Saturday, January 14, 2023

My pictorial home page

Every year I put up what I call my pictorial home page as a memoir of the year in political and social commentary just past. I have now put up my memoir of 2022. See here. At the foot of the post is a link taking you to the previous year. If for some reason you do wish to explore my cogitations of years past, my backup site may be more convenient.

My recipe blog

After a long hiatus, I have just put up a new recipe on my Recipe Blog. It is for an unusual but very tasty meal


Friday, January 13, 2023

Vaccinated people still getting Covid

Officials in Washington state recorded jumps in post-vaccination infections, hospitalizations, and deaths in mid-2021, according to newly disclosed internal emails.

Fifteen percent of COVID-19 cases and 25 percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations from July 1 to July 20, 2021, were vaccinated—up from 2 percent between February and June that year, Chris Spitters, the health officer for the Snohomish County Health District, wrote in one of the messages. A fifth of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 were vaccinated.

Spitters also detailed a COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility with over a dozen breakthrough, or post-vaccination, cases.

Dr. Yuan-Po Tu, of The Everett Clinic, responded by saying that about 20 percent of people testing positive in the clinic were fully vaccinated. “ALL 3 vaccines are breaking through,” Tu wrote.

Dr. James Cook, chief medical officer at the Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, told Spitters and Tu that some hospitalized patients were vaccinated and the majority of workers who were testing positive were fully vaccinated.

“I don’t think any have been hospitalized but I’m not 100% sure,” Cook wrote.

The emails, all sent on July 30, 2021, were obtained and published recently by Ari Hoffman, a 570 KVI radio host and an editor for The Post Millennial. They were reviewed by The Epoch Times, which confirmed their authenticity.

The emails were sent after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a study showing that 74 percent of COVID-19 cases from an outbreak in Massachusetts occurred among fully vaccinated people, undercutting claims from top health officials that the vaccinated would not get infected. The outbreak investigation prompted the agency to recommend vaccinated people wear masks indoors, a reversal from about two months prior.

Spitters said in his missive that the outbreak study provided “sobering news” and predicted a “rocky road ahead.”

“We really need to reframe our public education approach to emphasizing vaccination along with the other prevention measures rather than the faded illusion of vaccination instead of other prevention measures. The stellar individual protection afforded by vaccination is no longer, nor is the dream of getting out from under COVID on July 1,” he said, referring to President Joe Biden declaring that COVID-19 “no longer controls our lives” and that the country had achieved “independence from COVID-19” thanks to vaccination.

“Effectiveness is still good compared to many other vaccines and higher coverage would still do us a lot of good, but the vaccine effectiveness is clearly no longer what it was just a couple of months ago and folks should manage themselves accordingly,” Spitters added.

Snohomish County officials had said in June 2021 that the county’s COVID-19 metrics were dropping “thanks in large part to the growing number of people getting vaccinated.” Spitters had said that “relief is on the horizon.”

Just weeks later, with metrics rising, the county’s health agency acknowledged that people who were vaccinated could still become infected, but described breakthrough infections as “occasional” and the vaccinated as better off when it came to illness, hospitalization, and death.

“Local public health officials were publicly discussing breakthrough infections in summer 2021, as were many healthcare professionals, researchers, and scientists. Throughout the COVID-19 response, local public health has consistently been in communication about the best disease prevention measures to keep our communities healthy,” Dr. Dennis Worsham and Dr. James Lewis, now the top two health officials in the country, told The Epoch Times via email in response to a query about the internal messages.

“It is not a surprise to have breakthrough infections. Even vaccines that work very well are not a 100% guarantee against infection, and we don’t expect them to be. What we continue to see, though, is that fully vaccinated (and now boosted, particularly with the new bivalent booster) individuals are much less likely to require hospitalization or die of COVID-19 related complications,” they added.

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, in August 2021 imposed COVID-19 vaccine mandates for public workers, healthcare workers, and teachers, claiming that the mandates would be crucial in “defeating this deadly disease.” When the vaccines first rolled out, experts hoped the shots would work well enough to drastically diminish or even eliminate the virus, or reach herd immunity. But by the end of 2021, with the vaccines performing worse than expected, they were acknowledging that may not be possible.

Other Emails

In another jurisdiction in Washington state in July 2021, Lewis flagged the rising number of breakthrough infections in a separate email chain.

Lewis, at the time an epidemiologist with Seattle and King County’s health department, told colleagues he’d been speaking with contact tracers who “are hearing stories all day from people who are vaccinated and getting COVID.”

One example, he said, was a party to celebrate vaccination that forced attendees to provide proof of vaccination to enter.

Tracers identified at least nine people who attended the party who had tested positive, Lewis said in an email.

The Facebook listing for the event called it “Operation Inoculation: A Critical Community Vaccination Celebration” and said 258 people registered to go.

“You did it! You’ve survived one of the worst pandemics and presidencies in U.S. History. There’s no question we’ve only yet begun to deal with the fallout, but thanks to all of you who have fulfilled your Civic Responsibility to get vaccinated, we’re on the road to recovery, and we think that’s something to celebrate. If you’ve had your shots, join us for a good old-fashioned, party-like-it’s-2016 Burner Party,” the listing stated.

“Sorry for the bad news,” Lewis wrote, adding that the tracers wanted to know what guidance on masking and quarantining they should give to vaccinated people.

Another set of messages released by Hoffman showed Worsham, at the time the interim director of the Seattle and King County Public Health, reporting a spike in metrics to then-Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who asked for more information on how many breakthrough cases were happening and what the severity of the disease was like in the vaccinated. Worsham asked health workers for information.

“We do have information and are working on talking points for Jeff—should be ready tomorrow,” Sargis Pogosjans, one of the workers, wrote. “I think the context is extremely important—an increased proportion of fully vaccinated cases should be expected since the vaccine is not 100% effective against infection and now, the population of fully vaccinated residents outnumber unvaccinated residents.”

“I agree with you Sargis—we are being clear in our conversations that we do expect people who are vaccinated to become infected with COVID,” Worsham replied. “As our population becomes more vaccinated—we do anticipate we will see more given that more people are vaccinated AND that vaccines are not 100% effective in protecting you from the virus.”

The talking points were not included in the emails.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, the health officer for Seattle and King County, told The Epoch Times via email that breakthrough infections were discussed nationally in the summer of 2021 and that the county communicated publicly about the trend.

“The fact that breakthrough infections occur does not mean vaccines do not work or provide important protection against serious COVID-19 infections. Vaccines provide substantial protection against serious COVID-19 even though protection against transmission is lower, and vaccination plus other layered protections are most effective at preventing transmission,” Duchin said, pointing to studies from the CDC and a study from Nature that estimated vaccines reduce transmission.

Clinical trials have not shown that vaccines reduce transmission and a Pfizer executive recently acknowledged that was not studied.

The papers from the CDC and other researchers have also shown that the vaccines provide little protection—the effectiveness even turns negative after time—against infection, and worse shielding against severe illness, since the Omicron variant emerged in late 2021. Observational data indicate the latest boosters, authorized and recommended in late 2022, protect poorly against infection and solidly against hospitalization.


Robert F. Kennedy and others Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against "Trusted News Initiative"

A first-of-its-kind antitrust action was filed Tuesday against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), The Washington Post, Reuters, and Associated Press, seeking damages totaling millions of dollars based on the collusive censorship of online health and political news publishers who dared to question the narrative relating to vital matters such as COVID-19 pandemic and vaccine mandates. TrialSite has been at the forefront of researching, analyzing, and reporting on medical research and was invited directly by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to participate in this groundbreaking action targeting dangerous censorship.


The lawsuit reveals that by March 2020, a partnership was created called the Trusted News Initiative (TNI) between Big Tech and legacy media to exclude rival publishers from the dominant internet platforms. On Dec. 10, 2020, TNI agreed to focus on combatting the spread of harmful vaccine disinformation. This coordinated effort is, by definition, a classic unlawful “group boycott” to damage the ability of smaller publishers to compete or even survive. Members of the TNI include legacy media outlets the BBC, The Washington Post, Reuters, Financial Times, and Associated Press, along with social media and tech giants—Twitter, Meta (Facebook/Instagram), Microsoft/LinkedIn, and Google/YouTube. TNI members collectively hold 90% of the overall social media market, a 90% share of the social networking market, 75% of the video hosting market, and over 90% of the search-engine market.

Antitrust Violations

The complaint points to multiple examples of what plaintiffs’ state violates antitrust laws. “By their own admission, members of the ‘Trusted News Initiative’ (‘TNI’) agreed to work together, and have in fact, worked together, to exclude from the world’s dominant Internet platforms rival news publishers who engage in reporting that challenges and competes with TNI members’ reporting on certain issues relating to COVID-19 and U.S. politics. For example, TNI members deemed the following to be ‘misinformation’ that could not be published on the world’s dominant Internet platforms: (A) claims that COVID originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China; (B) claims that the COVID vaccines do not prevent infection; (C) claims that vaccinated persons can transmit COVID to others; and (D) claims that compromising emails and videos were found on a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden. …The TNI did not only prevent Internet users from making these claims; it shut down online news publishers who reported that such claims were being made by potentially credible sources, such as scientists and physicians.” Dr. Ben Tapper, Dr. Joseph Mercola, founder of The Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft, independent journalists Ben Swann and Erin Elizabeth Finn, independent news outlets TrialSite News and Creative Destruction Media, and health-freedom activists Ty and Charlene Bollinger join Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Children’s Health Defense (CHD) as plaintiffs.

Kennedy Goes on the Record

“My uncle, President Kennedy, and my father, the Attorney General, sought to prosecute antitrust laws that are still on the nation’s books with vigor,” said Kennedy. “As private enforcers of those laws, we are confident that the Federal Court in Texas will vindicate our bedrock freedom to compete with legacy media in the marketplace of ideas.”




Thursday, January 12, 2023

On America’s moral compass in the face of covid

At long last, media censorship of the scientific debate during the covid-19 pandemic has become undeniable. Censoring portrayed an illusion of consensus and intimidated scientifically valid disagreement. Policymakers and citizens were deceived by those suffocating scientific data and perspectives on risk, mitigation effectiveness, biological immunity, lockdowns, and especially the impacts of covid and the policies themselves on children.

Perhaps censorship explains why the standard recommendations fifteen years prior to this pandemic remain unknown to the public. Henderson’s 2006 classic review clearly stated two related, but separate, conclusions: lockdowns were not effective, and lockdowns were extremely harmful, including: “Closing schools for longer periods (greater than ten to fourteen days at the beginning of an epidemic) in hopes of mitigating the epidemic by decreasing contacts among students is not warranted”; “There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods”; and “The negative consequences of large-scale quarantine are so extreme . . . that this mitigation measure should be eliminated from serious consideration.”

All honest leaders, all individuals with integrity, should acknowledge that people were directly damaged and even died from the censorship of truth.

But as important as the censorship revelations have been, we may be witnessing yet another misdirection. Focusing on social media as the main culprit permits a flee from responsibility by lockdown advocates, including Drs. Fauci, Birx, Walensky, and countless academics filling America’s “expert class.” If that deflection of responsibility is swallowed by the public, then reintroduction of similarly reckless, destructive, and morally indefensible policies by those in power remains a viable possibility.

The factual record must be clarified, or history will undergo an Orwellian rewrite and the truth will vanish. The United States has been a shameful outlier among its peer nations. America uniquely sacrificed its children by closing in-person schools in 2020 and 2021, forcing testing and quarantining of asymptomatic, healthy students and requiring injection of experimental drugs in schoolchildren with no clear benefit to them.

Uncertainties existed in early 2020, but one fact was already clear—healthy children did not have significant risk of serious illness or death from this virus. Since spring 2020, cdc data had shown those under twenty years of age have a 99.997 percent chance of survival. From studies from early 2020 and through today in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Switzerland, France, Australia, Germany, Greece, South Korea and the United Kingdom confirmed the miniscule risk to children and further that almost all coronavirus transmission to children comes from adults, not the other way around. And opened schools never showed significant dangers to children, the community, or teachers—a demographically low-risk group with half its members younger than forty-one and 82 percent under fifty-five. Known in 2020, those facts were verified in multiple studies, including from Brown University, Duke University, Norway, and others.

At this point, no one should need to cite the January 2023 analysis of the pre-vaccination period, until the end of 2020, also corresponding to when the virus was in its most lethal form. It showed the median ifr (infection fatality ratio) was 0.0003 percent for those zero to nineteen years of age, meaning a survival rate of 99.9997 percent. Consistent with the very low ifr, Levitt et al. (2022) showed no excess deaths among children and adolescents during the pandemic in almost any country that has reliable death registration data. For perspective, analyzing only the younger age groups, Iuliano et al. (2018) estimated the absolute numbers of fatalities were lower than seasonal flu fatalities based on data from ninety-two countries over pre-pandemic years (Ioannidis, 2022). Perhaps our university scientists will admit in one of their signed group letters that the ifr of the flu is higher for children—it is deadlier—than covid, even in this virus’s most lethal form and before any vaccination, according to cdc data over ten years?

After the first two months of closures in March and April of 2020, data also showed what was common sense to any parent—distance learning was already a proven failure, and closing schools severely harmed children, especially in low-income and single-parent families. Reading and math losses approached 30 to 50 percent after spring 2020 closures. In Fairfax, Virginia, F-grades increased by 83 percent; two F-grades were up 300 percent in middle school and 50 percent in high school. Failing grades surged in Los Angeles, especially among disadvantaged kids. Losses beyond learning were predictable, because schools are where we often first detect hearing/vision impairment; nutrition is a key need for poor children that is met in school; conflict resolution, language, social skills, physical activity, and more are learned from in-person schooling.

From the spring 2020 social isolation, serious health harms were already inflicted on our children—noted by the cdc itself, including spikes in mental illness, drug abuse, and suicidal ideation. That’s besides the nearly 300,000 cases of child abuse, unreported to authorities in spring 2020 because schools are the number one agency where child abuse is noticed. Longer-term harms were also recognized back in 2020, especially for kids in lower income families.

While most peer nations in western Europe opened schools for the 2020–21 school year, even during their otherwise stringent lockdowns, the vast majority of America’s governors closed in-person schools for the school year. Ignoring all the data and the August 12, 2020 White House public event I helped organize with experts, parents, and educators detailing the importance of children returning to school, America’s officials followed the extreme views of White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Deborah Birx and niaid Director Anthony Fauci. As of September 10, 2020, only 18 percent of U.S. K-12 students were attending in-person schools, while over 60 percent of U.S. students were attending schools that were virtual—only during that period, according to Burbio. Only 15% of California’s more than 6 million children in public elementary and secondary schools were in-person that 2020 school year. That contrasts to Florida, where 100 percent of students were offered in-person school.

Inept government bureaucrats and academics doling out guidance contrary to science were not the sole impetus for the malfeasance. The largest teachers’ unions actively pressured schools to remain closed for in-person learning in the fall of 2020, even in the face of low local case rates. It was not until spring of 2021 where more than half of America’s K-12 schools offered full-time in-person learning, according to Burbio school tracker, although California still lagged, ranking dead last of all fifty states for in-person schooling through 2021–2022. Pressure for school closure continued even into 2022 by the Chicago Teachers Union and New York Federation of Teachers. Teachers who insisted—even back in the fall of 2020—that they were at higher risk than other professions were either lying or simply did not understand the facts; either way, they proved wholly unworthy of being entrusted to teach children.

A March 2021 nationwide analysis of insurance claims revealed the horrifying toll on our children from that uniquely American school closure policy of 2020. Mental health care visits for teenagers and college-aged children skyrocketed; self-harm visits by teenagers to doctors (e.g., extinguishing cigarettes on skin, slashing wrists) doubled to tripled versus 2019; manic-depressive and anxiety disorder visits to doctors by college-aged kids skyrocketed; overdoses and substance use disorders in teenagers increased by 40 percent to 120 percent. Our college-aged kids now have an obesity crisis—more than half reported an unwanted weight gain during the 2020 lockdowns, and it averaged twenty-eight pounds, according to the American Psychological Association.

The scandalous legacy of those who convinced officials to close schools was highlighted in the October 2022 naep Report Card on America’s school performance, reporting the largest score drops in math since the initial assessments more than thirty years ago, worse in children from low-income families. unicef’s The State of Global Learning Poverty: 2022 Update confirmed that sinful outcome: “The increases (in learning poverty) have been especially large in . . . the regions where schools have been closed the longest”; “remote learning was largely ineffective and a poor substitute for in-person schooling. . . . Widespread school closures have disproportionally affected students from disadvantaged backgrounds”; and “recent analysis suggests that learning losses are concentrated among poor students.” Was I mistaken when I thought we especially cared about poor children in this country?

In what might be the most unforgivable action to date, more than one thousand universities forced healthy college students to receive experimental vaccines for a disease that poses miniscule risk to young people. That went well beyond forced testing of students—what the cdc itself had already declared “illegal and unethical” in its now-removed post of October 13, 2020. Then, in a frightening illustration of the unethical extensions of science denial, several top academic medical centers—Duke, Johns Hopkins, Stanford—ran a clinical trial injecting the financial sponsor’s covid vaccines into healthy infants and toddlers for an illness from which those subjects have miniscule risk for serious consequence. The researchers justified the drug’s success on indirect evidence of serum antibodies, rather than true clinical protection, because it prevented infection in only 37 to 51 percent, and because no subject, not even in the placebo group, had serious illness or death.

In Kafkaesque fashion, the America’s fda granted an emergency use authorization, or eua, on December 8, 2022, at a time when there is not a public health emergency from covid for children. Do most Americans realize that dating back to 2021, several other countries did not recommend, and some even forbade, covid vaccines in children without underlying illnesses—Finland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, and others? Has the United States become a society that wants to use children as shields by injecting them with experimental drugs? It is not an overstatement to suggest that university scientists today have become this century’s Flat Earthers, but with an added dose of serious ethical and moral failure.

Finally, many elite American universities disqualified themselves on the most basic requirements of conduct for being trusted with our nation’s most precious assets—the minds of our younger generation. Professors engaged in censure, bullying, and character assassination to win arguments by comparing scientifically valid ideas, all of which have been proven correct, including targeted protection, to “eugenics” and the “Tuskegee syphilis experiments.” While this is not the first episode in American history to remind us of Joseph Welch’s famous lament “Have you no sense of decency?”, to many it illustrates today’s most disturbing deficit in our country—a lack of simple civility to others.

Nelson Mandela observed “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” America failed the test. From school closures to the reprehensible injection of experimental drugs into our own children as shields for adults, the heinous legacy of all who recommended and implemented those policies is serious physical and psychological damage to our children, especially the poor, the totality of which will not be known for decades. We urgently need to restore moral leadership of our nation’s institutions across the board, or the free and ethical society ideal of the United States has lost its legitimacy.




Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Pfizer Board Member Pressured Twitter to Censor Posts on Natural Immunity, Low COVID Risk to Children

A Pfizer board member who used to head the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lobbied Twitter to take action against a post accurately pointing out that natural immunity is superior to COVID-19 vaccination, according to an email released on Jan. 9.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb wrote on Aug. 27, 2021, to Twitter executive Todd O’Boyle to request Twitter take action against a post from Dr. Brett Giroir, another former FDA commissioner.

“This is the kind of stuff that’s corrosive. Here he draws a sweeping conclusion off a single retrospective study in Israel that hasn’t been peer reviewed. But this tweet will end up going viral and driving news coverage,” Gottlieb wrote.

Giroir had written that it was clear natural immunity, or post-infection immunity, “is superior to vaccine immunity, by ALOT.” He said there was no scientific justification to require proof of COVID-19 vaccination if a person had natural immunity. “If no previous infection? Get vaccinated!” he also wrote.

Giroir pointed to what was at the time a preprint study from Israeli researchers that found, after analyzing health records, that natural immunity provided better protection than vaccination. The study was later published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases following peer review.

Researchers said the data “demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity.” BNT162b2 is the trade name for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which is the main shot used in Israel.

Gottlieb’s email triggered messages on Jira, Twitter’s internal messaging system, according to journalist Alex Berenson, who was granted access to Twitter’s internal files by CEO Elon Musk.

“Please see this report from the former FDA commissioner,” O’Boyle wrote.

A Twitter analyst who reviewed the post determined it did not violate any misinformation rules but Twitter still put a tag on it, claiming to all users who viewed it that it was “misleading” and directing them to a link that would show “why health officials recommend a vaccine for most people.” The tag prevented people from replying to, sharing, or liking Giroir’s post.

Gottlieb later defended his actions, saying he targeted posts that he thought included “false and inflammatory” information. Giroir said “my tweet was accurate then, and it remains so now” and that Twitter never responded to him.

Another Message

Gottlieb later messaged O’Boyle again, flagging a post from Justin Hart, a critic of lockdowns and a skeptic of COVID-19 vaccines, Berenson reported.

Gottlieb took issue with Hart writing that “sticks and stones may break my bones but a viral pathogen with a child mortality rate of <>0% has cost our children nearly three years of schooling.”

COVID-19 poses little mortality risk to young, healthy people, studies and data show.

Gottlieb did not detail why he wanted to censor Hart, but the objection came shortly before the U.S. government authorized and recommended Pfizer’s vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

O’Boyle sent the request to Twitter analysts, failing for a second time to disclose Gottlieb’s ties to Pfizer. The complaint did not trigger any action.

“Our team of ragtag analysts, activists, moms and dads have been going after Scott since April 2020 when he repeatedly advocated for school closures and lockdowns. He doesn’t like people pushing back on the narrative,” Hart told The Epoch Times in a Twitter message.

Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.

Tried to Get Journalist Banned

Gottlieb also tried to get Berenson, a former New York Times reporter who now authors a Substack, banned from Twitter, a message released in 2022 showed.

The message showed that Gottlieb forwarded a blog post from Berenson to a Twitter worker, writing that Berenson calling Dr. Anthony Fauci arrogant was an example of why Fauci, at the time the head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, needed a security detail.

Four days later, and a day after Gottlieb met with Twitter workers, Twitter banned Berenson for allegedly violating its rules on COVID-19 misinformation.

Gottlieb defended his actions.

“I’ve raised concerns around social media broadly,” Gottlieb said during an appearance on CNBC. “And I’ve done it around the threats that are being made on these platforms, and the inability of these platforms to police direct threats, physical threats about people, that’s my concerns around social media, and what’s going on in that ecosystem.”

“I am very concerned with physical threats being made against people’s safety and the people who gin up those threats against individuals,” he also said.

Berenson responded that he’d never threatened Fauci or Gottlieb and referred to Gottlieb’s comments.

In the post that triggered Gottlieb’s email, Berenson criticized Fauci for saying that “attacks on me are attacks on science” and how he handled the U.S. pandemic response.

Berenson was reinstated to Twitter in 2022 as part of a settlement of a lawsuit he brought against the company. Berenson obtained Gottlieb’s email about Fauci’s post during discovery. Before the settlement agreement, a judge had concluded that Berenson plausibly alleged Twitter failed to abide by a policy of five strikes before banning the journalist.


Covidians And Their Paper-Thin Skins

In the pre-Musk Twitter days, pencil-necked leftist overlords would simply censor dissidents for daring to cite inconvenient facts. That’s because they don’t like to be challenged or even politely questioned openly. They know their dumb ideas can’t stand up to scrutiny, so instead of rethinking and revising those dumb ideas they look for ways to ‘win’ the debate by silencing the opposition.

Now, since silencing the opposition - on Twitter at least - is a bit more difficult, many leftists have developed a particularly silly habit of simply blocking en masse anyone who disagrees with them. This is especially true of the Covidian Left, whose notoriously thin skin makes Donald Trump’s notoriously thin skin seem like rhinoceros hide.

If you want an example of this, simply go to a random Covidian’s 2,476th post about how everyone should “mask up” to avoid the literal plague and post a reply countering that view with data and/or maybe even a slight bit of mockery. If that reply gains any traction at all - and sometimes even if it doesn’t - you’ll be blocked faster than you can say “Fauci ouchie,” never again granted the privilege of seeing that Covidian’s wise and virtuous tweets (without a burner account anyway).

I’ve found this out the hard way more times than I can count, probably because I have a hard time abiding stupidity and I just can’t leave well enough alone. The pro-mask stuff is particularly loathsome. It was bad enough in 2020, but spouting the same nonsense in 2023 has about the same scientific credibility as a bird-beak-wearing plague doctor from the Middle Ages who want to treat what ails you with bloodletting and a fine tonic of arsenic and mercury. These morons just won’t let it go, and countering their nonsense has become a civic duty at this point. Which triggers THEIR ‘civic duty,’ which is to immediately block me.

Cases in point: In response to a Covidian posting a picture of her negative test and absurdly declaring party guests would have to do the same along with eating with the windows open and wearing masks between bites, I helpfully wrote, “I’d hate for someone to get a sniffle. Can’t be too careful.” Blocked. In response to a Covidian telling us how she managed to avoid Covid until she couldn’t avoid it any longer, I empathetically wrote, “My instinct is to make fun of you but what I feel is sadness for you. Imagine living this way for years to avoid a cold. It’s unsustainable, as you’ve found out, and even if it ‘worked,’ you’ve now wrecked your immune system. How could all that be worth it?” Again, blocked. In response to a Covidian asking those still masking to “raise their hand,” I simply pointed out that it was “an IQ test” that they “failed miserably.” Predictably, blocked. Heck, I’ve even been blocked by Taylor Lorenz and to my recollection, I’ve never once engaged with her feed.

Enter “Dr.” Lucky Tran, a leftist “science communicator” at Columbia University who is an ardent member of the masking cult. I thought I had bucked the trend with this guy when he followed me even after a particularly snarky response to one of his calls for not just masking, but a return to mask mandates. Just trying to be helped out of a genuine concern for this clown’s state of mind, I replied, “Masks and mask mandates would make zero difference regarding transmission. Zero. You are in a cult. Seek help.”

After that, Tran followed me. I then followed him back, because I’m always open to dialogue and debate with those who disagree with me. Shortly after, another Tran post caught my eye:

“A leftist told me their excuse for not masking was that shaming individuals were not a good way to build solidarity,” he wrote. “You know what breaks solidarity? Locking the most vulnerable out of society because you won’t do the bare minimum.” To which I replied, “Your or anyone else’s health is not my responsibility. If the vulnerable think masks work, they are welcome to wear as many masks as they like, or even a respirator or hazmat suit. Nobody is stopping them.”

What happened after that? You guessed it, insta-block. I’m thinking Tran had meant to block me on the previous post but accidentally clicked ‘follow’ instead. Fine. He has a full right to do so. But it just bolsters my point that conservatives welcome debate while leftists stifle it to protect their obnoxious, untenable positions.

My timeline on Twitter includes plenty of people posting to disagree, call me names, and even make fun of my receding hairline (that cuts deep, Shrek!). Unless they are an obvious bot - and by obvious bot I mean some glamour shot with 0 followers whose profile says to contact her for a great time - I don’t block them. When I have time, I occasionally even engage them in the discussion, because that’s what Twitter is supposed to be about. The fact that virtually none of these people do the same tells you everything you need to know.




Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The White House covid censorship machine

Newly released documents show that the White House has played a major role in censoring Americans on social media. Email exchanges between Rob Flaherty, the White House’s director of digital media, and social-media executives prove the companies put Covid censorship policies in place in response to relentless, coercive pressure from the White House—not voluntarily. The emails emerged Jan. 6 in the discovery phase of Missouri v. Biden, a free-speech case brought by the attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana and four private plaintiffs represented by the New Civil Liberties Alliance.

On March 14, 2021, Mr. Flaherty emailed a Facebook executive (whose name we’ve redacted as a courtesy) with the subject line “You are hiding the ball” and a link to a Washington Post article about Facebook’s own research into “the spread of ideas that contribute to vaccine hesitancy,” as the paper put it. “I think there is a misunderstanding,” the executive wrote back. “I don’t think this is a misunderstanding,” Mr. Flaherty replied. “We are gravely concerned that your service is one of the top drivers of vaccine hesitancy—period. . . . We want to know that you’re trying, we want to know how we can help, and we want to know that you’re not playing a shell game. . . . This would all be a lot easier if you would just be straight with us.”

On March 21, after failing to placate Mr. Flaherty, the Facebook executive sent an email detailing the company’s planned policy changes. They included “removing vaccine misinformation” and “reducing the virality of content discouraging vaccines that does not contain actionable misinformation.” Facebook characterised this material as “often-true content” that “can be framed as sensation, alarmist, or shocking.” Facebook pledged to “remove these Groups, Pages, and Accounts when they are disproportionately promoting this sensationalised content.”

In that exchange, Mr. Flaherty demanded to know what Facebook was doing to “limit the spread of viral content” on WhatsApp, a private message app, especially “given its reach in immigrant communities and communities of colour.” The company responded three weeks later with a lengthy list of promises.

On April 9, Mr. Flaherty asked “what actions and changes you’re making to ensure . . . you’re not making our country’s vaccine hesitancy problem worse.” He faulted the company for insufficient zeal in earlier efforts to control political speech: “In the electoral context, you tested and deployed an algorithmic shift that promoted quality news and information about the election. . . . You only did this, however, after an election that you helped increase scepticism in, and an insurrection which was plotted, in large part, by your platform. And then you turned it back off. I want some assurances, based in data, that you are not doing the same thing again here.” The executive’s response: “Understood.”

On April 14, Mr. Flaherty pressed the executive about why “the top post about vaccines today” is Tucker Carlson “saying they don’t work”: “I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like,” he said. The exec responded: “Running this down now.”

On April 23, Mr. Flaherty sent the executive an internal memo that he claimed had been circulating in the White House. It asserts that “Facebook plays a major role in the spread of COVID vaccine misinformation” and accuses the company of, among other things, “failure to monitor events hosting anti-vaccine and COVID disinformation” and “directing attention to COVID-sceptics/anti-vaccine ‘trusted’ messengers.”

On May 10, the executive sent Mr. Flaherty a list of steps Facebook had taken “to increase vaccine acceptance.” Mr. Flaherty scoffed, “Hard to take any of this seriously when you’re actively promoting anti-vaccine pages in search,” and linked to an NBC reporter’s tweet. The executive wrote back: “Thanks Rob—both of the accounts featured in this tweet have been removed from Instagram entirely for breaking our policies.”

President Biden, press secretary Jen Psaki and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy later publicly vowed to hold the platforms accountable if they didn’t heighten censorship. On July 16, 2021, a reporter asked Mr. Biden his “message to platforms like Facebook.” He replied, “They’re killing people.” Mr. Biden later claimed he meant users, not platforms, were killing people. But the record shows Facebook itself was the target of the White House’s pressure campaign.

Mr. Flaherty also strongarmed Google in April 2021, accusing YouTube (which it owns) of “funnelling” people into vaccine hesitancy. He said this concern was “shared at the highest (and I mean the highest) levels of the WH,” and required “more work to be done.” Mr. Flaherty demanded to know what further measures Google would take to remove disfavoured content. An executive responded that the company was working to “address your concerns related to Covid-19 misinformation.”

These emails establish a clear pattern: Mr. Flaherty, representing the White House, expresses anger at the companies’ failure to censor Covid-related content to his satisfaction. The companies change their policies to address his demands. As a result, thousands of Americans were silenced for questioning government-approved Covid narratives. Two of the Missouri plaintiffs, Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, are epidemiologists whom multiple social-media platforms censored at the government’s behest for expressing views that were scientifically well-founded but diverged from the government line—for instance, that children and adults with natural immunity from prior infection don’t need Covid vaccines.

Emails made public through earlier lawsuits, Freedom of Information Act requests and Elon Musk’s release of the Twitter Files had already exposed a sprawling censorship regime involving the White House as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies. The government directed tech companies to remove certain types of material and even to censor specific posts and accounts. Again, these included truthful messages casting doubt on the efficacy of masks and challenging Covid-19 vaccine mandates.

The First Amendment bars government from engaging in viewpoint-based censorship. The state-action doctrine bars government from circumventing constitutional strictures by suborning private companies to accomplish forbidden ends indirectly.

Defenders of the government have fallen back on the claim that co-operation by the tech companies was voluntary, from which they conclude that the First Amendment isn’t implicated. The reasoning is dubious, but even if it were valid, the premise has now been proved false.

The Flaherty emails demonstrate that the federal government unlawfully coerced the companies in an effort to ensure that Americans would be exposed only to state-approved information about Covid-19. As a result of that unconstitutional state action, Americans were given the false impression of a scientific “consensus” on critically important issues around Covid-19. A reckoning for the government’s unlawful, deceptive and dangerous conduct is under way in court.


Serious post-Covid syndrome hits a LOT of people

Rounding on three years into the coronavirus pandemic, scientists project there are over 100 million COVID long haulers worldwide. A recent Brookings Institution study estimated that around 16 million working-age Americans currently have Long COVID, costing $168 billion a year in lost earnings, not to mention the missed personal and professional opportunities and the high toll it takes on families. And countless more will suffer from it before the pandemic is in our collective rearview mirror.

It isn’t just life or death. Even a mild case of the virus can disable many of us for the rest of our lives. And our leaders had no idea.

On March 11, 2020, I was shadowing a producer on the Anderson Cooper 360° show. During the eight-hour shift, the producer frequently used sanitizing wipes to clean every inch of the workstation in our small edit bay. The day was spent preparing for President Donald Trump’s address from the Oval Office. Much of the speech was an attempt to project a Reaganesque optimism, broadcasting the idea the virus was no match for the greatest nation on earth.

Later that night as I walked out of the CNN Center, a building to which I’d reported nearly every day for five years, I didn’t realize that as the whole company shifted to working from home, it would be 17 months before I set foot in the office again.

A week later, I began what would become a year-long assignment as a features writer for CNN primarily focused on science, health and wellness. As with nearly everyone on earth, just about every conversation I would have over the next year revolved around the virus.

On the night of his Oval Office address, Trump focused his comments toward “the vast majority of Americans,” explaining that “the risk is very, very low. Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus.” I knew those words to be inadequate then. And over the ensuing months, I would continually publish stories reporting on a growing group of survivors who would come to be called COVID-19 “long haulers.”

It would turn out to be true that the majority of patients infected with the virus would get better quickly, but that number would fall short of being the VAST majority. Public health leaders’ early comments about most people getting better, which reflected the prevailing public belief at the time, didn’t begin to capture the full picture of the disaster that would happen in the lives of many of the pandemic’s survivors.

In the weeks after lockdowns began, I received a disquieting message from Linda Tannenbaum, executive director of the Open Medicine Foundation, a nonprofit organization in California dedicated to funding research for complex chronic diseases. She’d been a friend and a source for my stories for nearly a decade. The scientists her organization worked with were prestigious forward thinkers, and she was alarmed at what they could already see. She confided that she expected the novel coronavirus, which had been designated SARS-CoV-2, could cause years or even decades of disability in some sufferers. So many other long-time sources reached out with the same warning that I began to dread picking up my phone.

COVID-19 had its predecessor in the first severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus, which mainly terrorized Asia in the early years of the new millennium. For many patients, Tannenbaum explained, that virus had left years of wreckage in its wake. A 2009 study of 369 SARS survivors published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that four years after initial infection, some 40 percent had a chronic fatigue problem, and 27 percent met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s diagnostic criteria for chronic fatigue syndrome. If the second SARS virus— which causes COVID-19—were to prove as wicked in the long term as the first, it might mean years of disability for a swath of humanity.

And looking at scientific literature about previous epidemics, I saw similar trends in history. Before researcher Jonas Salk pioneered a vaccine in the 1950s that led to the disease being virtually eradicated, the polio virus fueled terrifying outbreaks around the world for millennia, accounting for many deaths among children and causing irreversible paralysis in about one in 200 patients. But, less commonly acknowledged, the virus also caused post-polio syndrome in 25 to 40 percent of survivors, leading to muscle aches and fatigue that could last for decades. Likewise, the Ebola virus, which caused more than 28,000 cases during its 2014–2016 epidemic, left its own post-viral syndrome. During that outbreak, Ebola killed more than a third of those it infected, and more than 70 percent of survivors were left with a constellation of symptoms including headaches, joint pain, fatigue and menstrual cessation.

In 2020, as health care systems around the world were overwhelmed with dying patients, thousands of very sick people dealing with the ongoing effects of COVID-19 began gathering in online support groups offering each other guidance as months passed and their expected recovery never came.

In July, the CDC released a study of 292 COVID-19 patients showing that 35 percent of them still had symptoms after two or three weeks; among younger people between ages 18 and 34, about one in five included in the study had not fully recovered. Assuming that data generalized to the wider population, it was evidence showing that COVID-19 could linger beyond its two-week recovery time and longterm symptoms were a possibility.

The next month, a science writer colleague sent me a study from the United Kingdom that burned itself into my consciousness. It appeared to show that about three-quarters of those hospitalized for COVID-19 experienced symptoms beyond the 12-week mark. Another long hauler symptom study out of the U.K., which has now tracked five million patients via a symptom-tracking app, showed that one in 10 people were sick for at least three weeks.

The fears that my sources and friends had expressed to me were being realized.




Monday, January 09, 2023

Health Care Workers Cry Foul on FDA Claiming It Didn’t Prohibit Ivermectin for COVID-19

Dr. Yusuf Saleeby has practiced medicine for more than 30 years. He serves patients in South Carolina and until recently had never faced an investigation from his state medical board.

But after Saleeby started prescribing ivermectin to his patients, he was reported to the board, which opened an investigation, despite the state’s attorney general’s promise that his office wouldn’t prosecute doctors who prescribed off-label medications.

Jennifer Wright, a nurse practitioner and clinical director who practices in Florida, but can prescribe across state lines, told The Epoch Times she received a letter from the Office of the Attorney General of New York ordering her not to prescribe ivermectin.

“You know, basically threatened me. If I don’t stop prescribing, then they’re going to fine me,” Wright said about the letter, which threatened legal action with fines of up to $5,000 per violation.

The letter stated that the Food and Drug Administration only authorized ivermectin for use in humans when treating “parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea.”

The citation in the letter appears to be from an FDA advisory issued in March 2021 titled “Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19.”

That advisory and other anti-ivermectin messaging from the FDA are now the subject of a lawsuit brought by three doctors against the agency. The doctors argue that the FDA illegally interfered with their ability to treat patients. The suit was dismissed but an appeal has been filed by the plaintiffs.

During a hearing in 2022, attorneys defending the government argued that the agency’s missives were just a recommendation.

“They did not say it’s prohibited or it’s unlawful. They also did not say that doctors may not prescribe ivermectin,” Isaac Belfer, one of the lawyers for the government, said during a Nov. 1, 2022, hearing in federal court in Texas.

The government’s arguments differ greatly from the reality many doctors faced for prescribing ivermectin. Some lost their jobs, others were investigated by state medical boards, and many received threats from the New York attorney general because they were prescribing across state lines.

Matthew Dark, a spokesperson for Roots Medical and Colorado Healthcare Providers for Freedom, which has more than 275 physicians in the group, stated that several doctors in Colorado are facing investigations by the state medical board.

When asked about the FDA’s new claim, Dark stated: “They knew it was safe for humans, and they made that very accusatory thing if you were a doctor prescribing this, you were an idiot. You were practicing like a hillbilly. So that message was loud and clear.”

Dark referred to Twitter posts from the FDA, one of which said: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.”

“Pharmacies were responding to the practice and providers trying to write [ivermectin] the same way the FDA was behaving,” Dark said.

Wright concurred, and pointing to her letter from the New York attorney general, said, “It clearly states in this letter that according to the FDA, you must cease and desist in prescribing ivermectin to New York State residents.”

Dr. Miguel Antonatos, a board-certified internal medicine physician who practices out of Illinois, but can prescribe to other states, told The Epoch Times via email that he, too, received a letter from the New York attorney general.

Nicole Sirotek is a registered nurse and founder of American Frontline Nurses, a patient advocacy network that boasts 22,000 nurses. She told The Epoch Times that her nurses often work with doctors in hospital settings.

At the height of the pandemic, Sirotek said patients would reach out to her advocacy network and beg for ivermectin, either for themselves or their loved ones dying in the hospital.

She stated that in five separate instances, doctors were fired or forced to resign for prescribing ivermectin as a home medication for nurses to administer in hospitals.

“That happened five times, and each physician was fired. That’s five physicians in five different states and five different hospital systems.”

Julie McCabe, a registered nurse and director of advocacy services for American Frontline Nurses, told The Epoch Times that the above doctors include Dr. Edith Behr in Pennsylvania, Dr. John Witcher in Mississippi, Dr. Mary Bowden in Texas, Dr. Robert Karas in Arkansas, and Dr. Paul Marik in Virginia. Bowden and Marik are two of the three doctors suing the FDA over its stance on ivermectin.

Bowden told The Epoch Times that Houston Methodist Hospital suspended her for merely writing on Twitter about ivermectin, and she had to overcome “numerous obstacles” when prescribing it to patients.

“The FDA was the key creator of these hurdles when it launched a social media campaign stating that ivermectin is dangerous and only for horses. When faced with a lawsuit, the FDA now claims it was merely making suggestions—suggestions that have threatened my ability to practice medicine and more importantly, interfered with life-saving early treatment of COVID patients,” Bowden said.

Sirotek said members of the group Team Halo targeted her because of her stance on ivermectin. The group describes itself as “volunteer scientists and healthcare professionals from around the world, working to end this pandemic by contributing our time to address concerns and public health misinformation.”

Members of the group filed several complaints to Nevada’s state medical board, which Sirotek said costs her $5,000 per complaint to fight.

With tears streaming from her eyes, Sirotek said she’d also received death threats, pictures of her house, and threats to murder her children. Sirotek provided copies of these threats to The Epoch Times. Team Halo didn’t respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

In the spring of 2020, with COVID-19 spreading like wildfire through the population, finding a viable treatment was paramount in many doctors’ minds. And as no drug was approved to treat the novel virus, they turned to off-label use, a standard medical practice even in non-pandemic times.

In March 2020, a group of leading critical care specialists joined forces and formed the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC). Their mission was to examine different therapies and drugs and recommend possible COVID-19 treatments based on best medical practices and emerging data.

Almost immediately, ivermectin was put forward as a possible treatment. First approved for human use in 1987 and dispensed billions of times since then, ivermectin is traditionally prescribed to treat parasites. But it’s safe and was already known to have an effect on viruses.

“This is a medication that is safer than Tylenol, safer than stuff we sell over the counter,” Wright said.

Saleeby agreed.

“[Ivermectin is] probably one of the most prescribed drugs. It’s given out like candy in Sub-Saharan Africa and Amazon basin or anywhere around water. … It’s doled out to children and pregnant women. … As far as safety, it’s probably safer than baby aspirin. It’s probably the safest drug on the planet, to be honest.

“I was using [ivermectin] sporadically in some of my Lyme patients. It’s effective against Lyme. We knew it had effectivity against viruses and other pathogens like Borrelia and Babesia.”

Sirotek told The Epoch Times that, especially as the Delta strain increased hospitalizations and deaths in the United States, she and several nurses questioned why some countries seemingly remained unaffected. The answer, she believes, was widespread ivermectin use.

At first, prescribing ivermectin and obtaining it from a regular pharmacy wasn’t an issue, Wright said. More importantly, it worked.

“We started using it very early on, and I could prescribe it to the pharmacy. I would prescribe it according to the FLCCC recommendations because they were the ones doing the research. I was just validating that, you know, this has some real stuff behind it.”

When the pandemic began, ivermectin as an effective treatment was primarily a theory. But as health care workers reported that it worked, more and more studies were conducted to back up those early successes.

There have been 189 ivermectin COVID-19 studies, according to the aggregate site Of those studies, 139 have been peer-reviewed, and 93 compare treatment and control groups.

In the 93 studies, which had more than 133,838 patients in 27 countries, there were “statistically significant improvements are seen for mortality, ventilation, ICU admission, hospitalization, recovery, cases, and viral clearance,” a real-time meta-analysis states.

Simply put, as health care workers saw firsthand that ivermectin worked in their practices, studies were simultaneously confirming the medicine’s effectiveness.

Dr. Peter Raisanen, a naturopathic medical doctor in Arizona, said that once he started his patients on ivermectin, they typically started feeling better within a few days.

“It seemed like it was within three to four days, like they [started feeling] better,” Raisanen told The Epoch Times.

Raisanen said he treated about 200 patients with ivermectin, and none died. Almost all stayed out of the hospital. That’s an experience several doctors attested to witnessing.

“We’ve probably collectively [at Roots Medical], treated 1,000 people with early COVID,” Dark said.

He said that when a patient was treated early on in their illness, there was a clear improvement—often within hours.

“It’s within two hours of that first dose that people start feeling noticeably better. And within two days, most symptoms are gone. Again, this is with starting early treatment, say days one to three, one to four, of infection or symptoms,” Dark said.

Sirotek said the nurses in her network partnered with My Free Doctor’s Dr. Ben Marble and his network of physicians. Altogether, the group treated more than 300,000 patients with early ivermectin intervention. She said of those 300,000, only three died.

Saleeby didn’t specify the exact number of patients treated.

“I’ve seen some miraculous things in the patients that I prescribed ivermectin to, who follow our instructions, and get on it right away at the appropriate dose and do the nutraceutical bundles,” he noted. “[They] are not going into the hospital and they’re not dying.”

Saleeby said that he treated himself with ivermectin when he caught COVID-19. He credits its use with keeping him out of the hospital.

Pharmacies Impede Treatment

While ivermectin was obtainable from traditional pharmacies at the start of the pandemic, health care providers soon started to get pushback. “As I started prescribing [ivermectin] to more and more people, I started getting calls from pharmacists,” Wright said.

Susan Julian, a nurse practitioner and certified functional medicine practitioner with a practice in Indiana, said the first time she realized something was amiss was when one of her patients contacted her after she prescribed him ivermectin.

Julian said that when her patient tried to have his prescription filled, the pharmacists asked him if it was for parasites. When the patient said it was for COVID-19, the pharmacists “hassled him right there in the store,” she told The Epoch Times. “Pharmacists are not supposed to ask people, ‘Why are you taking this medication?’ It’s not their business unless you make it their business,” Julian said.

Shortly after, the pharmacies started calling Julian and stating they wouldn’t fill her prescriptions for patients.

Dark, whose Colorado Healthcare Providers for Freedom network includes 275 doctors in Colorado, added that the pushback from pharmacies on ivermectin fulfillment was without precedent.

“There has never been a drug, like ivermectin, so singular at being picked out and said that ‘we will not fill under any circumstances.’ That has never happened before,” Dark said.

The refusals to fulfill prescriptions soon turned to threats.

“I had pharmacists tell me that they’re recording me for misinformation. For doing harm to my patients,” Wright said.

Circling back to the FDA and opposing ivermectin, Saleeby said: “[The FDA] really did go way out of the way to make it difficult for doctors to feel comfortable using it. By threatening their licenses, by kind of bullying them, if you will, into not prescribing it. To just go along with the narrative.”

Answering the ‘Why’

The FDA’s website states that if a viable treatment exists for an illness during a health emergency, neither medications nor vaccines may be approved using an emergency use authorization.

While there isn’t concrete proof for their position, some doctors and nurses interviewed by The Epoch Times theorized that the FDA’s pushback against ivermectin was motivated by the need to secure an emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccines.

“They had an agenda. And the agenda was to push this new form of vaccine, this mRNA vaccine, because it was going to make the industry billions of dollars. And in order for them to promote this because they didn’t have the time to do randomized control trials for efficacy and safety, they had to use Emergency Use Authorization [EAU],” Saleeby said.

“It completely destroys the vaccine position,” Dark concurred. “One thing that’s written very clearly is that you cannot have a known acceptable form of treatment out there available to the public and still be operating under emergency use.”

“If there was a possible treatment for COVID-19, the vaccine would not be able to obtain emergency authorization use,” Wright said. “If there’s any possible treatment, then the vaccines would have to go through rigorous testing.”

The Epoch Times sought comment from the FDA, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the state medical boards in Colorado and South Carolina, CVS, Walgreens, King Soopers, and the New York Attorney General’s office.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies stated, “Any complaint that may have been received by the Colorado Medical Board as part of an investigation is confidential and unavailable for public inspection pursuant.”




Sunday, January 08, 2023

More Than 270 Deaths in US Athletes After Vaccination

Over 270 athletes and former athletes in the United States have died from cardiac arrests or other serious issues after taking COVID-19 vaccines, according to data from a recent peer-reviewed letter to the editor.

Authored by structural biologist Panagis Polykretis, and board-certified internist and cardiologist Dr. Peter McCullough, the letter’s cited data found that from 2021 to 2022, at least 1,616 cardiac arrests or other major medical issues have been globally documented in vaccinated athletes, with 1,114 of those being fatal.

The global data also showed that between 2021 to 2022, former and current American athletes made up 279 of the mortalities.

Athletes have a lower chance of cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death as compared to nonathletes. A 2016 U.S. study calculated that nonathletes, compared to athletes, have a 29 times higher chance of sudden cardiac death.

One of the reasons is because “athletes are screened out for the common causes of sudden death on the playing field,” McCullough told The Epoch Times.

Players are screened for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which makes up almost 50 percent of sudden cardiac deaths in athletes, as well as other less common heart abnormalities.

The intensive screening is what makes competitive-level sports safer than everyday sporting activities, McCullough argued.

Sudden Cardiac Deaths in Athletes Increased After Vaccination

McCullough pointed to a European study that tracked sudden cardiac deaths in European athletes over 38 years from 1966 to 2004. The study reported 1,101 sudden cardiac deaths over the interval, which Polykretis estimated would be around 29 deaths per year.

In the United States, it is estimated that 100 to 150 athletes die every year from sudden death.

The data cited in the letter, however, showed that in 2022 alone, over 190 deaths from cardiac arrests or other factors have been reported in current and former athletes.

This does not include the deaths of athletes with unknown vaccine statuses and those whose names did not make it into the media.

McCullough said looking at the data, “there’s no doubt,” that sudden cardiac deaths have increased following vaccinations.

However, since most of the sudden cardiac deaths in the media are of professional competitive players, McCullough added that collecting data from athletes in colleges, high schools, and other international leagues would give a more comprehensive picture.

He pointed to studies that have shown high myocarditis increases following COVID-19 vaccinations.

Prior to the pandemic, a 2017 study in Finland found that myocarditis rates were 19.5 per million for children 15 years of age and younger. Another 2012 Japanese study on pediatric admissions reported even lower rates of 2.6 cases per million in children aged 1 month to 17.

In the data released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention in June 2021 (pdf), researchers expected myocarditis rates in vaccinated 12- to 17-year-old males to be 63 cases per million. By the following year, researchers at the CDC noted that myocarditis numbers in young males were exceeding the background rates (pdf).

A study by researchers from Kaiser Permanente (pdf), published in August 2022, estimated myocarditis would be 186 cases out of a million, after a second dose of vaccine in 12- to 17-year-old children. In males, this number was raised to 377 cases out of a million.

However, in prospective studies, one Thai study found that 2.3 percent of children who received two shots of mRNA doses had a heart injury. Another study evaluated 777 health care workers who were boosted and 2.8 percent reported a heart injury.

This means that if the results are extrapolated, around 25,000 people per million could suffer from heart injuries after two or three doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, according to McCullough.

“I’m very concerned,” said McCullough, “This is a public health problem. I think it is incumbent upon individuals to disclose the vaccine status.”

“We see the report of public figures or athletes one after another, dying suddenly, with no explanation. It’s incumbent upon the families, the medical staff, the doctors, and the reporters to disclose the vaccine status. They are investigational vaccines, and they are linked to death in peer-reviewed studies.”

A German autopsy study evaluated 25 people who died unexpectedly within 20 days of being vaccinated. Four of the individuals were found with myocarditis without any other disease signal that may have caused the unexpected death.

The authors concluded that their autopsy studies indicated that deaths were due to cardiac failure, and that myocarditis could be “a potentially lethal complication following mRNA-based anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.”

It should also be noted that myocarditis events have also been reported in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in 2020, and studies have shown that the virus can cause heart damage. But it is debatable if the heart injuries patients experience are caused by myocarditis or some other reasons.

A study published in April 2022 found that increases in myocarditis and pericarditis are statistically insignificant among unvaccinated individuals after COVID infection. The researchers evaluated around 197,000 unvaccinated patients, and there were 9 and 11 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis, respectively.

A French study that tracked cardiac arrests in athletes pre-pandemic from 2005 to 2018 also found that the rate of cardiac arrests in sports has remained constant, while survivability of these events has increased due to help from bystanders.


Twitter Suppressed Early COVID-19 Treatment Information and Vaccine Safety Concerns: Cardiologist

Thanks to Elon Musk, the public is now aware that Twitter suppressed early treatment options for COVID-19, and vaccine safety concerns, Dr. Peter McCullough alleged in an interview that aired on Newsmakers by NTD and The Epoch Times on Dec. 14.

Further, thanks to the Twitter Files—a collection of internal emails and communications made public by Musk—the cardiologist said there’s proof that government agencies were working against him (McCullough) personally.

“I didn’t violate any of Twitter’s rules,” McCullough stated. “And what we’re learning is that secret emails between government agencies and Twitter were working to, in a sense, shadow-ban me, censor me, and inhibit my ability to exercise my rights to free speech and disseminate scientific information.”

McCullough said Musk’s takeover of Twitter is a “welcome change,” especially for healthcare professionals like himself.

“Twitter had become an incredibly biased and censored platform, where the public knew they weren’t getting a fair, balanced set of information on a whole variety of developments—including the early treatment of SARS-COV2 infection and a balanced view of safety and efficacy of the vaccines,” McCullough claimed.

The cardiologist further claimed that he was censored and finally suspended for sharing scientific “abstracts and manuscripts,” which didn’t fit the accepted political view. Plus, McCullough remarked, he wasn’t the only doctor targeted.

Musk lifted the suspensions of McCullough and mRNA vaccine technology contributor Dr. Robert Malone—suspended from Twitter in 2021 after criticizing the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines—after completing his Twitter purchase.

Social Media and Censorship

According to McCullough, when a social media company has a COVID-19 warning or labels a post “misinformation,” that’s a sign of government censorship and control.

“Facebook, Instagram, and the other platforms. … Anytime a message is posted, and it says, ‘See the COVID information center,’ or it labels it ‘COVID misinformation,’ that actually indicates that there’s government interference. There’s government censorship going on,” McCullough asserted.

He added that when a user witnesses the above, they need to call out that platform. Moreover, McCullough believes there needs to be a “complete overhaul” of social media leadership and a “cleansing” of all forms of censorship on social media sites.

He said explicitly regarding healthcare that a past U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteed physicians free speech and medical authority, and social media platforms are violating that ruling.

“Physicians, including myself, our rights to free speech were guaranteed in a Supreme Court ruling. We have medical authority, and the public is looking to our analyses and our guidance through the rest of this pandemic.”

Drug and Vaccine Lies

Regarding the safety of vaccines and the pushback he received when he voiced his concerns, McCullough stated, “There is no drug or vaccine that is free of side effects. There’s no drug or vaccine that’s perfectly effective.

“So, when Americans were seeing advertisements that said ‘safe and effective,’ of course, immediately, we were jumping and making the case based on the peer-reviewed literature that that’s not correct.”

McCullough further noted that he and author John Leake have released a book called “The Courage to Face COVID-19″—detailing the true story of the “intentional suppression of early treatment [of COVID-19] by what we call the biopharmaceutical complex.”

McCullough explained that what he meant by “biopharmaceutical complex” is the amalgamation of Big Pharma, government interests, and foundations, including everything up to the World Economic Forum.

He further alleged that this complex had one mission—mass vaccination—so they purposefully buried early treatment “to favor the vaccine strategy.” McCullough acknowledged that his allegation was “complex and mind-blowing” but said Americans know it’s reality and not a conspiracy.

McCullough also stated that creating a Public Health Integrity Committee by Florida’s Republican governor Ron DeSantis (ostensibly to make sure politics don’t suppress public health information in the future) is a validation of doctors like himself.

The Twitter Files

Since taking over Twitter, Musk has become increasingly vocal about transparency and the need for people to see what happened behind the scenes at the tech company. To that end, he released secret emails and discussions about shadow-banning or removing accounts that didn’t toe the party line.

As part of its reporting, The Epoch Times sought comment from the DOJ and FBI on the Twitter Files revelations and their involvement with social media companies.

The FBI National Press Office replied, “The FBI regularly engages with private sector entities to provide information specific to identified foreign malign influence actors’ subversive, undeclared, covert, or criminal activities.

It is not based on the content of any particular message or narrative. Private sector entities independently make decisions about what, if any, action they take on their platforms and for their customers after the FBI has notified them.”