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U.S. House Tackles ‘Weaponization of the Federal Government’

Following Elon Musk’s release of the “Twitter Files,” and after Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives, a “Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government” was formed.

The committee is likely to dive into a wide range of government collusion concerns, including suppression of dissenting views on COVID-19 pandemic policies. Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) chairs the 13-member committee.

An investigation of using private corporations to pursue government policies is long overdue, says Matt Dean, senior fellow for health care policy outreach at The Heartland Institute, which co-publishes Health Care News.

“The people who should be standing up for the free exchange of ideas and open scientific debate—doctors, medical schools, and elected officials—are subject to the same threats of censorship, funding cuts, and intimidation,” said Dean. “We can restore public trust when these groups can be faithful to the oaths they took to protect the public they serve, above the legitimate fear they feel being imposed by big tech authoritarians.”

Twitter Users Blacklisted

From 2020 to 2022, Twitter Inc., the giant social media platform, blacklisted its users; acted as a subsidiary of the FBI; and allowed company executives to rewrite policies to control the narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The evidence is revealed in the “Twitter Files,” a cache of internal screenshots, emails, and chat logs from the company’s executives released by new CEO Musk to reporters in December.

More importantly, the files reveal that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Twitter suppressed information from doctors and public health professionals and information about how other countries responded to the virus that called into question the Biden administration’s approach.

‘Failed Them and Us’

The files reveal the Trump administration also pressured Twitter to suppress certain tweets in the beginning stages of the pandemic, mostly to discourage panic buying in grocery stores, according to David Zweig, one of the journalists who received early access to the files.

When the Biden administration stepped in, the strategy changed, says Zweig.

“Its agenda for the American people can be summed up as: Be very afraid of COVID and do exactly what we say to stay safe,” wrote Zweig.

By the summer of 2021, President Biden announced social media companies were “killing people” by allowing misinformation about vaccines. Hours later, Twitter locked Alex Berenson, a popular journalist skeptical of lockdowns and mRNA vaccines, out of his account. Twitter permanently banned him the following month.

Twitter also began suppressing the opinions of medical and public health professionals who expressed opinions and cited research that contradicted official policy. Consequently, legitimate findings and questions regarding COVID-19 policies, and their consequences, were unavailable to the public.

Doctors and scientists should be able to express alternative viewpoints freely, says Dean.

“Their academic institutions and professional organizations have failed them and us by looking the other way or participating in censorship and electioneering,” said Dean. “But our elected officials are charged with defending our ability to engage in free speech despite the risks to them or their partners in private industry.”

Kenneth Artz (KApublishing@gmx.com) writes from Dallas, Texas.

For a related story, click here.

 

 

Kenneth Artz
Kenneth Artzhttps://www.heartland.org/about-us/who-we-are/kenneth-artz
Artz has more than 20 years’ experience in nonprofit organizations, publishing, newspaper reporting, and public policy advocacy.

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