Censorship of videos and written posts on major social media outlets about successful treatments of victims of the CCP virus—also known as the novel coronavirus—are causing people to lose their lives, according to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
“Everything to do with COVID has been most troubling because the internet could have been used so helpfully, so powerfully, by allowing doctors to disseminate their practices of medicine,” Johnson told reporters during a virtual news conference hosted Tuesday by the Media Research Center (MRC) and the MRC blog Free Speech America (FSA).
“I remember doctors doing videos out of New York recognizing that ventilators weren’t working. I remember a couple of doctors out of California talking about how they were treating COVID with repurposed drugs and those videos were taken down, they were censored,” Johnson said.
“As a result, the only thing we’ve done in terms of Covid is what the NIH tells us to do,” he added, noting that the NIH Guidelines have recently added information on monoclonal antibodies.
“But the guidelines throughout the 18 months of the pandemic while 700,000 Americans lost their lives without treatment, they could literally do nothing, go home, afraid, isolated, you get sick enough, go to the hospitals where they heard ‘we’ll see if we can save you at that point in time.’ That violates every principle of medicine I’ve ever heard of which is early detection means early treatment and better results.”
As an example of such censorship, Johnson said an impassioned opening statement of testimony by Dr. Pierre Kory on the treatment potential of ivermectin received 8 million views before it was censored by YouTube.
“Now we are dealing with censorship regarding the benefits of natural immunity because for whatever reason the powers that be, the COVID gods, want the vaccine in every arm,” Johnson said.
“So they are censoring the deaths [following vaccination] being reported on VAERS, over 16,000, at least 5,200 of those are within day one or two, and 750,000 adverse events, and nobody can talk about it,” he said. “This is affecting our healthcare system, it’s affecting doctors ability to save lives, we don’t know how many thousands of people lost their lives because of this censorship.”
Johnson was referring to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), co-managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration.
Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) joined Johnson during the news conference and said “we have a former President of the United States, who is banned on social media platforms, while the Taliban, the Iranians and other terrorist outfits can use those same platforms freely, just to highlight the hypocrisy and the politicalization of these platforms.”
Steube is the chief sponsor of a legislative proposal in the House that would address the social media censorship issue by reforming Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act that currently protects the platforms from libel litigation.
Steube said his proposal would “surgically address this, it wouldn’t do away with Section 230,” and he noted that he disagrees with President Donald Trump, who wants an outright elimination of that provision.
“That would not be a good course of action because if we did away with it completely then your startups like Rumble and Parler, the more conservative sites, would just not be able to take advantage of that protection early on,” Steube said.
Steube said his bill provides a “market dominance test” that would only be applied “to the big actors and if they violate your First Amendment rights, it creates a private right for a cause of action that would enable you to sue, or a business, to sue those companies that right now are completely barred from any type of liability for their actions.”
Brent Bozell, MRC’s Founder and President, said “we have to ask ourselves if the democratic system can exist when only one side is allowed to have a voice in the public square. That’s where we’re headed and that’s how dangerous this is.”
Bozell said MRC’s FSA project has documented more than 2,900 examples of conservative speech being censored on social media. Among those, 59 involved “accidents” or “mistakes” against conservative political figures, while only one could be documented against a liberal Democrat.
The 2,900 examples are available for public analysis via FSA’s CensorTrack database.
Heartland Institute President James Taylor pointed out during the conference that Section 230 is primarily intended to address public concerns about sexual violence and obscenity.
“The supposed protections Big Tech has to censor material, that section, Section 230, is explicitly titled ‘To Protect Against Offensive Material.’ None of the examples cited in the law deal with political censorship,” Taylor said.