From the HTL archives: Newspapers ‘censored’ news and ads on natural approach to Covid
In the build up to HTL’s second birthday, we are reprinting articles from the early days of the site. In this exclusive investigation from October 2021, Roger Guttridge revealed how major US newspapers were suppressing coverage of natural covid treatments, including turning down thousands of dollars’ worth of advertising revenue
A medical research organisation claims it was blocked at every turn after trying to publicise its research into a natural, science-based approach to Covid-19 in the mainstream media.
Paul Anthony Taylor, executive director of the international Dr Rath Health Foundation, said major newspapers refused to publish not only articles on their findings but advertisements that they were willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for.
Holding the Line has evidence that more than $40,000 was accepted by the Washington Post only to be returned after advertising executives were overruled.
UK-based Mr Taylor said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, our scientific researchers in California did a lot of work with coronaviruses and nutrients and found that combinations of specific micronutrients were extremely effective in blocking coronavirus infections.
“We wanted to put a piece in major newspapers. We talked to several international papers and without giving a reason they just said they couldn’t do that.
“When we realised they wouldn’t publish an article, we thought we would do a paid-for ad with information.
“We talked to senior people in the ad departments of the New York Times, the Washington Post and other international papers and they all turned us down.”
Mr Taylor said studies published by the Foundation’s researchers in peer-reviewed scientific journals demonstrated that specific combinations of micronutrients were capable of blocking all known infection pathways of the coronavirus, including viral binding as well as its multiplications (replication) inside human body cells.
See details of the studies here:
PRESS RELEASE: Natural Compounds Block Binding Site Of Coronavirus To Its ‘Entry Port’ On Human Body Cells
“The ‘entry point’ of SARS-CoV2 into the human body is the so-called ACE2 receptor, found on the surface of human body cells,” said Mr Taylor.
“The binding of the virus to these receptors is currently being targeted by coronavirus vaccines.
“Our research shows that specific micronutrients can inhibit this binding and, at the same time, the multiplication of the virus inside the cells.”
The World Health Organization defines micronutrients as “vitamins and minerals needed by the body in very small amounts” and warns that the deficiencies can cause “severe and even life-threatening conditions”.
Mr Taylor said that despite providing evidence for a science-based alternative to coronavirus vaccines, their researchers’ work in this area received no media attention.
“We agree that alternative Covid-19 news appears to have been censored, seemingly with the intention of creating one ‘official’ narrative,” he said.
“There is no doubt that this lack of balance in reporting has led to public understanding of the pandemic being based on a distorted version of the truth.
“But I have a strong suspicion that the truth will eventually come out.”
Mr Taylor stressed that the not-for-profit Dr Rath Health Foundation’s research was science-based and that no fewer than 125 previous studies by their researchers had been published on the US National Library of Medicine’s PubMed website.
Link to previous DRHF studies on PubMed:
He added: “I can only conclude that their coronavirus findings have essentially been censored in the media.”
Holding the Line has received copies of extensive email correspondence between the Dr Rath Health Foundation and senior advertising staff of both the Washington Post and the New York Times.
On July 2, 2020, the Washington Post’s international sales director offered the Foundation a $3,150 discount off the original $44,100 price and hinted at the possibility of a further discount if they would be flexible on positioning the advertisement.
She was clearly eager to clinch the deal.
A price of $40,600 was later agreed and paid on July 3.
On July 6 the copy for the display advertisement was sent and an insertion date of July 8 agreed.
But later that day, the sales director sent another email quoting the Washington Post’s legal department, which said it would “not accept any advertising for a treatment that claims to treat a serious medical condition unless it has been approved by the FDA” (US Food and Drug Administration).
Mr Taylor replied: “The main point is that the ad doesn’t mention any product. It is simply reporting on a new study conducted by our scientific researchers.
“FDA approval would only be required if the study was making health claims regarding a specific product.
“In other words, even if we were to ask for ‘approval’, the FDA could only give it if we were to apply for it in the context of a specific product.”
On July 7, the sales director wrote: “As you appreciate, there is a huge amount of sensitivity around Covid-19 communication [and] the legal team has instructed that we will not be able to run this advertisement.”
Plans to advertise in the New York Times were also fairly advanced when the paper’s legal department decided it would not publish.
Jörg Wortman, the Dr Rath Health Foundation’s publishing co-ordinator, replied to the New York Times advertising sales department: “We knew that the content would be controversial. But we also knew that it is pure science, what we wanted to present in these crazy times, and only science will offer a perspective to the people.
“I am a bit sad that your legal department made this political decision.”
It is clear from the correspondence that the paper’s advertising executives made further efforts to print the advertisement.
But after further discussions, the legal department announced: “Advertisements for herbal and/or other dietary supplements that claim to prevent, treat or cure serious medical conditions are unacceptable.
“Supplements that generally claim to improve health, energy, stamina and wellbeing are acceptable, but in this situation, Dr Rath is clearly saying that micronutrients and supplements can help treat, prevent and cure Covid.
“Additionally, the FTC (US Federal Trade Commission) has been sending warning letters to marketers to stop making claims that their products can prevent or treat Covid-19.
“The FTC stated that there is no scientific evidence that any products or services can treat or cure Covid-19.”
Armed with this information, the New York Times’s client lead for advertising and partnerships told Mr Wortman: “The only way we could take this ad is if the ad doesn’t talk about supplements and how they can help with Covid, which I think is the whole point of the ad.”
Holding the Line invited both the Washington Post and the New York Times to comment but neither has responded.
Picture credit: Piotr VaGla Waglowski, http://www.vagla.pl via Wikimedia Commons