Baylor Professor Calls for Prosecution of Criticism of Fauci and Other Scientists as Hate Crime

Physicist Richard P. Feynman once said “Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” Feynman’s statement captures how science depends upon constant questioning and challenging of assumptions. Yet, what is healthy debate to some is criminal dissent to others. Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine is calling for federal hate-crime protections to be extended to cover criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci and other scientists. The frequent MSNBC and CNN guest wants Congress to expand hate crimes to “scientists currently targeted by far-right extremism in the United States.”

In a July 28 paper in Plos Biology titled “Mounting Antiscience Aggression in the United States,” Hotez encourages Congress to focus on the “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.”

Hotez insists that it is not enough to support such science but to criminalize attacks on their research. This suggestion is just one of a number of ideas briefly put forward to support scientists but it is the most chilling.  Referring Nazi and fascist movements in history, Hotez argues that good science requires cracking down on the right.  He concludes:

“As Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once pointed out, neutrality or silence favors the oppressor. We must take steps to protect our scientists and take swift and positive action to counter the growing wave of far-right antiscience aggression. Not taking action is a tacit endorsement, and a guarantee that the integrity and productivity of science in the United States will be eroded or lose ground.”

The federal hate crime laws focus on basis of a person’s characteristics of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. We have seen calls for adding professions like police officers, which I also opposed.  As with police officers, the inclusion of such professions would have a direct and inimical impact on free speech in our society. Indeed, it would create a slippery slope as other professions demand inclusion from reporters to ministers to physicians.  Hate crimes would quickly apply to a wide array of people due to their occupations.

What is most striking about the article of Hotez is its lack of analytical balance. He rages against the right without even acknowledging how social media companies have already enforced a massive censorship program that bars even reporting the results of public clinical trials or repeating CDC positions on vaccinations. For a year, Big Tech has been censoring those who wanted to discuss the origins of pandemic and those who suggested the lab theory were attacked as right-wing conspiracy theorists.  It was not until Biden admitted that the virus may have originated in the Wuhan lab that social media suddenly changed its position. Facebook only recently announced that people on its platform will be able to discuss the origins of Covid-19 after censoring any such discussion.

Many of us have criticized the hateful rhetoric on both sides of our politics. However, there remain important debates over not just the underlying science relation to Covid-19 but the implications for such science for public policies. Criminalizing aspects of that debate would ratchet up the threats against those with dissenting views, including some scientists. That would harm not just free speech but science in the long run.

76 thoughts on “Baylor Professor Calls for Prosecution of Criticism of Fauci and Other Scientists as Hate Crime”

    1. Of course not – but it’s inching closer and closer to a crime to say you don’t!

  1. Follow the link to Hotez’s bio and just one look at this guy tells the story – NUTCASE.

    In this progressive era of socialism you have go nuts in order to stand out. Soon they’ll be calling for executions instead of incarceration, which is the end result of being convicted of a hate crime. This is the murderous intent of the Left that has sent tens of millions to the hereafter in every country where it rears its head. It comes to America because we allow it out of some misguided notion Christianity.

    The Left needs to go one way or another.

    1. OzarkAggie,

      We Leftists will not be exterminated by you American Nazis. There will not be another Holocaust. NEVER AGAIN!

      1. You are a disgrace. Jews that still have a head on their shoulders, Democrat, Republican or otherwise, should look at you for what you are, and relegate you to the intellectual junk heap.

          1. “Never Again!“

            You are the carrier of Nazism and racism. You say “Never Again!”, until you find the right killer host to spread your venom.

  2. If you don’t get the vaccine and you get COVID, your chances are vastly greater that you will be hospitalized, enter ICU, and have lifetime sequelae from COVID or even death.

    the science is also this.

    For those under 50, on average their chances of “be[ing] hospitalized, enter[ing] ICU, and hav[ing] lifetime sequelae from COVID or even death” are very low to begin with.

    . Our hospitals are pushed to the max right now because the states interrupted routine and surgical care for three months

    There was sixteen months to expand hospital capacity.

    1. Michael, you make good points.

      The chances are low when considering the overall population. Yes. I agree. But hospitals do not admit the general population and there are many who have neglected their ongoing medical care because services were interrupted or because of a greater fear, mostly irrational, of COVID compared to treatment of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and preventive care such as colonoscopy, etc. Perhaps it also includes an increased number of people who have care because they enrolled in Medicaid. There are many factors to consider.

      Many hospitals presently are at max capacity and beyond in our state and many states. Not just because of COVID but because elective surgery and in-person medical care was interrupted for months. Zoom meetings are okay, but they cannot replace in person care in my opinion.

      When a person has been vaccinated, the chance of hospitalization and need for ICU care is diminished. The 900 lbs gorilla in the room is that COVID impacts the medically vulnerable with conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and COPD. There is a bigger public health crisis which has been ignored and is much more deadly but not politically expedient. Why not publish these statistics alongside COVID? Many of our published deaths are the elderly with underlying conditions.

      The U.S. leads the world in availability of the vaccine. We have family in Sydney who are still in full, shelter-in-place lockdowns. We are looking at 2022 or further before we can visit.

      Unfortunately, it will take years to sift through the objective information before the full truth is finally revealed and understood.

      1. Gosh who demanded medico’s suspend elective treatments? Cancer screenings, follow up appointments?

        What about Theraputics? Where is all the talk of the top 5 therapeutics out there? Prophylactic HCQ, and others? Not a single Dr is telling the story about over the counter options. Why not.

    2. YUP, hospitals are full up because of UNMET need in 2020 ~ we had to delay two cataract surgeries, a stint, and an emergency operation to remove a failed implant in an eye.

      There are millions of others who had to delay similar procedures.

      They literally shut the doors of the local hospitals to people with anything but heart attacks and COVID19.

  3. Ok, so wth is different.. it’s obvious that President Obama brought in the reign of communist terrorism to American taxpaying citizens. The real question is wth are we going to do about it Professor Turley?

    1. Yea, Turley, one of your followers, Judith, got this idiotic notion in her Trumpist head about a reign of communist terrorism in America by reading your commentaries, and now she is entitled to know wtf you intend to do about it?

  4. Questioning others’ BS (critiquing) is now a “hate crime?” I’m sure no one saw that coming.

    1. Don’t educate the public
    2. Make it a crime to question authority
    3. Profit

    Seriously, who didn’t see this coming?

  5. Hotez seems confused as to who is oppressor and who is oppressed, in quoting Wiesel,

    I think someone wants a grant from Fauci.

    1. Hotez is an oppressor. He should be stripped of his degrees, and his licenses, and sent over to AAAA to pick up trash cans.

      (A Chicomistan sort of penalty for a deviationist)

  6. He sounds like a nutcase who hates what Stalin did to scientists but wishes to act just like him. We have a bunch of bloggers that follow in his footsteps.

  7. Wow! Hotez is completely nuts! It’s scary that people like him are running the country.

    1. Hotez is a renowned pro vaccine crusader. He is not satisfied with zero liability for vaccine manufacturers, he wants zero freedom of speech on the topic as well.

  8. No real scientist in their right mind would not invite criticism and scrutiny of their work. Period. If they don’t, then they are not a real scientist. When they publish an article, study, or present a poster at academy, they met certainly attract others in their field and must stand and rigorously defend their work. Science is never “settled.” New ideas and refined concepts come from vigorous debate. There are laws and principles of physics and mathematics and chemistry that are steadfast and widely accepted worldwide, but much of the workings of this world and the universe are yet to be discovered.

    Sadly, there are factions within the scientific community who hold to their beliefs as though it were a religion. Take Darwinism for example. No matter a person’s views of the origins of life, agnostic, atheistic, or religious, Darwin wrote the Origins of Species in 1859. He was a brilliant scientist, had an excellent command of the language, and was willing to swim against the tide. However, he had no concept of molecular biology, biochemistry, or dozens of other disciplines that are now the mainstay in science. Yet, one dare not tread onto the sacred ground of his writings or venture to say that science must now move beyond his proposals that were made so long ago.

    A best fitting line is as good as it gets in most cases. A few years ago, I read an interesting article written by a group of renowned medical researchers. It was a humorous guide to reading clinical studies for clinicians and clinical academics. Catch phrases such as “More studies are needed” really means, “We did not do a good job on this study and we hope someone else will come along and do it better.”

    The person who proposed this needs to get a life. If he doesn’t, perhaps he should go back to the books and remind himself about the tenants of the scientific method. One of the first things I look for when reading a scientific journal is to see if there is a statement of conflict of interests and to search for how the study was funded. I also look for peer review and where they have published. Even then, the new information should be treated with a bit of skepticism.

    So, can Rand Paul, who is an M.D. and eye surgeon grill Fauci without fear of being charged with a hate crime? Are we going to set up an academy of scientists who will tell us what to do and charge us with a crime if we do not bow down to them and follow their every dictum?
    I call B.S.

    I for one am glad that we have a vaccine in this country. It is really sad that everyone is not taking advantage of it. My mother lived in fear for us before the Polio vaccine was created. Look at the good it has done. We live in a world where cancer is largely curable if it is caught in time. We live in a world where don’t lose 2 or 3 children per family in the U.S. because of dysentery or starvation. We can arrest blindness progression from macular degeneration, and so much more!

    The science is this. If you don’t get the vaccine and you get COVID, your chances are vastly greater that you will be hospitalized, enter ICU, and have lifetime sequelae from COVID or even death. Our hospitals are pushed to the max right now because the states interrupted routine and surgical care for three months. In our main hospital, they are putting beds in the hallway and placing a curtain around them. Surgeons are booked two to three months out. That is why you get vaccinated. It is a public service. I used to laugh about the smoking section in a restaurant. A comedian said it was like having a peeing section of a swimming pool. Get vaccinated for respect for your fellow human beings. If you cannot, then talk to your PCP about your options.

    Fauci should retire, enjoy his millions and ride off in the sunset. It is time to move forward with sanity.

    1. “That is why you get vaccinated. It is a public service.”

      No. That is a collectivist justification.

      The proper, individualistic, justification is that an *individual* has, in concert with his physician, considered all the facts relevant to *his* health and *his* life. Then he decides accordingly whether vaccination in his best interest.

      Collectivist appeals to the “public health” or “patriotic duty” are merely preludes to state-mandated vaccinations (or to their barely disguised brethren).

    2. Your post was spot on about how science and the practice of medicine works until you brought up the vaccine(s). Are you saying every doctor waiting for final FDA approval before recommending to their patients these new drugs, is wrong? “Get vaccinated for respect for your fellow human being”…before the now ongoing third-phase trial of the new drugs are complete? What previous experimental drug has been pushed into use on an entire population for an infection with a recovery rate of 99+ percent for healthy people in the past? And why did you include, ““More studies are needed” really means, “We did not do a good job on this study and we hope someone else will come along and do it better.”” in your post if you didn’t mean it for this outbreak? -Curious in Flyover Country

  9. In 1990, Democrats called me a centrist.
    In 2000, Democrats called me center-right.
    In 2010, Democrats called me right wing.
    In 2020, Democrats called me a Fascist
    In 2021, Democrats call me “ultra-conservative” and a “far right extremist”.

    My views have not changed. The Democrat Party has.

  10. JT, if you keep defending traditional notions of free speech you’ll be considered a ‘nazi’ too.

    And don’t think because you will get off the hook because you consider yourself a good liberal.

    Just wait until CRT is used to interpret the Constitution.

    I want a divorce.


  11. Hotez sounds like he’s been Cuomoed. Peer review? Ha, that’s for the climbers. Reach Fauci status and you have no peers.

  12. The left wishes to shutdown any speech that challenges their position.
    PS: Whatever happened to the Durham report??

      1. Many are angry at both parties for their actions, but when it comes to witch-hunts, Democrats are known for their ferocity and lies, while most Republicans can’t seem to get witch-hunts right.


  13. Listening to CNN and MSNBC is only an indication of your ignorance. The drivel they spout throughout the day and their collusion (and personal relationships) with leftist, Democrat politicians illustrates their role as a propaganda arm of the Democrat party. It’s hard to believe the hysteria and illogic of those on the Left.

    I have quarrels with much of Netflix, but their series called How to Become a Tyrant, especially the Idi Amin story, sounds like a playbook utilized by the DNC for the last 20 years. This professor is a rabid supporter of tyrannical leaders and ideas and is certainly no scientist.

    1. Suburbanwoman says: “It’s hard to believe the hysteria and illogic of those on the Left.”

      Leftists think the same about you Trumpists, but DOUBLE! Just sayin’.

  14. His right to spew his be in public.

    But he left no doubt as to what he is.

    Ironically, many of the Lefty posters here also real the ugly facets of their character.

  15. This twit, PINO reminds me of the old saying:. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.

    1. Arthur, while I agree with your opinion that he is a twit, I wish you would refrain from painting teachers with this broad brush. I taught for 43 years and I hope contributed to the success of “those who can.” I wish this old saying would die, maybe be replaced with, “Those who can, do. Good teachers help them learn to do.”

  16. The lack of self awareness is funny and scary. You can’t question science is the epitome of anti-science. Progressive progress marches on.

  17. Just a reminder.

    A genuinely deadly pandemic doesn’t require 24/7 advertising to remind you it exists. Real pandemics don’t need marketing campaigns and endless propaganda, but psychological operations DO.

    1. Spanky…..Excellent point! I give it a big opposable thumb’s up…..a gesture that Hotez cannot physically do.

  18. Why don’t we cut to the chase and start burning the COVID heretics at the stake?

    1. Silly goose…

      Because of all the carbon that will release into the atmosphere, not to mention deforestation (that’s a lot of bodies). Better to simply purée and liquify them, using that as a base for soylent green — it’s not only eco-friendly but will get rid of cow farts too!

      1. lulz

        I guess people cool with GMO’ing themselves will be cool with gamma-ray sterilised soylent.

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