Which came first, the chicken or the egg? One potential answer is that the chicken was first, and the egg was in it. So it is with our current dilemma: which came first, the corruption of science or the censoring of speech? 

It appears they’ve walked hand-in-hand for quite some time, becoming all the more apparent with the consolidation of social media power and the collective efforts of federal bureaucrats who wish to control not only what you think but especially what you say. During no time in human history was this more obvious than during the COVID-19 crisis where social engineering tactics were used against the American public, not to limit your exposure to a virus, but to limit your exposure to information that did not fit within a government sanctioned narrative.

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Throughout the pandemic, doctors, scientists, patients, and families were censored, shadow-banned, blocked, and punished for having views, opinions, and research findings disfavored by the government and their chosen gatekeepers. Hard fast truths that have become indisputable over time, ranging from the effectiveness of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine to the potential dangers of Remdesivir and the failures of the vaccine were labeled as “disinformation” and “misinformation.”

This was done in direct collusion with social media companies, allowing the federal government and its senior officials to effectively silence legitimate debate in the modern public square. And just as George Washington warned in 1783, “dumb and silent” many of us were “led, like sheep, to the slaughter.” Still the government’s message remained clear: trust the science and believe Dr. Anthony Fauci.

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However, science is not belief; a scientist is not supposed to believe anything. It is the role of the scientist to question, debate, refute, and demonstrate with evidence – not blindly accept ideas based on a set of beliefs. Yet over time, classical, evidence-based science has been usurped by hyper-monetized and hyper-propagandized institutions still hiding behind the mask of what it used to be.

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For example, Fauci, who believes he represents science itself, has a long history of silencing dissent, neutralizing debate, and destroying the career of any scientist who disagrees with him by ensuring their research is never funded, published, or taken seriously. Many a scientist over the past fifty years has been vilified, ridiculed, and sacrificed at this altar of Fauci-ism and the profits that come with it. As a result, he has never been forced to debate or prove anything over his 54 years with the NIH. Yet he argues in the documentary FAUCI, “I’m the bad guy to an entire subset of people because I represent something that is uncomfortable to them. It’s called the truth.”

In that same film, Susan Rice waxed poetic about Fauci’s “fact-based, evidence-based leadership” while Bill Gates called him “a rockstar” for the truth. Indeed, the man who has graced everything from prayer candles to the covers of InStyle and People magazine has been touted as a symbol of consistency, integrity, and truth. And in collusion with social media, he became the curator of supposedly scientifically-based, evidence-based speech. Anything that did not meet that uniquely Fauci standard, whether on Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest, had to be destroyed faster than SARS-CoV-2 itself.

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So, over our seven-hour deposition, what did Fauci have to say about the “science” he supposedly represents? What evidence did he have to support his unquestionable beliefs, from aggressive mask mandates to lockdowns? Why did he attempt to hide his work with Dr. Peter Daszak on gain-of-function research and attempt to kill the highly likely lab-leak theory? 

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And if the mRNA vaccines his NIH actively developed over the past decade are so effective, why did the multi-jabbed Fauci glare at the court reporter who happened to sneeze, then have her wear a mask because he “didn’t want to catch COVID?” Instead of providing us with answers, this supposed beacon of truth said “I don’t recall” 174 times, all while evading questions, trying to run out the clock, and insisting he’s a very busy man (with his signature condescension).

But the fact is, Fauci was never too busy to have Mark Zuckerberg and others actively censor those who did know, who were right, and who might have saved lives during this recent pandemic. Of course, Fauci insists another one is right around the corner; but thanks to this lawsuit, such censorship of voices in the name of pseudoscience should never happen again. 

That is our goal moving forward – to ensure that your First Amendment rights are not only protected but also enforced. Hopefully then real science can return to its rightful place in our society as an evidence-based pursuit of Truth, because anything less is simply Newspeak.

Eric Schmitt is the 43rd attorney general of Missouri.