CV NEWS FEED // Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-FL, sharply criticized YouTube at a roundtable of scientific experts Monday after the tech giant removed a video of their previous discussion on the science and policies surrounding COVID-19.
Google and YouTube have “not been, throughout this pandemic, repositories of truth and scientific enquiry, but instead have acted [as] enforcers of a narrative,” DeSantis told the gathering of scientists, calling tech corporations a “big tech council of censors in service of the ruling elite.”
“They didn’t cite any data,” he said of YouTube’s decision to remove the Florida COVID roundtable that took place last month. “They just cited that some of you had dissented from some other views. Well you know, science in particular needs to have dissenting views aired.”
The experts DeSantis gathered for both roundtables included former White House advisors and Ivy League professors. One key point made at last month’s event was that Americans have died of preventable causes because they feared seeking medical attention amid exaggerated messaging about the dangers of COVID-19 transmission.
“There were people that were trying to sound the alarm” about that, said DeSantis, but YouTube “smothered and suffocated” their warning.
Another point made at the March roundtable which YouTube explicitly cited as objectionable was that wearing masks was unnecessary for children.
In fact there is a considerable variety of opinion on that topic among scientists. The CDC currently recommends masks for children aged 2 and up. The World Health Organization has recommended it from ages 12 and up. Other experts, for instance in Poland and Germany, suggest that masks are unnecessary or may even be harmful to many children.
The Monday roundtable also included a discussion of the economic and social harms that have resulted from COVID-19 lockdown policies.
Florida Legislative Action?
In addition, DeSantis spoke about the need to take legislative action against big tech efforts to change the outcomes of elections and other political efforts. The Florida House and Senate are currently considering two bills designed to address such corporate interferences as the removal of candidates from social media platforms.
Regarding the COVID-19 panels, DeSantis said: “We are not going to be silenced. We are going to make sure folks get to hear from some of the great experts in the country and also be able to actually hear what the data has revealed over the past year.”