William de Berg
While huge swaths of the American public have lost faith in a host of prominent institutions, including the mainstream media, major political parties, politically biased nonprofit organizations, the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies, and the judicial and electoral systems, most Americans have at least until now maintained faith in the integrity of our scientific establishment. But COVID-19 and the scientific malfeasance it has spawned may be the wrecking ball that tears down even that pillar of faith.
The litany of scientific sins committed in the name of COVID-19 fear-mongering includes but is not limited to the publishing of false data in a leading medical journal, the publication of intentionally misleading articles masking the laboratory origins of the SARS-2 coronavirus and the subsequent deliberate withholding of evidence to the contrary, the smearing of lauded scientists who have questioned the severity of COVID-19 and/or the treatability of the disease, and the arrogance of medical authorities such as Robert Fauci that now-validated criticism of him and the official COVID-19 narrative is “anti-science”. The end result of all this is not merely academic, for hundreds of thousands of lives may have been lost and children not been born due to the scientific malfeasance.
One of the most egregious scientific acts was the article in Lancet in May of 2020—just when COVID-19 was ramping up—that argued that hydroxychloroquine (HCQ, sold as Plaquenil) was both ineffective and dangerous in treating COVID-19 symptoms. This contradicted the fact that HCQ had been sold safely for decades to millions of people over-the-counter in many nations for anti-malarial and other purposes and that leading virologists were already using it effectively to treat early COVID-19 symptoms. By the time the bogus study was retracted, its results had already been trumpeted by the mainstream media and by leading health officials in their attacks on HCQ. Despite later meta-analyses indicating some treatment efficacy in the early stages of COVID, the damage had already been inflicted. HCQ was pulled off the market in many nations and is still banned for treating COIVD-19 in many, such as Australia.
Equally damaging were the outrageous predictions of over 500,000 dead Britons and two million Americans due to COVID-19 by epidemiologist Neil Ferguson of Imperial College in London, who back-pedaled his predictions after his conclusion led to the draconian lockdowns that have so greatly damaged Western society. By contrast, an important study disputing the official COVID-19 narrative, such as Briand’s epidemiological one in the Johns Hopkins News-Letter that questioned the lethality and accuracy of COVID-19 statistics, was retracted by the university in an unprecedented act of scientific censorship.
Lancet later figured in another important repugnant scientific action—the publication of a letter signed by over two dozen scientists condemning speculation that the Wuhan version of the SARS coronavirus might have been created in a laboratory. It was surreptitiously written by Peter Daszak, the very scientist conducting dangerous gain-of-function viral research that was banned in the United States and who was attempting to create synthetically souped-up versions of the coronavirus—in Wuhan itself. It is now widely accepted that the SARS-COVID-2 coronavirus was unnaturally cleaved at a furin site, but what is equally shocking is that many virologists knew this but refused to report it because they deemed it would support President Trump’s statements on the origins of the virus. Some scientists have expressed regret at their actions, such as those behavioral scientists who collaborated with the British government to scare the public into accepting the COVID-19 lockdowns. But the hit to the credibility of the scientific research community had already been taken.
Contrary to what much of the Western public believes, a large number of top medical professionals have questioned the severity of COVID-19, the advisability of lockdowns and masks, the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines, and restrictions on drugs such as HCQ and Ivermectin as treatments. Almost 60,000 medical practitioners and researchers have signed the Great Barrington Declaration, which rejects lockdowns and masks in favor tried-and-true herd immunity. Some of the medical experts who have challenged the COVID-19 orthodoxy include: Didier Raoult (the most well-funded virologist in Europe) and Harvey Risch (a prominent epidemiologist from Yale), who both argued for the benefits of HCQ; Rodger Hodkinson (former president of the Alberta Society of Laboratory Physicians and head of a company producing the COVID-19 PCR diagnostic test) and John Ioannidis (a widely respected epidemiologist from Stanford), who both argued on the basis of multiple sources of evidence that COVID-19 is akin to the seasonal flu in terms of lethality; Knut Wittkowski (former professor of epidemiology at Rockefeller University) who questioned the value of lockdowns and masks and has personally refused to wear a mask or be locked down; and Robert Malone (the inventor of the mRNA technique used in Pfizer and Moderna vaccines), Luc Montagnier (a Nobel prize-winner who discovered the HIV virus), and Michael Yeadon (a former top scientist and vice-president at Pfizer) who warned of the dangers of the mRNA vaccines, particularly in terms of infertility.
These prominent scientists and many others have been subjected to a litany of slanders and smears including monikers such as “witch-doctors” and “pseudoscientists”, removal from YouTube and other social media, misleading “fact-checking”, and attacks on Wikipedia sites in some cases. Some scientists have come to their defense, but even some of those who rallied in public defense of these individuals have been smeared. While most of the slander in the media has come from nonscientists in the media, academic colleagues and medical associations have occasionally joined in, as in the case of Yale faculty condemnation of Risch for his HCQ stand. But what is most disturbing is the larger scientific community’s deafening silence in defense of the scientists who opposed the official COVID-19 narrative.
Even more insidious is the notion that anyone who disagrees with the official COVID-19 narrative and policies is somehow “anti-science”. This arrogant view has been promulgated by Anthony Fauci on several occasions, yet the great founders of modern science including Galileo, Descartes, and Newton emphasized the need for skepticism and humility in scientific thought. Genuine scientists recognize that scientific orthodoxy is constantly being revised, that theories can never be proven, and scientific debate should never be silenced. Most of the renowned scientists being denigrated are not being done so because of faulty data—after all, who can deny the low-lethality of COVID-19 when only one sailor of ~6000 on the USS Roosevelt presumably exposed to the coronavirus died or that only 14 of over 3700 mostly elderly passengers and crew members on the Diamond Princess line died, in both cases in confined spaces with minimal treatments available. These two examples represent to date the only controlled evidence of COVID-19 lethality, but there is additional solid evidence that Ioannides and others have marshalled to support the low mortality threat of COVID-19.
Of course, the scientific pillar that COVID-19 smashed had already been slowly crumbling. Almost every scientific field is currently riddled with controversies and criticisms. While outright fraud among scientists is officially less than 5%, more subtle dishonesty, misreporting of data, and deliberate over-hyping may be greater than 50%. Failure to replicate results is a huge concern; for example, in a study specifically designed to test this issue only 39 of 100 results in prominent psychology journals could be replicated, and the replication rate for other scientific fields may be even worse. The editors of two of the most “widely respected” medical journals—Lancet and The New England Journal of Medicine—have even doubted the reliability of the results in their own journals. Failure has been an increasing part of modern science—failure to prevent and/or treat Alzheimer’s disease, autism, obesity, heart disease, and many cancers; failure to lift humans past low-Earth orbit, despite a half-century after Apollo; failure of fusion-energy efforts; failure to develop other truly sustainable technologies to support billions of humans; etc. Issues that plague modern science go beyond the biomedical and behavioral sciences and extend into climate research, paleontology, and even physics, the demise of which has inspired a whole genre of critical books. While many of the above scientific problems may have intractable elements, progress has also been hindered for the same reasons, listed below, that leading anti-COVID-19 narrative scientists have been isolated by the mainstream community.
The failure of most scientists to condemn the corrupt and defend the courageous in the COVID-19 debate is reminiscent of the silence fellow journalists in defense of Julian Assange. It has further precedent in the treatment of Truther scientists like Stephen Jones (who countered the official narrative on the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11) and James Tracy (who questioned the official Sandy Hook shooting narrative), who were forced out of their universities, with in some cases little outcry from fellow academics. What explains the failure of scientists to stand up to the scientific bullying and quackery? Part of it may be timidity—after all, who dares question the grand poobahs at NIH like Dr. Fauci when to do so would almost certainly mean losing one’s scientific funding? Part of it may be the herd mentality, with our present graduate and postgraduate training with their long mentorships failing to develop truly rebellious and revolutionary scientific thinkers. Part of it is the effect of big money spent on science research —over $500 billion in the U.S. alone, mostly from industry with strings attached. And part of it may be that way too many scientists nowadays are simply dishonest, self-promoting, and agenda-driven—far beyond the few percent that are officially accused of fraud.
Science and the search for truth are arguably the noblest of endeavors, as they are the basis for knowledge and morality. But science as it is practiced today is far from the ideal, and the travesty that has unfolded involving COVID-19 research has tarnished scientific credibility still further. Soon modern science may merely represent one more fallen pillar of society in the eyes of the disillusioned American public.
William de Berg is the pen name of an American scientist and author of four conspiracy/truther fiction novels: Serpent and Savior, White Spiritual Boy, Divided We Stand, and Shield Down.
 The most well-known of these is Jim Baggott’s Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth (Pegasus 2014)