Dissenters in medicine, education facing attempted cancellation by peers, regulators and Big Tech

Idaho Medical Association targets pathologist's license for prescribing ivermectin instead of using "accepted and documented medical practices and vaccination."

Published: October 19, 2021 11:53am

Updated: October 24, 2021 10:46pm

As tolerance for intellectual diversity continues to narrow within the academic and public health establishments, dissenters in medicine and education are facing a range of professional reprisals and censorship by peers, regulators and Big Tech.

The Idaho medical establishment targeted pathologist Ryan Cole's license to practice shortly after the medical director of America's Frontline Doctors, which challenges COVID-19 orthodoxy, was appointed to a regional health board.

The University of California is putting psychiatrist and bioethics professor Aaron Kheriaty on unpaid leave for refusal to get vaccinated for COVID, the subject of his ongoing lawsuit seeking recognition of natural immunity.

Apart from COVID, a "pro-American" education startup founded by a self-described "deplorable" professor accused YouTube of pretextually suspending its account, preventing its launch advertisement from being seen for several days.

The Idaho Medical Association (IMA) asked the Board of Medicine to investigate Cole for "refusing to use accepted and documented medical practices and vaccination and instead prescribing ivermectin," which the FDA has misleadingly insinuated is purely a treatment for horses.

Calling Cole's views "profoundly wrong" and "dangerous" to the public, IMA said earlier this month: "We believe his practice, as he has described it himself ... does more harm than good. It should be stopped." 

IMA CEO Susie Keller told Just the News the Board of Medicine hasn't responded to its complaint, and in an uncredited statement BOM said it can't confirm open investigations under state law.

While he's best known for calling vaccines "needle rape," Cole told KTVB that was his "tongue in cheek" repetition of a shouted suggestion from the audience he was addressing.

In a statement responding to the letter, Cole asked the IMA to discuss their concerns with him. "Filing a complaint and threatening my license is unprofessional and sows distrust within the medical community and with patients in our state," he said.

Kheriaty, who teaches at UC Irvine, was put on "investigatory leave" earlier this month for flouting the university system's vaccine mandate, which he said took away half his income that comes from non-academic work. He's losing all of it starting Nov. 2.

"I am working on setting up or joining a private practice so that I can continue to treat my patients and earn an income next month," he wrote Wednesday.

Several other UC employees contacted him who received the same "notice of intent to suspend without pay" letter, Kheriaty said. He quoted from a supportive letter he received earlier from a black professor and "man of the left" who has remained silent "for one of the first times in my life" because he is "one lost paycheck away from economic precarity."

An Indiana University immunologist who has questioned the effectiveness of masks and calls evidence for COVID interventions "underwhelming" has yet to face any serious threat, he told Just the News, with the caveat "Give it some time."

"Most of my writing has been for the local paper to try to change local attitudes, and many people in town know me or my boss, even if we are angering them," Steve Templeton wrote in an email. He recently started a public newsletter, "Fear of a Microbial Planet," and is working on a book with the same title. 

On the other side, a clinical professor of family medicine at McMaster University saw a looming threat last year when his 2016 Canadian Medical Association Journal essay got resurrected in the COVID culture war.

Shane Neilson wrote that surgical masks had no impact on the Spanish flu because "it was unknown that the influenza organism is nanoscopic and can theoretically penetrate the surgical mask barrier." It's a "widespread misconception" that they mitigate viral transmission. Harvard Medical School epidemiologist and "focused protection" advocate Martin Kulldorff shared the essay Sunday.

Just the News asked Neilson if he has faced professional threats for that essay since COVID. He responded by pointing to an essay he published in June on the "politics of the surgical mask."

While Neilson said his 2016 essay "was misappropriated on both sides of the political spectrum," he credited the developing "consensus" that masks "might reduce the spread of viral particles to others from infected wearers."

Neilson didn't answer a subsequent query about the basis for that consensus.

Shown the post-COVID essay, Kulldorff — himself a frequent victim of social media censorship — wrote in an email: "Some scientists have revised their pre-pandemic views to fit the current narrative. It is rather fascinating if it wasn’t so tragic."

American Scholars said its launch ad received more than 20,000 views on Oct. 4 before YouTube suspended its account the same day. While it was back up four days later, founder Matthew Pohl told Just the News, "The damage to our multi day campaign had been done."

The ad had a "virtually unheard of" clickthrough rate of 25% when suddenly YouTube claimed the startup had an unpaid balance, "in spite of the fact that we provided them with our company credit card for billing up front," he wrote in an email. 

It took two days to even file an appeal because YouTube then said "they had no record of any account with us," Pohl said. The video still hasn't crossed 21,000 views two weeks later.

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