A scientific journal article authored by Professor Peter Hotez, a frequent guest on corporate media networks, called to “extend federal hate-crime protections” for scientists facing criticism from alleged “far-right extremists,” including National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci.
Dr. Hotez, who himself has been funded by Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1993, offered the robust defense of scientists including Fauci and EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak in a recent paper: “Mounting Antiscience Aggression In The United States.”
“There is a troubling new expansion of antiscience aggression in the United States. It’s arising from far-right extremism,” the paper, published in the peer-reviewed Public Library of Science (PLOS) Biology journal, begins.
“A band of ultraconservative members of the US Congress and other public officials with far-right leanings are waging organized and seemingly well-coordinated attacks against prominent US biological scientists. In parallel, conservative news outlets repeatedly and purposefully promote disinformation designed to portray key American scientists as enemies,” it reiterates.
He links the alleged assault of scientists to a broader attempt of supporters of the “America First” movement to bring about a “modern day authoritarian regime”:
Prior to 2021, a program of antiscience disinformation that dismissed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic was aggressively pursued by a White House committed to policies of “America First”. The America First element of the far right focuses on nativism, anti-immigration, and a foreign policy built around strong military build-up and deterrence, and confrontation with China. A darker view links it to voter suppression, and loyalty tests to the former President that question the veracity of the 2020 Presidential election. Harvard University political scientist, Steven Levitsky (the co-author of How Democracies Die), point out how these elements converge to form a modern day authoritarian regime, seeking to concentrate power among a selected few while limiting the reach of opposition groups.
Hotez even draws comparisons to the intentions of the Trump administration and its “America First” allies to those of Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Marxists and Leninists:
Historically, such regimes viewed scientists as enemies of the state. In his 1941 essay, Science in the Totalitarian State, Waldemar Kaempffert, outlines details using the examples of Nazism under Hitler, Fascism under Mussolini, and Marxism and Leninism . For example, under Stalin, the study of genetics and relativity physics were treated as dangerous western theories, and potentially in conflict with official social philosophies of state. Today, there remain examples of authoritarian regimes that hold similar views.
In response, Hotez calls for a public statement in defense of Fauci and other COVID-19 scientists from “President of the United States together with science leaders at the federal agencies,” and even floats that “another possibility is to extend federal hate-crime protections.”
The July 28th paper also highlights the actions of individuals including Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who introduced the “Fire Fauci” act, and other House Republicans tracing COVID-19’s origins to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
“Despite evidence pointing to spillover from a viral infection in bats to additional mammals and ultimately humans accounting for previous coronavirus epidemics, the hearings took on a sinister tone, pointing fingers at virologists both in the US and China,” the paper posits while citing a study on COVID-19’s origins authored by a self-described “consultant” for the Chinese Communist Party. Hotez also defends EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak – whose failure to disclose his conflicts with the Wuhan Institute of Virology led to his recusal from the Lancet COVID-19 commission – for “harassment” and “stalking” by the “far-right media.”