How a War on ‘Misinformation’ Led To a Coronavirus Tragedy

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.” – Richard Feynman

Spectacular falsehoods, deep truths, and Canadian truckers are finally piercing the long-impervious Covid storyline.

When a justice of the Supreme Court on January 7 asserted that 100,000 children were hospitalized with Covid-19 “in serious condition, and many on ventilators,” it reflected the ill-informed panic that’s driven policy the last two years. In fact, CDC data showed just around 3,200 children were hospitalized while Covid-positive, few were in serious condition, and almost none were on ventilators.

The episode was just the latest false droplet in a flood of erroneous Covid-speak. We’ve known since near the beginning that young people are not at serious risklockdowns don’t halt the spread and do far more harm than good; and an array of cheap, safe, long-approved generic drugs often stop the virus dead in its tracks when taken early. Yet each of these central facts was suppressed by a sprawling array of old and new media, digital platforms, captured medical journals, non-profit scolds, and public health spokespeople claiming omniscience.

It turns out Canadian truckers listening to Joe Rogan know more than many “experts.” Had the truckers been in charge the last two years, the world would probably be healthier, and freer.

The Covid saga began with orchestrated misdirection. On January 31, 2020, some of the world’s top virologists told Dr. Anthony Fauci they believed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was probably “engineered” and they “can’t think of a plausible natural scenario.” Within weeks, however, these same scientists insisted in the Lancet and Nature Medicine that the virus was natural and to question its origin was spreading “misinformation” and “prejudice.” Last week we learned Fauci’s National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) granted these scientists $50 million in 2020 and 2021 alone.

The next battle in the war on misinformation targeted generic drugs – first hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and then ivermectin (IVM). Doctors around the world have used these extraordinary drugs with astonishing success. In the summer and fall of 2021, Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in India, with 241 million people, nearly eradicated Covid-19 with aggressive deployment of ivermectin. Even during the highly infectious Omicron wave, Uttar Pradesh suffers a relative trickle of cases and deaths compared to wealthy Western nations.

A massive new study from Brazil has just been published. Doctors followed nearly the entire city of Itajaí for six months, where 113,845 residents took small doses of ivermectin twice a month, and 45,716 did not. The sophisticated propensity score matched (PSM) analysis shows that even low-dose prophylactic use of ivermectin – with no particular treatment after infection – resulted in a 56% reduction in hospitalization and a 68% mortality improvement. The regulatory and propaganda campaigns against these drugs, and their complementary protocols including simple things like zinc and vitamin D, likely cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Western nations.

Yet you still find smart people who laugh or scowl, insisting ivermectin is only a livestock medicine. When I began warning against digital censorship years ago, many of my friends insisted it wasn’t real, or that it was ok if a few fringe voices were silenced. It was hard to argue with them at the time. I certainly didn’t relish defending unsavory or downright devilish characters. But now we’ve seen how quickly “content moderation” choices on select social networks can slide into total media blackouts and lockstep propaganda. And how blackouts and propaganda can so totally fool a large class of highly educated people.

When Dr. Scott Atlas began advising the U.S. government in August 2020, Facebook erased his videos arguing against widespread business and school closures. YouTube erased the December 2020 U.S. Senate testimony of Drs. Peter McCullough and Pierre Kory, world-class experts in cardiology and critical care, respectively, and demonetized evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, who were all trumpeting effective early treatments. YouTube also erased the testimony of Drs. Jay Battacharya (Stanford), Sunetra Gupta (Oxford), and Martin Kulldorff (Harvard) at a forum led by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Twitter permanently banned Dr. Robert Malone, pioneer of mRNA and DNA gene therapy technologies.

These acts of censorship were just some of the most obvious. Yet they reverberated far and wide. The erasure and smearing of eminent scientists sent a clear message to thousands of other physicians, professors, medical editors, journalists, CEOs, and influential leaders: toe the party line, or we will destroy you. These rippling layers of cancellation then denied an even wider circle of people in all walks of life the information needed to make sound medical, personal, and political decisions.

The smart, young doctor who successfully treated my wife’s moderately severe case of Covid-19 two weeks ago had recently lost her hospital privileges at a major health system. They didn’t like the fact she was aggressively and successfully deploying ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine and thus keeping people out of the hospital. “I spend all day everyday treating Covid patients,” she told us, exhausted. “I wish my colleagues would help me.” She’s one of many heroes fighting another kind of censorship against the effective and compassionate practice of medicine.

The total bamboozlement of the nation’s policymakers, journalists, and, sadly, too many health professionals, reveals something far more systematically askew. The war on misinformation has achieved the exact opposite of its stated goal. Clamping down on unapproved outside voices has exacerbated groupthink, concentrated risk, and amplified mistakes to epic proportion.

Nowhere has the insulation from reality been more hermetically complete, and more devastating, than the non-discussion over vaccines. On Twitter last week, a smart, thoughtful economist showed just how behind the curve much of the intelligentsia is. Stanford’s Jay Battacharya had been arguing against vaccine mandates and travel requirements because “the covid vaccine does not stop disease spread.” “I don’t follow your logic,” the economist replied. “If the vaccine keeps us from getting infected, why wouldn’t it reduce spread, too? The CDC disagrees with you: ‘COVID 19-vaccines are effective and can lower your risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.’” This was January 22, at least seven months after we realized – first in Israel, then the UK, then everywhere – the extremely short durability of the vaccines, especially against infection.

In November, I wrote that “The first results of the booster experiment will yet again come from Israel, which mass-boosted this summer and fall.” Well, in recent weeks, uber-boosted Israel led the world in positive tests per capita and is suffering a new record-high wave of hospitalization and death. Likewise, throughout the fall and winter, the most heavily vaccinated places on earth, almost without exception, also suffered high infection rates.

Vaccine effectiveness was already severely waning against Delta, as shown by the massive Swedish study of 1.6 million people. Now, the vaccines, which target an extinct variant, may be negatively effective against Omicron. In the UK, boosted adults (3x vaccinated) suffer higher infection rates than the unvaccinated. The World Health Organization now says, “a vaccination strategy based on repeated booster doses of the original vaccine composition is unlikely to be appropriate or sustainable.” The European Medicines Agency now warns: “Repeat booster shots risk overloading the immune system.”

This elementary fact – that the vaccines are non-sterilizing and likely manifest original antigenic sin, among other immune dysregulations, something top vaccinologists knew a year ago – should have ended talk of vaccine mandates before any such discussion began.

In fact, it should have driven an entirely different vaccine strategy. Mass inoculation during a widespread outbreak with “leaky” vaccines can generate dangerous evolutionary dynamics. Yet we never had a robust vaccine discussion. Instead we heard a mantra, leading to sacramental worship of the shots. This, despite the fact that most of the population was not at serious risk from Covid. Instead of targeting high-risk populations for vaccination with the highly experimental mRNA and DNA technologies, many of the world’s leaders went for broke, insisting on universal vaccination. And demanding no questions be asked.

It now appears the stifling of questions and alternative strategies may have resulted in one of the biggest debacles in the history of science and public policy.

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