Friday, May 19, 2023

Brief Hiatus

I am once again going to take Friday off blogging. I have had a very busy social life today, involving substantial time with three different ladies, so I have at the moment neither the time nor the energy for blogging. Tomorrow is also my Sabbath so I expect to be back blogging as usual on Sunday

Thursday, May 18, 2023

New COVID Origin Report Includes Some of the Most Chilling Revelations We've Heard to Date

On Wednesday morning, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)'s office released a chilling 328-page report about the origins of COVID-19. While a press release from March highlights how the report is "[b]ased on vast troves of previously undisclosed documents and fresh analysis of previously known but inadequately scrutinized information," much of what is included serves to bolster what many already feared about the virus, and about China and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The release back in March noted that the report is based on almost 18 months worth of investigations, and that it "uncovered and will reveal evidence that was either previously unknown or otherwise ignored by the U.S. government." The senator referred to it as "a groundbreaking look at what was happening in China during the years and months leading up to the known outbreak of the pandemic."

It took even longer to put together the final product.

"After years of censorship, there is growing evidence that some type of lab accident is responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. This report, which took two years to compile, edit, and refine, is a groundbreaking look at what was happening in China during the years and months leading up to the known outbreak of the pandemic," Rubio said in a statement about the report's release. "I am grateful to the staff, fellows, and outside experts who worked to connect the dots. Their work helps fill in some critical blanks and has already contributed to other reports, hearings, and investigations. The implications are impossible to ignore: Beijing hid the truth. This report reinforces the need to hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable."

An executive summary and a short documentary were also released.

The documentary features a narrator walking viewers through documentation and footage to do with lab technicians in China working on gain-of-function. The senator himself is also featured, as he delves into such information. At one point, he provides perhaps the best explanation of gain-of-function research you'll hear, as well as a warning about its dangers.

"What that basically means is that you take a naturally occurring virus that you would find in nature, and you reverse it, you engineer it, you mess with it, and you make it contagious in humans, so there might be a virus in an animal and it may not be infectious in humans," Rubio explains about gain-of-function. He also warns "but you change it in the laboratory. You make it infectious in humans. And the reason why you do that is because you try to predict how a virus that today's only found in animals could evolve into one that would be dangerous in humans. You try to predict it, you try to invent it yourself. And once you've invented it, then you try to find a cure for it. And the problem is, once you invent it someone might get infected with it."

The virus became known in late 2019, closer to 2020. The "CDC Museum COVID-19 Timeline" from the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) begins on January 1, 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared it to be a pandemic in March 2020, and the United States following suit shortly after when it comes to declaring a public health emergency. Both ended just recently. As the report's findings detail, however, it was really in the middle of 2019 where events worth paying attention to took place, leading up to "a serious biosafety incident" that occurred later that year.

Early warning signs appeared when the head of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) inspected the state-run Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in April of 2019 and warned of a need for upgrades. The WIV went on to pursue costly projects, but it ended up not being enough, because in July 2019 the CCP secretary of the WIV still spoke of "current shortcomings and foundational problems in the construction, operation, and maintenance" of the lab complex, with the director of the WIV calling on staff to "prioritize solving the urgent problems we are currently facing."

What happened next took place in a timeline sooner and with more chilling urgency that the CCP sought to cover up than the rest of the world knew about at the time.

For it was on September 12, 2019 when the WIV shut down its online database in the middle of the night. On September 18, the WIV advised the airport of a drill for the outbreak of a "novel coronavius." Mere days later, on September 21, a resident known as Su died from what may have been COVID-19. Several more cases were documented in November 2019, but were kept hidden. Eventually, a Chinese official traveled from Beijing to the WIV to deliver "important oral and written instructions."

The CCP was not prepared or well-equipped. In October 2019, the Chinese legislature reviewed a draft biosecurity law and noted that "currently the biosecurity situation in our country is grim" and listed "laboratories that leak biological agents" as one of several threats about the "the complex and grave situation currently facing safety work."

CCP officials at the WIV published a report that gave arguably the most chilling but also accurate descriptions of the virus, and from those that would know. "Once you have opened the stores test tubes, it is just as if having opened Pandora’s Box. These viruses come without a shadow and leave without a trace," the report said.

What else happened in 2019? Chinese scientists were working on a vaccine, with their own research methodology indicating they began working on it no later than November 2019, almost two months before the virus' existence was even disclosed by Beijing.

From December 2019-October 2021, WIV researchers also filed patents for inventions meant to address the lab's differential air pressure system, biocontainment equipment, and waste handling process. "Any one of these problems could have allowed a pathogen to escape the lab complex. WIV researchers confirmed this by explaining that their inventions were designed to prevent precisely such a scenario," the executive summary mentions.

"As the disease spread, it was only a matter of time before the news of the outbreak came out. The moment came on December 30, when rebellious Chinese doctors blew the whistle on their own government," the documentary's narrator also explains. "Shortly after the CCP finally admitted to the truth, but only part of the truth. Two years later, China still refuses to review what really happened."

While some admissions came in December, with the official timeline saying the first cases occurred that month, Rubio points out in the documentary that they were already closing schools by November 2019. "So something's already happening. Well, we don't know exactly that at that point. They began to see evidence of it spread or that they knew they had a lab leak and they were taking proactive measures, but they start closing schools in November of 2019 when they claimed that the first known cases worn until late December of 2019," he explains.

In February 2020, still before the rest of the world was so deeply impacted, a campaign was launched to strengthen biosafety through inspections, stricter regulations, and the elimination of unauthorized research. "Just as Beijing was denying the possibility that COVID-19 came from a lab on the world stage, it was warning its own officials of such risks and rolling out new measures to prevent lab accidents," the executive summary aptly points out.

In case you needed any more evidence to believe that the theory about this virus originating from the Wuhan wet market is bogus, Chinese scientists determined as early as January 2020 that the wet market was likely not the origin of the virus. It's also still the official position of the Chinese CDC.

On Tuesday night, the eve of the report's release, Rubio appeared on Fox News' "Hannity" where he teased the report, explaining that it includes "previously unknown information that builds on an investigation that happened last year." Such insight "was not included as part of it, so we want to make sure the public sees it," Rubio told host Sean Hannity about the new information.

"You start to see all sorts of internal communications within the Chinese government and researchers about the urgent need for biosecurity measures at both the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Institute of Health. You begin to add a mountain of circumstantial evidence. No single piece by itself is determinative. But you put it all together," Rubio explained about connecting the dots.

In the documentary, Rubio acknowledges that "I'm not sure we'll ever know the entire story," though he does offer "I think now we have enough pieces put together to really change the entire narrative." He goes on to share that "I think this additional circumstantial evidence that's been gathered which is pretty compelling and which was never been seen before will weigh heavily towards those odds towards something bad happened in one of these laboratories and infected someone, they took it out into the general population, and they changed the course of history."

Regardless of how, exactly, we got the COVID-19 virus and what we may never truly be sure of, one major takeaway that cannot be denied is that the dangerous ambitions of the CCP is something to be feared and acted upon. In addition to being someone who uses his position of power to get to the bottom of the virus' origins, Rubio has been a leading figure in warning about the dangers posed by China. Perhaps this is his greatest piece of evidence yet.

"The world deserves to know the real origin of the disease that has caused so much suffering. The Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for his lies. And we must never stop trying to uncover the truth," Rubio says to conclude the documentary.


Tory MP Faces Political Exile for COVD-19 Vaccine Skepticism & Reference to Holocaust

As reported last month by The Guardian, Most of the political establishment in the United Kingdom has shunned Tory (Conservative Party) MP Andrew Bridgen. A few months prior, as reported by TrialSite, he had been removed from his whip position for comparing the COVID-19 vaccine programs as the worst human event after the Holocaust. Then in April, he was permanently expelled from the Conservative Party.

Bridgen has been in Parliament since 2010, and he has been acting as an independent since his original comments. The North-West Leicestershire MP had tweeted a ZeroHedge article, “which purported to show the health risks from Covid vaccines.” Bridgen also tweeted: “As one consultant cardiologist said to me, this is the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust.” This came after weeks of “increasingly anti-vaccine social media posts, as well as messages to journalists, many of which openly backed conspiracy theories.” One Conservative spokesperson stated that, “Mr. Bridgen was expelled from the Conservative party on April 12, following the recommendation of a disciplinary panel. He has 28 days from this date to appeal.”

The MP “should not be countenanced”

The under-fire MP argued that the fact that he was kicked out the Conservative Party, “only confirms the culture of corruption, collusion and cover-ups which plagues our political system----I have been a vocal critic of the vaccine rollout and the party have been sure to make an example of me. I am grateful for my newfound freedom and will continue to fight for justice for all those harmed, injured and bereaved due to governmental incompetence.”

The largest Jewish communal organization in the UK approved of the expulsion, noting that: “Suggesting that Covid vaccines are the biggest crime against humanity since the Holocaust is not an opinion which should be countenanced in any serious political party.”

Bridgen joins Reclaim Party as its first MP

In a May 9 follow-up article, The National reported that Bridgen was joining the nascent Reclaim Party after being booted from the Tories. Bridgen has officially announced he will make this move. He is now the first MP ever from the Reclaim Party. The MP said that “There is a huge chasm now between our Parliament and what goes on in Westminster and the people.” He offered that he was joining Reclaim, “because they respect free speech as the basis for every aspect of our democracy and our society.”

In an interview on Rumble, the dissident MP said that he decided that he had to speak out when vaccines were approved for 6-month-old; this policy was then changed. He believes that his discipline was designed to set an example for MP’s: if you step out of line, you're out. And the MP finds it suspicious that the ideas of the World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab was implemented in lockstep around the western world. As an example, the vague “Build Back Better” was promoted in some ways everywhere and all at once.

The Reclaim Party Manifesto

While The Reclaim Party has embraced the medical freedom surge, the byproduct of government emergency responses to COVID-19, the party was launched in 2020 by Lawrence Fox, a British actor and right wing populist activist thanks to funding from Jeremy Hosking, the British businessman and political donor purportedly worth about £375 million. Part of a movement of nationalist-populist tendencies emerging in the developed world over the past several years, that movement may merge with groups challenging the official COVID-19 narratives in the developed world.

The new party has an uphill battle to take on the three dominant parties in the UK: The Conservative Party, Labor Group and the Liberal Democrats.




Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Leaked Pentagon Report Forensically Dismantled Fauci-Led Natural Origin Study

Researchers at the Department of Defense wrote a devastating takedown of the Proximal Origin study, which was used by Dr. Anthony Fauci as proof that the COVID-19 virus had come from nature.

The takedown, dated May 26, 2020, was written in the form of a working paper called “Critical analysis of Andersen et al. The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2.” It was authored by Commander Jean-Paul Chretien, a Navy doctor working at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Dr. Robert Cutlip, a research scientist at the Defense Intelligence Agency. The paper came to light on May 15, when it was leaked to the public via virus origins search group DRASTIC (Decentralized Radical Autonomous Search Team Investigating COVID-19).

The working paper forensically dismantles the natural origin case made in Proximal Origin and concludes, “The arguments that Andersen et al. use to support a natural-origin scenario for SARS-CoV-2 are based not on scientific analysis, but on unwarranted assumptions.”

The existence of this internal Pentagon paper is crucial, as it proves that government officials were well aware in the early months of the pandemic that there was no evidence in support of a natural origin of the COVID-19 virus. Additionally, given the crushing discrediting of Proximal Origin, Pentagon officials would also have been aware of Fauci’s efforts to seed a false narrative about the origin of COVID-19.

Proximal Origin was initially conceived by Fauci during a secret teleconference held on Feb. 1, 2020. The ostensible purpose of the teleconference was to deflect attention from a possible lab origin of COVID-19 and to shift the focus to a natural origin theory. Fauci directed a number of scientists, led by Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research and Robert Garry of Tulane Medical School, to pen a study that could be used to discredit the lab leak theory. Despite being directly involved in the inception of the paper, as well as in shaping its arguments, Fauci’s role was concealed from the public. Fauci later bestowed Andersen and Garry with lavish taxpayer-funded grants.

The defects in Proximal Origin were immediately noticed by reviewers at science journal Nature. This fact only became known late last year from emails obtained via the Freedom of Information Act by independent journalist Jimmy Tobias. However, with the help of Jeremy Farrar, who now is the chief scientist of the World Health Organization and who had helped Fauci shape the natural origin narrative, Proximal Origin was accepted for publication in Nature Medicine on March 17, 2020. It boldly concluded that no “laboratory-based scenario is plausible.”

On April 17, 2020, President Donald Trump confirmed that the COVID-19 pandemic likely started in a Wuhan laboratory in China. On the same day, while attending a White House press conference, Fauci categorically dismissed the possibility of a lab origin of COVID-19, citing Proximal Origin as corroboration. Fauci feigned independence, telling reporters that he could not recall the names of the authors. What was not known at the time was that Fauci not only knew the authors well, but had personally led the effort to have Proximal Origin written.

Proximal Origin became the media’s go-to natural origin authority, repeating Fauci’s claim that the paper provided dispositive proof that COVID-19 had come out of nature. It also became the most-read article on COVID-19 and one of the most cited academic papers of all time.

Yet, while the public was being told by Fauci and the media that Proximal Origin had settled the origin debate, Pentagon researchers came to a very different conclusion.

Epoch Times Photo
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci waits for the beginning of a hearing before the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies of Senate Appropriations Committee at Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 17, 2022. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Chretien and Cutlip found that COVID-19’s features, which Proximal Origin ascribed to natural evolution, were actually “consistent with another scenario: that SARS-CoV-2 was developed in a laboratory, by methods that leading coronavirus researchers commonly use to investigate how the viruses infect cells and cause disease, assess the potential for animal coronaviruses to jump to humans, and develop drugs and vaccines.”

One of those features is COVID-19’s furin cleavage site, which makes the virus particularly infectious in humans. This feature has never been observed in any naturally occurring betacoronaviruses. Proximal Origin claimed that since this feature was not part of any known laboratory-generated virus, it had to have arisen through a “natural evolutionary process.” As Chretien and Cutlip point out, this argument is “not based on scientific analysis but on an assumption that the prior work would have been published if it had been done.”

According to the Pentagon report, a similar argument made in Proximal Origin about COVID-19’s receptor binding domain, the part of a virus that allows it to dock to cells in humans or animals, was “not a scientific argument but rather an assumption of intent and methodology for a hypothesized scientist.”

The Pentagon report also highlights a major logical flaw in Proximal Origin in that it relies on a lack of publications about particular aspects of coronavirus engineering as a reason to conclude that such engineering did not take place. For instance, Proximal Origin claims that “the genetic data irrefutably show that SARS-CoV-2 is not derived from any previously used virus backbone.” As Chretien and Cutlip point out, “The absence of a publication does not mean that the research was not done.”

In what is perhaps the most notable portion of the Chretien and Cutlip paper, the authors note the collaboration between Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, a pioneer of gain-of-function experiments, and Shi Zhengli, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology. As Chretien and Cutlip point out, Baric and Shi carried out an experiment in 2015 that mirrored how the COVID-19 virus would have been engineered in a laboratory. The direct link between the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the know-how needed to make COVID-19 was not mentioned in Proximal Origin.

While Chretien and Cutlip did not offer a definitive answer on the origin of COVID-19, they concluded that none of the arguments in Proximal Origin lessened the plausibility of a laboratory origin. Proximal Origin claimed to have done the exact opposite.

Given the sweeping nature of the takedown of Proximal Origin, the question is why the public was not told about the Pentagon’s paper, which was fully paid for by taxpayers?

Instead, the Pentagon, which was led at the time by Trump appointee Mark Esper, allowed Fauci’s false origin narrative to fester. One of the two authors, Cutlip, left the Department of Defense in 2021. The circumstances of his departure are not known. Cutlip’s bio states that he is currently a visiting professor at Fairmont State University in West Virginia. The bio also states that Cutlip was part of “the Corona Virus Task Force, providing intelligence to the President of the United States.” It is not known whether Cutlip shared his insights with either Trump or President Joe Biden.


Feds Fall Woefully Short with COVID-19 Vax Injury Compensation: CICP Director: No Computer Systems!

With almost 12,000 people having filed claims with the Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program (CICP), the vaccine injury compensation scheme established with the national public health emergency, just a few of these injured persons have secured any payment, and those compensated are done so on average at $1,500 per claimant. Mainstream media inches its way into coverage, discussion and commentary.

It is a tragic situation for those injured by vaccines that were often mandated to take. The government, while overreaching in many respects during the pandemic, did little to nothing to anticipate the tens of thousands that would claim injuries. The program is understaffed, and now, a director from the Countermeasure Injury Compensation Program (CICP) told a Georgia-based Congressperson that they had no technology to support the scale up of the program. Also, the CICP program is severely understaffed. Who in the federal government is responsible for this reality?

Most recently, WXIA-TV (11Alive) television station in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, affiliated with NBC covered this disturbing problem. Owned by Tegna Inc. alongside MyNetworkTV affiliate WAT, the piece reveals that only 706 claims have been processed to date, with the vast majority denied.

Enter one case study on the waiting game: Allen Storey. Still recovering after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine two years ago, bills have mounted. Waiting in limbo, 11Alive investigated, discovering that Mike Collins, representing the 10th District of Georgia, demanded to discuss the growing crisis with CICP leadership.

The CICP’s leadership now claims that technology is the core of the problem, writes Rebecca Lindstrom for 11Alive. For example, Collins reports the CICP director program laments the lack of technology to support the scale out of the program:

“They did not even have a computer system in place, a software system to handle people making requests or even inquiring about what their status was, which was what you were talking about in y'all's reporting.”

Although CICP recently launched a claims portal to track claims, they are purportedly requesting $15 million from Congress to “enhance communication” as well as “substantially increase its capacity to review at least 2,000 claims.”

Crisis scenario

This is clearly not enough. While CICP hopes to access technology that can help the federal group scale up to 2,000 claims, this is nowhere near enough. At the current case load rate of claimed COVID-19 vaccine-related injuries, the CICP director informed Congressman Collins that it would take five years to get to them.

In addition to the lack of technology which represents a complete lack of planning on the part of the federal government, Collins reports to 11Alive that “a third of the federal employees have been working from home. And that just doesn't work very well.”

Last year, the CICP funded only 34 positions to deal with over 11,000 claims and now the federal group proposes a budget for an additional 42 full-time employees. But will this be enough?

“You're asking the same questions that we ask,” Collins said. “They don't know how many people they employ; the federal government, these departments, they don't know. And so that's one of the big issues that we have. You're right. Do you have enough people who are inefficient, or do you not have enough people?”

COVID-19 vaccine injured struggling

The plight of the Storey family was featured in this latest piece from 11Alive. With an average payout to date of $1,500 (and just a few persons compensated), Allen Storey’s bills accumulate to what will likely be in the tens of thousands.

What are people injured by the COVID-19 vaccines supposed to do? In many cases they were mandated to get the shots, and that same government compelling the procedure waived all liability of the vaccine manufacturers.

Groups such as React19 have been launched in the private sector to support persons injured by the COVID-19 vaccines. While that nonprofit has recruited a network of now over 20,000 vaccine injured people and over 200 doctors supporting this class of care, this is nowhere near enough to deal with the accumulating demand.

Rebecca Lindstrom reports that likely, most persons injured by the COVID-19 vaccines are not even aware of the CICP program. According to Allen Storey, “I don’t think most people know this program exists. You can probably walk down and 10 out of 10 people don’t know about it. I don’t know how they would find out about it if they weren’t specifically looking for this program. Most doctors don’t even know about it.”

This lack of awareness also represents a problem for persons injured by the vaccines seeking help from the private sector. React19 has often been censored by Facebook, traditionally, the number one social network for patient groups. Why the censorship? A confluence of government, media and social tech companies have collaborated during the pandemic to censor key information including stories about COVID-19 vaccine injuries, even if the information is truthful.

Clearly, the federal government has on the one hand, completely overstepped its boundaries during the pandemic while at the same time, when it comes to caring for the nation’s population damaged by the mass vaccination program they stepped back, doing not nearly enough.




Tuesday, May 16, 2023

All of a sudden, ivermectin is safe again

Dr. Julie Sladden is writing from Australia:

Has anyone else noticed a pattern around the Covid-related restrictions of the past three years?

Each infringement felt like a wave crashing on the shore of Australian freedoms, which, after a while, would quietly recede into the background with little fanfare, media, or attention. So it was with the introduction of lockdowns, masks, and mandates.

No wonder we’ve all felt ‘at sea’.

On May 3, 2023, the TGA quietly announced it was removing the prescribing restrictions on ivermectin. These restrictions were imposed on September 10, 2021 in an effort to stop doctors prescribing the drug to treat Covid.

These original restrictions were described as an ‘extraordinary intervention’.

Ivermectin is an (actual) ‘safe and effective’ medication with decades of safety data and known side effects. Heck, it’s even on the World Health Organisation’s list of essential medications. At the time, ivermectin was being used by several countries around the world to treat Covid and several studies were in process of being conducted.

But why would the TGA restrict ivermectin? Good question. The reasons given for the amendment to the Poisons Standard include:

A rise in the number of off-label prescriptions of ivermectin.

A significant increase in personal importation of ivermectin into Australia.

Concern that people who had been prescribed ivermectin might believe themselves to be protected and therefore not get vaccinated.

Concern that ivermectin would come into short supply in Australia.

Ivermectin also has the potential to cause severe adverse events, particularly when taken in high doses; though oral ivermectin is generally well-tolerated at recommended doses.
Nowhere, back in September 2021, did the TGA say there had been a rise in serious adverse events associated with ivermectin. The closest the regulator came was stating a ‘potential’ to cause severe adverse events.

Hmm… So, if a therapeutic agent is restricted for ‘potentially’ causing serious adverse events, what happens when a therapeutic agent actually causes serious adverse events?

Let’s move on.

The concern that ivermectin would come into short supply is perplexing. As an ‘off-patent’ drug, ivermectin is incredibly cheap to make (around 55 US cents per course of treatment) and widely available. As one commentator ponders, ‘If the TGA foresaw a potential shortage, why did no one in the Australian government think to phone an order through to Indiamart?’ Another good question.

In light of the above, the rise in number of off-label prescriptions of ivermectin and increase in personal importation is no reason to restrict a medication. These signals should be taken as an indication to investigate (why is it being used and what is the ‘front-line’ experience) and educate (regarding potential side effects). According to Dr Peter McCullough, ‘About two dozen countries have ivermectin as a first-line treatment for Covid in their government guidelines.’ They can’t all be wrong.

Furthermore, the increased prescription and importation heralds another consideration, something prohibition taught our friends across the Pacific: when you prohibit something the people want, you just drive it underground.

The reason that incited me most back in September 2021 was the ‘concern that people who had been prescribed ivermectin might … not get vaccinated’.

So, as the government funneled the Australian people down the ‘vaccine or bust’ pathway with mass coercion, an essentially safe and potentially significant therapeutic option was removed. This was done not because it was causing harm, but because it might stop people from getting the ‘experimental’ injection.

I find this outrageous.

Why? Because in a time of ‘unknowns’, the TGA put its weight behind an injection with minimal safety data over a medication with a known safety and therapeutic profile.

So, in what seems like a miracle, ivermectin is now deemed ‘safe’ again.

‘How can ivermectin go from being a toxic horse de-wormer in 2021 and then be declared to have a low safety risk in 2023?’ asks Pharmacologist and Drug Regulatory Affairs consultant Dr Philip Altman. Yet another good question.

In my opinion, the only reason a therapeutic agent like ivermectin, with a proven track record, should be restricted is a demonstrated safety signal that truly indicates the health of Australians is at risk. To do otherwise makes no sense to me.

Dr Philip Altman takes it further, ‘If the Australian TGA cannot tell the difference between a toxic horse deworming medicine and a potentially life-saving, widely used, essential safe medicine – they should not exist.’


Fired Teachers Who Refused COVID Vaccine to Get Full Reinstatement and Back Pay

Three Rhode Island teachers who were fired for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine have been offered their jobs back with full back pay after reaching a settlement with the school district.

Teachers Stephanie Hines, Brittany DiOrio, and Kerri Thurber were terminated from their positions in Barrington Public Schools after they had requested a religious exemption after the school mandated employees get the vaccine.

Last week, their attorney, Greg Piccirilli, and the school district said they had reached a settlement, allowing the teachers to return to their jobs. They are also each entitled to $33,333 in damages along with their back pay. DiOrio will get $150,000, Thurber will get $128,000, and Hines will receive $65,000 under the agreement.

“The three teachers have the opportunity to return to teaching positions within the Barrington School District should they choose to do so, at the steps they would have been at had they worked continuously,” the Barrington Public Schools district said in a statement on May 11.

In a statement to the Boston Globe, Piccirilli said that his clients are “extremely gratified that they’ve been vindicated in their position,” adding that he will get $50,000 in attorneys fees as part of the settlement. “A lot of people were dismissive and skeptical of their claims at the time,” he told the Boston Globe. “They went through a lot of personal trauma dealing with this. Their faith has gotten them through this.”

Meanwhile, Barrington Public Schools told the Providence Journal that it reached the settlement because the litigation would likely put a drag on the school’s resources and funding. It attempted to distance itself from its own vaccine mandate by claiming that it was dealing with the spread of COVID-19, although there is a growing body of evidence that shows the vaccines do not prevent the spread of the virus.

“Our district was navigating an unprecedented health pandemic and leaned on the important recommendations by the CDC and the Rhode Island Department of Health to ensure the safety of our students and school community,” the Barrington School Committee said Thursday, according to the outlet. “Our then-policy helped combat the pressing public health crisis of the time, while keeping schools open, and [was] one that nearly all faculty and staff adhered to.”

It added that “we determined this ongoing, expensive litigation” would likely continue for a lengthy period of time, and a resolution should be reached because the “administration’s time, and our district’s financial resources, should be spent on the daily work and mission of Barrington Public Schools … our School Committee looks forward to continuing to support this important work.”

The three were first placed on unpaid leave in late 2021 before they were fired in January 2022, according to statements made by the district and the teachers. During a hearing in Barrington in October 2021, DiOrio said that she “did nothing wrong.”

“I have done nothing wrong. This is destroying my future ability to earn a living,” she said of the mandate. “What makes me more of a threat now? Is this how a highly-rated school department treats its people?”

At the time, Sara Rapport, a lawyer representing the School Committee, said that the teachers were violating the school policy for not complying, adding that committees have the plenary authority over school interests. She said that the teachers’ decision not to get vaccinated pose a greater risk to students.

“Teachers have a right not to be vaccinated,” she said in late 2021. “But every decision has consequences. Religious beliefs do not override the health and safety of the community.”

It’s not clear if Thurber, Hines, or DiOrio will return to their previous teaching positions. During an interview with Legal Insurrection, Piccirilli said that the settlement should be seen as a victory for others who were fired because they refused to take COVID-19 vaccines.

“They’ve shown amazing resilience to stick by their faith. A lot of other people with similar situations have gone through this. And hopefully [this resolution] will serve as an example of how others should be vindicated the same way, for sticking up for what they believe in,” he said.

Last year, a Rhode Island Superior Court judge issued a ruling in favor of the three teachers who were fired, saying the district violated the state’s Open Meetings Act laws over their mandating the vaccine. The Barrington School Committee said after the ruling that officials disagree with the judge’s opinion.

“This case is not about whether mandating vaccinations is appropriate. Regardless of the significant political stance which the public may take for or against that issue, the issue here is whether the Barrington School Committee provided sufficient notice before enacting the Emergency Policy on COVID-19 Related Issues in August and September 2021. This Court finds that violations occurred,” Judge Jeffrey Lanphear wrote at the time.

Piccirilli, meanwhile, has said that the school committee did not possess the legal authority to implement a vaccine mandate and asserted it didn’t follow proper procedures in carrying it out. For example, he said that the district didn’t advertise it correctly.

“It’s shocking to me that the rule of law seems to have gone out the window in a lot of these situations,” Piccirilli said in 2021, reported the Globe. “There’s supposed to be a process.”




Monday, May 15, 2023

Officials Neglect Covid Vaccines’ Side Effects

Brianne Dressen was an energetic mom, an avid hiker and a preschool teacher—until she got a Covid vaccine.

Ms. Dressen, 42, was among the first Americans to be vaccinated. She volunteered to participate in AstraZeneca’s trial, and she received her first dose on Nov. 4, 2020, at a clinic in West Jordan, Utah. “I am pro-science and pro-vaccine,” Ms. Dressen says. “I was more than glad to participate in the scientific process.”

But even highly beneficial vaccines can have rare serious side effects. Minutes after the shot, Ms. Dressen’s arm began to tingle, her vision grew blurry, and sounds became muffled. The clinic suggested she see a neurologist, who directed her to the emergency room. The ER couldn’t figure out what was wrong and sent her home.

Her condition steadily deteriorated over the next 2½ weeks. She experienced extreme nausea, diarrhea, dizziness, painful vibrating sensations, pins and needles in her arms and face, numbness, tremors, brain fog, heart palpitations and fever. Physicians were mystified. They diagnosed her with a “silent migraine” and “anxiety due to the Covid vaccine” after a hospital stay. She was provided occupational and physical therapy but spent weeks in bed, unable to tolerate sound, light or even her children’s touch.

In the ensuing months, she faced not only debilitating symptoms but also bureaucratic indifference—though government officials tried to be helpful at first. On Jan. 11, 2021, her husband, Brian, a U.S. Army chemist, contacted Avindra Nath, intramural clinical director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Dr. Nath responded immediately that he would discuss her condition with other National Institutes of Health neurologists. He asked for blood and spinal-fluid samples for analysis, and he ominously mentioned that “the current political climate is another aspect that we need to keep an eye on.”

Dr. Nath didn’t elaborate, but by now the politics of the Covid vaccines are familiar. Bitter disputes over mandates fed skepticism of the shots and claims, often false and outlandish, about their dangers. At the same time, public-health authorities, anxious to promote vaccination, played down risks that were real if rare, leaving patients like Ms. Dressen in limbo.

After failed attempts to work remotely with Ms. Dressen’s home medical team, Dr. Nath invited her to an NIH facility in Bethesda, Md., for examination. Physicians there diagnosed her with postvaccine neuropathy and severe postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, which causes rapid heartbeat on standing up. She was treated with intravenous immune globulin, an infusion of antibodies from healthy donors that can modulate an overactive immune response.

The treatment helped, but symptoms persisted and would wax and wane. She learned that many others were experiencing similar symptoms after getting vaccinated. She organized online support groups, but Facebook shut them down under its “misinformation” policy, which bans information that is “likely to directly contribute to the risk of imminent physical harm, including by contributing to the risk of individuals getting or spreading a harmful disease or refusing an associated vaccine.” This includes “claims about the safety or serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccines”—even, it appears, when such claims are truthful.

The Facebook censorship and government inaction spurred her to launch React19, a “science-based nonprofit offering financial, physical, and emotional support” for people who suffered severe reactions after Covid vaccines. React19 has more than 21,000 members in the U.S. and another 20,000 in 24 international partner organizations. It also has a Facebook page.

“We are not antivax and are neutral on the Covid vaccines,” Ms. Dressen says. “But doctors need to be aware of what’s going on so they can treat patients.” Ms. Dressen and others have pressed the NIH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration to acknowledge their symptoms so patients don’t feel shunned and can obtain the medical care they need.

Interviews with React19 members and emails they shared with me show that public-health authorities haven’t been transparent about these adverse events. Officials privately expressed concern to patients but kept mum about the issue in public and failed to keep promises to investigate the side effects thoroughly. With the Covid public-health emergency over at last, perhaps they will get the attention they deserve.

Ms. Dressen says NIH officials were initially solicitous. They brought at least a dozen patients like Ms. Dressen to their facilities for tests and treatment as part of an informal study. “Good that you are getting the word out,” Dr. Nath wrote her on June 27, 2021. “Maybe the issue has not received the deserved attention, but there [sic] now an increasing number of publications in the literature documenting the complications. Considering over a billion doses administered, the complications are still rare. From my stand point the important message to get out is that they are treatable, so should treat early or do it in the context of a clinical trial. Keep me posted.”

But the NIH didn’t get the word out. Ms. Dressen kept updating Dr. Nath and his assistant clinical investigator, Farinaz Safavi, about her symptoms. She complained about the cost of her intravenous immune globulin treatments—$2,200 a month out of pocket. She told Dr. Nath that she had communicated with FDA officials, including Peter Marks, head of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, which oversees vaccines.

FDA officials, she told him, were passing the buck to the NIH. “You and I both know that it isn’t fair to your small team there to take on all of these people,” she wrote on Sept. 16, 2021, referring to other patients with postvaccine neurological conditions. “Is there something I am missing with this? Or someone I should be appealing to there at the NIH to encourage further research? Funding for care?”

“Ordinarily when any drug is released it is the manufacturers responsibility to investigate and treat the side effects,” Dr. Nath replied. “Where are the vaccine manufacturers in all of this? Have you tried to contacting [sic] them? It cannot be the government’s responsibility to pick up after them. They are a profit company and they should be the ones taking change [sic]. Don’t you think?”

Ms. Dressen says AstraZeneca offered her $1,243.30 if she agreed to waive “any additional claims.” She turned it down. AstraZeneca says the offer was a reimbursement for medical expenses and tests rather than a legal settlement, and its independent experts determined the injury wasn’t vaccine-related. AstraZeneca’s vaccine was never authorized in the U.S. (It has been in Canada, Europe and the U.K. and is widely used in poor countries.)

Other React19 members I spoke with said they didn’t receive responses from Pfizer or Moderna about adverse-event reports they filed with the companies. A Pfizer spokesperson said its “medical team thoroughly assesses and reviews medical documentation to further understand the event,” and “reports are shared regularly with federal and global regulatory and health authorities for further review.” Moderna didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The U.S. Countermeasure Injury Compensation Program, which covers vaccines and treatments used during public-health emergencies, has received 11,686 Covid-related claims, only 23 of which have been ruled eligible for compensation. React19 members say their claims are under review or have been rejected.

In the fall of 2021, as some Americans resisted vaccination, the Biden administration mandated vaccines for healthcare workers and employees of large corporations. Although it was becoming clear that vaccines didn’t prevent infection, officials claimed mandates were necessary to ensure “employee safety and health.”

At the same time, FDA and NIH officials received a growing number of reports of severe side effects—including from medical professionals who had been among the first to get vaccinated. One was Danice Hertz, a 66-year-old now-retired gastroenterologist in Santa Monica, Calif.

Dr. Hertz received her first Pfizer dose on Dec. 23, 2020. Within 30 minutes, her face began to burn and tingle, her vision grew blurred, and she became lightheaded. She took Benadryl and prednisone at her home to no effect. Over the next 24 hours, she developed intense burning in her face, numbness in her mouth and scalp, chest pain, dizziness, twitching and a feeling that her whole body was vibrating. “I had pain to the degree of screaming out loud.”

She contacted a neurologist at a local hospital, who was flummoxed. “I was in bed for several weeks and barely able to emerge,” she says. After consulting two dozen doctors around the country, she was diagnosed with small-fiber neuropathy, tinnitus, dysautonomia, POTS and mast cell activation syndrome, a condition that causes severe allergic symptoms affecting multiple parts of the body.

Dr. Hertz spent her days in bed searching the internet for a medical explanation: “I was desperately ill. I was unable to get medical care. I was suicidal at times. A lot of others went through this. I wrote goodbye letters to my family. It was too miserable to live with this.”

On Feb. 4, 2021, she stumbled on an article from Neurology Today in which Anthony Fauci sought to correct his earlier recommendation that people with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder in which the immune system attacks the nervous system, shouldn’t get vaccinated because it might trigger a recurrence. After drawing pushback from the medical community, Dr. Fauci retracted his statement because it clashed with the CDC. “As soon as the CDC recommendations came out, I began advising people according to the recommendations. I do stand corrected,” he told Neurology Today.

Dr. Hertz posted in the comments section on the article that she developed severe parathesias—pins and needles, a classic symptom of Guillain-Barré and other neurological disorders—30 minutes after vaccination. “Despite my multiple reports to Pfizer, the CDC and FDA, no one has recognized my complication or reported it,” she wrote. “I wonder how many other cases there are like mine.” The FDA has reported a link between Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and Guillain-Barré syndrome.

She says she filed nine reports with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or Vaers, the government surveillance system that is supposed to track possible side effects, and “nobody has ever contacted me.” She also filed reports with Pfizer, which she says didn’t respond.

But two weeks after posting her comment on the journal article, she received an email from Sheryl Ruettgers, who had experienced similar symptoms. Ms. Ruettgers said she also filed a Vaers report and had contacted Dr. Marks of the FDA’s Biologics Center.

“I read a transcript from a web-lecture you gave on 1/29/2021 highlighting your commitment to medical safety as it relates to the vaccine,” Ms. Ruettgers wrote to Dr. Marks on Feb. 21. “I have been unable to find answers and have been frustrated by the lack of transparency as it relates to adverse reactions.” She didn’t receive a response.

Dr. Hertz soon received more emails, including one from Ms. Dressen. They organized an email list and later a Facebook group. In March Dr. Hertz also contacted Dr. Nath and sent her lab work to the NIH for analysis. Dr. Safavi noted in an email to her that more than 1,000 neurological side effects had been reported in Vaers, “but in order to present it to scientific community we have to gather as much information as we can before sending it out.”

“We need to be patient and scientifically follow the appropriate path to br [sic] able to push this work forward,” Dr. Safavi wrote on April 17, 2021. Over subsequent months, Dr. Hertz and Ms. Dressen referred members of their group to the NIH, whose neurologists reviewed patient medical records and helped them obtain treatment.

While NIH scientists were privately validating their vaccine-related injuries, FDA officials had yet to acknowledge them. On May 24, 2021, Ms. Dressen emailed Janet Woodcock, then acting FDA commissioner, attaching letters from 17 other patients detailing their postvaccine nervous-system problems.

Dr. Woodcock replied solicitously: “We take your experiences seriously and are evaluating all reports of adverse events associated with vaccination. I will follow up with individuals who do research into these types of conditions.” She added: “I hear you and understand that you are asking that more attention be directed to what you are experiencing. I will see if more studies can be undertaken. It is not really possible to provide good medical care without understanding what is going on with the patients.”

The correspondence between FDA officials and React19 members continued. Dr. Woodcock responded to each of Ms. Dressen’s emails with compassion and promises to investigate. “I need to get with people who are studying this issue,” she wrote on July 22, 2021. “I know I need to make progress on this and I have been working with the Biologics Center on this issue.”

Dr. Marks also repeatedly assured Ms. Dressen that the agency was investigating and that its reporting systems would identify “safety signals.” “We have a staff of epidemiologists at FDA involved in safety surveillance activities, and these individuals are looking into this,” Dr. Marks wrote on Nov. 12, 2021. “Though I am unable to give you a definitive time when they will be done with their analyses, I will certainly let you know when I hear anything.”

Tired of waiting, React19 began doing its own research. On Jan. 9, 2022, Ms. Dressen sent FDA officials an email with 850 case reports and medical-journal articles related to severe adverse vaccine reactions. She noted that the European agency responsible for regulating vaccines in October identified parathesias as a potential Pfizer vaccine side effect.

“Thanks so much for all of this information,” Dr. Marks replied. “We really appreciate this and will start working through the papers and contacting investigators to better understand things.”

Ms. Dressen kept sending Dr. Marks published research on neurological adverse events, and Dr. Marks kept assuring her the FDA was investigating. FDA leaders regularly met with React19 members. “We were getting lip service over and over again,” Dr. Hertz says.

A senior FDA official told me the agency has strong surveillance systems in place to identify adverse events, including for small-fiber neuropathy, but that it hasn’t detected an increase in neurological cases among Pfizer and Moderna recipients. “For those individuals affected, we can’t confirm or deny. We will continue to work and be receptive,” the official said.

“FDA likes to say there’s no safety signal in Vaers data, but the problem is that it’s not complete,” says Joel Wallskog, a React19 member who practiced orthopedic surgery in Wisconsin before he had a neurological reaction after a Moderna shot.

Because Vaers relies on self-reporting, it is both under- and overinclusive. Some people don’t report adverse reactions that are likely caused by vaccines, while others report events that probably aren’t. Dr. Wallskog says healthcare providers should be mandated to report potential adverse effects to Vaers whether or not they think the vaccine was the cause.

Patients may also report their diffuse neurological symptoms under different headings, making it harder for public-health officials to detect links. Some reports that patients claim to have filed also don’t appear in the public database. A React19 review found that 12% of Vaers reports filed by members had been deleted and 22% lacked a permanent identification number so they weren’t publicly visible.

A CDC spokesperson says that “all reports to Vaers are publicly available and can be examined,” but “due to privacy and confidentiality, CDC cannot confirm which reports have been reviewed and what the review revealed.” For reports classified as serious, CDC says, it requests and reviews all available medical records.

“Serious” is defined as death, life-threatening illness, hospitalization or prolongation of hospitalization, permanent disability, congenital anomalies, or birth defects. A CDC presentation on Jan. 26, 2023, showed that 883 Vaers reports of “pain in extremity” following Moderna and Pfizer bivalent boosters were categorized as nonserious.

“Vaers is not designed to determine if the vaccine caused the reported adverse event,” the CDC spokesperson says. “The determination of the cause of serious adverse events is done by healthcare providers.” But React19 members say the CDC didn’t follow up on their complaints.

Doctors are typically reluctant to ascribe a rare adverse event to a vaccine unless the FDA and CDC validate the association. Postvaccine neurological symptoms are relatively rare, and it is nearly impossible to conclude whether they were caused by the vaccines. Some patients who get infected with Covid also report developing neurological disorders after their illness. It’s unclear if these symptoms are more common after vaccination or infection, or if they have become more common during the pandemic than before.

More than 600 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been given in the U.S., so even a 1-in-100,000 adverse effect would result in 6,000 cases. Postvaccine neurological conditions appear most common in young and middle-aged women, the demographic most prone to autoimmune diseases.

It’s possible vaccines are the proximate but not the ultimate cause—that they trigger autoimmune conditions in patients with underlying genetic predispositions. That hypothesis is bolstered by the observations from the NIH’s informal study, which it published in a preprint paper on May 17, 2022. Of 23 patients studied, the median age was 40, and 21 were women. The paper concludes “that a variety of neuropathic symptoms may manifest after SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations and in some patients might be an immune-mediated process.” An NIH spokesperson says the observational study has concluded. In an April 25, 2023, article for the journal Neurology, Dr. Nath wrote that “there is a great need to conduct research for identifying the underlying factors and subcellular mechanisms that result in the neurological manifestations from vaccines.”

Ms. Dressen says institute scientists stopped corresponding with React19 members at the end of 2021. “Sorry, we do not have any clinical trial for such vaccine related complications. It is best for such patients to receive care from their local physicians,” Dr. Nath wrote Ms. Dressen on Dec. 15, 2021.

The NIH says the FDA and CDC are best able to address questions and concerns about possible vaccine side effects and that its clinical center is a research hospital, not a routine medical center.

FDA officials continued to meet and correspond regularly with React19 members until this past December. They still haven’t warned the public about potential vaccine-related neurological complications. “FDA has made us many, many promises, and I think they’ve followed up on one or two,” Ms. Dressen says. Public-health officials, she adds, have misled the public by claiming they have a robust system to identify rare adverse events from vaccine: “I trusted that these programs that they are telling the public are there, but they are not.”

Officials may worry that recognizing severe side effects will fuel vaccine opposition and hesitancy. But the lack of transparency can only feed public distrust. And the lack of recognition “has left us as further collateral damage from the pandemic,” Ms. Dressen says.

One silver lining is that advocacy is giving purpose to the lives of those who have been harmed. “I worked 12- to 14-hour days as a physician,” Dr. Hertz says. “Now I have a new job—advocating for the injured, helping them get medical care and treatment. People contact me every day. So I feel like I am helping and using my medical background to help people. This new job honestly saved my life.”




Sunday, May 14, 2023

Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccines Had No Effect on Overall Mortality: Trial Data Reanalysis

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines did not impact overall mortality, a reanalysis of clinical trial data found.

The two vaccines, both based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, protected against deaths from COVID-19 but that effect was offset by vaccinated trial participants being more likely to die from cardiovascular problems, Christine Stabell Benn, a health professor at the University of Southern Denmark, and other researchers reported in April in the Cell journal.

On the other hand, vaccines that utilized adenoviruses, such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, had a favorable impact on both COVID-19 mortality and overall mortality, according to the reanalysis.

The research analyzed data from randomized clinical trials (RCTs) reported by the companies that manufacture the vaccines.

“In the RCTs with the longest possible blinded follow-up, mRNA vaccines had no effect on overall mortality despite protecting against some COVID-19 deaths. On the other hand, the adenovirus-vector vaccines were associated with lower overall mortality,” researchers said.

“The differences in the effects of adenovirus-vector and mRNA vaccines on overall mortality, if true, would have a major impact on global health,” they added later.


Benn and colleagues took data from three RCTs for the mRNA vaccines and six RCTs for the adenovirus-vector vaccines that had mortality data available. They compared the overall deaths in the vaccinated arms with the placebo arms. They also broke deaths down into different categories: attributed to COVID-19, cardiovascular problems, other non-COVID-19 causes, accidents, and non-accident, non-COVID-19 causes.

“We extracted the number of deaths from the studies that led to approval of the new mRNA and adenovirus-vector COVID-19 vaccines. We calculated the relative risk of dying, overall, and for various causes of death, for each vaccine type,” Benn told The Epoch Times in an email.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the researchers found, were associated with lower COVID-19 mortality but higher cardiovascular and non-accident, non-COVID-19 mortality. There was no difference in overall mortality between the vaccinated arms and the placebo groups.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was associated with lower overall mortality and with lower non-COVID-19 mortality, with no effect on COVID-19 mortality. AstraZeneca’s shot, never authorized in the United States but cleared in some other countries, performed well against overall mortality and other categories across several trials, except for one trial where slightly more vaccinated people died from non-COVID causes or non-accident, non-COVID-19 causes.

“The results suggest that adenovirus-vector vaccines compared with placebo have beneficial non-specific effects, reducing the risk of non-COVID-19 diseases. The most important cause of non-COVID-19 death was cardiovascular disease, against which the data for the current RCTs suggest that the adenovirus-vector vaccines provide at least some protection,” researchers said.

They noted that trial populations were largely healthy adults and that in the real world, even mRNA vaccines were expected to reduce overall mortality. But “the intriguing differences in the effects on non-accident, non-COVID-19 mortality are likely to persist and should be investigated in future studies,” they added.

Overall mortality spiked in a number of highly vaccinated countries after the vaccines were rolled out, including the United States. Researchers are divided as to the causes, with some arguing the vaccines primarily drove the increases and others blaming COVID-19 and other factors.

The study was published ahead of peer review in 2022, but the authors struggled to find a journal that would accept the paper, Benn said. Several journals rejected it without explaining why, causing a delay in publication.

Immune System Impact

Several experts complimented the paper. “This is a good article that raises food for thought,” Dr. Peter Gotzsche, professor emeritus and director of the Institute for Scientific Freedom in Denmark, told The Epoch Times via email.

Gotzsche wrote about research conducted by Peter Aaby, one of Benn’s co-authors, in his book “Vaccines: Truth, Lies, and Controversy.” Some of Aaby’s other papers have supported the hypothesis that live attenuated vaccines like adenovirus vectors help decrease overall mortality while vaccines that contain the killed version of a germ that causes a disease increase total mortality.

Such “unexpected results” can complicate public health messaging, Gotzsche wrote.

Previous research, including a 2013 paper from Benn and Aaby, has suggested that some vaccines provide non-specific effects, or increased protection against unrelated pathogens. They posited that the adenovirus-vector COVID-19 vaccines might “prime the immune system in a way similar to a ‘live’ vaccine,” while noting that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines increase inflammation, which could lower the immune system’s protection against other illnesses.

Benn, Aaby, and other experts said in a separate paper in April that the current framework for testing and regulating vaccines needs to be updated because of how vaccines may impact the risk of contracting unrelated diseases.


Dr. David Boulware, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota’s Medical School, was among the critics of the new study. He told The Epoch Times in an email that it was poorly designed because of differences in where the trials were conducted. That’s because some countries, such as the United States, have better health care, he said.

The researchers acknowledged that might be true in the limitations section, writing that “differences between the study populations in the RCTs of the two vaccine types could have biased the comparison as different disease patterns and level of care could have influenced the measured effect of the vaccines on overall mortality.”

The researchers added: “More individuals were infected with COVID-19 in the mRNA RCTs than in the adenovirus-vector vaccine RCTs, but there were more COVID-19 deaths in the adenovirus-vector RCTs. This suggests that participants in the mRNA RCTs may have had access to better health care during COVID-19 infection, and this may have reduced the impact of mRNA vaccination on overall mortality.”

Boulware also said that real-world data “does not support the conclusions of the paper,” pointing to observational data from Israel and Minnesota. “Clearly the mRNA vaccines protect better against COVID than adenovirus vector vaccines,” he said.

Benn said the study was “built on a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled RCTs—the highest degree of evidence in the evidence pyramid.” and that the key point of focus was overall mortality.

“He is discussing COVID-19—we are studying all-cause mortality,” Benn said. “It is irrelevant if a vaccine protects better against COVID-19 than another vaccine, if it reduces overall mortality to a lesser degree—unless you think that COVID is worse than death.”


Judge Orders FDA to Speed Up Release of COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Data From 23.5 Years to Just 2

A federal judge in Texas this week ordered the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make public data it relied on to license COVID-19 vaccines—Moderna’s for adults and Pfizer’s for children—at an accelerated rate, requiring all documents to be made public by mid-2025 rather than, as the FDA wanted, over the course of around 23.5 years.

In a decision hailed as a win for transparency by the lawyer representing the plaintiffs (the parents of a child injured by a COVID-19 vaccine) in a lawsuit (pdf) against the FDA, the Texas judge ordered the FDA to produce the data about ten times faster than the agency wanted.

“Democracy dies behind closed doors,” is how U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman opened his order (pdf), issued on May 9, which requires the FDA to produce the data on Moderna’s and Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines at an average rate of at least 180,000 pages per month.

The FDA had argued it would be “impractical” to release the estimated 4.8 million pages at more than between 1,000 and 16,000 pages per month, which would have taken at least 23.5 years.

Aaron Siri of Siri & Glimstad, who represents the plaintiffs in the legal action against the FDA, called the decision “another blow for transparency and accountability” that builds on an earlier court order targeting Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine data for those aged 16 and older.

The January 2022 order (pdf), also issued by Pittman, forced the FDA to produce all its data on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 16 and older at a rate of 55,000 pages per month, or much faster than the 75 years the agency had sought.

“That production should be completed in a few more months,” Siri said in a statement, referring to the earlier Pfizer data for those aged 16 and up.

The latest order requires the FDA to produce all of its data on Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds (and Moderna’s product for adults) by June 31, 2025.

‘Stale Information Is of Little Value’

While the judge noted in his order that the court recognizes the FDA’s limited resources dedicated to freedom of information requests (FOIA), he argued that “the number of resources an agency dedicates to such requests does not dictate the bounds of an individual’s FOIA rights.”

“Instead, the Court must ensure that the fullest possible disclosure of the information sought is timely provided—as ‘stale information is of little value,'” Pittman wrote.

In order to ensure the FDA can meet the accelerated deadline—so around ten times faster than the agency wanted—the judge ordered the parties to the lawsuit to confer and submit a joint production schedule for the data by May 23, 2023.

In the earlier case adjudicated by Pittman, the FDA had argued it only had the bandwidth to review and release around 500 pages per month of an estimated total 450,000 pages of material about the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 16 and older.

The FDA has not disputed in either case that it has an obligation to make the information public but it has argued that its short-staffed FOIA office could not meet the pace of production sought by the plaintiffs.

The judge disagreed, arguing in both cases that the imperatives of transparency and accountability are of paramount importance.

In the January order, Pittman said that too much foot-dragging and secrecy on the part of federal agencies feeds conspiracy theories and reduces the public’s trust in government.

Confidence in the FDA over COVID-19 vaccine approvals was shaken by the disclosure that regulators sped up the approval of Pfizer’s vaccine.

Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic in March announced they were seeking answers after recently released emails indicated that the FDA rushed the approval of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to accommodate vaccine mandates.