The first installment of Berenson's book questioned the metrics on COVID-19 deaths and attacked the media for not being skeptical of forecast death figures back in June. The author wrote at that time: "Media outlets seemed committed to painting as bleak a picture of coronavirus as possible." Amazon banned this first installment in June, which prompted Berenson to vent on Twitter about the retail giant censoring his work "based entirely on published government data and scientific papers."
The second part of Berenson's series that questioned the effectiveness of lockdowns in slowing the spread of the virus was released in August, with Amazon seeing no apparent issue from it. Berenson has emerged as a strong skeptic of how governments are handling the coronavirus pandemic – with his criticism of masks, lockdowns and death counts. His controversial opinions have put him at odds with public health experts.
The third installment of Berenson's book explores the effectiveness of masks and face coverings in protecting people from the coronavirus. He writes in the synopsis: "[Any] proof that masks do any good is far weaker than almost anyone understands."
The former reporter noted that the book "does not say [the] coronavirus isn't real or doesn't kill people … [yet] Amazon won't run it." He further hinted that the technology giant had an agenda with stopping his book, as the company benefited from the pandemic – with lockdowns hugely contributing to a surge in its online sales.
Berenson tweeted on the night of Nov. 24 that he was "censored again," alongside a screenshot of an email from Amazon's Kindle Content Review that said his book was "in violation of our content guidelines." He subsequently tweeted that both digital and print versions of his book were blocked, adding that "censorship is alive and well." Berenson continued: "Every study I reference is quoted verbatim with a link to the original paper. What is going on?"
He then tweeted four hours later that Amazon had "backed down," and its email made no reference to the earlier censorship. Berenson thanked all of his followers for helping "beat the censorship," but remarked that "we shouldn't have to keep doing this."
During a Fox News appearance, Berenson said that Amazon did not explain why his book was pulled in the first place, aside from a generic note indicating that the technology giant had pulled his book. "It's just them backing down without admitting it," he remarked. Alluding to his previous encounter with Amazon, Berenson added: "After [Amazon's] failed attempt to censor me in June, they allowed a second booklet through in August, but not this one. Apparently criticizing lockdowns is okay, but not masks." (Related: WHO: Lockdowns not the primary method for fighting COVID-19, governments must develop "better systems" against pandemic.)
An Amazon spokesperson contacted by The Daily Mail gave no information on either the initial censorship or its subsequent reinstatement of Berenson's book, only confirming it is now available for sale and the author had been informed.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk also put in his two cents regarding Berenson's censorship. Back in June, Musk called for Amazon to be broken up in a tweet addressed to the technology giant's CEO Jeff Bezos. Musk is among those who have repeatedly downplayed the virus; he also dubbed lockdown orders as "fascist." (Related: Elon Musk: It’s 'time to break up Amazon'.)
However, Berenson was not the only author censored by Amazon. In 2015, the company banned Jim Fetzer's book Nobody Died at Sandy Hook over his book's political conclusions. Fetzer wrote that so-called "crisis actors" participated in the incident, and have appeared in earlier events utilized for a certain political agenda. He posited that the 2012 school "shooting" in Connecticut was staged as a drill.