Matt Taibbi discusses Bret Weinstein’s continued censorship, interviewing the evolutionary biologist with regard to the latest acts of suppression taken against him at the hands of YouTube over his thoughts and theories regarding drug treatment and vaccines for the COVID-19 virus.
Setting aside the appalling nature of social media companies choosing to censor Weinstein and many others simply for posturing theories that do not align with the current official narrative laid down by governmental authorities, the fact that these companies later walk back certain acts of censorship and yet never seem to take pause about continuing to engage in censorship is disgraceful. The most recent example of this is the long-derided lab leak theory regarding COVID-19 (with Facebook announcing that they “will no longer remove the claim that COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured”):
TK: Jon Stewart made the lab-leak hypothesis mainstream last week. You were one of the first media figures to try to bring attention in that direction. What was the response when you raised your own concerns, and what’s your reaction now, given the way that discussion has suddenly become permissible?
Weinstein: The lessons of the lab leak are many. Of course, those of us who could see that the official narrative was wildly inconsistent with the evidence were aggressively stigmatized. Many were driven to self silence. And the official narrative could easily have held, causing dissenters to be recorded in history as cranks. This is standard for such a situation. Unfortunately, there is no appetite for extrapolating from the lab leak to other COVID questions.
Weinstein gave credence to the lab leak theory early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, an idea that was ridiculed and mocked by many and censored by social media companies. Now that theory is being accepted as a potentially valid one and thus no longer being censored, and yet Weinstein is providing further analysis of other aspects of the virus that are actively being suppressed today.
Note that we are not talking about random 20-year-old YouTubers in their parents’ basement spouting off uneducated nonsense. Weinstein is a biologist with a doctorate from the University of Michigan, someone fully qualified to be discussing ideas regarding virus treatment and vaccines and who chooses to have those discussions with other fully-qualified individuals. And yet YouTube has pulled two of his recent podcasts for challenging the current conventional thinking about drug treatment of COVID-19 and discussing the potential risks of its vaccines:
Note also that Weinstein is not just some anti-vaxxer hell-bent on making sure no one receives COVID-19 vaccines because he believes all vaccines are bad (nor are his guests). Quite the contrary:
[Weinstein:] As to the questions of whether we are vaccinated and/or would get vaccinated again: we (and our children) are more fully vaccinated than most people, in part due to the exposures that our (former) jobs as tropical biologists gave us. We are, for instance, vaccinated against yellow fever, typhoid, and rabies. We are not vaccinated against Covid, and do not intend to get vaccinated against Covid (unless, perhaps, a traditional vaccine were to be produced).
Disallowing the challenging of ideas is arguably the most anti-science approach one could take to handling the issues humanity faces today, which has far-reaching implications for the world that translate to literal life-and-death scenarios with situations like the COVID-19 virus. It would seem that in the (arguably noble) attempt by social media and other large tech companies to quell unscientific ideas, they are in actuality suppressing the scientific process and dragging civilization back to an era all too similar to the one when religious demagogues declared what was true and what was not and any attempt to question or challenge such declarations were actively suppressed.