Unalloyed fact is hard to come by, and only individuals with an overabundance of self-regard apply for the job of minister of truth. Facebook‘s Mark Zuckerberg and immunology’s Anthony Fauci recklessly assumed the role when they teamed up to craft the official word about the COVID-19 pandemic. Their coronavirus collusion serves as a warning to beware of those so assured of their own rectitude that they would silence opposing views.
Americans are currently learning how the powerful duo worked together to establish a narrative on Facebook that shaped perception of the pandemic. Through Freedom of Information Act fillings, Buzzfeed obtained email communications between the two that detailed their plans to dispense government-approved information, aka propaganda.
“This isn’t public yet,” wrote Mr. Zuckerberg in March 2020, “but we’re building a Coronavirus Information Hub that we’re going to put at the top of Facebook for everyone (200+ million Americans, 2.5 billion people worldwide) with two goals .” He described these goals as the dispensing of “authoritative information” and the encouraging of the practice of “social distance.”
Dr. Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, readily agreed: “Your idea and proposal sound terrific. I would be happy to do a video for your hub.” Innocuous in tone, their collaboration became collusion when Facebook distributed Fauci-approved disease doctrine worldwide, and quietly mustered an army of fact-checkers to squelch dissent.
Conflicting instructions about mask-wearing and social-distancing caused bewilderment, but a deeper mystery confounded the public: how the virus came to be. The Washington Times’ national security reporter Bill Gertz related recently in these pages how Facebook made his well-researched January 2020 report on links between the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the suspected source of the coronavirus’ origin, and the Chinese military simply vanish from the Internet. Why? Because a “fact check” by USA Today labeled it “false information.”
Facebook had whipped up a catalog of supposed “false claims” worthy of censorship. Topping the list: “COVID-19 is man-made or manufactured.” As the White House’s top adviser on disease, Dr. Fauci asserted early and often that the deadly coronavirus was almost certainly a natural occurrence. Thus, the idea that the virus must have seeped out of a wet market became media orthodoxy.
Americans have discovered recently that U.S. taxpayer funds flowed through intermediaries to the Wuhan lab, which has conducted “gain of function” experiments to render coronaviruses more virulent. Surprise — three lab employees developed COVID-like symptoms shortly before the pandemic exploded. Now that the most likely source of the virus that has killed nearly 4 million worldwide is the Wuhan facility, the “authoritative information” peddled by Dr. Fauci and Mr. Zuckerberg appears false.
Facebook has recently lifted its ban on claims that the virus was man-made, but only because information it tried to suppress broke into public view. The Zuckerbergs and Faucis of the world must not be allowed to censor the search for truth.