Alex Berenson, an author who downplays the severity of COVID-19 and questions vaccines, lockdowns, and other COVID protocols, was permanently suspended from the platform for "repeated violations of our COVID-19 misinformation rules ," a Twitter spokesperson told the reporters.
Berenson confirmed his suspension, saying the tweet that prompted his removal from the platform was completely factual.
"It doesn't stop infection. Or transmission," the tweet said of vaccines. "Don't think of it as a vaccine. Think of it — at best — as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS."
The suspension of Berenson was criticized by some on the conservative side.
"Alex Berenson has been a courageous voice of reason throughout the pandemic. As a result he has been censored. During his suspension on Twitter, you can find him on Substack, http://alexberenson.substack.com . He provides a valuable counter perspective to the group-think mainstream media," Sen. Ron Johnson tweeted .
Others applauded his permanent removal, with Matthew Cortland, a senior fellow at Data for Progress, writing that it took Twitter "far, far too long to remove" Berenson and "that unconscionable delay harmed us all."
Public health officials have repeatedly said in many ways that the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and the two-dose Pfizer vaccine was granted full approval by the Food and Drug Administration just last Monday.
Berenson drew criticism from Fauci for a speech delivered to the Conservative Political Action Conference in which the anti-vaccine influencer accused the U.S. government of attempting to "sucker 90% of the population into getting vaccinated."
"I mean, they are cheering about someone saying that it's a good thing for people not to try and save their lives," Fauci said on CNN's State of the Union in July, calling the crowd's reaction to Berenson's remarks "horrifying."
Berenson previously complained that he experienced Big Tech censorship in June 2020 when Amazon attempted to halt sales of his book, Unreported Truths About COVID-19 And Lockdowns Part 1: Introductions and Death Counts and Estimates, which the retailer said did not comply with the publisher's guidelines.
The idea that Big Tech platforms have been censoring dissenting voices has made headlines since President Trump was completely deplatformed following the Jan. 6. Capitol Hill attack. Twitter, Facebook, and others said Trump's words and actions preceding the attack incited violence and warranted removal.