Mayo Clinic Suspended Professor Over Comments On Covid And Transgenderism

The Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science suspended a professor for deviating from “prescribed messaging” and placed a gag order on him, Foundation For Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) says.  The college handed down the punishment despite its free speech promise to faculty and students. On March 5, professor Michael Joyner was suspended without pay for speaking to the press, which is common for him as he is a prominent academic. After he commented about plasma treatment for Covid and transgender sports performance on The New York Times, CNN, and other outlets, Mayo Clinic said 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.” However, Joyner did not speak on behalf of the college, he spoke for himself. In letters to the college, FIRE explained that faculty members have the right to speak as private citizens. After suspending him without pay, Joyner was told he must vet “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 cease “engagement in offline conversations with reporters.” In simpler terms, he was told to shut up. When he does speak, he must discuss “approved topics only and stick to prescribed messaging.” Mayo Clinic is in violation of the institution’s Freedom of Expression and Academic Freedom Policy, which promises…Mayo Clinic Suspended Professor Over Comments On Covid And Transgenderism