Forbes Attacks Mercola — Gives One Hour to Respond

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

forbes attacks mercola

Story at-a-glance

  • Forbes runs a hit piece on me and other vaccine safety advocates, questioning whether we should have received federal PPP loans given our views on vaccines
  • The argument that we should not receive federal assistance “given our views on vaccines” is as authoritarian as it gets, which is perhaps what one should expect, given that Forbes is owned by a Chinese company
  • Forbes received a PPP loan in the amount of $8,036,000 in April 2020, which raises a far more obvious and reasonable question: Why are American taxpayers subsidizing a Chinese-owned media company?
  • Evidence shows Forbes has, since being bought up by a Chinese media investment company in 2014, lost its editorial independence
  • The PPP non-story was twisted into a supposed “scandal” by yet another propaganda machine: the U.K.-based Center for Countering Digital Hate, which is openly calling for deplatforming anyone who raises questions and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines


This is an older article that may not reflect Dr. Mercola’s current view on this topic. Use our search engine to find Dr. Mercola’s latest position on any health topic.

As censorship and cancel culture gets revved up another notch, it was perhaps inevitable that I would get targeted yet again, this time by The Washington Post, The New York Times and Forbes magazine. January 18, 2021, our media department received an email from Joe Walsh, a Forbes reporter, stating:1

“I understand that … your organization received PPP funds last year, along with several other organizations that have offered skepticism about vaccines, and I’d like to include your response.

What is your position on Pfizer and Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines, and on vaccination as a public health strategy, more generally? Some have characterized your organization as anti-vaccine — what is your response to that characterization?

How do you respond to insinuations from critics that your organization should not have received federal assistance, given your views on vaccines? My deadline is in an hour — thanks in advance.”

First of all, we won’t drop everything to address questions in under an hour. Secondly, what does our stance on vaccine safety have to do with our legal right to conduct business? Nowhere on the paycheck protection program (PPP) loan application must you profess your undying loyalty and adherence to vaccine propaganda.

The argument that we should not receive federal assistance “given our views on vaccines” is as authoritarian as it gets, which is perhaps what one should expect, given that Forbes is owned by a Chinese company.

Thirdly, Forbes received a PPP loan in the amount of $8.03 million in April 2020,2 which raises a far more obvious and reasonable question: Why are Americans subsidizing a Chinese-owned media company — especially during a time when China is under suspicion by U.S. government officials of being involved in the creation and release of SARS-CoV-2?3

Forbes — A Communist Propaganda Outlet?

In 2014, the Chinese company Integrated Whale Media Investments bought 95% controlling interest in Forbes.4,5 Basically, with just 5% worth of shares in American hands, I think it’s safe to say Forbes is a Chinese-controlled company.

That the proverbial choke collar is getting yanked by its communist masters seems evident in the magazine’s rather sudden embrace of radical censorship of political opponents and views. As reported by Newsmax:6

“Communist China owned Integrated Whale Media Investments start their purge. Media and the Left aren’t satisfied with merely controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress … They want revenge. They also want to punish anyone who worked in the Trump administration, and to a lesser extent, the 45th president’s supporters.”

Good luck, Forbes. Threatening to cut down the voices of half the American population is unlikely to end well. It’s really a sad end to what has long been an American media icon. It was predictable, however, and questions about the editorial independence of Forbes were raised from the get-go in 2014. As reported by Isaac Stone Fish in a Washington Post op-ed in December 2017:7

“When a Chinese company buys a major American magazine, does the publication censor its coverage of China? There is only one example so far, and the results are discouraging. In 2014, a Hong Kong-based investment group called Integrated Whale Media purchased a majority stake in Forbes Media …

[S]ince that purchase, there have been several instances of editorial meddling on stories involving China that raise questions about Forbes magazine’s commitment to editorial independence.”

Forbes’ Actions Prove It Has Lost Editorial Independence

One example given in Fish’s article was the sudden ousting of longtime China commentator and Communist Party critic Gordon Chang in October 2017. In an email, Forbes opinion editor Avik S.A. Roy told Chang that “due to a wide-ranging reorganization of Forbes’ content,” the magazine was ending their relationship.

Forbes also permanently erased all of Chang’s articles from its website — an unusual move that typically doesn’t happen “unless there were credible allegations of editorial misconduct, which seems unlikely in this case,” Fish writes.

According to Chang, his relationship with Forbes, which had been very good, dramatically changed in 2014 after Integrated Whale Media took majority ownership. Whereas they’d previously promoted Chang’s articles, they stopped doing so in 2014.

“Consider also what happened to Forbes in February 2016, after then-contributor Anders Corr wrote an article comparing China to North Korea,” Fish writes.8

“Corr provided me with an email that he says came from a Forbes editor. ‘Your last post has some language the editors here feel is problematic,’ the editor wrote, adding that it was ‘not accurate to say China impoverishes its people or to label Xi Jinping a dictator’ …

An editor using the term ‘problematic’ to describe an opinion writer’s opinions, seemingly with the intent of discouraging him from writing about controversial subjects, is, well, problematic.”

Forbes’ sudden enthusiastic support of authoritarian “cancel” tactics against Conservatives is all the more head-scratching considering chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes has actually been an ardent supporter of President Trump, endorsing him during both of his campaigns.9

This in and of itself is a clue that Forbes has become a secret propaganda arm of Communist China and is trying to normalize the immoral “extermination” of political opponents and people whose views don’t align with authoritarian ideals. So, again, should American taxpayers really be paying more than $8 million in PPP loans to keep Chinese controlled media in business?

The Hit Piece That Wasn’t

Other prominent proponents of vaccine safety also received PPP loans in 2020, including the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN), the Children’s Health Defense and the Tenpenny Integrative Medical Center.

Among the five of us, we received some $850,000 in federal assistance, about one-tenth of what communist-backed Forbes received all by itself. In the video above, ICANs Del Bigtree reviews how this non-story was twisted into a supposed “scandal” by yet another propaganda machine: the U.K.-based Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), headed up by Imran Ahmed.

The CCDH recently defamed me and other leading vaccine safety advocates by insinuating we are “prone to violent extremism” and therefore pose a threat to national security in the U.K.

In its report, “The Anti-Vaxx Playbook,”10 CCDH identified six leading online “anti-vaxxers”: Barbara Loe Fisher, Joseph Mercola, Del Bigtree, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Sherri Tenpenny and Andrew Wakefield. Aside from Wakefield, who does not have a business, the other five are the same organizations now smeared by the CCDH for having legally received PPP loans.

By the way, in its “Anti-Vaxx Playbook” report, the CCDH details the messages shared by me and others during the Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination, held online October 16 through 18, 2020, such as:

  • Deaths being falsely attributed to COVID-19, thereby artificially inflating mortality statistics
  • The fact that COVID-19 has a 99+% survival rate unless you’re very old and have underlying comorbidities
  • The fact that there are now several effective therapeutics for COVID-19, making a vaccine less relevant

The CCDH report presents these messages without any counterarguments. It does not negate or even debate the accuracy of any of them. It just brushes them aside as “misinformation” and “lies” without providing any proof whatsoever, and in doing so, it actually ends up strengthening our messaging. In fact, the report summarizes our concerns so well that I’d encourage everyone to read it.

The Imminent Threat of Technocratic Technofascism

Considering the CCDH is pushing for deplatforming anyone who questions vaccines,11 it seems obvious that this PPP story is meant to drum up some sort of public outrage to strengthen the call for our elimination from the net.

It’s important to note, here, that Ahmed is also a member of the Steering Committee on Countering Extremism Pilot Task Force under the British government’s Commission for Countering Extremism. In other words, the U.K. government is behind these smear campaigns and efforts to manipulate public opinion on vaccines.

What’s more, as detailed in “Spy Agencies Threaten to Take Out Mercola,” British and American intelligence agencies are collaborating to eliminate “anti-vaccine propaganda” from public discussion using sophisticated cyberwarfare tools.

When government lumps enemies of private companies into the same category as enemies of the state, you know totalitarianism has one foot firmly inside the front door. Essentially, they’re saying that if you criticize or impede the profitability of certain private companies, you’re a national security threat.

The right and freedom to critique government and private companies alike is a hallmark of democracy, so this state-sponsored war against opposing views is a radical detour from democratic rule in the direction of fascism, which is defined, in part, as “a governmental system led by a dictator … forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry [and] commerce.”12

The fascism du jour, however, is most accurately referred to as technocracy, as detailed in “The Pressing Dangers of Technocracy,” “Technocracy and the Great Reset” and “The Plan for a Global System of Slavery.”

Sadly, many are still unaware of this term, and what the technocratic system of governance really entails. Once you do, you’d become reluctant, to say the least, to believe anything a Chinese-owned publication such as Forbes has to say, considering China has been selected by the technocratic elite to be the preeminent power of this New World Order, having already implemented many of the “technofascist” systems they want to implement across the rest of the world.


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