Biden's COVID advisor tweets misinformation & unsupported recommendations
It is noteworthy what false statements are acceptable
I am opposed to censoring. That’s true when the censored speech is true, and even when it is false. During the pandemic, there were many examples of inappropriate censorship in coordination with the federal government. Facebook notably banned any discussion of lab leak, and the Biden administration pressured social media to remove posts critical of vaccines.
The problem is, of course, that COVID vaccines should have been promoted in the elderly, non-immune, but weren’t sufficiently. At the same time, they do NOT have a favorable risk benefit balance in healthy young men who had COVID. The administration steamrolled those concerns, and pursued a one size fits all policy. This made Pfizer rich, but shredded trust with public health.
Yet, while social media companies were quick to censor posts critical of masks and vaccines, I note that false statements told by government officials (and former officials) are welcomed. Note these e.g.s by Ashish Jha in the last few days
Jha’s tweet implies that there is evidence that ‘keeping up with vaccines’ is beneficial. There are no randomized data that the future fall booster will protect anyone, and our recent NEJM paper shows that the Israeli observational data that Pfizer relied upon is flawed. I would not receive additional doses, until RCTs show benefit for someone of my age and health.
Jha endorses people get treated when infected— likely again referring to his support of Paxlovid, which has no positive randomized data in healthy people who have been vaccinated, and certainly no data against current strains.
It is bizarre that the Biden administration bought Paxlovid and waived the requirement for data.
Earlier this week, Jha tweeted support for a annual booster for ‘most people,’ — that view is dangerous and directly contradicted by the UK’s experts. UK experts do not recommend annual shots for most healthy young people.
Ashish has no data to support an annual booster, or a bi yearly booster. He has literally invented these recommendations. And, again, his support of treatment is flawed.
What are we to make of the fact that promoting ivermectin can be censored, but promoting a booster that does not yet exist, and has no data is permitted? Censorship can never be administered fairly. It will always be used by those in power to cement their control. It is dangerous to democracy. That is true whether the speech is true or false. False statements by government officials are never subject to censorship, as in this case.