Source: Elise Cooper
Pandemia. How Coronavirus Hysteria Took Over Our Government, Rights, and Lives by Alex Berenson delves into the hysteria surrounding the coronavirus. The arguments made are supported with concrete scientific research and facts based on data. People should read this book to at least question what they were told by the media, politicians, and health officials.
Berenson, a former New York Times journalist and bestselling novelist, had to endure nasty name-calling, was banned by Twitter, and marginalized by mainstream media.
Then there is Dr. Anthony Fauci, the “COVID God,” who claims, “an attack on me is an attack on science.” Besides being a scaremonger, he dishes out false information. According to Berenson, Fauci has a “thirst for media attention.” He requires masks and vaccines for everyone, except those that enter the country illegally. He demanded that everyone wear a mask yet was seen at the Nationals baseball game not wearing one. Berenson tweeted the next day, “And there’s Dr. Anthony Fauci showing us all he knows exactly how masks work! Thanks for the lesson, doc.”
Elise Cooper: Cancel culture and you?
Alex Berenson: Amazon rejected me initially but did end up publishing the booklets and continue to do so. Twitter is proving to be just as bad as Google/YouTube. Maybe Amazon is a little better now because they are selling this book. It is not a problem with any one company, but the culture of Silicon Valley. I realize they are private companies, but they are extraordinarily powerful big companies. They are bigger than any news organization. In my mind, they have a responsibility to allow broad ranges of viewpoints. What they seem to be censoring is debate and discourse. I developed a thick skin and will not back down, and even put this quote in the book, “the harder the blue checks tried to shut me up, and the nastier they were, the louder I became.”
EC: At what point did you become a skeptic?
AB: It was early on. In late March, Neil Ferguson, (the English lockdown king) revised his models but the media tended to ignore it. The models led to the shutdown of the entire world with the lockdowns. The epidemiologists and the public health specialists were wrong about practically everything. They were wrong about the models, the need for ventilators, test and trace effective tools, and school closures.
EC: What about the media?
AB: There is a broader culture of academia and the media that is a problem. I am stunned journalists are not screaming about this censorship. Not only are they not screaming about it, but they support it. Some individual journalists do stand up, but not many. Even though the health specialists were wrong repeatedly, the media has not become more skeptical but does just the opposite. It continues to be a propaganda wing of the public-health authorities.
EC: President Trump and the media?
AB: I think a lot of the media does suffer from Trump derangement syndrome. They consider him such an existential threat that anything they do is considered okay. There is also something more subtle that is not widely reported. They are a subscriber supportive model. I say this as someone with a lot of subscribers. But there is a need to stand up to the subscribers. Being dependent on subscribers, who usually tend to a certain political point of view, has a feedback loop. They are presented with more and more of what they want. Without even knowing it they become extremely partisan, such as the New York Times. It used to be an attempt was made to present both sides. If a comment was given, that person’s point of view should be represented fairly, not attacked. These norms are gone. Therefore, I put in the quote about defeating Trump, “the media, Hollywood, academia, and much of corporate America did not want Trump to win re-election and openly worked to defeat him.”
EC: Media bias and the death count?
AB: A couple of days ago somebody brought out the death count while talking about me. This is the first time anyone has mentioned the death count in months, except for January/February when it was still considered Trump’s problem. It has now gone away. I talk about it in Pandemia. It was the number one way to beat Donald Trump over the head and it was incredibly effective. Media went with this. If reporters had taken a hard look at the data around lockdowns and who is most at risk, public opinion might have shifted. But sadly, they didn’t.
EC: You have a quote in the book, “dying from Covid and dying with Covid.”
AB: Many people who were attributed to dying from the virus would have done so a few months later anyway because of other medical problems. Broadly we decided to do everything to save people. They ignored how the country suffered, including children. These were very elderly people at the end of their life. But what about the six-year-old who had their whole life ahead of them? They were made to suffer, even though they were low risk.
EC: What about testing? The push for it without saying if a positive test was asymptomatic, not a severe case, or was it one person tested multiple times.
AB: The broader issue is that once the virus was out, there was no way of getting it back in the box. People thought that testing early on would help contain the virus and it will not spread. This was not possible in the U.S. with our laws. It was a way to beat up Trump.
EC: If the vaccines work, why do people need to wear masks and why be afraid of the unvaccinated?
AB: Certainly, not to stop infection or transmission. Maybe to prevent a severe disease. The public health authorities could be honest about vaccines and say it was a new product in which we had high hopes, but it did not work as well as we thought. If they said it, that would be the first time in two years the public health officials would be honest.
EC: Greg Gutfeld says people need to look through more than one prism. Do you agree considering herd immunity, antibodies, and overblown statistics are not considered?
AB: Yes! For those under 40 the vaccines are clearly a bad bet because there is hardly any risk with COVID. Children should not go near the vaccines. I just published data from Germany showing that no healthy children ages 5-18 died of COVID during the first 15 months. COVID is not a severe risk for children, with a few exceptions. We do not term the long-term risk for children. For someone middle age, the calculation gets more complicated. But over seventy, being vaccinated appears to make sense. Originally, I did not have this opinion, but my view on this has evolved, because the data on this is not as good as the trials suggested. To be clear, I am not anti-vaccine. My children have been vaccinated.
EC: What about a booster?
AB: These have been essentially untried. There have been no clinical trials. They did not test three shots against a placebo. They tested two shots against a placebo and three shots against two shots. This is not the same thing as testing three against zero. It is true that boosters in the short run have the body produce more antibodies, reducing the risk of COVID. But we do not know how long they last, or the potential harms either short term or long term. What we do know is that the antibodies will wane again and there will be a need for another booster. To me, unless someone is high risk from COVID, the booster looks like a worse bet than the original vaccines.
EC: Are you skeptical of Big Pharma?
AB: Yes. It is a profit-driven business. When they have products that do not work as well as advertised people must pull Big Pharma’s teeth to have them admit it. This time they have the government on their side, so it is even harder.
EC: Your quote, “keeping schools closed would give their members (teacher’s union) a chance to work from home, convince the public the epidemic remained uncontrolled because of Trump’s failures, and disrupt the economy. The only item not on their agenda was helping kids.” In fact, Detroit is quarantining children if exposed. What if the whole class is exposed? Is the school shut down?
AB: In the book, I wrote how low-income students are affected the most. School closures are terrible. What I am proud of is early on I said in May 2020 schools should not be closed. Children are being damaged for no reason. They are not high risk. They should not be denied school. People on the left said I did not care if children died, and I did not care about teachers. This is all nonsense. In the last couple of months, the schools did reopen and none of the terrible things predicted happened. A lot of people in the middle are now starting to question everything, and this is a good thing. I am with you that no one recognizes that low-income students do not have very good computers and the Internet, which affects their learning process.