After months of coming under fire for the transgression of “liking” tweets critical of COVID vaccines and transgender surgeries performed on children, Dr. Mark Tykocinski last week resigned his position as president of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
It is all the more ironic and shameful that an institution named after this particular Founding Father would heap criticism onto freely exercised speech.
University CEO Joseph G. Cacchione told staff in an email last week that Tykocinski made the move “to focus on his research and clinical translation efforts.”
The note did not reference his social media activity.
He said the former university president would remain a full professor. However, he will no longer hold his position as interim dean of Jefferson’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that several employees and students of the university voiced their happiness over Tykocinski’s departure. One medical student explained that “it was one of the outcomes that we wanted.”
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.https://t.co/nDEu339Txk
— Alex Berenson (@AlexBerenson) May 1, 2023
Before stepping down, the president was publicly reprimanded by the school when some of his social media activity was revealed. Among the horrors were his “liking” postings referring to transgender surgeries on children as “mutilation.”
Tykocinski also indicated his approval of tweets questioning COVID-19 vaccines that were forced onto the public through public and private mandates.
Cacchione in May responded to the pressure by writing a public admonishment to the school’s faculty, staff and students. “At his level, he is held to a higher standard and should have known better.”
This rebuke came after the Inquirer published the “like” history from Tykocinski’s Twitter account. Part of the focus was the president’s approval of postings by former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson.
The story highlighted that the Yale-trained molecular immunologist with 16 years at Jefferson University “liked” almost 30 of Berenson’s tweets. The former reporter is noted for speaking out against COVID mandates along with other oppressive government actions during the pandemic.
Berenson responded by observing that Tykocinski “is a 70-year-old immunologist with a spotless academic record. His crime appears to be liking my tweets. Academic freedom is dead.”
Tykocinski tried to explain that his “liking” tweets was a way to bookmark those of interest, but the left was not buying it.