‘Where’d You Go to Medical School?’: GOP Rep Rips Ex-Twitter Official for Censoring Stanford Doc’s Covid Opinions
Representative Nancy Mace (R., S.C.) blasted former top Twitter official Vijaya Gadde during a Wednesday hearing for presiding over the company’s censorship of alternative medical perspectives.
Gadde, former general counsel and head of legal, policy, and trust at Twitter, admitted under questioning that no one at the company had the medical standing to assess claims about Covid-mitigation strategies and vaccines so they instead deferred to CDC guidance and censored information that contradicted the agency’s guidance.
“You’re not a doctor, right, Ms. Gadde?” Mace asked.
“No, I’m not,” Gadde responded.
“What makes you think you or anyone else at Twitter have the medical expertise to censor actual, accurate, CDC data?”
“I’m not familiar with these particular situations,” Gadde said before Mace cut her off: “I’m sure you’re not.”
During the tense exchange, Mace accused Gadde and Twitter executives of shutting down Jay Bhattacharya, a Stanford medical professor, who was critical of Covid-19 lockdowns.
“You guys censored Harvard-educated doctors, Stanford-educated doctors, doctors that are educated in the best places in the world, and you silenced those voices,” Mace said, referencing Bhattacharya.In early December, Bari Weiss released the second installment of “The Twitter Files,” which revealed that the social-media giant had created “secret blacklists” suppressing the presence of users deemed problematic.
Bhattacharya was among the individuals Weiss identified who Twitter targeted with a “Trends Blacklist” due to the professor’s opposition to the impact of lockdown mandates on children.
3. Take, for example, Stanford’s Dr. Jay Bhattacharya (@DrJBhattacharya) who argued that Covid lockdowns would harm children. Twitter secretly placed him on a “Trends Blacklist,” which prevented his tweets from trending. pic.twitter.com/qTW22Zh691
— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) December 9, 2022
Bhattacharya was one of the three medical professionals who authored the Great Barrington Declaration, a document that condemned pandemic-containment strategies such as lockdowns, contact tracing, and isolation because it disproportionately shifted “the heaviest burden” onto “the working class and the poor.”
Bhattacharya and his co-authors advocated for protecting the most vulnerable communities (e.g. the elderly and autoimmune) while permitting the vast majority of the general public to return to normalcy.
“Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold,” the trio argued.
“Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home,” they wrote. “Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.”
As of February 2023, the public statement has garnered nearly one million signatures, including hundreds of renowned epidemiologists and public health scientists.
Later in the proceedings, Mace entered into the official record a Wall Street Journal article by Justin Hart, founder of the Rational Guard, an organization working to “amplify common-sense Covid policies.”
Hart and other concerned scientists underscored data that challenged the efficacy of stay-at-home orders and highlighted the lower risks the virus presented to children.
Public-health experts have increasingly embraced a more nuanced perspective concerning Covid-19 in recent months and years. Mounting evidence supports many of the core arguments scientists such as Bhattacharya first advanced including the harmful developmental impact of lockdowns on children, the value of basic hygiene, and the importance of returning to pre-pandemic life.