Five people injured by COVID-19 vaccines, including the father of a 16-year-old boy who died of cardiac arrest after getting the shot, are suing the Biden administration and top-ranking U.S. public health officials.
The New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) on Monday announced they filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s mass-censorship program and the “shocking role that it has played (and still plays) in ensuring that disfavored viewpoints deemed a threat to its agenda are suppressed.”
The lawsuit claims the U.S. government and public health officials are working in concert with social media companies and the Stanford Internet Observatory’s Virality Project to censor, suppress, and label as “misinformation” speech expressed by those who have suffered vaccine-related injuries—and monitors and censors their online support groups.
“This sprawling censorship enterprise has involved the efforts of myriad federal
agencies and government actors (including within the White House itself) to direct, coerce, and, ultimately, work in concert with social media platforms to censor, muffle, and flag as “misinformation” speech that conflicts with the government’s preferred narrative—including
speech that the government explicitly acknowledges to be true,” the complaint states.
Plaintiffs include Brianne Dressen, injured during AstraZeneca’s clinical trial, Shaun Barcavage—injured by Pfizer; Kristi Dobbs—injured by Pfizer; Dr. Nikki Holland—injured by Moderna; Suzanna Newell, and Ernest Ramirez, who lost his son five days after his first Pfizer dose.
NCLA stated all six plaintiffs” rely on social media to share personal experiences, exchange advice, discuss medical research, and provide or receive support in private groups from others who were injured after getting the COVD vaccine. Yet, their use of social media has been met with heavy and ongoing censorship.”
Defendants include members of the Biden administration, numerous public health officials from U.S. agencies, and the director and research manager at Stanford Internet Observatory.
The complaint refers to Defendants’ words, documents from Twitter and the government itself, and discovery produced in Missouri v. Biden, which documents Defendants’ extensive efforts in “staggering detail.”
Those documents show numerous federal agencies, including the White House, Office of the Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dept. of Homeland Security, and CISA—as well as government/private joint censorship enterprises, including the Stanford Internet Observatory’s “Virality Project,” target and suppress COVID vaccine-related speech and viewpoints that question the safety and efficacy of the shots, or views of those who express concern about side effects.
The NCLA is urging the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas to prohibit government-sponsored censorship, declare the state action unlawful, and prevent Defendants from further censorship.
“Even if they were spreading false information, under the First Amendment, the federal government plays no role in policing these Plaintiffs’ private speech or picking winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. Nor may the government induce, encourage, or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish—that is, censor truthful speech about vaccine injuries. But that is just what the federal government
has been doing as it chips away at the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and replaces it with government-induced censorship,” NCLA, a nonpartisan, nonprofit civil rights group, said in a press release.
Casey Norman, NCLA’s litigation counsel, said the government “claims that it suppresses so-called misinformation for the sake of public safety and welfare.” Still, it’s the government’s view Americans can’t trust their own minds and “must be shielded at all costs from mis-, dis-, and malinformation—which is whatever the government deems it to be.”
“Fortunately, the First Amendment says otherwise: the government may neither censor our clients nor induce others to do so,” Norman added.
Patty Little, senior litigation counsel for NCLA, said:
“Americans injured by experimentally approved COVID vaccines are being deplatformed, silenced, suppressed, defamed and cancelled by their own government for reaching out to others simply to share and receive information critical to their physical and mental well-being. Government actors have bullied, threatened and coerced social media companies to strip these plaintiffs of their First Amendment rights of association and speech.
Little added that suppressing speech critical of the government by government actors mandating the shots is frightening.
“NCLA’s lawsuit seeks to restore these plaintiffs’ civil liberties and the free flow of information guaranteed by the First Amendment for all Americans,” she said. “We must never again lose our constitutional bearings in a pandemic.”