NIH director wants consequences for vaccine conspiracy theorists
“Conspiracies are winning here. Truth is losing. That’s a really serious indictment of the way in which our society seems to be traveling,” Collins, who will soon step down from his post at the head of the NIH, told the Washington Post on Friday.
Describing an onslaught of angry messages faced by White House coronavirus adviser and former NIH physician Dr. Anthony Fauci, Collins said the government needs to push back more forcefully against “misinformation,” and suggested that those responsible for spreading such information should be identified and “brought to justice.”
Collins did not elaborate on what “justice” might entail.
The Washington Post cited one story about Fauci’s alleged funding of horrific animal experiments as an example of this misinformation. According to activists at the White Coat Waste Project, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), under Fauci’s leadership, funded a gruesome experiment in Tunisia where dogs had their vocal cords removed and were restrained in cages while sand flies ate them alive. The academic journal that published the experiment’s results subsequently said that the NIAID didn’t fund the research, but the NIAID said it did fund other experiments involving dogs.
Fauci has repeatedly come under fire from conservatives throughout the Covid-19 pandemic: for saying that masks do not slow transmission of the virus before reversing his position, for misleading the public about his organization’s funding of ‘gain-of-function’ research on coronaviruses at a laboratory in Wuhan, China, and for promising Americans a return to normality once 70% of the population got vaccinated, only to admit that he was deliberately misleading people with this figure.
With ‘breakthrough’ cases of Covid-19 surging even among the vaccinated, Fauci now claims that Covid-19 will be controlled by next year if Americans get booster shots, and when babies and toddlers are jabbed.
Wherever the line between criticism and misinformation is drawn, Collins isn’t the only prominent official to threaten harsh consequences for those crossing it. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden accused social media platforms – which already seriously limit anti-vax and vaccine-skeptic content – of “killing people” with misinformation, and threatened these platforms with increased regulation. More recently, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla called people spreading “misinformation” on vaccines “criminals” who “have literally cost millions of lives.”
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