According to The New York Times, I am the No. 1 spreader of coronavirus misinformation online, yet my name doesn’t even show up among the top 15 in a Crowdtangle search for Facebook posts
The reporter, Sheera Frenkel, claimed the Food and Drug Administration has levied multimillion-dollar fines against me. This is a complete fabrication, as the FDA has never fined me
Frenkel also implied that I misrepresent myself as a published author of a paper on vitamin D for COVID-19 by stating she was “unable to verify” my claim, despite being given a direct link to the paper. My paper can also be located on PubMed.gov in seconds by searching my name
July 24, 2021, The New York Times upped the ante on the dark money witch hunt against critical thinkers by publishing an article1 that states I am “The Most Influential Spreader of Coronavirus Misinformation Online.” The article was also republished in many other media outlets; it reads, in part:2
"Researchers and regulators say Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician, creates and profits from misleading claims about Covid-19 vaccines …
'Mercola is the pioneer of the anti-vaccine movement,' said Kolina Koltai, a researcher at the University of Washington who studies online conspiracy theories. 'He's a master of capitalizing on periods of uncertainty, like the pandemic, to grow his movement' …
President Biden has blamed online falsehoods for causing people to refrain from getting the injections. But even as Mr. Biden has urged social media companies to 'do something about the misinformation,' Dr. Mercola shows the difficulty of that task …
And rather than directly stating online that vaccines don't work, Dr. Mercola's posts often ask pointed questions about their safety and discuss studies that other doctors have refuted. Facebook and Twitter have allowed some of his posts to remain up with caution labels, and the companies have struggled to create rules to pull down posts that have nuance …
Dr. Mercola has appeared more approachable because he takes less radical positions than his peers, Ms. Koltai said. 'He takes away from the idea that an anti-vaccination activist is a fringe person,' she said."
To Whom Are Pointed Questions Dangerous?
Perhaps the most telling part of this slanderous piece is that next-to-last paragraph: "[R]ather than directly stating online that vaccines don't work, Dr. Mercola's posts often ask pointed questions about their safety and discuss studies …" What a sad commentary of the progressive censorship that simply forbids anything that contradicts the CDC and WHO.
In response to the accusation that I'm the No. 1 spreader of vaccine misinformation, I told the author, Sheera Frenkel, that I have a hard time understanding how I could possibly undermine Biden's multibillion-dollar vaccination campaign when many of my Facebook posts only receive a few hundred likes or shares. And even though we have 1.7 million followers, FB has throttled our reach to less than 1% of them, and 99% never see them.
Any reporter can easily check my social media accounts and see the modest interactions, as well as the accuracy of all posts that somehow categorize me as a "superspreader of misinformation."
I also told her that as the lead author of a peer reviewed publication on vitamin D and the risk of COVID-19, I have every right to inform the public of my medical research. As a licensed medical professional, I also have the right to bring attention to other studies that mainstream media ignores, misrepresents or censors completely.
Frenkel went on to claim she was "unable to verify" that I had indeed published said paper, despite the fact that I supplied her the direct link to the paper. Verifying my claim can also be done in seconds simply by going to PubMed.gov and typing in "Mercola." My peer reviewed study3 pops right up as the first result available. It's published in the journal Nutrients, but you don't need to know that in order to find it.
Defame First, Correct Later
The NYT deploys the strategy of publishing discrediting narratives based on bold lies first, only to later issue corrections that are buried and virtually no one ever sees. Case in point: They recently corrected an article by Jeremy W. Peters in which he defamed and made false statements about investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson,4 but the correction came only after she hired a law firm to pursue legal redress.5
"Frenkel claimed the Food and Drug Administration has levied multi-million dollar fines against me. This is a complete fabrication, as the FDA has never fined me a dime. Frenkel also implied that I misrepresent myself as a published author of a paper on vitamin D for COVID-19 by stating she was 'unable to verify' my claim, despite being given a direct link to the paper."