CDC Officials Who Spread Misinformation Apologized To Source Of False Data But Not To Public: Emails

U.S. health officials who spread inflated COVID-19 child death data in public meetings apologized to the source of the false data but not to the public, newly obtained emails show.

Drs. Katherine Fleming-Dutra and Sara Oliver, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offered the false data in 2022 while U.S. officials weighed granting emergency authorization to COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months.

The study they cited for the data was published ahead of peer review by a group comprised primarily of British authors. The study was corrected after the public meetings.

Emails obtained by The Epoch Times showed that Fleming-Dutra and Oliver were alerted that they had spread misinformation. Neither the officials nor the CDC have informed the public of the false information. Newly obtained emails showed the officials apologized to Seth Flaxman, one of the study’s authors, and even offered to see whether the study could be published in the CDC’s quasi-journal.

“I feel … that we owe you an apology,” Oliver wrote to Flaxman on June 27, about 10 days after she and Fleming-Dutra falsely said there had been at least 1,433 deaths primarily attributed to COVID-19 in America among those 19 and younger. “We draw the attention of a variety of individuals with the ACIP meetings, and apologize that you got caught in it this time.

“I am also sorry that you got pulled into the attention around the VRBPAC and ACIP meetings,” Fleming-Dutra added. She had presented the data to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the CDC.

Fleming-Dutra, Oliver, and Flaxman did not respond to requests for comment.

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CDC Officials Who Spread Misinformation Apologized to Source of False Data but Not to Public

U.S. health officials who spread inflated COVID-19 child death data in public meetings apologized to the source of the false data but not to the public, newly obtained emails show.

Drs. Katherine Fleming-Dutra and Sara Oliver, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offered the false data in 2022 while U.S. officials weighed granting emergency authorization to COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 6 months.

The study they cited for the data was published ahead of peer review by a group comprised primarily of British authors. The study was corrected after the public meetings.

Emails obtained by The Epoch Times showed that Fleming-Dutra and Oliver were alerted that they had spread misinformation. Neither the officials nor the CDC have informed the public of the false information. Newly obtained emails showed the officials apologized to Seth Flaxman, one of the study’s authors, and even offered to see whether the study could be published in the CDC’s quasi-journal.

“I feel … that we owe you an apology,” Oliver wrote to Flaxman on June 27, about 10 days after she and Fleming-Dutra falsely said there had been at least 1,433 deaths primarily attributed to COVID-19 in America among those 19 and younger. “We draw the attention of a variety of individuals with the ACIP meetings, and apologize that you got caught in it this time.”

“I am also sorry that you got pulled into the attention around the VRBPAC and ACIP meetings,” Fleming-Dutra added. She had presented the data to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, which advises the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which advises the CDC.

Fleming-Dutra, Oliver, and Flaxman did not respond to requests for comment.

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China proposes making “dissemination of false information” a crime in UN treaty

A new international convention on cybercrime is being negotiated at the United Nations (UN) meeting in Vienna, Austria, and China has proposed the criminalization of the “dissemination of false information.”

The proposal seems like an attempt by China to legitimize its internet controls and is likely going to be contested by Western countries, even though many of them have been copying parts of China’s playbook in recent times.

There is already an existing international convention on cybercrime that was signed in 2001. However, it was not a UN treaty and it has not been signed by Russia, China, Brazil, and India, which are some of the largest countries in the world.

In the ongoing negotiations on the new treaty, the proposals that have been suggested have been put into two categories; those with wide support and those that are contested. Proposals on controlling online content have generally fallen into the contested category and have not been part of immediate discussions.

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‘The View’ is the biggest source of misinformation in America

Barbara Walters died last week at 93, but the legendary journalist’s legacy lives on: “The View,” the daytime-TV talker she created in 1997, is the most-watched — and most-talked-about — show in its genre.

Some legacy, though: What Walters envisioned as “women of different generations, backgrounds and views” discussing “the topics of the day, mixing humor with intelligent debate,” devolved after she departed as co-host in 2014 into a four-against-one daily catfight with few laughs and even fewer smarts.

The New York Times calls it “the most important political TV show in America.” If so, America is in trouble — because “The View” is the biggest source of misinformation in the country.

More than 2.4 million people watch “The View” every day — and are less informed for it every day.

The show’s moderator is one of its worst offenders. Whoopi Goldberg made headlines last year by declaring “the Holocaust isn’t about race.” Her co-hosts gave her little pushback. Sara Haines added a “No” in agreement while Joy Behar asked her what it was about. “This is white people doing it to white people. So, this is y’all go fight amongst yourselves,” Whoopi said. Sunny Hostin remained silent, and the show’s producers — recognizing a train wreck — played exit music and broke to a commercial.

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The hypocrisy of ‘those braying the loudest about misinformation’

We live in a time when U.S. politics is not only hyper-partisan, but toxic. Party activists on both sides of the divide assign a higher value to slurring those on the other side – and covering up for those on their side – than to telling the unvarnished truth.

In this hothouse environment, some well-meaning people assert that misinformation and “disinformation” threaten the very pillars of self-government.

The most obvious and immediate problem with this approach is hypocrisy: Many of those braying the loudest about misinformation have made wildly untrue assertions and statements themselves. The long-term problem is that freedom is and always will be utterly incompatible with a society in which the government or private media monopolies control the right of people to speak or write or broadcast without being censored.

In the waning days of December 1793, Thomas Paine was arrested in Paris. This was the height of the “Reign of Terror,” and the result of being detained on political charges, as Paine was, usually meant the guillotine. Paine certainly thought that was to be his fate.

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Disinformation, Censorship, And Information Warfare In The 21st Century

All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.”– Sun Tzu, the Art of War

In recent years, prominent national security officials and media outlets have raised alarm about the unprecedented effects of foreign disinformation in democratic countries. In practice, what they mean is that democratic governments have fallen behind in their command of the methods of information warfare in the early 21st century. As outlined herein, while information warfare is a real and serious issue facing democratic governments in the 21st century, the war on disinformation, as currently practiced, has backfired spectacularly and done far more harm than good, as evidenced most clearly by the response to COVID-19.

We begin with the definitions and history of a few key terms: Censorship, free speech, misinformation, disinformation, and bots.

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Senator Dick Durbin says free speech doesn’t protect “misinformation” that downplays political violence

“Free speech does not include spreading misinformation to downplay political violence,” Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), who also is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted – referencing an alleged “uptick in hate speech” since Elon Musk took Twitter private.

“Misinformation” is protected by the First Amendment.

The uptick that Senator Durbin is referencing was a bot campaign that Twitter suggests was used to troll the platform and the media as soon as Musk took control of the company.

Senator’s Durbin’s comments followed Twitter CEO Elon Musk tweeting a link to an article containing claims about the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul.

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New Project Veritas Drop Suggests DOJ May Go After “Misinformation” as “Election Crimes”

It’s 2022 but it feels a lot like 1984, doesn’t it?  According to Project Veritas on Truth Social, an FBI whistleblower has leaked a document that suggests “Misinformation” and “Disinformation” are “Election Crimes”.

This colorful document titled “2022 Midterm Elections Social Media Analysis Cheat Sheet” that was leaked to Project Veritas is reminiscent of an exposé The Gateway Pundit published back in August.  The basis of the exposé article was the discovery of contracts from the Department of Homeland Security with an organization called the EI-ISAC not only to secure elections at the county level at the behest of the DHS.  That same non-profit was also subject to a report titled “The Long Fuse” that talks about a portal to allow government officials access to social media conglomerates to censor anything they deem “misinformation” or “disinformation”.

The pamphlet defines “misinformation” as “false or misleading information spread mistakenly or unintentionally” and “disinformation” as “false or inaccurate information intended to mislead others.  Disinformation campaigns on social media are used to deliberately confuse, trick, or upset the public.

The leaked document from Project Veritas does state “For the following to fall under federal jurisdiction, the following must involve one or more federal candidates on the ballot…”  It is unclear if that means the candidate must be involved, or it could be “mis” or “dis” information involving an election with a federal candidate.

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PayPal Sneakily Adds $2,500 Draconian Fines For ‘Misinformation’ Back To It’s Terms Of Service

A little over 2 weeks ago, PayPal made an announcement that the company planned on “fining” users $2,500 for spreading so-called “misinformation.”

Eventually the company wiped the whole initiative due to furious users and plummeting stock. But as people pointed out on Wednesday, it appears PayPal is quietly bringing those $2,500 fines back.

It’s right here in black and white…I plan on calling tomorrow to cancel my account. pic.twitter.com/RnN7ctLQop

— Chris Humphries (@ChrisHump40) October 27, 2022

The internet erupted with backlash over this news yet again, with even more users threatening to ditch the platform forever over this resurfaced announcement. 

Initially, PayPal shamelessly walked their comments back, saying they were made “in error.”

“An [Accepted Use Policy] notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information,” said a company spokesperson. “PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused.”

The whole situation quickly morphed into a PR nightmare for the company, as users were clear about their plans to move their money away from PayPal in place of an alternative payment processor.

“Sorry PayPal, but it was no accident those words were even typed in the first place,” wrote one user on Twitter.

Now that PayPal is seemingly adding the draconian clause to their terms of service again. Users are calling the company’s “in error” claims out for what they truly were: blatant lies.

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PayPal Reverses Course, Says Company Will Not Seize Money From People for Promoting ‘Misinformation’

PayPal on Oct. 8 said it was not implementing a new policy that would have enabled the company to seize money from users who allegedly promote “misinformation” or “hate.”

“An AUP notice recently went out in error that included incorrect information. PayPal is not fining people for misinformation and this language was never intended to be inserted in our policy,” a PayPal spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email.

“Our teams are working to correct our policy pages. We’re sorry for the confusion this has caused,” the spokesperson added.

The company in September announced that it was amending its acceptable use policy, or AUP.

The policy, due to take effect in November, said that users may not use PayPal to for the “sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials that, in PayPal’s sole discretion, (a) are harmful, obscene, harassing, or objectionable, (b) depict or appear to depict nudity, sexual or other intimate activities, (c) depict or promote illegal drug use, (d) depict or promote violence, criminal activity, cruelty, or self-harm (e) depict, promote, or incite hatred or discrimination of protected groups or of individuals or groups based on protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.) (f) present a risk to user safety or wellbeing, (g) are fraudulent, promote misinformation, or are unlawful, (h) infringe the privacy, intellectual property rights, or other proprietary rights of any party, or (i) are otherwise unfit for publication.”

For each violation, PayPal says users are subject to repercussions. Those include “liquated damages” of $2,500 per violation. The money will be taken directly from a person’s PayPal account.

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