Saturday, February 18, 2023

Republicans Launch Next COVID-19 Origins Inquiry---Lab Leak Theory Becomes Likely Suspect

What is the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19? An important question, it has yet to be answered. The Chinese government doesn’t seem keen on helping the world figure this vexing problem out, and neither does the World Health Organization (WHO). In fact, when the WHO first investigated, they sent the head of EcoHealth Alliance as the sole representative of America and not surprisingly, found nothing.

As reported recently by Smriti Mallapaty, writing for Nature, the WHO has abandoned any initiative to further investigate the origins of SARS-CoV-2 in China. Just at a critical time to further the investigation, the prominent medical journal reports that WHO has “quietly shelved the second phase of its much-anticipated scientific investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.” The reason for the not-at-all-surprising cancellation, difficulties of such an investigation in China---not an open place to do a deep investigation into potential government conspiracies.

But the GOP with its slight majority continues to push forward. Both Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio), Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic Chairman and James Comer (R-KY), House Committee on Oversight and Accountability now request senior Biden Administration officials including Dr. Anthony Fauci as well as Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, to provide sufficient information to the Select Subcommittee and Oversight Committee’s investigation into COVID origins.

This effort at obtaining information to support the investigation isn’t new. To the GOP’s credit, they seem to be the only party that cares about this critical topic. For example, the most recent actions follow up on a request on December 13, 2022, for the same materials (documents, information, and testimony). How can so many politicians, health-focused agencies and authorities, academic medical centers, and health systems not be interested in pursuing this absolutely vital question? Could the topic have been politicized on purpose by underlying forces, part of some deeper more nefarious agenda?

As reported by the Congressional Committee, the 117th Congress Oversight Committee Republicans sent numerous letters to officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The Committee’s investigation has already uncovered three facts driving further investigation:

Growing evidence shows COVID-19 likely originated from the Wuhan Lab and the Chinese Communist Party covered it up
U.S. taxpayer dollars were being funneled into the Wuhan Lab to conduct risky gain-of-function research on novel bat coronaviruses

Dr. Fauci was aware of this information at the start of the pandemic and may have acted to conceal the information by intentionally downplaying the lab leak theory.
Of course, more information is needed to not only probe this critically important matter but also to inform legislative activity.

TrialSite has accumulated substantial information in the form of emails, data, documents, and insights from experts to suggest the lab leak theory is likely.

Interestingly enough, the censorship apparatus put in place during the pandemic (or perhaps, intensified since then) is real, and hence why the agreement to join the lawsuit targeting the Trusted News Initiative. See the coverage of that lawsuit. The basis of the lawsuit isn’t freedom of the press but rather antitrust violations.

While there most certainly is plenty of misinformation, disinformation, and frankly, loony information circulating about, that all serves as a convenient cover, distracting those that track such matters from pursuing the real important evidential pathways.

Chairman Comer recently got right to the point on this historical matter: “Understanding the origins of COVID-19 is essential to providing accountability and protecting Americans in the future.” Given TrialSite’s global focus as well, we would add all people around the world given 6.8 million people worldwide died due to this virus according to WHO. Comer continued:

“Evidence continues to mount pointing to the virus leaking from an unsecure lab in Wuhan. We know EcoHealth Alliance acted as a go-between, improperly funneling thousands of taxpayer dollars to the Wuhan lab to conduct risky gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses which could have started the pandemic. Dr. Fauci was alerted early on that COVID-19 had markings of a manipulated virus yet may have chosen to cover it up instead of blowing the whistle. We will continue to follow the facts to determine what could have been done differently to better protect Americans from this virus and hold U.S. government officials that took part in any sort of cover-up accountable.”

According to Select Subcommittee Chairman Wenstrup:

“The American people deserve real answers after years of suffering through the Coronavirus pandemic and related government policies. This investigation must begin with where and how this virus came about so that we can attempt to predict, prepare, or prevent it from happening again. Government scientists and government-funded researchers have so far been less-than-forthcoming in their knowledge and actions, including work with the Wuhan Institute of Virology and potential pandemic pathogens. We can’t accept more years of stonewalling; the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic is committed to conducting a proper investigation that the American people have demanded.”

Could the Chinese cover-up hypothesis be the correct pathway of investigation? It most certainly is the top candidate. The first known outbreak occurred right in Wuhan, right near the Wuhan Institute of Virology which has benefited from U.S. funding via the EcoHealth Alliance intermediary. TrialSite has covered that consistently even when a mere mention of this topic would get one censored on Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube. An independent media platform with its own technology stack, TrialSite was able to continue investigational coverage into biomedical research-related topics despite what is clearly a massive censorship operation involving the U.S. government.

The first investigation into the origins, sponsored by WHO didn’t seem serious. They found nothing, and who was sent representing the United States? They sent Peter Daszak, head of EcoHealth Alliance! See multiple entries in TrialSite.

What about the DARPA memo? Originating from one of Project Veritas’ endeavors, nonetheless, the internal DoD memo declaring SARS-CoV-2 to be an American-originated technology appeared authentic. TrialSite reached out directly to DARPA and a top communications officer there responded promptly, declaring that they could not either verify or deny the allegation as to the document’s authenticity. Interestingly, however, the spokesperson did elaborate that they have not funded EcoHealth Alliance studies which we at TrialSite found quite interesting.

We have reported on troubling matters generally related to the topic. Recently, TrialSite reported a U.S. HHS Office of Inspector General audit finding that the NIH and EcoHealth Alliance failed to appropriately monitor U.S. taxpayer-funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The mainstream media avoided this highly relevant and timely topic, again interesting. In 2021, TrialSite reported on other evidence that EcoHealth Alliance and NIH acknowledged supporting some forms of gain-of-function research. By July 2021, TrialSite’s “Origins of the Pandemic are Elusive & Timeline Reveals Glimpse of Path into Better Tomorrow” probed the matter of SARS-CoV-2 origins, including breakthrough research of players like Ralph Baric, and collaborators in Wuhan, China.

But the answers are elusive, especially when it comes to matters touching on deep national security interests.


Misleading Trial Site Article Concerning Guillain Barre Syndrome Following mRNA Vaccinations

Neil Spielholz

The J&J vaccine was associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome but the mRNA vaccines were not

An Opinion Article entitled, “CDC Reports Hundreds of Guillain-Barré Cases with mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination” recently appeared in Trial Site News. Let’s review what this opinion article says, but more importantly, what it does not say.

The opinion article “summarizes” a paper by Abara et al, “Reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome After COVID-19 Vaccination in the United States”. The opinion article’s title trumpets that “hundreds” of GBS cases have been reported. The actual number reported by Abara et al, is 211. These occurred from December 2020 through January 2022, and they occurred within 42 days of receiving either the BNT162b2 (n=104) or the mRNA-1273 (n=107) vaccine. (Note that for this communication, I am using just the cumulative number of GBS cases reported 42 days after vaccination. Abara et al, report number of cases 21 and 42 days after vaccination.)

But note that the opinion article omits mentioning that the main thrust of the Abara et al paper, was to compare the incidence of GBS in these two mRNA groups to a third group of 82 GBS patients that had received a non-mRNA vaccination, the Ad26.COV2.S [J & J] vaccine. This head-to-head incidence comparison was based on the total number of vaccine doses delivered between the start and stop dates of data collection in terms of “per 100,000 doses”. See the original paper for details.

So what did Abara et al, report, but was omitted in the opinion article?

The non-mRNA group had an incidence rate of 4.07 compared to 0.34 and 0.44 for the two mRNA groups. In other words, despite the "hundreds" of cases in the mRNA groups, these vaccines had a lower incidence rate of GBS than did the non-mRNA vaccine!

But this lack of information in the opinion article goes on. It neglects to tell readers that Abara et al, also performed an observed-to-expected ratio, where the incidence of GBS prior to the coronavirus pandemic was compared to the incidence found in these three groups. Indeed, Abara et al, report that the O-E ratios “were significantly increased” in the non-mRNA group, but NOT in either of the mRNA groups. Abara et al write, “These findings suggest that Ad26.COV2.S vaccination was associated with GBS and that GBS after BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 may represent background incidence.” No mention of this in the opinion article.

In their Discussion section, Abara et al, summarize these findings as follows: “In this retrospective cohort study, we identified 295 verified GBS cases among VAERS reports submitted from December 2020 through January 2022. GBS reporting after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination was approximately 9 to 12 times more common than after BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccination within 21-and 42-day post-vaccination intervals. Similarly, observed GBS cases after Ad26.COV2.S vaccination were 2 to 3 times greater than expected based on background within 21- and 42-day post-vaccination intervals. There was no significant difference between observed and expected numbers of GBS cases after either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.”

Elsewhere, Abara et al, write, “No association between mRNA COVID-19 vaccinations and risk of GBS were observed.” (Emphasis mine).

None of this is mentioned in the Opinion Article.

One other point concerns the different death rates between the non-mRNA group and the two mRNA groups. Two deaths occurred in the non-mRNA group, and 8 (4 in each of the mRNA groups). Therefore, the death rate in the non-mRNA group was 2/82, or 2.4%, while in the two mRNA groups, the death rate was 8/211, or 3.8%. Does this 1.4% difference herald the death-knell for mRNA vaccinations? Not without more data.




Thursday, February 16, 2023

Australian health agencies are inspiring misinformation on Covid vaccine injuries

The issue of Covid-19 vaccination injuries and deaths have been largely ignored by the media. It’s a dangerous business which allows misinformation to flourish.

There have been some notable exceptions.

Last month, Christine Middap’s sensitive article in The Weekend Australian included profiles of people who had suffered serious Covid-19 vaccine injury. And Chris Kenny recently drew attention to the problem in a thoughtful way on his program on Sky News.

The figures on vaccine related injury should be widely available, published by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to the point where even the incurious will have a broad understanding.

The compensation scheme, known as the Covid-19 Vaccine Claims Scheme is administered by Services Australia. The scheme was announced by then health minister Greg Hunt as the vaccines were rolled out in the first half of 2021. Therein lies an acknowledgment that Covid-19 vaccines were likely to cause injury and death in rare cases.

Less than 10 per cent of 3206 claims have been approved. Most of the remainder are still being considered.

These are Australians who have suffered injury as a result of taking the Covid vaccine and they should not be forgotten or cast into a bureaucratic abyss.

Even obtaining an official figure on vaccine related deaths is fraught. My understanding from the often tortured TGA’s reports is that 14 Australians have died from severe adverse reactions to Covid vaccines, nine from Astra-Zeneca and five from mRNA based vaccines, including Pfizer and Moderna. One of those five is an extraordinarily harrowing story of the death of a 21-year-old Melbourne woman in March 2021.

Those who suffered injury, and often extended periods of incapacity have been left to deal with the usual bureaucratic exercise that requires medical evidence, which may include but not be restricted to proof of hospital admission, sending the forms in, then sitting and waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

In the United States, a similarly convoluted compensation scheme is in place. The Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program is known to be a well-intentioned office but under-resourced and not fit for the purpose of dealing with thousands of claims and determining outcomes in a timely fashion.

At the end of 2022, there were more than 7500 claimants to the scheme. Some have been waiting for compensation for more than a year. I’ll leave it to the mathematicians to figure out the percentages of claims for Covid vaccine injury against the more than 600 million doses of the Covid vaccine administered in the US.

A void of information is filled with misinformation and the people perpetrating are armed and ready, bristling with falsehoods and deceit.

Stew Peters is a Minnesotan former bounty hunter who has developed a business model to achieve fame and fortune from the pandemic. He refers to Covid vaccines as “bioweapons”. Peters contends Covid vaccines are a means of global depopulation.

Peters’s pseudo-documentary, Died Suddenly, has been described as a “tsunami of anti-vax misinformation and conspiracy theories” by Science Based Medicine magazine. It has been viewed over 250,000 times on Rumble. The documentary makers were allowed to post the entire 69 minutes on Twitter.

The ersatz doco includes the appropriation of news items reporting on people who had suddenly died, many of which were probably not vaccine-related. Some of the sudden deaths exploited in Died Suddenly occurred before the pandemic.

Retired teacher turned writer in Los Angeles, Dolores Cruz, published an article in the Huffington Post about the grieving process she had undergone and written extensively about in two books. Her youngest son, Eric, had died in a car crash in 2017 at 24-years of age. The fake doco used a screenshot of the headline in the film, portraying his death as vaccine related.

It would be difficult to imagine more ghoulish behaviour. I reached out to Cruz recently, asking how she felt seeing Peters appropriate the death of her son.

“I want people to know that the suggestion that my son died from the Covid vaccine is completely false. I was angered to see that the title of the article I wrote for HuffPost was used in the documentary Died Suddenly. My article was about my grief and healing journey after my 24-year-old son died in a car accident in May of 2017 which was years before the pandemic began and has nothing to do with the Covid vaccine. The documentary has misappropriated how my son died and it hurts to have my son’s story used in this way,” she wrote.

But she was not surprised that it happened. “Though this has made me angry and caused hurt, sadly, false information runs rampant in the world today by way of news media, social media, and film and television.”

This fake documentary watched by a relatively small audience in global terms has now taken on a life of its own as a hashtag that runs across every possible social media platform, republishing every newspaper headline, every media article, small or large, where the phrase ‘died suddenly’ is mentioned and aggregates them to infer people have died suddenly from vaccine-related injury.

Liberal MP Russell Broadbent is advocating on behalf of the thousands of Australians who have experienced an adverse reaction after getting a… COVID-19 vaccination. “They feel … they are not being heard, they don’t feel like they are being justly treated by governments,” he told Sky News host More
On Saturday February 13, a Belgian goalkeeper, Arne Espeel, died suddenly while playing in the second division league in Belgium for Winkel Sport B. According to reports, Espeel made a save and then collapsed. He was attended to by a doctor at the ground and a defibrillator was used. The attempts to save his life failed and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

And there it was again. A flurry of Died Suddenly hashtags amid anti-vax comments on social media.

Espeel’s sudden death comes after a bogus review announced that 108 footballers had died suddenly in 2021. The original report was published in Hebrew but was subject to a Reuters Fact Check that found that, of the 108, only a few died playing soccer. There were archers, American footballers, hockey players – both on ice rinks and on fields, rugby league and union footballers. Some were not playing at all, including a cricket coach, and a golf caddie.

What the misinfo shouters didn’t account for is that FIFA established a sudden death register in 2014 due to concerns that had risen over decades that men and women playing soccer were dying on the pitch at a fairly high rate.

In the five-year period 2014-2018, the sudden deaths of 617 footballers were registered with FIFA, on average 123 in any year. Elite players were less likely to suffer sudden cardiac arrest due to elevated fitness levels and were more likely to survive these events due to the increased likelihood of being attended to by skilled first aid practitioners and the presence of defibrillators. Nevertheless, the study published in the British Medical Journal and peer reviewed found that five per cent of the 617 deaths came from the elite level.

Misinformation is easy to create and requires ten times the energy to refute. ‘Died suddenly’ should not be a loaded term but that’s where we are now.

The issue of proper and prompt redress to people who have suffered Covid vaccine injury and those who spread misinformation is deeply entwined. Morally, those who have suffered injury should not be pushed into the shadows, collateral casualties of a rush to vaccinate. But more so, the vacuum created by bureaucratic babble and evasion will always be filled by misinformation. The truth gets left dazed and bruised by the roadside.




Medicaid has expanded by 20 million during Covid

Keeping a lot of people out of the workforce

By Robert Romano

Since Feb. 2020, thanks to the “continuous enrollment” in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which prohibited states from disenrolling Medicaid patients when they no longer qualify on the basis of income, Medicaid enrollment has skyrocketed by 20.2 million to more than 91 million since Feb. 2020, according to the latest data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The mechanism for the expansion was temporary Covid unemployment, when 25 million jobs were lost in the blink of an eye, resulting in lapses in private insurance. When patients got Covid and went to the hospital and other medical providers, this resulted in automatic enrollment so providers could get paid.

The largest increases came from California (2.3 million), Texas (1.5 million), New York (1.3 million) and Florida (1.2 million). With 2.7 million in Texas and Florida alone, were Republican governors Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis ever made aware of this provision? What about state Republican lawmakers?

Reviewing the gubernatorial websites in Texas and Florida, as well as the official Twitter feeds of both governors, I cannot find a single statement either opposing the “continuous enrollment” provision—which left recipients in state Medicaid programs long after they had returned to work—or even acknowledging it or the rapid expansion of their state’s Medicaid programs.

In fact, the 20 million added during the Covid Medicaid expansion was even larger than the expansion that ultimately occurred under the Affordable Care Act from 2010 to 2019, when the number went from 56 million before the Affordable Care Act was passed, to 71 million in 2019. In 2020 the economy tanked, unemployment skyrocketed and Medicaid enrollment exploded.

That would have happened anyway. The consequential provision was the “continuous enrollment” that prohibited states like Texas and Florida from recertifying patients’ income as was required under prior law.

How is that possible? Maybe someone should ask them. I personally only discovered it when I learned of the disenrollments that are set to begin after March 31 thanks to a provision in the $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill.

And yet the federal government wasn’t hiding it. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services were publishing Medicaid enrollment snapshots under the provision dating back to June 2020.

A Jan. 19 piece from Orlando Sentinel appears to show Florida State House Republicans were similarly not made aware of Medicaid expansion in Florida until the Medicaid disenrollments began, with House Health & Human Services Chairman Randy Fine, (R-Brevard County) stating after being briefed in committee: “The federal government during the pandemic said once you are on, it’s like being on the Supreme Court — you can’t get kicked off… And so we have people who qualified at one moment in time but do not qualify today.”

But they weren’t alone. In my prior look at the issue, I couldn’t find a single statement by House or Senate Republicans specifically about the continuous enrollment provision. There was a House Republican Oversight Committee letter about potential improper payments to Medicaid during Covid in Aug. 2021, but with no mention of the program’s expansion. By then, the program had already expanded by 13 million.

The problem appears to be an apparent lack of information and institutional knowledge by Republicans in Congress, legislatures and state governor’s mansions. In the old king’s cabinet in Great Britain, there was the saying that “the king could do no wrong.” That, if something went wrong, it could not be because of his own failures, but because he had been given poor advice. But that might be too charitable in this case.

The data was there to be found, but you had to know to go look for it.

Moreover, Republicans were complaining about many of the other governmental expansions in the health system during Covid. They opposed Medicaid expansion for more than a decade under the Affordable Care Act, and here was a backdoor expansion of socialized medicine that dwarfed the program’s prior expansion.

Are the GOP elected branches so disconnected from the professional, permanent, administrative state that during Covid they appear to have been asleep at the switch?

And now, states will have to come up with plans to begin disenrollment, which the Department of Health and Human Services says could impact up to 15 million recipients, assuming they went back to work and no longer qualify.

What preparations were made to disenroll these patients from Medicaid at the state level? This is a question for all 50 state governors, not simply Republican governors who you think would have opposed this.

The fact is, even the Medicaid disenrollments will tax state public health systems, too, as resources will have to go to tracking down eligibility. The amount of fraud in the disenrollments alone could be gargantuan, as now there is a perverse incentive to conceal income, but red states might have been ready for it — if they knew about it. The question is, did they know?


Substantial Meta-Analysis Reveals COVID-19 Vaccine Waning Effectiveness—Further Decline of Performance During Omicron

Canadian researchers affiliated with Concordia University in Montreal conducted a systematic meta-analysis covering what they refer to as living evidence synthesis tracking COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and durability data associated with the COVID-19 vaccines.

But what is this “living review?” The study team represented by corresponding author Prof. Simon Bacon, PhD, FTOS, FCCS, FABMR, an expert in health behavior report they first search for studies published until September 10, 2021, and thereafter updated the ongoing search on November 19, 2021. Then, beginning on February 25, 2022, the French-Canadian study team updated the synthesis each four weeks until the 13th synthesis when they reported final results.

The group did add additional information including data from the booster studies as well as variant updates. Their work was sponsored by both Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Public Health Agency of Canada. The evolving findings reveal vaccine effectiveness decreases over time against SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalizations, and mortality. This shows durability challenges are a real factor.

Importantly, the overall vaccine quality as measured as effectiveness against Omicron further degraded as compared to other variants of concern as has been evidenced in dozens of other studies chronicled by TrialSite.

The study authors all but concede that the COVID-19 vaccination program as a means by itself isn’t sufficient due to waning effectiveness

What did the authors find?

Out of 16,696 records at the title and abstract level, the group studied 832 full texts, ultimately including 72 (0.4%) studies and excluding five of them for a risk of bias, a total of 68 studies were extracted for analysis.

But the above numbers are across previous variants of concern. What about the Omicron variant which has been in circulation in one form or another for late 2021 and all of 2022 and into 2023?

The study authors report they had not been able to accumulate sufficient data to track mortality data during the Omicron period.


This study team embraced three-level meta-analytic models which evidenced “marked decreases over time in vaccine effectiveness for SARS-CoV-2 infections for both primary series and booster, and a smaller decrease for hospitalizations and mortality.”

Overall vaccine performance degraded against Omicron due to the mutational changes and ability to better evade vaccine-induced antibodies. The authors extend the necessary statement that “vaccination continues to be an effective measure over time to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations and mortality,” but they do acknowledge the case doesn’t look great for infections.

The vaccines did help reduce the sharp edges of the pandemic’s deadly knife by temporarily boosting antibody defense in humans, thereby in surges reducing hospitalization and death rates.

But this doesn’t last long and the prospect of boosts every half a year with these vaccines is unlikely—the long-term health effects haven’t been studied. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recommending that they go on the standard immunization schedule meaning they become comparable to the recommended influenza vaccine once per year.

It’s known that the present SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are not sterilizing and already Dr. Anthony Fauci and cohorts published a piece declaring the need to advance beyond the current vaccines to consider intranasal mucosal vaccine development among other activities.




Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Booster Shots May Trigger Stroke Incidents, According to CDC and FDA

In addition to cardiac events, another life-threatening side effect has been associated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. When is the risk period? Does the flu shot play any role in these events? What actions should we take to better protect ourselves?

Summary of Key Facts

An increased risk of stroke events has been identified with the Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent vaccine, according to a joint statement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The onset time in people aged 65 years and older was 1–21 days after the booster, with a significant cluster of events observed 11–21 days after the booster.

Sixty-four percent had received the flu vaccine on the same day as the COVID-19 booster.

The bivalent booster contains the code of the spike protein, contributing to the increased risk of blood clots. High-risk people should avoid the boosters.

Solution: Remember the five “suddens” of stroke warning signs.

Advice on preventing other risk factors of stroke is also provided in this paper.

On Jan. 13, 2023, the FDA and CDC issued a joint statement that a new “safety signal” for ischemic stroke had been detected in one of the agency’s vaccine safety surveillance systems.

The statement read, in part: “CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), a near real-time surveillance system, met the statistical criteria to prompt additional investigation into whether there was a safety concern for ischemic stroke in people ages 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine bivalent.”

The VSD system monitors the electronic health records of 12.5 million Americans served by nine integrated health systems.

The CDC stated that no other safety databases had detected this signal (including the Medicare and Veterans Affairs data sets). Pfizer released a statement that it had not detected this signal in its databases, and no other countries have found a similar signal in their monitoring systems.

The clot risk appears to be greater on days 11–21 after receiving the booster, especially for those who received a high-dose or adjuvant flu vaccine on the same day.

A follow-up meeting was held on Jan. 26, 2023. Despite the identified risk, the CDC continues to recommend booster shots for all people over six months of age.

Increased Risk of Stroke Mostly Found 11 to 21 Days After Booster

The findings presented on Jan. 26, 2023, suggest that more stroke events occurred during days 1–21 post-vaccination than days 22–42 after receiving the shot.

People aged 65 or older who received the Pfizer bivalent booster experienced 130 events during the “risk interval” (1–21 days after the booster) and 92 events during the “comparison interval” (22–42 days after the booster). There was a 47 percent increased risk of ischemic stroke during 1-21 days post-booster, compared to those events occurring during 22-42 days post-booster, with a p = 0.005. In studies, when the P value is less than 0.05, it means the difference is statistically significant.

It is important to note that stroke events occurred throughout the entire 42-day follow-up period after the booster; a cluster of stroke events occurred between 11 and 21 days after receiving the booster.

In a preliminary review of 22 stroke cases in people 65 years or older on days 11–21 after receiving the booster, none of the individuals had a previous history of transient ischemic attack (TIA). Sixty-four percent received the flu vaccine on the same day as the COVID-19 booster (13 high-dose flu vaccines and one adjuvant flu vaccine).

Outcome data of these events shows that 59 percent of the people who experienced a TIA were discharged home, 18 percent were discharged with home health, nine percent were discharged to a skilled nursing facility, and 14 percent (three of the 22) died. The CDC notes that one death was likely related to a stroke.

No safety signal was detected in the VSD database for Moderna; however, the VAERS reported stroke cases related to the Moderna booster. The difference could be due to the number of booster doses administered for the two vaccines. Nearly twice as many Pfizer booster doses had been given as Moderna (549,943 vs. 285,706) as of Jan. 7, 2023.

As of Jan. 8, 2023, 40 ischemic stroke/transient ischemic attack cases after the bivalent COVID-19 mRNA vaccination were detected in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). The median age was 74 years. Nineteen were males, and 21 were females. The median time to onset was four days. Twenty-five cases occurred after the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine, and 15 occurred after the Moderna bivalent vaccine.

Receiving a Flu Shot on the Same Day as the Booster Increases Risk

VSD data analysis showed that three people experienced a stroke after receiving the Pfizer booster and a standard dose of flu vaccine on the same day. By contrast, 40 people who received the Pfizer booster and a high-dose or adjuvant flu vaccine on the same day experienced a stroke. Sixty older adults experienced a stroke after receiving only the COVID-19 booster.

Receiving a high dose or adjuvanted flu shot on the same day seemed to double the risk of stroke.

The spike protein in the SARS-CoV-2 virus can significantly increase the risk of arterial and venous clots. A database analysis of 48 million individuals in the United Kingdom found an increased risk of ischemic stroke, especially in the first weeks after COVID-19 infection.

The mRNA vaccine also produces the spike protein. The bivalent booster contains the code for two strains of the spike protein (original Wuhan strain and BA.4/BA.5).

Your blood contains platelets, which form clots to stop bleeding after an injury. The S1 unit of the spike protein hyperactivates these platelets. This can cause the blood to form tiny clots after infection or vaccination. These blockages in blood flow can cause problems throughout the body’s tissues and organs.

The flu shot increases the risk of stroke, possibly because the vaccine provokes an inflammatory response. This increases the risk of ischemic stroke, especially in people with pre-existing coagulation abnormalities. A report from Taiwan indicated that a 75-year-old male patient suffered posterior circulation ischemia after an influenza A/H1N1 vaccination.

Remember the ‘FAST’ Rule

Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks or narrows an artery that leads to or is inside the brain. A blood clot often forms in arteries damaged by the buildup of plaques (atherosclerosis). It can occur in the carotid artery of the neck as well as in other arteries.

After vaccination—at a very rare rate—if an adverse stroke event does appear, what signs can alert you in time?

There are five “suddens” of stroke warning signs. If you observe one or more of these signs of a stroke, don’t wait; call a doctor or 911 immediately!

Sudden numbness, weakness, or tingling of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body

Sudden confusion, drowsiness, or trouble talking or understanding speech

Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, or double vision

Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination

Sudden severe headache, nausea, or vomiting with no known cause

Sometimes the signs may last only a few moments and then disappear. These episodes, known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, are called “mini-strokes.” Paying attention to them can be life-saving.

Remember the FAST (face, arm, speech, time) rule.

F ace drooping? Can’t smile
A rm weakness? Can’t raise above head
S peech difficulty? Can’t repeat simple nursery rhyme
T ime to call 911.

One or more of these signs—face weakness, arm weakness, and speech difficulty—are present in 88 percent of all strokes and TIAs. Getting to an emergency room quickly can save your life or the life of a loved one.

An intravenous injection of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) is the gold standard treatment for selected patients with ischemic stroke. An injection of TPA is usually given through a vein in the arm within the first three hours after a stroke.

Arriving at an emergency room as quickly as possible after noticing symptoms is critical to reducing the odds of disability. A successful rescue of stroke patients includes early identification of signs of stroke and medical care within the first hour of acute stroke.

Recommendations on Vaccinations

It may not be advisable for individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 and who experienced a stroke to take extra COVID-19 jabs such as boosters.

For now, this safety signal looks like a worrisome association with vaccination. Elderly individuals at high risk for severe COVID-19 should check with their physicians for the most appropriate guidance tailored to their risks, given that COVID-19 also increases the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular events for months after infection.

Carefully monitor individuals who received the COVID-19 vaccine or flu vaccine, especially those with high ischemic stroke risk.




Monday, February 13, 2023

Unmasked: the failure of Covid mandates

No nation forced masks on people with as much zeal as the US, whose libertarian reputation belied pockets of maniacal health authoritarianism unknown in Australia or even Europe.

The US, uniquely among advanced nations, forced masks on children aged two and up, something not even Victoria countenanced at the height of the great madness.

Today, still, after the vast bulk of Americans has sheepishly consigned masks to the bin, school students in Michigan and Massachusetts are required to mask up in class, despite mounting evidence that masks stunt childhood development.

In that context, a new, rigorous study that found masks did nothing to slow Covid-19 might have made the news. But no; a 305-page Cochrane analysis published globally on January 30 that assessed 78 high-quality scientific studies that included more than 610,000 participants has yet to rate a single mention in The Washington Post, The New York Times or on CNN, for instance.

Even passionate maskers, such as Baltimore epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo, conceded Cochrane reviews were the “gold standard” of evidence-based medicine and its latest mask study “a very serious undertaking”.

Cochrane found that surgical masks, the kind doctors wear in operating theatres to avoid accidentally sneezing into an open wound, did nothing to stop Covid-19.

More embarrassing for Team Mask, those even more uncomfortable N95 masks made little to no difference either. Only hand washing seemed to work to prevent the spread of corona and influenza-like viruses.

“There is just no evidence masks make any difference. Full stop,” University of Oxford associate tutor Tom Jefferson, one of the study’s 12 authors, told Australian journalist Maryanne Demasi last week.

“In the absence of evidence, you shouldn’t be forcing anybody to do so,” he said, describing advocates of forced masking as “activists, not scientists”.

It turns out the billions upon billions of masks that were manufactured in response to government mandates and now are floating in oceans or piling up at rubbish tips were likely to have been a colossal waste. American multinational 3M alone produced 4.5 billion N95 masks in 2020 and 2021, according to Statista; the mind boggles at what the global total for all masks might be.

“Governments completely failed to do the right thing and demand better evidence,” Jefferson says. “At the beginning of the pandemic there were some voices who said masks did not work and then suddenly the narrative changed.”

Thankfully, the narrative is changing again, in part to a US House of Representatives Repub­lican majority that is determined to probe some of the madder aspects of the great madness.

“I had doctors who spent years in medicine telling me masks were not effective, and yet these were being forced on people and school kids,” Republican congressman Gary Palmer said last week at a congressional hearing that included US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky. “We’re seeing a devastating impact on their educational attainment, so it surprises me that the CDC didn’t do any follow-up testing even while this was going on.”

Surprisingly, no government health agency in the US or elsewhere bothered to conduct any randomised control trial of what was a highly divisive intervention that pre-2020 science had counselled against.

Walensky said she didn’t rate the latest Cochrane study because it analysed only the highest quality mask studies. “I’m not sure anybody would have proposed a clinical trial because so many studies demonstrated time and time again … masks were working,” she said in reply, referring to studies that would have been deemed junk before 2020.

Indeed, none of the findings in the latest Cochrane review should have been a surprise. The overwhelming consensus among scientists pre-Covid-19 was that forcing healthy people to wear masks, let alone outside, was pointless and potentially harmful. Minuscule viruses would slip through the tiny holes in the masks or simply go around them.

As late as March 31, 2020, the World Health Organisation was sticking to the old science.

“There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly,” WHO health emergencies program executive director Mike Ryan told journalists.

But a few weeks later, following a total of zero new studies, “the science” had emerged in all its authoritarian glory, deeming masks effective and forcing them on hundreds of millions of people against their will for up to two years. Masks might have failed totally at stopping Covid-19 surges in every nation that implemented them, but they were highly successful on one metric: stoking fear, providing an in-your-face, everyday reminder of the pandemic that might increase compliance with other measures.

At the same time the incentive structure for researchers, who previously had toiled largely in obscurity, changed dramatically in the first half of 2020. Fame, speaking fees, academic promotion – all were in the offing for the canny researcher who could help demonise anyone who pointed to pre-2020 science or simply preferred to risk getting a bad cold rather than wear a mask.

Governments and their media cheer squad were eager to promote studies that vindicated mandatory masking.

That’s what explains the contemptible silence following the latest Cochrane review.

Wearing a mask sent a powerful message throughout the pandemic: I follow the science. Increasingly, it’s sending a different one: I’m a credulous goose. Or perhaps even, following new research in Frontiers in Psychology published last month: I’m not very attractive.

“Our results consistently demonstrated that self-perceived unattractive individuals were more willing to wear a mask, as they believed it would benefit their attractiveness,” the authors concluded.

To be sure, it wasn’t a randomised control trial but it reveals at least as much truth as any post-2020 study telling you masks worked.


Covid’s devastating impact on the heart as lockdowns take a triple toll on the health of the nation

New heart research confirms fears COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on the health of Australians after confining them indoors, deprived of opportunities to exercise and exposed to poor diets and sleep routines.

Almost half of more than 6000 people who have undergone Victor Chang Heart Health Checks since the start of the pandemic have recorded results considered outside the healthy range.

A specialist team which conducts a mobile testing service across Australia has found cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure levels all significantly higher since COVID arrived.

The number of people having at least one test result outside the healthy range since March 2020 increased from 33 per cent to 47 per cent - a relative jump of more than 40 per cent.

Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Program manager Anastasia Dounas says for many the COVID effect was real and of serious concern. 'They got out of the habit of going to the gym during lockdown and ate and drank more because they were worried and stressed, leading to weight gain,' she said.

'Working from home also led to less incidental exercise and the fear of COVID saw more people choosing to drive to work than catching public transport which resulted in people taking fewer steps each day. 'That all adds up.'

Since the launch of the heart check program in 2011 until the onset of COVID in 2020, more than 76,000 participants have been tested with just over a third having one or more results outside the normal healthy range and advised to follow up with a GP.

Within this group, eight per cent were beyond the healthy limit for blood pressure and blood sugar, and almost 30 per cent for cholesterol.

Since March 2020, 6182 participants have been tested with just over 47 per cent having one or more results outside the healthy range and advised to see their doctor.

Of these, 15 per cent were on the wrong side of healthy for blood pressure, 10.5 per cent for blood sugar and 32 per cent for cholesterol.

Heart check nurse Clare Lennon said it was more important than ever to be assessed and start re-engaging with exercise and a healthy diet.

'Heart health checks are vital in revealing if you are at risk of heart disease but can also help prevent it,' she said.

'Lifestyle changes or medications can make a huge difference to risk factors but you need to be aware of whether you have high cholesterol, blood pressure, or blood sugar to begin with.'




Sunday, February 12, 2023

CDC Adds COVID-19 Vaccines to Child Immunization Schedule

This is alarming. How would you feel if your baby died of a shot? Vaccines can kill and a baby's immune system is immature so babies may be especially vulnerable

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added COVID-19 vaccines to its routine immunization schedule for children and adults on Thursday, attracting criticism for the decision.

According to the CDC’s 2023 immunization schedule for children and adolescents, two or three doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended beginning with infants who are just six months old. Children in the age group of 6 months to four years, and five years to 11 years are recommended COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer. Among children aged 12 to 18, Novavax vaccines are also recommended in addition to Pfizer and Moderna.

In the list for adults, two or three doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been recommended from the age of 19 years. The 2023 COVID-19 vaccine recommendation for kids and adults is included among other typically-recommended vaccines for measles, flu, rubella, and so on.

Advisers to the CDC in 2022 recommended adding the vaccines to the schedule.

Though the CDC has added COVID-19 vaccines to the recommended list, it has not mandated the vaccines. The agency does not have the authorization to do so, but local and state jurisdictions can, and many mandate most of the vaccines on the schedule. However, there are hardly any states that make flu vaccinations mandatory in public schools.

Lawyers have said they’ll sue any state that requires COVID-19 vaccination to attend school and many officials have vowed not to implement such a requirement.

The CDC’s move to add COVID-19 vaccines to immunization schedules has attracted criticism online.

“While I thought impossible for @CDCgov to lose anymore credibility—they decide to do this despite growing studies showing declining efficacy, no net benefit for majority of immunocompetent” individuals, anesthesiologist Megan Martin said in a Feb. 10 tweet.

Vaccine Injury Compensation For COVID-19

The children’s vaccine schedule points out that COVID-19 vaccines are not covered by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.

Instead, COVID-19 vaccines authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are covered by the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP).

Created in 2010, the CICP is a compensation program aimed at vaccines and medications which are developed as a response to any public health emergency.

Claimants must file a request for compensation within a year of being injected with the vaccine. The program, mostly intended for children’s vaccines, is known to be more arduous and less generous than VICP.

Without the development of a vaccine injury table by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the burden of proof lies with the petitioner and not the government to prove causation in order to establish eligibility.

An analysis by Bloomberg shows that while the average compensation payout under VICP is around $533,000, the payout under CICP is just above $200,000. VICP guarantees legal representation and hearing for claimants. Individuals applying under CICP do not get these benefits. While decisions made by VICP officials are made public, CICP decisions are never known.

“Agency officials decide the claims in secret, without the opportunity for injured individuals or their families to speak with or interact with decision makers,” Nora Freeman Engstrom, a professor at Stanford Law School who researches vaccine injury compensation programs, said to the outlet.

Since CICP decisions remain unpublished, “the public and researchers can’t know which adverse events were found with vaccines and which were not … This has the potential to stunt our understanding of these vaccines’ safety and efficacy,” she stated.

COVID-19 Vaccine Injuries

According to a recent study from the CDC, more than 1,600 children between the ages of five and 11 experienced a systemic reaction like diarrhea or fever after receiving a dose of COVID-19 vaccines.

Almost half of the children in the study who received updated Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to have experienced a systemic reaction, which is defined as “usually mild” reactions that last for multiple days. Systemic reactions are rated above local reactions on the severity scale, just below severe reactions.

In a Feb. 1 paper, the CDC reported that 73 cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome were identified in adults within 42 days of taking a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 shot.

The syndrome causes the body’s immune system to attack certain parts of the nervous system. Based on the usual annual rate of the syndrome, only 31 cases were expected.


Study: Heart attacks increased among young people post-COVID

What percentage of those who died were vaccinated is not said

A recent study has found that the number of deaths from heart attacks increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

The increase was more pronounced in people aged between 25 and 44. A 29.9% relative increase in heart attack deaths (about 30% higher than the predicted number) was observed in this age group over the first two years of the pandemic.

Cardiologist Dr. Susan Cheng, a study co-author, told TODAY, “Young people are obviously not really supposed to die of heart attack. They’re not really supposed to have heart attacks at all.”

The relative increase in heart attack deaths among adults between 45 and 64 was 19.6%, and 13.7% for adults 65 and older.

This increase also coincided with COVID-19 surges in the country. Los Angeles County paramedic Romeo Robles told TODAY that such surges would often lead to an increase in emergency calls related to heart issues, even among young people.

Cheng pointed out that the connection is surely “more than coincidental,” since COVID-19 can have a significant impact on the cardiovascular system. She said that the illness appears to increase “the stickiness of the blood,” the probability of “blood clot formation,” blood pressure spikes, and “an overwhelming stress.”

While the reason for the increased rate in young people is still unclear, the study authors posited a theory. Cheng said that young people were more likely to have stronger immune systems which could also lead to an excessive response to the virus.

A February 2022 study of over 150,000 individuals with COVID-19 revealed that COVID-19 survivors are at “substantial” risk of developing heart disease even a year after infection, regardless of their symptoms’ severity and risk factors.

Physician-scientist Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a study co-author, estimated that around 4% of people who had COVID-19 will develop a heart issue that ranges from an irregular heartbeat and inflammation to heart attacks and heart failure.

The risk also increases with each COVID-19 infection an individual experiences.

If you have been infected before, especially multiple times, Cheng advised improving your health and monitoring your risk factors, such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

Heart attack signs to look out for include: pain, discomfort, or pressure in the chest area; pain or discomfort in the neck, jaw, or back; cold sweat; weakness, light-headedness, or fainting; and shortness of breath.

The study noted that the number of heart attacks has been previously decreasing in the country, but the trend increased again since the pandemic.

The study by Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles was published in September 2022.