Twitter censors Eli Klein
I analyze the Tweet in Question, and Klein gives his perspective
In this guest post, Eli Klein, a NYC based covid19 commenter, describes being censored by Twitter for medical “misinformation.” The tweet in question was the following, which I will fact check here.
As far as I can see, there are 5 claims
Most immunocompromised people are not at high risk from COVID
Immunocompromised people existed before covid and will always exist.
Covid is a flu level risk to kids who aren’t vaccine-eligible
We’ve always accepted such risk.
Many, if not most kids have immunity already.
Consider the 5 points
Most immunocompromised people are not at high risk from COVID. Many people who self-identify as immunocompromised may have conditions that technically do not confer a high risk. The CDC has clearly defined a list of conditions for moderate or severely immunocompromised, but it is increasingly common for someone to say “I am immunocompromised” and have a condition that does not meet this list. For e.g., a mildly asthmatic 30 year old may self-identify as immunocompromised, but is no where near as high risk as an 80 year old. Moreover, Ben Mazur recently described in the Atlantic, mounting evidence suggests that vaccines do work— quite comparably— against severe disease even in immunocompromised individuals. At this point, most Americans are vaccinated or have had infection or both, making Mazur’s piece relevant. Finally, Klein claim is they are not at “high risk”— there is no well accepted definition of what high risk is. One might argue a CFR (case fatality rate) of 20% or more is high risk. Based on these considerations, it is clear Klein’s point of view is obvious defensible, and more to the point— likely correct.
Immunocompromised people existed before covid and will always exist- This is just obviously true
Covid is a flu level risk to kids who aren’t vaccine-eligible— we’ve always accepted such risk. Klein is correct of course. In fact, per the Financial Times…
4. We’ve always accepted such risk. True. We have historically accepted the flu and not closed schools in response.
5. Many, if not most kids have immunity already. True, and here are the CDC data to prove it.
Yet, Twitter censored Mr. Klein’s account and prohibited use for 7 days in punishment. This is the heavy handed and inappropriate censorship that has characterized Big Tech during the pandemic. They are simply not up to the task of medical censorship.
-Vinay Prasad, MD MPH
Now Eli Klein….
On April 20, 2022 my Twitter account @TbeEliKlein was suspended for 7 days for the following Tweet: “Most immunocompromised people are not at high risk from Covid. Immunocompromised people existed before Covid and will always exist. Covid is a flu level risk to kids who aren’t vaccine-eligible — we’ve always accepted such risk. And many, if not most kids, have immunity already.”
For context, the Tweet at issue was the 2nd in a thread that began with my statement that: “The CDC is now claiming the transportation mask mandate is needed to protect “immunocompromised or not yet vaccine-eligible” people from Covid.
This is shady and exaggerated language commonly used by radicalized extremists on the far left to justify indefinite restrictions.
My ridiculous suspension is evidence that Twitter’s “content moderation” can be highly inappropriate.
In fact, on April 19 The NY Times and The Atlantic published similar things to what I was suspended for Tweeting on April 20.
Numerous doctors, scientists, experts and others have reached out to assure me that the Tweet I was suspended for was completely accurate, or at worst, debatable, while it certainly was not “misleading and potentially harmful” as Twitter claimed.
Twitter seems to be making an assertion that the following is authoritative “Most immunocompromised people are currently at high risk from Covid.” But this isn’t a fact — it’s contested, and is more likely “misleading and potentially harmful” rhetoric than my censored Tweet. This claim exaggerates risk, while undermining Covid vaccines and treatments. It’s important to note that elevated risk is not “high” risk.
Immunity from Covid vaccines and prior Covid infection provide excellent protection against severe disease for most immunocompromised people. The vast majority of Americans are either vaccinated, have had Covid, or both.
Covid is a flu level risk to unvaccinated kids and CDC data indicates that most children have immunity already.
It’s outrageous that Twitter would suspend a rational, balanced, credible, centered non-extremist like myself, while promoting radicalized extremists spreading actual misinformation as “COVID-19: health experts.”
Twitter did not respond to my appeal.