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What’s the Truth About Covid Vaccines and Heart Attacks?

By Will Jones • The Daily Sceptic • November 27, 2021

A further three football players collapsed during play this week, bringing new interest to the question of what might be the connection between this unusually high number of on-field medical emergencies and the Covid vaccines. Football pundit Trevor Sinclair got into hot water for raising the question on-air, while scientists argued that the disturbing trend is more likely to be a consequence of Covid itself than the vaccines.

Presumably something lies behind the recent rise, which according to some analysts has involved 21 sudden deaths (most heart-related) of FIFA players so far in 2021, compared to around 4.2 in an average year (with a standard deviation of 2.0). Assuming this isn’t a reporting phenomenon, this is an extraordinary spike and highly statistically significant.

The two major unusual factors this year are the presence of SARS-CoV-2 and the Covid vaccination programme. However, only two such deaths were reported in 2020, when Covid was also around, which would seem to lend weight to a vaccine explanation.

The vaccines are known to affect the heart and cardiovascular system in some cases, which is why blood clots and heart inflammation (e.g. myocarditis) are among the side-effects listed and why a number of countries have ceased using some of the vaccines in younger age groups. This means the idea that there could be a link between an unusual spate of heart-related emergencies and the vaccines shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand.

On the other hand, some studies have shown that the risk of developing myocarditis is substantially higher following SARS-CoV-2 infection than vaccination.

A number of scientists have pointed out that insofar as cardiovascular problems arise from the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (and there seems to be some agreement that the spike protein is a large part of the causal story here) a bout of SARS-CoV-2 exposes the body to at least as much spike protein as a course of vaccination. Against that, those who suspect that the vaccines are playing a key role say that in fact most SARS-CoV-2 infections are not systemic but remain localised to the respiratory system, so have little impact on the cardiovascular system, whereas vaccination always allows the spike protein to have a systemic impact by gaining easy access to the bloodstream.

This matter would seem to merit much closer and more urgent attention than it appears to be receiving from regulators. It should be straightforward for those with access to the relevant data (most of which unfortunately is not publicly available) to analyse cardiovascular deaths according to vaccination status and prior infection status to see if there are patterns that may be a signal of concern.

An abstract appeared in the leading journal Circulation earlier this month which concluded: “The mRNA vaccines dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.” There was no study to accompany the abstract, however, and it has been heavily criticised by some specialists. Nonetheless, leading NHS Consultant Cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra stuck his neck out this week on GB News to reveal that a cardiology researcher colleague found similar results, but was not prepared to publish for fear of the repercussions for his or her career: “They aren’t going to publish their findings, they are concerned about losing research money.”

What are the wider trends in deaths?

Since July, ONS data shows there have been 20,823 excess deaths in England and Wales, with 11,531 involving Covid, leaving 9,292 excess deaths from other causes (if we make the conservative assumption that all Covid deaths are excess deaths).

Analysis of cause of death data for England shows that between July 4th and November 5th 2021 there have been 3,095 excess deaths involving heart failure, of which 854 could be put down to COVID-19, leaving 2,241 from other causes; 4,460 excess deaths involving ischaemic heart diseases, of which 1,413 could be Covid, leaving 3,047 from other causes; 1,307 excess deaths involving cerebrovascular diseases, of which 489 could be Covid, leaving 818 from other causes; and 8,109 excess deaths involving ‘other circulatory diseases’, of which 3,357 could be Covid, leaving 4,752 from other causes. These categories can overlap – a death certificate can mention more than one of them – so the figures can’t simply be added to get a grand total, and the underlying cause could be recorded as something different. Nonetheless, we are talking about thousands of additional cardiovascular deaths since the summer.

Despite this, ONS data shows that deaths where the underlying cause was cardiovascular have been below average in this period. At the same time, deaths where Covid is recorded as the underlying cause account for only a fraction of cardiovascular deaths in the period. So what was the underlying cause of all these excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions that weren’t Covid either? A query to the ONS came back suggesting that it was down to the significant excess in deaths where the underlying cause was recorded as “symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions”. In other words, we don’t really know. So according to official data, there have been thousands of excess deaths involving cardiovascular conditions in the past four months, but the underlying cause of many of those deaths is unknown. This would seem to warrant further investigation, and since the vaccines may be implicated, without delay.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

31,014 Deaths 2,890,600 Injuries Following COVID Shots in European Database of Adverse Reactions

Young, Previously Healthy People Continue to Die

By Brian Shilhavy | Health Impact News | November 28, 2021

The European Union database of suspected drug reaction reports is EudraVigilance, and they are now reporting 31,014 fatalities, and 2,890,600 injuries, following COVID-19 injections.

Health Impact News subscriber from Europe reminded us that this database maintained at EudraVigilance is only for countries in Europe who are part of the European Union (EU), which comprises 27 countries.

The total number of countries in Europe is much higher, almost twice as many, numbering around 50. (There are some differences of opinion as to which countries are technically part of Europe.)

So as high as these numbers are, they do NOT reflect all of Europe. The actual number in Europe who are reported dead or injured following COVID-19 shots would be much higher than what we are reporting here.

The EudraVigilance database reports that through November 20, 2021 there are 31,014 deaths and 2,890,600 injuries reported following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots:

From the total of injuries recorded, almost half of them (1,355,192) are serious injuries.

Seriousness provides information on the suspected undesirable effect; it can be classified as ‘serious’ if it corresponds to a medical occurrence that results in death, is life-threatening, requires inpatient hospitalisation, results in another medically important condition, or prolongation of existing hospitalisation, results in persistent or significant disability or incapacity, or is a congenital anomaly/birth defect.”

Health Impact News subscriber in Europe ran the reports for each of the four COVID-19 shots we are including here. It is a lot of work to tabulate each reaction with injuries and fatalities, since there is no place on the EudraVigilance system we have found that tabulates all the results.

Since we have started publishing this, others from Europe have also calculated the numbers and confirmed the totals.*

Here is the summary data through November 20, 2021.

Total reactions for the mRNA vaccine Tozinameran (code BNT162b2Comirnaty) from BioNTechPfizer: 14,526 deaths and 1,323,370 injuries to 20/11/2021

  • 35,826   Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 207 deaths
  • 40,230   Cardiac disorders incl. 2,128 deaths
  • 376        Congenital, familial and genetic disorders incl. 33 deaths
  • 17,995   Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 10 deaths
  • 1,217     Endocrine disorders incl. 5 deaths
  • 20,443   Eye disorders incl. 32 deaths
  • 110,658 Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 585 deaths
  • 337,450 General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 4,118 deaths
  • 1,502     Hepatobiliary disorders incl. 75 deaths
  • 14,528   Immune system disorders incl. 76 deaths
  • 53,108   Infections and infestations incl. 1561 deaths
  • 20,222   Injury, poisoning and procedural complications incl. 240 deaths
  • 33,067   Investigations incl. 451 deaths
  • 9,103     Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 249 deaths
  • 164,885 Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 179 deaths
  • 1,163     Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 114 deaths
  • 225,032 Nervous system disorders incl. 1,556 deaths
  • 1,851     Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 55 deaths
  • 206        Product issues incl. 2 deaths
  • 24,225   Psychiatric disorders incl. 174 deaths
  • 4,667     Renal and urinary disorders incl. 224 deaths
  • 43,949   Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 5 deaths
  • 57,013   Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 1,617 deaths
  • 62,414   Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 125 deaths
  • 2,765     Social circumstances incl. 19 deaths
  • 4,797     Surgical and medical procedures incl. 60 deaths
  • 34,678   Vascular disorders incl. 626 deaths

Total reactions for the mRNA vaccine mRNA-1273 (CX-024414) from Moderna: 8,518 deathand 390,163 injuries to 20/11/2021

  • 8,227     Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 94 deaths
  • 12,657   Cardiac disorders incl. 915 deaths
  • 156        Congenital, familial and genetic disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 4,698     Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 2 deaths
  • 348        Endocrine disorders incl. 3 deaths
  • 5,731     Eye disorders incl. 29 deaths
  • 32,091   Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 326 deaths
  • 104,720 General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 2,986 deaths
  • 644        Hepatobiliary disorders incl. 40 deaths
  • 3,820     Immune system disorders incl. 16 deaths
  • 14,668   Infections and infestations incl. 782 deaths
  • 8,158     Injury, poisoning and procedural complications incl. 162 deaths
  • 7,117     Investigations incl. 143 deaths
  • 3,703     Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 206 deaths
  • 47,355   Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 174 deaths
  • 531        Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 67 deaths
  • 66,320   Nervous system disorders incl. 823 deaths
  • 722        Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 6 deaths
  • 78           Product issues incl. 2 deaths
  • 7,100     Psychiatric disorders incl. 142 deaths
  • 2,277     Renal and urinary disorders incl. 164 deaths
  • 8,061     Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 7 deaths
  • 17,235   Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 914 deaths
  • 20,963   Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 76 deaths
  • 1,769     Social circumstances incl. 36 deaths
  • 1,374     Surgical and medical procedures incl. 78 deaths
  • 9,640     Vascular disorders incl. 319 deaths

Total reactions for the vaccine AZD1222/VAXZEVRIA (CHADOX1 NCOV-19) from Oxford/AstraZeneca6,145 deathand 1,075,335 injuries to 20/11/2021

  • 13,124   Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 248 deaths
  • 19,128   Cardiac disorders incl. 696 deaths
  • 195        Congenital familial and genetic disorders incl. 8 deaths
  • 12,669   Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 3 deaths
  • 597        Endocrine disorders incl. 4 deaths
  • 18,919   Eye disorders incl. 29 deaths
  • 102,402 Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 312 deaths
  • 283,288 General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 1,469 deaths
  • 950        Hepatobiliary disorders incl. 60 deaths
  • 4,834     Immune system disorders incl. 29 deaths
  • 32,441   Infections and infestations incl. 413 deaths
  • 12,358   Injury poisoning and procedural complications incl. 177 deaths
  • 23,611   Investigations incl. 150 deaths
  • 12,369   Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 91 deaths
  • 159,668 Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 94 deaths
  • 624        Neoplasms benign malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 22 deaths
  • 221,536 Nervous system disorders incl. 958 deaths
  • 521        Pregnancy puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 12 deaths
  • 188        Product issues incl. 1 death
  • 19,933   Psychiatric disorders incl. 58 deaths
  • 4,031     Renal and urinary disorders incl. 58 deaths
  • 15,124   Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 2 deaths
  • 37,980   Respiratory thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 735 deaths
  • 49,247   Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 48 deaths
  • 1,498     Social circumstances incl. 6 deaths
  • 1,404     Surgical and medical procedures incl. 25 deaths
  • 26,696   Vascular disorders incl. 437 deaths      

Total reactions for the COVID-19 vaccine JANSSEN (AD26.COV2.S) from Johnson & Johnson1,825 deaths and 101,732 injuries to 20/11/2021

  • 986        Blood and lymphatic system disorders incl. 40 deaths
  • 1,837     Cardiac disorders incl. 155 deaths
  • 35           Congenital, familial and genetic disorders
  • 1,033     Ear and labyrinth disorders incl. 2 deaths
  • 69           Endocrine disorders incl. 1 death
  • 1,351     Eye disorders incl. 7 deaths
  • 8,500     Gastrointestinal disorders incl. 75 deaths
  • 26,871   General disorders and administration site conditions incl. 488 deaths
  • 121        Hepatobiliary disorders incl. 11 deaths
  • 445        Immune system disorders incl. 9 deaths
  • 4,315     Infections and infestations incl. 143 deaths
  • 920        Injury, poisoning and procedural complications incl. 18 deaths
  • 4,766     Investigations incl. 103 deaths
  • 625        Metabolism and nutrition disorders incl. 45 deaths
  • 14,897   Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders incl. 43 deaths
  • 54           Neoplasms benign, malignant and unspecified (incl cysts and polyps) incl. 3 deaths
  • 20,097   Nervous system disorders incl. 197 deaths
  • 41           Pregnancy, puerperium and perinatal conditions incl. 1 death
  • 26           Product issues
  • 1,407     Psychiatric disorders incl. 16 deaths
  • 417        Renal and urinary disorders incl. 22 deaths
  • 2,059     Reproductive system and breast disorders incl. 6 deaths
  • 3,617     Respiratory, thoracic and mediastinal disorders incl. 234 deaths
  • 3,094     Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders incl. 8 deaths
  • 319        Social circumstances incl. 4 deaths
  • 690        Surgical and medical procedures incl. 54 deaths
  • 3,140     Vascular disorders incl. 140 deaths

*These totals are estimates based on reports submitted to EudraVigilance. Totals may be much higher based on percentage of adverse reactions that are reported. Some of these reports may also be reported to the individual country’s adverse reaction databases, such as the U.S. VAERS database and the UK Yellow Card system. The fatalities are grouped by symptoms, and some fatalities may have resulted from multiple symptoms.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

Memo to the Guardian: Have you muzzled the facts on masks?

By David Seedhouse | TCW Defending Freedom | November 27, 2021

This is an open letter to Andrew Gregory, Health Editor of the Guardian. 

Dear Andrew,

We are a group of citizens dedicated to promoting a more open, democratic society. We have tried to contact you on several occasions without success, so we have published this open letter in the hope you will see it and reply.

On November 18, you published a story with the headline: ‘Mask-wearing cuts Covid incidence by 53%, says global study.’

The sub-heading was: ‘Researchers said results highlight the need to continue with face coverings, social distancing and handwashing alongside vaccine programmes’.

We were struck by this, since it goes against a substantial body of evidence that concludes that mask-wearing offers little if any protection against viruses, for example these studies https://swprs.org/face-masks-evidence/ https://www.professorhinkley.com/blog/sorry-oregon-your-mask-is-useless-according-to-the-sciencehttps://www.city-journal.org/do-masks-work-a-review-of-the-evidence.

You did not reference the paper on which you base your article but an internet search reveals it. (Stella Talic corresponding author). You paraphrase uncritically: ‘Vaccines are safe and effective and saving lives around the world. But … it is not yet known if jabs will prevent future transmission of emerging coronavirus variants …

‘Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53 per cent reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing …’

We find it puzzling that you did not mention that ten days earlier the CATO Institute (an American libertarian think-tank) published a 61-page working paper entitled: Evidence for Community Cloth Face Masking to Limit the Spread of SARS-CoV 2: A Critical Review.

It tentatively concluded: ‘Of 16 quantitative meta-analyses, eight were equivocal or critical as to whether evidence supports a public recommendation of masks, and the remaining eight supported a public mask intervention on limited evidence, primarily on the basis of the precautionary principle.’ 

Given this striking incongruity, we have ten questions:

1. Have you read the Talic paper?

2. Do you agree that it is an exaggeration to describe it as a ‘global study’?

3. Have you read the associated British Medical Journal editorial?

4. Do you agree that your headline: ‘Mask-wearing cuts Covid incidence by 53%, says global study’ is misleading?

5. Were you aware of this when you chose the heading?

6. Why has the Guardian not published the results of the many studies which say there is no evidence of benefit and some evidence of harm?

7. Do you agree that professional journalism requires balance, in the public interest?

8. Would a more accurate headline be: ‘The majority of randomised controlled trials fail to establish that wearing face masks protects anyone against viruses’?

9. Is the Guardian’s policy to publish only information that supports a particular set of beliefs?

10. Are you prepared publicly to debate this matter?

Here is a little more detail about our concerns. The CATO meta-analysis states: ‘In non-healthcare settings, of the 14 RCTs (randomised control trials) identified by the authors that evaluated face mask efficacy compared to no-mask controls in protecting against respiratory infections other than Covid-19, 13 failed to find statistically significant benefits … of eight RCTs that evaluated face mask efficacy against respiratory illness transmission in non-healthcare household settings, all eight failed to find a statistically significant benefit for the use of face masks alone …’

This gives a very different picture from the one your newspaper article presented.

Talic et al claim to have screened 36,729 papers, but found only six on masks they considered eligible for inclusion. Yet an internet search reveals numerous relevant research articles. How can the authors have overlooked this, and how can their conclusion be true given the many other conflicting studies?

We dug a little deeper and found that several of the papers cited by Talic et al are telephone surveys covering multiple variables, with questionable methodology.

For example, one study investigated the effectiveness of mask-wearing in families in their homes of laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases in Beijing and concluded that face mask use was ’79 per cent effective in reducing transmission’.

Strangely, the paper contains a passage that seems to undermine the whole study: ‘As the compliance of UFMU (universal face mask use) would be poor in the home, there was difficulty and also no necessity for everyone to wear masks at home …’

This seems to imply that the use of face masks by family members in their households included in the study was sporadic and that therefore the study has no scientific merit.

Equally strange, one of six papers referenced in the Talic paper is the Danish RCT mask study, which the authors presumably included to support their conclusions, even though it doesn’t. In fact, the study was inconclusive (a difference of between 1.8 per cent and 2.1 per cent)

Even more peculiar, the Talic article is linked in the BMJ to an editorial published simultaneously which directly refutes the claim of a 53 per cent reduction in Covid incidence.

It says: ‘Face masks seem to have a real but small effect for wearer and source control, although final conclusions should await full reports of the trials from Bangladesh and Guinea-Bissau.

‘However, the quality of the current evidence would be graded – by GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations) criteria – as low or very low, as it consists of mainly observational studies with poor methods (biases in measurement of outcomes, classification of PHSM – Public Health and Social Measures – and missing data), and high heterogeneity of effect size. More and better research are needed.’ 

How can such inconsistencies be overlooked by a senior editor of a quality broadsheet?

Signed

Professor David Seedhouse, BSc (Hons), PhD

Bruce Luffman

Sarah Goode, PhD

Alex Thorn

Simon Fletcher

Sandy French

Fiona Swan, LLB, Solicitor (Rtd.)

Monica Coyle

Daphne Havercroft, Project Management Professional (PMP)®
Phil Button, BSc, MBCS

Professor Chris Jesshope, BSc Hons (Mathematics), MSc (computer science), PhD (electronics)

Philip Morkel, Managing Director Engineering Services, Law Degree, MBA, S/W Project management

Tony Woodcock

Dr Damien Bush, MA, VetMB, Cert. SAS, MRCVS, RCVS, Recognised Advanced Practitioner Small Animal Surgery

Neil Sherry

Michael Welby

Shirley Dudfield

Maddy Conway

Peter Whitehead

Vanessa Peutherer, Author, Learning & Development Consultant (Health Care Ethics), RGN, ENG, ENB (Rtd)

Michael Philips, BSc (Hons) Mathematics

Edina Atkinson

Adam Mockett, BA (Hons)

Mike Davies, Project Manager (Rtd)

Alex Camm MPhil, CQSW

Susan James, FCILEX

Myra Forster-van Hijfte, DVM, CertVR CertSAM, DipECVIM, FRCVS

Dr. Jo-Ann van Eijck, Ph.D, Former Associate Professor at University of Hong Kong

Helen Myles, BSc (Hons) Maths and Psychology

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | 1 Comment

With Democrat Back in White House, MSNBC Returns to Ignoring U.S.-Backed War in Yemen

By Adam Johnson | The Column | November 24, 2021

A review of MSNBC’s coverage from Nov. 3, 2020 to Nov. 22, 2021 shows MSNBC hasn’t run a single segment on the U.S.-backed war still raging in Yemen.

To the extent MSNBC did cover Yemen’s “civil war” during this time frame it was exclusively to pass along, without skepticism, claims last spring from Democrats that President Biden had “ended U.S. support for the war”—which turned out to not be true in any meaningful sense, a fact evident at the time but not met with any questioning from MSNBC reporters or pundits.

Since then, it’s become increasingly clear little has changed in the status quo. While the U.S. has halted some forms of assistance, like mid-air refueling of aircraft, other forms of vital participation remain, including: green-lighting of weapons transfers, maintaining spare parts for Saudi war planes, sharing some forms of intelligence, and training the Royal Saudi Navy, which is enforcing a catastrophic blockade on Yemen.

And then there is the political cover that the Biden administration is giving the Saudi-led coalition, a vital form of support that noted in September by Annelle R. Sheline and Bruce Riedel at The Brookings Institute—hardly a far-left bastion of anti-imperial polemic:

Biden’s broken promise on Yemen

… Unfortunately, Biden’s approach is fatally flawed. The president stated that he would “end U.S. support for offensive operations in Yemen.” Yet the Saudi-led war on Yemen by definition, is an offensive operation. Saudi Arabia is bombing and blockading another country: Between March 2015 and July 2021, the Saudis conducted a minimum of 23,251 air raids, which killed or injured 18,616 civilians. The Houthis, known formally as Ansarallah, launch missiles in retaliation but if Saudi airstrikes ceased, the Houthis would have little reason to provoke their powerful neighbor. As long as the U.S. materially and rhetorically backs the Saudis’ war of choice, Biden’s assertion that the U.S. would end support for offensive operations is a lie.

The second crucial flaw in Biden’s approach is that he did not call for an immediate end to the Saudi blockade of Yemen. The blockade primarily blocks fuel from entering the Houthi-controlled Hodeida port; the Saudis also prevent the use of Sanaa International Airport. Blockades cannot be defensive: they are offensive operations, and therefore U.S. involvement should have ended following Biden’s declaration in February. The U.S. tacitly cooperated with the blockade by not challenging it, and the U.S. Navy occasionally announces it has intercepted smuggled weapons from Iran, suggesting a more active role than the administration admits. Congress should investigate.

Just this week, the Biden White House and State Department announced the US will be selling another $650 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia, hiding behind the nonsensical talking point that the weapons are “purely defensive.”

There was a time when MSNBC media personalities did act like they cared about what the UN calls the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster,” which has killed almost a quarter of a million people.

MSNBC ignored the war almost completely during the Obama years and early Trump years. But after the Saudi coalition bombed a school bus in August 2018, and Saudi dictator Mohammad bin Salman ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, they—like much of the U.S. media—finally began reporting on the regime’s human rights abuses. For a while.

MSNBC ran multiple segments on the war in the second half of 2018 when it was considered very much Trump’s war.

After this spasm of concern in late 2018, the coverage largely died out. As I noted in FAIR at the time, when activist pressure to pass a resolution compelling an end to U.S. support for the war was at its most urgent in March 2019, MSNBC ignored the effort altogether. There was a brief aside about Trump’s veto of said Yemen war powers act by Rachel Maddow on April 16, 2019, but it amounted to little more than a passing mention.

The next—and it turns out last—time an actual segment aired on the Yemen war was on Morning Joe in July 2020. This report, by NBC News’ Keir Simmons, did mention the war and the U.S.’s role in it, with a focus on how Covid was killing Yemenis. But since the July 2020 Morning Joe report, there have been no segments aired on MSNBC about the U.S.-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen.

In over 18 months, our nominally progressive cable network has not dedicated a single news report, roundtable debate, or segment to the world’s worst humanitarian disaster, which continues to be aided and armed by the U.S. government. When it was Trump’s war—and the Saudi regime fell out of favor with U.S. elites—their hearts bled. Now that we’re back to business as usual and the war is being armed and supported by a Democratic White House, it’s simply a non-issue.

In February 2021, President Joe Biden announced the U.S. was ending its support for “offensive” operations in Yemen, a deliberately vague and ultimately meaningless distinction that appears to have been designed to confuse progressives into declaring victory and moving on. Much to the White House’s liking, one can assume, the gambit seems to have worked, with MSNBC shelving the issue altogether and treating the U.S.-funded and backed war crime like it was wrapped up and out of our hands.

But it’s far from it. At any time, the Biden administration could cancel a U.S. program that provides maintenance for Saudi warplanes, the same warplanes that are still dropping bombs on civilians, including the recent bombing of a plastics factory in Sana’a. The Biden administration could reject the sale of U.S. air-to-air missiles, which can be used to shoot down airplanes and are one more tool the Saudi-led coalition can use to menace humanitarian workers who want to deliver supplies, or people trying to get their ill loved ones out of the country for treatment. And, it is an extremely low bar, but, at any point, Biden could clarify what is meant by support for “defensive” operations, and disclose the full extent of U.S. participation in the blockade, something he has repeatedly declined to do, even after 16 senators requested more transparency and robust action. These are all things the Biden administration is declining to do, thereby providing material and political support that is contributing to Saudi Arabia’s ability to continue the war.

After his six-month period in 2018 of breathlessly and repeatedly pronouncing the urgency of the issue, Chris Hayes’ show ‘All In’ has not run a segment on Yemen at all since December 2018.

Hayes hasn’t even mentioned the topic on Twitter since Biden took office Jan 20, 2021.

Mehdi Hasan, a consistent, long-time critic of Saudi Arabia and the war prior to joining MSNBC Feb 28 2021, did a segment on his online-only Peacock show after the election on Dec. 3 featuring prominent Yemen war critics Prof. Shireen Al-Adeimi and journalist Spencer Ackerman. In this segment, Hasan suggests in his opening that a Biden presidency would turn a page on the U.S.-Saudi relationship and end the war, neither of which happened (though both of his guests expressed profound skepticism). Also on his Peacock online-only show, he asked questions about continued U.S. support for Saudi Arabia, some quite skeptical, to guests Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) in April 2021 and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) in May 2021. But none of this was on his main cable show on MSNBC.

Hasan has not done a single segment on the Yemen war for his MSNBC show since his show first aired Feb 28 2021. On March 14 2021, he did ask White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain about the White House going soft on Saudi Arabia in general and in a one “minute rant” from May 2021, Hasan did take about 6 seconds to mention the U.S. selling arms to Saudi Arabia that are used in Yemen.

But this is the full extent of Hasan’s—and thus MSNBC’s—Yemen coverage. It goes without saying that multimillionaire MSNBC personalities Lawrence O’Donnell and Rachel Maddow haven’t done any segments on the war since Biden took office because, in the more than six years since it’s been raging, they haven’t mentioned it at all. To their credit, at least their indifference to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis isn’t motivated by partisan gotchas—they just don’t care in general.

In November 2020, Hasan insisted “we” needed to hold Biden to his promises that he would end US support for the war in Yemen.

Now that it’s been over a year since Biden’s election, and the U.S. is openly backing the Saudi blockade starving Yemenis, selling $650 million weapons to Saudi Arabia just this week, and continues to back SaudiArabia at the UN, perhaps media personalities with large platforms at nominally progressive cable networks should do just that.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

The Moral Panic Over Absinthe Lasted 100 Years

BY JEFFREY A. TUCKER | THE BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE | NOVEMBER 28, 2021

Last week, I showed up to a nice party with a bottle of Absinthe. I like the stuff but I was also performing an experiment. How long before someone at the party asks if Absinthe causes hallucinations and was thereby banned? It didn’t take long. The question came up repeatedly. What is the ingredient in this that is highly suspect? Oh yes, it’s wormwood. What is wormwood anyway? Is it like heroin?

So it went. And so it has been for the better part of one-hundred years. There is absolutely no medical basis for this at all. Wormwood has been used as a medicinal herb since the ancient world, and there is a great deal of legend surrounding it, but there is zero evidence that it has any hallucinogenic properties at all.

Incredibly, some research suggests that wormwood is possibly an early treatment for Covid that inhibits the reproduction of SARS-CoV-2!

What about the belief that it was banned? It was indeed banned, over most of the Western world since the late 19th century. It was only relegalized for import into the United States in 2007. Now there are micro-distilleries all over the country that make the real thing, the exact drink about which Oscar Wilde wrote:

After the first glass of absinthe you see things as you wish they were. After the second you see them as they are not. Finally you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world. I mean disassociated. Take a top hat. You think you see it as it really is. But you don’t because you associate it with other things and ideas. If you had never heard of one before, and suddenly saw it alone, you’d be frightened, or you’d laugh. That is the effect absinthe has, and that is why it drives men mad. Three nights I sat up all night drinking absinthe, and thinking that I was singularly clear-headed and sane. The waiter came in and began watering the sawdust.The most wonderful flowers, tulips, lilies and roses, sprang up, and made a garden in the cafe. “Don’t you see them?” I said to him. “Mais non, monsieur, il n’y a rien.”

Kind of makes you want to go out and buy a bottle right now. Fortunately you can, because your right to drink it has been restored. The century-old moral panic is over. However, with that change, some of the cachet has been drained away from this yummy drink, which, as it turns out, is just a drink like any other: if you drink too much, you get drunk. Nothing special here.

The irony of the history here is that it was precisely the dire warnings, first issued in French medical journals in the mid 19th century, that created the vast demand for absinthe all over Europe and America. Dangerous drink? Bring it on. The British medical journals seemed to agree that absinthe was highly dangerous, citing this strange experiment from 1869:

The question whether absinthe exerts any special action other than that of alcohol in general, has been revived by some experiments by MM. Magnan and Bouchereau in France. These gentlemen placed a guinea-pig under a glass case with a saucer full of essence of wormwood (which is one of the flavouring matters of absinthe) by his side. Another guinea-pig was similarly shut up with a saucer full of pure alcohol. A cat and a rabbit were respectively enclosed along with a saucer each full of wormwood. The three animals which inhaled the vapours of wormwood experienced, first, excitement, and then epileptiform convulsions. The guinea-pig which merely breathed the fumes of alcohol, first became lively, then simply drunk. Upon these facts it is sought to establish the conclusion that the effects of excessive absinthe drinking are seriously different from those of ordinary alcoholic intemperance.

You can imagine, then, why that generation of artists, poets, playwrights, and literary gadabouts immediately seized on this drink and caused it to be the most fashionable in the land, spreading the plague of absinthism far and wide. Paintings, poetry, music were written in homage to the great muse of the green fairy. No doubt that people believed it, just as Dumbo thought it was the feather that made him fly.

At the height of the absinthe mania in France, 5:00pm became known as “the green hour.” The French were drinking 5 times as much absinthe as wine. The French producers were shipping all over the world. It became the world’s most notorious drink.

Here we have a classic case: science speaks of danger, daring people jump on the trend, moralists get outraged, government acts. That is precisely the situation that lasted for 100 years until it became rather obvious that absinthe is just a normal liquor.

The reason it gained the reputation for making people insane – Vincent Van Gogh, for example – is that highly fashionable people were drinking far too much. It was a classic fallacy: post hoc ergo propter hoc. A confusion of cause and effect. That was enough to effect a century of prohibition.

Here is another article from The Lancet in 1873 about the vast multitudes of “victims of absinthe.”

Originally the only important ingredient in its composition, besides alcohol, was the essential oil of absinthium, or wormwood; and though, doubtless, this added something to the mischievous effects of the liquor, it would be impossible to trace to it, or to the other comparatively trivial ingredients, the more serious of the special results which are now observed to occur in the victims of absinthe. An analysis recently made at the Conservatoire des Arts shows that the absinthe now contains a large proportion of antimony, a poison which cannot fail to add largely to the irritant effects necessarily produced on the alimentary canal and the liver by constant doses of a concentrated alcoholic liquid. As at present constituted, therefore, and especially when drunk in the disastrous excess now common in Paris, and taken frequently upon an empty stomach, absinthe forms a chronic poison of almost unequalled virulence, both as an irritant to the stomach and bowels, and also as a destroyer of the nervous system.

Science has spoken. What can you do but ban it? That didn’t happen until 1915 (the same few years in which every terrible trend in politics happened, from income taxation to central banking).

By then, the drink became associated with elaborate rituals that survive to this day, such as the slow-drip fountain that pours over a special steel spoon that holds a sugar cube. So far as I can tell, the ritual is entirely for show (if you want a bit of sweet in your drink, just add simple syrup) but it’s also enormously fun to reenact the faux-decadence of the absinthe generation. Even now, Amazon offers many absinthe fountains, most in the Victorian style of course.

The war on absinthe – this won’t surprise you – created the opposite of its intended effect. It raised the status of the drink and created a completely unwarranted hysteria in both directions: overconsumption followed by bans followed by speakeasy indulgence. Can you think of anything else, perhaps, that has fit that general model? Marijuana perhaps? Liquor in general? Tobacco? Politically incorrect speech?

Bans stemming from moral panics never seem to end, and people never seem to learn from this classic example. But in this case, the bans gradually came to an end. We’ve lived a full fifteen years of Absinthe freedom. And sure enough, with that freedom has come a bit of blase attitude toward it. Now it sits on the shelf in the liquor store as just another cocktail mixture, alongside the elderflower liqueurs and peach schnapps. It is said to be favored by people on the Keto diet because of its low-carb, low-sugar content.

And yet, to this day, you will still find people who drink it only with great apprehension and with some anticipation that they will soon not be themselves once it is tasted. Drink enough of it, and it will become true. The same is the case with gin, tequila, and rum.

There is surely another lesson here. Science has long served to back public panic, and that panic usually involves some fear of physical and moral corruption. We saw it with Absinthe, and then alcohol Prohibition. We saw it with AIDS. And we’ve lived through it with Covid and all the variants (Omicron!), as a naive public held closely to the words of Anthony Fauci, as the nation’s poet-prophet of a respiratory virus held court for two years, with changing instructions and never-ending insight about the need for all of us to upend our lives to control the invisible enemy.

It’s my habit, and maybe it should be yours, to celebrate every bit of freedom we gain back from the armies of authoritarians who wield the power of the state to improve our health and our lives. It took one hundred years, but they finally got their mitts off this one market. The research suggesting wormwood as a Covid treatment merits a visit from the green fairy as soon as possible.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | 1 Comment

Is everyone a Russian agent now?

RT | November 28, 2021

In recent years, governments have created armies of online warriors designed to fact-check alleged Russian ‘disinformation.’ Worryingly, these guardians of the truth are often more dangerous than the threat they claim to combat.

Most analysts grounded in reality accept that Russia is not about to invade Ukraine. Still, the breathless speculation to the contrary in much of the Western media this month has had the virtue of concentrating a few minds. Suddenly alert to the seriousness of the situation, a few of the more sensible commentators have come to the conclusion that the West ought perhaps to reconsider its policy towards Ukraine. The result has been an outpouring of bile that brings to light the difficulty of having an intelligent conversation on anything involving Russia.

A case in point is the reaction to an article last week by the RAND Corporation’s Samuel Charap. Writing for Politico, Charap suggested that the United States should help end the war in eastern Ukraine by using its leverage to persuade the Ukrainian government to fulfil its obligations under the 2015 Minsk II agreement, according to which Ukraine is meant to grant “special status” – i.e. political autonomy – to the rebel region of Donbass.

This is hardly a novel proposal. Others have been saying the same thing for several years. But the RAND Corporation, for which Charap works, has long been considered the intellectual heart of the American military industrial complex. This gave his article a certain oomph, being seen in some circles as a betrayal of Ukraine from within the core of the American system.

While some people welcomed Charap’s piece, others were furious. Comparisons with Hitler were soon spreading over the internet. Stephen Blank of the Center for European Policy Analysis – a think tank funded by the likes of Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and the US Department of Defense – penned an article in which he claimed that “Appeasement of Russia would deliver exactly the same outcome as the betrayal of Czechoslovakia at Munich – dishonor and disaster.” “The consequences of following Charap’s advice,” says Blank, would be no less than “the dismantling of the post-Cold War settlement. … The international rules-based order would end.”

Others were not content with mere hyperbole, and sought instead to name and shame the appeasers who had had the temerity to promote Charap’s article. An example was the Ukrainian information warfare outfit Stop Fake which produced a hit piece entitled ‘Are we ready to die for Kyiv? How Twitter is helping to push the West towards surrendering Ukraine.’ In this, Stop Fake denounced journalists who had tweeted links to Charap’s essay, saying that “Kremlin-friendly actors turned it into a mainstream theme.”

Among the “Kremlin-friendly actors,” Stop Fake singled out RT’s Bryan MacDonald, The Independent’s Mary Dejevsky, Meduza’s Kevin Rothrock, Latvian-based Russian journalist Leonid Ragozin, bne Intellinews’s Ben Aris, and the Atlantic Council’s Emma Ashford. One can see why Ukrainian info-warriors might have a beef with someone from RT, and it’s probably fair to say that Dejevsky is relatively fair to Russia as British journalists go. But Stop Fake’s attempts to portray its targets as propagators of “Kremlin metanarratives” is absurd.

Rothrock’s Meduza, for instance, is decidedly hostile to the Russian government. So too is Ragozin, who has often used Twitter to boost the cause of imprisoned activist Alexey Navalny. This, however, didn’t prevent Stop Fake from denouncing him as “just another Kremlin mouthpiece.” And as far as NATO lobby group the Atlantic Council is concerned, to call it “Kremlin-friendly” is like praising cats as “mouse-friendly.” Ridiculous doesn’t begin to describe Stop Fake’s position.

Unfortunately, though, it’s pretty much par for the course for the organization, as for so many others who make up what one might call the “disinformation industry” – that is to say the large and well-funded network of institutions that has sprung up in the past five or six years to supposedly protect democratic societies from the insidious danger of foreign “influence operations.”

Although these institutions purport to be doing valuable work exposing “fake news,” analysis of their output reveals that much of what they produced is decidedly biased. Their own opinions are taken for absolute truth, and anything that disagrees with their interpretation of reality is denounced as “disinformation.” In the process, these organizations spread disinformation of their own.

A report by British academics, for instance, determined that, “The EU’s main task force for fighting Russian disinformation is in danger of becoming a source for disinformation itself, and so of skewing policy decisions in the EU and the UK, as well as distorting public discourse throughout Europe.” The EU’s disinformation outfit, EUvsDisinfo, was guilty of “blatant distortion,” said the report, adding that “the EU is not alone” in this regard.

Indeed, one can find many examples beyond Stop Fake and EUvsDisinfo. The problem is that the disinformation industry does not for the most part consist of independent researchers objectively determining the accuracy of what appears in the media and on the internet. Rather, many of its members are political activists pursuing an extreme agenda and using their power and influence to attempt to silence those who do not agree one hundred percent with them. In this sense, the disinformation industry is quite dangerous. By supporting it, states are elevating entirely unsuitable persons to the position of semi-official guardians of the truth, in the process severely constraining the parameters of public debate.

Take, for instance, the issue of Russia and Ukraine. As the reaction to Charap’s article shows, even people who are far from being “Kremlin-friendly” find themselves being denounced as such if they deviate even slightly from the preferred narrative. This serves to silence voices urging restraint and to block any proposals which offer a peaceful solution to the war in Donbass, on the dubious grounds that any move towards peace is a dissemination of “Kremlin metanarratives.”

Since Donald Trump’s election as US president in 2016, much of the Western world has been in the grip of exaggerated fear of foreign “influence” and “disinformation.” To combat this, governments have empowered zealots who do their utmost to maintain a constant state of international tension. Sadly, as the Ukrainian example shows, the cure is proving to be even worse than the disease.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Russophobia | | Leave a comment

The Cynical and Dangerous Weaponization of the “White Supremacist” Label

By Glenn Greenwald | November 27, 2021

Within hours of the August 25, 2020, shootings in Kenosha, Wisconsin — not days, but hours — it was decreed as unquestioned fact in mainstream political and media circles that the shooter, Kyle Rittenhouse, was a “white supremacist.” Over the next fifteen months, up to and including his acquittal by a jury of his peers on all charges, this label was applied to him more times than one can count by corporate media outlets as though it were proven fact. Indeed, that Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist” was deemed so unquestionably true that questioning it was cast as evidence of one’s own racist inclinations (defending a white supremacist).

Yet all along, there was never any substantial evidence, let alone convincing proof, that it was true. This fact is, or at least should be, an extraordinary, even scandalous, event: a 17-year-old was widely vilified as being a white supremacist by a union of national media and major politicians despite there being no evidence to support the accusation. Yet it took his acquittal by a jury who heard all the evidence and testimony for parts of the corporate press to finally summon the courage to point out that what had been Gospel about Rittenhouse for the last fifteen months was, in fact, utterly baseless.

Washington Post news article was published late last week that was designed to chide “both sides” for exploiting the Rittenhouse case for their own purposes while failing to adhere carefully to actual facts. Ever since the shootings in Kenosha, they lamented, “Kyle Rittenhouse has been a human canvas onto which the nation’s political divisions were mapped.” In attempting to set the record straight, the Post article contained this amazing admission:

As conservatives coalesced around the idea of Rittenhouse as a blameless defender of law and order, many on the left just as quickly cast him as the embodiment of the far-right threat. Despite a lack of evidence, hundreds of social media posts immediately pinned Rittenhouse with extremist labels: white supremacist, self-styled militia member, a “boogaloo boy” seeking violent revolution, or part of the misogynistic “incel” movement.

“On the left he’s become a symbol of white supremacy that isn’t being held accountable in the United States today,” said Becca Lewis, a researcher of far-right movements and a doctoral candidate at Stanford University. “You see him getting conflated with a lot of the police officers who’ve shot unarmed Black men and with Trump himself and all these other things. On both sides, he’s become a symbol much bigger than himself.”

Soon after the shootings, then-candidate Joe Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that Rittenhouse was allegedly part of a militia group in Illinois. In the next sentence, Biden segued to criticism of Trump and hate groups: “Have you ever heard this president say one negative thing about white supremacists?

Valuable though this rather belated admission is, there were two grand ironies about this passage. The first is that The Post itself was one of the newspapers which published multiple articles and columns applying this evidence-free “white supremacist” label to Rittenhouse. Indeed, four days after this admission by The Post‘s newsroom, their opinion editors published an op-ed by Robert Jones that flatly asserted the very same accusation which The Post itself says is bereft of evidence: “Despite his boyish white frat boy appearance, there was plenty of evidence of Rittenhouse’s deeper white supremacist orientation.” In other words, Post editors approved publication of grave accusations which, just four days earlier, their own newsroom explicitly stated lacked evidence.

The second irony is that while the Post article lamented everyone else’s carelessness with the facts of this case, the publication itself — while purporting to fact-check the rest of the world — affirmed one of the most common falsehoods: namely, that Rittenhouse carried a gun across state lines. The article thus now carries this correction at the top: “An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Kyle Rittenhouse brought his AR-15 across state lines. He has testified that he picked up the weapon from a friend’s house in Wisconsin. This article has been corrected.”

It continues to be staggering how media outlets which purport to explain the Rittenhouse case get caught over and over spreading utter falsehoods about the most basic facts of the case, proving they did not watch the trial or learn much about what happened beyond what they heard in passing from like-minded liberals on Twitter. There is simply no way to have paid close attention to this case, let alone have watched the trial, and believe that he carried a gun across state lines, yet this false assertion made it past numerous Post reporters, editors and fact-checkers purporting to “correct the record” about this case. Yet again, we find that the same news outlets which love to accuse others of “disinformation” — and want the internet censored in the name of stopping it — frequently pontificate on topics about which they know nothing, without the slightest concern for whether or not it is true.

Those who continue to condemn Rittenhouse as a white supremacist — including the author of The Post op-ed published four days after the paper concluded the accusation was baseless — typically point to his appearance at a bar in January, 2021, for a photo alongside members of the Proud Boys in which he was photographed making the “okay” sign. That once-common gesture, according to USA Today, “has become a symbol used by white supremacists.” Rittenhouse insists that the appearance was arranged by his right-wing attorneys Lin Wood and John Pierce — whom he quickly fired and accused of exploiting him for fund-raising purposes — and that he had no idea that the people with whom he was posing for a photo were Proud Boys members (“I thought they were just a bunch of, like, construction dudes based on how they looked”), nor had he ever heard that the “OK” sign was a symbol of “white power.”

Rittenhouse’s denial about this once-benign gesture seems shocking to people who spend all their days drowning in highly politicized Twitter discourse — where such a claim is treated as common knowledge — but is completely believable for the vast majority of Americans who do not. In fact, the whole point of the adolescent 4chan hoax was to convert one of the most common and benign gestures into a symbol of white power so that anyone making it would be suspect. As The New York Times recounted, the gesture has long been “used for several purposes in sign languages, and in yoga as a symbol to demonstrate inner perfection. It figures in an innocuous made-you-look game. Most of all, it has been commonly used for generations to signal ‘O.K.,’ or all is well.”

But whatever one chooses to believe about that episode is irrelevant to whether these immediate declarations of Rittenhouse’s “white supremacy” were valid. That bar appearance took place in January, 2021 — five months after the Kenosha shootings. Yet Rittenhouse was instantly declared to be a “white supremacist” — and by “instantly,” I mean: within hours of the shooting. “A 17 year old white supremacist domestic terrorist drove across state lines, armed with an AR 15,” was how Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) described Rittenhouse the next day in a mega-viral tweet; her tweet consecrated not only this “white supremacist” accusation which persisted for months, but also affirmed the falsehood that he crossed state lines with an AR-15. It does not require an advanced degree in physics to understand that his posing for a photo in that bar with Proud Boys members, flashing the OK sign, five months later in January, 2021, could not serve as a rational evidentiary basis for Rep. Pressley’s accusation the day after the shootings that he was a “white supremacist,” nor could it serve as the justification for five consecutive months of national media outlets accusing him of the same. Unless his accusers had the power to see into the future, they branded him a white supremacist with no basis whatsoever — or, as The Post put it this week, “despite a lack of evidence.”

The only other “evidence” ever cited to support the rather grave accusation that this 17-year-old is a “white supremacist” were social media postings of his in which he expressed positive sentiments toward the police and then-President Trump, including with the phrase “Blue Lives Matter.” That was all that existed — the entirety of the case — that led the most powerful media outlets and politicians to stamp on this adolescent’s forehead the gravest accusation one can face in American culture. This is really the heart of the matter: this episode vividly demonstrates how cheapened and emptied and cynically wielded this “white supremacist” slogan has become. The oft-implicit but sometimes-explicit premise in liberal discourse is that everyone who deviates in any way from liberal dogma is a white supremacist by definition.

Within this rubric, perhaps the most decisive “evidence” that one is a white supremacist is that one supports the Republican Party and former President Trump — i.e., that half of the voting electorate in the U.S. at least are white supremacists. A subsidiary assumption is that anyone who views the police as a necessary, positive force in U.S. society is inherently guilty of racism (it is fine to revere federal policing agencies such as the FBI and other federal security forces such as the CIA, as most Democrats do; the hallmark of a white supremacist is someone who believes that the local police — the ones who show up when citizens call 911 — is a generally positive rather than negative force in society).

An illustration of how casually and recklessly this accusation is tossed around occurred last year, shortly after the George Floyd killing, when my long-time friend and colleague, Intercept journalist Lee Fang, was widely vilified as a racist and white supremacist, first by his own Intercept colleague, journalist Akela Lacy, and then — in one of the most stunningly mindless acts of herd behavior — by literally hundreds if not thousands of members of the national press, including many who barely knew who Lee was but nonetheless were content to echo the accusation (that Lee is himself not white is, of course, not an impediment, not even a speed bump, on the road to castigating him as a modern-day KKK adherent). As Matt Taibbi wrote in disgust about this shameful media episode:

[Lacy’s accustory] tweet received tens of thousands of likes and responses along the lines of, “Lee Fang has been like this for years, but the current moment only makes his anti-Blackness more glaring,” and “Lee Fang spouting racist bullshit it must be a day ending in day.” A significant number of Fang’s co-workers, nearly all white, as well as reporters from other major news organizations like the New York Times and MSNBC and political activists (one former Elizabeth Warren staffer tweeted, “Get him!”), issued likes and messages of support for the notion that Fang was a racist.

Writing in New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait documented that “Lacy called him racist in a pair of tweets, the first of which alone received more than 30,000 likes and 5,000 retweets.”

What was the evidence justifying Lee Fang’s conviction by mob justice of these charges? He (like Rittenhouse) has expressed the view that police, despite needing reforms, are largely a positive presence in protecting innocent people from violent crime; he suggested that resorting to violence harms rather than helps social justice causes; and he published a video interview he conducted with a young BLM supporter, who complained that many liberals only care when white police officers kill black people but not when black people in his neighborhood are killed by anyone who is not white.

Now-deleted tweets from Intercept reporter Akela Lacy, accusing her Intercept colleague Lee Fang of being a racist, June 3, 2020.

That such banal and commonly held views are woefully insufficient to justify the reputation-destroying accusation that someone is a white supremacist should be too self-evident to require any explanation. But in case such an explanation is required, consider that polls continually and reliably show that the pro-police sentiments of the type that caused Rittenhouse, Fang, and so many others to be vilified by liberal elites as “white supremacists” are held not only by a majority of Americans, but by a majority of black and brown Americans, the very people on whose behalf these elite accusers purport to speak.

For years, polling data has shown that the communities which want at least the same level of policing if not more are communities composed primarily of Black, Brown and poor people. It is not hard to understand why. If the police are defunded or radically reduced, rich people will simply hire private security (even more than they already employ for their homes, neighborhoods and persons), and any resulting crime increases will fall most heavily on poorer communities. Thus, polling data reliably shows that it is these communities that want either the same level of policing or more — the exact view which, if you express, will result in guardians of elite liberal discourse declaring you to be a “white supremacist.” Indeed — according to one Gallup poll taken in the wake of the George Floyd killing, when anti-police sentiment was at its peak — the groups that most want a greater police presence in their communities are Black and Latino citizens:

In the wake of anger over the Floyd and Jacob Blake cases, several large liberal cities succeeded in placing referendums on the ballot for this year that proposed major defunding or restructuring of local police. They failed in almost all cases, including ones with large Black populations such as Minneapolis, where Floyd died, precisely because non-white voters rejected it. In other words, expressing the same views about policing that large numbers of Black residents hold somehow subjects one to accusations of “white supremacy” in the dominant elite liberal discourse.

What all of this demonstrates is that insult terms like “white supremacist” and “racist” and “white nationalist” have lost any fixed meaning. They are instead being trivialized and degraded into little more than discourse toys to be tossed around for fun and reputation-destruction by liberals, who believe they have ascended to a place of such elevated racial enlightenment that they are now the sole and exclusive owners of these terms and thus free to hurl them in whatever manner they please. It is not an overstatement to observe that in elite liberal discourse, there are literally no evidentiary requirements that must be fulfilled before one is free to malign political adversaries with those accusatory terms. That is why editors at The Washington Post published an op-ed proclaiming Rittenhouse was plagued by “deeper white supremacist orientation” just four days after its news division explicitly concluded that such an accusation “lacks evidence” — because it it permissible to accuse people of racism and white supremacy without any evidence needed.

It is inherently disturbing and destructive any time a person is publicly branded as something for which there is no evidence. That is intrinsically something we should collectively abhor. But this growing trend in liberal discourse is not just ethically repellent but dangerous. By so flagrantly cheapening and exploiting the “white supremacist” accusation from what it should be (a potent weapon deployed to stigmatize and ostracize actual racists) into something far more tawdry (a plaything used by Democrats to demean and destroy their enemies whenever the mood strikes), its cynical abusers are draining the term of all of its vibrancy, potency and force, so that when it is needed, for actual racists, people will have tuned it out, knowing that is used deceitfully, recklessly and for cheap entertainment.

A similar dynamic emerged with accusations of anti-semitism and the weaponization of it to demonize criticisms of Israel. It is, of course, true that some criticisms of the Israeli government are partially grounded or even largely motivated by anti-semitism — just as it is true that some championing of the local police or support for Trump grows out of racist sentiments. But the converse is just as true: one can vehemently criticize the actions of the Israeli government the same as any other government without being driven by an iota of anti-semitism (indeed, many of the most vocal critics of Israel are proudly Jewish), in exactly the same way as one can be highly supportive of the local police or Donald Trump without an iota of racism (a proposition that should need no proof, but is nonetheless highlighted by the uncomfortable fact that growing numbers of non-whites support both Trump and the police). But the cynical, manipulative weaponization of anti-semitism accusations to smear all critics of Israel has rendered the accusation far weaker and more easily dismissible than it once was — exactly as is now happening to the accusatory terms “white supremacist” and “white nationalist” and “racist,” which are being increasingly understood, validly so, not as a grave and sincere condemnation but a cheap tactic to be applied recklessly, for the tawdry entertainment one derives from public rituals of reputation-destruction.

BBC, Nov. 22, 2020

Ever since his acquittal, Rittenhouse has made a series of public statements directly at odds with the dark, hateful image constructed of him by the national press over the last sixteen months, while he was forced to remain silent due to the charges he faced. He has professed support for the Black Lives Matter movement, argued that the U.S. is plagued by structural racism, and suggested that he would have suffered a worse fate if he had been Black. The same people who are smugly certain that his entire character and soul was permanently captured by that fleeting moment in a bar when he was seventeen and flashed an “okay” symbol — and who are certain that his denials that he knew what it meant or with whom he was posing are false — have, of course, scoffed at these recent statements of his as self-serving and insincere, even though they offer far greater insight into Rittenhouse’s actual views on questions of race than anything thus far presented.

But that is the point. The political and media faction that casually and recklessly brands people as “white supremacists” the way normal people utter “excuse me” while navigating a large crowd have no interest at all in whether the accusation is true. They are devoted to reducing everyone whose political ideology diverges from their own to their worst possible moment — no matter how long ago it happened or how unrepresentative of their lives it is — in order to derive the most ungenerous and destructive meaning from it. It is a movement that is at once driven by rigorous rules resulting in righteous decrees of sin and sweeping denunciations, yet completely bereft of the possibility of grace or redemption.

And its most cherished weapon is accusing anyone who they decide is an enemy or even just an adversary of being a white supremacist, a white nationalist, a racist — to the point where these terms now sound more like reflexively recited daily prayer slogans than anything one needs to take seriously or which has the possibility to engage on the merits. For fifteen months, it was gospel in political and media circles that Kyle Rittenhouse was a “white supremacist terrorist” only for The Washington Post to suddenly announce that this claim persisted “despite a lack of evidence.”

But that lack of evidence really does not matter, which is why that announcement by The Post received so little notice. Under the rules of this rotted discourse, evidence is not a requirement to affirm this accusation. All that is needed is an intuition, a tingly sensation, and — above all else — the realization that hurling the accusation will yield some personal or political advantage. Like all cynical weapons, it worked for awhile, but is rapidly running out of efficacy as its manipulative usage becomes more and more visible. The term is still needed as a tool to fight actual racism, but those who most vocally and flamboyantly proclaim themselves solemnly devoted to that cause have rendered that tool virtually useless, thanks to their self-interested misuse and abuse of it.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Is saturated fat unhealthy?

By Sebastian Rushworth, M.D. | November 27, 2021

In a sense, I can’t believe I’m writing this article. From a scientific perspective, this issue has been firmly settled. The answer is very clearly “NO!”. And yet, if I google “is saturated fat unhealthy?”, then seven of the top nine results proclaim with great certainty that “yes, it is”.

Here’s what the NHS says to people living in the UK: “Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.”

And here’s what the US government tells its citizens: “Eating too many foods high in saturated fats can be bad for your health. By replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, you may lower your risk of getting heart disease.”

To be fair, the US government doesn’t sound quite as confident as the UK health authorities. There’s a lot of “can” and “may” in that sentence. Which is actually a bit funny, when you consider that it was the US government that got the whole world to cut down on saturated fats in the first place.

Interestingly, none of the self-appointed fact checking organizations that have sprung up in recent years has yet tried to pull the NHS or the US government off the internet for spreading misinformation.

The claim that saturated fat is unhealthy originated with physiologist Ancel Keys in the mid-part of the twentieth century. He initially believed that cholesterol in the diet was what caused heart disease. Unfortunately, he soon noticed that feeding people cholesterol had no effect whatsoever on the cholesterol levels in their blood streams. So he was forced to abandon that line of thinking. On doing some further research, he noticed that increasing the proportion of saturated fat in the diet did however appear to increase cholesterol somewhat.

This led him to develop the diet-heart hypothesis, which basically says the following: Saturated fat in the diet leads to increased cholesterol levels in the blood stream, which causes heart disease. So it’s a two part hypothesis. As I’ve already discussed before on this blog, the second part of the hypothesis has been disproven – cholesterol in the blood stream does not cause heart disease.

But what about the first part? Even if not through the intermediate action on cholesterol, saturated fat might still somehow be unhealthy. Ancel Keys claimed to have evidence that high levels of saturated fat in the diet correlates with heart disease. This evidence came from a very shaky observational data set called the “Seven Countries Study”, in which Keys presented results from relatively small, hand-picked cohorts in seven countries, which appeared to show a correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease (and ignored data from a bunch of other countries where no such correlation could be seen).

But it’s now more than forty years after the Seven Countries Study was published, and there is thus no reason to rely any longer on what Ancel Keys claimed to have found. We can instead look at the wealth of data that’s been produced since then.

Let’s start with what the observational data show. A meta-analysis was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2010 that sought to find if the prospective cohort studies that had been carried out up to that point supported the notion that saturated fat causes heart disease.

A meta-analysis is a pooled analysis, where you take a bunch of studies and add their results together, to get a higher degree of statistical accuracy. A prospective cohort study is a study where you find two groups of people that vary in some significant respect, for example in terms of how much saturated fat they eat, and then follow them over time to see what happens – it’s generally considered to be the highest quality type of observational study, although it doesn’t reach the level of quality of a randomized controlled trial, because it isn’t able to get rid of confounding effects to the level that a randomized trial can (if you need to brush up on scientific method in the health sciences, read this).

Why are we even bothering to look at observational studies at all then, instead of just jumping straight to randomized trials? Because observational studies are easier to do, so there are more of them, and they can gather a lot more data. While a randomized trial with a few thousand people is huge, an observational study with a few thousand people is tiny. Additionally, as mentioned, the initial recommendation to eat less saturated fat was based on a single observational study, and quite a small one at that (the Seven Countries Study included less than 13,000 people – “Seven Countries” makes it sound much bigger than it was). So it’s interesting to see if the vast mass of observational data that we have today bears out the initial findings of the Seven Countries Study.

The authors of the meta-analysis identified 21 prospective cohort studies, with a total of almost 400,000 participants. That’s a big data set. The studies followed participants for between five and 23 years.

So, what did they find?

The difference in risk of cardiovascular disease between the groups with a high intake of saturated fat and those with a low intake of saturated fat was exactly zero. There was no difference at all. If you look more closely at the different kinds of cardiovascular disease, then you see a slightly increased risk of coronary heart disease in the saturated fat group (7% increased relative risk), but a slightly decreased risk of stroke (21% decreased relative risk). Neither of those differences were statistically significant, however. And in observational data sets, with all the risks of confounding they face, anything less than a halving or doubling of risk should be ignored, since small differences between groups are almost certainly caused by confounding factors.

Let’s move on and look at what the randomized controlled trials show. A Cochrane review was published in 2020 that looked at the ability of a diet low in saturated fat to prevent heart disease and death. 15 trials were identified, with a total of roughly 55,000 participants, and included in Cochrane’s meta-analysis. In most of the trials, the intervention consisted of dietary advice, although a few also provided polyunsaturated fats (so-called “healthy oils”), and told people to replace their lard and butter with them, and one provided participants with complete meal replacements. The trials lasted from two to eight years, with an average duration of five years.

Eleven of the 15 trials measured intake of saturated fats at multiple time points, and could thus confirm that intake of saturated fats decreased in the intervention group as compared with the control group. This is good to know, since if that wasn’t the case then a lack of benefit in terms of heart disease risk could simply be due to not managing to get people to change their diets sufficiently. So we know for certain that saturated fat intake decreased in at least eleven of the fifteen trials. Did this have any meaningful impact on people’s risk of having a heart attack or dying?

No, is the short answer. In the low saturated fat group, 6.4% of participants died, while in the high saturated fat group, 6.2% of participants died. So 0.2% more people died in the low saturated fat group than in the high saturated fat group. As you would expect for such a small difference, it isn’t statistically significant.

After the dark magic known as Mantel-Haenszel weighting (a statistical technique used in meta-analysis in which studies with more precise results are given greater weight), the authors reach the conclusion that it’s actually the other way around, that marginally less people should have died in the low saturated fat group, but the difference still isn’t statistically significant.

So it’s not possible to conclude that a diet high in saturated fat increases overall mortality. What about if we look specifically at heart attacks?

Most heart attacks are not fatal, so it’s possible that an intervention could lower heart attacks without meaningfully impacting overall risk of death. In the low saturated fat group, 3.3% of participants had a heart attack. In the high saturated fat group, 3.1% of participants had a heart attack. So the people in the high saturated fat group actually experienced fewer heart attacks than the people in the low saturated fat group.

Again, after statistical weighting, it appears that there should have been slightly fewer heart attacks in the group with the low saturated fat diet (rougly 0.3% less). Just as before, however, the difference isn’t statistically significant. What that means is that the small difference that was found is within the margin of error.

To conclude, the sum of all the observational and randomized trial evidence now available to us does not allow us to conclude that there is any increased risk of cardiovascular disease or death with increased intake of saturated fat. Considering that the data sets that these conclusions are based on are massive, we can be certain that even if there were a benefit, it would be so tiny as to not be worth bothering with. It is therefore shocking that public health agencies still tell their populations to cut down on saturated fats, instead of focusing on the things that have actually been shown to make a difference.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment

Higher Infection Rates in Vaccinated Not an Artefact of Wrong Population Data, New Analysis Shows

By Will Jones  • The Daily Sceptic • November 26, 2021

Back in October, when the critics rounded on the UKHSA for publishing vaccine data that didn’t fit the narrative, front and centre of their complaints was the claim that they were using poor estimates of the size of the unvaccinated population, and thus underestimating the infection rate in the unvaccinated. Cambridge’s Professor David Speigelhalter didn’t hold back, writing on Twitter that it was “completely unacceptable” for the agency to “put out absurd statistics showing case-rates higher in vaxxed than non-vaxxed” when it is “just an artefact of using hopelessly biased NIMS population estimates”.

To the UKHSA’s credit, while it conceded other points, it never gave in on this one, sticking to its view that the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) was the “gold standard” for these estimates. It pointed out that ONS population estimates have problems of their own, not least that for some age groups the ONS supposes there to be fewer people in the population than the Government counts as being vaccinated.

How can we know which estimates are more accurate? A group of experts has applied analytical techniques in order to estimate the size of the unvaccinated population independently of ONS and NIMS figures. Using three different methods, experts from HART found that estimates from all three methods were in broad agreement with the NIMS estimates, whereas the ONS estimate was a much lower outlier.

The first method involves recognising that people not within the NHS database system still catch Covid and still get tested. Assuming these people have the same infection rates per 100,000 people as the unvaccinated, you can calculate how many people there are outside of the database system and add these to the NIMS totals.

The second method involves looking at the rate of growth of people with an NHS number, which has been remarkably steady at around 2.9% per year. If you assume that people who are not yet registered in the NHS will sometimes become sick enough to seek healthcare, and thus a record will be created for them, applying this growth rate to the 2011 ONS population estimates give another figure for the total population.

The third method involves assuming that, in low-Covid weeks, deaths within an age bracket should occur at a similar rate in vaccinated and unvaccinated, allowing the size of the total population to be inferred from the percentage of deaths in the unvaccinated.

The results in terms of reported infection rates according to the five different estimates are depicted in the chart above. They show that the ONS is a clear outlier, its estimates sitting far too low, and NIMS is likely to be much more accurate. The ONS puts the unvaccinated population at around 4.59 million whereas NIMS puts it at 9.92 million, a difference of 5.33 million. That’s a lot of people not to be included in estimates, and suggests, among other things, that the ONS has not adequately estimated the magnitude of illegal immigration into the country.

As well as vindicating the UKHSA in its decision to stick with NIMS over ONS, HART’s analysis also indicates that, contrary to the assertions of Prof Spiegelhalter, the UKHSA data showing infection rates higher in the vaccinated compared to the unvaccinated is not a mere artefact of using the wrong population estimates. There may be other biases in it, but this is not one of them.

Here is the weekly update on unadjusted vaccine effectiveness based on the raw data in the UKHSA Vaccine Surveillance report. The unadjusted vaccine effectiveness estimates against infection have remained low in all adult age brackets this week, particularly in those aged 40-70, though there is little sign of further decline; in the older age groups (over 40), the recent vaccine effectiveness revival continues, possibly as a result of the third doses. There is also a sign of a rise in vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation in the over-70s.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

more early takes on omicron variant

reports from SA indicate that the virus is VERY mild

el gato malo | bad cattitude | november 28, 2021

aside from all the breathless reporting about “MOAR SPIKE MUTATIONS!!” i have yet to see a single report with any actual clinical evidence that the newly branded omicron variant is anything other than less dangerous than delta was.

it’s just, to steal a wonderful quote “mutational stargazing.”

this makes sense. not only are we continuing to evolve AWAY from an what looks near certain to be a lab engineered virulence optimum, but this is the natural path of viral evolution.

delta was a deeply attenuated version of prior versions. it’s original CFR was around 0.1%. this rose sharply over the summer as vaccine fade hit and this rise affected the vaccinated and the unvaccinated alike, so it appears to be a property of the virus, not of the vaccines. it was also mirrored by all cause mortality and so appears to be a real rise in fatality, not a definitional artifact.

i will still bet dollars to doughnuts that it was the vaccines themselves that, by being leaky but semi-protective, drove this inverted gradient to hotter strains.

full discussion and data HERE.

a virus “wants” one thing: to spread. make a copy of me and pass it on. that’s the whole ballgame. harming the host and incapacitating them is maladaptive to this goal. mild viruses spread better. asymptomatic viruses spread best of all.

and that looks more and more like the case here. omicron looks milder than delta, especially than the souped up delta strains that emerged over the summer.

this is good news, not a reason for terror. the ideal outcome would be a virus with no symptoms and infinite spread that would immediately inoculate everyone.

primary symptoms appear to be lethargy. loss of taste and smell is largely absent.

ARTICLE

as this virus looks to outcompete delta, but with lower risk, the idea that we want to keep it out seems exactly wrong. this is the variant you want. more spread, considerably less risk, mostly asymptomatic, but will generate the real, sterilizing immunity that the vaccines do not.

this is how pandemics end, not how panics should begin.

watching the west once more lose its collective mind is just pathetic.

based on the early looks, this is not even a chipmunk in the road to swerve around, it’s the shadow of a chimpunk and it’s a less dangerous strain that the one we currently have and another even lower risk bite at the immunity apple.

whether it will follow delta in terms of vaccine mediated evolution toward hotter future strains is anyone’s guess (and certainly possible) but if it is, indeed, destined to do so, then that’s all the more reason to let it spread now.

“we should panic in case it turns out we need to panic” is simply not a basis for public health.

pandemics can and do end themselves and it’s become manifestly obvious that the vaccines developed here and pushed endlessly as panacea are of little to no help in that regard and quite a strong case to be made that they have made it, overall, worse for everyone, including the vaccinated.

boosters, lockdowns, and travel bans are not the way out. the generation of low risk natural herd immunity is.

it is long past time we stopped playing these stupid games.

the prizes we stand to win are not going to get any less stupid this time…

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

A President Betrayed by Bureaucrats: Scott Atlas’s Masterpiece on the Covid Disaster

BY JEFFREY A. TUCKER | BROWNSTONE INSTITUTE | NOVEMBER 27, 2021

I’m a voracious reader of Covid books but nothing could have prepared me for Scott Atlas’s A Plague Upon Our House, a full and mind-blowing account of the famed scientist’s personal experience with the Covid era and a luridly detailed account of his time at the White House. The book is hot fire, from page one to the last, and will permanently affect your view of not only this pandemic and the policy response but also the workings of public health in general.

Atlas’s book has exposed a scandal for the ages. It is enormously valuable because it fully blows up what seems to be an emerging fake story involving a supposedly Covid-denying president who did nothing vs. heroic scientists in the White House who urged compulsory mitigating measures consistent with prevailing scientific opinion. Not one word of that is true. Atlas’s book, I hope, makes it impossible to tell such tall tales without embarrassment.

Anyone who tells you this fictional story (including Deborah Birx) deserves to have this highly credible treatise tossed in his direction. The book is about the war between real science (and genuine public health), with Atlas as the voice for reason both before and during his time in the White House, vs. the enactment of brutal policies that never stood any chance of controlling the virus while causing tremendous damage to the people, to human liberty, to children in particular, but also to billions of people around the world.

For the reader, the author is our proxy, a reasonable and blunt man trapped in a world of lies, duplicity, backstabbing, opportunism, and fake science. He did his best but could not prevail against a powerful machine that cares nothing for facts, much less outcomes.

If you have heretofore believed that science drives pandemic public policy, this book will shock you. Atlas’s recounting of the unbearably poor thinking on the part of government-based “infectious disease experts” will make your jaw drop (thinking, for example, of Birx’s off-the-cuff theorizing about the relationship between masking and controlling case spreads).

Throughout the book, Atlas points to the enormous cost of the machinery of lockdowns, the preferred method of Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx: missed cancer screenings, missed surgeries, nearly two years of educational losses, bankrupted small business, depression and drug overdoses, overall citizen demoralization, violations of religious freedom, all while public health massively neglected the actual at-risk population in long-term care facilities. Essentially, they were willing to dismantle everything we called civilization in the name of bludgeoning one pathogen without regard to the consequences.

The fake science of population-wide “models” drove policy instead of following the known information about risk profiles. “The one unusual feature of this virus was the fact that children had an extraordinarily low risk,” writes Atlas. “Yet this positive and reassuring news was never emphasized. Instead, with total disregard of the evidence of selective risk consistent with other respiratory viruses, public health officials recommended draconian isolation of everyone.”

“Restrictions on liberty were also destructive by inflaming class distinctions with their differential impact,” he writes, “exposing essential workers, sacrificing low-income families and kids, destroying single-parent homes, and eviscerating small businesses, while at the same time large companies were bailed out, elites worked from home with barely an interruption, and the ultra-rich got richer, leveraging their bully pulpit to demonize and cancel those who challenged their preferred policy options.”

In the midst of continued chaos, in August 2020, Atlas was called by Trump to help, not as a political appointee, not as a PR man for Trump, not as a DC fixer but as the only person who in nearly a year of unfolding catastrophe had a health-policy focus. He made it clear from the outset that he would only tell what he believed to be true; Trump agreed that this was precisely what he wanted and needed. Trump got an earful and gradually came around to a more rational view than that which caused him to wreck the American economy and society with his own hands and against his own instincts.

In Task Force meetings, Atlas was the only person who showed up with studies and on-the-ground information as opposed to mere charts of infections easily downloadable from popular websites. “A bigger surprise was that Fauci did not present scientific research on the pandemic to the group that I witnessed. Likewise, I never heard him speak about his own critical analysis of any published research studies. This was stunning to me. Aside from intermittent status updates about clinical trial enrollments, Fauci served the Task Force by offering an occasional comment or update on vaccine trial participant totals, mostly when the VP would turn to him and ask.”

When Atlas spoke up, it was almost always to contradict Fauci/Birx but he received no backing during meetings, only to have many people in attendance later congratulate him for speaking out. Still, he did have a convert in Trump himself, but by then it was too late: not even Trump could prevail against the wicked machine he had permissioned into operation.

It’s a Mr. Smith Goes to Washington story but applied to matters of public health. From the outset of this disease panic, policy came to be dictated by two government bureaucrats (Fauci and Birx) who, for some reason, were confident in their control over media, bureaucracies, and White House messaging, despite every attempt by the president, Atlas, and a few others to get them to pay attention to the actual science about which Fauci/Birx knew and care little.

Fortunately, we now have this book to set the record straight. It gives every reader an inside look at the workings of a system that wrecked our lives. If the book finally declines to offer an explanation for the hell that was visited upon us – every day we still ask the question why? – it does provide an accounting of the who, when, where, and what. Tragically, too many scientists, media figures, and intellectuals in general went along. Atlas’s account shows exactly what they signed up to defend, and it’s not pretty.

The cliche that kept coming to mind as I read is “breath of fresh air.” That metaphor describes the book perfectly: blessed relief from relentless propaganda. Imagine yourself trapped in an elevator with stultifying air in a building that is on fire and the smoke gradually seeps in from above. Someone is in there with you and he keeps assuring you that everything is fine, when it is obviously not.

That’s a pretty good description of how I felt from March 12, 2020 and onward. That was the day that President Trump spoke to the nation and announced that there would be no more travel from Europe. The tone in his voice was spooky. It was obvious that more was coming. He had clearly fallen sway to extremely bad advice, perhaps he was willing to push lockdowns as a plan to deal with a respiratory virus that was already widespread in the US from perhaps 5 to 6 months earlier.

It was the day that the darkness descended. A day later (March 13), the HHS distributed its lockdown plans for the nation. That weekend, Trump met for many hours with Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and only a few others. He came around to the idea of shutting down the American economy for two weeks. He presided over the calamitous March 16, 2020, press conference, at which Trump promised to beat the virus through general lockdowns.

Of course he had no power to do that directly but he could urge it to happen, all under the completely delusional promise that doing so would solve the virus problem. Two weeks later, the same gang persuaded him to extend the lockdowns.

Trump went along with the advice because it was the only advice he was fed at the time. They made it appear that the only choice that Trump had – if he wanted to beat the virus – was to wage war on his own policies that were pushing for a stronger, healthier economy. After surviving two impeachment attempts, and beating back years of hate from a nearly united media afflicted by severe derangement syndrome, Trump was finally hornswoggled.

Atlas writes: “On this highly important criterion of presidential management—taking responsibility to fully take charge of policy coming from the White House—I believe the president made a massive error in judgment. Against his own gut feeling, he delegated authority to medical bureaucrats, and then he failed to correct that mistake.”

The truly tragic fact that both Republicans and Democrats do not want spoken about is that this whole calamity did indeed begin with Trump’s decision. On this point, Atlas writes:

Yes, the president initially had gone along with the lockdowns proposed by Fauci and Birx, the “fifteen days to slow the spread,” even though he had serious misgivings. But I still believe the reason that he kept repeating his one question—“Do you agree with the initial shutdown?”—whenever he asked questions about the pandemic was precisely because he still had misgivings about it.

Large parts of the narrative are devoted to explaining precisely how and to what extent Trump had been betrayed. “They had convinced him to do exactly the opposite of what he would naturally do in any other circumstance,” Atlas writes, that is

“to disregard his own common sense and allow grossly incorrect policy advice to prevail… This president, widely known for his signature “You’re fired!” declaration, was misled by his closest political intimates. All for fear of what was inevitable anyway—skewering from an already hostile media. And on top of that tragic misjudgment, the election was lost anyway. So much for political strategists.”

There are so many valuable parts to the story that I cannot possibly recount them all. The language is brilliant, e.g. he calls the media “the most despicable group of unprincipled liars one could ever imagine.” He proves that assertion in page after page of shocking lies and distortions, mostly driven by political goals.

I was particularly struck by his chapter on testing, mainly because that whole racket mystified me throughout. From the outset, the CDC bungled the testing part of the pandemic story, attempting to keep the tests and process centralized in DC at the very time when the entire nation was in panic. Once that was finally fixed, months too late, mass and indiscriminate PCR testing became the desiderata of success within the White House. The problem was not just with the testing method:

“Fragments of dead virus hang around and can generate a positive test for many weeks or months, even though one is not generally contagious after two weeks. Moreover, PCR is extremely sensitive. It detects minute quantities of virus that do not transmit infection… Even the New York Times wrote in August that 90 percent or more of positive PCR tests falsely implied that someone was contagious. Sadly, during my entire time at the White House, this crucial fact would never even be addressed by anyone other than me at the Task Force meetings, let alone because for any public recommendation, even after I distributed data proving this critical point.”

The other problem is the wide assumption that more testing (however inaccurate) of whomever, whenever was always better. This model of maximizing tests seemed like a leftover from the HIV/AIDS crisis in which tracing was mostly useless in practice but at least made some sense in theory. For a widespread and mostly wild respiratory disease transmitted the way a cold virus is transmitted, this method was hopeless from the beginning. It became nothing but make work for tracing bureaucrats and testing enterprises that in the end only provided a fake metric of “success” that served to spread public panic.

Early on, Fauci had clearly said that there was no reason to get tested if you had no symptoms. Later, that common-sense outlook was thrown out the window and replaced with an agenda to test as many people as possible regardless of risk and regardless of symptoms. The resulting data enabled Fauci/Birx to keep everyone in a constant state of alarm. More test positivity to them implied only one thing: more lockdowns. Businesses needed to close harder, we all needed to mask harder, schools needed to stay closed longer, and travel needed to be ever more restricted. That assumption became so entrenched that not even the president’s own wishes (which had changed from Spring to Summer) made any difference.

Atlas’s first job, then, was to challenge this whole indiscriminate testing agenda. To his mind, testing needed to be about more than accumulating endless amounts of data, much of it without meaning; instead, testing should be directed toward a public-health goal. The people who needed tests were the vulnerable populations, particularly those in nursing homes, with the goal of saving lives among those who were actually threatened with severe outcomes. This push to test, contact trace, and quarantine anyone and everyone regardless of known risk was a huge distraction, and also caused huge disruption in schooling and enterprise.

To fix it meant changing the CDC guidelines. Atlas’s story of attempting to do that is eye-opening. He wrestled with every manner of bureaucrat and managed to get new guidelines written, only to find that they had been mysteriously reverted to the old guidelines one week later. He caught the “error” and insisted that his version prevail. Once they were issued by the CDC, the national press was all over it, with the story that the White House was pressuring the scientists at the CDC in terrible ways. After a week-long media storm, the guidelines changed yet again. All of Atlas’s work was made null.

Talk about discouraging! It was also Atlas’s first full experience in dealing with deep-state machinations. It was this way throughout the lockdown period, a machinery in place to implement, encourage, and enforce endless restrictions but no one person in particular was there to take responsibility for the policies or the outcomes, even as the ostensible head of state (Trump) was on record both publicly and privately opposing the policies that no one could seem to stop.

As an example of this, Atlas tells the story of bringing some massively important scientists to the White House to speak with Trump: Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya, Joseph Ladapo, and Cody Meissner. People around the president thought the idea was great. But somehow the meeting kept being delayed. Again and again. When it finally went ahead, the schedulers only allowed for 5 minutes. But once they met with Trump himself, the president had other ideas and prolonged the meeting for an hour and a half, asking the scientists all kinds of questions about viruses, policy, the initial lockdowns, the risks to individuals, and so on.

The president was so impressed with their views and knowledge – what a dramatic change that must have been for him – that he invited filming to be done plus pictures to be taken. He wanted to make it a big public splash. It never happened. Literally. White House press somehow got the message that this meeting never happened. The first anyone will have known about it other than White House employees is from Atlas’s book.

Two months later, Atlas was instrumental in bringing in not only two of those scientists but also the famed Sunetra Gupta of Oxford. They met with the HHS secretary but this meeting too was buried in the press. No dissent was allowed. The bureaucrats were in charge, regardless of the wishes of the president.

Another case in point was during Trump’s own bout with Covid in early October. Atlas was nearly sure that he would be fine but he was forbidden from talking to the press. The entire White House communications office was frozen for four days, with no one speaking to the press. This was against Trump’s own wishes. This left the media to speculate that he was on his deathbed, so when he came back to the White House and announced that Covid is not to be feared, it was a shock to the nation. From my own point of view, this was truly Trump’s finest moment. To learn of the internal machinations happening behind the scenes is pretty shocking.

I can’t possibly cover the wealth of material in this book, and I expect this brief review to be one of several that I write. I do have a few disagreements. First, I think the author is too uncritical toward Operation Warp Speed and doesn’t really address how the vaccines were wildly oversold, to say nothing of growing concerns about safety, which were not addressed in the trials. Second, he seems to approve of Trump’s March 12th travel restrictions, which struck me as brutal and pointless, and the real beginning of the unfolding disaster. Third, Atlas inadvertently seems to perpetuate the distortion that Trump recommended ingesting bleach during a press conference. I know that this was all over the papers. But I’ve read the transcript of that press conference several times and find nothing like this. Trump actually makes clear that he was speaking about cleaning surfaces. This might be yet another case of outright media lies.

All that aside, this book reveals everything about the insanity of 2020 and 2021, years in which good sense, good science, historical precedent, human rights, and concerns for human liberty were all thrown into the trash, not just in the US but all over the world.

Atlas summarizes the big picture:

“in considering all the surprising events that unfolded in this past year, two in particular stand out. I have been shocked at the enormous power of government officials to unilaterally decree a sudden and severe shutdown of society—to simply close businesses and schools by edict, restrict personal movements, mandate behavior, regulate interactions with our family members, and eliminate our most basic freedoms, without any defined end and with little accountability.”

Atlas is correct that “the management of this pandemic has left a stain on many of America’s once noble institutions, including our elite universities, research institutes and journals, and public health agencies. Earning it back will not be easy.”

Internationally, we have Sweden as an example of a country that (mostly) kept its sanity. Domestically, we have South Dakota as an example of a place that stayed open, preserving freedom throughout. And thanks in large part to Atlas’s behind-the-scenes work, we have the example of Florida, whose governor did care about the actual science and ended up preserving freedom in the state even as the elderly population there experienced the greatest possible protection from the virus.

We all owe Atlas an enormous debt of gratitude, for it was he who persuaded the Florida governor to choose the path of focussed protection as advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration, which Atlas cites as the “single document that will go down as one of the most important publications in the pandemic, as it lent undeniable credibility to focused protection and provided courage to thousands of additional medical scientists and public health leaders to come forward.”

Atlas experienced the worst of the slings, arrows, and worse. The media and the bureaucrats tried to shut him up, shut him down, and body bag him professionally and personally. Cancelled, meaning removed from the roster of functional, dignified human beings. Even colleagues at Stanford University joined in the lynch mob, much to their disgrace. And yet this book is that of a man who has prevailed against them.

In that sense, it is easily the most crucial first-person account we have so far. It is gripping, revealing, devastating for the lockdowners and their vaccine-mandating successors, and a true classic that will stand the test of time. It’s simply not possible to write the history of this disaster without a close examination of this erudite first-hand account.

Jeffrey A. Tucker is Founder and President of the Brownstone Institute and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in 5 languages, most recently Liberty or Lockdown.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Book Review, Civil Liberties, Economics, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Dr Byram Bridle: The unanswered vaccine safety questions

By Kathy Gyngell | TCW Defending Freedom | November 25, 2021

EARLIER this month Dr Byram Bridle, a Canadian viral immunologist whose faculty at the University of Ontario has disowned him for his repeated assertion that Covid-19 vaccines are not safe, gave a remarkable off-the-cuff interview to a reporter. Bridle starts by explaining the reasons why heavily vaccinated countries are experiencing high case rates, why adverse reactions are not being reported or diagnosed and discusses the overwhelming evidence for ivermectin as an ant-viral treatment for Covid where studies have been conducted correctly.

You can watch the full video below.

DR BYRAM BRIDLE: A recent study came out looking at 68 different countries and they plotted on a graph the case rate for Covid-19 and the vaccination rate in the country. And the more vaccinated the country is, the more problems they’re having with Covid-19. So these people have the vaccine. Remember all the antibody titers they’re showing, that’s in the blood, but these people, on average, are quite poorly protected in their upper airways. And it’s not the virus that’s deep down in the alveoli that gets transmitted to other people because of the dead airspace when we exhale. It’s the viral particles that are in the upper airways. So that’s why the vaccinated can spread this just as efficiently as somebody who’s completely unprotected. And so these vaccines on that basis, because they don’t come close to conferring sterilising immunity, they don’t properly protect the upper respiratory tract, they only confer about four and a half months of immunity, it’s absolutely 100 per cent impossible to achieve the goal of herd immunity with these vaccines. 100 per cent impossible.

What I’ve seen way too much of – and it does cause me very serious concern – is we’re seeing people who had cancers that were in remission or that were being well-controlled, and their cancers have gone completely out of control after getting the vaccine. And what we do know with the vaccine is the vaccine causes at least a temporary drop in T-cell numbers and those T-cells are part of our immune system, and they’re the critical weapons that our immune system has to fight off cancerous cells. So there’s a potential mechanism there. And all I can say is I’ve seen . . . I’ve had people contact me with way too many of these reports for me to feel comfortable. I do feel that that’s probably, I would say, my newest major safety concern. And it’s also the one that is going to be by far the most underreported on any adverse event database. Because if somebody’s had a cancer before the vaccine, there’s no way public health officials will ever link it to the vaccine. But what we’re seeing is oncology teams that had pushed the cancers into remission or keeping them well-controlled can no longer control them after the vaccine.

So we know in Canada it’s very upsetting, because in Canada we have a system that will never, never detect problems with these vaccines – that’s why we’ve always had to rely on other countries. Like with the AstraZeneca vaccine, we told Canadians that the AstraZeneca vaccine was 100 per cent safe, despite the fact that 12 European countries had paused the programme to look for potential links to the blood clotting, potentially fatal blood clotting. And we were told as Canadians that we didn’t have to worry because ours was from a . . . they announced that the problem was associated with a single batch from a single production facility in Europe and ours was coming from India and therefore it didn’t apply to us. The European Medicines Agency will tell you that was never the case. And of course, then eventually, after there were Canadians that did die and many that did have to be treated for the blood clots, then we finally admitted that it was a problem.

And that’s how our system . . . our system is never going to work, because this is the thing. First of all, we’re not informing people when they get the vaccine that they’re to report any unusual medical condition up to eight weeks after receiving a dose of the vaccine. And then the attending physician is required to, by law, to report anything unusual. Most physicians are not. And now some of them are . . . many don’t, because they don’t want to contradict the current narrative. And the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario has turned out to be incredibly tyrannical and are crushing many physicians and threatening many who don’t go with this narrow public health narrative. Many also can’t get their submissions done because they’re onerous. So, for example, British Columbia can take up to 40 minutes to submit one of these reports, and you can imagine if there’s an Emergency Room physician who sees five people in a shift that come in with problems and have recently been vaccinated, they can’t afford to spend hours on that shift, reporting it, right?

So there’s many reasons why people aren’t reporting to the physicians, and there are many reasons why the physicians aren’t reporting to the local Medical Officer of Health. And that’s the next step is, if a physician submits it, it doesn’t necessarily go into our database, it goes to the local Medical Officer of Health. This is the thing: the physicians are not supposed to make a determination of whether they think the medical condition that’s occurred after the vaccine is or is not related to the vaccine. They’re not supposed to make that determination. The local Medical Officers of Health are. And as you can imagine, with the huge bias that exists there, the majority of them, we’re seeing unusually high percentages of these reports that do get submitted being rejected at the level of the local Medical Officer of Health. And then from there, the ones that they do approve go to the Public Health Agency of Canada and then they could be filed into our adverse event database. But because of that, because of all the filtering that’s going on, this is the problem. We’re not getting accurate numbers.

So yes, a statistician, of course, could be looking for these. But if you don’t get accurate numbers reported, you can do all the analysis you want, it’s not going to be accurate, right? Your analysis is only as accurate as the data, the raw data you have to work with.

A D-dimer test is definitely a good one to do, because it can be suggestive of micro clots, which could be an indicator of blood clotting. But yeah, we’re finding that most physicians won’t do it. And we’re also finding a shortage, actually, of the blood collection tubes that are needed to do that as well.

Yeah, yeah, no, this is a virus. But ivermectin has clear-cut antiviral properties. For example, it has multiple mechanisms of action, but one is it inhibits the binding of the spike protein on the virus to these receptors that we have on the cells of our lungs. And yeah, what’s interesting is a lot of countries . . . so, that’s what’s frustrating for me as a vaccine developer, I knew that there was going to be no outlet for the vaccines if there were effective early treatment strategies. So I followed the science for the early treatment strategies, and I saw that the studies were flawed early on.

For example, a lot of the studies that were being done were being done in countries where things like ivermectin were available over the counter. So in other words, they were testing their treatment group, which was getting a defined amount of ivermectin and comparing it to a control group which had an undefined amount of ivermectin. So essentially comparing ivermectin treatment to ivermectin treatment, right? And then they showed there was no benefit. Well, of course not. If you’re comparing, you know, a treatment group to a treatment group.

And so when the science has been done properly, there’s an overwhelming [body] of scientific data showing that it works. And so even though I love vaccines, I couldn’t help but wonder why we were providing initially this authorisation for interim use, what we call emergency use in the United States, because we had clear, effective early treatments. I have worked with many physicians. These things clearly work. In fact, a lot of the countries that are having the most success, like, for example, a lot of the low income countries have had no choice. I mean, look, they’ve been left to take the leftovers for the vaccines. They can’t afford a lot of expensive treatments. So they have been relying on these effective early treatment strategies using repurposed generic drugs that are really cheap, and they’ve had a huge success.

So, for example, Egypt is a good example. Egypt, you know, Egypt has a three per cent vaccination rate. Three per cent of their eligible population is double vaccinated compared with Canada, which is at around 64 or 66 per cent. And they have 14 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people per day on average, whereas we have about 570 cases per day, so vastly higher.

And this is what people are seeing. A recent study came out looking at 68 different countries, and they plotted on a graph the case rate for Covid-19 and the vaccination rate in the country. And the more vaccinated the country is, the more problems they’re having with Covid-19. And when you look at these countries that have low vaccination rates, they’ve been relying on effective early treatment strategies.

So for example, with Egypt, I didn’t realise, but I asked that question to my collaborators, ‘What is Egypt doing right that we’re not doing here in North America?’ They sent me the official treatment protocol for Covid-19. Do you know what the number one thing is that they go to first? [It] is hydroxychloroquine and number two is ivermectin.

And if you look at Israel – Israel has the highest vaccination rate in the world, right? And the Delta variant is completely out of control, which is why they’ve been administering the third dose, why they’ve committed to a fourth dose. And with these numbers I was telling you, so they have the highest vaccination rates. So again, keep this in mind so as to understand – Egypt: three per cent vaccination rate, 14 cases per 100,000 of the population per day. Israel is at over an 80 per cent vaccination rate and has over 5,000 cases right now per day.

So these things work best as an early treatment strategy, so they should be administered. The sooner you administer them, the better the outcome. So we’ve had physicians – and I know these people and they’re good friends of mine – who have been absolutely destroyed for using ivermectin with their patients, and they’ve kept their patients out of the hospital, they’ve kept them out of the ICU. I find this exceptionally frustrating because I keep getting criticised for raising my concerns about the vaccines and harms, and I have physicians coming at me and saying, ‘Well, if only you saw on the front lines what happens to people who die from Covid and how terrible it is.’ And yes, it’s awful, and I feel terrible for all of them. But the other thing that I point out is it’s estimated that more than half the people that have died in this pandemic would be alive today if we had accepted these early treatment strategies. That’s the reality, and I’ve seen it with every physician who has administered this. They talk about our ICUs being overrun, but every physician that I have worked with – and I’ve worked with many who have used these effective treatment strategies – they’ve kept their patients out of the ICU. They don’t go to the ICU and they don’t die.

Do you realise that the way we’ve been treating patients is they go to the hospital and if they aren’t sick enough to go on a respirator, they typically get sent home and it’s, you know, take fluids and some of these other . . . maybe some aspirin. It’s basically what were they like to call in medicine, ‘watchful waiting’, which means, ‘we’re going to do nothing’, right? And you literally have to wait till you’re sick enough to come in and basically be put in the ICU and put on a respirator.

That’s not how you treat disease, right? The earlier you intervene, the better the outcome. And we have these early treatment strategies, and I think it’s no coincidence the only one we’ve approved in Canada is called remdesivir. It does have genuine safety issues and does virtually nothing for Covid-19. But it’s on patent and there’s tons of money that can be made. These other ones are dirt cheap. Ivermectin, you can treat somebody for about a dollar a day. So they’ve been using it to great effect in all these low income countries. But in North America, we’ve refused to adopt these strategies.

And you have to understand, and they even talk about safety issues. Well, one of the things is, so, there’s rare cases of safety issues associated with using the veterinary form, and that’s simply because of calculation errors – people making simple mathematical errors when trying to convert to the human dose. And the reality is that ivermectin is on the list for the World Health Organisation of one of the 50 most needed drugs in the entire world, has an unbelievable safety record. It’s used worldwide to effectively treat all these parasitic diseases. It was approved by Health Canada in 2018 to treat exotic parasitic diseases when Canadians are travelling. And so there’s absolutely no excuse.

Dr Bridle: My own physician, honestly, criticised me, saying I’m giving out this messaging, talking about patients of hers that died.

I respectfully pointed out that I’m also on the front lines and I’m trying to deal on a daily basis with family members of people who have died from the Covid-19 vaccines. And so I’m seeing these horrible deaths as well on the other side.

And the difference to me is, had they not rejected these effective early treatment strategies, at least half of the patients that died in their practices would be alive today.

So I’m sorry, I don’t have a lot of patience for these physicians. And I’m just going to point out one thing as well that’s important for the general public to know. I usually don’t ever, ever criticise anybody’s expertise in their particular area of work. But we’re in unique times. And so I think the public needs to be aware.

We put a lot of faith in our physicians. The average family physician knows almost nothing about immunology and certainly about vaccines. People forget vaccinology is a sub-discipline of immunology. The average family physician in Canada gets between five and ten lectures in their first year on immunology, of which a tiny fraction of that is going to be dealing with vaccines.

They are not immunologists, they are not vaccinologists and they’re ignoring the vaccinologist here in Canada. They are promoting the vaccines and the reality is they don’t understand the science, and they do not have a deep enough understanding, on average, to understand the science and to understand the debates that are going on.

Interviewer: If information has been deliberately suppressed about these treatments, that would be a crime, seeing that people are dying?

Dr Bridle: Yes. Yes.

Interviewer: Doctor, will we see a national debate, like with top scientists on this subject ever in Canada? Like their side for pro, and our side? Do you think we’ll ever see that in Canada?

Dr Bridle: I and my colleagues have been open to that for months, many months. I would love to see it done. The public should be insisting on it, like the old-fashioned good scientific debates.

I would argue scientists can talk about the science. We can put aside our emotions. We can talk about it respectfully. I would argue what I would like to see happen is have a team – if it’s too big, it gets a little unwieldy – so I’d say between three and five scientists and/or physicians who want to debate both aspects of the Covid-19 policies and then have it moderated by somebody. And it has to be very public.

And that’s what I keep pointing out to the public. People who keep arguing that those of us who have legitimate concerns are wrong, providing misinformation, that we’re lying and that we don’t know what we’re talking about, have to keep asking themselves why then are many of us standing there in the arena like the gladiators of old? We’re standing in the arena, we’re waiting. None of their champions will step forward. None. We’ve tried it.

So we tried this in Ontario with (their Premier) Doug Ford. It was attempted in Alberta. It was attempted in Saskatchewan, where their premiers were also invited to have these open scientific discussions.

Nobody so far – and I know I’ve issued invitations. Every single person who attacks me I invite them to come on and talk publicly. I was even being interviewed once and live in the chat somebody was trolling the whole talk.

It was interesting. The person who was interviewing me stopped and invited the person to come on. They logged off pretty quickly. And that’s what we’re seeing over and over again. It’s remarkable.

I’ve asked thousands of people, not one person, not even one, in all these months has been willing to talk openly, publicly about the science and medicine underlying Covid-19. It’s exceptionally frustrating.

Even my own colleagues at the university who have attacked me, there are 83 of them, about that number, who signed a letter to the public saying that I was lying to the public, providing misinformation.

Do you realise some of these individuals were just down the hallway from me, in the same hallway, just a few doors down? None, not one of them, not one of those people was ever willing to talk to me on the phone, in a Zoom meeting or come to my office – and I have an open door policy and I invited many of them to do so – not one person.

And then, even after they signed that off, saying that I was giving misinformation, I had written a scientific document to outline the science that I’d been talking about, because this was birthed from a short interview that I gave on the radio, where I expressed concerns that the messenger RNA vaccines might be linked to the heart inflammation that was occurring in young people. And then I was attacked on that. 

I wrote a document with all the science because, of course, I was not able to deliver all of my scientific arguments in that short interview.

People argued to the public, ‘You realise he only told you half the story.’ And I laugh about that because I say, ‘Well, you’re giving me far too much credit because I didn’t even get to deliver one per cent of the story.’

They’re trying to mean that I didn’t get to the other side of the story. No, there was so much more science, so many more mechanisms of action, of potential harm of these things.

And after I wrote that document, this letter was written by my colleagues. You realise that of those who I was able to get a straight answer from, none of them had even read my science. None of them had even bothered to see what my arguments were for my position. This is what’s happening right now, and the censorship is extreme it’s really unbelievable.

Interviewer: Some of your colleagues, they also said that it doesn’t alter DNA. Would you care to comment on that?

Dr Bridle: Yeah. So when it comes to the DNA, there isn’t sufficient data to … my personal opinion is that it’s not substantially altering the DNA.

All I can tell you is it was thought that human cells did not have a type of protein that’s needed to convert the messenger RNA in the vaccine into DNA. It turns out we do actually have these types of proteins present. So it’s theoretically possible.

Personally, I would think that it’s probably not a substantial issue, but theoretically possible. So as this is theoretically possible, I would argue as a scientist that it would be worthwhile investigating that – doing the research just to alleviate our concerns, people’s concerns, about that.

That’s the thing, people ask these questions and as you see that there’s theoretical possibilities for these happening, that used to be the scientific basis for then conducting the research and definitively answering people’s questions. So many of the questions that you have, I can’t definitively answer because we’ve lost this whole concept of conducting research to address the tough questions.

Interviewer: What I find interesting with what you’re saying is what I’m seeing, very clearly, is you’re confronting a talking point, not a science. And let me illustrate what I mean by that.

You ask a doctor about all this and what’s their answer if you really push them? ‘Well, we’re following the advice of x, y, z and they’re following the science that we trusted?’ Right? You go to the level above them, same thing. You go to the level above them, same thing.

Dr Bridle: We’ve tried, as scientists …

Interviewer: I understand that. You guys will talk to science because you’re working with it. The other side is purposely convoluting science from a talking point.

Dr Bridle: Yes.

Interviewer: I honestly wonder if they have a science. My wife and I survived …

Dr Bridle: Well, at this point I can tell you, as a scientist – that’s why I’m willing to debate anybody on it – they don’t have the science on their side. That’s very clear. And in fact, you no longer need to understand the science, you just need to understand the contradictions that are coming.

Because, this is the thing, the reason why people like Dr Palmer and myself can stand up and talk off the cuff without any script here is because we’re speaking the truth. We’re speaking based on our knowledge, and we don’t have to keep track of a story when we’re speaking the truth.

We don’t have to make sure that what we’re saying today matches what we said at last week’s rally or the one before that. But the public health narrative has become so discombobulated now that they’re constantly contradicting themselves.

And there’s so many examples that I could give you. But let’s take one, for example. I encourage people now to start taking headlines from the mainstream media from months ago, which had people like myself censored, and line them up side-by-side with headlines that they have today.

‘So a great example is this whole issue of the vaccine mandate and the fact that, you know, what are we telling people right now? If you have one dose of the vaccine, you’re lumped in with the unvaccinated. You’re dangerous, you’re the same as somebody who has been unvaccinated, you’re unprotected and you’re going to kill everybody else, right?

We know from the very get-go, the two-dose regimen was proclaimed to have 95 per cent effectiveness. So, this is the thing, a lot of people who are accepting this current messaging about the ‘one dose doesn’t count’ have forgotten about the one-dose summer.

Remember when Trudeau (the Canadian Prime Minister) was pushing and all we were hearing about was the one-dose summer? So in Canada, the world was watching us in bewilderment and wondering what the basis was for us going from the approved three or four-week interval, depending on whether it was the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, to a four-month interval.

And if you recall, the reason why we could go for the one-dose summer and not worry about getting people two doses is because we were told one dose was 95 per cent effective.

‘A lot of you don’t realise this. If you don’t believe me, you can go on the Health Canada website right now and look. They will have on there that the one dose of the Pfizer vaccine is 95 per cent effective.

So now you have to start asking yourself, using their own messaging: If one dose is 95 per cent effective and two doses is 95 per cent effective, then why are the people with one dose being lumped in with those who are unvaccinated? Why was that OK then, when trying to justify going to a four-month interval, which had no scientific basis?

But now those same people who are sitting with one dose are told, ‘No, no, no. It’s not 95 per cent effective, it’s the equivalent of being unvaccinated altogether.’

This is where we’re getting to. So on that basis alone, that’s what I’m saying is, it’s become blatantly obvious. You don’t have to understand the science. They are not following the science, they’re contradicting themselves over and over and over again.

DR BYRAM BRIDLE:  There’s been a remarkable number of young people who have died for no apparent reason. And in many cases, we can’t confirm their vaccination status. But I’ve been particularly concerned about the number of varsity athletes at our universities who have been dying completely unexpectedly and suddenly. And the only thing that I can tell you – and I don’t know whether they were or were not vaccinated – well, actually, I can’t tell you when they were vaccinated. What I can tell you is that no varsity athlete in Ontario can participate in a varsity team without being vaccinated. They weren’t allowed exemptions.

INTERVIEWER: My point on that example was simply this: if you’re following the science, that first statement that that head doc released would never be said.

BRIDLE: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: You would say, ‘We don’t know.’

BRIDLE: Exactly. That’s exactly, yes.

INTERVIEWER: But that’s the way they’re reporting it tells you . . .

BRIDLE: As you heard from me, yeah.

INTERVIEWER:  . . . their complete agenda.

BRIDLE: As you heard from me. I won’t say definitively that it’s because of the vaccine. I’m a scientist, I’m open to that possibility that there is some other underlying condition with any individual case. But there’s too many of these to not investigate properly. Absolutely.

INTERVIEWER: And if anybody’s paying attention, that whole approach should really put your guard up.

BRIDLE: Yes.

INTERVIEWER: You should realise there’s something drastically wrong with public health officials who would talk with that kind of language.

BRIDLE: Yeah, well, look at the language. So, another contradiction is . . . so, for example, at my university, our president hosted the local Medical Officer of Health who declared the whole reason why the vaccine mandate made so much sense is that there is essentially no such thing as a breakthrough infection. And that’s still being claimed by many, although their ability to claim that continues to be eroded. But that was the idea, and they cited like a 0.003 per cent breakthrough infection rate, so essentially zero, meaning you’re completely protected.

And when our President was asked about that recently, she actually created quite a furore on our campus, because she completely contradicted the messaging that they had just given. Well, the reason why, of course, they still have to mask and physically distance is because, hey, you know, it’s well known that people who are vaccinated can still get infected, still get Covid and transmit the virus. And in fact, there’s very good immunological reasons why people who are vaccinated can still transmit the virus and the scientific data that is emerging is showing that they can transmit at least as efficiently as somebody who has no immunity whatsoever.

And the reason is, is because when we put the vaccine in the shoulder, we’re tricking our bodies into thinking that it’s what we call systemic infection. And so, the problem is that is where your body wants to protect the most is the blood, because if a pathogen gets into the blood it can disseminate throughout the whole body. And so we got all these antibodies in the blood.

So, the one place in our respiratory system where these antibodies will spill over into, if you’re trying to protect against a systemic infection, are the lower airways. And that’s because you just think about gas exchange. There’s barely a physical barrier between the alveolar space and the blood vessels to allow that ready air exchange, which also means it’s very easy for a pathogen that gets deep into the lungs – so that would be what we call pneumonia – for that pathogen to get into the blood. So we put antibodies in the lower airways if we think we have a systemic infection. But we aren’t getting proper antibody protection in the upper airways like we would if we were naturally infected. So these people that have the vaccine, yeah, remember all the antibody titers they’re showing, that’s in the blood. But these people, on average, are quite poorly protected in their upper airways. And it’s not the virus that’s deep down the alveoli that gets transmitted to other people, because of the dead airspace when we exhale, it’s the viral particles that are in the upper airways. So that’s why the vaccinated can spread this just as efficiently as somebody who’s completely unprotected.

And so these vaccines, on that basis, because they don’t come close to conferring sterilising immunity, they don’t properly protect the upper respiratory tract. They only confer about four and a half months of immunity. It’s absolutely 100 per cent impossible to achieve the goal of herd immunity with these vaccines. 100 per cent impossible. For these companies it would be such a quick and easy and cheap study to do, and they could definitively rule this problem in or out. And whenever there’s such easy to do research to be done and they won’t do it, that for me is always a red flag.

INTERVIEWER: Yeah, exactly why isn’t that happening?

DR BYRAM BRIDLE: Yes. All I can say is, again, we’re not being provided with accurate data. So it’s hard to answer any of these questions to do with, you know, what’s actually due to COVID, what’s due to other things? And how we’re defining these things is crazy. Like I said, we’re not even defining somebody who’s vaccinated until they’re 14 days out from their second dose. The second dose is serving as a booster, right? And so typically, the immune response would be peaking actually about five to ten days after receiving that. So we’re actually taking people who would theoretically be at the absolute peak of a vaccine-induced immunity, and we’re calling them not fully vaccinated, for example.

And so for example, if people were to die in that time frame, even if it was linked to the vaccine, it’d be linked as somebody who was not fully vaccinated having died. So it’s very difficult with all these kind of nuances that are going on. All I can say really is what we do know is that the problem of Covid, the number of cases has been dramatically overestimated, but to an unknown degree, because of the way we’ve misused the PCR test. And we know that the problems associate with the vaccines have been grossly underestimated, but to an unknown degree.

And so until we have accurate numbers for these – which I can’t see we’re going to have at any time soon unless we completely change the way we’re monitoring these things – we’re not going to be able to come up with accurate assessments as scientists of . . . you know, with these kind of questions. But the issue was at the beginning, or the problem was, people kept arguing that this could have between a 1 and 10 per cent fatality rate, infection fatality rate, meaning for every 100 people who were infected with the virus between 1 and 10 would die. But the thing is, as we never knew what the proper denominator was, how many people were getting infected – we still don’t know, because again, like I mentioned, there’s many of us . . . well, in fact, just right here, there was an individual who has gone now, but showed me his test result. He had had a positive Covid test result almost a year and a half ago, when he showed me his antibody response for the spike protein, it’s higher, way higher than the average person who’s been vaccinated at the peak, at the peak of their antibody response. So there’s somebody who clearly acquired immunity naturally. And we’re not tracking these people at all, because in many cases where people have actually been infected they didn’t even know it and have natural immunity.

We’re running this clinical trial where we’re evaluating natural acquisition of immunity. We’re finding a huge number of people who never realised that they were sick have clear evidence of immunity against this virus. So that means that for those individuals they were infected but this was not a pathogen for them and they recovered without, you know, without developing disease. And so we have no idea – and we now know this is much more common than we accepted at the beginning – but we have no idea just how common, right?

So the point is, we still don’t know the full extent of the denominator. But when it was updated in February, what was published at that time was that the infection fatality rate was 0.15 – so not even 1 per cent like we were being told, but 0.15 per cent – and that was for the entire population. And if you took out those who were 70 years and older, it dropped to 0.05 per cent. So, just to put that into perspective, a bad flu season would be at 0.1 per cent.

So again, if you go out of the high risk, the highest risk demographic, those over 70. And we’re actually dealing with a problem that is less fatal than the annual flu. And especially when we start talking about children – we’ve had one infant in BC who died. We’re, you’re talking about taking these vaccines down now, in the next phase, to five-year-olds and then all the way down to six months of age. And when you start getting down to under ten years of age, virtually nobody has died. And when you look at the flu, it’s far more dangerous for these individuals.

And if you want to look at another one, respiratory syncytial virus, which we live with – far more dangerous to young people. And this is where even pregnant or breastfeeding women are being told, encouraged, to get vaccinated to protect their infants. It’s crazy. It’s all based on this . . . it’s easy to make people feel that infants are very fragile, very fragile human beings, which in some ways they are. But when it comes to SARS-CoV-2, this was presented today: the younger you are, the fewer receptors you express in your respiratory system that this virus can use to latch on to your cells. And in fact, when you get down into the infants, they’re quite resistant to infection with this virus. And that’s why we haven’t been seeing deaths among that population.

So it’s very unusual, with any other infectious disease you always have two peaks: the frail elderly and the very young. And it’s very clear why, because the frail elderly . . . well, as we get older, our immunological function declines so we in essence become somewhat immunosuppressed as we get older. And then on the very young side, our immune systems don’t fully mature until we’re 16 years old. Still, some components of the immune system maturing as young teenagers. So we’re dealing with less mature immune systems, immune systems that aren’t fully mature as we get into the youngest population. So that’s why we usually see these peaks in the oldest and the youngest. But SARS-CoV-2 is not like that, it’s very unusual in the sense that, yes, infants are relatively immature in terms of their immunological functioning, but they’re physically very resistant to infection with this virus.

So this is all crazy to be encouraging breastfeeding women to be vaccinated, to protect their infants. Their infants are already naturally protected. And as we go down and we start vaccinating six-month-old breastfeeding infants, what we’re doing is we’re bypassing the natural protection they have from the virus when we inject these vaccines, where we start getting their body to manufacture the spike protein. And again, I can’t emphasise enough. The spike protein is not the inert target that we were hoping it would be for the immune system. It has all kinds of biological activities in our bodies that can potentially be harmful.

And what people have to understand is that the receptor that that spike protein can bind to in our children and infants is expressed at the same concentration internally as in adults. And that’s because that protein doesn’t exist to serve as a receptor for the virus, it actually exists to serve basic physiological processes such as regulating blood pressure and so on. So, they’re naturally protected from infection from SARS-CoV-2, but when we put the vaccines in, they’re at least as susceptible as adults to all the harms.

November 28, 2021 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | 3 Comments