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Episode 25: NIH Director Francis Collins' Shocking Admission On Public Health Failure


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Hi everyone,

In this new episode of The Illusion of Consensus podcast, Adam Wilkinson and I discuss our shared mission to bridge political divides. We reflect on Adam’s conversation with Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, and the viral clip that resulted from it. We discuss the importance of open debate and the need for reform in public health decision-making. The conversation covers various topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Arizona Alliance event, answering audience questions, reconciliation between supporters and skeptics, the importance of free speech, dialogue, and debate, hindsight and recommendations for change, President Biden's mistakes and recommendations, and rebuilding trust through dialogue and acknowledging errors.

Viral clip of Wilkinson and Collins discussed in the podcast:

Spotify link:

Apple link:

(These are the correct links — the title will auto-update to “Episode 25”)


  • Open and honest conversation is essential for bridging political divides and finding common ground.

  • Lockdown policies during the COVID-19 pandemic had significant collateral harms, including economic, social, and mental health impacts.

  • The Great Barrington Declaration, which argued against lockdowns and for focused protection, was based on evidence and should have been part of a broader scientific debate.

  • There is a need for reform in public health decision-making, including checks and balances and public input.

  • Building trust and depolarizing society requires individuals to engage in meaningful conversations and work towards common goals. Balancing perspectives is important in conversations about the pandemic.

  • Open and honest discussion is crucial during times of crisis.

  • Acknowledging mistakes and learning from them is essential for progress.

  • Rebuilding trust requires dialogue and understanding.


00:00 Introduction and Background

03:16 The Conversation with Francis Collins

16:21 Regrets and Apologies

20:20 The Illusion of Consensus

28:42 The Swedish and Florida Responses

32:43 The Need for Reform

38:40 The Importance of Conversation

46:42 Working Towards Change

47:39 Continued Conversations with Francis Collins

48:17 The Arizona Alliance Event

52:28 Answering Audience Questions

53:24 Reconciliation between Supporters and Skeptics

56:27 Importance of Free Speech, Dialogue, and Debate

59:41 Hindsight and Recommendations for Change

01:04:19 President Biden's Mistakes and Recommendations

01:07:43 Rebuilding Trust through Dialogue and Acknowledging Errors

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The Illusion of Consensus
The Illusion of Consensus
An independent podcast by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Rav Arora devoted to dismantling weaponized "consensus" in science. Weekly topics include Covid policy, online censorship, holistic medicine, mental health, and well-being.