Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, put Google-controlled YouTube on blast after the streaming giant censored a roundtable discussion between DeSantis, three ivy-league professors, and a former White House Coronavirus Task Force member challenging the wisdom of wide-scale lockdowns and mask mandates.
The March 18 roundtable was held between DeSantis and Harvard professor of medicine Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Oxford professor of epidemiology Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford professor of medicine and epidemiologist Jay Bhattacharya. The trio was also joined by former Task Force member and medical scholar Scott Atlas.
According to the American Institute for Economic Research, the discussion “Lasting an hour and a half…covered all the major issues. The video itself came to serve as a tutorial in the relationship between public policy and virus mitigation.”
During an April 12 virtual roundtable discussion, DeSantis, a Republican, said of the censorship “We had a roundtable last month with some really really impressive experts discussing the efficacy of lockdowns, the use of facemasks in the general public, the need for in-person schooling … and many other COVID-19 related topics.”
“Now, Google and YouTube have cited the insights of these experts I just discussed as being misinformation,” he said. “Now they say it’s misinformation even though Google and YouTube routinely host conspiracy theory videos ranging from the cause of the 9/11 attacks to the role that 5G networks play in causing COVID 19.”
“You can pretty much find any misinformation under the sun on Google-YouTube.”
DeSantis said that Big Tech and establishment media’s main goal in the pandemic is to “Make sure the narrative is not questioned,” adding that the “consensus” propagated is “somewhat of a synthetic consensus” because there are many scientists and experts who quietly disagree with the narrative after examining the data, but “don’t want to stick their neck out because there are serious consequences that a lot of the folks…have had to deal with as a result of following the data.”
End of Enlightenment values?
Dr. Kulldorff said science is “dependent on free exchange of ideas” and warned if the one-voice narrative continues in society “we have reached the end of 300 years of enlightenment.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Bhattacharya during the roundtable said “For science to work, you have to have an open exchange of ideas.”
“If you’re going to make an argument that something is misinformation, you should provide an actual argument. You can’t just take it down and say, ‘Oh it’s misinformation’ without actually giving you a reason…Let’s have a debate.”
Scott Atlas said the pattern of silencing opposition appears to be a recurring theme in the U.S., not just in the media, but throughout academia.
He also said, “There will be other crises and the way you arrive at the solutions is to be able to seek the truth and state what you believe or the evidence or anything else…and then there is a debate.”
In early April, CBS’s iconic 60 Minutes came out with a hit piece on Governor DeSantis, claiming he had signed a pay-to-play deal with Publix for vaccine administration in his state. The claims turned out to be false and the segment relied on selectively edited video clips of DeSantis’s response to questions by correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi, in an attempt to make it appear the Governor was avoiding answering and steamrolling the reporter.
The segment was fact-checked and debunked heavily by conservative media outlets.
AIER said “The pulling of the roundtable video comes a day after the total humiliation of 60 Minutes in many stories that defended the governor. Its deletion of the most viewed version online denies viewers the opportunity to observe DeSantis’s impressive knowledge on the subject of the coronavirus and the public policy response.”