Friday, April 22, 2022

Probable hiatus

I am at the moment in a lot of pain from a cracked rib -- and it is getting worse.

So I am in no form to do much blogging at the moment.

I try to put something up but may not be able to do so for a while


Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Democrat Party, Not Climate Change, Is the Existential Threat

The Biden Administration, the Democrat Party, and Democrat leaders in Congress have sponsored separate policies, laws, and initiatives that when viewed as a whole reveal one profound commonality, an intent to knock down every pillar of our free society: to sacrifice individual and parental rights; to destroy our free-market economy; to abandon our border defenses against illegal immigration, cross-border drug, sex, and arms trafficking, and terrorist infiltration; to defund the police and halt detention, prosecution, and incarceration of criminals; and to destroy the nuclear family. In short, the Democrat Party’s platform is one of nihilism.

The Democrat Party calls its suicidal ideations and policies by the collective term “transformational change,” a term Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer uses (and celebrates) almost daily. By transformational change, the Democrat Party seeks to empower and enrich those in government and those who are politically preferred and to disempower and impoverish all others. In effect, rights are deprived of protection and all social and economic opportunities are denied unless in furtherance of politically preferred objectives. In this way individual sovereignty is replaced with state sovereignty and the government becomes an ultimate master, not the intended servant of the people. All private wealth is redirected through regulation or confiscated through taxation, ultimately to afford more power and wealth to political elites and their allies.

The Democrat Party calls for a massive tax and redistribution of income from high-income earners and the middle class (that is, from the productive) to the politically preferred.

It calls for elimination of legal protections for the property and lives of individuals and the welfare of communities and states via abandonment of border defenses and of legal interdictions to stop drug, sex, and arms traffickers, gangs, and terrorists crossing our Southern border.

It calls for defunding the police (euphemistically referred to as “reimagining policing”) and cessation of law enforcement against crime, enabling violent criminals to remain on the streets incentivized to increase their criminal activity. They call for destruction of the fossil fuel backbone of the American economy, encouraging inflation but also an ultimate collapse of the economy.

They call for massive socialist spending, pumping trillions of dollars into the market, the predictable effect of which is runaway inflation. They call for official sanction of child abuse in K-12 whereby children are taught to view the absence of pigment as proof of one’s perpetual status as an oppressor and the presence of pigment as proof of one’s perpetual status as a victim (the skewed, left-eye lens of Marxist critical race theory).

They call for official sanction of even more horrific child abuse in K-12 whereby children are robbed of their innocence, sexualized prematurely, taught that they must discover their gender identity, and made to believe gender not a fact but a choice, optional and fluid, and appropriately reassigned through physical mutilation via chemical hormone suppression and surgical sex change (even to the extent of encouraging pre-pubescent youth to take hormone suppressive drugs and undergo castration or reconstructive genital surgeries without parental consent).

In short, the Democrat Party, the Biden Administration, and the Democrat Congress are at war with American liberty, American law, and American values. They have endorsed nihilism. They wish to lead Americans, as if lemmings, off the cliff of civilization into an abyss of total destruction. They plan to stand atop the ruins, all-powerful and to whom all will be dependent.

They do not support individual freedom of choice; rather, theirs is a collectivist agenda in which leaders define acceptable “rights” and insist that only those be upheld in law. They do not support freedom of speech and press; rather, they demand those who convey a conservative message be silenced in favor of an interminable liberal echo chamber where only politically preferred views may be heard. They do not support free enterprise; rather, they insist on government-planned economies where the politically preferred receive anticompetitive protection and where those in disfavored enterprise (e.g., the fossil fuel industry) are destroyed.

For the first time in American history, we have witnessed a governing party abandon all connection with that irreducible principle of our republic, the one responsible for American greatness without which we cannot be great: individual liberty. By individual liberty I mean the term as Thomas Jefferson defined it, which is the meaning understood and endorsed by all of the Founding Fathers. In his April 4, 1819 letter to the lawyer Isaac Tiffany, Jefferson explained: “Liberty . . . in the whole plenitude of its extent, . . . is unobstructed action according to our will, but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the meaning of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.”

It was to ensure broad legal protection for individual liberty that the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence and later endorsed for ratification the Constitution of the United States. It is that very liberty which has defined Americans sense of self throughout our history and has become the meaning of America understood by the world. It is the heart of our nation, and it is that very heart which the Democrat Party, this Administration, and the Democrat leaders in Congress mean to cut out from the body politic and discard forever.

Rather than talk of the rights of individuals (e.g., to dissent from officially sanctioned views on everything from racism, abortion, gender politics, religion, to COVID-19 vaccination and treatments), the Democrat Party condemns dissent, equates it with a lack of patriotism, and calls for voices of opposition to be canceled and banned from the information and idea marketplace. Facilitating this tyranny are the owners of Big Tech. So much for the adage, once celebrated by those who called themselves liberals: While I wholly disapprove of what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Instead, by word and deed, the Democrat Party has adopted politicized rather than blind justice—a political justice characteristic of totalitarian regimes in China and Russia. It does not recognize, let alone defend, individual rights unless consistent with the official orthodoxy of the party.

It rejects the foundation of American jurisprudence: equal justice under law. The “rules for thee but not for me” mentality and practice permeates the Party at all levels. Unequal justice expresses itself in, among other profound examples, rabid refusal to allow any meaningful criminal investigation into the unlawful and corrupt foreign influence peddling by the Biden family or to require criminal accountability by Hillary Clinton for violations of the Espionage Act and her campaign and agents’ financing of the fraudulent Steele dossier and false complaint to the FBI against candidate and President Trump.

While refusing to apply the law in those contexts and refusing to prosecute Antifa and BLM rioters for looting, arson, assault, battery, and murder nationwide, the Democrat Party vehemently insists on arrest, lengthy pre-trial incarceration (including in certain instances solitary confinement) and prosecution of hundreds allegedly associated with the January 6 events at the Capitol despite an absence in most cases of bona fide evidence of criminality and of criminal intent.

There is in this an assault on individual liberty, on equal justice under law, on impartial justice, and on the rule of law. It will not be enough for Republicans to take back control of the House, Senate, and White House. Once in power, they must act to restore America’s foundational principles through dismantlement of the nihilistic policies, laws, and initiatives of the Biden Administration and the Democrat Congress.


Alternative framings of the Ukraine war

The hysteria has moved on from Covid to Ukraine. Given official and media propaganda on lockdowns and vaccines on their own people, scepticism on their trustworthiness about a foreign war waged by Russia is understandable. The mainstream media and all Western leaders have echoed President Joe Biden’s Manichean framing of the war as a ‘great battle’ between democracy and autocracy, liberty and repression and a rules-based order and ‘one governed by brute force’. President Volodymyr Zelensky has been unexpectedly heroic, courageous and inspirational. But the ‘democracy-autocracy’ narrative is seriously defective. Ukrainians are fighting for their nation, not for universal freedoms. Fragmenting Western societies seem to have forgotten patriotic determination to defend one’s country as a universal civic virtue. The same fierce resistance to invaders was demonstrated in Vietnam and Afghanistan, highlighting both the power of the weak when fighting for the homeland and the fragility of the strong when engaged in imperialism.

The 2014 Maidan revolution was a de facto coup to oust the democratically elected pro-Russian president with ‘a deep degree of US involvement’ (Washington Post) in Ukraine’s internal affairs. In the annual report from Freedom House, Ukraine’s score of 61/100 put it in the same ‘partly free’ category as Colombia, Serbia, Liberia, El Salvador and the Philippines. After the 2014 coup, the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion – that’s a Daily Beast label from 2019 – was incorporated into President Petro Poroshenko’s military and security apparatus and has remained there. Zelensky has seized the opportunity of the war to ‘suspend’ eleven opposition parties, including the biggest with 44 MPs in the 450-seat parliament, and nationalise several media outlets to implement a ‘unified information policy’. In Transparency International’s 2021 corruption index published in January, Ukraine’s score was 32/100, making it Europe’s most corrupt country (cue Hunter Biden’s laptop). Russia is even worse. So pardon me for not joining in the rapturous standing ovations to Zelensky that has become part of the ritualised theatre of his Zoom addresses to Western parliaments.

Western countries have themselves witnessed grievous assaults on freedoms and curtailment of civil liberties and democratic practices in the last two years, with Canada and the state of Victoria being among the worst offenders. The media propagation of the Trump–Russia collusion hoax for three years and the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story, not to mention the pattern-defying anomalies, compromised the legitimacy of the 2020 US presidential election. This is not to imply a moral equivalence between imperfect Western democracies and Russia, but to explain non-Western dissent from how Biden framed the Ukraine war.

A second framing alleges Russian violations of foundational global norms on state sovereignty, territorial integrity and the use of force. The lopsided General Assembly vote, followed by this month’s suspension of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council, shows that most countries do care about core global norms and share in the repugnance at atrocities against civilians. Unfortunately, every charge levelled against Russia applies also to the US. It’s used force overseas more often than any other country since 1945, including Iraq in 2003. It rejected the World Court’s judgment on aggression against Nicaragua and threatened the International Criminal Court with sanctions for daring to investigate possible war crimes by US soldiers in Afghanistan, but backs the two courts vis-à-vis Russia in Ukraine. The downing of a Malaysian Airline flight over Ukraine in 2014 is comparable to the downing of an Iran Air flight by a US warship in 1988. Both Moscow and Washington rejected the World Court’s 1996 opinion on the legal obligation on nuclear disarmament.

The first two frames together, in combination with the global dominance of Western media, explain why Westerners conflate their local consensus into a global consensus that simply doesn’t exist. Much of the non-Western world views the Ukraine conflict within a third frame of an ongoing recalibration of the European balance of power since the Cold War ended. A continual readjustment of geopolitical frontiers along historical faultlines and buffer states is part of human history. Afflicted by hubris, the US and Nato effectively treated Russia as a permanently defeated enemy instead of one in temporary retreat. As Nato kept incorporating former Warsaw Pact members in a steady eastward expansion to Russia’s borders, the repeated proclamation of red lines over Georgia and Ukraine were contemptuously brushed aside. In a cable sent home on 1 February 2008, William Burns, then ambassador to Russia and current CIA director, concluded: ‘While Russian opposition to the first round of Nato enlargement in the mid-1990s was strong, Russia now feels itself able to respond more forcefully to what it perceives as actions contrary to its national interests’. Nato policy on Ukraine provoked but did not deter Russia. Last month, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa said: ‘The war could have been avoided if Nato had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region’. This helps to explain why half of African countries refused to endorse the UN General Assembly resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Arabs too have misgivings about the consistency of US policy between Ukraine and the Middle East.

Let’s also examine the war as contestations over Russia’s place in the European security, economic and political orders. Boris Yeltsin was told in October 1993 by Secretary of State Christopher that the US was pursuing, not Nato membership for selected but a Partnership for Peace for all European countries. When Yeltsin interrupted to make sure he had understood correctly that all Central and Eastern European countries and Russia would be treated equally in an all-inclusive partnership, Christopher replied, ‘Yes, that is the case’. Yeltsin responded, ‘This is a brilliant idea, a stroke of genius’. Within a year the US changed policy. Russia was frozen out. The rest is history.

But that history has regional resonance for Europe, not global resonance. Asian countries that did not join last month’s UN condemnation of Russia include Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Singapore was the only one of the Asean ten to condemn Russia. Shivshankar Menon, India’s former National Security Adviser, writes in Foreign Affairs that the Ukraine war will transform Europe’s geopolitical landscape but is not a transcendental conflict between autocracies and democracies, will not reshape the global order and has only limited relevance for the Indo-Pacific. China’s rise is far more consequential for reconfiguring the emerging global order on both the geopolitical and normative axes than the protracted death rattles of the Soviet empire that expired in 1990/91




Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Masks off: US judge throws out Biden’s face-covering mandate

Washington: Put it on or leave it off?

That’s the question airline passengers and public transport users across America were left asking after a federal judge in Florida struck down a national mandate that required masks to be worn on planes, trains, and buses to protect people from the pandemic.

Less than a week after the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention extended the mandate, a judge appointed by former president Donald Trump, Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, ruled the health agency had overstepped its legal authority by imposing the order that has been in place since February last year.

The move is a blow to the Biden administration, which appeared to be caught off-guard by the ruling and is now “reviewing the decision and assessing potential next steps”.

But it’s also created another grey area in one of the most polarising debates the US has faced over the past few years, and has prompted the question: was the mandate unlawful all along?

America’s COVID-19 rules are confusing at the best of times. In Washington DC, for example, you can attend a packed nightclub or sit next to a stranger at a communal cafe table without wearing a mask; yet, you must put one on the moment you walk into the subway – even if you’re the only person on the platform waiting for the train.

Inconsistencies even when it comes to President Joe Biden himself have not gone unnoticed: sometimes he wears a mask indoors, sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes his administration abides by CDC guidelines; other times it doesn’t.

The Florida ruling has resulted in even greater uncertainty, with the transport industry left scrambling as they awaited federal guidance over how quickly airlines and train operators should stop forcing passengers to wear masks.

The Transportation Security Administration said it would no longer enforce the mask requirement, causing airports in Houston and Dallas to almost immediately do away with their mandates.

Some groups, such as New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Chicago Department of Aviation announced they would continue to abide by the previous order as they reviewed the ruling, whereas certain airlines, such as United, said they would drop the requirement in most cases.

“Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at United on domestic flights, select international flights (dependent upon the arrival country’s mask requirements) or at US airports,” it said in a statement.


FDA Authorizes Breath Test to Detect COVID-19

For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized for emergency use a breath test to detect COVID-19.

The InspectIR COVID-19 Breathalyzer is the “size of a piece of carry-on luggage” and can analyze chemical compounds in breath samples to test for COVID-19, the FDA states.

Samples can be collected and analyzed in the same place in less than three minutes, which enables it to be carried out in places such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, and mobile testing sites.

The test uses gas chromatography mass-spectrometry (GC-MS) to isolate different chemical mixtures and quickly detect certain compounds—referred to as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)—associated with COVID-19 infection in the breath samples.

InspectIR says it is the first company to make a commercially available miniature mass spectrometer to analyze breath samples directly.

If the test detects the presence of five VOCs associated with COVID-19, it will give an unconfirmed positive test result, which would need to be confirmed with a molecular test.

Negative results don’t rule out COVID-19 and “should not be used as the sole basis for treatment or patient management decisions, including infection control decisions,” the FDA noted. Negative results “should be considered in the context of a patient’s recent exposures, history, and the presence of clinical signs and symptoms consistent with COVID-19.”

The breathalyzer was studied on a group of 2,409 people with and without symptoms. Per the study, the device had 91.2 sensitivity—it was able to correctly identify 91.2 percent of positive COVID-19 cases. It also showed 99.3 specificity, meaning it gave false positive results in 0.7 percent of cases.

The test also gave similar sensitivity in a follow-up clinical study focused on the Omicron variant, the FDA noted.

“Today’s authorization is yet another example of the rapid innovation occurring with diagnostic tests for COVID


Inequality and the Piketty Accounting Error

The political left’s love affair with steep progressive taxation got an academic boost with the publication of Thomas Piketty’s bestselling 2014 book, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century.” Appealing to the New Deal era, Mr. Piketty proposed a simple explanation and remedy for rising economic inequality: The concentration of income among the top 1% could be mitigated by strategically targeting wealth with the tax system.

Mr. Piketty based his theory on a historical argument taken from his own empirical work with fellow economist Emmanuel Saez. When Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt hiked the top marginal income-tax rate to 91% during the New Deal and World War II, they allegedly broke up the concentration of the capital stock at the top of the income ladder. Inequality declined to a midcentury trough, where it remained until the Reagan tax cuts in the 1980s. Inequality then rebounded to form a centurylong U-shaped pattern. The solution, then, is to restore tax rates to their FDR levels.

But the Piketty-Saez theory is less a matter of history than an accounting error caused by their misunderstanding of World War II-era tax statistics. That’s the main conclusion of a new analysis of top income concentration in the U.S. between 1917 and 1960, which we recently published in the Economic Journal.

Progressives embraced Messrs. Piketty and Saez’s historical account after it appeared in an influential academic paper in 2003. Their story undergirds the wealth-tax proposals of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Heather Boushey, a member of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, is also a fan. Even the New York Times’s “1619 Project” draws on Messrs. Piketty and Saez to proclaim confidently that “progressive taxation remains among the best ways to limit economic inequality.”

Our findings paint a different picture. It’s true that income inequality declined in the early part of the 20th century, but the cause had more to do with the economic devastation of the Great Depression than the New Deal tax regime.

To see how, we must first turn to Messrs. Piketty and Saez’s inequality statistics. Their data show a rapid decline in top income shares between the 1929 stock-market crash and the end of World War II—a period economists have dubbed the “Great Leveling.” In their version, the sharpest decline took place between 1940 and 1945, just as the 91% top marginal rate schedule became a fixture of midcentury tax policy. Their statistics imply that more than 34% of the decline in the top 1%’s income share occurred in this brief period, as did an astounding 73% of the decline in the top 10% of earners.

Our investigation of the Piketty-Saez data reveals that they failed to account properly for historical changes in how the Internal Revenue Service reported income-tax statistics. As a result, their numbers systematically overstate the levels of top income concentrations by as much as a third, while also distorting the trend line during the “Great Leveling” period. The combination of these errors creates an illusion that FDR’s tax hikes caused inequality to fall.

Messrs. Piketty and Saez’s mistakes arise from how the IRS tabulates income. Between 1943 and 1944 the tax collection agency shifted from tracking “net income” to “adjusted gross income,” or AGI. The latter category, a truer depiction of annual earnings, includes both taxable earnings and deductible income such as charitable giving and state and local tax payments. Yet Messrs. Piketty and Saez didn’t bring pre-1944 IRS records into line with AGI accounting standards. Instead, they applied a fixed and arbitrary adjustment to all years before the AGI accounting change that conveniently scaled upward to the highest income brackets.

At the same time, Messrs. Piketty and Saez mishandled how they estimate the top 1%’s income shares. In addition to IRS records of tax payments, this calculation requires a measure for all personal income earnings. We found that in every year prior to 1960, the IRS’s numerator is mismatched to the total income denominator used by Messrs. Piketty and Saez. They used the wrong accounting definition for personal income and neglected to adjust their data for wartime distortions on tax reporting. When we corrected these problems, something stunning happened. The overall level of top income concentration flattened, and the timing of its leveling shifted away from the World War II-era tax rates that Messrs. Piketty and Saez place at the center of their story.


First infection of new Covid variant detected in Australia

NSW has reported a case of Omicron XE infection brought in by an overseas traveller.

The state was also the first to report a case of another recombinant strain dubbed Deltacron, with that variant spreading two Queensland within 24 hours of being detected.

There are fears a further relaxing rules for international arrivals will see more - and potentially deadlier - variants enter the country.

XE is a combination of the two Omicron variant subtypes BA.1 and BA.2.

The variant is what’s known as recombinant, meaning it is a mixture of the two different strains and has characteristics of both.

More than a thousand cases of XE have been recorded in the UK and cases have also been detected in Thailand, India and Israel.

It’s presence around the world suggests it has been spread by open borders and international travel.

From Monday, international arrivals will no longer need to test negative to Covid-19 before leaving for Australia, meaning more cases of new variants could arrive in the country.

“As the Covid pandemic has progressed, we’ve repeatedly seen the arrival of new viral variants,” University of Leeds virologist Grace Roberts wrote in The Conversation.

While the properties of XE are not yet well known, Dr Roberts said there did not appear to be cause for additional concern.

“We know that Omicron XE has the majority of its genetic information, including the spike protein, from the Omicron sub-variant BA.2, which is the variant predominating in the UK at the moment,” she said.

“ It is likely, therefore, that the characteristics of omicron XE (such as transmissibility, severity of disease and vaccine efficacy) are similar to those of BA.2.”

NSW recorded 17,856 positive cases of Covid on Thursday, with a total 1582 Covid cases admitted to hospital, including 71 people in intensive care, 23 of whom require ventilation.

The state also recorded 21 Covid-linked deaths on Thursday, including one person who was over 100-year-old. Of those that died, three people were not vaccinated




Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Heart problems as a Covid vaccine side-effect may be more common than is usually admitted

Report from Australia

It started with the ambulances. Queensland recorded its fourth-highest number of triple-0 calls for a single day last Monday with paramedics waiting up to three hours to offload patients and nine ambulances waiting outside a major hospital because there were no beds.

Queensland Health Minister Yvette D’Ath was flummoxed. ‘I don’t think anyone can explain why we saw a 40 per cent increase in code ones,’ she told journalists. ‘We had a lot of heart attacks and chest pains and breathing/respiratory issues. Sometimes you can’t explain why those things happen.’

Ambulance ‘ramping’ has been at crisis point in every state in Australia over the summer. In Western Australia, just 70 per cent of priority one emergency call outs in March were responded to within 15 minutes. March was also the busiest month ever for paramedics in Tasmania with a 15 per cent increase in callouts. Ambulance Victoria experienced its busiest quarter on record, a 16 per cent increase on the same period last year. In South Australia, ramping was so bad that it became an election issue. Paramedics in New South Wales were so angry about staff shortages that they went on strike this week.

Part of the problem was the callous and stupid decision to sack paramedics during a pandemic because they refused to be immunised with a vaccine which, as it turns out, has almost no efficacy in preventing infection with the omicron variant. So, staff numbers have been reduced by mandates, by infection with omicron, and by the need to quarantine.

But what explains the increase in demand which has occurred in summer, not during the winter flu season? It’s not the pandemic. NSW, for example, has a combined private and government hospital capacity of 12,500 beds including 1,000 in intensive care units, but there are only 1,583 people admitted to hospitals ‘with’ Covid, and only 71 in intensive care. The chief executive of Ambulance Tasmania offered a clue saying that while a lot of the patients had respiratory complaints or chest pain in line with Covid, there was also an increase in mental health cases and in falls. What caused them?

To get some clues out, you needed to turn on the Footy Show. Discussing Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines, who was taken to hospital at half time where he was diagnosed with a ‘heart irregularity’, former Richmond forward Nathan Brown asked, ‘Is there a lot of this going on in world sport?’, clarifying that he was referring to the side effects of Covid vaccine booster shots. Journalist Damian Barrett said the question was being asked, ‘by a lot of people’ and that it wasn’t just the heart issues’. Essendon star Matthew Lloyd, another panellist on the show that night confirmed that he had Bell’s palsy – and that both heart issues and Bell’s palsy had ‘gone through the roof since the boosters and Covid issues’. He added that 3AW sports journalist Michelangelo Rucci had said that there’s a ward in Adelaide filled with people with similar symptoms to Ollie Wines – nausea, heart issues – ‘so there has to be something more to it’.

That Covid vaccines can cause myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) and pericarditis (inflammation of the sac around the heart) as well as other severe reactions, including death, is a taboo topic in mainstream media. The Daily Mail accused the Footy Show hosts of making a ‘shocking claim’ for suggesting Wine’s heart issues could be linked to the Covid vaccines.

Yet as the Therapeutic Goods Administration confirms, myocarditis is a known side effect of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. So far there have been 1,168 reports of myocarditis to the TGA (10 fatal) and another 3,215 of pericarditis (1 fatal).

The TGA claims that only 593 are likely to be confirmed as myocarditis. But the Myocarditis Foundation in the US warns that nearly 20 per cent of sudden cardiac deaths are linked to myocarditis because common symptoms are misinterpreted. They include many reported to the TGA including chest pain (11,976 reports), shortness of breath (9,519), fatigue (14,569), palpitations (5,249), tachycardia (2,428), fainting (3,424), dizziness (2,843), and peripheral swelling (1,057). If any of these symptoms are detected, the foundation urges people to see a doctor straight away because myocarditis is the third leading cause of death in children and young adults and discouraging talk about the symptoms of post-vaccination myocarditis is dangerous, especially for young athletic men and boys who are at the greatest risk.

In less than three months, since Covid vaccines were rolled out to children aged 5-11, three have died. A 7-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl suffered cardiac arrests, the worst outcome of myocarditis, and a 6-year- old boy also died but whoever filed his report simply described his medical reaction as an ‘adverse event following immunisation’, a description that provides no useful information to investigators and has been used in 755 reports, 161 of them fatal.

There have also been 49 reports of adverse reactions in babies via exposure their mothers’ breast milk including trouble breathing, chest pain, fatigue, dizziness – all symptoms of myocarditis. One infant suffered Bell’s palsy. There have been 244 reports of spontaneous abortions, 14 stillbirths, 11 reports of foetal deaths, 11 of foetal hypokinesia (decreased bodily movement of the foetus). The vaccines were not tested on pregnant or breast-feeding women. The TGA had no clinical basis to say they were safe.

Since the vaccines were rolled out in February last year, 19,926 people have reported adverse reactions and 815 people have died. More than two every day. Compare that to influenza vaccines – 21 deaths in 47 years, less than one death every two years. Are any of these tragedies caused by the Covid vaccine? Is anyone at the TGA trying to find out? When the US government rushed out a swine flu vaccine to 45 million people in 1976, the program was halted when it was reported to have caused one case of Guillain-Barré syndrome per 100,000 persons vaccinated, and 53 deaths. To date in the US there have been 26,693 deaths, including those Pfizer, Moderna and J&J have reported occurring abroad, 49,516 people are permanently disabled, and the mainstream media says nothing.

Why the difference? In 1976, vaccine manufacturers could be sued for injury and death. Now they have immunity from prosecution unless they can be shown to have engaged in fraud or to have hidden safety data. While courageous scientists, doctors and whistleblowers sound the alarm about damning evidence, no one who has been coercing people to get vaccinated – government, media, employers – wants to admit that there might be a problem. Like ramping ambulances, nobody wants to explain why those things happen


California Bill Would Allow Doctors to Lose Licenses over COVID ‘Misinformation or Disinformation’

A new bill under consideration by the California State Legislature would allow the state’s medical board to discipline doctors who provide what is considered “misinformation or disinformation” about COVID-19 — and even strip them of their licenses.

The bill, AB 2098, introduced in February, “would designate the dissemination or promotion of misinformation or disinformation related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, or ‘COVID-19,’ as unprofessional conduct. The bill would require the board to consider specified factors prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a physician and surgeon. The bill would also make findings and declarations in this regard.”

The legislation also declares: “Major news outlets have reported that some of the most dangerous propagators of inaccurate information regarding the COVID-19 vaccines are licensed health care professionals.”

It specifies:

(a) It shall constitute unprofessional conduct for a physician and surgeon to disseminate or promote misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

(b) The board shall consider the following factors prior to bringing a disciplinary action against a licensee under this section:

(1) Whether the licensee deviated from the applicable standard of care.

(2) Whether the licensee intended to mislead or acted with malicious intent.

(3) Whether the misinformation or disinformation was demonstrated to have resulted in an individual declining opportunities for COVID-19 prevention or treatment that was not justified by the individual’s medical history or condition.

(4) Whether the misinformation or disinformation was contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus to an extent where its dissemination constitutes gross negligence by the licensee.

According to one law firm that represents physicians in disciplinary proceedings in California, if a doctor is found to have committed professional misconduct, “the minimum penalty is a stayed revocation with 5 years of license probation, with a maximum penalty of revocation.”

Stanford Medical School Professor Jay Bhattacharya, one of the co-authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, which favores “Focused Protection” over lockdowns during COVID surges, wrote at Bari Weiss’s Substack site that the California bill mirrors the way communist China has treated physicians merely for telling the truth about the coronavirus:

The language of the bill itself is intentionally vague about what constitutes “misinformation,” which makes it even more damaging. Doctors, fearing loss of their livelihoods, will need to hew closely to the government line on Covid science and policy, even if that line does not track the scientific evidence. After all, until recently, top government science bureaucrats like Dr. Fauci claimed that the idea that Covid came from a Wuhan laboratory was a conspiracy theory, rather than a valid hypothesis that should be open to discussion. The government’s track record on discerning Covid truths is poor....

What is abundantly clear is that this bill represents a chilling interference with the practice of medicine. The bill itself is full of misinformation and a demonstration of what a disaster it would be to have the legislature dictate the practice of medicine....

We are not the Soviet Union, of course, nor are we ruled by Chinese Communists. California lawmakers thankfully do not have the power currently being exercised in Shanghai. But this bill follows the same dangerous principle that government-authorized science should permit no opposition from people with the credentials and knowledge to oppose it. The false medical consensus enforced by AB 2098 will lead doctors to censor themselves to avoid government sanction. And it will be their patients, above all, who will be harmed by their silence.

Bhattacharya noted the current coronavirus lockdowns in Shanghai, China — ostensibly that country’s freest city — which have resulted in reported food shortages, the killing of household pets, and other abuses by the communist regime.

AB 2098 is sponsored by Assemblymember Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley), who tweeted a racist cartoon supporting Black Lives Matter in 2020 — before the murder of George Floyd:

Low recently co-sponsored a law that requires toy stores to include gender-neutral sections.




Monday, April 18, 2022

The Nation’s Top Scientists Lied

Scott Atlas

CDC Director Robert Redfield’s congressional testimony on Sept. 23, 2020, immediately caught my attention. I watched in disbelief as Redfield told Congress that “more than 90 percent of the population”—more than three hundred million people in the United States—remains susceptible to the illness.

The statement was based on incomplete and outdated data, as well as an apparent lack of understanding of the literature, and it struck me as one of the most erroneous and fear-inducing proclamations of any public health official to that moment. Approximately two hundred thousand Americans had already died from COVID; the last thing the public needed was an exaggeration of the future risks, implying to some that ten times that number could still die.

First of all, the numbers didn’t add up. At that point, confirmed cases in the United States already totaled approximately seven million, and the CDC itself had estimated that approximately ten times the number of confirmed cases, a very conservative estimate, were likely to have had the infection. A Stanford seropositivity study back in April had shown that confirmed cases underestimated the total infections by a factor of approximately forty times. It made no sense that only 9 percent, or thirty million Americans, had been infected.

Second, the 9 percent calculation was blatantly wrong. That number came from antibody testing by the states. I looked at the CDC website myself, and sure enough, the data was based on antiquated testing from several states.

Some antibody totals were pulled from several months earlier, before many of those states had experienced a significant number of cases. It therefore grossly underestimated the number of cases that had already occurred. The data was simply not valid, but you needed to pay attention to the details.

More importantly, Redfield’s basic claim was fundamentally flawed. The conclusion that serum antibody testing revealed the entire population of those protected from COVID was counter to an entire body of published literature and contrary to fundamental knowledge of immunology, including other coronavirus infections.

It was well known that antibody tests showed one cross-section in time—they were transient—even though immune protection can last. From studies on SARS-2 and most other viruses, antibody levels change over a span of months. They typically appear in the first couple of weeks, peak in a few months, and then decrease over a span of several months.

The literature on COVID had already shown these patterns. A month before this press conference, a Nature Reviews Immunology study on COVID-19 explicitly stated, “The absence of specific antibodies in the serum does not necessarily mean an absence of immune memory,” and explained, “memory B-cells and T-cells may be maintained even if there are not measurable levels of serum antibodies.”

Japan’s study demonstrated this dramatically. In their study, antibody levels increased from 5.8 percent to 46.8 percent over the course of the summer. The most dramatic increase occurred in late June and early July, paralleling the rise in daily confirmed cases within Tokyo, which peaked on Aug. 4.

Out of the 350 individuals who completed both offered tests, 21.4 percent of those who tested negative became positive, and 12.2 percent of initially positive participants became negative for antibodies. A striking 81.1 percent of IgM-antibody-positive cases at first testing became negative in only one month. They stated that “[antibody tests] may significantly underestimate previous COVID-19 infections.” It had also been widely reported in several major scientific journals that antibody responses are not necessarily detectable in all COVID patients, especially those with less severe forms.

But the flaws in Redfield’s estimate extended deeper. Even those familiar with first-year college biology know that other components of the immune system, memory B-cell and T-cells, provide protection from virus infections. Some T-cells kill the virus, and they also help antibodies form. T-cells develop and provide protection that lasts far longer, even after antibodies disappear—sometimes for years in other SARS viruses.

T-cells for this virus had already been documented, even in people unexposed to SARS-2, meaning that in these cases, cross-protection was present from T-cells originating in response to other coronaviruses. T-cells had also been found in individuals with completely asymptomatic SARS-2 infections.

NIH Director Francis Collins had highlighted that very data in his Director’s Blog a few weeks earlier, writing, “In fact, immune cells known as memory T cells also play an important role in the ability of our immune systems to protect us against many viral infections, including—it now appears—COVID-19.”

Scientists from some of the top research institutions in the world, like Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, San Diego’s La Jolla Institute, Duke University, Berlin, and others had published this evidence. Karolinska demonstrated T-cell immunity in both asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID—even if antibody-negative.

Singapore researchers had noted robust T-cell responses to this virus, SARS2, from seventeen-year-old SARS1 samples. Since T-cells are obviously not discovered by antibody tests, those individuals were not included in Redfield’s count. Yet he apparently had not considered this essential, indeed fundamental, point as he testified to Congress and made headlines.

After watching this debacle on TV, I knew full well what was coming later that day. The media would latch on to this and create even more public panic. I also knew that the responsibility for clarifying this grossly erroneous statement would be mine. There was no question it would come up at the president’s press conference, and even if it did not, it still needed to be explained.

I rushed over to Derek Lyons’s office to update him and to make sure we would alert the president beforehand. A few others in the West Wing were there, so I summarized to them what had been said to Congress.

The mood ranged from amazement to dejection to frustration. An advisor to the president on legal matters warned me, with a smile on his face, “Scott, don’t just bluntly say, ‘Redfield is wrong!’ Say something softer, like ‘He misstated things.’”

I nodded, knowing that I needed to restrain my words, even though this was the same man who had tried to destroy me in the national press a few days earlier. But this wasn’t personal at all. Clarifying the facts about the pandemic and countering the unending barrage of misinformation and pseudoscience about it, in this case coming from within the administration itself, was one of my most important roles in this national crisis.

During the pre-brief in the Oval Office a few hours later, I outlined the issue to the president. It was decided, as expected, that I would answer the question when it came up. And so it did.

A reporter from ABC News directly asked me if Redfield’s statement that more than 90 percent of Americans remained susceptible to the disease was true. I took the friendly advice I had received earlier in the day.

“I think that Dr. Redfield misstated something there,” I said, and then did my best to calmly explain the problems with outdated information and the contribution of cross-reactive T-cells and T-cell protection that would not have been included in his data. I correctly stated what was widely known and factual—that the protection from the virus “is not solely determined by the percent of people who have antibodies.” During my answer, as I fended off interruptions, I tried to explain in understandable language as best I could.

I also made a serious effort to be somewhat delicate, because I felt extremely uncomfortable about having to correct the director of the CDC on the national stage.

Unfortunately, my disgust with the confrontational mood in that press room prevented me from being more diplomatic when that reporter asked, “Who are we to believe?” My reflexive answer was “You’re supposed to believe in the science, and I am telling you the science.” Then I referred him to several expert scientists by name. However, I had the strong sense that he was not really interested in the facts at all. Rather, it was another attempt to amplify discord.

After exiting the press room, I walked alongside the president. He briefly stopped to check the news coverage on the set of TV monitors outside the briefing room, as he typically chose to do. After some banter between the president and the staff standing in the area, we began walking back toward the Oval Office.

President Trump turned to me on his right, smiling wryly but with a genuinely puzzled look on his face. “Is Redfield political or just stupid?” he asked, subtly shaking his head. I looked right back at the president and hesitated. The answer was obvious to both of us.

Needless to say, the media immediately played up the disagreement between me and Redfield. It fed into their narrative of conflict between me and the other Task Force doctors, one that Redfield personally caused with his offensive and unwarranted remark that everything I said was “false.”

Later, Dr. Fauci appeared on TV and criticized my straightforward attempt to clarify important information as “extraordinarily inappropriate.” I wondered if he was more concerned with protecting his bureaucrat colleague’s reputation and undermining mine than ensuring that correct information was being told to the American public.

Martin Kulldorff, the world-renowned Harvard epidemiologist, posted his reaction on Twitter: “Scott Atlas stated the simple fact that immunity is higher than those with antibodies, whereupon Dr. Fauci criticizes him without contradicting what was actually said. Stating a simple scientific fact is not ‘extraordinarily inappropriate.’ What is going on?”


Reports of Rare Vulvar Ulcers in Adolescent Girls Following Pfizer COVID-19 Injections

Cases of rare vulvar ulcers have been diagnosed in adolescent girls after receiving a second dose of the Pfizer messenger RNA (mRNA) shot, according to the April edition of the Journal of Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology.

Six cases of adolescent girls ages 12 to 16 developing painful genital ulcers within four days of their second vaccine dose were reported in the medical journal, including two cases occurring after infection with COVID-19.

This is the first time that cases of vulvar ulcers in adolescents and young women are being addressed and discussed in the medical literature.

Doctors of these cases say that it is “important to identify and explain possible adverse effects to help dispel the hesitancy some patients might feel about receiving a novel vaccine.”

The vulvar ulcers—known as vulvar aphthous ulcers, lipschütz ulcers, or acute genital ulcerations—are non-sexually acquired painful lesions formed on the external structures of the female genitalia, or the vulva. The condition mainly affects adolescents and young women, but cases of older women have also been reported.

Unlike mouth sores which are an established adverse reaction of certain vaccines, including the COVID-19 injections administered in the United States, vulvar ulcers are not.

A simple search on the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) for aphthous ulcer, vaginal ulceration, vulval ulceration, and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, resulted in 282 total events as of April 14.

Of those, over 40 reports were related to genital ulcers in adolescents and young women several days after the second Pfizer shot, while the rest were reports of mouth ulcers. Several cases have also occurred following the first and third dose.

The youngest to experience the vulvar ulcers was a 10-year-old girl from North Carolina, who developed several painful lesions 24 hours after her second Pfizer injection on Jan. 29, 2022, [VAERS ID number: 2087752-1]. She tested negative for the herpes simplex virus. The report did not mention whether a COVID-19 test was administered.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that reports made to VAERS do not necessarily prove causation.

“While very important in monitoring vaccine safety, VAERS reports alone cannot be used to determine if a vaccine caused or contributed to an adverse event or illness,” the CDC wrote.




Sunday, April 17, 2022

Hospital dogmatism kills woman

The children of a 55-year-old Florida woman say the hospital treating their mother for COVID-19 told her, and them, that she would be treated with ivermectin. But the treatment was stopped after she improved because a hospital pharmacist intervened, medical records show.

Dianne Spangler, of Titusville, worsened after the ivermectin was stopped early. She was put on a ventilator and died, medical records obtained by The Epoch Times show.

What’s more, Spangler received the COVID-19 drug Remdesivir even after she and her children had expressed they did not want her to be treated with it, according to records and Spangler’s daughter, Megan Spangler.

Making the loss even more painful for Spangler’s three children—ages 32, 23, and 15—is knowing what has happened to the nurse who advocated for the use of ivermectin on their behalf.

Donna Lowery, who had worked at Parrish Medical Center for 31 years, was fired for suggesting the drug. The hospital has urged the state of Florida to revoke her license.

“Federal patient privacy laws prevent us from commenting on the specifics of any patient-related matters,” Parrish Healthcare’s senior vice president, Natalie Sellers, responded in a prepared statement. “What I can confirm is that COVID-19 patients receiving care at Parrish Medical Center receive appropriate treatment in accordance with evidence-based medical protocols using FDA approved medicines as medically necessary and consistent with the indicated standard of care.”

Doctors around the country have told The Epoch Times they’ve used ivermectin to treat patients with COVID-19, often by following the protocols developed by the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC).  Doctors with experience using the treatment have testified to its efficacy and safety before Congress and state legislatures. The legislatures of Tennessee, New Hampshire, and Kansas are currently considering bills that would allow, or even require, pharmacists to dispense ivermectin to people who ask for it.

Yet doctors around the country have told The Epoch Times they fear losing their licenses for advocating for the use of ivermectin and other drugs which are not part of the COVID-19 treatment protocols outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Hospitals receive payments under the CARES Act when they follow those protocols.

Some doctors have told The Epoch Times they’ve received threatening letters from professional boards and malpractice providers warning against speaking about COVID-19 treatments or vaccines in a way that could be considered “misinformation” or “disinformation.” The American Medical Association, the American Pharmacists Association, and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing have issued such statements (NCSBN).

In Lowery’s case, most concerning to her is the NCSBN’s Dec. 2 statement that addresses “misinformation being disseminated about COVID-19 by nurses” and says, “providing misinformation to the public regarding masking, vaccines, medications and/or COVID-19 threatens the public health. Misinformation, which is not grounded in science and is not supported by the CDC and FDA, can lead to illness, possibly death, and may prolong the pandemic.”

It goes on to state: “Any nurse who violates their state nurse practice act or threatens the health and safety of the public through the dissemination of misleading or incorrect information pertaining to COVID-19, vaccines and associated treatment through verbal or written methods including social media may be disciplined by their board of nursing. Nurses are urged to recognize that dissemination of misinformation not only jeopardizes the health and well-being of the public, but may place their license and career in jeopardy as well.”

The NCSBN declined to comment, and directed inquiries to the Florida Board of Nursing.

Nurses and doctors in Florida don’t have to worry about having their licenses stripped, simply for speaking what they believe about COVID-19 treatments or prevention, said Jeremy Redfern, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health, which oversees the Florida Board of Nursing. That’s because the boards governing their licenses in Florida have members appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), he said.

“I don’t think DeSantis is going to appoint anyone who doesn’t respect the [U.S.] Constitution,” Redfern said. “The Department of Health and our medical boards respect the First Amendment” and the free speech it guarantees, he said. “Speech does not constitute a reason to strip someone of their license.”

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo told The Epoch Times in February, “We’re definitely not going after anyone for prescribing ivermectin.”

State policies prohibit Redfern from confirming any state investigation of a medical professional, until after there’s been a determination of probable cause on the case, he said. Lowery knows an investigation of her was initiated, because former colleagues were interviewed, she said. She hasn’t been notified officially, she said.

DeSantis has argued publicly that doctors and nurses shouldn’t have to fear using their own clinical experience to talk about or even prescribe what they think is best for patients.

The governor asked Florida’s Republican-led legislature to create a new law to protect health care worker’s freedom of speech under the U.S. Constitution. The bill died in committee.

Since her firing, Lowery has worked as a lactation consultant and at an independent pharmacy. She worries she might not be able to work as a nurse again.

She told her story to the Florida House Health and Human Services Committee on Nov. 15.

When Lowery was still employed at the hospital, she’d seen an Aug. 26 memo from her employer addressing, among other things, the use of ivermectin for COVID-19 patients. The memo to employees stated: “According to the FDA, Ivermectin is not an anti-viral and should not be used to treat or prevent COVID-19. Ivermectin tablets are approved at specific doses for some parasitic worms and when taken in large doses can be dangerous and cause serious harm.”

Lowery said she didn’t view it as a formal policy of the hospital, because she knew of at least one patient who’d been treated with ivermectin. Additionally, the link in the memo led to a web page that suggested ivermectin was little more than livestock dewormer, which she knew was wrong.

A handful of her family members — some with conditions that made them more at-risk for serious COVID-19 infections — had used ivermectin to treat the COVID-19.

After her daughter, a respiratory therapist, had told her about miraculous recoveries using ivermectin, she researched the drug and spoke with other medical professionals who were using it. Ultimately, Lowery and others in her family took a livestock formulation of ivermectin hoping to prevent the infection throughout the pandemic.

On Sept. 5, she reported to work at the floor where she helped deliver babies, after praying on the way, as always, that God would put her where he wanted her to be that day. The obstetrics unit wasn’t busy, so she was moved to another floor to help with COVID-19 patients.

There, Lowery saw a colleague crying at the nurses’ station. The young nursing assistant had just been told by a doctor that, if her mother, Dianne Spangler, didn’t improve, she’d have to go on a ventilator.

Spangler had been in the hospital a week. Hospital records show she had “multifocal pneumonia.”

“Why don’t we use ivermectin?” Lowery wondered aloud, when the young woman excused herself to splash water on her face, and a doctor joined the group of nurses. The doctor, Lowery said, chimed in, “Yeah, why don’t we?”

Looking back on that moment, Lowery says, “I did not ask for something we had not already used in the hospital.”

Lowery and two other nurses went to console their coworker, and Lowery asked if her mom had been taking ivermectin. She had not.

After hearing about Lowery’s experiences with ivermectin, the colleague “said she wanted it for her mom,” Lowery said.

The four ladies acknowledged to each other that all were Christians. They bowed their heads to pray together before taking further action.

“That’s the most important part of this whole story,” Lowery says now.

Lowery then sought out the doctor caring for Dianne Spangler, and said she was speaking for their colleague. “What do you know about ivermectin?” she asked the doctor.

“I used it in my previous hospital,” she says he told her. “It doesn’t always work, and I don’t know if we have it here.”

So Lowery called the pharmacist, who confirmed ivermectin was available.

“But it doesn’t work for COVID,” the pharmacist told Lowery.   “It does,” Lowery insisted, telling about her family members’ experiences.

The doctor overseeing treatment of all COVID-19 patients would have to approve it, the pharmacist told Lowery.

Lowery and the charge nurse went to find the doctor. With the pharmacist listening to the conversation by phone, that doctor also agreed that ivermectin could be used for Spangler, Lowery said. A third doctor put an order for the drug into the computer.

“I went to the coworker and said, ‘Your mom can have ivermectin,’” Lowery recalled. “She was so excited. She was crying.”

“So that was all I did. I advocated. That’s what nurses do. We advocate.”

Megan Spangler remembers the hope she felt when her sister, who’s still employed at Parrish Medical Center, called from the hospital and told her about the opportunity to try ivermectin to treat their mother.

“I said, ‘Yes, 100 percent! At this point, I will do anything, I want to try anything!’” Megan Spangler said. “And so she went into the room with my mom, and told my mom, and my mom said, ‘Yes, I want ivermectin!’ So they went and got it.”

Medical records confirm that the family requested the ivermectin, discussed the treatment with Spangler’s doctor and were told it would be administered. Records also stated: “Did explain to them that studies so far have shown that ivermectin is not helpful in Covid patients and has not been recommended as treatment by CDC,” and “patient was agreeable with the plan.”

What was ordered for Dianne Spangler was only about half the dose needed, said Ed Balbona, M.D., of Jacksonville, who reviewed her medical records with permission from her family. Balbona has used ivermectin to treat about 400 patients with COVID-19. None have died, he said.

With some minor changes, Balbona largely follows protocols developed by Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance.

Even receiving just a half-dose of ivermectin, Spangler improved, her records show, Balbona said.

She was “feeling good, no shortness of breath in this time frame, was able to eat and move around,” notes in her medical record show.

“When she took the ivermectin, she was able to get up, she was eating, she was able to talk on FaceTime,” Megan Spangler said.

She, her brother and sister, who asked not to be named, were overjoyed.

Two days after starting ivermectin, Dianne Spangler’s medical records note,”Patient still requiring high flow oxygen but currently feels okay with no acute shortness of breath. Try to wean off slowly.”

Her children couldn’t understand when she declined again. But on Sept. 15, Dianne Spangler was put on a ventilator and on Oct. 11, she died.

Crushed, they requested her records. Those revealed that the five-day course of ivermectin they were told she would receive was cancelled by the pharmacist, with the comment, “Not indicated for Covid diagnosis.”

Notes also seem to show that the drug Remdesivir was given from August 30 through September 12, and again on Sept. 15 and 16.

“We didn’t want her to have it,” Megan Spangler said. “My mom didn’t want to have it. My mom wanted the ivermectin. At that time, my sister was the power of attorney. But my mom was also still conscious and aware enough to say, ‘Hey, I want this.”

Meanwhile, five days after suggesting ivermectin for Spangler, Lowery’s supervisor called her, clearly upset.

“I’m like, ‘What’s going on? Am I getting fired or something?’ just being flippant. I had no clue anything was going on about this whole ivermectin thing,” Lowery said. She had been told Spangler had improved after being started on the drug.

“She said, ‘Donna, you’re suspended.’

“For what?” Lowery remembers demanding.

“For advocating for ivermectin,” she said her supervisor told her.

Two days later, the supervisor called again, and said the hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer Edwin Loftin, also senior vice president of integrated and acute care services, and hospital CEO George Mikitarian, had called for her to turn in her hospital ID. She was being fired.

Almost seven months later, she’s still incredulous.

“Are you kidding me? I advocated!” Lowery says now.

“I’m taking care of you, and let’s say, you have a chronic pain and you take a particular medication for your chronic pain, and now you’ve had surgery, and they ordered something else for you that you know that doesn’t work. That’s my job to call your doctor and say, ‘Hey, So-and-so is requesting this, because she knows that doesn’t work.’ That’s what we do! Imagine! Patient care at a hospital! Imagine that!”

The termination form from the hospital states that Lowery, “advocated for a medication to be used directly against FDA regulations and outside her scope of practice. This is cause for immediate termination.”

It goes on to say, “Ms. Lowery’s actions had the potential to cause serious harm and potential death of a patient. As such, she will be reported to AHCA [Agency for Health Care Administration] and the state with request to remove license.”

Using FDA-approved drugs for off-label uses—those uses not specifically approved by the FDA—is part of the everyday practice of medicine, doctors and nurses have told The Epoch Times.

“In labor and delivery, we use medicines [in off-label uses] every day,” Lowery says. “Misoprostol [known by the brand name] Cytotec—that is used to induce labor. If you look up that medication on the CDC or the FDA website, it says, ‘Do not use in pregnant women. Can cause uterine rupture, death to fetus and/or mother.’ We use it every day.”

“And how about the oath we took to do no harm?” Lowery asks.

Lowery says she prays for the two men who ordered her firing and who required strict adherence to CDC and NIH protocols for treating COVID-19.

She doesn’t regret what happened, and she says she believes it was no accident that she was ordered to that floor that day.

“Parrish Medical Center was my mission field,” she said.

Megan Spangler and her sibling have been told it’s nearly impossible to sue a hospital for a case involving COVID-19. And that’s true, attorneys told The Epoch Times.

Twenty-nine states, including Florida, adopted legislation at the urging of the federal government that gave hospitals immunity from lawsuits regarding COVID-19, as long as they followed government guidelines for treating the disease.

In Florida, one such measure was set to expire in March, but was extended for 14 months.  That leaves Dianne Spangler’s children wondering if they have any legal ground for suing the hospital for what they see as their mother’s wrongful death.

For almost 20 years, Dianne Spangler had worked in customer service at the Brevard County Clerk of Court office. There’s a driver’s license program named for her, because of her efforts to help people get revoked driver’s licenses reinstated.

She loved the beach, and loved spending time with family and friends. She reveled in cheering for her teen-age son at his basketball and baseball games.

“She was just full of life, and always on the go,” Megan Spangler says.

During her hospitalization, Spangler would keep a brave face for her children during video chats. But to friends, she’d send texts imploring, “Please pray for me.”

Megan Spangler said if doctors felt the ivermectin wasn’t working or that Remdesivir should be administered, “none of that was ever told to us … So we didn’t even have the opportunity to say, ‘OK, but we want to transfer her to another hospital that will give her this.”

“I want someone in that hospital held accountable for my mom’s death, because she should be alive today.”