Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) exposed how the CDC was behind censoring its own data.
In a recent letter to Twitter, Johnson called out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for allegedly manipulating the COVID-19 narrative to fit its political agenda by pushing Big Tech companies to censor information about its Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). “CDC’s campaign to encourage social media companies to suppress CDC’s own data appears to be a blatant attempt to mislead the public about adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccines,” he wrote in the 7-page letter dated August 28.
The Wisconsin senator noted that this recent request is one of many sparked by Big Tech’s unrelenting censorship of information, questions and insights related to COVID-19, including many of his own posts. Twitter censored Johnson in January 2022 when he noted that the VAERS data had “passed two milestones. …Over 1 million adverse events and over 21,000 deaths.”
When asked why it censored publicly available government data, Twitter used the government as cover, blaming its censorship actions on government directions.
“[T]hroughout 2021, Executive Branch officials, particularly from the Center[s] for Disease Control (CDC) within the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), communicated with social media companies, including Twitter, about ‘COVID Vaccine Misinformation’; and that CDC identified ‘misleading information about VAERS reports’ as a specific subset of ‘COVID Vaccine Misinformation’ which they encouraged social media companies to address,’” Twitter told Johnson on May 5, 2023 according to his most recent letter.
The senator also traced the CDC’s collusion to censor back to two years prior.
Johnson first cited VAERS data on deaths associated with the COVID-19 vaccines on May 6, 2021, and within two weeks, the CDC sprang into action working with Twitter to censor similar content.
By May 14, “Carol Crawford, Chief of the Digital Media Branch of the CDC's Office of Public Affairs, provides representatives from social media platform, including Twitter, a presentation entitled 'COVID Vaccines Misinformation: Hot Topics,’” Johnson wrote. According to one slide Johnson included in his letter, the presentation downplayed the VAERS data claiming that "VAERS is not designed to determine if a vaccine caused a health problem but is especially useful for detecting unusual or unexpected patterns of adverse event reporting that might indicate a possible safety problem with a vaccine.”
At the time, Johnson cited VAERS “3,120 reports of death and 9,351 reports of hospitalization" shortly after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine but apparently that was not "unusual or unexpected" enough for the CDC.
Crawford arranged another meeting with Twitter scheduled for Nov. 18, 2021. According to Johnson, Crawford emailed Twitter saying: “‘As you probably are aware, people citing CDC VAERS data incorrectly is a major source of misinformation about COVID. One of our experts on the VAERS system has already briefed another tech platform to answer some of their policy team questions.’"
Johnson is now asking for the agency to release virtually all records of the CDC colluding with Big Tech to censor the speech of doctors, scientists and anyone on social media questioning the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact your representatives and demand that Big Tech be held to account to mirror the First Amendment while providing transparency, clarity on so-called “hate speech” and equal footing for conservatives. If you have been censored, contact us at the CensorTrack contact form, and help us hold Big Tech accountable.