Misinformation versus the First Amendment
When looking for information on the health crisis, we often see “fact checks” and accusations of “misinformation”. But who decides what information is true or false? Fact checking organizations frequently lie or post misleading information themselves, in order to support an official narrative. Only later does the truth rise to the surface of the public awareness. Truth comes forward due to investigative reporting, public testimony, and a free press.
The Founding Fathers considered freedom of speech to be vital for the proper function of our government and our society. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states (in part) that “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…”
In 1949, in the case of Terminiello v. Chicago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote that the “function of free speech … is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.” (https://mtsu.edu/first-amendment/page/first-amendment-timeline). An open public debate serves a higher purpose; through conversation and public discourse, humanity collectively searches for better solutions to our mutual problems.
It’s not a new thing for those in authority to want to suppress information that threatens their authority and power. In an article about the development of the printing press (https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/printing-press), we learn that In 1501, Pope Alexander VI promised excommunication for anyone who printed manuscripts without the church’s approval. Twenty years later, books from John Calvin and Martin Luther spread, bringing into reality what Alexander had feared.
Between 1615 and 1633, Galileo was prosecuted by the Catholic Church due to his support of Copernican heliocentrism (Earth rotating daily and revolving around the sun). He was tried by the Catholic Church, condemned by the Roman Inquisition and placed on house arrest in 1633 for the remainder of his life. Today, he is known as the “father of modern science!” Catholic authorities could condemn the man, but the ideas could not be suppressed forever.
Presenting scientific studies that challenge the status quo is not a personal attack on anyone. It is the duty of all people, regardless of their training and background, to be open minded and seriously consider available data. I recently heard on an interview that over 250,000 scientific studies on COVID-19 had been published by the end of September, 2021. At the very least, that’s a lot of data to review. There is NO scientific consensus on the effectiveness of the new shots or about their safety.
Concerned Americans fear that our government and our health systems have been captured by the medical-industrial complex, which is earning record profits. We are now facing a future filled with endless booster shots, which apparently will only be effective for a short time. We have legitimate concerns about the safety and efficacy of the experimental treatments. These concerns need to be investigated, not disparaged or swept under the rug.
We also have scientific news from other countries to consider. These countries have seen success using inexpensive alternative therapies that are currently unavailable in our community. If these alternative therapies are not effective, then why are El Salvador and Uttar Pradesh, India, seeing success using Ivermectin? (https://newsrescue.com/the-undeniable-ivermectin-miracle-indias-240m-populated-largest-state-uttar-pradesh-horowitz/) Unlike the mandated shots, Ivermectin has a 60-year track record of “doing no harm” ( https://covid19criticalcare.com/ivermectin-in-covid-19/ ). Why are these alternate medicines not available in the U.S.? It’s a valid question that deserves an honest answer and a congressional investigation or two.
If mask mandates and vaccine passports are vital to control this illness, why are countries like Finland, Norway and Sweden dropping those requirements? (https://fee.org/articles/how-finland-and-norway-proved-sweden-s-approach-to-covid-19-works/) Why are COVID treatments being forced on persons who already have natural immunity from a previous infection? Studies show that natural immunity is more robust than the mandated shots. (https://www.theblaze.com/op-ed/horowitz-15-studies-that-indicate-natural-immunity-from-prior-infection-is-more-robust-than-the-covid-vaccines#toggle-gdpr) Why not reserve those limited experimental treatments for those who really need them?
These legitimate concerns must be addressed persuasively with valid scientific studies and honest public dialogue. Remember, “the function of free speech … is to invite dispute.” As we’ve been told, “science evolves.” That evolution needs to continue in the public sphere without censorship. If public debate is being attacked and demeaned, it is to the benefit of some power structure. The question is, which one?
Nancy Churchill is the state committeewoman for the Ferry County Republican Party. She may be reached at DangerousRhetoric@pm.me. The opinions expressed in Dangerous Rhetoric are her own.