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An op-ed in Newsweek today blasted the elitism of the scientific community and called on it to take responsibility for the deadly consequences of misleading the public about COVID-19.
“I was wrong,” wrote Kevin Bass, M.S., a 7th-year M.D./Ph.D. student at a Texas medical school. “We in the scientific community were wrong. And it cost lives.”
Like many medical students and researchers, Bass said he initially believed the information put out by public health authorities. He advocated for lockdowns, vaccines and boosters.
But now it is clear the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration “repeatedly overstated the evidence and misled the public” about a wide range of topics — including but not limited to natural immunity, the need for school closures, the effectiveness of masks and vaccine safety and effectiveness, Bass said.
The biggest mistake of all, he argued, was made by a scientific community that fell in lockstep behind these institutions without concern for the needs of the broader public.
“We created policy based on our preferences, then justified it using data,” Bass wrote. “And then we portrayed those opposing our efforts as misguided, ignorant, selfish, and evil.”
This approach abandoned the principles of science and created an “us versus them” mindset in public health that fractured society and exacerbated existing health and economic disparities.
The “emotional response and ingrained partisanship” of the scientific community led it to minimize the downsides of systematically imposed interventions.
“We violated the autonomy of those who would be most negatively impacted by our policies: the poor, the working class, small business owners, Blacks and Latinos, and children” who were already marginalized in society, Bass said.
And not only did most scientists fail to support alternative scientific voices — like those of Dr. John Ioannidis, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Ph.D., Dr. Scott Atlas, Vinay Prasad M.D., MPH and Dr. Monica Gandhi, MPH — he said, they worked to disparage and suppress them.
By dismissing valid critiques by former President Trump as “buffoonery” and treating dissenters with similar scorn, the scientific community also alienated large segments of the public and opened space for “conspiracy theories” on social media, he added.
The government then used the presence of some uninformed analyses as justification to conspire with Big Tech to “aggressively suppress” so-called “misinformation” and erase opponents’ valid concerns.
The privileged elite who made these policies — members of academia, government, medicine, journalism, tech and public health — failed to understand that critics from outside of their social class could possibly hold a valid point of view, he said.
The outcome of their approach to policymaking is a “massive and ongoing loss of life” due to loss of faith in the healthcare system, spiking rates of mental illness, increased suicide and gun violence, a catastrophic loss of education disproportionately experienced by the poor, and a loss of trust in healthcare, scientific authorities and political leaders, he said.
“We crafted policy for the people without consulting them,” Bass wrote. “If our public health officials had led with less hubris, the course of the pandemic in the United States might have had a very different outcome, with far fewer lost lives,” he concluded.
Bass joins experts speaking out in mainstream media and beyond
Bass, a medical student with a master’s degree in immunology, keeps the institution where he studies private out of concern for his professional security.
In addition to his studies, he runs a website called The Diet Wars dedicated to exploring the effects of nutrition and treatments on health.
Bass first made his shifting position on COVID-19 policies public to his almost 60,000 Twitter followers last month:
I was wrong about lockdowns and mandates. I was wrong and the reason I was wrong was my tribalism, my emotions, and my distorted understanding of human nature and of the virus. It doesn’t matter much, but I wanted to apologize for being wrong.
— Kevin Bass (@kevinnbass) December 13, 2022
He joined a number of health professionals and experts calling for a re-examination of the policies imposed in the name of mitigating the effects of COVID-19.
Some mainstream media outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Associated Press and Newsweek, have begun to publish similar concerns.
Earlier this month, in a live television appearance on the BBC, cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra took the network by surprise when he made the “unprompted” suggestion that mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, pose a cardiovascular risk.
BREAKING BBC News:
Cardiologist says likely contributory factor to excess cardiovascular deaths is covid mRNA vaccine and roll out should be suspended pending an inquiry.
We did it. We broke mainstream broadcast media 🔥🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/F72YS7JAuE
— Dr Aseem Malhotra (@DrAseemMalhotra) January 13, 2023
Malhotra was one of the first to take the Pfizer vaccine and he publicly promoted the vaccines on TV. But once he thoroughly reviewed the scientific safety data, he became convinced the vaccines pose unprecedented harm, he told Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief litigation counsel for Children’s Health Defense (CHD), in an October 2022 interview.
Late Sunday night, Retsef Levi, Ph.D., with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, posted a video on Twitter calling for an end to COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.
Levi said the vaccines failed to deliver the promised efficacy, and that based on his risk analysis, the vaccines “cause unprecedented levels of harm, including the death of young people and children.”
“This is clearly the most failing medical product in the history of medical products both in terms of efficacy and safety,” he said.
MIT Professor Calls for an Immediate Stop to the COVID mRNA Vaccination Program
“This is clearly the most failing medical product in the history of medical products both in terms of efficacy and safety”https://t.co/QP7hJ3IfFz
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) January 30, 2023
This weekend, Prasad announced he was joining the campaign by Bass and a number of doctors, researchers who are swearing not to take any more vaccines without randomized controlled trials (RCT).
“The issue with perpetual COVID-19 boosters is what evidence is needed to justify their push? The answer has to be randomized trials powered for reductions in severe disease, hospitalization and death.
“Yet the FDA seems to be moving in the opposite direction, thinking mouse antibody data is good enough. Now a number of doctors, researchers are swearing: no more boosters till RCT.”