Suppression of medical science

WSJ freelink Blacklisting od Dr Bhattacharya et al 

Twitter, on instructions from the Biden administration, suppressed contrary medical opinion by qualified experts during the COVID pandemic. 

The CDC and FDA were wrong, the contrarians were right. But you never heard what they had to say. 

This is why suppression of dissent in the sciences must be severely punished. The consequences of banning dissent are just too great. People cannot give informed consent to medical choices if they don’t hear other opinion. 

47 thoughts on “Suppression of medical science

  1. RE: “The CDC and FDA were wrong, the contrarians were right. But you never heard what they had to say.”

    Never isn’t quite right. In this very forum I made a willful effort to share contrarian Covid information, for which I endured name calling and ridicule. I attribute this unpleasant personal experience to the suffocating fog of Covid propaganda that allowed some of my critics to imagine they knew what they were talking about when they didn’t.

    The point is that Twitter’s censorship practices — like others — caused knock-on effects far beyond Twitter itself. When science is suppressed magical thinking proliferates.


  2. “The CDC and FDA were wrong, the contrarians were right.”

    About what?

    According to the article you provided his main message was . . .

    “Mass testing is an insidious form of lockdown by stealth”

    That is palpable nonsense. And a deadly message when testing was part of a science-based effort to save lives. It is no wonder that “conservatives” eager to consume such nonsense suffered more than the rest of us from Covid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dr. Bhattacharya also opposed lengthy school closings and questioned the value of vaccines for low risk populations.

      He is a respected professor of medicine at Stanford, not a conspiracy theorist.

      He was astounded to learn his tweets were not seen by most of those who were following him, including other medical professionals and researchers.

      What justification can there be for silencing his contrary opinion, especially considering that experience has shown he was far more correct than the CDC.

      Science does not work by suppressing contrary opinion and blocking conversations between researchers.


      1. Twitter is not a scientific journal.

        There is nothing wrong about the Surgeon General, CDC, or FDA giving advice and providing cover to slow the spread of disinformation that will kill people. And, thanks to your Dear Leader, there is an overabundance of such disinformation crawling through social media. I will stipulate that if you dig hard enough, you will find errors being made in giving and/or acting on scientific advice. To err is human. With that said, you did even try to address the point that Dr. Bhattacharya’s “main message” was nonsense. It was POLITICAL and not scientific and it was stupid and wrong in a dangerous way.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. What main message? A quote pulled by the author of the article?

          His main message has consistently been that age, vulnerability and natural immunity had to be considered in COVID policy. How is that wrong? Experience has shown that for children, natural immunity provides better protection against new variants than vaccination due to Antigenic Original Sin.

          Dr. Bhattacharya was right, the CDC was wrong.

          Further, Twitter has become a primary means of communication between researchers. Currently the big topic among immunologists is CD-8 T-cell exhaustion in cancer therapy and virologists are tracking a surge in Omicron variants in wastewater samples. How do I know, because they are in my feed. Twitter has replaced Usenet for casual exchanges between researchers.

          The disinformation that killed thousands was the CDC line. The contrarians have been proven right by experience, and even had they been wrong, we should have heard their opinions.

          Had the CDC and FDA limited themselves to providing what they believed to be true to Twitter, but they went beyond that to advise Twitter to silence other voices.


          1. Trump did say same unwise things, but his policy followed Fauci and the CDC to the letter. So, that would be where any blame should fall.

            Your Guardian article is very old, pre vaccine. long before the initial assumptions of the CDC were overcome by experience.

            Trump followed the government’s experts, which was probably the right thing to do, but the government’s experts were wrong, which is excusable in a novel situation, but they also censored the contrary viewpoints, which might have saved lives had they been heard.


          2. “Trump did say same unwise things”

            And in so doing constantly undermined the efforts of CDC to modify behavior towards safety. While they were advocating masks and avoiding crowded indoor spaces Trump was ridiculing mask wearers and holding super-spreader maskless rallies. While they were saying that people should take it seriously, he was comparing it to the common flu. He is the reason that his truest believers fared worse than other people.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. “Age adjusted, Trump supporters have not fared worse than others.”

            Uh, that is not true. You don’t get to wish away inconvenient truths.

            Sure, the fact that Trump supporters are skewed to the old side explains part of how relatively worse they have fared. But so does vaccine hesitancy and aversion to social distancing measures that are more pronounced in that end of the gene pool. The combination of being old and vaccine averse is especially dangerous.


            Liked by 1 person

          4. Refusing the vaccines if you are over 50 is certainly a bad choice.

            But I don’t see why you try to hang that on Trump. Trump was vaccinated even though he had already had COVID and has had the bivalent vaccine as well and called on all AMericans to follow that example. He has never said a disparaging word about the vaccines though he has questioned mandates.

            I would attribute that more to a general distrust of government among older Republicans, exacerbated by the refusal of government to allow free choice and to force vaccination on the unwilling.


          5. “ Age adjusted, Trump supporters have not fared worse than others.”

            If there are more older White folks supporting Trump, then as a group, his fans have fared worse. You can’t just ignore who his supporters are or say, “if Trump did not have so many senior citizens…”.

            That is like saying if the Democrats didn’t have so many young, child bearing age women, abortion might not have been a big issue.

            Liked by 1 person

          1. Not doing what has already been proven not to work.

            The CDC clung to school closures and masking children long after we knew they were doing more harm than good.

            That’s how science works, when experience shows your theory wrong, you find a new theory, you don’t dig in your heels and silence those who do accept experience.


          2. “Not doing what has already been proven not to work.”

            The same could be said about trickle down economics. But every time it is proposed by the GOP, you go gaga for it.

            My point, before you ask, is to show how when YOUR tribe does it, it is good. If another tribe does it, it is bad.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. “In what sense has supply side economics not worked?”

            Every sense.

            Standards of living have not improved for ordinary people as promised and the tax giveaways that were supposed to drive the resounding growth left nothing behind but debt.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. When supply side economics were begun by Reagan, we were in very bad shape. Inflation was worse than today, with 10% unemployment.

            Federal tax receipts doubled in response to Reagan’s tax RATE cuts, and stagflation was ended before Bush the Elder buckled to Democrat pressure and raised taxes.

            Every time we have had tax cuts, they have raised Federal revenues while reducing the tax burden on the middle class.

            The problems all resulted from the liberalization of the welfare state agreed to in trade.


          5. “Federal tax receipts doubled in response to Reagan’s tax RATE cuts … ”


            Federal income taxes for Reagan’s first year – 1981 totaled $ 347 Billion.
            Federal income taxes for Reagan’s last year – 1988 totaled $ 496 Billion.

            That is an increase of 43% NOT 100%. And that is not adjusted for 30% inflation over those years. In real terms the increase was marginal.

            What DID nearly double because of Reagan’s tax cuts was the federal deficit going from $79 Billion in 1981 to $156 Billion in 1988. (up 97%)

            Liked by 1 person

          6. The benefits of a policy change do not end the day the author leaves office, they continue until the policy is changed, in this case when Clinton raised the income tax rates in 1993 when they had reached 627,229 billion, close enough to double.

            As tax receipts increased during those years, the addition to the deficit was the result if spending increases, some of which were due to pre-Gingrich entitlements and some due to defense spending as Reagan bought the pot to win the cold war.


          7. “. . .close enough to double.”

            A lame defense for bullshit. It only took 12 years of economic growth and oodles of inflation but eventually it got to double. And what would it have been then and what would it be now if NONE of this foolish tax cutting had taken place. That is appropriate measurement. And I promise you, our national debt would be much smaller than it has become. Predictably, foolish tax cutting produced nothing but deficit spending. Stimulative in the short run but not sound fiscal or economic policy.


        1. Of course it is.

          Quarantine is justified when a disease can be contained, which it has proven COVID cannot, or to slow the epidemic while countermeasures are developed, which was done, But continued efforts after the Genie is out of the bottle are pointless.

          If you haven’t been exposed already, you will be, and all the quarantines and masks in the world won’t stop it unless you are willing to be a hermit.


          1. You are using the word “quarantine” very broadly. It actually refers to enforced isolation of people known to be infectious.

            Your beef seems to be with social distancing guidance which is a different thing.

            Sweden acted on the advice that you say is right compared to what the CDC recommended. Which you say was wrong. And deadly. The result for Sweden was a higher Covid death rate than for comparable countries around them. That is the FACT and all of your anti-government blather does not change it.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. And Africa has a 6% vaccination rate yet has done far better with COVID than we have.

            6%? Interesting “fact” you have made up.
            In reality, the vaccination rate is a multiple of your figure.


            I am not sure what your point with this “fact” might be – that the effort to vaccinate people in this country was misguided? We should have followed the anti-vaxxers?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. The article says 24.4% had at least one dose, so that is not inconsistent with 6% having the two doses.

            But that’s not the point.

            The anti-vaxxers and the must vaxxers are equally are equally wrong.

            Of course, knowledge has evolved and what was evidence based then and now are different. Initially we thought the vaccine would prevent spread, and now we know that is not the case. That doesn’t mean that advice given when we thought it was was bad advice AT THE TIME.

            For old guys like me, getting vaccinated was the right choice, then and now, but we should not try to force the vaccine on healthy young people and certainly not on children, who are better off getting the disease and developing superior natural immunity.

            But the FDA just approved the bivalent vaccine for babies over 6 months, and that is almost criminal.

            The refusal of the CDC and other health “authorities” to accept the lessons of experience flies in the face of science, and suppression of the knowledge to the public is criminal.


          4. “The anti-vaxxers and the must vaxxers are equally are equally wrong.”

            Uh, nonsense.

            The death and hospitalization toll if nobody had been vaccinated would be far higher than the death toll if everyone had been vaccinated.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. That is irrelevant.

            The choice to vaccinate or not should be made on an individual basis, and politics should play no part.

            For me vaccination certainly made sense. For my grandchildren, all healthy and under 18, it would have made sense ONLY if vaccination protected others, but we now know it doesn’t.

            For small children, it impairs their immune system more than it helps.

            So, there are many factors, including, early on. living arrangements as well as personal risk.

            All or none are both bad choices.


          6. RE: “The result for Sweden was a higher Covid death rate than for comparable countries around them.”

            A meaningless statement. It is true that Sweden shows a high rate of Covid deaths compared to nearby, similar countries, but Sweden also shows a low rate of excess deaths compared to the same countries. The implication is that Covid deaths in Sweden displaced some part of total deaths, which were unaffected by Sweden’s Covid public health policy.

            One can therefore say with certainty that Sweden’s policy of no lockdowns, no school closures and no mask mandates was effective or at least caused no harm. It remains to be seen whether Swedes who were children during the pandemic will be more or less affected by Covid in their adult years, although there is reason to believe they will be less affected.


          7. “Sweden also shows a low rate of excess deaths compared to the same countries.”

            Compared to the mean of 2015-2019 Norway went from 14.9 deaths per 100K per week down to 14.4 in 2020. Sweden went from 17.1 to 17.6 for the same comparison. Sweden’s death rate INCREASED because its policies killed off a big slug of older people in the first months of the pandemic. This slug of mortality was in the 70 and up age group. Some might have died soon anyway but most would not. Even at age 80 life expectancy is still almost 10 years in Sweden.

            You may think the following chart looks like the result of good policy, but it is not obvious.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. RE: “You may think the following chart looks like the result of good policy, but it is not obvious.”

            I think your chart confirms my statement that Covid deaths in Sweden displaced some part of total deaths because it shows that the mean death rates (2015-19) for Norway and Sweden paralleled each other.


          9. “And it may mean they just count COVID deaths differently”

            That would not matter because the graph shows ALL deaths per 100k per month for all causes. Sweden went up far sharper than Norway with its CDC-style public health policies and still ended the year well-above their own trend lines.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. “I think your chart confirms my statement that Covid deaths . . .”

            Well, it is a fact that everybody is going to die of something. So by dying now of Covid, you miss out on dying later of something else. The chart shows that Swedish deaths went through the roof in the spring and still climbed above normal and above Norway in the fall. I see nothing good about it.

            Liked by 1 person

          11. RE: “I see nothing good about it.”

            That’s because you are misreading the chart. Sweden’s Covid experience doesn’t appear to correlate with Sweden’s Covid policy, but neither does it show that lockdowns, school closures and mask mandates would have been effective. That, in fact, is the whole point.

            Put another way, Sweden’s public health record is strong evidence that lockdowns, school closures and mask mandates were ineffective.


          12. “Put another way, Sweden’s public health record is strong evidence that lockdowns, school closures and mask mandates were ineffective.”

            Laughable. It shows that Sweden’s laisse faire approach cost lives.

            Liked by 1 person

          13. “You’re cherry picking by comparing to Norway alone.”

            Academics studying Sweden’s policies have focused on Norway because of its obvious similarity and its radically different policy approach. Sweden also fared worst than other nearby and similar countries – Denmark, Finland.

            Most countries do better than the United States on just about every measure of healthcare. And other countries were not lead by Donald Trump during the early critical phase of the pandemic.

            In the end everyone dies, so over time it will not matter what Covid policies were. Sweden chose to sacrifice old people from the outset. That was the inevitable result of an anti-vaxx, anti-mask, anti-social distancing policy. Should we have done the same? You seem to have your opinion, I have mine.

            Liked by 1 person

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