For the first time in history, all of humanity is interconnected. Imagine the impact of that.
This is a podcast for social geeks in the prime of life who watch the news with a gnawing feeling of emptiness. It is one mind’s attempt to find answers to the most ridiculously big questions: Who are we? Where do we come from? Where are we going?
Pretentious? You bet.
For full experience: youtube.com/c/MindtheShift
Everybody wants to forget about the pandemic, this bizarre period of aberrations. But the assessment of what played out and whether the many harsh policy decisions were called for has only begun.
One of the saddest aberrations was infringements on freedom of speech. Few have experienced that more than Jay Bhattacharya, professor of health policy at Stanford. As one of the initiators of the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), he was actively silenced by the government, which, it turns out, orchestrated a censorship campaign by way of the social media companies.
The GBD promoted focused protection instead of sweeping lockdowns: Shield the elderly and let the young go to school. The signatories opined, on evidential grounds, that lockdowns were more harmful than the disease. They based their proposition on the fact that there is an extremely steep age gradient in the risk of dying from covid.
There were early signs that this view was held by thousands of doctors. But the ruling class was not amused. People like Francis Collins, head of the NIH, wanted to take down the declaration, and its initiators were ostracized and censored.
”My life is fundamentally transformed”, says Jay Bhattacharya.
”I used to be a quiet scientist, but during the pandemic, I have had to take a very public role. That has been in some ways gratifying, but at the same time it has been traumatic. Many friendships have been broken.”
At one point, he says, one hundred of his colleagues circulated a silent petition to try to get the president of Stanford university to silence him.
”I have had lots of practice in how to forgive other people.”
Since the summer of 2022, a lawsuit has been underway in which the Biden administration is accused of breaching the First Amendment, which protects freedom of speech. Jay Bhattacharya is one of the plaintiffs.
”The evidence of this is remarkable. Government officials have coerced social media companies to censor ideas and certain people”, Jay says.
”There is a censorship network in the government and a dozen agencies. You could call it a ministry of truth”, Jay says, referring to a term in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.
”This is the most important First Amendment case since at least the Pentagon papers (NYT v. USA; 1971). It’s been shocking to see the American government behave in this way.”
According to Jay, the censorship may actually have led to more deaths than almost any other single policy, because harmful errors were not corrected in time.
Jay thinks the lawsuit will go all the way up to the Supreme Court.
– I don’t see how the government can win this.
In this episode we also talk about
• What the GBD did and did not propose.
• How the declaration has been vindicated.
• The Swedish pandemic model (”the best in the world”).
• How leaders in almost the whole world were hypnotized by the draconian Chinese measures.
• The continuous excess deaths (primarily caused by extended lockdown harm, according to Jay).
• That more power to WHO is a ”terrible idea”.
The Great Barrington Declaration: https://gbdeclaration.org/
The lawsuit: https://nclalegal.org/state-of-missouri-et-al-v-joseph-r-biden-jr-et-al/
Jay at Stanford: https://profiles.stanford.edu/jay-bhattacharya