Friday, March 10, 2023

Treason of the Science Journals

The politicization of the science journals is no surprise to me. In my research career I noted it often. The consensus among science writers in my field was always of a politically Leftist kind. So to get my research published I had to nibble at the margins of the consensus rather than call it out as the complete rubbish that it was.

And what happened with Covid was another example of Leftist thinking. Rather than design their response to the pandemic in accordance with Westerrn traditions of individual rights and critical enquiry, the elite went head over heels in devotion to the Communist Chinese model, an extreme example of authoritarian oppression.

The political Left have always had an admiration for Communist regimes (e.g. Cuba, the Soviets) so that made immediate respect for the Chinese Communist policies automatic. The rightness of a Communist regime was obvious to them. No further enquiry was needed

At the government level, pandemic preparedness is as much about protecting critical supply chains as it is about administering medical treatments. What the COVID-19 pandemic showed is that the flow of information, which may be the single most vital resource in the supply chain, is utterly broken. In many cases, it was actively undermined by senior public health officials including the former chief medical adviser to the president, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

New emails released in a congressional probe show that Fauci helped direct the publication of “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2,” an influential scientific paper published in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020, that claimed COVID-19 could not have leaked from a laboratory. Fauci then cited the paper—in effect quoting himself, since he coordinated the article behind the scenes and was given final approval before it published—as if it was an independent source corroborating his assertions that COVID could only have come from a bat and not from a lab.

“There was a study recently that we can make available to you, where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences there and the sequences in bats as they evolve,” Fauci said at a presidential briefing on April 17, 2020, exactly one month after “Proximal Origin” was published. “And the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human.”

But why would Fauci go to so much trouble to control the information surrounding the origins of the virus while sending the message to Americans that the idea that COVID had come from a lab was a conspiracy theory? And why would science journalists and peer-reviewed science publications go along with the effort?

Fauci, it appears, may have been trying to hide his connections to the Wuhan Laboratory of Virology (WIV). For years, according to a report at The Intercept, the National Institutes of Health (where Fauci served as a director) directed government grants to the Chinese facility where multiple investigations by federal agencies have now concluded the virus likely originated—specifically to fund the controversial gain of function (GoF) research that intentionally engineers deadly viruses in order to study them.

Even if this was all merely a coincidence, it certainly looked bad. Fauci seemed so alarmed by the optics that in January 2020, he sent an email to his deputy, Hugh Auchincloss, with the single-word, all-caps subject line “IMPORTANT”—something he does not do in the hundreds of pages of other emails released to the public via FOIA requests. The email Fauci sent contained a link to a scientific study that was then spreading across the internet, which had originally been published in 2015 at the Wuhan Institute of Virology by the WIV’s Shi Zhengli and pioneering American GoF researcher Ralph Baric. In the body of the email, Fauci wrote to Auchincloss, “It is essential that we speak this AM. Keep your cell phone on …You will have tasks today that must be done.”

What were those tasks? It’s impossible to know from the email but one can speculate that if Fauci wanted to control the narrative about the outbreak of COVID-19 it would have been a monumental and near impossible task. Reporters could find public records showing the connections between his office at the NIH and China’s WIV. Fauci might be able to find a few journalists credulous enough to simply dismiss the fact that COVID was first reported in the city containing China’s largest facility for producing coronaviruses, but surely there was no way he could get the entire media to go along. If he had, he may have revealed just how dysfunctional and bought-off science journalism has become, a reality that Americans would be well advised to confront before the next pandemic.

The deeper phenomenon at work, however, is that in the U.S. a large number of professionals who cover science for general readers and for news publications like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal are not—and do not pretend to be—journalists per se. They are science writers whose field is science communications—a distinction with a huge difference. They see their role as translating the lofty work of pure science for a general audience, rather than as professional skeptics whose job is to investigate the competing interests, claims, and billion-dollar funding streams in the messy world of all-too-human scientists.

The Faustian Bargain Between Pandemic Scientists and the Media
Casting scientists as polarizing media figures has proved a disservice to both science and the public

From the beginning of the pandemic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and other leading mainstream outlets were taking their cues—including their facts and their seemingly unflappable certainties—from peer-reviewed publications with authoritative professional reputations like Nature, Science, and The Lancet.

It was this small handful of peer-reviewed science and medical journals—and to a shocking extent just these three—on which the consumer media based key narratives, like the idea that SARS-CoV-2 could not possibly have come from a lab. Boiled down, “the science” on a given issue was often conclusively reduced to whatever these journals published.

But for the establishment science publishing community, the pandemic also had an unintended consequence. Through journalistic investigations, often powered by FOIA requests that ensnared hundreds of email exchanges with scientists and science writers, a spotlight was turned on science journalism itself. Writers like Paul Thacker, a contributor to The BMJ, Emily Kopp, a reporter for the watchdog group U.S. Right to Know, Michael Balter, who has contributed dozens of pieces to Science magazine, and the powerful decentralized group of COVID investigators called DRASTIC, exposed the inner workings of an industry that claims to speak for science but often works for political and corporate interests.

In many instances, pandemic-related science journalism smacks of questionable motives. The most high-profile example of this was the now infamous letter by 27 scientists published in The Lancet on March 7, 2020, asserting that they “overwhelmingly conclude” that the pandemic had a natural origin, and condemning the suggestion that the virus emerged in a lab as “conspiracy theories” that put scientists lives at risk. What the 27 scientists neglected to mention is that their statement was organized by Peter Daszak, a co-author of the letter who is also the president of the NGO that facilitated U.S. government funding to the lab in Wuhan that the FBI and Department of Energy have concluded is the likely source of the pandemic.

While Daszak’s Lancet letter resembled a partly savvy (and partly clumsy) effort at PR-style crisis management, a paper published in one of the world’s most prestigious science journals would be both more significant in its impact and possibly more compromised in its creation. That paper, the aforementioned “The Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” published in Nature Medicine, a peer-reviewed (and less prestigious) sister publication of Nature, in March of 2020, was authored by a distinguished but relatively young evolutionary biologist named Kristian Andersen, along with a number of equally accomplished virologists. The paper is filled with complex analyses of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, but in its short abstract it stated the upshot in language even a harried consumer journalist could easily grasp: “Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”

Putting aside problems with that claim (for example, a wave-making preprint last year pointed to indications that SARS-CoV-2 was indeed made in a lab), the origins of this paper, which became a touchstone for those arguing against the lab-leak theory, were deeply unethical.

Most of the questions surrounding “Proximal Origin” concern a Feb. 1, 2020, teleconference called by Fauci and joined by his boss, NIH then-Director Francis Collins, and other top scientists, including Andersen and a number of his “Proximal Origin” co-authors.

As emails obtained from Freedom of Information requests revealed, Fauci arranged the call just days after receiving an email from Andersen expressing concerns he shared with several other prominent virologists that parts of the virus looked engineered. Andersen wrote that he and a few fellow researchers “all find the [SARS-CoV-2] genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”

If that claim ever reached the public, it might have permanently altered the discourse surrounding the origins of the pandemic. But after the conversation with Fauci, it never did get out. Instead, Andersen, Holmes, and Gary (in addition to Andrew Rambaut) began circulating a draft of “Proximal Origin” three days later, making claims that contradicted the findings Andersen had presented to Fauci in his initial email less than a week prior. In a Feb. 4 email to Peter Daszak, Andersen communicated that he and his co-authors had already begun circulating drafts of a paper proposing the exact opposite—that COVID-19 had emerged naturally—which would become “Proximal Origin.”

Andersen would later explain to The New York Times that his initial conclusions were made “in a matter of days, while we worked around the clock” and the subsequent revised position was the result of “more extensive analyses, significant additional data, and thorough investigations to compare genomic diversity more broadly.” Despite this claim, however, “Proximal Origin” was written “in a matter of days,” with a draft complete by Feb. 4 and the paper accepted by Nature Medicine by March 6.

“Thank you for your advice and leadership as we have been working through the SARS-CoV-2 ‘origins’ paper,” Andersen wrote to Fauci and Collins. “We’re happy to say that the paper was just accepted by Nature Medicine and should be published shortly (not quite sure when).”

The question about what, exactly, happened on that crucial conference call has remained a subject of intense speculation. Virtually all the sections of FOIA-released emails related to the call were redacted by the NIH, leaving large blocks of blacked-out text that remind one of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Just as suggestive, however, was the chain of events that set the conference call in motion. On the evening of Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, Fauci received an email from an NIH communications officer that contained, copied in full, a Science article published that day. The article, written by one of the magazine’s senior correspondents, Jon Cohen, explored various theories concerning the origin of the pandemic. The article made mention of the aforementioned 2015 scientific study at the Wuhan Institute of Virology by the WIV’s Shi Zhengli and pioneering American GoF researcher Ralph Baric. This might very well have triggered the email that Fauci sent to his deputy, Hugh Auchincloss, with the subject line “IMPORTANT.”

That paper, which would later be described by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists as providing a “prototype” for making SARS-CoV-2 in the Wuhan lab, evidently alarmed Fauci. In response to emails received from Fauci, Auchincloss wrote back on the evening of Feb. 1. “The paper you sent me says the experiments were performed before the gain of function pause but have since been reviewed and approved by NIH. Not sure what that means since [NIAID official] Emily [Erbelding] is sure that no Coronavirus work has gone through the P3 [Potential Pandemic Pathogens] framework. She will try to determine if we have any distant ties to this work abroad.” And, as it turns out, they did: The NIAID/NIH had funded the study in question.

Today, the 2015 paper resulting from that study resembles a kind of publishing Frankenstein, with a series of amendments, including an editor’s note, author correction, “Corrigendum,” and update, all stitched onto the original version. On its own, any one of these features would be noteworthy. Together, they are almost comical.

Among the amendments is a revelation that the genome produced by the study was never uploaded to GenBank, the NIH’s global database for genetic sequences. The paper also mislabeled the name of the virus created by the study, part of a pattern of oddly mislabeled papers, or of missing genomes and viruses in WIV studies related to COVID-19.

The editor’s note, published less than two weeks after “Proximal Origin” was originally published in Nature Medicine, offered readers a stern warning: “We are aware that this article is being used as the basis for unverified theories that the novel coronavirus causing COVID-19 was engineered. There is no evidence that this is true; scientists believe that an animal is the most likely source of the coronavirus.”

As we now have good reason to assume, it only appeared that they did because journals like Nature and The Lancet acted as gatekeepers of “the science,” while taking direction and performing public relations for Fauci, Collins, and other members of the U.S. government.

Furthermore, Nature Medicine had failed to note that the 2015 study had received U.S. government funding allocated to the WIV by EcoHealth Alliance, an NGO run then as now by Peter Daszak, the organizer of the Lancet letter.




Don’t mention ghosts of Covid vaccine crash

What would happen if a Qantas A380 airbus crashed each week from New Year’s Day until Halloween? If each crash killed all 504 passengers and crew and the last one landed on a train and killed the 710 people inside it as well, that would be 22,886 deaths.

Could the media ignore the crashes, or get away with reporting that air safety was getting worse due to climate change, or doctors were baffled by the inexplicable rise in aviation accidents?

Last week, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published the latest data on excess deaths. There were 174,717 deaths in Australia up to 30 November in 2022, a record 22,886 more than the historical average, an increase of over 15 per cent. It’s the biggest numerical increase in deaths since the pandemic of 1919.

When the ABC reported the story, it accentuated the positive with a headline that read, ‘Australia’s average life expectancy jumps to third globally behind Monaco and Japan’. Buried in the article was an admission that this was based on data from 2021 and that life expectancy is expected to fall by about six months according to Professor Vladimir Canudas Romo, head of the ANU School of Demography who warned that climate change could shrink future life expectancy.

In reality, the threat is more immediate. When the ABC did report in July last year that Australia’s Covid death rate and deaths per capita were the third highest in the world there was no mention that vaccination is meant to prevent people dying of Covid, perhaps because it’s embarrassing. The only Australian data that identified the vaccination status of those who got Covid –published last year for six months in NSW –shows that the vaccinated are more likely to be hospitalised, treated in ICU and die.

The problem is the same in other highly vaccinated countries. January was Japan’s worst month ever for Covid deaths. In Germany, excess mortality ranged between 10 per cent and 30 per cent in 2022 and shot up to 47 per cent in December.

The Human Mortality Dataset collated by Johns Hopkins University shows that global life expectancy has dropped for two years in a row, the first time since the Great Chinese Famine caused by Chairman Mao’s Great Leap Forward, which caused somewhere between 15 and 55 million deaths.

It is Chairman Mao’s doppelgänger President Xi and his American friend Dr Fauci who have sown the wind this time and it is the vaccinated world that is reaping the whirlwind.

Like the FBI, the US Department of Energy concluded last week that the Sars-CoV-2 virus emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan which just happens to have been funded by Fauci, via the EcoHealth Alliance, to conduct gain-of-function research on bat coronaviruses.

Diabolically, the infectiousness of the Sars-CoV-2 virus was enhanced by inserting key structural proteins from the HIV virus which also triggers immune dysfunction, allowing the virus to evade the host’s immune system while inducing inflammation, ageing and death in cells that line blood and lymphatic vessels. Knowing this, nobody should be surprised that Covid is primarily a vascular disease as researchers at the Salk Institute demonstrated in May 2021.

Nor should anyone be surprised that injecting the instructions to make this toxic spike protein into a human in a nano globule of fat that can penetrate any cell in the body has led to vaccine-induced spike proteins being expressed in organs throughout the body including blood vessels, the heart, the brain and the reproductive system.

We now know, thanks to their emails, that the scientists who publicly claimed it was impossible to bioengineer Sars-CoV-2 secretly told Fauci in February 2020 that it was actually likely. It was the same scientists who hysterically denied that there were inserts in the virus that bore an uncanny resemblance to HIV. This prevented widespread recognition of the potential dangers of infection with Sars-CoV-2. When either Sars-CoV-2 or HIV infects a person both viruses only cause an innocuous flu-like infection but like HIV, the Sars-CoV-2 spike protein can linger in the body attacking the T cells of the immune system. It is because of these features that this part of the spike protein should never have been included in a vaccine. It is also why early treatment with repurposed drugs should have been urgently pursued to try to get the virus out of the body as soon as possible. Instead early treatment was demonised.

Now that Fauci has retired, the lies that public health officials propagated for the last three years are finally being debunked. The Lancet has published a meta analysis of 65 studies that shows natural immunity is at least as protective as the vaccine. Many vaccine mandates are still in place in Australia, although NSW Premier Dominic Perrotet called for them to end this week and Coles responded by dropping its mandate. Even the US has said it will end its requirement for foreigners to be vaccinated to enter the US in May. Yet the brilliant and courageous Dr Nikolai Petrovsky, one of the first to show scientifically that the Covid virus came from a lab, is being persecuted by Flinders University for refusing the failed jabs.

A highly esteemed Cochrane meta analysis of mask studies concluded that there was no evidence that they had a significant impact on transmission. Predictably, a staunch mask advocate attacked the study without mentioning that they receive funding from two mask manufacturers.

Studies have been published demonstrating that vaccine-induced myocarditis is neither rare nor mild, it is six to 28-times more common after the Covid vaccine than after infection in young males and it can be deadly.

The government says 97.5 per cent of people over 16 have had at least one dose of a vaccine out of almost 65 million administered. But with more than 11 million cases and almost 20,000 deaths, the narrative that the vaccine prevents infection, transmission or death has crumbled. Unable to admit to the litany of lies and errors, Covid’s tyrants are reduced to silence about the ghosts of the vaccine crash.


Here's What the Former CDC Director Says Is Likely the Cause of 'Greatest Pandemic the World Has Seen'

Testifying on Capitol Hill Wednesday morning, former Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield was asked about the benefits of dangerous gain-of-function research -- the frankensteining of viruses to make them more lethal or infectious to humans.

When asked if he could point to a single pandemic gain-of-function research had prevented, Redfield couldn't give an example and instead pinned the latest pandemic on the practice.

Back in early 2020 in the first stages of the pandemic, Redfield publicly stated he believed the virus escaped from a lab. Despite his assertion being correct and now backed by the FBI and Department of Energy, he received death threats. He was also cut out of meetings with then National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci and former Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute Francis Collins.

Given the Wuhan Institute of Virology had received NIH grants to perform gain-of-function research, Fauci and Collins worked together to quash the lab leak theory and destroy the careers of scientists who dared to publicly entertain it.

Fauci is known as the "Godfather" of gain-of-function research and had a strong interest in eliminating a lab leak from discussion.

"I often talk to scientists who say the same thing, that say, ‘Listen, we really want to speak out about this, but we can’t do it. Why can’t we do it? Well, we get all of our funding from NIH, or NIAID… which is run by Dr. Fauci,'" he said on Kelly’s podcast. "And so we can’t say anything like ‘Oh, gain-of-function research might be dangerous, or it might have come from a lab, because we’re going to lose our careers, we’re going to lose our funding, we’re not going to be able to do the work.'"

"The head of the funding, the head of the entire field, really, is Anthony Fauci," he said. "He’s the godfather of gain-of-function research as we know it. That, again, just what I said right there, is too hot for TV because people don’t want to think about the fact that our hero of the pandemic… might also have been connected to this research, which might also have been connected to the outbreak."


CNN Staff Ordered to Ignore Lab Leak Because It Sounded Like a 'Trump Talking Point'

In what might be the least surprising development to come from the mainstream media's grappling with the U.S. Department of Energy's conclusion that a lab leak is the most likely origin of COVID-19, it turns out CNN's staff and reporters were told to ignore the possibility in its coverage of the pandemic.

The order to not run down leads related to a lab leak in China came, according to fresh reporting from Fox News Digital, from the "FactsFirst™" network's then-President Jeff Zucker. His reasoning? It was a "Trump talking point." Of course.

Trump Derangement Syndrome was so prevalent at CNN that it apparently literally made them ignore news to avoid lending any credibility to the 45th president — even when he was on the right track and has since been vindicated for pointing to China and a lab leak as the point of origin for the pandemic.

The revelations came from "a well-placed CNN insider," according to Fox News Digital:

In the early months of the pandemic, then-CNN president Jeff Zucker would not allow his network to chase down the lab-leak story because he believed it was a "Trump talking point," according to a well-placed CNN insider.

"People are slowly waking up from the fog," the insider told Fox News Digital. "It is kind of crazy that we didn't chase it harder."

Throughout Zucker's tenure as CNN's chief, he pulled what was once widely seen as a straight-news organization to an anti-Trump operation. CNN bent over backwards to knock down what former President Trump and members of his administration said lending credibility to the lab-leak theory, as the White House was deemed a nemesis by the network.

Not only did CNN seemingly let political hatred blind its news judgment, it also led the network to reportedly intentionally mislead its viewers and readers (or what's left of them) into thinking that the possibility of a lab leak was disinformation or the result of what the network often claimed was President Trump's "racism" and "xenophobia."

But, as Townhall has reported since the beginning of the pandemic when Trump administration officials raised the possibility, a lab leak is the best conclusion because...that's where the facts lead. No thanks to the secrecy and interference of the Chinese Communist Party, the facts were more difficult to come by than they should have been. But a lab leak, while the federal bureaucracy and mainstream outlets have taken their sweet time recognizing it, didn't need to be and should not have been suppressed. Outlets like CNN apparently did anyway.

Not for nothing, this revelation comes as CNN's current staff launch a new wave of attacks against Fox News for being "more like an extension of the GOP than a credible news organization with a mission of informing viewers and allowing them to arrive at their own decisions," according to one its senior media reporter. Really, CNN? The network that reportedly refused to report what were newsworthy developments about an emerging international story that would change the globe...because it sounded like something the sitting president of the United States was saying? Perhaps CNN is not the best (read: is apparently the worst) messenger to be accusing other news outlets of not "informing viewers and allowing them to arrive at their own decisions."

We may never know the full extent of how and why government agencies, "experts," and others in the mainstream media chose to suppress what began as a viable hypothesis and has now been deemed the most likely origin of COVID by federal agencies, but there are some major mea culpas needed. Too bad we're unlikely to hear any introspective apologies.




Wednesday, March 08, 2023

UConn Health Worker Study: mRNA Vaccine Effectiveness Wanes—Hybrid Immunity Superior

Yet more evidence surfaces that so-called hybrid immunity trumped vaccine-induced immunity, according to recent study findings published in the journal Vaccines. Led by UConn Health investigators, the recent study reveals that healthcare workers who were vaccinated yet went on to experience symptomatic COVID-19 gained more robust immunity than those who didn’t experience a breakthrough symptomatic infection. The study just adds to the evidence that current mRNA COVID-19 vaccine durability isn’t sufficient for a robust, sustainable, long-term vaccine product.

While healthcare workers such as nurses, doctors, and other staff experienced high rates of SARS-CoV-2 exposure, especially early on during the pandemic, University of Connecticut’s UConn Today reports that this cohort was an ideal group to study the effects of the COVID-19 vaccines that were available by spring 2021.

As reported by Kim Krieger at the university’s communications department, the UConn study team recruited 296 of their colleagues to participate in a vaccine study that began that spring, including 46 who had already had COVID.

Study subjects were inoculated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) or the Moderna (mRNA-1273) mRNA vaccines, whichever was available at the time. (Originally the study included healthcare workers vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s product, but not enough participants ended up receiving that vaccine to make the results statistically significant.)

The UConn health workers in the study had their blood tested for neutralizing antibodies at two months post-vaccination, then at five months, and again at nine months.

Summary of the Effects

UConn reports on the science behind the neutralizing antibodies--they specifically attack the parts of the virus important for infection. Other antibodies might react to parts of the virus but be ineffective at stopping it from infecting other cells. Not all antibody tests look specifically for neutralizing antibodies, and that specificity is one of this study’s strengths, says UConn School of Medicine chief of infectious diseases Kevin Dieckhaus, one of the authors.

Waning Effectiveness of mRNA Vaccines

As reported by Dieckhaus and colleagues, the data becomes clear--the mRNA vaccines elicit a strong neutralizing antibody response in the first few months from people who have never been infected with COVID before. But the level of neutralizing antibodies drops off steeply by nine months.

Hybrid Coverage Stronger

In people who have already been infected with COVID, the response is stronger: the neutralizing antibody response is higher initially and doesn’t drop off as steeply over time. And in both groups, getting a fever, aches, or a sore arm after vaccination predicted a stronger, longer lasting neutralizing antibody response.

The data confirms what earlier studies had reported. In middle aged people, the antibody response from the vaccines is relatively strong but short lived.

Principal Investigator POV

Dieckhaus went on the record regarding their findings: “Prior infection with COVID meant you were more likely to have a sustained immune response. It definitely sets your immune system to respond in a more vigorous way to the vaccination.”

What’s Next?

The researchers are continuing the study and currently tracking antibody levels in participants who received boosters, as well as whether they have contracted COVID since being vaccinated. They hope to help answer other questions, such as whether the antibody response to boosters behaves similarly over time to the initial shots, and why some people get infected with COVID repeatedly while others don’t.


CDC’s Risk-Benefit Assessment for New COVID-19 Vaccines Flawed: Experts

A new U.S. government comparison of COVID-19 vaccine risks and benefits exaggerated benefits and downplayed risks, experts say.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently provided a risk-benefit assessment for the updated bivalent vaccines. One assessment was for adolescents aged 12 to 17.

The CDC estimated that a million doses in the age group, over a period of six months, would prevent up to 136 hospitalizations and zero or one death. But it relied on effectiveness estimates from an outdated, non-peer-reviewed CDC study that analyzed only data for adults. Hospitalization rates included hospitalizations for which COVID-19 was an incidental reason, not a primary reason, for admission.

“When we look at both the potential benefits and harms for adolescents together, using the hospitalization ranges from the sensitivity analyses, we see that per million doses we would expect to prevent between 31 and 136 hospitalizations, nine to 40 ICU admissions, and one death,” Megan Wallace, a CDC official, said while presenting the assessment.

A second version, which took into account incidental hospitalizations, lowered the estimate of hospitalizations prevented to between 17 and 75.

Both versions noted that, in a single CDC-run surveillance system, there have been zero myocarditis cases among young people who received a bivalent booster. But fewer than 100,000 doses have been given to adolescents in the system, and as many as 62 cases per million doses could occur in young males, a footnote reads.

Myocarditis, or heart inflammation, is one of the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines, and it’s most prevalent in young males.

Critics took issue with the presentation.

“It’s definitely flawed,” Allison Krug, an epidemiologist, told The Epoch Times.

Among the issues: using hospitalization rates from COVID-NET, which don’t include rates for children, and not including outpatient medical encounters, as some researchers have done, when searching for myocarditis cases.

“The risk-benefit analysis is a marketing strategy to maximize uptake of the vaccine,” Krug said. “It is not an honest effort to estimate risks and benefits because it ignores the most durable protection on the ‘market’—immunity from prior infection—which is near universal now.”

She has performed risk-benefit analyses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for adolescent boys and for booster mandates at colleges.

Dr. Tracy Hoeg, another epidemiologist, described the assessment as “top level incompetence” as the CDC, she said, tried “to justify giving bivalent boosters to children.” She pointed out that the CDC study used to estimate hospitalizations prevented didn’t include adjustments for factors such as the likelihood of being tested.

The CDC and Wallace didn’t respond to requests for comment.

No Clinical Data

U.S. authorities have had to rely on observational data for the bivalent boosters from Pfizer and Moderna, which were authorized and recommended in fall 2022, because there are still no clinical effectiveness data available six months later. Mice data were used to justify authorizing the vaccines.

Pfizer and Moderna haven’t responded to requests for comment about when the data from their trials will be available.

Pfizer and its partner, BioNTech, announced on March 1 that it had asked U.S. regulators to authorize a bivalent booster for children younger than 5 years old based on data from its trials, claiming that the data show that the bivalent elicited a higher level of neutralizing antibodies and that the safety profile “remained similar to that of the original vaccine.”

Multiple members of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, to whom the CDC presented the risk-benefit assessment, noted the lack of trial data after they were asked whether authorities should transition to an annual booster moving forward.

“I would like to see a study saying, ‘OK, you’ve just got one bivalent vaccine. What is the benefit? And how long does that last?’ I think that would enhance the confidence in making a change rather than inferring the data,” Dr. Camille Kotton, one of the advisers, said.

Both Kotton and Dr. Matthew Daley said they wanted trials examining the vaccines, although Daley floated one comparing coadministration of influenza and COVID-19 vaccines with administering each of the vaccines separately.

“We would learn a lot about immunogenicity and safety,” Daley said. “That might be valuable for this conversation.”

Inflated Death Toll

Officials have repeatedly pointed to how some children have died from COVID-19 as justification for recommending that children get vaccinated, despite the dearth of effectiveness data for even the original shots in the population.

The CDC has used inflated children’s death data before and has refused requests to make a correction.

Dr. Sara Oliver, a CDC official, presented death data on a slide during the recent meeting. The claim was that 1,489 COVID-19 deaths had occurred in children aged 6 months to 17 years, but the total included children aged 0 to 5 months.

Oliver didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Kelley Krohnert, a Georgia mother who has repeatedly fact-checked false CDC claims, noted that the slide also included deaths of which COVID-19 was a contributing cause, not the underlying cause.

“Yet another example of why I argue CDC acts more as a sales/marketing agency than a health agency,” she wrote on Twitter.

New Myocarditis Study

The presentations happened after researchers in Canada reported a higher incidence of myocarditis or pericarditis, a related condition, after Pfizer or Moderna vaccination, particularly after the second dose of a primary series.

Analyzing health records from Quebec, Canada, the researchers found that there was a 15 times higher incidence than expected within seven days of a second dose among males aged 16 and 17 and a 7.6 times higher incidence among males aged 12 to 15.

Of 77 incidents, 63 occurred among males, and 51 occurred after dose two. All but three of the adolescents were assessed in the emergency department, and 34 were hospitalized.

Myocarditis can lead to long-term problems, including heart failure and death, other research has shown.




Tuesday, March 07, 2023

Anti-Mandate Hollywood Speaks Up Against COVID-19 Vaccines

A large group of Hollywood actors says they have been locked out of their union buildings and blocked from competing for roles because they decided against taking the COVID-19 shot.

In exclusive interviews with The Epoch Times, the celebrities said they have sent more than 800 “unanswered” emails to their union, SAG–AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), about its continued enforcement of what they call an unconstitutional mandate that violates their right to informed consent and protection against what they characterize as medical experimentation with overwhelming proof of potentially dangerous health risks.

Emails, memos, and other correspondence shared with The Epoch Times show that COVID-19 vaccine mandates are in fact as much a battleground issue in Hollywood as it has been for military and health care workers.

Like others, actors told The Epoch Times that their requests for religious exemptions from the vaccines have been ignored, despite that a “return to work agreement” established by SAG–AFTRA explicitly says producers must consider them.

According to a SAG–AFTRA memo, 1 in 4 productions have mandated the vaccine for so-called Zone A workers, which includes on-set performers.

“No business that I know of, including our own government, requires testing before you enter a building, including hospitals,” “Summer of ’70” director Ed Rollin wrote in a recent email to SAG–AFTRA President Fran Drescher, best known for her role in the 1990s TV hit “The Nanny.”

Some actors also shared stories of the health problems they developed after caving to the expectation that they get the COVID-19 vaccine, such as Hollywood stuntwoman and actress Michelle Jubilee Gonzales, who told The Epoch Times that she believes she developed both reproductive and cardiac-related health problems immediately after getting an injection.

“SAG–AFTRA is no longer running like a member-run union but rather a tyranny with Duncan Crabtree-Ireland at the helm,” said Gonzales, whose credits include the TV series “Stargate Origins” and stunts in the 2022 Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

“It is criminal what is happening under his usurped leadership.”

Crabtree-Ireland, the executive director of SAG–AFTRA, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Pushback Escalates

The controversy heated up three weeks ago when SAG–AFTRA, along with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, decided to extend COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other protocols for members.

This past week, the group of actors called for a debate on the issue with their own medical experts pitted against a retired pediatrician that SAG–AFTRA contracts with to establish their pro-vaccine mandate policy. Union executives, including Drescher, declined.

The debate continued into this weekend with actor Woody Harrelson sending shock waves throughout national media and sparking a frenzy of social media posts over his unscripted monologue mocking COVID-19 vaccine mandates on “Saturday Night Live” on Feb. 25.

In talking about a fictional script he pretended to have rejected, Harrelson said:

“The movie goes like this: The biggest drug cartels in the world get together and buy up all the media and all the politicians, and force all the people in the world to stay locked in their homes—and people only can come out if they take the cartels’ drugs and keep taking them over and over.

“I threw the script away—I mean, who’s going to believe that crazy idea?”

Also this weekend, actors against the vaccine mandate organized a protest of Sunday night’s annual SAG Awards ceremony. It is being aired live on Feb. 26 from the swanky Fairmont Copley Plaza in Los Angeles. A party hosted by People Magazine is planned—which drew charges of hypocrisy from the actors since it listed no vaccine requirements.

What Hollywood’s Anti-Mandate Actors Are Saying
The day before the awards, actress Maya Dunbar of “The Mentalist” told The Epoch Times that refusing the COVID-19 injection has become like the “scarlet letter” in Hollywood.

“Thousands of us [have] been gaslit, demeaned, and kept out of meetings,” she said, adding that early in the pandemic, she could understand the criticism of vaccine skeptics, but not now with all of the negative evidence regarding the safety of the vaccines.

“It has honestly been the most horrific experience our family has ever gone through.”

She and her husband, Rockmond Dunbar, have four children, whom they homeschool. They left California over that state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

Last year, Rockmond Dunbar filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Disney after being fired from the set of Fox’s popular TV show “9-1-1” for refusing the jab.

Disney also rejected Rockmond Dunbar’s medical and religious requests for exemption from the experimental injections.

The veteran actor, who’s been in major shows for the past 30 years, has not been able to land any roles since, and has been shunned and subject to hateful criticism, Maya Dunbar said, in the very industry that claims to embrace diversity.

“This is a Godless industry,” she said, pointing to Hollywood’s heavy reliance on big pharma advertising, which she sees as the true reason why, as she put it, “a blind pharmaceutical kind of frenzy cult” has been created in Hollywood.

“You have a lot of people who just don’t want to lose what they have—their worldly treasures, and if that means having to shill some shots or some pills or whatever [it] is, that’s what it means.”

She emphasized that her husband’s lawsuit was filed under the religious beliefs they hold as members of the Church of Universal Wisdom, which forbids vaccines.

Other actors have also filed lawsuits after being refused roles or barred from sets, while others told The Epoch Times they are planning to do the same. The discrimination against their medical choices is becoming a growing legal battle that belies the hyperbole that Hollywood is a bedlam filled with pro-mandate “liberals.”

In contradicting more Hollywood stigmatism, several actors point to the fact that the industry embraces the pro-abortion “My body, my choice” slogan, but abandons the edict over COVID-19 vaccination.

The contradiction was first raised at SAG–AFTRA’s national convention by actor and Hollywood voiceover artist Erik Nicolaisen, who became a household face in 2013 when he starred in a popular but controversial Super Bowl commercial for Volkswagen, in which he portrayed a white man who spoke Jamaican.

“They squelched any discussion of it,” Nicolaisen, who served as a union delegate at the time, told The Epoch Times. “That’s how they dealt with the contradiction.”

Who’s Responsible?

Nicolaisen joins several actors who place especially heavy blame on Drescher, the union’s president, for not supporting actors opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, as well as for not putting more pressure on the union as well as productions to allow personal choice. Drescher reportedly experienced her own adverse reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine.

Boston-based actor Chuck Slavin, who serves on SAG’s New England board, is also critical of Drescher for not objecting strongly enough to the union’s mandate.

He and other actors have called the vaccine mandates “Nazi-like protocols” akin to directing unvaccinated actors to wear armbands.

“On this issue, she is acting more like a Hollywood actress than a union president,” Slavin told The Epoch Times. Slavin’s credits include “Boston’s Finest” and “Annabelle Hooper.”

Drescher didn’t respond to requests for comment.

In a Feb. 9 interview with Variety magazine, Drescher indicated that she supports measures to prevent the spread of disease on sets and that increasingly fewer productions are mandating the shot—a trend she expects to continue.

“I have been outspoken about my position on this, but I’m really only one person,” she said. “It’s not a dictatorship. And I have kept the conversation alive.”

In a recent exchange of emails that contained occasionally fiery debates—with some between Drescher, Slavin, and other actors—Drescher pointed out to Slavin that the extension of the vaccine mandate was based on a survey of actors that showed the majority of them supported keeping the order in place.

Drescher conceded that many surveys turned in by actors were omitted from the results because they were submitted anonymously, asserting that they could have been completed by “someone’s grandmother for all we knew.”

But as some actors—like major Hollywood stuntman Peter Antico, who works with big names such as Sylvester Stallone—pointed out, the survey grossly underrepresents union members’ views, counting just 7,696 responses, representing around 5 percent of SAG–AFTRA’s 160,000 members.

The results, which were shared with The Epoch Times, show that 67.1 percent wanted the mandate to stay in place, 26.1 percent didn’t, and about 6.8 percent didn’t respond to the question.

“’Do it for grandma’ was a lie,” Antico said. “These are now irrefutable facts. Crabtree-Ireland and President Drescher have refused an open debate on these facts, nor have they demonstrated common sense. And as a result, they have irrevocably harmed thousands of members.”

Actors Say Industry Violating Constitutional Rights
Drescher has also encouraged those not wanting to take the vaccine to apply for an exemption.

The problem with her position, several actors told The Epoch Times, is that none of their exemptions have even been considered, let alone granted.

Antico, Slavin, Dunbar, Nicolaisen, and Gonzales—along with some high-name recognition actors who asked to remain anonymous—heavily emphasized that SAG–AFTRA is violating their Title VII rights, which require employers to accommodate employees’ religious beliefs.

It’s the same argument under which health care workers have won lawsuits against hospitals that have denied them exemptions from the experimental vaccine.

In a recent exchange of emails with a SAG–AFTRA lawyer, “La Cible” and “Eleanor” actress Imoya Monroque asked the attorney to send her copies of the “so-called reports” that back the union’s mandate policy.

“Do you live in a vacuum or a bubble?” Monroque asked in a Feb. 21 email, detailing evidence that the vaccines are not only ineffective at preventing transmission and infection, but also dangerous.

The basis of her ire was the union’s decision to bar her and a group of actors from using the members’ lounge for a meeting at its New York location without proof of vaccination.

Union attorney Jason Touretz told Monroque by email that the decision was “due to the unreasonable risk” they would pose to other members.

Maya Dunbar said the argument is hypocritical at best, with SAG–AFTRA hosting unvetted COVID-19 parties in the same buildings where they had exiled unvaccinated union members who “pay the same dues” to support the facilities and union like the vaccinated actors they are supporting. She also pointed to all the industry events they attend, as well as other high-profile events like sports games including the recent Super Bowl.

“The reality is, they know they have done so many members wrong and they don’t want to have to deal with us, face us because they don’t want to be accountable,” she said. “We’ve been completely shut out and shut up.”

A recent memo circulated by Crabtree-Ireland to union members outraged anti-mandate actors.

“We recognize that some of our members face challenges in securing employment if they are unable to or choose not to be vaccinated, but we also acknowledge the many members who would be unable to work or who would choose not to work in an unvaccinated workplace due to the additional risk involved,” stated Crabtree-Ireland, who was first hired in 2021 as SAG–AFTRA’s top executive.

Slavin said when he and other actors contacted Crabtree-Ireland about the comment, the executive director basically replied with the attitude that there are “two kinds of actors—those who are vaccinated and can work, and those who are unvaccinated and cannot work.”

‘I Only Did It to Keep My Job’

Union actor Lynne Marie Merzejewski, who made appearances on “Desperate Housewives” and “CSI: New York,” told The Epoch Times that she was so opposed to the vaccine that she was “literally crying in the corner of CVS” trying to muster the strength to do what she said she knew was wrong.

“I had worked so long to get where I was. I only did it to keep my job,” she said.

Unfortunately, Merzejewski’s fears proved true and she developed several medical conditions right after taking the shot, including peripheral neuropathy in one of her legs, that she had never experienced before.




Monday, March 06, 2023

High Dose Vitamin D May Treat Incurable Diseases: Experts

Vitamin D supplements are currently recommended at a dose of 600 international units (IU) per day by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), alongside a warning about potential toxicities if people take more.

But for some people, supplementing with what would be seen as a very high dose of vitamin D every day may reap health benefits rather than toxicities, experts suggest.

In 2019, board-certified internist Dr. Patrick McCullough published a report on the experiences of three patients who were taking high doses of 20,000 to 60,000 IUs of vitamin D daily for many years, all three of whom have since seen significant health improvements.

One patient started supplementing with vitamin D3 eight years before the publication of the report and saw his asthma attacks decline from five or six severe exacerbations per year to only one serious exacerbation from 2011 to 2019.

He initially started at 10,000 IUs per day, and by the time of publication, he had stopped most of his asthma medication and was taking 30,000 IUs daily.

Another patient’s ulcerated hand lesion, which was presumed to be a form of skin cancer, shrank after taking high doses.

One patient had extensive psoriasis plaques across his scalp, forehead, and ears, as well as smaller plaques on his chest, abdomen, elbows, and thighs. He was given 50,000 IUs of vitamin D2 and soon saw a dramatic improvement in his psoriasis. His skin cleared after a few months of treatment and he was able to stop using steroid creams and medicated shampoos.

While the clinical improvements are impressive, the dosages these patients received—which would be considered potentially toxic—are particularly astounding.

Adequate Versus Optimal Dose

The current NIH recommendations stem from a 2010 dietary reference by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) (pdf).

The reference suggests a daily intake of 600 IU to reach a serum level of 20 ng/ml vitamin D in the blood—an adequate amount. It set an upper tolerable limit of 4,000 IUs per day; therefore, any dosage higher than that would be considered a high dose.

Yet some experts believe that the current recommendations are not sufficient for optimal health.

McCullough argued that “the current doses recommended by the IOM are sub-physiologic,” meaning that they are below the natural needs of the body. Instead, McCullough proposed that 10,000 IUs a day would be the adequate physiologic dose.

His arguments have been echoed by other health care professionals.

Prior to the IOM’s recommendations, experts from the Council for Responsible Nutrition suggested increasing the maximum daily limit be set to 10,000 IUs a day, after finding no toxicities in vitamin D clinical trials where a person was given 10,000 IUs or even higher dosages.

In 2011, the Endocrine Society similarly said that up to 10,000 IUs per day was safe for adults.

The disparities in the dosage limits are caused by the different considerations in the potential health benefits of vitamin D.

The IOM’s lower dosage recommendations were based mainly on the role of vitamin D in promoting bone health by enhancing calcium absorption. However, the Endocrine Society and other experts argue that vitamin D may also play important roles in other systems and organs, suggesting that the dosage be adjusted accordingly.

Vitamin D Is More Than a Vitamin

Multiple papers in the literature show that vitamin D has a host of roles across multiple processes and organs. Most cells have a specific receptor for vitamin D, and when the vitamin D molecule binds to its receptor, it can activate around 2,000 genes in the body.

Vitamin D expert William Grant, who has published over 300 papers on vitamin D, told The Epoch Times that vitamin D should be viewed as a hormone rather than a vitamin. Vitamins are micronutrients; the body uses them in small amounts for their assisting role in establishing health pathways.

Vitamin D, however, acts on many genetic pathways as a direct contributor rather than an assistant, regulating calcium levels and parathyroid hormones, and interacting with immune cells, neurons, pancreatic cells, and many more.

Most importantly, while all the other vitamins have to be obtained through the diet, the body naturally produces vitamin D from sunlight. Many studies have also shown that without sun exposure, it is quite difficult to obtain sufficient vitamin D through a natural diet alone.

Deficiencies in vitamin D are associated with poor cardiovascular health, diabetes, hypertension, cancer mortalities, cognitive decline, infections, autoimmune disease, and allergies.

600 IUs May Not Be Enough for Overall Health

For this reason, some experts suggest that vitamin D is needed in a much higher dose than what is being recommended to maintain general health.

Board-certified internist and integrative physician Dr. Ana Mihalcea said that most of her patients need 10,000 IUs a day to reach optimal function with their cognition and energy levels.

Many of her patients came to her with fatigue, muscle weakness, and poor cognitive abilities, all of which may be linked to vitamin D deficiencies despite these patients being at an “adequate” level of 20 ng/ml.

Once she boosted their serum levels to 70 ng/ml or more using supplements, some of them saw great improvements. Mihalcea indicates that vitamin D deficiencies may have been the culprit for their symptoms.

Optimal Dose Differs Among Patients

A surgeon and physician for more than 20 years, Dr. Joseph Bosiljevac likewise reports great variability in optimal vitamin D serum levels among different patients.

He told The Epoch Times that some patients see great improvements once their levels hit 60 ng/ml, and he would deem them sufficient, but other patients may need 120 ng/ml or more.

Studies have shown that vitamin D toxicities may develop when serum vitamin D levels hit above 150 ng/ml, though McCullough said he has seen some patients operate fine at more than 200 ng/ml.

High-Dose Vitamin D as Medicine

Doctors say people with certain pathologies may need more vitamin D than healthy people. Some people with incurable diseases have made a great recovery after being prescribed high-dose vitamin D. The extra vitamin D can be used “as a medicine, not just a preventative vitamin,” said Mihalcea.

Research has indicated that sufficient vitamin D levels may reduce the risk of many conditions, from cardiovascular disease to allergies.

Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases occur when the body’s immune system starts attacking healthy tissues. It is associated with inflammation.

Vitamin D regulates immune cells, reduces inflammation, and activates immune cells that counteract autoimmune responses.

Some autoimmune disease patients have vitamin D resistance; the person becomes less responsive to vitamin D supplementation and sun exposure. Therefore, they need higher doses of vitamin D to raise their serum vitamin D levels to a suitable range.

Autoimmune specialist Dr. Cicero Coimbra, who authored the famous Coimbra Protocol, has found many of his patients with multiple sclerosis reach remission after taking massive doses of vitamin D, along with other supplements.

The protocol can start as low as 150 IU per kilogram of body weight and can potentially increase to doses as high as 1,000 IUs per kilogram of body weight daily, provided that patients are routinely tested to ensure their parathyroid hormones, calcium, and other micronutrient levels are in balance.

In an interview with The Epoch Times, Coimbra said that his clinic has treated over 15,000 patients with autoimmune diseases; among multiple sclerosis patients, around 85 percent reach remission. His protocol has also been used in rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, and Crohn’s disease around the world, with the majority of patients following these protocols reporting significant improvements.

Regarding those who do not respond well to vitamin D treatment, Coimbra has observed that most tend to experience a high level of stress, and only by changing the way they respond to stress do they start to see improvements.


Higher doses of vitamin D are associated with lower risks of cancer progression and mortality.

Deficiencies in B-group vitamins, vitamin C, iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium have been linked with increased cancer risks.

Many observational studies on cancer patients have found vitamin D deficiency to also be a risk factor.

A 2016 report found that women whose vitamin D levels were raised above 40 ng/ml had a more than 65 percent lower risk of cancer incidence. Another 2019 study that followed end-term colon cancer patients found that those who increased their vitamin D levels experienced a slower worsening of their symptoms.

Grant’s research shows that vitamin D reduces the risk of cancer incidence by affecting differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis (disintegration) of cells, prevents mortality by reducing the formation of new blood vessels to sustain tumor growth, and reduces metastasis.

Since vitamin D acts by blocking pathways that promote further cancer growth and metastasis, it is better at preventing cancer mortalities than cancer incidence, Grant said.

It is worth noting that cancer can be triggered by a multitude of factors including environmental toxins, smoking, radiation, genetics, and inflammation, many of which cannot be controlled by vitamin D intake alone.

Furthermore, it is still uncertain if vitamin D will be effective for all cancers, and the reason for cancer patients’ ailments vary from one to another.

Nonetheless, there have been case reports of cancer remission after taking high doses of vitamin D, though other factors may play into patients’ recovery.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Judson Sommerville said his patient’s wife was told by highly renowned cancer center MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, that she only had six months to live due to advanced ovarian cancer. She figured she had nothing to lose so she started taking high doses of vitamin D3 together with magnesium.

The patient’s wife started feeling better, and after a few months, she went to the doctor for a check-up. “They examined her and to their surprise, found her cancer-free,” Sommerville said. It has been almost 12 years and the cancer still hasn’t recurred.

Brain Health

Low vitamin D levels have been associated with higher risks of anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and autism.

Vitamin D regulates chemicals in the brain that help neurons in the cortex and the hippocampus grow and survive. These two areas are involved in memory and cognitive functions, processing emotions, and complex motor functions.

Mihalcea said that the brain fog her patients experience as part of their deficiency would alleviate once she raised their vitamin D levels.

Psychiatrist Dr. John J. Cannell has said in an interview with ZME Science that in treating children with autism, he has found that giving them a higher dose of 5,000 IUs a day helped nearly 80 percent of these children with their symptoms.

“My experience, having treated about 100 children with autism, is that 25 percent respond dramatically to high dose vitamin D, 50 percent respond significantly, and 25 percent do not respond at all,” he said.

How Much Vitamin D Is Necessary?

Board-certified internist Dr. Syed Haider recommends a certain amount of sun exposure as the best option to get vitamin D, since it is impossible to develop toxicities from sun exposure, as the body has a mechanism to prevent further production.

Yet with most people living in urban areas and being indoors for most of the daytime, taking supplements is probably the most convenient option.

A person can supplement with either the plant-based vitamin D2, known as ergocalciferol, or the animal-based vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol. The two vitamins are not synonymous with each other; when ingested, the body produces different metabolites.

Between the two, doctors tend to prescribe D2 as it is more available on the market, but the more recommended version is D3. The body absorbs it better, and it also lasts longer in the body.

Moreover, D3 may be less associated with toxicities, as the body is more tolerant of it.

It is advisable to take vitamin D with K2 and magnesium when supplementing, as this will prevent vitamin D toxicity.

Both K2 and magnesium help deposit calcium in the bones rather than the arteries, and therefore prevents hypercalcemia, which can occur as a result of vitamin D toxicity.

Mihalcea emphasized the importance of testing serum vitamin D levels as an indication for dosage, since the following conditions may all impair the absorption of vitamin D:

Poor gut health

Endocrinologist and vitamin D expert Dr. Michael Holick has shown obese people tend to be deficient since the extra fat in their bodies sequesters more vitamin D in their cells rather than allowing it to free-float in serum, which is why obese people tend to need several times more than the recommended dosage.




Sunday, March 05, 2023

Biden Official: ‘Natural Immunity Is Not Something We Believe in’ for COVID-19

A Biden administration official told Congress that “natural immunity is not something we believe in” for members of the U.S. military who have had COVID-19, just days after a British study showed prior infection protects people as well as or better than vaccination.

The armed forces will instead continue to push service members to take the COVID-19 vaccine “and boosters,” the military undersecretary and chief diversity officer announced, before denying an inspector general’s report that officials reviewed Christians’ requests for religious exemptions only 12 minutes before dismissing them.

“We don’t know about natural immunity there, as far as how it works and how effective it is,” replied Gil Cisneros, undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, after Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., raised the U.K. study during Tuesday’s congressional hearing.

“There’s no good evidence and the research is still going on as to how we need to progress with this,” said Cisneros. “But as for right now, natural immunity is not something we believe in for this, and so we are still moving forward.”

The Lancet, a world-renowned U.K. medical journal, published a meta-study Feb. 16 that concluded, “The level of protection afforded by previous infection is at least as high, if not higher than that provided by two-dose vaccination.” Numerous researchers have found natural immunity confers equal or “greater protection” against the novel coronavirus than the COVID-19 shot.

The political appointee’s statement seemingly flies in the face of the Democrats’ longstanding claim to be the “party of science” due to their faith in man-made climate change, a status highlighted by then-presidential candidate Joe Biden in the last election. “We choose science over fiction!” Biden told voters on the campaign trail in August 2019. “We choose truth over facts!” Cisneros confirmed the Biden administration will extend its insistence on vaccination.

“The department continues to encourage service members and civilian employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters,” said Cisneros, who is also chief diversity and inclusion officer tasked with “ensuring the workforce is representative and inclusive.” He said Biden’s vaccine-centered “policies continue to succeed at protecting our people and the nation’s security.”

Only a “small fraction” of service members refused to receive the COVID-19 vaccine “and approximately 8,100 were subsequently separated” from their employment involuntarily, Cisneros said. His numbers come in lower than figures compiled late last year and published the day of the hearing by The Associated Press. “More than 8.400 troops were forced out of the military” by Biden vaccine policies, the AP reported—including 3,717 Marines, 2,041 members of the Navy, 1,841 from the Army, and 834 from the Air Force.

“Are we stronger or weaker as a country” after thousands of soldiers left military service “because of the vax mandate?” asked Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

“Congressman, I would say we are as strong as ever,” Cisneros replied.

“How are we stronger after losing 8,400 service members?” demanded Rep. Mark Alford, R-Mo., a combat veteran. The Biden administration had “unlawfully purged” these members from the service and should reinstate them “with their full benefits, with their back pay.”

Cisneros defended their dismissal as “appropriate disciplinary action” necessary “to maintain good order and discipline.”

Cisneros and Alford also clashed over the military’s mass denial of religious exemptions, often based on the fact that the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were developed or tested on aborted embryonic fetal cells.

Multiple Biden political appointees overseeing the armed forces, including Army Undersecretary Gabe Camarillo, testified Tuesday that each application for a faith-based exemption received “a careful and individualized review to ensure that we upheld constitutionally protected First Amendment rights,” which “considered the individual facts of each individual case.” Yet a memo from acting Defense Department Inspector General Sean O’Donnell last June revealed the Biden administration engaged in “a trend of generalized assessments rather than the individualized assessment that is required by [f]ederal law.”

“The average review period was about 12 minutes,” O’Donnell said, which is “insufficient.”

“I don’t think it was done in 12 minutes,” replied Cisneros when confronted with the report.

“You’re on record saying the DOD inspector general is incorrect on this?” asked Alford.

“I think the DOD inspector general looked at some kind of numbers and kinda did it and wrote a letter to the secretary about his opinion,” Cisneros asserted without evidence.

Multiple officials refused to say whether they replied to religious exemption applications with form letters. But Cisneros—who entered politics after winning a $266 million Mega Millions jackpot and earned a 13% rating from FRC Action during his single term as a Democratic congressman—confirmed that the Biden administration only granted religious accommodations to those already scheduled to retire or otherwise leave the service within six months.

A review found 70% of those early in the Biden administration for refusing to comply with its vaccine mandate received a general discharge, rather than an honorable discharge, which usually indicates subpar performance—a possible red flag to future employers. Veterans wishing to dispute their discharge status must appeal to a military board of corrections.

Those fired over the COVID-19 jab may now reenlist, and stalled promotions may resume, but so far, interest has been low. The Navy had “single digits” of people who had been discharged from service attempt to return to the service, Navy Undersecretary Erik Raven testified.

The termination of thousands of enlistees, including an unknown number of officers—the Biden appointees refused to answer how many—comes during a services-wide recruitment crisis. The Army missed recruitment goals by 15,000 soldiers last year. Critics cite the vaccination mandate along with the Biden administration’s focus on teaching critical race theory and transgender pronoun usage as contributing factors degrading military readiness. “We cannot afford the loss of any more soldiers,” Alford said.

Yet some Democrats lamented that the COVID-19 vaccination requirement had been lifted. “I have to tell you, the fact that we now do not make it mandatory gives me great pause,” said Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., during the hearing.

Religious liberty advocates hoped the subcommittee’s initial meeting would act as a first step toward bringing justice to pro-life Christians denied the right to live out their convictions while protecting their fellow Americans.

“Repealing the COVID shot mandate for military members does not end the abuse our service members have endured. Our military members who love God and love America have been horribly abused and they must be honored again,” said Mat Staver, founder of the religious freedom watchdog Liberty Counsel, which filed class-action lawsuits on behalf of Christian service members. “Hopefully, this hearing will be the beginning of rectifying the wrongs the Biden administration has done to our brave military heroes.”


UK: The public have a right to know about the lockdown files

Having read thousands of Matt Hancock’s messages, I can see why he doesn’t want this discussions to become public. It’s embarrassingly clear that no one on that WhatsApp thread ever thought they’d be scrutinised by the rest of the cabinet, let alone parliament, let alone the rest of the country. They had all thought the official Covid inquiry would serve as a device of cover-up, kicking this all into the long grass at least until after the general election.

Hancock says Isabel Oakeshott abused his trust by taking the material he gave her to ghostwrite his diary and putting it into the public domain. I have no idea what the two of them agreed, but I’m not sure it matters given the balance of public interest. I have yet to see any journalist argue that – in the same situation – they would have kept all of these files secret. Yes, it would have been a very difficult choice. But who is arguing that she made the wrong choice?

‘There is absolutely no public interest case for this huge breach,’ says Hancock. He’s dead wrong

Well, there is one person. ‘There is absolutely no public interest case for this huge breach,’ says Hancock. ‘All the materials for the book have already been made available to the Inquiry, which is the right, and only, place for everything to be considered properly and the right lessons to be learned.’ He’s dead wrong.

The Swine Flu Inquiry was over in weeks: rightly so, in pandemic planning there’s no time to lose in learning lessons. The official Covid inquiry has no deadline and could take years. It seems to have as its main remit going slow, thereby providing a shield to hide behind – so no politician has to answer any questions on the pandemic until after the general election. As we say in the leading article of today’s magazine, this may be in the Tory party’s interest (Sunak knows better than most what horrors it will uncover) but it’s not in the national interest.

The decisions made on WhatsApp by Hancock and his fellow ministers decided the fate and liberty of millions: I cannot think of a recent story where there has been a larger public interest in full disclosure. If you’re a parent whose children were told to wear masks in corridors because ministers follow the best scientific and medical advice, there is a clear public interest in knowing that this ‘advice’ was political – about not wanting to be outshone by Nicola Sturgeon. Chris Whitty was asked: whats the science?

If you’re parent of a large family effectively grounded because the ‘rule of six’ was imposed on the under-12s – when it was not in Wales or Scotland – there is a clear public interest in knowing that the government knew there was no ‘robust rationale’ for including children but backed the controversial policy regardless, keeping thousands of children apart from their friends and grandparents. There is such a thing as the public’s right to know: Hancock seems oblivious to this now, just as he was then.

Hancock will also know – because he does, of course, have all the messages – that these stories are just the start. The role of journalism in a democracy is to cast light where politicians would prefer there to be darkness (or the half-light of a tardy official inquiry). The Daily Telegraph is throwing open the windows to now see the logic and the forces that shaped all of their lives. I’ve sat in the secret room with the Telegraph team who went over it all time and time again to make sure what they published had the full context. So I don’t think Hancock will get anywhere with his claims that the conversations have been maliciously edited: he can publish anything himself if he genuinely thinks he has been misquoted.

He is right to say that there is a major limitation to the ‘Lockdown Files’: they show lockdown from the perspective of just one man (and all the conversations he was involved in) and there will be other perspectives that we have not seen. That’s why we can do with them being published, and straight away. Keeping them private will spare the blushes of a few politicians and advisers. But making them public will allow the transparency, debate and lesson-learning that you’d expect in a democracy. What reason is there, really, for keeping everyone in the dark even now?

Rarely do journalists have the opportunity to put entire conversations into the public domain and offer enough material to start vital conversations that ministers would rather avoid. This isn’t exposing anyone’s private life: this is about how we are governed. And how we can learn from mistakes to better protect society next time. The Daily Telegraph has started a process that government cannot stop: that should be obvious now. If they think context is missing, then they can add it. But they should – and, now, cannot – prevent those affected by the lockdowns from getting the answers they so richly deserve.