Mayo Clinic Suspended Professor For Comments On Wuhan Virus and Transgenderism
The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science suspended a professor for going against “prescribed messaging” and imposed a gag order on him, the Foundation For Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) stated. The college dished out the punishment despite its purported vows to faculty and students that it would uphold the principles of free speech.
On March 5, 2023, professor Michael Joyner received a suspension without pay for getting in touch with the press, which he usually does as an accomplished academic.
After he made remarks about plasma treatment for the Wuhan virus and transgender sports performance on The New York Times, CNN, and other outlets, Mayo Clinic declared he “failed to communicate in accordance with prescribed messaging.”
Administrators said that “reflect[ed] poorly on Mayo Clinic’s brand and reputation” and led them to “question whether … [he is] able to appropriately represent Mayo Clinic in media interactions.”
It should be noted that Joyner did not speak for the college, he only spoke for himself as an independent academic commentator. In letters that FIRE sent to the college, it outlined how faculty members have the right to speak as private citizens.
After he was suspended without pay, Joyner was informed he must review “each individual media request through Public Affairs … [to] determine what topics are appropriate and are responsible for protecting Mayo Clinic’s brand and reputation” and stop “engagement in offline conversations with reporters.”
Joyner was effectively silenced based on the instructions Mayo Clinic sent him. When Joyne does speak out, he has to talk about “approved topics only and stick to prescribed messaging.”
FIRE claimed that Mayo Clinic violated the institution’s Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom Policy, which vows “academic freedom and freedom of expression for all learners and faculty … which includes the right to discuss and present scholarly opinions and conclusions without fear of retribution or retaliation” even “if those opinions and conclusions conflict with those of the faculty or institution.”
In response to FIRE’s letter about defending free speech and academic freedom, Mayo Clinic said disciplinary “action taken against Dr. Joyner did not involve a gag order and did not violate our academic freedom policy.”
It’s no exaggeration to say that universities and other institutions of higher learning are leftist think tanks that don’t care for free speech. At such institutions, no one can express dissent without facing some form of punishment.
If we want to restore academic freedom in the US, nationalists must use political power to punish deviant universities by denying them government funding and using all mechanisms possible to fire academic figures and officials who engage in censorious behavior.