The recently revealed censorship that has plagued Twitter in recent years is “criminal,” according to former White House COVID adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, as it allowed “lies to be imposed on the public” during a pandemic that wrought untold damage worldwide.
“When correct science policy is blocked, people die, and people died from the censorship,” Atlas, a special coronavirus adviser during the Trump administration and contributor to The Epoch Times, said in an interview.
But such revelations, Atlas said, are “only the tip of the iceberg.”
“There’s a far larger story here that we need to hear,” he said, which he considers “far more nefarious and more systemic than isolated tweets being pulled down.”
The Censorship of 2020Atlas wants to direct attention back to 2020, when health officials followed in the Chinese Communist Party’s footsteps to implement blanket COVID-19 lockdowns.
In November of that year, while Atlas was still on the White House’s coronavirus task force, Twitter took down his post that argued mask-wearing was not effective in curbing the spread of the virus—a decision celebrated by some proponents of the measures, including fellow task force member Dr. Deborah Birx.
“One would think that the American public should hear what the adviser to the president is saying during the pandemic of 2020. Yet Twitter decided to simply block that discussion from the public,” he said.
“When decisions were being made in 2020 and imposed upon the public, that’s when censorship counted the most,” Atlas said.
The absence of alternative viewpoints manipulated not only the public, but government officials as well, Atlas said.
“It created this illusion that there was a consensus among science and public health policy experts that lockdowns should be imposed; it created and perpetrated lies that if you were opposed to lockdowns, you were choosing the economy over lives, and that if you were opposed to lockdowns, you were somehow calling for letting the infection spread without any mitigation whatsoever,” he said.
“They absolutely contributed to policies that killed massive numbers of people and destroyed children and low-income people, who are the most vulnerable. That’s why it’s criminal.”
Collectively, America’s social media and legacy media, “coupled with incompetent bureaucrats running the policy and ignorant university professors have left a sinful legacy of damage,” said Atlas—the reason for the massive loss of trust in public health agencies that people depend for guidance in future crises.
Atlas welcomed the gesture but thought that more individuals need to “rise up”—his term for speaking up, for real change.
“There should be a public outrage that is massive,” he said.
He believes those the American public elected to represent them haven’t done their part.
‘Distortion’ Around Vaccine MandatesA recent study published in Nature of over 15,000 citizens across 21 countries shows that people who have received COVID-19 vaccines are far more likely to be prejudiced against the unvaccinated than the other way around, which Atlas saw as yet another illustration of how social media censorship has shaped public opinion through suppressing critical information.
More than 5.47 billion people worldwide have received at least one dose of one of the COVID-19 vaccines, accounting for roughly 70 percent of the world population, despite lacking a “thorough, detailed understanding of efficacy and side effects from the vaccines,” Atlas noted.
In perpetrating a “false narrative,” social media platforms have deviated from their promised role as a digital town hall and a visible source of information, and instead allowed themselves to be a tool for harm, said Atlas.
“We are living in an Orwellian society if this sort of censorship is allowed to keep going.”
Atlas faced considerable pressure in 2020 for airing his views on COVID-19 and resigned after four months of repeated clashes with other members of the task force. But he said this “character assassination” won’t stop him from doing what he believes is right.
He quoted English writer G. K. Chesterton: “Right is right even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong even if everybody is wrong about it.”
Thousands from around the world, he said, have written to him encouraging him to keep speaking up, including some “whose family members had committed suicide from the lockdowns and many in the health profession who said they were “afraid to step forward.”
“We need people with integrity to rise up when the pressure is on, and when you do that, you empower other people to speak up.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to Twitter for comment.