by Robert Spencer
Welcome to the Left's all-out war against the freedom of speech.
The Leftist establishment is waging all-out war against the freedom of speech under the guise of combating what it claims is “misinformation” and “disinformation.” Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton warned us against the supposedly rapidly spreading scourge of “disinformation,” and just days later, Biden’s Homeland Security Department unveiled its sinister Disinformation Governance Board, with an ill-defined and shifting scope of responsibilities. The Board, however, could be just the beginning. On Sirius XM’s Doctor Radio Reports Friday, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf said, “I have been telling Congress that misinformation is the leading cause of death.” Well then, by all means, we must outlaw it immediately!
Califf explained: “We’re in the negative spiral right now due to mostly chronic disease, drug overdose, and gun violence.” So where does “misinformation” come in? Well, you see, we’re not listening to our moral superiors when they tell us how to deal with these things:
Mental health being a very important part of the problem. If you think about the common chronic diseases we’re talking about good ol’ fashioned heart disease, diabetes, obesity. This is driven by day-to-day habits that people have. Driven largely by the information they’re ingesting and not driven by the information they should be getting about the measures that are affective. One that we have a lot of control over is we now have generic medicines for most of those that are pretty inexpensive and a lot of people aren’t taking them. We got to reach people with secondary prevention but also make sure we flood the airwaves and our personal interactions with positive, reliable, useful information.
On CNN Saturday, Califf doubled down, again warning against “misinformation” in such apocalyptic terms that he appeared to be signaling that Biden’s handlers are working on still more speech restrictions. Asked to explain why he thought “misinformation” was the leading cause of death in America today, Califf immediately retreated, admitting that he had no data to establish his claim and tacitly admitting that it was just a Leftist talking point:
Uh, I have to acknowledge there’s no way to quantify this. So I can’t say, you know, the numbers come out just like they would, uh, heart disease or cancer. But let’s look at it. You know, we’re in a country now which is seeing an erosion in our life expectancy, so that we’re now living on average five years shorter than the average of other high-income countries. Now, of course, this– these are all based on estimates, but this is quite disturbing. And as you correctly pointed out, let’s look at the causes of death. Uh, as you correctly said, heart disease, cancer, COVID, uh, much of this is common chronic disease that we know a lot about how to treat.
And of course, with COVID, the situation is we know that if you’re vaccinated and up-to-date with your vaccinations, um, you have a ninety percent reduction in the risk of death, and then, if you are unlucky enough to get infected, or unfortunate enough, another ninety percent reduction in death with the anti-virals which are now available. So almost no one in this country should be dying from COVID, if we were up-to-date on our vaccinations and got appropriate anti-viral treatment. What has concerned me for a long time before the pandemic is that we’re seeing this reduction in life expectancy from common diseases like heart disease. I’m a cardiologist by training. We know so much about what to do to prevent, uh, bad outcomes from heart disease, um, but somehow the messages, the, the reliable, truthful messages are not getting across, and it’s being washed out by a lot of misinformation which is leading people to make bad choices that are unfortunate for their health.
Who is spreading misinformation here? That noted right-wing outlet, the New York Times, reported on Feb. 28 about a new study that didn’t quite agree with Califf’s rosy picture of the vaccines’ efficacy. As the omicron variant surged, the Times stated, “the vaccine’s effectiveness against hospitalization declined to 73 percent from 85 percent in the older children. In the younger children, effectiveness dropped to 48 percent from 100 percent. But because few children were hospitalized, these estimates have wide margins of error. The numbers for protection from infection are more reliable. Vaccine effectiveness against infection in the older children decreased to 51 percent from 66 percent. But in the younger children, it dropped sharply to just 12 percent from 68 percent.”
But as far as Robert Califf is concerned, if we silence such inconvenient data and only allow the FDA’s line to flood the airwaves, many lives will be saved. We’ll be living in an authoritarian police state that silences dissenting views, but when has the Left ever been worried about that?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.