Joe Rogan recently invited Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine and Professor of Pediatrics and Molecular Virology & Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, back on his show in order to engage in a debate with Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on the many issues surrounding vaccines, “misinformation” and Covid policies and protocols.
RFK Jr. had just appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience in a wide-ranging 3 hour interview. Rogan’s podcast has become one of the most popular programs across all media outlets, exceeding viewership of mainstream outlets like Fox News and CNN.
Rogan offered Peter Hotez $100,000, to be donated to a charity of Hotez’ choice, to come on his show, sit directly across the table from RFK Jr. and engage in an open forum debate.
Multiple other individuals offered additional cash, upping the current ante to $2.62 million, in an effort to persuade Mr. Hotez to come to the table.
Hotez declined stating, “I’ve offered to come and talk to Joe Rogan again, and have that discussion with him, but not to turn it into the Jerry Springer show with having RFK Jr. on.”
What was immediately buried, or completely ignored, in the mainstream media reportage on the matter, is that this challenge was in response to Hotez’ accusation that Rogan, by having RFK Jr. on his program, was engaged in what he called “vaccine misinformation”, obliquely hinting at the need for Spotify to censor Rogan’s podcast.
While it is generally prudent policy to avoid becoming entwined in the universe of social media ‘brouhahas’ and personality wars it’s important to understand that that’s not what this is.
This recent back-and-forth highlights some of the more egregious, yet commonplace, examples of the current state of affairs, illustrating how the “pro-science” crowd refuses to engage in honest, open dialogue; how these “arbiters of truth” openly attack anyone who challenges their ‘articles of faith’ and perhaps most insidiously how these custodians of ‘absolute truth’ are willing to go so far as to call for punitive actions against any ‘heretic’ who challenges their gospel.
As one of the more prominent evangelists of the Covid catechism, “expert vaccinologist” Peter Hotez is not just some ordinary character. These past three years of seemingly endless media appearances have elevated this unknown academic to near celebrity status. On the Mt. Rushmore of Covid TV personalities Professor Hotez sits right next to the likes of Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates and Scott Gottlieb as the anointed keepers of the keys to the kingdom of science.
Hotez has refused to defend his positions in less compliant media formats about the veracity of his “science”, opting to become one of the more incendiary characters who embodies the Medical Cartel’s desire to silence any and all critics of the vaccine religion.
It’s worth highlighting just a few of Hotez’ previous statements to illustrate the reactionary nature of his positions.
In 2022 in a neatly packaged video published on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) twitter page Dr. Peter Hotez was quoted as saying, “Anti-vaccine activism, which I actually call anti-science aggression, has now become a major killing force globally.”
Hotez declared, “Anti-science now kills more people than things like gun violence, global terrorism, nuclear proliferation, or cyber-attacks.”
In that same video he went on to pronounce, “In the U.S. it’s linked to far [sic] extremism on the far right, same in Germany. So this is a new face of anti-science aggression. And so we need political solutions to address this.”
Nowhere in the video did Dr. Hotez provide a shred of evidence for his sensationalized allegations, nor was any evidence provided for what he calls “anti-science aggression” being linked to extremists.
In a longer piece published in Jan. 2021 at PLOS Biology titled, “Anti-science kills: From Soviet embrace of pseudoscience to accelerated attacks on US biomedicine”, Dr. Hotez takes on, or makes up, an entire raft of “anti-science” conspiracy claims tossing in an audacious conflation to Stalin’s Great Purge for good measure.
In that piece Dr. Hotez makes the following claim, “Central to White House anti-science promotion efforts were attempts by key officials to downplay the severity of COVID-19 and its long-haul consequences, inflate the curative properties of certain medicines such as hydroxychloroquine, falsely attribute COVID-19 deaths to comorbidities in order to artificially reduce actual disease mortality rates, and make scientifically unsubstantiated claims about herd immunity (or its links to the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued without evidence that restrictions cause more harm than the virus). There were also efforts to discredit the effectiveness of face masks to prevent COVID-19 or to refuse implementing mask mandates, invoking at times new political terms or slogans that gained popularity in recent years such as “health freedom” or “medical freedom.”
In typical fashion the Hotez hyperbole continued, “These developments suggest that an anti-science confederacy or empire may be on the verge of expanding across the Northern Hemisphere. A triumvirate of medical freedom initiatives in the US, Russian disinformation, and far right wing extremist groups in Western Europe, now accelerates mistrust in vaccines and COVID-19 prevention.”
To combat this “anti-science empire” he suggested the involvement of multiple government agencies, “In the US, deconstructing anti-science would require shaping an interagency government task force, which might include representation from the major US Department of Health and Human Services (e.g., CDC, FDA, or US National Institutes of Health (NIH)), but also the Departments of Justice, State, Commerce, and Homeland Security.”
In another piece published in PLOS Biology in 2021 titled, “Mounting antiscience aggression in the United States”, Hotez suggests that criticisms of prominent scientists should be taken under consideration under federal “hate crime protections.”
In a 2021 interview, published in the AMA-ASSN journal, Hotez continued the demagoguery asserting that “disinformation” and “anti-vaccine” sentiment is linked to QAnon and/or is fueled by Putin.
Continuing with the inflammatory terminology he declared, “If you look at the language used by the speeches at the anti-vaccine, anti-mask protest in London and Berlin and Paris, and Berlin one, they actually stormed the Reichstag. It was the same kind of health freedom rhetoric that came out of the U.S., out of Texas, and even reports from the BBC and New York Times that it was linked to QAnon. This has taken a very dark turn with this globalization. And, of course, that wasn’t complicated enough, so now we have Putin weighing in on this and the Russian government has launched what’s being called this program of weaponized health communication, where they’re actually filling our airways and our social media with anti-vaccine messages.”
Throughout all of the countless media appearances and articles two things remain consistent with Dr. Hotez’ diatribes: 1) He rarely if ever provides evidence for his claims; 2) He appears only on media outlets that allow him to make these extravagant claims without being challenged.
Why is this? Why is this allowed?
The most obvious answer to the first question seems likely to bring us to the nettlesome conclusion that no such evidence exists.
The answer to the second question takes us to the heart of the matter- Dr. Hotez is not your boilerplate pediatrician or vaccinologist but, like Fauci and Gottlieb, is a spokesman for the medical industrial complex which will never allow open debate on the propaganda channels that it bankrolls.
Nevertheless, through the looking glass of Peter Hotez if you are not willing to inject yourself with an experimental pharma product produced by a serial felon you are either “anti-science”, “a conspiracy theorist”, “a Russian bot or troll” or you must be a “crazed anti-vaxxer”, part of an “anti-science confederacy”, “affiliated with QAnon” or in some way linked to “far right extremism.”
Of course in Peter’s World it is also possible one could be a combination of these things or even all of these things at once.
What’s not possible in Peter’s fevered imaginings is that one has done extensive studying on these issues, has pored over copious documentation on these matters, has arrived at certain conclusions based on years of independent research and continues to educate themselves on these important topics.
What these latest maneuverings and evasions by Peter Hotez illustrate is more of the same and provide an important lesson for us all.
Those claiming that the “science is settled”, who refuse the ideal opportunity to prove their intellectual and analytical chops, do not believe in science- they believe in propaganda.
Science is not a religious dogma set in stone, it’s an ever-evolving knowledge-base that changes and improves through inquiry, dissent and skepticism. Real science thrives with the questioning, shuffling and re-shuffling of scientific findings.
If Peter Hotez were sincerely in pursuit of “scientific truth” would he not welcome the opportunity to go toe to toe with the individual who sits at the top of the mountain of the “anti-science aggression” that he decries?”
For the truth loves being challenged; lies don’t.
For a comprehensive appraisal into the question, “Who is Peter Hotez?”, see the following: