Journalist and author Alex Berenson, formerly a science writer for the New York Times and known for being one of the most vocal critics of official coronavirus policy, reports that the White House was privately pressuring Twitter in the months prior to his permanent ban from the platform, which was recently overturned after his lawsuit against the social media company was settled.
According to internal discussions between Twitter employees held on Slack, a workplace discussion app, and published by Berenson in his newsletter, White House officials specifically asked Twitter why the skeptical writer had not been banned from the platform.
Andrew Slavitt, senior advisor to President Biden’s Covid response team, complained specifically about me, according to a Twitter employee in another Slack conversation discussing the White House meeting.
“They really wanted to know about Alex Berenson,” the employee wrote. “Andy Slavitt suggested they had seen data viz [visualization] that had showed he was the epicenter of disinfo that radiated outwards to the persuadable public.”
According to an interview he gave to the Washington Post in June 2021, Slavitt worked directly with the most powerful officials in the federal government, including Ron Klain, President Biden’s chief of staff, and Biden himself.
In the months after Slavitt’s meeting with Twitter, President Biden began pressuring social media companies publicly, accusing them of “killing people” by allowing “misinformation” about coronavirus to spread.
After being permanently banned from Twitter shortly after this pressure campaign, Berenson became the first prominent media figure in the U.S. to overturn a permanent ban from the platform through the legal system.
As part of a legal settlement announced this summer, Twitter lifted the ban on Berenson’s account. Other details of the settlement were not disclosed.
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.