Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and experts blasted “Big Tech corporate media collusion” during a Monday press conference that occurred days after Google-owned YouTube removed a video of the governor’s previous public health roundtable discussion with renowned doctors and epidemiologists, accusing the establishment media and Big Tech of acting as “enforcers of a narrative.
DeSantis held a roundtable discussion on March 18, featuring former White House coronavirus task force member and medical scholar Scott Atlas, Harvard professor of medicine Martin Kulldorff, Oxford professor of epidemiology Sunetra Gupta, and Stanford professor of medicine and epidemiologist Jay Bhattacharya. They discussed lockdowns and Florida’s approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic.
Weeks later, Google-owned YouTube removed the video.
“We had a roundtable last month with some really really impressive experts discussing the efficacy of lockdowns, the use of facemasks in the general public, the need for in-person schooling … and many other COVID-19 related topics,” DeSantis said during Monday’s virtual roundtable discussion.
People, DeSantis said, appreciated the discussion, describing it as a way to “inform” people on the policy decisions across the country.
“Now, Google and YouTube have cited the insights of these experts I just discussed as being misinformation,” DeSantis outlined.
“Now they say it’s misinformation even though Google and YouTube routinely host conspiracy theory videos ranging from the cause of the 9/11 attacks to the role that 5G networks play in causing COVID 19,” he continued, adding, “You can pretty much find any misinformation under the sun on Google-YouTube.”
Big Tech and the establishment media, the governor continued, have acted as “enforcers of a narrative.”
Make sure the narrative is not questioned. The consensus that we see is somewhat of a synthetic consensus because there’s experts and scientists who disagree with the consensus, who realize what the data said, but they don’t want to stick their neck out because there are serious consequences that a lot of the folks … have had to deal with as a result of following the data.
Corporate media outlets, “were very favorably disposed to that censorship,” and big media conglomerates “who claim to be avatars of the First Amendment and free exchange of ideas” have “really become cheerleaders for censorship.”
If something doesn’t fit the overriding narrative then in their view … it’s best that you edit it out of existence rather than actually tell people the truth. I think what we’re really witnessing is Orwellian. It’s a Big Tech corporate media collusion. And the end result is that the narrative is always right.
“Well, I don’t think that’s what the American people want, certainly people here in Florida,” DeSantis added before opening up the panel discussion.
“From a scientific point of view, it’s absolutely terrible for science,” Dr. Jay Bhattacharya said of the censorship. “For science to work, you have to have an open exchange of ideas.”
“If you’re going to make an argument that something is misinformation, you should provide an actual argument. You can’t just take it down and say, ‘Oh it’s misinformation’ without actually giving you a reason,” he continued, adding, “let’s have a debate.”
“Science is dependent on free exchange of ideas,” Dr. Martin Kulldorff agreed, warning if this attitude continues “we have reached the end of 300 years of enlightenment.”
Dr. Scott Atlas concurred, calling it “so harmful.”
“There will be other crises and the way you arrive at the solutions is to be able to seek the truth and state what you believe or the evidence or anything else … and then there is a debate,” he said, noting this seems to be a “pattern” in the U.S. — not just in the media but on academic campuses as well — of silencing opposition.