Some people I know have been waiting for mainstream media coverage of the Pfizer exec interview that went viral on Friday – the one describing plans of ‘directed evolution’ of the virus in order to sell more vaccines.
There has been none. Or almost none. Apart from the Daily Mail piece that briefly appeared on Friday morning, only to be taken down a couple of hours later, all I’ve seen is a weak and inconclusive Newsweek fact check and a truly rubbishy piece on Forbes that tries in vain to deny the existence of the executive in question. The piece apparently was written by an employee of a company in close co-operation with – guess who? Of course, Pfizer.
It has however been amazing to see how fast this person, Mr. Jordon Trishton Walker, was scrubbed from the Internet. Friday morning his LinkedIn profile came up in Google search results, while the profile itself had of course been deleted. In the afternoon it didn’t come up in search results, something I haven’t seen happening this fast before. Yet another indication of how all-pervading the censorship has now become.
But what is this?
When strong scientific voices like world-renowned Stanford professors John Ioannidis, Jay Bhattacharya, and Scott Atlas, or University of California San Francisco professors Vinay Prasad and Monica Gandhi, sounded the alarm on behalf of vulnerable communities, they faced severe censure by relentless mobs of critics and detractors in the scientific community — often not on the basis of fact but solely on the basis of differences in scientific opinion.
The above passage was not written by someone at the Brownstone Institute, the Daily Sceptic or the Conservative Woman; it comes from an article by a mainstream scientist, Kevin Bass, a medical student in Texas, published in Newsweek on Monday.
As Mr. Bass explains, he was not one of the sceptics, but supported the lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccination programs and the rest from the start. But now, Mr. Bass admits to his error: “I was wrong. We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives,” he says. He doesn’t try to justify his actions, as we saw in the reprehensible piece by Emily Oster in the Atlantic last October, where she demands amnesty from those she harmed, claiming she didn’t know what she was doing.
Bass tries no such thing. He openly admits how the mainstream scientific community “systematically minimised the downsides of the interventions imposed”, violating “the autonomy of those who would be most negatively impacted by our policies: the poor, the working class, small business owners, blacks and Latinos, and children”. He reminds us how voices of warning “faced severe censure by relentless mobs of critics and detractors in the scientific community”. “We made science a team sport,” he says, “and in so doing, we made it no longer science. It became us versus them.”
Following the revelations from Mr. Walker, we have witnessed the long arm of censorship at its strongest. We have seen what it can do. What it has been doing. And we should be worried. Truly worried
But in the ocean of censorship, lies and deception, the honest voice of Mr. Bass brings hope. A lone voice still, to be sure, but many others in the scientific community must be thinking along the same lines. They may not dare speak up yet. But at some point they must. They must speak up, and they must face their responsibility. In Bass’s own words:
It’s okay to be wrong and admit where one was wrong and what one learned. That’s a central part of the way science works. Yet I fear that many are too entrenched in groupthink — and too afraid to publicly take responsibility — to do this.
Solving these problems in the long term requires a greater commitment to pluralism and tolerance in our institutions, including the inclusion of critical if unpopular voices.
Intellectual elitism, credentialism, and classism must end. Restoring trust in public health — and our democracy — depends on it.
Thorsteinn Siglaugsson is an economist, consultant and writer based in Iceland. This post first appeared on his Substack blog, From Symptoms to Causes, which you can subscribe to here.
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