There is always the risk of taking fools and liars more seriously than they deserve. But then again Google-owned YouTube deserves every shred of scorn and ridicule we can still muster in these crazy, exhausting times.
Most recently, the cat video website YouTube silenced Sen. Rand Paul — a medical doctor — for posting a video in which he stated his studied medical opinion about a vitally important medical issue. Dr. Paul stands at the very intersection of politics and medicine — precisely where the issue of masks and the effectiveness of government mandates come together.
Now, it would be easy to dismiss YouTube as some kind of crazy crank ripping down a neighbor’s political signs. After all, that is who they are and what they are doing. They are no different than the social media giants who kicked President Trump off their platforms because they disliked his political statements.
Unfortunately, YouTube has become a mega-media giant — attached to an even bigger mega-media giant — where millions of Americans have fled to get away from the so-called “mainstream media.” They left the so-called “mainstream media” over galloping disinformation — only to find themselves subjected to even more shamelessly twisted disinformation.
In his video that has since been vanished by YouTube, Dr. Paul warned against the false sense of security that cloth, store-bought masks provide people who are concerned about COVID-19. Lobbying for mask mandates, Dr. Paul warned, could be “potentially deadly misinformation.”
Given the partisan track record of social media giants such as YouTube, the decision to disappear Dr. Paul is hardly a surprise. But just for the fun of it, let’s take them seriously for a second.
Consider these statements:
“In the United States, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear a mask.”
“The typical mask you buy in the drug store is not really effective in keeping out virus, which is small enough to pass through material.”
“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.”
“If you look at the masks that you buy in a drugstore, the leakage around that doesn’t really do much to protect you.”
On their face, these all sound like pretty reasonable statements in a debate over whether we as a country should force millions of school children to mask up in order to learn how to read and do math. But in these crazy times, such statements have been deemed dangerous and anyone expressing them is immediately deprived of his first amendment rights.
Only it was not Sen. Rand Paul who uttered those statements. Every single one of them was a direct quotation from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the lionized director of the federal government’s National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Of course, Dr. Fauci no longer spouts such statements today, even though a year and a half of mask-wearing has conclusively proven that the statements are entirely true. Instead, Dr. Fauci now claims the exact opposite.
So either he is a liar now or he was a liar then. If it is the former, then he is a dangerous liar — for he issued those deadly warnings against masks at the very height of the pandemic. And if that is the case, then Dr. Fauci is the most reckless, murderous public medical official in the land and should have been fired the instant politicians determined he was a liar and ordered up the first mask mandates.
But this is the federal government, where useless bureaucrats come to die.
The truth is, Dr. Paul’s real crime is not that he shares Dr. Fauci’s former opinion on masks. The real problem with Dr. Paul is that he openly calls on American citizens to stand up for their constitutional liberties at a time when they are under unprecedented assault by unelected bureaucrats like Anthony Fauci.
“Resist the new world order,” he recently implored. “They can’t arrest all of us.”
It’s the truth — but you won’t see it on YouTube!
• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor at the Washington Times.