A group of Republicans on the House Oversight Committee have accused Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy of "colluding with Big Tech" by working with social media companies to combat misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
"The First Amendment protects all Americans’ right to free speech – speech free from government intervention, free from government intrusion, and most importantly, free from government censorship. The First Amendment is not suspended in times of crisis; in fact, it should be amplified," the members of Congress wrote in a letter to Murthy, which was first obtained by Fox. The Republicans go on to say that "unfortunately, in an apparent effort to stifle scientific and medical debate, the Biden Administration is taking affirmative steps to moderate and censor Americans’ speech. This is unconscionable."
They continue: "It it clear that the Biden Administration’s goal is to actively censor the American people. This is particularly concerning considering Big Tech’s collusion with the science community to suppress the theory Covid-19 originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology – a theory the Biden Administration recently admitted is likely."
The Republicans who organized the letter include House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer of Kentucky, as well as Reps. Bob Gibbs of Ohio and Byron Donalds of Florida. They request a variety of documents from Murthy, including all of his office’s communications with some of the largest social media companies, including Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet.
"It should concern every American of every political stripe that Big Government is teaming up with Big Tech to merge into Big Brother," Gibbs told Fox in a statement.
Murthy told PBS Newshour on Thursday that "the reason I issued a surgeon general's advisory on health misinformation last week and called on technology companies and other stakeholders to do more is because health misinformation is harming our health."
He added, "we deserve to be able to make the right decisions for ourselves based on accurate information. A lot of people don't have that."
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