Tucker Carlson: Big Tech is using coronavirus to increase its power - and the US is becoming more like China

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Monday night on this show, we played you a clip from a nearly hour-long video produced by two physicians in California, Dr. Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi.

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Likely, many of you had already seen it. That video has had more than 5 million views on YouTube. In their presentation, the two doctors presented a flurry of data pointing to what we are currently learning about the coronavirus and how it spreads. They cited pages of government statistics and then interpreted them in light of their own long clinical experience as doctors.

At one point, they noted that the newly adjusted death rate in their state of California, which is much lower than anyone expected it to be, and they asked if government officials there should change their policies based on this new science.

Dr. Dan Erickson: We've seen 1,227 deaths in the state of California with a possible incidence or prevalence of 4.7 million. That means you have a 0.03 chance of dying from COVID-19 in the state of California.

0.03 chance of dying from COVID in the state of California -- is that -- does that necessitate sheltering in place? Does that necessitate shutting down medical systems? Does that necessitate people being out of work?

So, whatever your view of the mass quarantines -- and maybe you're enthusiastically for them -- the questions you just heard are valid questions. In fact, they're critical questions. We should all be asking those questions, including and especially our policymakers.

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But as Dr. Erickson pointed out later in the video, dissent of any kind is no longer tolerated in this country. Fact-based honesty, which is the soul of science, is under attack, even in hospitals.

Dr. Erickson described physicians being pressured to classify illnesses and deaths as related to coronavirus, whether they believe that to be true or not.

Erickson: We aren't pressured to test for flu. But ER doctors now, my friends and I talk, saying, you know, it's interesting when I'm writing up my death report, I'm being pressured to add COVID. Why is that? Why are we being pressured to add COVID? To maybe increase the numbers and make it look a little bit worse than it is? I think so.

So, what you just heard -- what Dr. Erickson described -- is called lying, and lying has no place in science, ever. It's scary to think it takes place on a large scale in hospitals. He says it does.

Viewers of Erickson's video were shocked and transfixed by this. They forwarded the video to friends, who forwarded it on to their friends, and suddenly, millions of people who spent the last six weeks on a diet of "Tiger King" and internet memes were watching sober-minded medical researchers reading from charts of statistics. It's hard to recall a science video taking off like this one did.

Not everyone was impressed by it. Some criticized the doctors' policy conclusions, and of course, that's fair. Decent people have different opinions. We're not entirely certain what the perfect response to this pandemic is. Nobody is certain. There's no objective answer at the moment.

At best, we can plod along with open minds and good faith. More informed debate is exactly what we need to make wise decisions going forward.

Unfortunately for all of us, informed debate is exactly what the authorities don't want. They want unquestioned obedience, so they're cracking down on free expression.

Last night, the doctors' video, the one you just saw, was pulled off of YouTube, the largest video hosting site in the world. It wasn't an accident, YouTube admitted doing it. The company cited a violation of "community guidelines" and they did not apologize.

Looking back, when all of this is finally over and it will be, it's likely we'll see this moment -- what YouTube just did -- as a turning point in the way we live in this country, a sharp break with 250 years of law and custom. The two doctors' video was produced by a local television channel in California. It was, in effect, a mainstream news story.

The video was not pornographic. It didn't violate copyright or incite violence or commit libel. It didn't break any law. The only justification for taking it down was that the two physicians on-screen had reached different conclusions from the people currently in charge. It was a form of dissent from orthodoxy.

No wonder our leaders have done such a poor job protecting us from China. They're on the same team.

YouTube and its parent company, Google have now officially banned dissent. The CEO of YouTube admitted that openly.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube: But then we also talked about removing information that is problematic. You know, of course, anything that is medically unsubstantiated, so people saying, like, to take Vitamin C, you know, take turmeric, like those all will cure you.

Those are the examples of things that would be a violation of our policy. Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy. And so, remove is another really important part of our policy.

Brian Stelter, CNN chief media correspondent: So you're not just putting the truth next to the lie, you're taking the lie down. That's a pretty aggressive approach.

We're removing "anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations." It'll now be taken off the internet.

Consider that for a minute. As a matter of just science, it's ludicrous. Like everyone else involved in global pandemic policy, the WHO has often been wrong in its recommendations. A lot of people have.

In mid-January, WHO told us that coronavirus could not spread from person-to-person. In March, they told us that face masks didn't work. Those were lies, and they were welcome on Google's platforms.

Doctors who are actually treating patients with the virus, meanwhile, have just been banned. So, no, this is not about science. Censorship never is about science. It's about power. Big Technology companies are using this tragedy to increase their power over the American population. They're working in concert with politicians in order to do it.

Just on Tuesday, Facebook removed an events page for a political protest in Michigan. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who runs that state, was no doubt pleased to see it.

Grossly mismanaging an entire state is a lot easier when citizens are not allowed to complain about it, and now they're not. Last week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg explained that protests like these are no longer protected political speech; they are "misinformation."

As we fight this virus, we are becoming far more like the country that spawned it. We're becoming more like China. It's horrifying. And it tells you everything that our professional class enthusiastically welcomes this.

George Stephanopoulos, ABC News host: How do you deal with the fact that Facebook is now being used to organize a lot of these protests to defy social distancing, defy the social distancing guidelines in states? If somebody is trying to organize something like that, that qualifies as harmful information.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook: We do classify that as harmful misinformation, and we take that down.

"Harmful misinformation" -- that is a phrase familiar to anyone who has watched totalitarian regimes in any country. It's now how Mark Zuckerberg describes political opinions he doesn't like.

Our free press exists to push back against obvious abuses of power like this one. It's the reason we have a First Amendment. It's the only reason we have a First Amendment.

But suddenly our media are not concerned about freedom of speech. Reporters applaud our overlords as they punish us for disagreeing. You just saw it in that clip from CNN. That happens every day.

Our media are no longer challenging power, they are colluding with power. And that may be why there's been so little critical coverage of the massive expansion of our surveillance state currently in progress.

In the name of fighting the coronavirus, tech companies are now following you through your cell phone. They're watching you from above with drones. Those sound like paranoid fantasies; they are not. It's happening as we speak.

Needless to say, our politicians approve of this.

Andrea Mitchell, NBC News chief foreign affairs and senior Washington correspondent: How do you feel about the drones?

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.: Look, at this point, we need to save lives and it's really important that in public spaces, people are abiding by the directives.

Yes, we've got to do it.

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So, what do we have here? We have Big Tech companies partnering with the government to spy on you without your knowledge. Americans locked in their homes, banned from going to church, placated with sedatives, like weed and beer.

Anyone who speaks up is silenced. Political demonstrations are illegal. Organizers are arrested. Only opinions approved by leaders, many of them unelected, are allowed on information platforms.

Does that sound familiar? It sounds a lot like China.

Of all the many ironies of this moment, so many of them bitter, the hardest to swallow is this one. As we fight this virus, we are becoming far more like the country that spawned it. We're becoming more like China. It's horrifying. And it tells you everything that our professional class enthusiastically welcomes this.

Over the weekend, The Atlantic magazine published an article by two academics calling for an end to freedom of speech in America. Their model for an ideal system? The totalitarian government of China. "In the debate over freedom versus control of the internet, China was largely correct and the U.S. was wrong."

You ought to read the whole thing. Truly, you should. It's the future. We could quote from it for the rest of the show, but we'll give you just one more: "Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with society's norms and values."

"Norms and values." Whose norms and values? Well, our leaders' norms and values, of course, but mostly their interests. Those in power are the ones our professional class seeks to protect, not the rest of the country.

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Freedom of conscience never endangers the public. It only threatens the powerful. It endangers their control. It hinders their ability to dictate election results, to loot the economy, to make policies based on whim for their own gain.

No wonder our leaders have done such a poor job protecting us from China. They're on the same team.

Adapted from Tucker Carlson's monologue from "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on April 28, 2020.

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