If Individual Rights Are a Problem, Censorship Is Worse

December 10, 2021 Updated: December 10, 2021

Commentary

Writing in late November for CBC, Dr. Cory Neudorf, a Saskatchewan Medical Health Officer, told Canadians that a pandemic is no time to insist on individual rights.

The pandemic, wrote Neudorf, requires that citizens “think beyond themselves to fight a common enemy.” He contended that: “Infectious diseases can only be managed through a collective public health response, requiring less emphasis on the right to make individual health choices.”

Compliance Shouldn’t Be the Only Test of Civic Virtue

In the early stages of the pandemic, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and most public authorities regarded the average citizen’s obedience of COVID-related edicts as a sign of public assent.

Once the removal of Donald Trump opened the door for the North American left to support vaccines inherited from his “Warp Speed” initiative, progressive administrations turned to groupthink and message control.

Private-sector employees and small business owners complied with lockdowns, which led to lost jobs, interrupted careers, economic setbacks, inflation, staying home, giving up family gatherings, closing schools, shutting down churches, wearing masks, remaining six feet apart, deferring regular medical treatment, mandatory emergency authorized vaccinations, and just about any other controls governments deemed necessary.

Now public authorities are vexed by a shift in public thinking. Dr. Neudorf is concerned that “the recommendations of public health authorities, acted upon by governments, have been interpreted by a sizeable minority as an unreasonable infringement on individual rights, out of proportion to the need for collective responsibility.”

For people across Canada, the United States, and other Western democracies, this has become especially true with regard to the distressing trade-offs between pandemic mandates, individual liberty, and financial sustainability. Citizens are beginning to doubt that compliance should be the only test of civic virtue.

Suppressing the Message by Disgracing the Messenger

From the arrival of the CCP virus to the present day, progressive media organizations have prioritized controlling the narrative over reporting the full truth.

Unable to entirely suppress reports from potent samizdat press organizations, our woke fourth estate relies heavily on censorship by “source shaming.” This tactic aims to suppress the message by discrediting the messenger.

Take for example, the case of Dr. Paul E. Alexander, a Canadian health researcher who holds a bachelor’s degree in epidemiology from McMaster University, a master’s from Oxford, and a PhD from McMaster’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact. Alexander’s resumé also includes related work for the World Health Organization and the Canadian government. From 2017 until December 2019, he was employed by the Washington, D.C.-based Infectious Diseases Society of America, where he specialized in systematic reviews and clinical practice guidelines.

Not a shabby profile for a self-described Caribbean “Island Boy” who adopted Canada as his home. In fact, Dr. Alexander’s professional reputation was highly credible when, in March 2020, he was invited to join the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Had “following the science” led Paul Alexander to the same conclusions as Dr. Anthony Fauci or Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam, the press would have regarded him as a paragon of intellect and virtue. But he went to Washington with something repugnant to the permanent state: a second opinion.

Like Americans Scott Atlas, Harvey Risch, and several other well-qualified public health experts, Alexander supported a closer look at the development of natural or herd immunity and the use of existing therapeutic drugs that were saving lives when administered in the early stages of a COVID-19 infection.

Needless to say, that line of thinking was not welcome at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The initial Fauci/Birx plan, adopted throughout North America, was to suppress the pandemic by mandatory masking, social distancing, and lockdowns. Readily available therapeutics like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin were summarily discredited and in many venues forbidden to be prescribed by practising physicians.

Taking a  “road less travelled” approach is never an easy option in a hostile permanent state. Like Atlas, Risch, and others, Alexander was pilloried in the legacy press.

Breaching the Regime Media Firewall

As the 2020 U.S. election approached, vaccines were on the way. But until they arrived under the control of a suitably progressive administration those testing positive for COVID were sent home untreated to wait for the disease to run its course—to either recover on their own or waste away in silence.

Today, there is reason to believe that the public “shift in thinking” referenced by Dr. Cory Neudorf in his CBC opinion piece is not only real, but justified by outcomes that the leftist press still chooses to ignore.

In fact, the regime media firewall is beginning to crumble under the weight of its own deceptions. A significant sign of this development came in the form of a recent book by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., son of former U.S. attorney general Robert Kennedy and nephew of iconic U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

In “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” RFK Jr. describes the Fauci strategy as “arbitrary decrees” in support of “science-free medicine.”

“Predictably,” wrote Kennedy, “it was grossly ineffective; America racked up the world’s highest body counts. Medicines were available against COVID — inexpensive, safe medicines — that would have prevented hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and saved as many lives if only we’d used them in this country. But Dr. Fauci and his Pharma collaborators deliberately suppressed those treatments in service to their single-minded objective — making America await salvation from their novel, multi-billion-dollar vaccines.”

It should come as no shock that assessments like RFK Jr.’s are breaking through media censorship tactics. The press may come up with something to discredit Kennedy’s reputation, but they certainly will not be able to dismiss this high-born Democrat and thorough researcher as a sycophant of Donald Trump.

Censorship and Compliance Not Promising Options

Regime journalists have routinely discredited independent health experts as misinformed, controversial, polarizing, and unworthy of our attention. But anyone who has had an occasion to follow a court proceeding knows that experts disagree. It’s up to an impartial jury of citizens to rationally assess the quality of expert testimony. Censoring evidence impedes the advancement of sound judgement.

Censorship invites distrust, and free citizens are loath to be duped. Readers may recall that in April of 2020, the CBC broke a story implying that Canadians were upset with The Epoch Times over a report suggesting that the theory the CCP virus may have originated in a Wuhan laboratory should also be explored. Today, what the CBC called a “conspiracy theory” is widely regarded to be the most plausible explanation for the outbreak of the pandemic.

Retreating behind a curtain of censorship and compliance is not a promising option. The Catholic Church took 359 years to officially recognize Galileo’s proposition that the earth revolves around the sun. A church can afford to take some time, because it is a spiritual not a scientific institution. We don’t have that kind of time today.

If vaccines, lockdowns, and masks are not producing the results we were told to expect, citizens want full information about the possibility of other options. Kennedy claims that leading doctors and scientists, including some of the most published and experienced physicians and front-line COVID specialists, believe that the suppression of early treatment and off-patent remedies was responsible for up to 80 percent of the deaths attributed to COVID-19. If this is true, citizens deserve to know what can be done about it.

Today, we are challenged by immediate moral, economic, social, and political dilemmas brought on by a catastrophic contagion released into our midst by a sworn enemy of our freedom, the Chinese Communist Party. Even as our nation is being enticed to accept “socialism with Canadian characteristics” it’s an endgame we would do well to resist.

Science and truth progress through competitive argument and testing ideas, not preemptively shaming rival theorists. Censorship is an admission of failure.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

William Brooks is a Canadian writer who contributes to The Epoch Times from Halifax, Nova Scotia. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of “The Civil Conversation” for Canada’s Civitas Society.