Have you ever criticized National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci?
That is to say, have you ever committed a hate crime?
The two could be one and the same, if things work out the way a teacher in Texas sees fit.
Dr. Peter Hotez — a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine — authored a July 28th paper taking aim at opposition to America’s favorite physician.
According to “Mounting Antiscience Aggression in the United States,” elite attacks are afoot:
A band of ultraconservative members of the U.S. Congress and other public officials with far-right leanings are waging organized and seemingly well-coordinated attacks against prominent U.S. biological scientists.
And, perhaps, even worse:
[C]onservative news outlets repeatedly and purposefully promote disinformation designed to portray key American scientists as enemies.
As a result of that, Peter writes, “Many of us receive threats via email and on social media…”
Some folks are even “stalked at home,” he claims, creating an “unprecedented culture of antiscience intimidation.”
The instructor lists incidents which “stand out”:
- Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green’s (R-GA) house bill 231, AKA the Fire Fauci Act
- The Republican organization of a House Select Subcommittee “on the origins of COVID-19 with the presumption that it was ignited by gain-of-function genetic engineering research from the Wuhan Institute of Virology”
- Senator Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) creation of a Milwaukee roundtable spotlighting “the rare adverse side effects from COVID-19 vaccines”
- Marjorie Taylor Green’s tweet insisting, “Biden pushing a vaccine that is NOT FDA approved shows COVID is a political tool used to control people”
As for #1, Peter laments, it was followed by a press conference which attempted to “single out and…humiliate a prominent American scientist.”
Concerning the House Select Subcommittee, he says, hearings “took on a sinister tone, pointing fingers at virologists both in the US and China.” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asserted Fauci was “afraid of something,” and Jim “falsely claimed…[Fauci] was covering up the engineering of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.”
Plus more stalking:
The far-right media harasses or stalks other prominent U.S. scientists…
Lastly, regarding vaccinations:
[R]ep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) referred to vaccinators as “needle Nazis” (in July). Days later, the medical director for vaccines in the Tennessee Department of Health was abruptly terminated for her efforts to vaccinate minors (14 and up) without parental consent.
The professor reckons enough’s enough.
The “aggression against science and scientists,” he explains, “arises from three sources: 1) Far-right members of the U.S. Congress, 2) the conservative news outlets, and 3) a group of thought leaders who provide intellectual underpinnings to fuel the first two elements.”
So what’s the solution to all the stalking and the inexcusable spoken words by people who oppose words spoken by other people?
Peter sees two options.
One involves a mere statement, albeit robust:
The President of the United States, together with science leaders at the federal agencies should prepare and deliver a robust, public, and highly visible statement of support. The statement would reaffirm the contribution of scientists across United States history.
The other requires “expanded protection mechanisms for scientists currently targeted by far-right extremism in the United States.”
Prof. Peter hails Democratic Rep. Paul Tonko’s Scientific Integrity Act of 2021, intended to “protect US Government scientists from political interference.”
Such should also cover “scientists at private research universities and institutes,” he surmises.
From the Act:
Each agency that funds, conducts, or oversees scientific research must…adopt and enforce a scientific integrity policy that includes requirements such as that scientific conclusions are not based on political considerations…
I’m not sure all agencies could pass that test — including ones with which the professor likely agrees.
But there’s a third prong to legal protection.
Peter adds, “Still another possibility is to extend federal hate-crime protections.”
Of course, “stalking” and “true” (non-hyperbolic) physical threats are already against the law.
As for the remainder, what does a country look like when its citizens can’t criticize the government?
How about when the populace is prohibited from questioning federally-ordained doctors?
A few modern nations come to mind.
None of them is America.
Meanwhile, it seems there’s been a bit of confusion over COVID-19.
I’d venture to say that every American agrees with Dr. Fauci.
The only question is, which version:
Viral video putting together Tony Fauci's litany of mask contradictions. pic.twitter.com/B3YaLUV519
— Politico (@Politic56721677) July 29, 2021
From the above clip, what portions would receive hate crime protection?
I suppose that could be figured out after the passage of a “pro-science” bill.
But maybe everyone should just get to speak their thoughts on viral issues.
Then again, perhaps I’m wrong about that; what’s the science say?
Fauci's COVID Follies: A timeline of many contradictionspic.twitter.com/dovqa6ghCo
— ZNeveri (@ZNeveri) October 25, 2020
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