Alex Berenson has a new cause. Last year, he tried to warn us that cannabis is a contributor to mass murders. Today, he’s pushing the theory that the U.S. reaction to the novel coronavirus is an example of government overreach, a hoax fueled by leftist media, scientists and politicians.
As protesters take to the streets in many American cities to push for reopening the country, you can see Berenson these days on all the FoxNews propaganda programs—Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, who in a moment of clarity questioned his claim that people under the age of 30 were in little or no danger. Berenson’s Twitter feed is a practically non-stop onslaught of confusing facts, figures, charts and diagrams that supposedly supports his hunch. Oh, and his attitude, as it was about his cannabis thesis, is that those who agree with him are among the blessed; those who don’t are wrong and biased and probably too stupid to read and/or analyze their own results.
Tell Your Children: The Truth about Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence came out in early 2019, and reporter-turned-novelist Berenson argues that THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, is causing mental-health issues, especially among younger users, and that psychosis, paranoia, depression, violence, suicide and murder are the real byproducts of legalization. He wants more research into medical marijuana to prove it’s a hoax. “The government should drop all barriers to researching cannabis for medical purposes,” he states. “The reason is not that marijuana is likely to prove a miracle cure for cancer—or anything else. It’s precisely the opposite. Let’s put unfounded claims to rest permanently.”
More than 75 actual scientists and researchers wrote that they disagreed completely with his thesis and proof. “There’s a really interesting thing that happens with some of these researchers, which is that the research is good,” he told an audience in Denver last year promoting Tell Your Children. “But then their ideological bent is so strong that they can’t see what they’re saying.”
See what I mean about looking down on those who disagree with him.
Now, he’s in the hunt for a culprit to the COVID-19 outbreak, and though he says he’s studying it from a non-partisan viewpoint, his appearances on Fox place him deep into the conspiracy world. Last year, the enemy was the “pro-cannabis lobby,” greedy capitalists trying to take advantage of consumers. Today, it’s the leftist media, politicians and scientists, all doing their best to destroy the American economy. The same guy that last year tried to convince us that serial killers commit their evil deeds under the influence of cannabis is now trying to persuade us that the COVID-19 models are wrong, and the actions we’ve taken based on them have been reckless and evil.
Berenson is the perfect TV news presence. Like Doctors Oz and Phil, he looks like he knows what he’s talking about. He told Hannity that his skill is questioning “whether what people say line up with what’s really happening.” But he seems to forget that we’re in the middle of this crisis—or the beginning, or wherever we are. Nobody knows what is really happening. In this atmosphere, government measures can, of course, be seen as overreactions, but we don’t know that yet.
He is right about one thing. There are competing points of view about how to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. If Berenson just admitted that, he might be an effective voice. For now, however, he’s just pushing a new book deal.