The Government Censored Me and Other Scientists. We Fought Back — and Won (excerpt)
9-16-23, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya well-respected but little-known epidemiologist and Stanford Medical School professor — Both of my parents immigrated to the USA because they believed in the American dream. That belief led to the success my father ultimately found as an engineer and my mother found running a family daycare business. (..).When I was 19, I became an American citizen. The American civic religion has the right to free speech as the core of its liturgy. I never imagined that there would come a time when an American government would think of violating this right, or that I would be its target.
Unfortunately, during the Covid pandemic, the American government violated my free speech rights and those of my scientist colleagues for questioning the federal government’s pandemic policies. …over the past three years, American government officials, working in concert with big tech companies, have attacked and suppressed my speech and that of my colleagues for criticizing official pandemic policies—criticism that has been proven prescient.
On Friday, 9-15-23 at long last, the Fifth Circuit Court ruled that we were not imagining it—that the Biden administration did indeed strong-arm social media companies into doing its bidding. The court found that the Biden White House, the CDC, the U.S. Surgeon General’s office, and the FBI “engaged in a years-long pressure campaign [on social media outlets] designed to ensure that the censorship aligned with the government’s preferred viewpoints.”
The judges described a pattern of government officials making “threats of ‘fundamental reforms’ like regulatory changes and increased enforcement actions” if we did not comply. It worked. According to the judges, “the officials’ campaign succeeded. The platforms, in capitulation to state-sponsored pressure, changed their moderation policies.”
History:The trouble began on October 4, 2020, when my colleagues and I—Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University, and Dr. Sunetra Gupta, an epidemiologist at the University of Oxford—published the Great Barrington Declaration. The Declaration called for an end to economic lockdowns, school shutdowns, and similar restrictive policies on the grounds that they disproportionately harm the young and economically disadvantaged while conferring limited benefits to society as a whole.
The Declaration endorsed a “focused protection” approach that called for strong measures to protect high-risk populations while allowing lower-risk individuals to return to normal life with reasonable precautions. Tens of thousands of doctors and public health scientists signed our statement.
With hindsight, it is clear that this strategy was the right one. Sweden, which in large part eschewed lockdown and, after early problems, embraced focused protection of older populations, had among the lowest age-adjusted all-cause excess deaths than nearly every other country in Europe and suffered none of the learning loss for its elementary school children. Similarly, Florida has seen lower cumulative age-adjusted all-cause excess deaths than lockdown-obsessed California since the start of the pandemic.
But at the time, our proposal was viewed by high government officials like Anthony Fauci and some in the Trump White House, including Deborah Birx, then-White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, as a kind of heresy.
Federal officials immediately targeted the Great Barrington Declaration for suppression because it contradicted the government’s preferred response to Covid. Four days after the Declaration’s publication, then-director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, emailed Fauci to organize a “devastating takedown” of it.
Almost immediately, social media companies such as Google/YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook censored mentions of the Declaration. As The Free Press revealed in its Twitter Files reporting, in 2021 Twitter blacklisted me for posting a link to the Great Barrington Declaration. YouTube censored a video of a public policy roundtable of me with Florida governor Ron DeSantis for the crime of telling him that the scientific evidence for masking children is weak.
I have been a professor researching health policy and infectious disease epidemiology at a world-class university for decades. I am not a political person; I am not registered with either party. In part that is because I want to preserve my total independence as a scientist. …Yet at the height of the pandemic, I found myself smeared for my supposed political views, and my views about Covid policy and epidemiology were removed from the public square on all manner of social networks.
In August 2022, my colleagues and I finally had a chance to fight back. The Missouri and Louisiana attorneys general asked me to join as a plaintiff in their case, represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, against the Biden administration. The aim of the suit was to end the government's role in this censorship—and restore the free speech rights of all Americans in the digital town square.
Lawyers in the Missouri v. Biden case deposed representatives, under oath, from many federal agencies involved in the censorship efforts, including Anthony Fauci.
Broad discovery of email exchanges between the government and social media companies showed an administration willing to use its regulatory powers against social media companies that did not comply with censorship demands. The case revealed that a dozen federal agencies—including the CDC, the Office of the Surgeon General, and the Biden White House—pressured social media companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter to censor and suppress even true speech contradicting federal pandemic priorities. For instance, in 2021, the White House threatened social media companies with damaging regulatory action unless it censored scientists who shared the demonstrable fact that the Covid vaccines do not prevent people from getting Covid.
True or false, if speech interfered with the government’s priorities, it had to go. On Independence Day this year, federal Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction in the case, ordering the federal government to immediately stop coercing social media companies to censor protected free speech. In his decision, Justice Doughty compared the administration’s censorship infrastructure to an Orwellian Ministry of Truth. His ruling decried the vast federal censorship enterprise that dictated who and what social media companies could publish.
The government appealed, convinced it should have the power to censor scientific speech. An administrative stay followed and lasted much of the summer. But on Friday, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously restored a modified version of the preliminary injunction, telling the government to stop using social media companies to do its censorship dirty work:
Defendants, and their employees and agents, shall take no actions, formal or informal, directly or indirectly, to coerce or significantly encourage social-media companies to remove, delete, suppress, or reduce, including through altering their algorithms, posted social-media content containing protected free speech. That includes, but is not limited to, compelling the platforms to act, such as by intimating that some form of punishment will follow a failure to comply with any request, or supervising, directing, or otherwise meaningfully controlling the social media companies’ decision-making processes. (..)
The Biden administration, which has proven itself to be an enemy of free speech, will surely appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. But I am hopeful that we will win there, just as we have at every venue in this litigation. I am grateful for the resilience of the U.S. Constitution, which has withstood this challenge.
Background and links: Hoover Institution:
🙏✝️ James 4:8 💕❤️
Online Bible here
Exodus 20:2-17 God's Ten Commands
Jesus said: "Marvel not that I said you must be born again!' John 3:3, 7
GOD'S STRONG DELUSION
2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
Matthew 15:13; Mark 13:20; Luke 20:35
John 6:37, 39, 44, 65
We must obey God. Luke 11:28
FLY ME TO THE MOON SONG:
Isaiah 26:3; Philippines 4:6
7-8-21-21, Israel has only 8000 square miles of land - the Muslims have 5 million. Yet, they also want the Jews land. Of all the nations of the world, the Lord chose the descendants of Jacob [Jews], not Ishmael [Muslims], to be His covenant people - the descendants of Abraham and wife Sarah. (Genesis 17:19-21; Malachi 1:1–5).
✝️ 6-8-20, Jesus is God; He came to save sinners. “For He [Jesus] Whom God sent speaks the words of God: The Father loves the Son & has given all things into His hand. He that believs on the Son hath everlasting life & they that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on them.” John 3:34-36
✝️ 6-7-20, The Lord □ Jesus spoke from the cross first of forgiveness, salvation then of His Mother's care into John's hands. He spoke of being forsaken & then triumph as His task as human was complete shedding His perfect blood for the forgiveness of sins to all who repent believing in Him. His body was thirsty. And last of His reunion with the Father. Matthew 27:46; Luke 23:34, 43, 46; John 19:26-28, 30; Mark 15:34
✝️ 5-7-20, Sins □ Jesus Harshly Condemns; He said, “God knows our hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. V9 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” [Pride] Luke 16:15, 18:9-14; Hebrews 1:8-9
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