TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS: Good evening and welcome to Tucker Carlson Tonight. Last night on this show, we played a clip from a nearly hour-long video produced by two physicians in California, Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi. Many of you had likely already seen it. The video had more than five million views on YouTube. In their presentation, the two doctors presented a flurry of data pointing to what we’re learning about this virus. They recited pages of government statistics, and then interpreted them in light of their own long clinical experience. At one point, they noted the newly-adjusted death rate in their state, which is much lower than anyone expected, and asked if government officials should change their policies based on the science:
DR. DAN ERICKSON: “We’ve seen 1,227 deaths in the state of California, with a possible incidence or prevalence of 4.7 million. That means you have a 0.03 chance of dying from COVID-19 in the state of California. 0.03 chance of dying from COVID in the state of California. Does that necessitate sheltering in place? Does that necessitate shutting down medical systems? Does that necessitate people being out of work?”
Whatever your view of the mass quarantines, those are valid questions. In fact, they’re critical questions. We should all be asking them, including and especially our policy makers. But as Dr. Erickson pointed out in the video, dissent of any kind is no longer tolerated in this country. Fact-based honesty, which is the soul of science, is under attack, even in hospitals. Dr. Erickson described physicians being being pressured to classify illnesses and deaths as coronavirus-related, whether they believed them to be or not:
ERICKSON: We aren’t pressured to test for flu but ER doctors I talk to say “It’s interesting. When I’m writing up my death report, I’m being pressure to add Covid. Why is that? Why are we being pressured to add Covid? Is it to maybe increase the numbers and make it look a little bit worse than it is?”. I think so.
What Erickson described is lying. Lying has no place in science. It’s scary to think it takes place on a large scale in hospitals. Viewers of Erickson’s video were shocked and transfixed. They forwarded it to friends, who forwarded it to friends. Suddenly millions of people who’ve spent the last six weeks on a diet of Tiger King and internet memes were watching sober-minded medical researchers reading from charts of statistics. It’s hard to recall a science video taking off like this one did. Not everyone was impressed by it. Some criticized the doctors’ policy conclusions. That’s fair. Decent people have different opinions. We’re not entirely certain what the perfect response to this pandemic is. No one is. There’s no objective answer right now. At best, we can plod along with open-minds and good faith. More informed debate is exactly what we need to make wise decisions going forward.
Unfortunately, informed debate is precisely what the authorities don’t want. They want unquestioned obedience. So they’re cracking down on free expression. Last night, the doctors’ video was pulled off YouTube. This wasn’t an accident. YouTube admitted doing it. The company cited a violation of quote, “community guidelines,” and did not apologize.
Looking back when all of this is finally over, it’s likely we’ll see what YouTube just did as a turning point in the way we live in this country — a sharp break with 250 years of law and custom. The two doctor’s video was produced by a local television channel in California. It was, in effect, a mainstream news story. The video wasn’t pornographic. It didn’t violate copyrights, incite violence, or commit libel. It didn’t break any law. The only justification for taking it down was that the two physicians had reached different conclusions from the people currently in charge. In other words, it was a form of dissent. YouTube, and its parent company Google, have now banned dissent. YouTube’s CEO has admitted that openly:
WOJCICKI: But then we also talk about removing information that is problematic, you know. Of course, anything that is medically unsubstantiated. So people saying, like, take vitamin C, you know, take turmeric, those will cure you. Those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy. Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy. And so remove is another really important part of our policy.
STELTER: So, you're not just putting in the truth next to the lie. You're taking the lie down. That's a pretty aggressive approach.
Quote: “Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations” will now be removed from the Internet. Consider that. As a matter of science, this is ludicrous. Like everyone else involved in global pandemic policy, the W-H-O has often been wrong in its recommendations. In mid-January, they told us that the coronavirus could not spread from person to person. In March, they told us that face masks didn’t work. Those lies were welcome on Google’s platforms. Doctors who are actually treating patients with the virus have been banned. So, no, this is not about science. Censorship never is. It’s about power. Big technology companies are using this tragedy to increase their power over the American population. They’re working in concert with politicians in order to do it. Just today, Facebook removed an event page for a political protest in Michigan. Governor Gretchen Whitmer was no doubt pleased to see that. Grossly mismanaging a state is a lot easier when citizens aren’t allowed to complain about it. Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained that protests like these are no longer protected political speech. They’re quote, “misinformation.”
STEPHANOPOULOS : How do you deal with the fact that Facebook is now being used to organize a lot of these protests to defy social distancing guidelines in states. If somebody trying to organize something like that, does that qualify as harmful misinformation?
ZUCKERBERG: "We do classify that as harmful misinformation and we take that down.
“Harmful misinformation.” That’s a phrase familiar to anyone who’s watched totalitarian regimes. It’s how Mark Zuckerberg now describes political opinions he doesn’t like. Our free press exists to push back against obvious abuses of power like this. It’s the reason we have a first amendment. But suddenly the media aren’t concerned about the freedom of speech. Reporters applaud our overlords as they punish us for disagreeing. You just saw it from CNN in that clip. Our media are no longer challenging power. They’re colluding with it.
That may be why there’s been so little critical coverage of the massive expansion of our surveillance state currently in progress. In the name of fighting the coronavirus, tech companies are now following you through your cell phone. They’re watching you from above with drones. Those aren’t paranoid fantasies. It’s happening as we speak. Needless to say, our politicians approve of this:
ANDREA MITCHELL: How do you feel about the drones?
BOOKER: Look, at this point we need to save lives and it’s really important that in public spaces, people are abiding by the directives.
Big companies partnering with the government to spy on you without your knowledge. Americans locked in their homes, banned from going to church, placated with sedatives like beer and weed. Anyone who speaks up is silenced. Political demonstrations are illegal. Organizers are arrested. Only opinions approved by unelected leaders are allowed on information platforms. Sound familiar? It sounds a lot like China. Of all the many ironies of this moment, so many of them bitter, the hardest to swallow is this: as we fight this virus, we are becoming far more like the country that spawned it. We’re becoming more like China. It’s horrifying.
It tells you everything that our professional class enthusiastically welcomes this. Over the weekend, The Atlantic magazine published an article by two academics calling for an end to freedom of speech in America. Their model for an idea system: the totalitarian government of China. Quote: "In the debate over freedom versus control of the Internet, China was largely correct, and the U.S. was wrong." End quote. Read the whole thing. You should. It’s the future. We could quote from it for the rest of the show. But just one more. Quote: “Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.” End quote.
Norms and values? Whose? Our leaders’ norm and values of course. But mostly their interests. Those in power are the ones the our professional class seeks to protect, not the country. Freedom of conscience never endangers the public. It only threatens the powerful. It endangers their control. It hinders their ability to dictate election results, to loot the economy, to make policies based on whim for their own gain. No wonder our leaders have done such a poor job protecting us from China. They’re on the same team.