FDA Commissioner is lying again

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

“Misinformation” is the Left’s new boogyman, up there with White Supremacists, carbon dioxide, and transphobes.

We are supposed to believe that all these things are threats to human existence itself and that all of them must be ruthlessly suppressed in order to save humanity.

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Yeah, whatever.

The FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf has apparently been traveling the country making a rather amazing claim: that misinformation is the leading cause of death in America.

If so, that’s pretty shocking. A number of studies suggest that medical errors may be the third-leading cause of death in America, resulting in 250,000 to 440,000 deaths a year, depending upon how you define medical errors. The data is all over the map, with some estimates as low as 22,000 a year to high-end estimates that seem implausible to me. There is even a medical term for death caused by a doctor: iatrogenic.

Before Dr. Califf started spouting off, we all believed that cancer and heart disease were the top two causes of death, with doctors like Califf being the third. (To be clear I love my doctors, but the risks to medical treatment are high and must be weighed against the benefits).

Now an FDA Commissioner and doctor going out and repeatedly making an absurd and unprovable claim seems, on its face, to be politically motivated misinformation. Pretty manifestly so, in fact, and as we all know misinformation is a very bad thing and must be stomped on and destroyed.

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Unless it comes from the top, in which case the lies are for your own good and you should meekly accept them.

The claims, of course, had their intended effect, which had nothing to do with medicine or health, and everything to do with the government’s attempts to seize the means of communication. Scary headlines popped up, mobilizing the meek masses to demand that our bureaucratic overlords defend us from killer memes.

In a series of public appearances, Califf has claimed that “misinformation is now our leading cause of death.”

When I asked the FDA for evidence to support his claim, the agency drew a blank, admitting that Califf’s statement “cannot be proven.”

Califf has since made attempts to tweak his public statement.

This week, CBS News reporter Alexander Tin pressed him for an explanation, to which Califf replied, “I want to modify my statement. And I’ll keep working on this, to try to get it right. I would say I actually believe it is the leading cause of premature death…”

Jessica Adams, an expert in drug regulatory affairs said, “It’s ironic. Califf is spreading misinformation about the leading cause of premature death in the US, while promoting the need to counter misinformation.”

“It’s unbelievable for him to make these assertions with no scientific backing,” she added.

Adams said it’s not the FDA’s job to police medical misinformation online.

“The FDA should be assessing drug approvals, overseeing post-marketing studies and ensuring product labels are up to date – not promoting vaccines and antivirals as if it’s the marketing arm of the drug industry,” said Adams.

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As Jessica Adams rightly points out, the remit of the FDA Commissioner has everything to do with drug and medical device approval and nothing whatsoever about what people say on the internet, unless it is drug or medical device companies. It certainly isn’t supposed to be in the business of justifying intelligence bureaucracies skulking around social media to stamp out wrongthink.

The FDA communications team is dancing around like whirling dervishes to come up with some scientific justification for Dr. Califf’s claims to no success, which begs the question: in what possible universe is this sort of BS remotely appropriate? What Dr. Califf said is simply made up. Poof! An invented statistic.

This is propaganda, and nothing more.

Of course, everything we have gotten from the government has been propaganda, and there is no single source of misinformation greater than the US government on matters relating to COVID and many other things. Dr. Fauci and Rochelle Walensky together would have suffocated in a mile-high mountain of bovine excrement if their words had any physical substance. Walensky is still dancing around trying to avoid responsibility for being flat-out wrong.

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Remember when the vaccine stopped the virus from infecting you or being transmitted? That it was perfectly safe and effective? That masks worked? That using ventilators for COVID patients would save lives? How many people did the ventilators kill? Countless. How much pain, suffering, and death did lockdowns cause? Not that Fauci today takes any responsibility for the lockdowns, mind you. He had nothing to do with it at all.

He flat-out disowns the policy. And says this to the NYT:

But show me a school that I shut down and show me a factory that I shut down. Never. I never did. I gave a public-health recommendation that echoed the C.D.C.’s recommendation, and people made a decision based on that. But I never criticized the people who had to make the decisions one way or the other.

Is that how you remember it? Watch the video above and tell me if he is not spreading misinformation, yet again. Fauci didn’t shut down the schools or anything else in the sense that he didn’t lock the doors themselves. But in any real sense? It was him and Birx and Walensky. Trump, unfortunately, meekly followed their demands.

I don’t expect policymakers to get it right at first or all the time. In fact, I still forgive some of the initial mistakes made by the Trump Administration and governors when the virus was just hitting. I even forgive Fauci (a bit) for his initial underestimation of the threat COVID posed in January and February.

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But I will not and cannot forgive the lies spewed in the following months and years. And the lies they are still spewing in order to get what they dearly want: control over the flow of information.

Misinformation is not the or even a leading cause of death in America. That is simply made up. Pulled out of thin air. And yet it spread like a virus throughout the infosphere.

The social discord caused by the government misinformation is incalculable in its cost–COVID broke many people, as did the election of Trump. We will pay that price for decades or more.

In a just world, the FDA Commissioner would be fired for spreading these lies, but we live in a world where Fauci gets a Presidential Medal of Freedom (FREEDOM!) from the former president, so expect no justice until the final judgment.

 

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