Sunday, January 29, 2023

Resisting fallacious arguments

The last three years since the start of the pandemic have done more to undermine trust in the institutions that were supposed to uphold this set of commitments to an objective truth than anyone could ever have imagined.

First off, most everything the doctorly caste in the form of the official organisations told us has turned out to be either wrong or highly questionable. Heck, last week a new study came out suggesting elderly people did better versus Covid if they were near young ones. Our politicians, backed up by the doctorly organisations, kept grandparents away from grandchildren and left many old and elderly to die on their own. We got myriad idiotic rules – sorry, no golf or tennis for you – that made no sense to any questioning being.

Then there were all the lockdown supporters. At the end of 2019 every major democracy had pandemic plans that said ‘do not lockdown’. These were based on a century of data. In six weeks, based on what a thuggish, authoritarian China was doing, most everywhere outside of Sweden and soon Florida swapped over to despotism. What new data was there? None. Now Sweden has the OECD’s lowest cumulative excess deaths – the hardest criterion to game – and excess deaths about one-third of the other Scandinavian countries. Moreover, even that mouthpiece of lockdown mania, the Washington Post, is reporting that during the pandemic Covid deaths were wildly over-reported. You don’t say? Upwards of half, maybe more, were people who died ‘with Covid’ not ‘because of Covid’. Know what? When it comes to the flu, dying ‘with it’ is not counted as a flu death. My kingdom for a sceptical reporter!

Then there were the three years of the establishment suppressing dissenting views and nudging fear. Read what happened to three of the world’s best epidemiologists – Jay Bhattacharya (Stanford), Martin Kulldorff (Harvard) and Sunetra Gupta (Oxford) – who wrote the Great Barrington Declaration. They were censored online. With the Twitter Files dump we now know that the Biden administration was pushing for them and many others to be silenced and pilloried. If anyone thinks that sort of ‘we are the government and the medical establishment and we know best’ type thinking is consistent with Enlightenment values – or with long-term good consequences for society – then he or she is frankly deluded.

We saw similar cravenness from the churches (who disgracefully closed their doors); we saw it from Dr Fauci, with his laughable claim that ‘I represent the science’ (when we now see he was wrong on more than he was right, perhaps starting with the lab-leak origin theory); we saw it with the endless appeals to authority (that’s not a scientific argument), claims about disinformation and misinformation and myriad personal attacks on dissenters; we saw it with the media’s fearmongering and distinct lack of curiosity as regards anything fed to it by Big Government and Big Tech. Meanwhile almost no media is reporting Germany’s all-cause deaths are now higher than at any time during the last three years and it’s not Covid.

Here’s something else that needs pointing out. One can believe all the long-established vaccines are virtually medical miracles and those who refuse them basically stupid. That’s my belief. And that same person can have real questions about this mRNA vaccine governments indirectly forced many to take. Having questions about one particular pharmaceutical injection (which was given the label ‘vaccine’) does not mean you have questions about them all. Nor does it make one an ‘anti-vaxxer’. If Jeremy Clarkson dislikes one particular brand of car that does not make him ‘anti-cars’, right? This ‘anti-vaxxer’ label is being thrown around now solely as a rhetorical tool. Look, I got the first two shots but no more. The data coming out is making it pretty clear that no young person needed to get any of these mRNA shots. Firstly, the young were 1,000 times less at risk from Covid deaths than the elderly. Their risk was basically zero. So if this new mRNA shot has any risk to them, and it is plain it does, it makes no sense for them to get it. Well, unless perhaps they’re being forced to take it for others, the old. But now we know these shots do not do anything to slow Covid’s spread or the chances you, the taker, will get it. There is data now that suggests the boosters make it more likely you’ll get it. Explain to me the ethics of forcing the young, or any dissenter, to take it, please.

In fact, there are all sorts of questions out there. In the past we would have had a back-and-forth debate that appealed to studies and empirical evidence. The last three years we’ve had only the cancelling of dissenting views. Such behaviour only makes doubters like me more likely to doubt. You see, the science is never settled. I spent a few years teaching the philosophy of science way back when living in Hong Kong. Anyone who tells you the science is settled simply doesn’t understand how science works. You never know when an Einstein will show that two centuries of Newtonian physics turns out to be wrong at some level. For these experimental vaccines just remember they were not tested nearly as rigorously as standard practice requires and that Pfizer and Moderna got government indemnities. If that’s such a great process then why not make it standard practice for all medicines? And if it really was just a case of ‘we’ll take a lot of collateral damage in the hope this is better than nothing’ then you can see why no government will now say so. Ever.


FDA Quietly Changes End Date for Study of Heart Inflammation After Pfizer COVID Vaccination

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has changed the end date for a key study on post-vaccination heart inflammation without notifying the public.

Pfizer was supposed to complete a study on the occurrence of subclinical myocarditis, or heart inflammation, after receipt of its COVID-19 vaccine. The completion date was listed by the FDA in 2021 as June 20, 2022. Pfizer was also supposed to submit the results of the study to the FDA by the end of 2022 as part of a list of requirements the FDA imposed as a condition of approving Pfizer’s jab.

But after the deadline passed, the FDA quietly changed the date.

Under a list of postmarketing requirements for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the FDA now says the same study has an “original projected completion date” of June 30, 2023. The current status of the study is listed as “pending.”

Jessica Adams, a former regulatory review officer at the FDA, said the wording amounts to misinformation. “By definition, ‘original’ dates can’t change,” she wrote on Twitter, tagging the agency. “Please correct this ‘misinformation.'”

Dr. Vinay Prasad, who has increasingly criticized the FDA over its decisions during the pandemic, said the new timeline “is so slow it will be entirely moot.” “Another FDA failure,” he said on Twitter.


The study is one of nine Pfizer was to complete to examine post-vaccination adverse events. The study is designed to “prospectively assess the incidence of subclinical myocarditis” after receipt of a third dose, or a booster, in people aged 16 to 30.

Pfizer submitted a timetable to the FDA stating the company would submit a final protocol by Nov. 30, 2021, and complete the study by June 30, 2022, according to the FDA’s approval letter for the company’s vaccine. The final report was due to the FDA by the end of 2022.

The study was one of several examining myocarditis and pericarditis, a related condition. Both are caused by the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to U.S. officials and other experts.

Some of the vaccine-caused myocarditis cases have led to death.

FDA officials expressed concern about the post-vaccination heart inflammation when considering whether to approve Pfizer’s vaccine.

Signal for Myocarditis After New Booster

The bivalent Pfizer vaccine triggered a safety signal for adults aged 18 to 35, Richard Forshee, an FDA official, told the agency’s vaccine advisory committee on Jan. 26.

Regulators cleared that bivalent and one from Moderna in the fall of 2022 despite there being no clinical data for either shot.

The adverse event happened at a concerning rate after a Pfizer bivalent in recent months, according to analyses of data from the FDA’s Biologics Effectiveness and Safety initiative, which pulls from systems such as one managed by CVS Health.

“The only signal we have detected so far is for myocarditis/pericarditis following the Pfizer bivalent vaccine among adults 18 to 35 years old,” Forshee told the panel.

Safety signals indicate a vaccine may cause events but don’t establish causality. But officials have stressed that the bivalents are similar to the original vaccines in defending the authorization without clinical data, and have acknowledged a causal link between the original messenger RNA vaccines and the heart inflammation.

Most of the meeting presentations that went over adverse events focused on ischemic stroke, which triggered the threshold for a safety signal following Pfizer’s bivalent booster in the elderly and following receipt the original Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in all adults.

Officials said that the stroke has happened in many people who received a flu vaccine on the same day as a COVID-19 vaccine. They’re studying whether there’s a connection, though they noted there was no signal for the stroke after a flu shot alone.

Dr. Nicola Klein, a Kaiser Permanente researcher who helps the CDC monitor vaccine safety, said that the signal for stroke wasn’t as strong as that for myocarditis.

“This is a cluster but … it doesn’t stand out as extremely striking, unlike some other signals which we have seen,” Klein said. “For example, myocarditis, it’s an extremely strong signal that you can see without doing statistics.”




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