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Should the mainstream media and government agencies decide what’s best for people? Or should people be able to evaluate information themselves and make their own decisions?
It seems self-evident that in a democracy people should have the right to access information to think and decide for themselves — but that’s not what happened with COVID-19, political commentator and comedian Russell Brand argued in a recent video on his YouTube channel.
Instead, he said:
“The mainstream media are preventing their own medical experts from accurately reporting on potential COVID problems. Meanwhile they continue to repress information about vaccine efficacy.
“This is what happens when you politicize information and create a category called disinformation which essentially gives you the opportunity to censor.”
Ideas about COVID-19 cast as disinformation or misinformation earlier in the pandemic — that immunity gained from infection is robust, that unvaccinated people aren’t dangerous and that data on the boosters is lacking — have proven true.
Yet mainstream media continues to distort the facts, even when those facts are revealed by their own trusted experts, Brand said.
Brand played clips of a CNN interview where visibly shaken anchors attempted to refute revelations by their own Dr. Leana Wen that there is an important difference between dying “from COVID-19” and “with COVID-19,” and there is an urgent need for “transparent reporting.”
Brand said the idea that people should make evaluations based on all available evidence has become marginalized, even at the top levels of government decision-making.
In a recent CNN article, members of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine advisory committee expressed “disappointment and anger” that the FDA, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Moderna failed to share key data that called into question the efficacy of the COVID-19 boosters, Brand said.
“Decisions that are made for the public have to be made based on all available information,” Brand said, quoting Dr. Paul Offit, an FDA advisory board member.
“Of course, if you just give people some information, that’s lying by omission, that’s manipulating the data, that’s precisely what the main mainstream media are being confronted with now,” he added.
Reporting only the information that shareholders or pharmaceutical companies want to share is a form of propaganda, Brand said:
“And now there is a reckoning. The information is coming out.
“And we’re being invited to just sort of forget about it and move on. Now it’s been presented in a different light and we’re supposed to just move past it.
“But I would suggest that there’s a lot to learn from the way that the pandemic unfolded and the way that the media behaved and the way the establishment behaved and the way that we all behaved.”
The fact that over 85% of the population hasn’t been boosted, despite the massive government-sponsored media push, is evidence that people aren’t buying the narrative anymore, he said.
How then “do they continue to control the narrative so effectively?” Brand asked
According to recent emails obtained by Reason, CDC officials were in close contact with Facebook executives throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and they played a direct role in policing speech on social media.
“The thumb has been put on the scales that one side of information was elevated. The other side was excavated and removed. That is not democracy. That is not freedom of speech.
“But I think we’re at a moment of great reckoning and that is what people [in the mainstream media] are trying to avoid. They’re trying to avoid the fallout of the mistakes made during the pandemic.”