(Robert Jonathan, Headline USA) A medical doctor and scientist who is the president of a Philadelphia-based university has apologized for liking COVID-vaccine skeptic Alex Berenson’s tweets.
Time will tell if the repentance is good enough, however, for the woke cohort, in a scenario that has prompted an investigation of some sort by university officials.
The college president is also taking some flak for reportedly liking a tweet that ran counter to the far-left gender ideology narrative.
On Monday, Berenson, of Twitter Files fame, alerted his social media followers to this situation:
“The president of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia may be about to lose his job. Dr. Mark Tykocinski is a 70-year-old immunologist with an spotless academic record. His crime appears to be liking my tweets. Academic freedom is dead,” Berenson, a former New York Times reporter lamented.
Twitter boss Elon Musk also chimed in that “This is is absurd. Shame on the CEO and board of trustees of Thomas Jefferson University!”
This is absurd. Shame on the CEO and board of trustees of Thomas Jefferson University!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 2, 2023
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the aforementioned CEO, Joseph G. Cacchione, expressed disappointment in the “careless” way Dr. Tykocinski used his official Twitter account.
In a message to the university community, Cacchione said that “At his level, he is held to a higher standard and should have known better.” The CEO also underscored Thomas Jefferson’s fundamental “diverse, equitable and inclusive environment.”
Patricia D. Wellenbach, the chair of Jefferson’s board of trustees, said that the controversy is getting the group’s “full attention.”
Tykocinski told the corporate news outlet that he uses the like-function to bookmark tweets so that he can follow up and gain more knowledge about the subject matter.
“I regret my lack of understanding of how ‘liking’ a tweet is an implied endorsement. I also regret how my lack of understanding of the Twitter platform caused some to question my views on these complex issues,” he explained.
This kind of imbroglio is why many users include a disclaimer in their Twitter bio alerting their followers and others that likes or retweets do not constitute an endorsement.
Dr. Tykocinki reportedly liked about 30 of Berenson’s tweets.
In one of them, Berenson, the author of the best-seller Pandemia, criticized Big Pharma for its mRNA push:
1/ Two years after their introduction, the mRNAs Covid vaccines have proven to be what we all should have expected –
Another in a long line of overhyped, rushed, profit-driven Big Pharma flops with weak long-term efficacy and a lousy side effect profile…
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) December 11, 2022
“In his letter of apology to the Jefferson community, Tykocinski said he does not believe vaccines are harmful and noted that he and all members of his family received the COVID-19 vaccine,” the Inquirer disclosed.
A contrite Tykocinki added that “I understand that my lack of knowledge of the Twitter platform created questions and unintentionally offended many. Please be assured this will be a learning experience, and I will grow as a person and professional from this misstep.”
As alluded to above, the doctor also allegedly liked a Donald Trump Jr. tweet that called for an end to “child mutilation.”
Doctors lied and coerced a 13-year old into an irreversible “gender affirming medical procedure.” Now she is fighting back and suing them. Donate here to support the lawsuit and help stop child mutilation. https://t.co/CcAMf9p0Rn
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 28, 2022
An Inquirer article published late last month conducted a deep dive into Tykocinski’s like-history (which reportedly extended to tweets about diversity gatekeeping) after apparently being prodded to do so by Jefferson employees.
One unnamed employee told the Inquirer that “He’s welcome to his private views, but broadcasting them on social media in his capacity as president of Jefferson shows questionable judgment and undermines Jefferson’s credibility as an institution of higher learning. Some of the views he endorses on his account call into question the university’s commitment to diversity and inclusion and would be hurtful to Jefferson’s trans-identifying students and students of color.”
Reacting to the controversy among many, Twitter user TJ Roberts asserted that “Thomas Jefferson was a champion of free speech. That university should change its name.”
“Of Tykocinski’s 539 ‘likes’ that existed before the Inquirer story was posted, 348 remained by early afternoon. By midafternoon, it was down to 203,” the Inquirer reported on Monday.
The board of trustees’ appointment of Dr. Tykocinki as Thomas Jefferson president became effective July 1, 2022. He was previously its provost and executive VP for academic affairs, as well as dean of its medical college, in addition to many prior accomplishments in academia and medicine on his resume.
At the time, he was lauded as “a person of extraordinary vision and creativity” and “a biomedical innovator.”
Perhaps ironically, Dr. Tykocinski apparently participated in a workshop at the 2017 Association of Pathology annual meeting that was later published under the title “Dealing With Deans and Academic Medical Center Leadership: Advice From Leaders.”