On Friday, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb ended an interview on CNBC after dodging a question about censorship on social media.
“I’m not going to comment directly on that. He’s threatening litigation, too, so another reason not to respond,” Gottlieb, who currently serves on the board of directors for Pfizer, said when asked about the case of Alex Berenson, a journalist who covered the COVID-19 pandemic.
Berenson sued Twitter after he was banned in August 2021, and was reinstated after a legal settlement in July. “I’ve raised concerns around social media broadly, and I’ve done it on these networks, around the threats that were being made on these platforms and the inability of these platforms to police direct threats, physical threats about people. That’s my concerns around social media and what’s going on in that ecosystem.”
Berenson has since claimed that the Biden administration was placing pressure on Twitter to ban him over his reporting on COVID-19 and vaccines.
“Biden Administration officials asked Twitter to ban me because of my tweets questioning the Covid vaccines, even as company employees believed I had followed Twitter’s rules, internal Twitter communications reveal,” Berenson reported in August. “In a White House meeting in April 2021, four months before Twitter suspended my account, the company faced ‘one really tough question about why Alex Berenson hasn’t been kicked off from the platform,’ a Twitter employee wrote.”
Gottlieb, meanwhile, said during the interview that he is “unconcerned about debate. I’m unconcerned about debate taking place in platforms. I am very concerned when threats are being made, physical threats against people’s safety.”
Gottlieb had previously criticized the Biden administration in 2021 over vaccine mandates, claiming they made the vaccine “political.” He had also slammed China for misleading the world about COVID-19 in April 2020.
“Gottlieb’s non-answers and pathetic attempt to smear me speak for themselves,” Berenson told the Daily Caller after the interview.
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