America’s Lawyer E46: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is taking his hatred for the press to a new level with legislation that would make it easier for government officials to sue media outlets. The SEC has filed charges against a group of celebrities for promoting a crypto currency but failing to reveal that they were paid to do so. And the Biden Administration is actually fighting to keep the cost of a life-saving cancer drug HIGHER for American citizens. All that, and more is coming up, so don’t go anywhere – America’s Lawyer starts right now.
*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.
Mike Papantonio: Hi, I’m Mike Papantonio and this is America’s Lawyer. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has taken his hatred for the press to a new level with legislation that would make it easier for government officials to sue media outlets. And the SEC has filed charges against a group of celebrities for promoting a cryptocurrency, but failing to reveal that they were paid to do it and they didn’t know a thing about crypto. And the Biden administration is actually fighting to keep the cost of a life-saving cancer drug higher for American citizens. You heard it, right, higher. All that and more, it’s coming up. Don’t go anywhere. America’s Lawyer starts right now.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is letting the whole country know how thin his skin is by pushing to change the defamation law to make it easier to sue journalists who report bad things about his administration. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me to talk about what’s happening and many other issues. Okay. No surprise here. You know, he hates the media. The corporate media has not been fair to him in his mind. And you know what? As I watch it, they really aren’t. I mean, as I watch, I mean, even you and I are taking shots at him all the time, and people take shots at him because he’s in the business. Okay. You gotta have, you can’t have thin skin in this business. What’s your take on this story?
Farron Cousins: This is really interesting one, because he has no authority to even do this.
Mike Papantonio: No, no.
Farron Cousins: You know, this was actually put forward by our state representative Alex Andrade, who clearly does not understand how the federal law works. You can’t change defamation, slander, and libel laws at a state level when these things are already set nationally.
Mike Papantonio: Andrade is a goof. Okay. Andrade got mad at me for calling him, what’d I call him a punk, and said he had no life experience. What was going on was Florida Power and Light was raid, I mean, raiding everybody’s money. I mean, they were just taking money away from everybody in this state, four or five times the amount that they should be paying for electricity. So I went after Andrade. I said, why is it happening? Why aren’t you going to Tallahassee doing something about it? Called him a punk, said he was a child, a manchild or something like that. So maybe, maybe this is my fault, I don’t know. But this is dead on arrival. I mean.
Farron Cousins: It really, well, they’ll pass it.
Mike Papantonio: Oh, yeah.
Farron Cousins: Because the goal and we see this all the time, especially here in Florida, the goal is not to pass successful legislation. The goal is to get somebody to immediately sue about the legislation so they can work it up to the Supreme Court and undo the New York Times versus Sullivan case.
Mike Papantonio: That’s the goal. Right.
Farron Cousins: That’s the goal.
Mike Papantonio: That’s the goal.
Farron Cousins: And that’s why, look, I get so incredibly frustrated because you have these well-meaning groups out there on the left. And I love these groups, but I hate that as soon as legislation gets passed, they immediately file these lawsuits because that’s what these conservatives like Ron DeSantis want to happen. That’s how you end up with the Supreme Court undoing Roe versus Wade. You’ve gotta take your time and analyze it and have the right argument instead of the knee-jerk reaction that we’re gonna sue you.
Mike Papantonio: Right appellate court, lower level appellate court, right Supreme Court state and right US Supreme Court. This, but I mean, look, the idea is to be able to say that we’re gonna lower the standard to where if I say something bad about Andrade, he’s gonna have an easier time suing me. Now, Andrade says, oh no, this isn’t about public officials. This is to protect the average man on the street
Farron Cousins: Because they’re getting slandered all the time apparently.
Mike Papantonio: Oh yeah. You know, they’re, everybody’s slandering the average man on the street. No. The people that are slandering politicians is the politician deserves to be slandered. Okay. They chose to do this for a living. And when they do stupid stuff, people like you and I ought to be able to say, Andrade you did another stupid thing. I’m gonna do it anyway. And, you know, when you pass your legislation, I’m probably gonna be the one that tests it if anything happens there. So the point is this, I do, there’s something I do agree with here, though. In there is something about anonymous sources. Okay. Look, I went to University of Florida Journalism School, news editing was my major. And we always talked about anonymous sources. Anonymous sources are really, really dangerous. Anonymous sources, if you think about it, allowed Judith Miller with the New York Times to start a war with Iraq that killed millions of people. Okay. And it’s still a problem. Judith Miller lied. She lied about her source, she lied about the story, and the whole time that she was ginning up the story, it was based on anonymous sources. Do you remember that story?
Farron Cousins: Oh, absolutely.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. So anonymous sources to me, we need to take a look at it because we’re seeing it everywhere now. Anonymous source says this, hell, there’s gotta be some limitations there.
Farron Cousins: Well, I mean, to a degree, sure. But at the same time, you know, that would’ve prevented us from getting the Nixon story. I mean, Deep Throat.
Mike Papantonio: True. Good point.
Farron Cousins: Mark Felt at the point was an anonymous source.
Mike Papantonio: Good point.
Farron Cousins: So without that, we wouldn’t have it. But we also don’t want to get to the point where we’re forcing these reporters, these journalists to reveal their sources. It’s when it’s a real public corruption story. If you’re talking about keeping a source secret, because they said, hey, DeSantis eats pudding with his fingers, which is a story that did come out recently. I get that. Okay. Why are you protecting?
Mike Papantonio: Wait, wait, wait, wait. He does what?
Farron Cousins: Yeah. He allegedly eats pudding with his fingers.
Mike Papantonio: Maybe it’s a cultural thing, I don’t know.
Farron Cousins: So yeah, and it was an anonymous source that gave that information. So I get it. Like, that’s not an important anonymous source. You do have to have a line somewhere. But I think that’s what really him off, is the pudding story that started most of this.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. So here we have that, let me run for office. I wanna run for office. I wanna be Andrade. I want to be Mr. Big in Tallahassee, and I’m gonna be a what, a state representative, something to that effect. Okay. State representative in Tallahassee. Elect me, let me do horrendous things. Let me side with corporations to the detriment of consumers. Let me be reckless. Let me be stupid and let me be insufferable in the things I do. But with this, by God, if you sue me, I’m gonna have something to talk about. That’s kind of where this is. This is not for the every man on the street, but that’s the way they make it, that’s the way they make this look.
A federal judge has denied the Biden administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by multiple state attorney generals alleging the administration violated the First Amendment by colluding with social media companies to censor certain topics. Okay. So as I look at this, they got a lot to talk about, don’t they?
Farron Cousins: They really do. And this one is an interesting one for me. I’m actually, I don’t know that there is too much trouble for the Biden administration. It’s gonna come down to how you interpret certain words. But I’m glad it wasn’t dismissed because I do feel this one is important enough that this is something that needs to be hashed out and does need to be discussed. So what we’ve got here is the Biden administration, you know, allegedly 2021 was sending messages to Twitter because Twitter said, we’re gonna throttle covid misinformation. Well, obviously that didn’t happen. So the Biden administration reaches out and says, hey, you told us you were gonna throttle this stuff. We’re seeing, you know, they’re sending Tucker Carlson tweets back to Twitter saying, look right here. Here it is. So does this rise to the level of the government saying, take it down? Or is it just could you tell us what’s going?
Mike Papantonio: It’s kinda like Matt Taibbi in front of Congress. Okay. He laid out, you don’t think he did, I do. I think he laid out a very good case that we have government determining what we can and can’t hear. We did a segment on it. Everybody used to love Matt Taibbi, wrote with, you know, some of the biggest magazines in the country. Very credible writers. His dad, of course is the person that uncovered the worst conduct by the CIA. So Taibbi comes out and he says, this is going on. This is just another story. This is another extension of it. Now, the problem I’m having is we’re seeing even the result of that Taibbi, when he was up there testifying, they sent in the IRS to his house. Did you see the story?
Farron Cousins: I have seen that. Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: They sent the IRS to his house. Unheard of. People don’t show up at people’s, IRS doesn’t show up at people’s houses to somehow ask questions. That’s what they did with Taibbi. So they’re very concerned about this. They’re very concerned about this argument that government is, really the Biden administration, has been censoring the hell outta social media.
Farron Cousins: Well, this is why I say it comes down to the how you interpret and how the courts are going to interpret, or juries, I guess, you know, what certain words mean. Because, who was the one with Taibbi, Shellenger?
Mike Papantonio: Shellenger, yeah.
Farron Cousins: He mentioned, he said, you know, the government requested to take a look at this specific info they were talking about that day.
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: And he was asked point blank, said, so a government request in your mind, is that the same as a demand? So he said, yes. I disagree.
Mike Papantonio: Well, it’s.
Farron Cousins: If the government says, does this violate your policy? That’s not the government saying take down the tweet. Now we do, on the other hand, have information that Donald Trump reached out to Twitter while President.
Mike Papantonio: Oh, absolutely.
Farron Cousins: Saying, take down these tweets.
Mike Papantonio: No question.
Farron Cousins: So if we want to go with this lawsuit, they better be careful because it’s gonna open up both ways.
Mike Papantonio: Well, it should go both ways, Farron.
Farron Cousins: It should, yes..
Mike Papantonio: I don’t care if it’s, I don’t care if it’s Trump. I don’t care if it’s Biden. I don’t if it’s Obama. This needs to be stopped.
Farron Cousins: It does. Absolutely.
Mike Papantonio: And people who call themselves progressives that say, oh, that’s okay. There’s a good reason for it. They’re out in La La land if they don’t understand the constitutional threats of what’s going on here. And I don’t care whether it’s Biden, I don’t care it’s Trump. When you do this, you start interfering with the free flow of information that the American public has a right to know.
Farron Cousins: Well, exactly.
Mike Papantonio: And maybe that’s fine for, you know, some snowflake that wants their special space and they don’t want to be bothered by it. But it ain’t okay with me and it shouldn’t be okay with any thinking American that loves democracy.
Farron Cousins: Well, and that’s why I said like, that’s why we have to get down to the heart of what these, what these requests or were they demands? How was it worded?
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: What did they say? Because you’ve obviously, you’ve been involved in plenty of lawsuits. It’s not only what you say, it’s how you say it.
Mike Papantonio: That’s right.
Farron Cousins: And that’s how we have to determine this because if there was coercion, then you’ve got the violation.
Mike Papantonio: The question is what level is coercion? Is it you start asking, you start having the IRS show up at Matt Taibbi’s house and you, is that coercion, when it’s never been done? But after he’s testifying in Congress, the Biden administration sends the freaking IRS to go to his house to intimidate him. Now you see where this goes.
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: And, you know, whatever your argument is, I don’t care how progressive, if you are so, if you are so tuned in to your progressive ideology that you don’t understand that this is a problem. I doubt there’s few people watching this program that are more progressive than I am. But I see this, and I’m telling you this is potentially a very big problem when the government starts interfering with the information that we’re entitled to see.
Farron Cousins: Well, and if it of course opens the door for more information coming from Twitter, a report came out two days ago, Elon Musk has personally been working with the government of India to ban certain accounts at the request of the Indian government. I think it’s up to 30 some odd accounts.
Mike Papantonio: There you go.
Farron Cousins: So it’s, there’s horrible things that are just all over with this backend of Twitter.
Mike Papantonio: We might expect it in India. But do we expect in the United States? You see.
Farron Cousins: So that’s why the whole thing needs to be blown open. And that’s been my issue with the Twitter files is we’re only getting little pieces and parts. Blow it all up.
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: Let us see every bit of it.
Mike Papantonio: What is the best thing, what’s the best thing that we could do, Farron, as far as really putting this on? I love this lawsuit. This lawsuit is going to go somewhere. I love that. But as far as our way to handle it and manage it right now, what’s the best thing we do?
Farron Cousins: Honestly, it’s letting the suit play out. It’s letting all of this get out there into the open because you’re not gonna get it in a partisan Congress.
Mike Papantonio: Right.
Farron Cousins: You’re not gonna get it from, you know, the partisan who’s running Twitter. But in the court system, you’re going to get it. I mean, that’s about one of the only places where you’re gonna get all of the facts.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And these people who need their safe space because gee whizz, I can’t read that. It’s too offensive. We get ’em on our site. They unsubscribe because I say something that offends them. I say something that’s different than their politics. Hell, I don’t care. Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out, because we’re gonna say what we need to say and all media should be able to do that. That’s my take on it.
Regulators were warned in 2018 that Silicon Valley Bank was the highest risk bank in the country with more than 90% of their deposits not insured. In spite of that warning, regulators did nothing, nothing. Five years, five years they had to know this is a disaster. But they did nothing to stop this collapse. Right?
Farron Cousins: They were sitting on a document, these regulators, Congress, everybody who voted to deregulate that literally told them Silicon Valley Bank has the most uninsured deposits. So basically the highest risk out of every bank in the country, this one has screwed the pooch and it will screw up again. And they said, well, we’re gonna do it anyway.
Mike Papantonio: What information did they have, Farron? What were the important signs that say, okay, first of all, Trump leads the charge to undo Dodd-Frank. Okay. During his administration. Biden comes in office, has two years to fix it and doesn’t fix it at all. Not only doesn’t fix it, but doesn’t add new regulators to say, look, Dodd-Frank is not there to protect us. Dodd-Frank said that a bank needed to have $250 million worth of cushion. Now it was dropped to 50 million for mid-size banks. Trump did that. Biden did nothing about it. What’s your take?
Farron Cousins: And Silicon Valley Bank had 90% of their total deposits, so 90% of the so-called money held in this bank was uninsured, which meant they were most prone to having a run on the bank and running out of cash after, you know, 10% of the money had been withdrawn. They would be left with nothing. And then you have everyone else losing all of their money because it’s not FDIC regulated.
Mike Papantonio: Right. Okay. So here’s the problem. You have, say you have $50,000 in the bank. You say, well I’ve got insurance for 250,000. It doesn’t mean anything because it’s, once the bank goes, everybody goes. And there’s no way to get that. You’re not safe because of that $250,000. I don’t know why people think that. But in this situation you might ultimately get it back. But it’s gonna be a fight. And if you need that money to live, it’s gonna be a big fight. But listen, here’s, as I was looking at this story, I was thinking back to the story you and I did when there was a failure to prosecute after the bank burn down, two oh what, 2008, right?
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: And there was no, nobody was prosecuted. I remember Obama ran on the ticket to where I’m gonna throw some people in jail, we’re gonna stop all this. He puts Eric Holder in charge of Attorney General. Nobody goes to prison. Nobody is even indicted. Whereas you can, you control, it’s almost like, it doesn’t make any sense. But you look at, back at with Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan of all people, he put, he indicts 800 bankers. Most of them go to prison for the SNL crisis. This is no different.
Farron Cousins: Yeah.
Mike Papantonio: What was happening there is the, it’s almost a reflection exactly. I’m interested to see what this administration does.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. Really. And that’s such a good thing and you and I have a brought that up in the past too. Like, as bad as Reagan was.
Mike Papantonio: Oh, he was terrible.
Farron Cousins: At least we got bankers in jail. It was big on the news. You had all these people in these nice suits walking out in handcuffs. And that’s what we have to have again, because guess what, you had a little time there where the banks weren’t doing all this illegal activity, doing all this risky gambling with our money, but time forgives. Clinton came in with his deregulation. Bush took it even further and it just has snowballed from there.
Mike Papantonio: Well, that’s right. I mean, when Clinton came in with his deregulation, that kind of opened the door, didn’t it?
Farron Cousins: Yeah, it did.
Mike Papantonio: But the point being is, as we look at this, we look at the burn down 2008 and all of these bankers say, well hell, you know, I made a lot of money. It was good. I got, you know, I got multimillion dollar bonuses. Some of these guys made a hundred million dollar bonuses during the burn down and after the burn down, not one of ’em was prosecuted. So if you are this bank, this California bank, you say, well, SVB, why wouldn’t I take a chance? Why? Because I’m not gonna go to jail. I know the Biden administration’s not gonna put me in jail. What’s your prediction? How many of ’em go to jail?
Farron Cousins: Oh, zero. And I mean, all the money’s basically just been given back to people. We know you lost it, but here’s your bailout. You get everything you need. And.
Mike Papantonio: How about the regulators? How many regulators get fired?
Farron Cousins: Oh zero. There will not be a single one. They’ll get promotions if anything.
Mike Papantonio: Promotions are more likely.
Johnson and Johnson is trying to get the Supreme Court to protect them as they face 40,000 lawsuits, basically killing people, knowingly with a product that they understood was defective, had the ability to cause cancer, would cause thousands and thousands of women to die of cancer. Now a lower court recently threw that out and their bankruptcy protection disappeared. But now the company is terrified and they’re taking it up to the next level. Tell us this story.
Farron Cousins: Yeah, this is one that’s been, this saga has been playing out for years. Johnson and Johnson basically engaged in what they call the Texas two step. We know we’ve got tens of thousands of talcum powder lawsuits headed our way. It’s huge liability even though we’ve got a.
Mike Papantonio: Oh, full disclosure, we’re involved in that litigation. Yeah.
Farron Cousins: So what they did is they created a new subsidiary. So then they spun all those lawsuits over to the subsidiary that had no money because they just created it on paper. And then they go to the judge and say, well judge, look at this company with all these lawsuits. It has no money. We have to file for bankruptcy. And that judge, I think it was in New Jersey.
Mike Papantonio: Oh, Kaplan, what a, ugh.
Farron Cousins: Yeah, Kaplan. He said, okay. Hell yeah. You got no money. You got 40,000 lawsuits.
Mike Papantonio: They had $140 billion in Kaplan says, oh, this is a good idea.
Farron Cousins: Clearly you’re broke.
Mike Papantonio: I mean, that’s the, this guy’s still a judge. He’ll be a judge tomorrow. Okay. Make a ruling like that. The appellate court says really? Unanimously, say really? Judge Kaplan, what is it you don’t get? The company has $140 billion. They have agreed, by the way, this new company that was spinoff company where they take all their lawsuits, put it in the spinoff company, Johnson and Johnson agreed to pay for whatever it costs to get that done in bankruptcy. In other words, it was just collusion. And Kaplan could see it was collusion. The entire unanimous court said, yeah, Mr. Kaplan it’s collusion. And so now they hope to get relief from the Supreme Court.
Farron Cousins: Which is a terrifying thought.
Mike Papantonio: It is.
Farron Cousins: Obviously we have an exceptionally corporate Supreme Court, a corporate Supreme Court that transcends the party lines on that.
Mike Papantonio: Democrat and Republican. All of them are corporatists.
Farron Cousins: Right. I mean, we saw that already earlier this week.
Mike Papantonio: Yes.
Farron Cousins: So this is horrifying because it’s not just about Johnson and Johnson and the people that they’ve killed with cancer and the people who are dying of cancer. This would have ramifications for every single corporation in this country. Anytime you’re facing lawsuits, whether, you know, if you’re Pfizer, whether you’re Dow okay, we’ll just create.
Mike Papantonio: 3M.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. We’ll create a new company on paper. They’re now responsible for the lawsuits and our profits are in a different company.
Mike Papantonio: Go kill a bunch of people, make billions of dollars, hand out money to the CEO like it’s crazy money. It’s okay. Because when we get sued, we’re gonna say, oh my God, we’re gonna start this other company and we’re gonna say that that’s the company that now is bankrupt. And we’re gonna argue to the court, hey, we don’t have any money. They have all of our money. Yes Judge, we do have $300 billion. Yes, we do have that, but this company doesn’t. It is the biggest scam in the country. It’s called the Texas, and you exactly where you’d expect it to start, Texas, the Texas two step. You know, I don’t know. I think you’re right. It scares the bejesus out of anybody when this Supreme Court has to look at anything, especially when it’s protecting corporations to the detriment of consumers.
Maybe getting financial advice from movie stars and musicians is a really bad idea. Yeah. The SEC has now filed charges against a group of celebrities that were pushing cryptocurrencies onto their followers without revealing that they were paid to do so. More importantly, Farron, do you think any of these folks really even understood, even understood what the hell was going on? Austin Mahone or let’s see, Lindsay Lohan, Jake Paul, Ne-Yo. I mean, do you think they really understood the workings of crypto when they’re up there pushing it?
Farron Cousins: That’s, I mean, somebody should have taken the time to ask them, like, whoa, wait, you’re pushing this. I mean, can you explain what cryptocurrency is?
Mike Papantonio: Can you? I can’t.
Farron Cousins: I can barely do it. I’ve had many conversations where it’s been explained to me, but it’s a weird world that I don’t fully understand, but I still understand it more than these people who just took large sums of money to go out there basically, according to the complaint, engage in a pyramid scheme. That’s what this was because the companies were paying, they say, okay, you put it out there on your Twitter, you put it on your YouTube, all your social media, and for every, you know, X amount of people you get, you get this much money. And then if those people go and get more people, I mean, it’s literally set up as a pyramid scheme.
Mike Papantonio: Adult film star, Kendra Lust, she was one of them. Rapper, Soulja Boy, Lil Yachty, you know. Okay, great. You know, I don’t mind the idea that they wanna endorse something, but at least know what the hell you’re endorsing because people are relying on it. People that they’re fans of yours, Lil Yachty. And when you say, let’s do this, they listen to you, which is crazy to me. I mean, we talk about all the time how crazy it is that celebrities talk to us about what politics should be. And I’d use this story over and over, I just can’t, Chelsea Handler not knowing that the moon is different than the Sun until she’s 42 years old. Really? And so she’s giving me political advice.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. And so with this one it is different because obviously I think you’ve had, I think Matt Damon has done some crypto commercials a year or so ago.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah, well he has, I mean.
Farron Cousins: And Tom Brady did, but that’s different because that’s a commercial, you know, obviously they’re getting paid. These individuals, you know, these kind of B list celebrities, a lot of ’em were promoting it without, because they were just putting on their social media as if, hey, this thing’s really cool. Give it a try. And nobody stopped to think like, wait a minute, what does Lindsay Lohan know about financial management and my retirement savings?
Mike Papantonio: Really.
Farron Cousins: But I guess that’s where we’re at.
Mike Papantonio: Well, you would, you know, it’s complicated. You know, I again, people have explained it to me. I kind of get it. It didn’t sound like a good idea.
Farron Cousins: And no, it does not, to me.
Mike Papantonio: Magic money.
The Biden administration has sided with drug companies in a dispute over the cost of prostate cancer. Now, let me say that again. The Biden administration sided with big pharmaceutical in a dispute over the cost of prostate cancer drug that was gonna save people’s lives. The Biden administration said it’s okay to charge more, even though, Farron, government and universities paid for all the research. Pick this story up.
Farron Cousins: Yeah. This is another one from The Lever. Again, my new favorite site.
Mike Papantonio: What a great.
Farron Cousins: David Sirota, Matthew Cunningham Cook, put this story together.
Mike Papantonio: These guys are brilliant. I love this site, man.
Farron Cousins: So what you have is, you have an individual who’s flown under the radar in the Biden administration named, Xavier Becerra. Mr. Becerra happens to be the head of Health and Human Services. But back when he was in the state of California, when Trump was in office, Mr. Becerra petitioned the Trump administration, you have got to lower the price on this specific prostate cancer drug because people are dying. And this drug has been proven. It’ll fix you for the most part if we get it in time. But you’re letting people die. How dare you Mr. Trump do this.
Mike Papantonio: It’s even uglier than that. It’s even uglier than that. Part of his argument was that taxpayers paid for the development of this drug. It was actually developed at a university and government paid for part of that. And then we let a drug company get the patent on it. And so there’s a solution, clear solution. The government has the ability to come in and say, we’re not gonna honor your patent. We’re gonna do what we call march-in rights. And march-in rights is when you say, this drug is so vital, A, it was paid for by taxpayers. The industry had nothing to do with developing this drug. They simply got the patent and now they’re gouging the eyes out of people to get this drug. So what is most bothersome about me is we have the Biden administration saying, well, it’s okay. And as I look at it, as I look at the connection between Biden and this, well, let me read this to you.
This, by the way, this is called The Lever. And it is a great source of information. When Biden was vice president, when Obama, during the administrative, during the Obama administration and congressional Democrats demanded that government used this march-in power to do away with the right of these pharmaceutical companies to lower skyrocketing medicine in America. It was Biden that was one of the eight Democrats who voted against it. And but for that vote, it would’ve passed. And so as I look at this, this is another deal where Reagan, again, it’s another Reagan story. Reagan comes in and he makes a requirement that drug companies sell medicine developed with public money at a reasonable price. He kept that under control. Clinton, Bill Clinton comes in, does away with that. So, you know, you got people out there saying, I’m a Democrat. Democrats are always good for us. You know, this is an example, if you’re believing that, watch what happens on this drug. Right?
Farron Cousins: Yeah. And this is, again, it’s terrible because this drug has been listed on the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. This is essential for many people.
Mike Papantonio: To live.
Farron Cousins: To live. And the Biden administration, knowing that we already created this drug, the drug company did not, my taxes paid for it. Your taxes paid for it. We’ve all in this country already paid for this drug and they’re still charging us, they didn’t list the exact number, but we are the highest price on the planet to buy this specific drug. If you get prostate cancer in Europe or you get it in South America, you’re gonna get this drug at a reasonable price that is not gonna send you to the poorhouse.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. So, oh my God. We’ve talked nice about Reagan. We’ve talked bad about Bill Clinton. We’ve talked bad about Biden because he has a long history of signing up with the drug companies. So when you unsubscribe, feel free to do that because that’s what this show is about. We don’t take sides. We call balls and strikes. If it’s Democrat, we’re gonna call it. If it’s Republican, we’re gonna call it. So feel free, we’re gonna be okay without you, I promise you. Thanks for joining me. Okay.
Farron Cousins: Thank you.
Mike Papantonio: A new lawsuit is in the works that alleges that doctors are pushing puberty blockers and unnecessary surgeries on young children without understanding or warning them about the risk, both medical risks and psychological risk. Joining me to talk about this is Steve Luongo, ex ballplayer, superb, superb trial lawyer. Steve, I want to talk about the complaint that’s been filed. We’re not doing this litigation full disclosure. This is not something we’re doing. But I saw that there was a complaint filed and there’s actually been several filed now. Tell us a little bit about the case. First of all, what’s happening with the gender case to begin with?
Stephen Luongo: So the one that is on file right now is a similar pattern that we’re seeing in the news is that a young girl is confused about who she is, around the age of 10 or 11 years old, and then goes to the adults for help, tells her parents and family, I want to transition. They then go to the medical facilities in their area. In this particular case, the case is against Kaiser and their foundation hospitals and the doctors that treat there. They are then given a psychiatric evaluation, they’re given and diagnosed what’s called this gender dysphoria, which is really the gateway to them being diagnosed and having the access to these puberty blockers, these cross-sex hormones.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. According to this complaint, this has been filed, well, according to the complaint, Superior Court of California.
Stephen Luongo: Right.
Mike Papantonio: There’s a couple of them already filed. I’m seeing ’em pop up around the country. This one, they saying Kaiser Foundation is on the hook. They’re saying the psychologist that worked with a child’s on the hook. They’re saying that the doctor that performed the surgeries on the hook. And in any, counselors of every kind are on the hook in this lawsuit.
Stephen Luongo: Right.
Mike Papantonio: So what they’re saying is that, that the child was 13 years old. She’s now 18, and she says, A, you lied to me. B, you didn’t give me full understanding what was going on. C, you put undue pressure on my parents to get this done, and now there’s no way I can turn this thing back. These lawsuits are popping up. We’ve chosen to stay out of it because I don’t know if it does, you know, you don’t want to slow the rights down of a person to get this kind of surgery. But like it or not, these folks that are doing this are being sued. Talk about it.
Stephen Luongo: Absolutely. And the claims that they’re alleging are malpractice claims against, like you said, the Foundation, the facilities allowing this treatment to go forward as well as the doctors. And what they’re saying is that it’s too fast of a process. You didn’t gimme time, you didn’t gimme informed consent. You didn’t give my parents informed consent. And the allegations that they’re making here is one of ’em is.
Mike Papantonio: 30 days. This, my memory is, was it 30 days they gave this person?
Stephen Luongo: It’s close to that. And in some cases that we’re seeing, it’s same day, they’re being given these puberty blockers. They’re given scripts for the puberty blockers. And what they’re saying, and what the doctors are telling the parents, at least in this complaint is that, do you want a dead daughter or a living son? So those are the choices that they’re giving the parents.
Mike Papantonio: In other words, they’re saying, your daughter may commit suicide if we don’t do this and because of that, we had to do it. But here’s the truth. According to this complaint, and this is, these complaints are all saying the same thing. This one again, is a, it’s a California complaint, but they’re saying that Kaiser Foundation is building a cash cow around this business. They’re saying that the people that sell pharmaceuticals are building a cash cow around this business. Everybody’s rushing into the market. You’ve got psychologists and psychiatrists according to this. Now we haven’t done, I don’t, I can’t speak to it, I haven’t done the research on it, but if I read what this says, they apparently have done some research and they say the psychiatrists and psychologists are making this into a cottage industry.
Stephen Luongo: Right. And the research that they’ve done, and the allegations again in the complaint are that you’re giving these children puberty blockers, which are not approved by the FDA for this use. You’re also then giving them the cross-sex hormones, which again, are not used for this. Not prescribed or approved by the FDA for this use. So those are the major complaints as to what the pharmaceutical companies are doing, what they’re aware of, how their drugs are being used and given to a population that they were never designed to have.
Mike Papantonio: Steve, is this a chilling effect though? Is it, if you start suing these people that are saying, I’m in this business of trying to help, what is it, the numbers are startling. I mean, the numbers that we’re seeing pop up are startling.
Stephen Luongo: In 2021, 42,000 children were diagnosed with gender dysphoria alone.
Mike Papantonio: 42,000?
Stephen Luongo: Yes, sir.
Mike Papantonio: Okay. And so if we look at these complaints that are popping up and they’re saying that if, they’re saying one thing I think is critically important, they’re saying that the pharmaceutical industry that we do sue all the time and we know how corrupt that industry is, hasn’t even done long-term clinicals to understand what kind of effects this is having on children. The possibilities are bone density problems, leukemia, dysplasia of all different kinds, blood dysplasia. They’re saying that if you look at what studies have been done by people like Kaiser or these psychologists and psychiatrists that are saying, yeah, get this done, we don’t really know what the risk benefit is. That’s according to this complaint. And I think that’s something that’s popping up in all these complaints. I think that this is going to be a new trend. I think these folks are gonna be sued into hell to tell you the truth. And the problem I have with it is what effect does it have on a legitimate case where a child wants to make a transition? They’re not 12, they’re not 10, they’re 16, 17 and they have the feeling, I wanna make this transition. Does it have a chilling effect? What’s your take?
Stephen Luongo: I think it will. I think it’s gonna cause these doctors to think twice about what their standards are because right now it’s all over the board, across the country. We’re seeing significant legislation coming out in states restricting the care for minors. But there’s states where they’re sanctuaries and they’re proud of that and advertising that. Come to our state, we’re allowing this care for kids.
Mike Papantonio: Well, like California’s one of them. Maybe that’s why these cases are popping up in California.
Stephen Luongo: I think so. And what the complaint also goes into is what are the long-term psychological effects of these hormones on young kids and their future fertility. Fertility as that is.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. Is it reversible? I mean, if a child that’s 10 years old is, they start ’em on chemicals. Say they start the chemical transition. This goes through a pretty detailed kind of explanation. But when I read it, it appears they start ’em on chemicals. When they reach a certain age, then it’s surgery that they say, what are the age, what are the age groups here?
Stephen Luongo: So typically the process that these clinics and what they’re called, they’re gender care clinics or gender facilities within these hospitals and universities, they start ’em off with either medical intervention with the puberty blockers around 10 or 11, whenever puberty starts with these young kids. From there they can continue with those for long term, for multiple years or transition to what’s called cross-sex hormones, which are more advanced, as far as stopping the process and actually creating the desired physical attributes that they want. The development of the cross-sex gender.
Mike Papantonio: What if there’s been, what if there’s been surgery? What if you’ve had breasts removed? What if you’ve had genitalia removed? That not a reversible thing, is it?
Stephen Luongo: That is not reversible and that really, I think is what the heart of the complaints are trying to avoid and stop. What we see is that there was nearly a thousand mastectomies of young girls under the age of 18 and that trend is going up.
Mike Papantonio: Steve, isn’t it like anything else. Okay. This is something that we have to have professionals that can do this. Okay. There’s real legitimate cases where it should be done, but then greed gets involved. And if I read this, as I read it, it is that all these folks that are involved in some form or fashion are creating a cash cow for themselves. The psychologist and psychiatrist, they now have a client for life.
Stephen Luongo: Right.
Mike Papantonio: The chemical company, they have chemical, they can sell pharmaceuticals for life. Caza permanente, you know, as there’s, these facilities go up everywhere they have new customers. I don’t know. I look at this, if I were in the business of this, and you know, of course this is our business is going after large corporations, they better have standards that they can present to a juror and they can say to the jury, look, here’s what we did. Yes, she’s now 21. She says that I, you know, this is a horrible mistake. I was pushed into it. There was way, way too much undue influence in helping me make this decision. But if you have standards that say, well, not really, because here’s what we did. This complaint says that there are no standards that really protect these kids.
Stephen Luongo: Right. And that’s what the complaint is alleging. That’s one of the focal points of saying we need to slow down. And you talked about the chilling effect earlier. I think that is the purpose, one of the many purposes of these complaints, is especially in the sanctuary states where the care is being fostered, it’s being endorsed, they want to chill that. They wanna slow that down, get the standards that you’re talking about, because it is a cash cow for them. The puberty blockers, the hormones, those are monthly injections and they’re thousands of dollars per injection.
Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And but the, the ugly part of it is the politics of it. I mean, hell, I mean, you put money on the table and you got corporations that are doing the greedy thing. You put issues, social issues on the table, and you have lane brain politicians that want to overreact and they want to overcorrect. This particular area, my prediction is, they’ll be dozens and dozens of these cases filed within the next 24 months. That’s my guess. We’re not gonna do it. I’m telling you that we’re not gonna do it because I feel like at this point, the chilling effect may be such that it could stop it to where people don’t have a place to go. And that’s a problem. Steve, thank you for joining me. Thanks for reporting on this. Okay.
Stephen Luongo: Thank you.
Mike Papantonio: That’s all for this week. But all of these segments are gonna be available throughout the next week. And make sure you follow us on Twitter @AmericasLawyer. I’m Mike Papantonio and this has been America’s Lawyer, where we tell you the stories that corporate media won’t tell you because their advertisers won’t let ’em tell those stories or because their political connections are so tied to a political party that it doesn’t allow them to tell the story. But you know what, we will tell you that story. See you next week.