification to censor, ban or retract the offending research.
  • Devaluation: The naysayers are disparaged or false claims are made against them in smear campaigns that discredit them and, by association, their research.
  • Reinterpretation: Censorship is reframed as a necessary way to “protect the public” from dissenting voices and block “disinformation” that could endanger public health in a time of crisis.
  • Official channels: Formal proceedings and investigations can frighten or silence opposing voices.
  • Intimidation: All the tactics can be described as intimidation, with the over-arching ambition to silence opposition and criticism.

No science here

In combating the Covid-19 virus, governments said they were “following the science.” But science isn’t a set system of beliefs; it’s an ongoing argument that constantly tests prevailing theories.

Many of the assumptions made at the beginning of the outbreak have since been found to be exaggerated or wrong. The virulence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus didn’t cause the number of deaths originally forecast, and the virus is around twice as lethal as seasonal flu, as Harvard’s John Ioannidis had predicted at the start, but his projections were dismissed.

Treatments such as ivermectin, the antiviral hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and vitamins C and D were combating Covid, but doctors who employed them were discredited. But Covid vaccines were rushed through under an Emergency Use Authorization in the US, which is allowed only when no other effective treatment exists.

Regulators have hidden the rate of vaccine adverse events, and America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it can only drip feed a cache of safety reports over the next 50 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was forced to release safety data gathered from its v-safe app only after it had been sued twice. Early analysis of the data suggests the vaccines cause adverse events serious enough to require emergency care or a hospital stay in around 7.7 percent of people.

But without any of this bad news making it into the mainstream media, the drug manufacturers have been able to clean up. David Denton’s “multi-billion-dollar franchise” is helped by his company’s decision to triple the price of its mRNA vaccine. This year, it’s increasing the price of the vaccine to $130 a dose, while it costs them just $1.18 to produce—a markup of 10,000 percent. With the vaccine’s help, Pfizer is predicting total revenues this year of $102 billion.

But without the naysayers, little of this will make its way into the general population. The detractors have been successfully and efficiently silenced, and drug companies are free to make fortunes from dangerous vaccines.

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References
  1. Minerva, 2022; doi: 10.1007/s11024-022-09479-4
  2. BMJ, 2020; 371: m4425
  3. Will Jones, “Pfizer Chief Boasts Covid Will Continue to Be a “Multi-Billion Dollar Franchise for Years to Come” as Firm Sticks 10,000% Mark-Up on Vaccine,” Nov 9, 2022, DailySceptic.org
  4. BMJ, 2021; 373: n1170
  5. Int J Commun, 2015; 9: 656–71
Article Topics: Covid, Covid treatment, Covid-19
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