How the California law AB2098 fits into the whole-of-society misinformation attack framework
"This bill would designate the dissemination of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or “COVID-19,” as unprofessional conduct." AB2098
The federal government is supposed to tell the truth. In fact, in 2000 a law was passed requiring it to tell the truth, and to make corrections of untruths. That law is titled Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies. The Office of Management and Budget had to require that all the federal agencies issue guidelines to keep themselves honest. These included:
“(A) issue guidelines ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of information (including statistical information) disseminated by the agency, by not later than 1 year after the date of issuance of the guidelines under subsection (a);
“(B) establish administrative mechanisms allowing affected persons to seek and obtain correction of information maintained and disseminated by the agency that does not comply with the guidelines issued under subsection (a)…
Despite this attempt to make government accountable for its statements, by 2020 the US government and most other governments were in full disinformation mode, lying about almost every aspect of COVID, especially regarding treatments.
It’s not easy to maintain lies about so many things, especially when they were things of great import to virtually all the worlds’ citizens. If the lies were placed next to the truth in a contest, and worthy citizens were able to provide support for each on a public stage, the truth would unquestionably win. So the truth had to be suppressed.
The method chosen, used worldwide, was the creation of a bogeyman: misinformation and disinformation.
The NY Times can always be relied on for hyperbole about threats. This new one threatened democracy itself!
There is wide agreement across the federal government that coordinated disinformation campaigns threaten to exacerbate public health emergencies, stoke ethnic and racial divisions and even undermine democracy itself. (July 2020)
A ‘whole of society’ approach was needed to quench mis/disinformation wherever it might appear, because it was such a dire menace.
Health misinformation is a serious threat to public health. It can cause confusion,
sow mistrust, harm people’s health, and undermine public health efforts. Limiting
the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative that will require a whole-of-society effort.
Misinformation has caused confusion and led people to decline COVID-19 vaccines, reject public health measures such as masking and physical distancing, and use unproven treatments. For example, a recent study showed that even brief exposure to COVID-19 vaccine misinformation made people less likely to want a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Department of Homeland Security pivoted from concerns about external threats to concern about misinformation. The DHS also worked with state and local officials to control the spread. Not the spread of COVID.
State and local officials play a critical role in countering the abundance of false COVID-19 information that is spreading through public information channels. This toolkit is intended to be used by state, local, tribal and territorial officials. COVID-19 is and will continue to be a threat to public health. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic disinformation, much of it produced and amplified by foreign actors, has consisted of false treatment and prevention measures, unsubstantiated rumors regarding the origin of the virus, and more. As such, it is imperative that State and local officials continually convey timely, trusted, and verified COVID-19 details and developments to their constituents to avert a vacuum of credible information, which can be exploited for misuse as disinformation by bad actors.
Does that even make sense?
The OECD of course was all in, too. The OECD considers itself “at the heart of international co-operation. Our Member countries work with other countries, organisations and stakeholders worldwide to address the pressing policy challenges of our time.”
The OECD repeated the identical buzzwords used in the US, including ‘whole of society,’ and ‘infodemic,’ and it shares the definition of mis, dis and malinformation with the US’ Department of Homeland Security. Here are a few sentences, but the OECD misinfo website is worth a look, as it is more explicit and thereby more transparent than the USG misinformation websites. For example:
The global spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been accompanied by a wave of disinformation that is undermining policy responses and amplifying distrust and concern among citizens. Around the world, governments are leveraging public communication to counteract disinformation and support policy.… In sum, disinformation threatens the efficacy of and compliance with the emergency measures being enacted against the Coronavirus.
Clearly it is of the utmost importance to the newest world order that all challenges to the public health COVID narrative be destroyed. Doctors, who have authority to speak about such things, must be made to speak in one voice. But the practice of medicine is regulated at the state level, not at the federal level. So doctors must be controlled by the states.
This was first done by having the nonprofit Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) issue a policy in July 2021 against COVID misinformation, and push it out to the state medical boards who are its members. However, despite issuing such a policy, the vast majority of state medical boards refused to follow it, knowing that suppression of free speech was illegal in the US.
So the FSMB acknowledged this obstacle, adopting an updated policy document in April 2022:
As state medical boards screen and triage complaints about misinformation and disinformation and adjudicate cases, they may have concerns about facing challenges on First Amendment grounds for disciplinary action that restricts a physician’s right to speech.
Then the FSMB provided detailed advice (including case law) on how boards could nonetheless find additional grounds with which to prosecute unruly physicians like me who still believed in honesty and informed consent. The FSMB furthermore chided the majority of boards that had not gone along with the policy.
While the FSMB had managed to frighten most doctors into submission, there were still many states where doctors could freely tell patients the truth, prescribe early COVID treatments, and continue their business as usual. Some states (all Republican-ruled) had protected their medical practitioners from abuse by guaranteeing the right of patients and doctors to use early treatments, either by passing laws or by state attorneys general issuing opinions about the right to use early treatments like ivermectin.
The next step in the effort to criminalize truth and deny patients informed consent and the right to choose their own healthcare was to use the legislatures in Democrat-ruled states.
California, home to a pretty boy, know-nothing Governor who got scooped up by Klaus Schwab long ago and a pharma-owned legislature, was logically the best place to start. California’s candidates and committees at the state level had mopped up 45.5% of total Pharma contributions made to state politicians—in the entire country. Over the 20 years from 1999-2018, California pols raked in $399 million dollars. $123 million was spent in 2016 alone, the year after infamous bill SB277 passed, removing personal belief exemptions to vaccinations. To be fair, there was also a ballot measure to reduce drug costs in 2016, which was defeated. Pharma is able to channel very large contributions to ballot measure committees, for which there are no contribution limits!
Since Pharma already owned the Golden State’s politicians, and was pushing other illegal policies (such as allowing children to consent to vaccinations without parental permission) it made sense to start the criminalization of medical speech there. California’s Assembly and Senate speedily passed AB2098 in late August, and Governor Newsom signed it into law yesterday, September 30.
But AB2098 (Titled Physicians and Surgeons: Unprofessional Conduct )is premised on a series of lies stated right in the bill. Here they are:
(b) Data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) shows that unvaccinated individuals are at a
risk of dying from COVID-19 that is 11 times greater than those
who are fully vaccinated. (Gross lie: you are at higher risk of death from COVID if vaccinated, now—Nass)
(c) The safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines have been
confirmed through evaluation by the federal Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and the vaccines continue to undergo
intensive safety monitoring by the CDC.
(d) The spread of misinformation and disinformation about
COVID-19 vaccines has weakened public confidence and placed
lives at serious risk
(e) Major news outlets have reported that some of the most
dangerous propagators of inaccurate information regarding the
COVID-19 vaccines are licensed health care professionals.
(f) The Federation of State Medical Boards has released a
statement warning that physicians who engage in the dissemination
of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation risk losing
their medical license, and that physicians have a duty to provide
their patients with accurate, science-based information. (I guess this one is true, but its interpretation of accuracy and science is not—Nass)
California is a lost cause. And the people know it. Between April 2020 and July 2021, California lost nearly 1% of its population. This is the first time in recorded history that CA has seen a drop in population.
California’s legislators will vote for anything, when instructed to do so. I can only recommend that its honest doctors relocate, along with so many others who are leaving the golden state for greener pastures.
What about the rest of the country? This is a shot across the bow. Elected officials are important, and so are clean elections. If we let this continue, soon there will be nowhere to go. Good people need to run for office. Good people need to get to know their candidates.
The misinformation/disinformation meme has worked for the bad guys so far. We need to challenge it wherever we find it. We need to talk about how it has been used as a major strategy to silence the opposition. Censorship may in fact be the biggest threat to our democracy.
Maybe some clever lawyers can find a way to use that 2000 bill prohibiting the federal government from spreading lies and turn the tables on the misinformation meme.
For patients who want the right to obtain honest information from their physicians and want to have choices regarding their medical treatment, now is the time to speak up. The screws are tightening. This could be your last chance.