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The Dangers of Scientific Censorship—on Climate and COVID

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Excuse me for wandering somewhat afield, as I’m prone to do, but I think that this stellar piece by the notorious Los Angeles Times begs for clarification. Let me say right upfront: I understand that the corona virus is a deadly killer. It likes to pick on the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions and compromised immune systems. I do not underestimate the seriousness of the current pandemic in any way.


But please recall it was the august LA Times editorial board that, a few years ago, pompously declared, “We will no longer entertain submissions of opinion by scientists (or lay-folk) advancing contrarian positions in the climate change controversy.” Why? Because the editorial board agreed with those who had (arbitrarily and capriciously, I would argue) declared the debate over. Other media would soon follow suit. And shame on those that did.

But back to the present: Several tenured virology professors at Stanford hold contrarian views in certain respects to the conventional CDC and NIH official positions. Their departure from convention may in some sense help explain the internal review undertaken by the university.

The LA Times writer indulges in a little gratuitous editorial comment that at one time was verboten in a legitimate news story, accusing the professors of “… publicizing research that has been corrupted by speed, sloppiness and opacity.”

Would that she and her colleagues applied this very same standard when publishing the results of research that advocates for the catastrophic anthropogenic climate-change narrative. Far, far too many of these studies involve computer modeling that is arcane, and deliberately so. They are shielded from public scrutiny so that a qualified, independent third party is denied the opportunity to verify the results. And that is paraded about as science?


So what is the offense of the three Stanford researchers? It is surveying for the presence of antibodies to the COVID virus that seem to indicate many in the population at large have been infected by the virus but did not present with typical symptoms of cough, fever, and chest pains, and so went undiagnosed. If true, the important finding would suggest that far more people have been infected than officially counted, and consequently the effective death rate from contracting may be far less than previously believed. This finding would also tend to undercut the official position that the overall death rate is somewhere in the range of 1.5%.

Never mind the reasonable assumption that a walking cohort of silent carriers would help explain the sudden and otherwise somewhat mysterious speed of its spread around the globe, once the virus had escaped from the confines of Pandora’s Box in Wuhan, China. The officially sanctioned authorities, represented by the two officials constantly at the President’s side during the daily White House press briefings held until recently, have consistently taken a dim view of any alternatives that depart from their own mode of thinking. First, we are instructed: Don’t wear a mask. Now by all means wear one out in public. Gloves good, now gloves bad.


No wonder a wondering public would tend to lose faith in what the media tell it. NIH can also be understood as “Not Invented Here” without any significant loss of accuracy. Who are these interlopers that dare intrude at our party?

So what is the Washington medical establishment to do about insubordination out on the West Coast? They forthwith sic the Stanford University administration on the three offending professors because the academic bean-counters on campus get the message they are living under the implied threat of the federal agencies canceling millions in research grants. Those boys know how to play rough when they deem it necessary.

Surely somewhere in the middle of this highly politicized crisis lie key elements of the truth. Does it not seem obvious that every time the President has offered his candid layman’s opinion about an established drug like HClQ that has been around for more than 50 years and is routinely prescribed for treatment of malaria and lupus and generally without serious side effect, the immediate response of the media is to blow their collective tops? If Trump says “white” they will say “black.” And vice versa.

It’s a good thing the 18th-century English doctor Edward Jenner did not have a CDC and the US mainstream media around in his day. If he had, he might never have discovered the smallpox vaccine. Before the arrival of the vaccine, that recurrent plague reportedly killed a whopping 30% of those unfortunate enough to contract the disease.


William D. Balgord, Ph.D., is President of Environmental & Resources Technology, Inc., Middleton, WI, and a Contributing Writer with The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

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