How a War on ‘Misinformation’ Led To a Coronavirus Tragedy

As Covid has tragically proven, the war on misinformation, not misinformation itself, is perhaps the greatest threat to our civilization.

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.” – Richard Feynman

Spectacular falsehoods, deep truths, and Canadian truckers are finally piercing the long-impervious Covid storyline. 

So writes Bret Swanson, president of the technology research firm Entropy Economics, nonresident senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and chairman of the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS), in a recent article on

Here are some excerpts:

When Dr. Scott Atlas began advising the U.S. government in August 2020, Facebook erased his videos arguing against widespread business and school closures. YouTube erased the December 2020 U.S. Senate testimony of Drs. Peter McCullough and Pierre Kory, world-class experts in cardiology and critical care, respectively, and demonetized evolutionary biologist Bret Weinstein, who were all trumpeting effective early treatments. YouTube also erased the testimony of Drs. Jay Battacharya (Stanford), Sunetra Gupta (Oxford), and Martin Kulldorff (Harvard) at a forum led by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Twitter permanently banned Dr. Robert Malone, pioneer of mRNA and DNA gene therapy technologies.

These acts of censorship were just some of the most obvious. Yet they reverberated far and wide. The erasure and smearing of eminent scientists sent a clear message to thousands of other physicians, professors, medical editors, journalists, CEOs, and influential leaders: toe the party line, or we will destroy you. These rippling layers of cancellation then denied an even wider circle of people in all walks of life the information needed to make sound medical, personal, and political decisions.

[. . .]

This elementary fact – that the vaccines are non-sterilizing and likely manifest original antigenic sin, among other immune dysregulations, something top vaccinologists knew a year ago – should have ended talk of vaccine mandates before any such discussion began. 

In fact, it should have driven an entirely different vaccine strategy. Mass inoculation during a widespread outbreak with “leaky” vaccines can generate dangerous evolutionary dynamics. Yet we never had a robust vaccine discussion. Instead we heard a mantra, leading to sacramental worship of the shots. This, despite the fact that most of the population was not at serious risk from Covid. Instead of targeting high-risk populations for vaccination with the highly experimental mRNA and DNA technologies, many of the world’s leaders went for broke, insisting on universal vaccination. And demanding no questions be asked. 

It now appears the stifling of questions and alternative strategies may have resulted in one of the biggest debacles in the history of science and public policy. 

[. . .]

One CEO of a $100-billion life insurance company recently expressed his alarm at the unprecedented fatality rates – a 40% non-Covid death spike – among young and middle-aged people. You can see nearby the preliminary CDC data for 15-44 year olds, which suggest something – not Covid, not opioids – went terribly wrong in 2021.  

[For the charts, see link at top of this page.]

[. . .]

But don’t vaccines reduce severe Covid outcomes for those at high risk? There’s lots of evidence they do, at least for a couple months until they sharply wane. We must weigh vaccine deaths and injuries against the benefits. 

Measuring vaccine efficacy is far trickier than it looks, however. One example is the jabbed-but-not-fully-vaccinated miscategorization problem. That’s when someone takes the shot, then gets Covid or dies within two or six weeks, but, as is standard in many places, is miscounted as unvaccinated. “Unvaccinated” gets an artificial debit while “vaccinated” receives a false credit, doubling the efficacy error. The same thing happens when “2-doses” gets unfairly charged with the negative outcomes of “3-doses.” This is just one of several seemingly small data collection and analysis problems that results in large differences in apparent efficacy. (And it’s more important than one might think because of the well-known immune suppressive effect which “boosts” infections in the weeks following inoculation, when adverse events tend to happen as well.) The vast divergence between U.S. and international hospitalization and fatality totals by vaccination status is another signal that efficacy reporting is way off. 

[. . .]

One may strongly disagree with the forgoing analysis. But at the very least these data and arguments should demonstrate that early treatments, vaccines, and the full range of Covid-19 scientific and policy questions are complex and highly debatable. 

The war on misinformation, however, denies questions and debates. Increasingly, governments, non-profits, and political parties, working with Big Media and Big Tech, have made the war on misinformation their central organizing tactic. Refuse any debate whatsoever. Demonize contrary people and views. Destroy inconvenient data and science. Other words for the war on misinformation are censorship and propaganda.

[. . .]

Censorship both covers up and incentivizes rhetorical and policy maximalism. Authoritarian policies like blanket lockdowns or universal mandates of experimental vaccines require propaganda to enforce. Once the tools of censorship are in place, they encourage policymakers to push the policy envelope far beyond normal bounds because they know they won’t be challenged. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s growing.