Biden White House Pressured Amazon to Delist Books Related to COVID Vaccine, Emails Show
Evidence has been uncovered revealing that the Biden administration pressured retail giant Amazon to remove listings of books related to COVID vaccines during the pandemic. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government released a series of emails sent between Amazon and senior White House officials, showing that the company eventually hid listings for books critical of vaccines from being viewed by the public at the administration’s behest.
In an email sent from former White House senior advisor Andrew Slavitt to Amazon on March 2, 2021, he asks, “Who can we talk to about the high levels of propaganda and misinformation and disinformation of [sic] Amazon?” Later that day, Slavitt sent a follow-up email stating, “If you search for ‘vaccines’ under books, I see what comes up. I haven’t looked beyond that but if that’s what’s on the surface, it’s concerning.”
The email exchange shows that Amazon officials initially declined to perform “a manual intervention” to keep vaccine-related book titles from appearing in customer searches. It also revealed that the company was exploring implementing a flagging system for vaccine-related books, similar to how Twitter and other social media companies flagged posts related to COVID vaccines as potential “misinformation.”
Only a week later, emails disclosed that the Biden administration’s efforts worked. A week after Slavitt’s original query, emails show that Amazon met with White House officials on March 9, 2021. That very day, an internal Amazon email was uncovered that stated, “As a reminder, we did enable Do Not Promote for anti-vax books whose primary purpose is to persuade readers vaccines are unsafe or ineffective on 3/9, and will review additional handling options for these books.”
The revelations come in the wake of what came to light last March, when independent journalist Matt Taibbi testified before Congress about how the “Twitter Files” revealed that multiple agencies within the Biden administration had set up a “formal system” of contacting social media companies to request that posts be censored. “We learned Twitter, Facebook, Google, and other companies developed a formal system for taking in moderation requests from every corner of government, from the FBI, the DHS, the HHS, DOD, the Global Engagement Center at State, even the CIA,” he stated.
On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss the revelations about Amazon along with new evidence about the federal government’s involvement in using artificial intelligence to enable online censorship.
“The difference between the Right and the Left on this is that the Right embraces the opportunity for knowledge and exploration and different viewpoints and comparing them to one another, and the Left wants to control the very nature of truth itself,” he contended. “Part of how they control the nature of truth is to try to infect young minds with all of this nonsense that really has no place in adolescence or the public education system. And they’re trying to shape a particular viewpoint there that deviates from the traditional family and really just traditional life in society.”
Gaetz continued, “At the same time, if you’ve got scientific data or analysis that you want to publish that talks about vaccine injuries or herd immunity, you had people literally in the White House, people at the Department of Homeland Security, people that were senior advisors to the president of the United States using the awesome power of government to try to manipulate and cajole companies like Amazon and others to proliferat[e] a political stance, not an exploration for knowledge.”
Last year, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) along with Louisiana’s AG office filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for violating the First Amendment in its involvement with social media censorship. Bailey has characterized the administration’s actions as “the worst First Amendment violations in this nation’s history.” The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments for the case on March 18.
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.