Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists across the country have had some of their first interactions with journalists and Big Tech.
Catherine Stein, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Ohio’s Case Western Reserve University, anonymously criticized the state’s COVID policy and personally contacted state lawmakers to share her skepticism, particularly on mask efficacy, Just the News reports.
“What blew my mind was the fear-mongering in the media,” she said.
A public records request unmasked Stein, and an Ohio political journal dubbed her a “COVID-19 truther,” after which she decided to write a post for a Christian website, inviting more scrutiny.
Stein said her NIH funding was threatened, her department had secret meetings about her and colleagues stopped attending meetings she ran.
Additionally, the university allegedly broached the possibility of taking away her students through a “mentor-separation process.”
Thankfully, her tenure protected her.
According to California Davis physician resident Tracy Beth Hoeg, this has been extremely common throughout the pandemic. Experts have been silenced for disagreeing with “whatever was predetermined by the media to be right.”
Hoeg said an interview she did with Nature supporting the reopening of schools got her removed from a Facebook group for epidemiologists. Facebook also hid her posts on post-vaccination myocarditis in young men, even though she was citing the CDC’s own materials.
NPR also did a long “pre-interview” with Hoeg but replaced her with a pro-mask pediatrician.
“I couldn’t listen to it, I was just so angry,” she said.
“In academia we want people who are controversial,” Hoeg said, and cancel campaigns against doctors threaten the debate necessary in medicine.
Similarly, Scott Atlas, former COVID-19 adviser to Donald Trump and senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, said BBC canceled an interview he organized with former Harvard Medical School epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff and his coauthors because it wasn’t balanced with pro-lockdown scientists.
According to mRNA vaccine pioneer Robert Malone, mainstream media are compromised by funding sources - such as the federal government’s advertising outlays for COVID vaccines - which provides grants for ideologically motivated “solutions journalism.”
Cardiologist Peter McCullough, formerly vice chief of internal medicine at Baylor University Medical Center, said the rise of non-peer reviewed research during COVID has provided "opportunity for misadventure in the media." He now skips past the abstract straight to the data tables to verify if the conclusion matches the data.