DAVE ROSS

Amazon temporarily banned a COVID book, Elon Musk fought back

Jun 12, 2020, 3:13 PM
Amazon, antitrust...
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Ryder/Getty Images)

Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson found that a book he’d written was temporarily banned from Amazon, and joined Seattle’s Morning News to discuss the experience of watching Elon Musk defend him.

The book “Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns” sprang from a series of tweets in which Berenson argued against the lockdowns.

“I’ve been tweeting about coronavirus and arguing basically that the lockdowns are certainly overstated as a response to the crisis and probably counterproductive … I put this (book) up Wednesday night a week ago on their platform, their Kindle Direct platform, which is their self-publishing platform.”

He didn’t think there would be an issue as he’s published several books before.

“Given my background and given the fact that this is not a conspiracy theory, this is just data and facts that I’ve compiled with links,” Berenson said. “… The next morning I get a notice from Amazon … it just says ‘This is rejected. If you want to publish it, consider removing references to COVID-19.'”

UW Virology head ‘cautiously optimistic’ as Washington begins to reopen

Berenson appealed to his more than 100,000 Twitter followers, and some in the media began to speak on his behalf, more on the right than on the left, and barely any mainstream journalists, he said. As Dave noted, the rumor on Berenson is that he’s some fringe coronavirus denier, so Dave asked him directly.

“Except I’m not a fringe COVID denier, as the book makes clear. It says that more people die of COVID than the flu, and it’s actually not that close,” he said. “But it also says the people who are dying are very old for the most part; the median age of death is in the low 80s almost everywhere, and oftentimes they’re very sick.”

“If we’re gonna talk about lockdowns, we need to talk about the realities of who’s getting sick and who’s dying,” he added.

Amazon eventually backed down and relented. Why? It may relate to Elon Musk joining the fray.

“Elon Musk, who obviously is a world renowned figure and runs two massive companies and has 35 million followers on Twitter, takes on Jeff Bezos directly. He says, ‘This is insane,’ and he says, ‘You’re a monopoly, Amazon. You should be broken up as well.'”

“Two hours later, Amazon emailed me and they said, ‘We’re publishing this,’ and they went on to tell people, ‘Oh, it was a mistake.’ Now I can tell you I have now heard from several other people whose COVID books they have refused to publish,” Berenson said. “So the only mistake they made was picking on somebody who had a megaphone big enough to yell back at them. And the kicker on this story is that since then the book went to number one in Kindle over the weekend.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

balloon...
Dave Ross

Ross: Was it a Chinese spy balloon, or luxury space travel prototype?

The defense department says it has been tracking a huge Chinese balloon over Montana
2 days ago
police...
Dave Ross

Ross: ‘Police used as substitute for properly funding social services’

The reason we keep seeing abuses like the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols in Memphis. It’s rooted in American culture.
3 days ago
millenials...
Dave Ross

Ross: More millennials need their parents help, but for how much longer

Dave was shocked to hear about the latest statistics from Money.com on the number of millennials being subsidized by their parents.
4 days ago
morning...
Dave Ross

Ross: Morning people have the ideal lifestyle, it’s just science!

When I took this morning job, there wasn’t much competition. It was basically, "we need someone who can be here at 4:45 a.m.”
5 days ago
tiktok challenge kia...
Dave Ross

Ross: Kia is getting sued for thefts, but why not TikTok?

According to Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison, Hyundai and Kia thefts are so out of control in Seattle that its a public nuisance.
6 days ago
awe...
Dave Ross

Ross: An odyssey of awe, a leaky ceiling and the power of self-confidence

Three weeks ago, Colleen and I interviewed researcher Dacher Keltner on the subject of Awe – which he defines as follows.
10 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Amazon temporarily banned a COVID book, Elon Musk fought back