How Politics Corrupted Science: Dr. Vinay Prasad on COVID

Q&A with Dr. Vinay Prasad, a practicing hematologist-oncologist and associate professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco

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“What I think is most problematic is that we [in the medical field] were a bit dishonest in saying we had more confidence than we really did,” says Vinay Prasad, a practicing hematologist-oncologist and associate professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco. “The place that I have been most critical of the pandemic response is communication around the certainty of the evidence when it is, in fact, a lot more uncertain.”

Prasad, an outspoken and persistent critic of what he views as an incompetent, censorious, and overly invasive response by the American public health establishment to the COVID-19 pandemic, is also the host of the podcast Plenary Session, which covers medicine and health policy. He spoke to Reason about the major hit in public trust that public health agencies, the medical profession, and science in general have taken during the pandemic by insisting that Americans blindly “trust the science.”

“It’s more complicated than just ‘the science,'” says Prasad. “It’s science plus values and preferences of the population. What I think is the misstep is that the scientists, they have a policy conclusion in their mind that they want. And so they overstate the certainty of the science so they can get their desired policy conclusion. But that is a scientist usurping the political role, usurping, I think, the values and preferences of society. And they replace it with their own values and preferences, which they are completely entitled to have as one citizen among many, but [that doesn’t mean] that their values and privacy should dominate.”

Prasad, who spoke with Reason about the failure of lockdowns, overzealous mask and vaccine mandates, and unscientific school closures and restrictions on children, says that “groupthink” overtook the medical establishment early in the pandemic and is something physicians, public health officials, and scientists must resist if they’re ever to regain the public’s trust.

“The people who talked about cancel culture being problematic across all domains of life I think are really on to something,” says Prasad. “I’m 100 percent sure that the majority of scientists who could have commented on COVID-19 have self-censored. The people you’re hearing are a very, very tiny fraction of all the people that are actually doing science. We have no idea what the average scientist thinks about masking two-year-olds or vaccinating five-year-old mandates. They’re very quiet, and they are quiet because they have almost no professional upside to speak out on the issue. Only professional downside.”

But Prasad says that more medical professionals must find the courage to speak honestly if they want to restore public trust and save the younger generation from lasting harm.

“There are lots of people who study early life course development, and they study social economics, and they study disparities,” says Prasad. “If you are silent on school closure…masking kids and these issues, this is the greatest issue in your career, in your lifetime. It’s going to be a thousand times, 10,000 times more impactful…If you’re in this business because you want to make a difference, this is the issue. This is the issue to make a difference on. It’s not five years from now.”

Interview by Zach Weissmueller; edited by Adam Czarnecki.

Written by ReasonTV


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  1. I had something, probably covid in Feb 2020, not diagnosed and it did not spread to anyone in household or who
    I was in close contact with. I think there are a lot of myths about covid…a lot of hysteria generating big bucks and big brother.

  2. Why haven't these capable scientists acknowledged that the Pfizer court documents revealed fraud in their trial process and reports (probably true for the other manufacturers too)?
    Why haven't they acknowledged that approval and support for the mRNA product was with ONLY marketing info? That Pfizer, and neither FDA/CDC, wanted to share this raw data for, at least, 75 years?

    What about the few studies which indicate that, actually, 60 to 80% of humanity had natural immunity against covid?

    Shouldn't those facts, at least, modify the perspective and advise on mRNA vaccination or the granted EUA?

  3. This guy believes the covid vaccine works and I wonder how many boosters he got? Many top scientists believe the vaccine is not worth the risk as millions have been injured and have died.

  4. In my church I see vulnerable elderly sitting in amongst the congregation nievley wearing cloth masks, all around are those singing. Yet there is a compfortable auditorium where they may sit far more safely even without masks .
    I liken it to the soldier with a cloth bullet proof vest

  5. You call them MISTAKES, are you kidding me? Either you have zero clue of what happened to erode public trust OR you need to keep your words "Youtube" friendly or they will censor your video. Ironic huh?

  6. Biden must drop the amendment that he’s planning to put forth at the World Health Assembly in Geneva (May 22-28) that would cede all authority on US health care decisions to the WHO. The best way to get this done is an idea from Michele Bachmann—a strike of Republicans in the Congress.

    If Republicans in the Congress go on strike TODAY, Bachmann said that it would make it impossible to get a quorum in Congress and would effectively shut Congress down—until Biden drops his plans to present this amendment to give our sovereignty away.

    Frank Gaffney on Steve Bannon’s War Room called on Republicans in Congress to follow Michele Bachman's plan, the best idea out there, to strike until J Biden drops his amendment to give US sovereignty to the WHO.

    But Republicans are probably figuring they plan to win big in the November midterms & can fight the WHO treaty then. But what if Naomi Wolf's fears are true? What if November mid terms are cancelled if Biden gets the WHO to declare a "medical emergency" & shut down US elections–similar to the situation in Shanghai?

    If midterm elections are shut down in November by a “health emergency” declared by the WHO then Republicans have no chance to win big, do they? Please get on the phone with Republican Congresspeople. We can’t wait for midterms. There might not be any midterms if Biden gets the WHO to quash elections. Republicans in Congress have to know that they might not get a chance to win big this coming November if Biden blocks elections—SO THE REPUBLICANS HAVE TO ACT TODAY AND STRIKE IN THE CONGRESS.

    Wolf has noted that Biden has been flying people in from the Southern Border for months & depositing them into American cities across the country in the dark of the night. And what if these “people” are fighters that JB has been assembling and bringing in from the open Southern border to blunt American protests–like Trudeau did to truckers' protests in Canada w the goons he had who wore no ID & their faces were not even visible. Many theorized that these unidentified goons of Trudeau’s were from the UN.

    Biden knows he’s going to be impeached AND CONVICTED if midterm elections turn the Congress Republican this coming November. That’s WHY he wants to cede power to the WHO, so Tedros can declare a medical emergency this October—an October Surprise—and shut down the midterms.

    Especially disturbing about this scheme is its provision to transfer control of declaring emergencies from the US and other member nations of the UN, some 190 nations, to WHO. So Biden wants to turn the US and others into Shanghai? And, isn't turning this kind of authority over to the WHO actually turning it over to Bill Gates and the Big Pharma vax cabal? Gates is still trying to tell us that Corona Virus came from bats! No, it was manufactured in a lab, and released from a lab–and Tedros of WHO helped to try to cover this up! Tedros is a shill for the Chinese Communist Party. So Biden’s plan to cede authority to the WHO is really a plan to cede US sovereignty to Bill Gates, the Chinese Communist Party, and to the Big Pharma Vax lobby.

    In this whole PLANdemic, Biden and the various government agencies (CDC, NIH, and HHS) that act as shills for the pharmaceutical/vaccine companies are being found out, and criminal charges are beginning to be filed, especially thanks to the work of Naomi Wolf (her website and hundreds of volunteers from Steve Bannon’s War Room audience.

    Biden knows what he is doing might be the subject of one of these criminal investigations, that’s why he has kept his plan secret all these months. If Republicans let this go, the six months to the planned mid term elections is not enough time for the states and civil society groups to make a legal argument against any amendments, 18 months is barely enough time, therefore the amendment denied due process on its face and is void ab initio. It is a criminal offense to keep secret plots against the US (18 US Code 2382-Misprison of treason). Biden knows this, and he is desperate. He is like a cornered rat and will do anything and everything to survive.

  7. In Canada every sickness are Covid. My brother death is suspicious death. Drs. and Nurses had different opinions of what cause, they were not allowed me to be with him in emergency even he disabled can't speak or defense himself, he got bad injury and they said to me "I don't know ". I never trust the system. They pick and choose who to let go especially elderly and disabilities, and mental illness because they have been oppressing, voiceless, and hopes and trust to the one called experts and have credentials. He gone on Feb 14, 2022. He just snatched from me so quickly.

  8. Thank you for enlightenment, I like your ideology, you have spoken the truth. I hope your message inspires the listeners like me. They should treasure lives than money. We should take good Legacy with us when we leave this world. Let next generations remember us in a good ways.

  9. I love your commentary but I feel that those injured by the shot are being marginalized. It’s not a pimple on the chin, people have truly suffered after getting the shot. Why is there no compensation for them?

  10. The mask is a symbol that something is wrong, and it keeps people on the backfoot. In my mind I wouldn't know that anything was wrong. My wife and I come from large families, that is spread all over the world, and don't know of anybody that has died from COVID at all.

  11. Eighty years of public health experience and policy were ignored. Treatment is the first tool out of the bag for breaking the cycle of spread – vaccination is for mop up. Treatment is much faster than vaccination at reducing infectiousness. We've literally known and used this fact since World War II.

    Masks outside of a highly saturated environment never made sense and the spread patterns quickly made it clear that masks weren't effective.

  12. I'm glad Dr. Vinay FINALLY figured this out. I first saw him on the ZDogg show but wasn't impressed. He wasn't as bad as zdogg the pharma fan… but this was so obvious by that time… He had his head stuck up his ____.
    Still, glad he eventually got un-stuck.

  13. Love this doc!!!! He’s a critical thinker w/Tenacity and that’s sorely lacking today!
    Perhaps he could comment on the Together Trial that’s so controversial.

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