Friday, March 04, 2022

Scientists seek to solve mystery of why some people do not catch Covid

Despite quite a bit of exposure, I have had no Covid symptoms, so I may be one of those mentioned below. I do generally have a very good immune system. With a bit of a nudge it even wiped out some stomach cancer. I have had two AstraZenica shots but we know that vaccines are all but useless against Omicron

Phoebe Garrett has attended university lectures without catching Covid; she even hosted a party where everyone subsequently tested positive except her. “I think I’ve knowingly been exposed about four times,” the 22-year-old from High Wycombe said.

In March 2021, she participated in the world’s first Covid-19 challenge trial, which involved dripping live virus into her nose and pegging her nostrils shut for several hours, in a deliberate effort to infect her. Still her body resisted.

“We had multiple rounds of tests, and different methods of testing: throat swabs, nose swabs, other types of swabs that I’d never done before like nasal wicks – where you hold a swab in your nose for a minute – as well as blood tests, but I never developed symptoms, never tested positive,” Garrett said. “My mum has always said that our family never gets flu, and I’ve wondered if there’s maybe something behind that.”

Most people know someone who has stubbornly resisted catching Covid, despite everyone around them falling sick. Precisely how they do this remains a mystery, but scientists are beginning to find some clues.

The hope is that identifying these mechanisms could lead to the development of drugs that not only protect people from catching Covid, but also prevent them from passing it on.

Garrett is not the only challenge trial participant to have avoided becoming infected. Of the 34 who were exposed to the virus, 16 failed to develop an infection (defined as two consecutive positive PCR tests) – although around half of them transiently tested positive for low levels of the virus, often several days after exposure.

Possibly, this was a reflection of the immune system rapidly shutting down an embryonic infection. “In our previous studies with other viruses, we have seen early immune responses in the nose that are associated with resisting infection,” said Prof Christopher Chiu at Imperial College London, who led the study. “Together, these findings imply that there is a struggle between the virus and host, which in our ‘uninfected’ participants results in prevention of infection taking off.”

Some of them also reported some mild symptoms, such as a stuffy nose, sore throat, tiredness, or headache – although, since these commonly occur in everyday life, they may have been unrelated to virus exposure.

“Either way, levels of the virus didn’t climb high enough to trigger detectable levels of antibodies, T cells or inflammatory factors in the blood that are usually associated with symptoms,” Chiu said.

Other studies also suggest it is possible to shake off Covid during the earliest stages of infection, before it establishes a proper foothold. For instance, during the first wave of the pandemic, Dr Leo Swadling at University College London and colleagues intensively monitored a group of healthcare workers who were regularly exposed to infected patients, but who never tested positive or developed antibodies themselves. Blood tests revealed that around 15% of them had T cells reactive against Sars-CoV-2, plus other markers of viral infection.

Possibly, memory T-cells from previous coronavirus infections – ie those responsible for common colds – cross-reacted with the new coronavirus and protected them from Covid.

Understanding how frequently people abort nascent Covid infections in the era of Omicron is complicated because it requires intensive testing – for the virus, antibodies, T cells and other markers of infection – and because so many people have been vaccinated.

“It is likely vaccinated individuals are exposed to the virus, and block viral replication and detectable infection more commonly,” Swadling said.

There is also no commercially available test that can distinguish between immunity triggered by vaccination and the different variants – so unless a person has recently tested positive, it is almost impossible to know if they have been exposed to Omicron or not.

Seasonal coronaviruses may not be the only source of cross-protective immune responses. Prof Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, an immunologist at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, began investigating this possibility, after Sweden avoided being overwhelmed by cases during the pandemic’s first wave, despite its light-touch approach to restrictions. Mathematical modelling by her colleague, Marcus Carlsson at Lund University, suggested this pattern of infections could only be explained if a large proportion of people had some kind of protective immunity.

Her team scoured databases of protein sequences from existing viruses, hunting for small segments (peptides) resembling those from the new coronavirus, to which antibodies were likely to bind. When they identified a six-amino acid peptide in a protein from H1N1 influenza that matched a crucial part of the coronavirus spike protein, “I almost fell out of my chair,” Söderberg-Nauclér said.

They have since discovered antibodies to this peptide in up to 68% of blood donors from Stockholm. The research, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, could suggest that immune responses triggered by H1N1 influenza – which was responsible for the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic – and possibly related subsequent strains, may equip people with partial, though not complete, protection against Covid-19. “It provides a cushion, but it won’t protect you if an infected person coughs in your face,” Söderberg-Nauclér said.

A small proportion of people may even be genetically resistant to Covid-19. In October, an international consortium of researchers launched a global hunt to find some of them, in the hope of identifying protective genes.

“We are not looking for common gene variants that provide modest protection against infection, what we are looking for is potentially very rare gene variants that completely protect someone against infection,” said Prof András Spaan at the Rockefeller University in New York, who is leading the research.

They are particularly interested in people who shared a home and bed with an infected person, and avoided infection themselves. “For instance, the other day I was talking to an elderly lady from the Netherlands, who took care of her husband during the first wave. The husband was eventually admitted to the ICU, but she spent the week before taking care of him, sharing the same room, and without access to face masks,” said Spaan. “We cannot explain why she did not get infected.”

Such resistance is known to exist for other diseases, including HIV, malaria, and norovirus. In these cases, a genetic defect means some people lack a receptor used by the pathogen to enter cells, so they cannot be infected. “It could well be that, in some individuals, there is such a defect in a receptor used by Sars-CoV-2,” Spaan said.

Identifying such genes could lead to the development of new treatments for Covid-19, in the same way that the identification of CCR5 receptor defects in HIV-resistant people has led to new ways of treating HIV.

Spaan thinks it is unlikely that the majority of those who have avoided Covid are genetically resistant, even if they have some partial immune protection. This means there is no guarantee they will not eventually become infected – as Garrett found out in late January. Having dodged the virus for almost two years, she was shocked when a routine lateral flow test produced an ominous second red line. Shortly afterwards, she developed mild Covid symptoms, but has since recovered.

The irony is that, having avoided catching Covid from close family, friends and in a specialist medical laboratory, it was probably a relative stranger who infected her. “I have no idea where I got it from; it could have been someone in my local choir, or maybe from the gym,” she said.


Time to Defund Vaccine and Mask Mandates

President Biden has declared victory over COVID. Congress should take him at his word and defund all of the vaccine and mask mandates now.

Just two weeks ago, Congress received 25 million emails urging them to defund the vaccine mandates in the Continuing Resolution to fund the government. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to do the job by voting 46-47 against a Senator Mike Lee vaccine mandate defund amendment and 44–49 against a separate amendment to defund mask requirements by Senator Ted Cruz.

The vaccine mandate defund amendment lost because four GOP Senators, Lindsey Graham, Mitt Romney, James Inhofe and Richard Burr chose to miss the vote.

Now, with every member of Congress able to be in the Capitol mask free as Democratic pollsters cry to their clients that they need to get beyond COVID for their political survival in November, defunding the enforcement of President Biden’s vaccine mandates in the upcoming Omnibus funding bill must be a Congressional priority.

Even the far left Fairfax County School District, where many federal bureaucrats send their children, have ended their mask requirements. The Washington, D.C. government, a vanguard of wokeness, has ended their draconian vaccine passport policy that prevented the unvaccinated from eating in restaurants or going into hotels, even as they were allowed to work in those same establishments.

But unless Congress defunds the enforcement of the regulations and Executive Orders mandating vaccinations, these onerous restrictions will linger in our health care systems, military, federal civil service and defense contractors like the sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of employees.

The enforcement of many of these edicts remains unresolved in the federal Courts but the threat to people’s livelihoods will remain so long as the regulations and Executive Orders remain on the books unless Congress defangs them through refusing to provide funding for their enforcement.

This should not be controversial. With Democrats desperate to move on from COVID, there should not be a single vote in the House or Senate against Congress asserting their rightful power of the purse by ending funding for the enforcement of these mandates. Not one.

As rare as it might be, this is one time when both those who supported and opposed the mandates should be able to agree that they should be ripped out by the roots rather than being left on the books like dangling live electrical wires waiting to shock unsuspecting passersby who inadvertently brush up against them.

At this time in history, we need every health care worker working. We need every member of our armed services ready to jump into action. We need our federal contractors planning to potentially ramp up production of military equipment and materiel. What we don’t need is for leaders in these areas to worry about the application of arbitrary and out-of-date health rules. We don’t need those who work in these fields looking over their shoulders out of concern for their livelihood due to their religious or health-related choice to not get vaccinated.




Thursday, March 03, 2022

Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine Goes Into Liver Cells and Is Converted to DNA: Study

Confession: I scoffed when I heard early claims that Covid vaccine alters your DNA. It seems that reality beats the improbable as far as the Pfizer vaccine is concerned. I am glad I had the more conventional AstraZenica shot, not available in the USA due to pressure from America's Big Pharma.

The academic journal article is here. The study was of "in vitro" liver cells but cells elsewhere would presumably be similarly affected. The big question is how extensive such effects are

The messenger RNA (mRNA) from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is able to enter human liver cells and is converted into DNA, according to Swedish researchers at Lund University.

The researchers found that when the mRNA vaccine enters the human liver cells, it triggers the cell’s DNA, which is inside the nucleus, to increase the production of the LINE-1 gene expression to make mRNA.

The mRNA then leaves the nucleus and enters the cell’s cytoplasm, where it translates into LINE-1 protein. A segment of the protein called the open reading frame-1, or ORF-1, then goes back into the nucleus, where it attaches to the vaccine’s mRNA and reverse transcribes into spike DNA.

Reverse transcription is when DNA is made from RNA, whereas the normal transcription process involves a portion of the DNA serving as a template to make an mRNA molecule inside the nucleus.

“In this study we present evidence that COVID-19 mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 is able to enter the human liver cell line Huh7 in vitro,” the researchers wrote in the study, published in Current Issues of Molecular Biology. “BNT162b2 mRNA is reverse transcribed intracellularly into DNA as fast as 6 [hours] after BNT162b2 exposure.”

BNT162b2 is another name for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that is marketed under the brand name Comirnaty.

The whole process occurred rapidly within six hours. The vaccine’s mRNA converting into DNA and being found inside the cell’s nucleus is something that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said would not happen.

“The genetic material delivered by mRNA vaccines never enters the nucleus of your cells,” the CDC said on its web page titled “Myths and Facts about COVID-19 Vaccines.”

This is the first time that researchers have shown in vitro or inside a petri dish how an mRNA vaccine is converted into DNA on a human liver cell line, and is what health experts and fact-checkers said for over a year couldn’t occur.

The CDC says that the “COVID-19 vaccines do not change or interact with your DNA in any way,” claiming that all of the ingredients in both mRNA and viral vector COVID-19 vaccines (administered in the United States) are discarded from the body once antibodies are produced. These vaccines deliver genetic material that instructs cells to begin making spike proteins found on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 to produce an immune response.

Pfizer didn’t comment on the findings of the Swedish study and said only that its mRNA vaccine does not alter the human genome.

“Our COVID-19 vaccine does not alter the DNA sequence of a human cell,” a Pfizer spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email. “It only presents the body with the instructions to build immunity.”

More than 215 million or 64.9 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated as of Feb. 28, with 94 million having received a booster dose.

The Swedish study also found spike proteins expressed on the surface of the liver cells that researchers say may be targeted by the immune system and possibly cause autoimmune hepatitis, as “there [have] been case reports on individuals who developed autoimmune hepatitis after BNT162b2 vaccination.”

The authors of the first reported case of a healthy 35-year-old female who developed autoimmune hepatitis a week after her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine said that there is a possibility that “spike-directed antibodies induced by vaccination may also trigger autoimmune conditions in predisposed individuals” as it has been shown that “severe cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection are characterized by an autoinflammatory dysregulation that contributes to tissue damage,” which the virus’s spike protein appears to be responsible for.

Spike proteins may circulate in the body after an infection or injection with a COVID-19 vaccine. It was assumed that the vaccine’s spike protein would remain mostly at the injection site and last up to several weeks like other proteins produced in the body. But studies are showing that is not the case.

The Japanese regulatory agency’s biodistribution study (pdf) of the Pfizer vaccine showed that some of the mRNAs moved from the injection site and through the bloodstream, and were found in various organs such as the liver, spleen, adrenal glands, and ovaries of rats 48 hours following injection.

In a different study, the spike proteins made in the body after receiving a Pfizer COVID-19 shot have been found on tiny membrane vesicles called exosomes—that mediate cell-to-cell communication by transferring genetic materials to other cells—for at least four months after the second vaccine dose.

The persistence of the spike protein in the body “raises the prospect of sustained inflammation within and damage to organs which express the spike protein,” according to experts at Doctors for COVID Ethics, an organization consisting of physicians and scientists “seeking to uphold medical ethics, patient safety, and human rights in response to COVID-19.”

“As long as the spike protein can be detected on cell-derived membrane vesicles, the immune system will be attacking the cells that release these vesicles,” they said.

Dr. Peter McCullough, an internist, cardiologist, and epidemiologist, wrote on Twitter that the Swedish study’s findings have “enormous implications of permanent chromosomal change and long-term constitutive spike synthesis driving the pathogenesis of a whole new genre of chronic disease.”

Whether the findings of the study will occur in living organisms or if the DNA converted from the vaccine’s mRNA will integrate with the cell’s genome is unknown. The authors said more investigations are needed, including in whole living organisms such as animals, to better understand the potential effects of the mRNA vaccine.

“At this stage, we do not know if DNA reverse transcribed from BNT162b2 is integrated into the cell genome. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the effect of BNT162b2 on genomic integrity, including whole genome sequencing of cells exposed to BNT162b2, as well as tissues from human subjects who received BNT162b2 vaccination,” the authors said.


Explaining vaccine rejection

The 2020–2022 pandemic split parties and ideologues, separated friend from friend and family members from family members. Neighbors were dangerous, and strangers even more so: the invisible enemy stalking our lands overturned every other concern in life: The conflicts it spurred replaced bonds of affection with fear and hatred.

More than ever, we need calm and level-headed thinkers, honest and willing to admit past errors, with eyes wide open for the corruption of industry or government itself. In other words, we need as little politics as humanly possible. As I wrote in a previous piece: we need “people without a clear ideological position, and who can thus appeal to audiences across the political spectrum.”

Two sane figures recently attempted the impossible: to speak calmly to the other side, trying earnestly to explain what happened—Konstantin Kisin, of the popular show Triggernometry, and Columbia sociology professor Musa al-Gharbi.

Kisin begins his monologue with “You’re struggling to understand why some people are vaccine hesitant. Let me help you.”

He uses no study result, no appeal to the biological effect of the drug that has become the main symbol of the Covid conflict; no death rates or R0; no projection of spread or what number of lives lockdowns may or may not have saved. Instead Kisin, for 13 spellbinding minutes, walks us through the many good reasons that people had—before and during Covid—to distrust the elites in politics, business, and media. If this is a question of (dis)trusting the establishment (including “the” Science), you must ask what the establishment did to no longer deserve that trust.

The tale begins years ago, with the Brexit vote and with the election of Donald Trump. Those events shocked the pompous leaders of the universities, the pollsters who confidently said it wouldn’t happen, the media pundits who so convincingly described to us the madness of such prospects.

For a brief moment after the unthinkable had happened, if you recall, there was an earnest desire for inclusivity—for inviting in the views that had gone overlooked in the other half of these countries. Outlets like the New York Times made an effort to portray conservative views and show the kinds of people who had long felt alienated and ostracized from civilized society. As despicable and difficult it was for their core audience to see, revealing perspectives and objections is better than silencing and hiding them.

The efforts didn’t last long and in 2019 and 2020, the monolithic thoughts that dominate these institutions willingly put their blinders on—tighter and more aggressively than before.

Kisin’s final minute is the most powerful thing in these disease-ridden past two years:

“The same people who told you Brexit would never happen; Trump would never win, and that when he did win, it was because of Russian collusion, then because of racism; that you must follow lockdown rules while they don’t; that masks don’t work and then that they do; that protests during lockdowns are a health intervention; that ransacking black communities in the name of fighting racism is mostly peaceful justice; that Jussie Smollett was the victim of a hate crime; that men are toxic; that there’s an infinite number of genders; that Covid didn’t come from a lab, and then that it probably did; that closing borders is racist, and then that it’s the most important thing to do; that the Hunter Biden story is Russian disinformation, and then that it’s not; that they would not take Trump’s vaccine, and then that you must take the vaccine; that Governor Cuomo is a great Covid leader, and then that he’s a granny killer and a sex pest; that the number of Covid deaths is one thing and then another; that hospitals are filled with Covid patients, and then that many of them caught Covid in hospital.

These are the same people now telling you that the vaccines are safe, you must take it, and if you don’t you will be a second-class citizen.

Understand vaccine hesitancy now?”




Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Russian Invasion Turns to Terrorism as Civilians and Landmarks Targeted

I am very pro-Russian. I am as pro-Russian as I once was anti-Soviet. I have several Russian-speaking friends. But it is clear that the invasion of Ukraine has no moral justification.

But it does have a pragmatic justifiation. Adding Ukraine's great natural resources to those of Russia itself would make Russia an economic world power as well as a military one. It would give Russia power over Europe and many other places as well. Supplying or witholding things like coal, gas and aluminium would become conditional on Russia's approval and would make a strong lever to force policies that Russia wants.

But in this day and age moral consciousness is at a high level and without that the consent of the governed will be absent. And it seems clear that Ukrainians as a whole will not bow to Russia. That intransigence exists despite the great similarities between the two countries. Even the Ukrainian language is just a dialect of Russian.

Ukrainians have always been disapproving of Russia for little reason. They resemble the attitudes of Canadians to the USA and New Zealanders to Australia. Or Scots to England. Big brother is resented

Such attiudes normally matter little but in the Ukrainian case they have come to the fore during the invasion and have energized resistance to any attempt at conquest by Russia. Russia cannot now succeed in gaining control.

Putin is being made to look a fool, and he’s taking his frustration out on the innocent people of Ukraine.

As the Russian military continues to flounder in their pursuit of toppling the democratic nation of Ukraine, it appears as though they are also turning far more desperate as well.

First and foremost, a vast number of Russian troops appear to have been tricked by the Kremlin into even participating in the invasion in the first place, with a great number of captured soldiers being extremely young and also of the belief that they were simply heading to Belarus for training. This has led to mass desertions in the ranks, and has snarled the Russian military’s supply chain logistics.

And then there are the harrowing tales of Ukrainian bravery, in which the once-feared Russian army has been made to look soft and weak.

Vladimir Putin, a man who despises being considered soft or weak has now commenced a campaign of terror in Ukraine, bombing landmarks and targeting civilians.

Russian missiles and rockets have hit the cultural heart of Ukraine’s second largest city in what officials said was a deadly and “cruel” attack.

An opera house, concert hall and government offices were hit in Freedom Square, in the centre of the north-eastern city Kharkiv.

At least 10 people were killed and 35 more were injured, local authorities have said.

Leaders in the region were quick to condemn Putin’s horrific tactics.

The attack came as Ukraine’s president said Russia was committing war crimes.

“This is the price of freedom,” President Volodymyr Zelensky said. “This is terror against Ukraine. There were no military targets in the square – nor are they in those residential districts of Kharkiv which come under rocket artillery fire,” he added.

And, even more condemnable were reports of the bombing of Babyn Yar – the site of a horrific massacre of Jews by the Nazis in World War II, which has since been turned into a memorial site in Ukraine.


Covid vaccines offer almost NO protection against infection for young children just weeks after their second dose, top Australian expert warns

An Australian Covid expert has warned new data shows the Pfizer vaccine offers very little protection against infection for young children.

New York Health Department researchers found the two-dose Pfizer shot was only 12 percent effective at preventing Omicron infection in children aged five to 11 after only a month.

Protection against catching the virus was about 67 per cent after the second jab, but dropped rapidly by 28 to 34 days.

Australian National University professor Peter Collignon discussed the results on his social media, noting the vaccine's ineffectiveness against the dominant strain.

'While protection against hospitalisation is still strong, the vaccine offered almost no protection against infection, even just a month after full vaccination,' he wrote.

ATAGI recommends everyone five or older get a Covid vaccine - with only Pfizer available for those under five, and both Moderna and Pfizer for six to 11.

New York researchers gathered data 852,384 children aged 12 to 17 and 365,502 aged five to 11 for the study.

The study, which is pre-print and pending peer-review, gathered data from the Omicron period of the pandemic, from December 2021 and January 2022.

Participants in the study were followed up with and compared to general figures from unvaccinated populations.

Pfizer's effectiveness at preventing infection dropped from 66 per cent to 51 per cent in older children when up against the Omicron variant - and in younger children dropped from 67 per cent to just 12 per cent.

The most dramatic difference in numbers was noted between 11 and 12-year-olds in the week leading up to January 30 where those aged 12 had 67 per cent protection and those aged 11 had just 11 per cent protection.

'The difference between the two age groups is striking,' Florian Krammer, an immunologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, said.

One major difference between the study groups is the dosage of the vaccine. Children aged 12 and older receive a 30 microgram shot, but only 10 micrograms for the five to 11 age group.

'This is super interesting because it would almost suggest that it's the dose that makes the difference. The question is how to fix that,' Dr Krammer said.

The findings have far reaching implications on the use of the vaccines, and whether parents will want to get their children jabbed.

Children do not suffer much of a risk from the virus, with hospitalizations and deaths being especially rare.

The main argument in favor of vaccinating them is to prevent them from spreading the virus, though these findings imply that the vaccine does little to prevent that.

The Omicron variant, though causing less severe symptoms, is far more contagious and more children were hospitalised during this wave than at any other point in the pandemic.

As well as illness directly from Covid, there is growing evidence of associated conditions that can appear weeks after infection.

A study from Italy showed a link to severe gastrointestinal illness in children 4-6 weeks after infection, while in the US more than 7,000 children have been diagnosed with multisystem inflammatory syndrome, a rare but serious condition.

While the Omicron wave has largely subsided, experts agree more Covid variants will appear.

Pfizer and BioNTech are testing a third vaccine dose in children aged 5 to 11 based on a third dose significantly improving immune system response in adults against Omicron.

Several labs around the world are also working on a pan-sarbecovirus vaccine - a single dose vaccine to protect against all future variants of Covid.




Tuesday, March 01, 2022

The CDC — which is withholding information — has a hidden agenda

By Marty Makary, MD, MPH (a professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

People say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a messaging problem. But the CDC’s problem is not messaging — it’s issuing flawed guidance while covering up the data.

Case in point: pushing boosters for young people.

After the Food and Drug Administration inexplicably bypassed its expert advisory committee to authorize boosters for all young people, the CDC director overruled her own experts’ down vote of the boosters-for-all proposal. That’s the magic of a call from the White House. Two top FDA officials, including the agency’s vaccine center head, quit over White House pressure to authorize boosters for the young.

But after the FDA and CDC rammed through the recommendation, they made sure the public wouldn’t see the real-world data. Despite repeated pleas to release all its data, the CDC only posted stats on boosters in people over age 50.

What have they been hiding? As a proxy, let’s take a look at what the CDC just published on people 50 to 65: For the fully vaccinated, the booster reduces the risk of COVID death from 4 per million to 1 per million. Who are those three helped by a booster? They’re not healthy people. One study of breakthrough hospitalizations found 75% had at least four comorbidities.

So the three people age 50 to 65 per million saved by a booster are almost certainly immunosuppressed individuals, a subgroup for whom boosters have long been recommended. Of course, the CDC doesn’t disclose what medical conditions those few who died had — it only has 21,000 employees to collect that information.

We once again have to look overseas for reliable data. An Israeli population study in the New England Journal of Medicine compared boosted vs. nonboosted people with the primary vaccine series. The risk of COVID death among nonboosted people under age 30 was zero — the same as it was among boosted.

A note for college administrators enforcing booster mandates: You can’t reduce a mortality risk of zero any lower with a booster.

The CDC claims it didn’t release booster data because it feared the information would be misinterpreted. No, it’s because the stats don’t support its agenda. Yet public health officials continue to beclown themselves by demanding all Americans over age 12 get boosted.

Most of the media have fallen for it. Throughout the pandemic, the New York Times and other outlets have only sourced doctors on the establishment groupthink bandwagon, dangled fear to young people and blindly amplified every edict government doctors fed without asking questions, just as the press did with weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

We’ve seen medical bandwagon thinking hurt us before. The dogma that COVID spreads by surface transmission, children must be shut out of school and the barbaric separation of Americans from their dying loved ones. Our public health leaders continue to make critical mistakes and affirm each other with groupthink while journalists give them a megaphone to broadcast their agenda, unchecked, failing to ask basic questions, like: Where’s the supporting data? What’s the incidence of myocarditis after a booster in young people?

This week, one Times reporter finally picked up on what many of us have been saying about the CDC’s deception.

Similarly, the CDC put out two highly flawed studies to promote mask mandates. Now the last people in America required to cover their faces are children, waiters, waitresses, servers, and staff — people who are powerless.

The American people are hungry for honesty. They see the inequity of COVID policies and want the data straight, not politically curated by a small group of like-minded scientists.

If I were advising President Biden, I would tell him the CDC needs to restore public trust by making all its data available to researchers in real time. It’s time we end secret data laboratories in government.

The American people realize public health officials have been lying to them. A response to a national health emergency should warrant more data transparency, not less.


Natural Immunity Denialism Responsible for Needless COVID-19 Discrimination, Job Losses

In a superb opinion piece in The Hill on Feb. 3, Drs. Jeffrey Klausner and Noah Kojima lauded the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for finally recognizing that naturally acquired immunity to COVID-19 is superior to that induced through vaccination.

That was the undeniable conclusion of a study conducted in California and New York.

Understandably, as medical professionals, the authors did not take the extra step of blaming the CDC for nearly two years of botched policy.

Instead, they explained that the new report “finally acknowledges what many have suspected for a long time—that surviving COVID-19 provides excellent natural immunity not only [to] repeat infection, but also to hospitalization and death for the delta variant of COVID-19.”

Klausner and Kojima are too generous. The scientific fact of naturally acquired immunity has not merely been “suspected” for some time. It was well-established through numerous rigorous, large-scale studies, including—but not limited to—one from the Cleveland Clinic (last June), another from Israel (last August), and a third from Qatar (last December), all of which confirm what humans have known for centuries; namely, recovering from a viral infection confers (often long-lasting) immunity.

Instead of incorporating this incontrovertible evidence into its COVID-19 vaccination guidance and recommending that recovered individuals should be exempt from mandates, for months the CDC doubled down on its false mantra that vaccine-induced immunity is superior to that following recovery from the virus, so everyone should get the vaccine.

It has done this through sleight of hand. Because vaccination may slightly elevate the levels of antibodies in COVID-19-recovered individuals for a brief period, the agency has run misleading headlines, claiming that certain studies prove even the naturally immune should get the vaccine.

But as many scientists have noted, this transient antibody boosting does not necessarily equate to a clinical benefit. In other words, it may not result in more robust immunity, and regardless, any increase is negligible.

Furthermore, the insistence upon recommending vaccination in this context does not account for potential adverse side effects.

Many naturally immune individuals—especially younger people—may reasonably conclude that the risk of, for example, myocarditis outweighs any marginal benefit for them.

The CDC’s refusal to change its stance despite voluminous evidence has led to real-world harm.

First, it has negatively impacted millions of naturally immune people in the United States because employers and governments enforcing mandates have refused to exempt them from vaccine requirements.

Many individuals with naturally acquired immunity lost their jobs, suffered discrimination, or suffered mental distress as a result of being coerced into receiving an unnecessary medical procedure.

These ill-conceived policies have, in a sick irony, led some states to permit health care workers currently infected with COVID-19 to treat patients, due to employee shortages resulting from termination of workers who declined the vaccine—many of whom possess natural immunity and thus were safer employees to have around.

Second, the CDC’s inexplicable natural immunity denialism has sown distrust in public health.

Americans caught on to the deceptive tactics that the agency was wielding in its push to vaccinate everyone.

As a lawyer challenging vaccine mandates in court, I speak to many individuals who have naturally acquired immunity and legitimate concerns about receiving the vaccine unnecessarily.

For instance, one young man about 30 years of age, who had been vaccinated in the spring, then caught COVID-19 in December. His employer, New York University, insisted that he get the booster.

Given his age and the potential myocarditis risk, along with his recent recovery, he determined that a booster was not in his interests. He faces loss of a job he worked hard for years to obtain.

Just days ago, Paul Offit, one of the country’s most zealous vaccine advocates, described the CDC’s meeting in which the decision was made to recommend that natural immunity not be recognized as equivalent to that attained through vaccination.

Offit explained that this approach, at odds with the science, was advocated for by Drs. Anthony Fauci and Francis Collins and was “bureaucratic more than anything else.”

Perhaps Fauci and Collins did not foresee the social and economic upheaval that would result from their natural immunity denialism.

Regardless, their refusal to follow the science and the elevation of bureaucratic concerns above all else have greatly diminished the public’s trust.

If the CDC is to have any chance of recovering its reputation and credibility, it must acknowledge its error immediately, recommend that anyone who has COVID-19 antibodies be exempt from any vaccine mandates, apologize to the American people (especially those who have lost their jobs) for what it has done to them, and encourage employers to hire back employees (and schools to reenroll students) with natural immunity.

Employers and others must stop treating nonbinding guidance as gospel. As the CDC has proven, agencies are fallible.




Monday, February 28, 2022

Even more infectious sub-variant of Omicron is now DOMINANT in England but health chiefs insist BA.2 strain is no more lethal

BA.2 was behind 52 per cent of all Covid infections in the seven days to February 20, up from 19 per cent a fortnight ago, the UK Health Security Agency found.

The sub-variant has completed its rapid rise to dominance just a month after it was first spotted in the UK.

But the scientific community has said there is no reason to panic, with the variant already almost every case in Denmark but leading to no effect on hospitalisations or deaths.

The Government there deemed the strain such a non-threat that it has ended virtually all Covid restrictions — like England did this week.

There is so far no evidence BA.2 is more severe or better at evading vaccine-induced immunity than the original Omicron.

And Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline it was unlikely to even cause cases — which have been falling for weeks — to pick back up.

Writing in today's report, the UKHSA also revealed 32 cases of 'Deltacron' had now been spotted in England.

The hybrid of Omicron and Delta emerged January 7, in a person who had both variants at the same time.

It has triggered just two infections in the past week.

Britain's Covid cases have fallen consistently for the last three weeks, while deaths and hospitalisations are already trending downwards.

BA.2 carries many of the same mutations as Omicron alongside many new ones that make it more transmissible. But, unlike its parent, it carries an S-gene meaning it can be easily distinguished from the original Omicron without the need for genomic sequencing.

UK's £5.6bn Covid jabs rollout was 'good value' for money
Britain's Covid vaccination drive was good value for money, No10's public spending watchdog has claimed.

The National Audit Office heaped further praise on the £5.6bn jabs rollout – adding that far fewer doses were wasted than predicted.

It claimed securing a supply of vaccines early on in the pandemic was 'crucial' to its success and this helped to 'save lives and reduce serious illness and hospitalisation'.

The independent watchdog warned there were still risks ahead for the programme, however, including staff burnout.

In a report released today, covering a period up to the end of October 2021, the NAO said wastage of about 4.7 million doses – 4 per cent of the total – had been 'much lower than the programme initially assumed'. UKHSA scientists used this to estimate BA.2's prevalence.

Delta also has an S-gene, but the variant has been completely eradicated in the UK by the two much more virulent strains.

London had the highest share of BA.2 (63 per cent of Covid cases), followed by the South East (57 per cent), East of England (53 per cent), North West (51 per cent) and West Midlands (50 per cent).

The regions where it was not dominant were the East Midlands (49 per cent), Yorkshire and the Humber (43 per cent), North East (33 per cent) and South West (33 per cent).

Professor Hunter said: 'Ultimately, we could have done without BA.2, but it will not make too much of an impact.'

He added: 'I don't think BA.2 is going to undermine the current drop in cases. 'The consensus opinion of epidemiologists that I've listened to is that it is probably not going to be something that will undermine our position.'

A fortnight ago the UKHSA revealed it had spotted the UK's first case of the so-called Deltacron in England.

The agency said they were keeping tabs on the hybrid, but that it was not concerning because there was no noticeable uptick in cases.

Scientists also called for calm, saying it 'shouldn't pose too much of a threat' because the UK has such high levels of immunity against both Omicron and Delta strains.

Despite the rise in BA.2, Government dashboard data shows that Britain's cases, hospitalisations and deaths are all trending downwards even as the more infectious version of Omicron became dominant.

It has given Boris Johnson the confidence to lift the final Covid restrictions, with self-isolation coming to an end yesterday for the first time in almost two years.

Free Covid tests are also set to end from the start of April, ministers have announced, in a drive to save £2billion a month.

Mr Johnson said he could lift the final Covid restrictions because of widespread immunity and the mildness of Omicron. But he warned this was not victory over the virus, adding that it was not yet 'going away'.

SAGE scientists have warned the mildness of Omicron may be a 'chance event', and say it is a 'common misconception' that viruses become weaker overtime.

But other scientists argue that high levels of immunity in the country mean it will not experience a Covid wave like in March 2020 again.


Australian health authorities have treated our kids shamefully during Covid

Some sections of our community have had a ‘good’ pandemic. If you’re a cold-eyed capitalist with a flair for early adoption and lobbying, you’ve made a motza from masks and RAT riches. If you’re a middling health bureaucrat with a dour expression and a flair for the dramatic, you’ve clogged our television screens for hours at a time and not lost a single day’s pay.

Not everyone has been so lucky. While our public health overlords strenuously ignore it, it is clear the worst effects of the Covid panic have been suffered by children. Lockdowns were particularly troubling. A Unesco report in 2021 examined the adverse consequences of school closures. The report details the effects felt by children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. From missing out on meals to increases in unreported sexual abuse, poorer children suffered the most. Protecting the vulnerable, indeed.

These lockdowns and restrictions trapped children in the home with their abusers. Kids Helpline reporting data demonstrate a 49 per cent increase in sexual abuse reports in the home during lockdowns. Anecdotal evidence from police officers indicates that this is probably far greater, as children have gone unseen by health services, schools or community groups which otherwise might notice and file mandatory reports.

Children have borne the brunt of the effects of draconian policies and those who have been born during this era will feel the effects well into their futures. Babies born recently will be victims of missed screenings that identify early childhood issues, like deafness or astigmatisms, which, if diagnosed early, can result in better outcomes over the course of a lifetime.

This is coupled with foolish policy decisions like the cancellation of home visits by community nurses in South Australia. They only serve to punish newborns that will be victims of missing checks identifying physical safety concerns or domestic violence, putting them at risk of SIDS, the third highest cause of death in children under one. Without a rigorous cost-benefit analysis against the risk of Covid in children under one it is an arbitrary and potentially dangerous decision.

The ongoing Resonance Study at Brown University in the United States recently released a pre-print paper indicating that children born during the pandemic in the USA experienced declines in verbal, motor and cognitive performance and an average decline in standardised IQ testing of 22 points. If this is even half correct, it’s still cause for alarm.

As with all the pandemic’s negative effects, authorities and commentators are quick to castigate parents, rather than cast so much as a glance at their own policy failure, blaming any loss in children’s cognition or speech on parental neglect, when so many of them were trying to work, keep house and teach children all at once as required by health department diktat.

Childcare, going to playgroup or shopping with a parent or carer are all regular routines that promote socialisation and help develop verbal and emotional skills. These mundane societal interactions help shape children’s development, and their loss has had a devastating effect.

For children turning four this year and entering preschool, half their lives have been shaped by inane rules, denial of simple pleasures and lack of social contact. This drives an increase in social isolation and bleeds into the poor educational outcomes that older children experience.

Ironically, bureaucratic overreach and Covid theatre have created a situation where children who truly require medical attention can’t receive it. When my own son was ill and I was nervous about pneumonia, I was forced to first have a farcical telehealth consult (‘shall I hold the phone up to his chest for you?’) before being ushered to a sweltering back room along with supplies and an old fax machine, because his complaint was ‘respiratory’ in nature. Covid cases in Adelaide at the time? Zero.

Other longer-term medical concerns for children’s health have also been obliterated due to Covid monomania. At a time when children’s obesity rates have been steadily rising, we have abandoned them to devices and screens, further entrenching the sedentary lifestyles already commonplace prior to the pandemic. Once again, it is our poorest children that end up worst off here, with obesity rates in children from lower socio-economic areas 2.4 times greater than children from our most wealthy areas. Anyone who has tackled obesity from childhood knows how hard it is to reverse. Protecting our health system, indeed.

The irrationality of decisions about children’s participation in activities that would help to reverse obesity trends knows no bounds. The same children that play sports together at weekends are banned from interschool sports in South Australia, while unvaccinated teens are locked out of community sports in Victoria. Some of the more ludicrous decisions made about children’s lifestyles in South Australia are all the more galling given the chief public health officer, Professor Nicola Spurrier, is a paediatrician by trade. Perhaps, in all her pronouncements of ‘do not touch that ball’ or the ‘pizza box strain’, she simply forgot about the children.

The rhetoric across Australia has become increasingly shrill. One of the ugliest scenes recently was breakfast television host Natalie Barr and media identity Mayor Basil Zempilas cheering on the idea floated by the WA government that would see unvaccinated parents restricted from accompanying or visiting sick children in hospital. Any civil society ought to reject outright such a vile notion, if not for the parents, at least for the sick children unduly punished by the edict.

Of course, the media in Australia have a case to answer for in championing these policies and their less-than-subtle attempts to shift the Overton Window to make outlandish restrictions seem required by the masses. Children have been scared witless by news coverage throughout attempting to paint Covid as the peril of our lifetime. The relentlessness of the pandemic news coverage cannot have been good for children’s mental health. Banning breakfast television has been one of the simplest and easiest mental health boosters in this household.

From failing young children through reducing their verbal skills, to creating the sadness of teenagers missing out on school formals due to ridiculous vaccine mandates, there has been no end to the cruelties foisted on our kids.

Our children have had a terrible pandemic. Nelson Mandela said, ‘The true character of society is revealed in how it treats its children.’ Australia’s bureaucrats have demonstrated that children are at the absolute bottom of the pile when it comes to wearing the consequences of poor policy and draconian crackdown. We should all hang our heads in shame.




Sunday, February 27, 2022

Two U.S. agencies have been quietly studying neurological problems that have appeared in people who have had COVID-19 vaccines

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) have been conducting separate research projects into post-vaccination neurological issues, which have manifested with symptoms like facial paralysis and brain fog and have been linked in some cases with the vaccines, according to emails reviewed by The Epoch Times.

One attempt to gain understanding of a problem that experts around the world are struggling to understand is being carried out by Dr. Janet Woodcock, who was acting commissioner of the FDA until Feb. 17.

Woodcock, now the FDA’s principal deputy director, has been personally evaluating neurologic side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines since at least Sept. 13, 2021, according to the emails, many of which have not been reported on previously. FDA epidemiologists are also gathering data to look into the issues, according to messages from Dr. Peter Marks, another top FDA official.

A team at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), meanwhile, started seeing patients reporting vaccine injuries for a study in early 2021 after receiving complaints shortly after the vaccines were made available. A portion of the patients was examined in person at the Bethesda, Maryland, facility.

None of the reviews or studies appear to have been announced, and health officials have said little about them publicly, despite a growing recognition among experts that at least some issues are likely linked to the vaccines.

Woodcock said she was sorry for the ordeals people were going through and that she was trying to find ways to examine what was happening. Eventually, she disclosed that she was working on an evaluation of “neurologic side effects from the COVID 19 vaccines,” according to a Sept. 16, 2021, email reviewed by The Epoch Times.

Prodded by people with diagnosed vaccine injuries, Woodcock insisted she was still working on the project.

“I am awaiting some information from the epidemiologists that I expect to get tomorrow,” she wrote on Nov. 16, 2021. “We are having difficulty pinning down these nervous system-related events that have been brought to our attention. I’ve asked for specific searches of the reports we get both from here and ex-U.S. (as these vaccines have been used in many countries) as well as from trials, where oversight of participants is greater.”

Woodcock said she was aware that people who suffer issues after getting vaccinated were looking for guidance on treatment but that there was “not a lot of certainty about what causes the symptoms.”

Woodcock confirmed to The Epoch Times in an email that the evaluation is still ongoing and has not been completed.

“When we know something definitive, we will put out a statement if warranted,” she said.

The FDA regulates vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics, in addition to other products.

Marks, who heads the FDA’s center in charge of regulating vaccines, wrote in one email in November 2021 that epidemiologists at the FDA are “looking into this.”

“I work closely with them, and know that they are very committed to understanding whatever adverse events might be attributable to the vaccines that we regulate,” he added.

Marks has met with patients reporting vaccine injuries on multiple occasions, according to emails reviewed by The Epoch Times. He has been alerted to both cases and studies regarding potential vaccine injuries. He often writes that the FDA will work through the papers and keep following up.

“We will continue to carefully evaluate all serious reports of adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination and are committed to transparency about any findings,” he said in one missive.

Marks declined to answer questions, forwarding them to FDA spokespersons.

A spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email that the systems in place to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines have identified several issues “potentially associated with vaccination,” including the neurological disorder known as Guillain-Barré syndrome, the combination of blood clotting and low blood platelet levels known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), and several forms of heart inflammation, including myocarditis.

“The chance of having these events occur is very low,” the spokesperson said. “To date, the systems for monitoring COVID-19 vaccine safety have not identified additional safety signals for serious neurological outcomes following COVID-19 vaccination.”

FDA epidemiologists and experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continuously analyze data from the passive reporting system known as the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to identify potential signals that would suggest a need for more in-depth study and consult with NIH experts about the analyses, according to the FDA. Reports to VAERS have spiked since the COVID-19 vaccines became available, and some patients who filed VAERS reports told The Epoch Times that nobody followed up with them.

U.S. officials have found that many reports submitted to VAERS don’t actually represent side effects due to a vaccine, for reasons such as the diagnosis being incorrect, the condition in question cropping up before vaccination, or the patient having underlying medical conditions “that explain the adverse event,” the FDA spokesperson said. Studies show the number of reports to VAERS often underrepresents problems following vaccination. As proof that “signals of rare adverse events can be detected,” the spokesperson pointed to how the government identified six adverse event reports, including three deaths, or of TTS following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC lists only one adverse event as likely having “a causal relationship” with a vaccine. That’s TTS and the Johnson & Johnson shot.

‘Neurological Side Effects’

Dr. Avindra Nath, clinical director of the NIH’s NINDS, headed a team that examined patients who experienced serious neurological issues.

Some patients flew to Bethesda, Maryland, for in-person examinations, while others consulted with NIH experts remotely.

Nath and Dr. Farinaz Safavi, one of Nath’s top deputies, have said they believe the issues are linked to the vaccines.

“We started an effort at NIH to look at neurological side effects of COVID-19 vaccines,” Safavi said in an email to one of the patients on March 3, 2021.

“We believe the symptoms to be real. That is the reason we have been treating patients,” Nath said in a different message on July 27, 2021.

Patients initially expressed gratitude to the team for helping them. Many had struggled to get care from local physicians when detailing how they got vaccinated before the problems started.

“Finally at the NIH, I was able to get appropriate diagnoses,” Brianne Dressen, a preschool teacher who lives in Utah, told The Epoch Times. “After I was able to get those appropriate diagnoses from lead researchers in COVID, my doctors started taking me seriously.”

Medical records from Dressen’s visit shows NIH doctors diagnosed her with “persistent neurological symptoms following SARS-CoV-2 vaccine” and “post-vaccine neuropathy.” SARS-CoV-2 is another name for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19. Neuropathy is nerve damage that can affect patients’ nervous systems and lead to symptoms including weak limbs, vision loss, and loss of muscle control.

Dr. Danice Hertz, a retired gastroenterologist who lives in California, was seen virtually by NIH experts. They did not give her a definitive diagnosis. But Safavi wrote in one message to Hertz, “What is clear here [is] that you have developed immediate reaction to the vaccine with some systemic symptoms continued by evolution of neuropathic features.”

“We know as a fact that immune-mediated neurological complications can happen post vaccination and post infection,” she added.

The examinations were done under a study protocol that started in 2015 called “Natural History Study of Inflammatory and Infectious Diseases of the Nervous System.” Nath told The Epoch Times via email that his team examined about 10 patients, though he gave a different number to Science magazine.

Other people who experienced problems after being vaccinated told The Epoch Times that attempts to get help from the NIH or other agencies weren’t successful. Angelia Desselle of Louisiana, for instance, was told she would be able to travel to NINDS and be seen but stopped hearing from the institute before the visit was finalized.

The NIH is a medical research agency that works to examine diseases and reduce health burdens. NINDS focuses on brain and nervous system problems.


Even among those examined, the excitement of connecting with top researchers and government officials turned to disappointment and frustration when repeated queries yielded few signs of progress on research into post-vaccination problems.

Woodcock and Marks would often only provide updates after being prodded, and neither have thrust the conversation happening in private into the public realm.

Nath and Safavi also grew distant as 2021 wore on. They eventually stopped examining patients. Nath urged Dressen to stop referring people to him, telling her that “we do not have any clinical trial for … vaccine related complications.”

Dressen responded in January that she will “always be indebted to you and what you did for me,” crediting Nath, alongside her husband, with keeping her alive. However, she added, her “heart is shattered.”

“I am more confused now than ever about what my active and willing engagement in the scientific process actually meant, or has led to,” she wrote. “This will be the last email I send.”

“Looking back on this, I can see how unethical it was even when they were helping us,” Dressen told The Epoch Times.

Private calls and communication with physicians treating patients for reported vaccine injuries took place, but no broader recommendations were unveiled, and federal officials have continued pushing vaccination for virtually all Americans.

Hertz described being shocked about the lack of public acknowledgement of the post-vaccination issues by the FDA, which cleared the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines in December 2020 and has since authorized Johnson & Johnson’s shot.

“They refuse to acknowledge what’s happening to so many thousands of people,” Hertz told The Epoch Times. “We’ve been completely abandoned. And we’re despondent over it.”


Sweden's no lockdown policy WAS right and countries that enforced them had 'significantly worse outcomes'

Sweden made the correct decision by avoiding a full Covid-19 lockdown and relying on their population's common sense, a commission into the handling of the virus has claimed.

Despite praising keeping the country open, the commission said some restrictions should have been introduced earlier.

Swedish experts said repeated lockdowns in other European countries were neither 'necessary' nor 'defensible'.

According to the the report, the decision to promote 'advice and recommendations which people were expected to follow voluntarily' had been 'fundamentally correct'.

The authors said Swedes were able to keep more of their personal freedoms than other countries.

According to The Telegraph, the report warns against imposing further lockdowns in response to 'a new, serious epidemic outbreak'.

Swedish officials claimed some countries that imposed lockdowns had significantly worse outcomes than the Scandinavian country.

Health minister Lena Hallengren said: 'The non-lockdown policy has been much-debated. I've had to answer a lot of questions during the pandemic about the "Swedish strategy".

'The fact that the commission concluded that the overall strategy, based on non-invasive recommendations... was the right choice. I think that's good.'

However the authors said restrictions should have been placed on indoor settings and the use of masks should have been encouraged at an earlier stage.