Jay-B: Empire state of mind

This past Tuesday Dr. Jay Bhattacharya received one of the 20th anniversary Bradley Prizes. Samuel Gregg and William B. Allen were the other recipients. See the Bradley Foundation announcement and related links here.

The Bradley Foundation has posted the announcement of Dr. Bhattacharya’s award here and the text of his remarks on the occasion here. I have posted the video of Dr.Bhattacharya’s remarks below.

The speech takes up themes we pursued over and over again on this site, but Jay-B is the man. His speech demands consideration in its entirety. Take this excerpt, for example:

In October 2020, Martin Kulldorff invited me and Prof. Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University to a small conference in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. We wrote a short one-page document called the Great Barrington Declaration advocating for focused protection of vulnerable older people from covid, lifting lockdowns, and opening schools to avoid the harms of lockdowns on less vulnerable populations. You know—the old pandemic plan.

We had two aims. One, to shatter the illusion that there was a scientific consensus in favor of lockdowns when we knew for certain that there was not. And two, to start a conversation among public health professionals about how to protect older people from covid better.

The GBD went viral. Tens of thousands of doctors, epidemiologists, and scientists endorsed it and nearly a million people signed it. But only four days after we wrote it, then NIH director Francis Collins wrote an email to Tony Fauci calling me, Martin, and Sunetra – Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford professors — “fringe epidemiologists” and engaged a media campaign to conduct a “devastating takedown.” Media hit pieces flooded the airwaves alleging that we wanted to let the virus “rip” and kill people for the crime of wanting to protect older people better and open schools.

This was an abuse of power by Collins. As the head of the NIH, his agency controls the funding and professional standing of nearly every biomedical scientist of note in the U.S. and many worldwide.

When Collins directed his “devastating takedown” of the GBD, he sent an unmistakable signal to other scientists and epidemiologists – fall in line with his lockdown policy or else face excommunication from the scientific community. I have since discovered that Collins’ devastating takedown was not an anomaly. Under the banner of combatting “misinformation,” government health agencies used their power to collaborate with social media companies to control the public conversation about covid science and policy.

Public health bureaucrats operated more like dictators than scientists, sealing themselves off from credible outside criticism and smearing scientific dissidents who contradicted public health dogma on topic after topic, including the origin of the virus, immunity after covid recovery, the harms and inefficacy of lockdowns, and vaccine efficacy against infection & transmission. Even the existence of Sweden was under a cloud of doubt!

Please take in the video below.

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