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South Korea, Poster Child for Containment Strategy, Now Has Same Excess Mortality as Sweden


Until recently, South Korea was the poster child for the ‘contain and vaccinate’ strategy, having kept infections to a minimum until completing its vaccine rollout.

In November of last year, former ‘Zero Covid’ proponent Devi Sridhar argued, “It is never too late to learn lessons from countries such as South Korea, which pursued maximum suppression, and succeeded.” And in a super-viral tweet, Vincent Rajkumar (a professor at the Mayo Clinic) proclaimed, “South Korea followed the textbook principles of epidemiology. Kept deaths 40 times lower all the way till 75% of population fully vaccinated. This is success.”

All that was true until February of this year, when the country saw its first major outbreak. This outbreak, as I noted previously, led to a large spike in excess mortality; by March’s end, the number of weekly deaths was almost 70% higher than normal.

Owing to this spike, South Korea now has the same excess mortality as Sweden – which took a famously relaxed approach to dealing with Covid. Note: the chart below is based on weekly deaths, rather than age-standardised mortality rates, so it overstates excess mortality in both countries.

Incidentally, you wouldn’t know this from looking at the official Covid death rates. As the chart below indicates, the number of ‘confirmed’ Covid deaths per million people is much higher in Sweden, presumably due to differences in testing or diagnosis. Which illustrates the importance of tracking excess mortality.

So, the country that did least to contain Covid has ended up with the same death toll as one of the countries that did most. What’s more, the majority of Sweden’s infections occurred before the vaccine rollout, whereas the vast majority of South Korea’s occurred after. Which suggests the benefits of containing the virus until after the vaccine rollout have been overstated.

Of course, South Korea didn’t do terribly. By containing the virus using border controls and contact tracing, they avoided really draconian lockdowns, and saw a comparatively mild downturn. Yet the measures they took still constitute a major infringement on civil liberties. As the Guardian notes, “Koreans’ movements were so finely and publicly tracked that secret love affairs and even hidden sexualities were brought to light.”

Anyone who cares about civil liberties will now have to ask whether South Korea’s strategy was worth it, given that Sweden ended up with the same death toll.

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 1 Comment

FDA Panel Votes to Waive Clinical Trials for New COVID Boosters

By Megan Redshaw | The Defender | June 29, 2022

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) vaccine advisory panel on Tuesday voted 19 to 2 to recommend new COVID-19 booster shots that include the Omicron variant this fall.

The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) did not issue guidance on whether additional data would be needed to recommend an updated composition of the primary-series vaccines authorized for emergency use in the U.S., or whether it would be appropriate to continue to use a primary-series vaccine as a booster.

It is the first time VRBPAC has suggested vaccine makers modify their vaccines to target a different variant, according to CNBC, which also reported the FDA will likely accept the committee’s recommendation.

If so, the FDA would be authorizing a vaccine change without requiring additional data showing a bivalent vaccine — containing both the original 2019 Wuhan variant and one of the Omicron variants — is safe and effective for those age groups that are already authorized to receive a booster dose.

The FDA plans to decide by early July whether vaccines will target the now-dominant BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants or the BA.1 Omicron variant that led to a surge in infections last winter, Reuters reported.

At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, suggested a newly designed shot could begin in October, adding that it takes manufacturers around three months to choose a vaccine design and begin producing doses.

Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center and professor of pediatrics in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and Dr. Hank Bernstein, professor of pediatrics at Zucker School of Medicine, were the only two members who broke from the panel to vote against the initiative.

Offit acknowledged there’s a benefit to providing a booster in the fall to some age groups, but questioned whether Omicron was the right strain. He said the move to new-variant vaccines was happening too fast, with too little data.

“I think as a new product it should be handled as a new product,” Offit said. “I think we need a higher standard than what we’ve been given. …“I’m not comfortable enough to support the risk of a new product.”

Bernstein expressed concern over the lack of data used to justify changing the strain, and the potential that by the time a subsequent booster is approved, it will contain outdated strains.

“So, in sum, I think including an Omicron strain in the vaccine seems to have some potential, but data especially for BA.4 and BA.5 are limited at this time, and that’s why I’m struggling to even make a strain change at this time,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein also said he didn’t see a need to change the strain as the current vaccine being used is shown to be effective against severe disease — a claim made just two weeks earlier at a prior VRBPAC meeting.

Bernstein said the strain change would need to be supported by data showing improved vaccine effectiveness and he “didn’t think we really have the data to be able to say that” even though the panel looked at the immune response.

Dr. Ofer Levy, VRBPAC member and an infectious disease physician at Boston Children’s Hospital, voted “yes” to change the computation of COVID-19 boosters, despite Pfizer’s admission there is “no established correlate of protection,” referring to the level of antibodies needed to confer protection.

“You have a lot of data now,” Levy told Pfizer. “What is your relative protection?”

“I would say there is no established correlate of protection,” Kena Swanson, Ph.D., vice president of viral vaccines at Pfizer, told Levy.

Levy circled back during the meeting:

“I would like to hear from FDA what their overall approach will be around improving our understanding of correlate protection. We spend a good amount of time reviewing antibody data. We have no doubt antibody data is important. We don’t have a level of antibody that anybody is comfortable stating is correlated [with] protection.

“So yes, the antibodies are important but so are the T cells. We heard from Dr. Weir, yes, T-cell assays are trickier and they’re more diverse, but it’s not going to happen without federal leadership to have a standardization of the T-cell assay and encourage or in fact require the sponsors to gather that information.”

“So what is the effort to standardize the pre-clinical assays?” Levy asked. “This is an effort that’s critical not just now but for future cycles of vaccine revision. If we aren’t able to define a standard for correlate protection we are fighting with one arm behind our back.”

Marks acknowledged the importance of Levy’s question, but said T-cell-mediated immunity was “difficult to study” initially.

“We have been having conversations with our colleagues at the NIH [National Institutes of Health] and throughout government about how we might move forward here,” Marks said. “It is something that we don’t have an answer to yet.”

Marks said as vaccines are developed in the future, it will “become even more important” to define a standard of correlate protection because “we won’t be able to have a large naive population to vaccinate with newer vaccines.”

“We will need to understand the T-cell response better,” Marks said. “I take your point, it’s just that we haven’t solved the problem yet.“

Dr. Meryl Nass, a member of the Children’s Health Defense scientific advisory committee, told The Defender that in her opinion, Tuesday’s meeting was a “vote to essentially approve a future framework — the future framework being a dearth of evidence required to change the booster, without clinical evidence and without a correlation of protection.”

Nass added:

“They voted on using an Omicron variant in the next booster iteration — which could contain any Omicron variant and could be either mono- or bi-valent.

“But most likely they will keep the current version and add another — which might double the amount of mRNA, or not.”

The new formulation might be for adults alone or adults and children, or only older adults and the immunocompromised, Nass said.

Brian Hooker, Ph.D., Children’s Health Defense chief scientific officer and professor of biology at Simpson University, told The Defender :

“The proposed move by VRBPAC will increase the harm to the U.S. public to unprecedented levels, as this action will further circumvent necessary clinical trials even beyond the slapdash testing of COVID-19 vaccines under Emergency Use Authorization.

“This adds to a foundation of lies used to authorize the original COVID-19 vaccines without anywhere near proper testing.”

Dr. Cody Meissner, VRBPAC panel member and professor of pediatrics at Tufts University, expressed concern about the financial risk pharmaceutical companies “are taking by making these vaccines.”

“If there’s a low likelihood the vaccines will be recommended, then they could incur significant loss,” he said.

Marks responded:

“I guess I would say that I would make recommendations here knowing the vaccine manufacturers will be kept whole by the United States government at least for some vaccines. I could be wrong but I think that’s a reasonable assumption.”

During the meeting, Moderna told the panel it would be ready with a “couple of hundred million” bivalent, or double-targeted, vaccines designed to combat BA.1 by September, but it would be late October or early November if the company needs to design a new vaccine targeting subvariants.

Pfizer said it and partner BioNTech have a significant amount of vaccine doses designed for the BA.1 variant ready and are already preparing to produce a large number of doses targeting BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants.

Pfizer said either could be ready for an early October rollout.

Multiple concerns raised during the public comment session

During the public comment session of the meeting, experts raised concerns that were largely ignored by the advisory panel.

Dr. Dustin Bryce, with Interest of Justice, said the FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization are “usurping Congress’ definition of a vaccine — which is any substance designed for the prevention of one or more disease.”

“FDA actually classifies mRNA as gene therapy, which they say is to treat or cure an existing disease by modifying your genes,” Bryce said. “Gene therapies are still being studied and are experimental at this time.”

Citing FDA documents, Bryce said gene therapy, unlike a vaccine, is so inherently unsafe the FDA says it requires 15 years of research to follow up on safety due to known risks of antibody-dependent enhancement, alteration of DNA and delayed adverse effects, such as cancer.

Bryce said:

“FDA says that gene therapy use in the mass population represents an unreasonable risk and they should limit the number of subjects who might be exposed to risk. We require due process and forbid the FDA from authorizing the proposed changes.

“We are demanding that EUA [Emergency Use Authorization] is promptly revoked because unreasonable risks are inherent in gene therapy products, as evidenced by large numbers of reports of adverse serious events linked to or suspected of being caused by an EUA product, product failure and product ineffectiveness.”

Bryce said COVID-19 vaccines fail to meet the requirements of EUA because not a single mRNA vaccine has been found to be effective for the prevention or treatment of an existing disease.

Michael Briskin pointed out in his public comment that the FDA receives approximately 75% of its budget from pharmaceutical companies, which he believes represents a conflict of interest.

Briskin challenged the use of the phrase “safe and effective” to describe COVID-19 vaccines, given the FDA has done no long-term testing to determine whether these products are safe.

Briskin presented data showing a significant rise in reported deaths among working-age Americans following COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

He said:

“In the short-term, 2021 was a very interesting year. We saw a stark increase [in death] among working-age adults from 18 to 64 and specifically in Q3 and into Q4, so something new for the working-age demographic partly through 2021 would be the clear correlation.

“With comparable trends in BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] data, children’s health insurance data, Israeli ambulance data, and of course we have the [Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)] data — which the CDC tried to minimize but a recent FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request forced them to reveal that they never once did the PRR calcification that was supposed to be their tool for spotting safety signals, according to their posted documents.”

“And what do we do when people get injured from these vaccines?” Briskin asked the panel. “We leave them in the mud.”

Briskin chastised the panel for authorizing boosters for infants two weeks earlier when data showed two doses weren’t effective and only 10 cases were used to assess efficacy.

“Three-quarters of the severe COVID in the trial was in the vaccine arm, as was the only hospitalization case which was accompanied by a seizure,” Briskin said. “And Moderna is so dangerous in young people Nordic countries won’t allow it to be used in anyone under the age of 30.”

Briskin said:

“In fact, the director of health of Denmark just admitted that vaccinating children was a mistake, whereas our officials only ever doubled down. And now we’re about to double down so hard we are about to lose the pretense of holding these pharmaceutical companies to any statistically meaningful regulatory standards for formula modification.

“For people following at home, what this agency is proposing is not just modifying the genetic code in the vaccine and the structure of the proteins produced to chase variants, but even things like doubling the microgram count for Pfizer — all without doing any statistically powered safety studies.”

“And to be clear,” Briskin added, “the companies we’re giving carte blanche to include Pfizer, the world’s largest criminal organization having paid the world’s largest criminal fine, and Moderna, which never made a safe product before we did away with long-term safety testing.”

Dr. Eric Feintuch, a chiropractor, asked the FDA if the agency knows how long mRNA from COVID-19 vaccines and the spike protein stay in the body, whether they know what the rate of protein production is and whether the FDA is aware of the consequences of the methylpseudouridine substitutions at the codon optimization step.

“For anyone on this panel who says it doesn’t go anywhere, tell me what proof you have of that,” Feintuch said, referring to the spike protein.

Feintuch said COVID-19 vaccines are associated with prion disease, noting 26 people have reported experiencing sudden onset of a severe and fatal brain disorder within one month of the second mRNA vaccine dose.

“This information needs to be researched and seen,” Feintuch said.

“A thousand peer-reviewed studies question the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Doesn’t anyone see the safety signals? Is there anyone here who will stand up?” he asked. “Some of you know this, you need to stand up and you need to help us.”

Dr. David Wiseman, a research scientist with a background in pharmacy, pharmacology and experimental pathology, said VRBPAC is once again being asked to opine on inadequate information.

Wiseman said the FDA recently waived efficacy requirements for COVID-19 vaccines and has ignored its experts, notably Levy, who “has called for federal efforts to validate and standardize a correlate of protection.”

“Recent vaccine decisions were based on irrelevant Wuhan immunobridging,” Wiseman said. “Omicron assays are unvalidated and unverified by FDA.”

Wiseman said safety questions surrounding COVID-19 vaccines remain unanswered:

“We have shown correlations between vaccination and all-cause mortality. FDA says VAERS is under- and misreported. A FOIA disclosure reveals that CDC has not conducted safety signal analyses, which we have provided to FDA. Neurologic adverse events are finally being acknowledged [but there are] still no cancer studies.”

Wiseman further pointed out that FOIA requests show vital studies involving the spike protein have not been done:

“A Stanford study in [the journal] Cell showed vaccine message and antigen persisting for at least eight weeks. Does spike accumulate? Is this why myocarditis rates after boosting match or best primary series rates for some ages?

“Does spike persistence contribute to immune suppression, imprinting and negative efficacy? What is the toxicity of multiple doses? How will sameness of the manufacturing process be defined? Are the guidelines talking about monovalents or bivalents?”

Pfizer has dismissed concerns about the spike protein as “academic,” Wiseman said, “but it is certainly not.”

Booster formulation should be changed to combat waning efficacy, committee said

During the meeting, which occurred two weeks after the panel signed off on the primary COVID-19 vaccine series for the nation’s youngest children, a change in booster composition was deemed necessary due to waning effectiveness.

Dr. Mahesh Shenai, neurosurgeon and data analyst, said in a tweet:

“After many months of extolling benefits of vax and booster, now they are criticizing its efficacy and durability. . . to set the stage for a new updated booster!?”

In a briefing document published ahead of Tuesday’s meeting, FDA officials predicted a major COVID-19 outbreak will occur in the fall “due to the combination of waning immunity, further evolution of variants and increased indoor activity.”

similar committee that advises the WHO recently suggested COVID-19 vaccines be reformulated to include both the original SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan variant and the first version of Omicron, BA.1 — although this variant has since been replaced by other strains of BA.4 and BA.5.

Moderna and Pfizer studied Omicron-specific vaccines in preparation for fall boosters, but efforts have been complicated by new subvariants.

If the government decides it wants a booster shot that targets BA.4 and BA.5 — two strains derived from the Omicron variant that are becoming dominant — vaccine manufacturers will have to race to produce the doses by fall, The New York Times reported.

Vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson were developed against the original Wuhan COVID strain that emerged in 2019, but as the virus has rapidly evolved, these vaccines have become less effective.

COVID-19 vaccines target the spike protein the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses to invade human cells, but as the virus mutates away from the original strain, it has trouble “recognizing and attacking the spike,” CNBC reported. The Omicron variant has more than 30 mutations.

Marks said during the meeting he hopes changing the booster will “convince people to go get that booster,” adding the FDA plans to begin a booster campaign in October.

Megan Redshaw is a staff attorney for Children’s Health Defense and a reporter for The Defender.

© 2022 Children’s Health Defense, Inc. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of Children’s Health Defense, Inc. Want to learn more from Children’s Health Defense? Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. Your donation will help to support us in our efforts.

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Doctor who sounded the alarm on jabs in ICU after plane crash

Free West Media | June 30, 2022

American doctor and vaccine critic Carrie Madej was seriously injured in a plane crash on Sunday. She is in hospital with several broken bones. Her boyfriend was also involved in the crash and has a broken back and skull. On her website there is a call to prayer.

The website mentioned that Madej had sent a text message on Thursday saying that she would not be giving lectures in the coming months because the medical disciplinary tribunal had been harassing her.

The US aviation authority FAA is currently investigating the crash in Meriwether County in the state of Georgia. The plane crashed at Roosevelt Memorial Airport in Warm Springs after engine problems. The doctor and her friend came down in a field north of the airport.

The small plane was en route from St. Petersburg in Florida to Newnan-Coweta County Airport. It was headed for Warm Springs. It was confirmed that Madej was in the ICU.

The doctor has been highly critical of Corona vaccines for some time. She sounded the alarm on side-effects but was censored by YouTube. “People need to know that this is not a safe vaccine,” she said. “They mess with the RNA and the DNA, the genome, the genes. That can eventually result in cancers, mutagens and autoimmune diseases.”

Madej also linked the jabs to depopulation. “Bill Gates thinks there are too many people, he wants to thin out the world population. People, wake up! This man does not want us all to stay alive. He has said it so many times in so many different ways. He is not a scientist, not a doctor, not an epidemiologist. Why are we giving him this power?”

The doctor had previously lashed out at Klaus Schwab, the founder of the World Economic Forum. Last year he said, “No one will be safe until everyone is vaccinated.” Madej shared the response to Schwab’s statement: “Over my dead body, Klaus.”

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Full Spectrum Dominance | , | 3 Comments

Sanctions can be perceived as casus belli – Medvedev

Samizdat – June 30, 2022

Unilateral sanctions can be perceived as an “act of international aggression” and invoke Russia’s right to self-defense, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned.

Speaking at the 10th International legal forum in Saint Petersburg, Medvedev blasted the “cynical practice of unilateral restrictive measures against Russia, the illegality of which has been repeatedly emphasized at all levels.”

This practice is “somewhat akin to a declaration of economic war, as our opponents themselves say,” he added.

“Under certain circumstances, such hostile steps can be perceived as an act of international aggression. And even as a casus belli. In response to them, the state has the right to individual and collective self-defense.”

However, Moscow still holds “weak hope” that the West will abandon its “vicious practices” and “repent of its own stupidity,” Medvedev stated. “It is our hope that our former Western partners will have the courage to admit their strategic miscalculations, which, according to the UN itself, have affected more than 1.5 billion people and provoked a surge in global inflation, food shortages, and the growth of poverty,” he said.

Should such hopes not materialize, Russia “will live” on its own without the West, the ex-president explained. “Today’s world is not at all limited to the borders of Western countries,” he said.

Over the past few years, Russia has repeatedly been subjected to assorted sanctions by the US and its allies. The sanctions pressure began to grow exponentially after Moscow launched its large-scale military operation in neighboring Ukraine in late February. Since then, Russia has been hit by several waves of restrictions, ultimately becoming the most-sanctioned country in the world.

Russia sent troops into Ukraine on February 24, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that Kiev’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to buy time and “create powerful armed forces.”

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , | 2 Comments

Biden: Americans will endure higher fuel prices

Samizdat | June 30, 2022

The US will bear high gasoline prices for as long as needed, President Joe Biden said on Thursday during a news conference at the NATO summit in Madrid.

When asked how long American motorists should expect to deal with high fuel prices, Biden told reporters “As long as it takes, so Russia cannot in fact defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine.” He stressed that “this is a critical, critical position for the world.”

US gasoline prices, a key driver of the highest inflation seen in the country in 40 years, hit a record $5-a-gallon this month. The prices have been on the rise since the start of the year, reflecting significant consumer demand outstripping the supply of oil, as well as the ongoing turmoil in energy markets. Biden had earlier reassured the public that the US government was doing everything it can “to reduce this pain at the pump.”

The White House has repeatedly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for causing inflation in the US, with Biden describing it as “Putin’s price hike.”

However, the US Federal Reserve has recently rejected the assertion that soaring inflation in the country was mostly being driven by the crisis in Ukraine, pointing out that prices had been rising well before that.

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Russophobia | , , | 1 Comment

US Supreme Court Limits Use of Clean Air Act in Major Blow to WH’s Climate Change Policy

Samizdat – 30.06.2022

The reduction of emissions, decrease in the use of fossil fuels and development of effective green energy sources are among the top priorities of Biden’s declared Build Back Better agenda. The latter already suffered a major blow last year when part of the legislation that was supposed to fund climate policies failed to pass Congress.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency interpreted the Clean Air Act – the country’s main anti-air pollution law that allows the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions – too broadly, and ordered to limit its use. Six justices deemed “conservative” supported the decision, while three “liberal” justices opposed it.

The court specifically ruled that the EPA does not have the authority to limit emissions from power plants using the Clean Air Act.

The decision comes as a response to an appeal by 19 states, coal companies and power plants to prevent the EPA from abusing broad authority to regulate emissions. They asked the US Supreme Court to allow them greater flexibility in phasing out emissions-intensive plants, namely coal ones so that they could provide services reliably.

The ruling might undermine Joe Biden’s planned efforts to propose mandatory emission reductions at power plants in the US by the end of the year. It is supposed to be the first step in the POTUS’ broader plan to have the country’s power generation emissions-free in 13 years.

The idea of regulating power plant emissions dates back to the Obama administration and its plans to pass the Clean Power Plan that would have explicitly given the government the tools to retire emissions-intensive coal plans. The act was effectively blocked by a 5-4 US Supreme Court decision in 2016 and shelved for good under the Donald Trump administration.

Regardless of the Democrats’ efforts, the US power plant emissions have actually already sunk below the levels that should have been achieved only by 2030 under Obama’s original plan. They were achieved thanks to closures of the very same coal plants driven by market mechanisms [fracked gas].

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity | , , | Leave a comment

Ukraine War: 120 Days

A no-nonsense analysis of the ongoing Ukraine war and its global impact

Military situation in Ukraine on June 28 (SouthFront)
Swiss Policy Research | July 2022

Military Situation

The initial Russian offensive (“phase 1”) consisted in a direct advance from Belarus to the northern gates of Kiev and the simultaneous opening of multiple fronts in the north-east, east, and south of Ukraine. There have been various theories as to what the initial Russian strategy was (e.g. conquering Kiev or ‘binding Ukrainian forces’), but most likely, Russia tried to force a collapse or capitulation of the Ukrainian government, in which case Russia would have won the war without really fighting it.

Indeed, just one day after the beginning of the invasion, Russian President Putin proposed a kind of “military coup” in Ukraine to make it easier to “reach an agreement”. There were also several rounds of negotiations between Moscow and Kiev in Belarus and Turkey.

Yet this initial, political-military plan failed and was halted in late March, about one month after the beginning of the invasion.

Nevertheless, already by early March Russia had conquered extensive territories in southern Ukraine connecting the Donbas and Crimea and had been able to restore water supply to the Crimean Peninsula (which had been cut off by Ukraine since 2014; see map above).

By late April, Russia had essentially conquered the important southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol (500k pre-war inhabitants), and by late May, the remaining Ukrainian forces in the Azovstal steel plant of Mariupol had surrendered. In addition, Russia conquered the southern Ukrainian cities of Melitopol (150k inhabitants) and Kherson (300k) without meeting much resistance.

After the failure of the initial political-military strategy, Russia in early April withdrew all of its troops from the north of Kiev and redeployed them to the east in an attempt to encircle and defeat the main positions of the Ukrainian military and conquer the entire Donbas region.

However, the Russian advance in eastern Ukraine was much slower than expected by many observers, and Russian forces advanced only about 25 kilometers in about two months.

Many Western analysts got the impression that the Russian military was weaker than previously assumed, while many Russian and pro-Russian analysts have argued that the Russian military was advancing slow “on purpose”, allegedly to “minimize losses”.

Yet neither of these explanations were convincing. Instead, there are several substantial reasons that explain the steady, but rather slow advance of the Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.

First, in terms of the number of soldiers and tanks, the Ukrainian military is the largest military in Europe, second only to the Russian military (not counting the Turkish military).

Second, while Ukraine has already mobilized large parts of its men of fighting age, Russia has not yet mobilized at all, i.e. Russia is using only active soldiers, no reservists or conscripts. In fact, Russia has essentially deployed its peace-time army, which has resulted in a notable lack of manpower and infantry. A likely explanation for this decision is that the Russian government wants to keep up the impression, at least domestically, that it is just conducting a “special military operation”, not a full-scale war, and that it wants to avoid the political repercussions of having to conscript additional men (i.e. civilians). This is consistent with the fact that Russia has offered high-paid short-term military contracts to volunteers, again avoiding conscription.

Third, Eastern Ukraine is probably the most strongly fortified region in Europe today, having been prepared against a potential Russian invasion for several years. Although some Ukrainian units have surrendered due to a lack of supply or guidance, the overall Ukrainian resistance against Russian forces remains at a very high level.

Fourth, the Ukrainian military has received large amounts of weapons from the US and NATO countries, including powerful artillery and modern anti-tank weapons. Without these supplies, the Ukrainian front would likely have collapsed rather quickly.

Fifth, the Ukrainian military has greatly enhanced the effectiveness of its artillery by using reconnaissance data from its own drones as well as from US satellites. Indeed, the use of commercial and simple military drones appears to have fundamentally transformed modern warfare at the tactical level.

Sixth, and contrary to claims by Western media, the Russian military is still trying to minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure, likely because it views Eastern Ukraine as Russian territory anyway. For instance, it has been noted that the Russian military delivered fewer airstrikes and fewer missiles during the entire first month than the United States did during the Iraq war in just one day. However, as the Ukrainian military has been fiercely defending most cities and villages, the end result is still large-scale destruction of urban infrastructure.

Although Russia has had the upper hand in Eastern Ukraine, it remains uncertain if the current Russian military strategy will be viable in the longer run, especially if Russia intends to conquer some of the larger Ukrainian cities, such as Kharkiv, Odessa or Dnipro (1M-1.5M) or even Kiev (3M). If the Ukrainian government or military do not surrender or agree to a negotiated solution, the Russian military may have to call up reservists and conscripts and/or switch to an (even) more destructive mode of warfare against the cities it intends to “liberate”.

Currently, the main Russian military advantage consists in relative (but not absolute) air superiority, more powerful artillery, and cruise missiles that can destroy strategic targets anywhere in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the Ukraine war is currently not an “asymmetric war”.

In terms of military strength, it is estimated that Russia deployed about 160,000 soldiers, the pro-Russian Donbas republics about 40,000 soldiers, and Ukraine about 300,000 military and paramilitary forces, of which about 50,000 in Eastern Ukraine. In terms of military losses, it is estimated that by late June, Ukraine may have lost close to 20,000 soldiers, Russia close to 5,000 soldiers, and the Donbas republics about 10,000 soldiers.

Future Developments

Russia will certainly try to fully conquer (or liberate) the Donbas republics, including the cities of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk (100k-150k pre-war inhabitants). Russia may also try to conquer Mykolaiv (500k) and Odessa (1M) in the south of Ukraine in order to establish a corridor to Moldova/Transnistria, which would cut off Ukraine from the Black Sea and turn the country into a landlocked rump state. After conquering the Donbas republics, Russia may further try to conquer or encircle Kharkov (1.5M) and advance to the Dnipr river.

Cities or districts conquered by Russia will likely hold referendums on becoming part of Russia. These referendums will likely turn out in favor of Russia, as a majority of the people in the east and south-east of Ukraine do indeed identify as Russians (or are leaning towards Russia), and Russia may then annex or absorb these territories. However, such a strategy will not work in Kiev, nor in northern and western Ukraine (see map below).

In terms of potential escalations, a Russian advance towards Moldova may trigger a preemptive Romanian invasion (“by invitation”) of Moldova. A further destabilization of Ukraine may trigger a Polish invasion (“peace mission”) of western Ukraine, which in turn could trigger a war between Poland and Belarus in western Ukraine.

Moreover, NATO countries could decide to deliver more powerful weapons to Ukraine or to establish a “safe zone” in western Ukraine (similar to the situation in eastern Syria). In general, the US will likely try to prolong the Ukraine war as much as possible in order to weaken Russia financially and politically (similar to the Afghanistan war in the 1980s.)

Outside of Ukraine, the situation in the Baltics (Lithuania/Kaliningrad), the Balkans (Bosnia-Serbia-Kosovo) and in the Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia-Azerbaijan) could further deteriorate. The situation in Syria, where the US, Israel, Turkey, Iran and Russia are already involved, could also further escalate. In Asia, China could decide to invade and annex Taiwan.

The global economic situation will also likely continue to deteriorate, especially in the fields of energy and food supply, price inflation and financial market stability. This deterioration is driven not just by the war itself, but also by Western sanctions against Russia as well as by two years of misguided pandemic lockdown policies, which have caused serious global supply chain disruptions.

The possibility of a nuclear escalation will be discussed further below.

War Crimes

In terms of war crimes, the current situation is in stark contrast to claims by Western media and Western governments, as most war crimes have been committed not by the Russian side, but by the Ukrainian side. This includes many major war crimes blamed on the Russian side, such as the infamous Bucha massacre, the Mariupol theater bombing, or the Kramatorsk railway station bombing. Other supposed Russian war crimes were simply made up by Ukrainian officials, such as allegations of systematic rape and mass looting.

Yet other events were taken out of context, such as the alleged Russian bombing of Ukrainian schools and hospitals or shopping centers, which in almost all cases had been turned into Ukrainian military bases or ammunition depots. In other cases, civilian buildings supposedly destroyed by Russian missiles were in fact destroyed by Ukrainian air-defense missiles (e.g. in Kiev) or Ukrainian artillery missiles (e.g. in Borodyanka).

In yet other cases, Ukrainian forces, poorly disguised as Russian forces, executed Ukrainian civilians that welcomed the false “Russian liberators”; Western media then presented the execution as a Russian war crime. In even other cases, the Ukrainian bombing of Donbas cities was presented as the Russian bombing of Ukrainian cities.

In the case of Bucha, the bodies seen in the streets were victims of Ukrainian shelling of residential areas during the Russian occupation and retreat, and of subsequent Ukrainian executions of “collaborators” (hence the white armbands, a sign of friendly status during Russian occupation). The bodies were then presented as victims of a supposed “Russian massacre”.

Ironically, the Ukrainian commander who oversaw the Bucha massacre previously was a Russian intelligence asset who had built up “neonazi groups” in Russia and Belarus. The international “marketing” of the Bucha massacre as a supposed Russian war crime may have been coordinated by British intelligence, similar to numerous chemical false-flag attacks in Syria.

In the case of the Mariupol maternity clinic, Western media claimed it was a Russian airstrike, but they could not provide any evidence for this hypothesis, and witnesses at the clinic said there was no airstrike. Yet the incident remains unresolved, and both a Russian attack (possibly targeting a nearby Ukrainian base) or a Ukrainian operation remain possible.

In the case of the recent Kremenchuk shopping center incident, the Ukrainian government claimed a Russian missile hit the shopping center with 1,000 people inside; in reality, the Russian missiles hit an adjacent military plant and the shopping center was either closed (non-operational) or almost empty. However, one of the Russian missiles did hit very close to the shopping center, which then caught fire and burnt down.

Documented, confirmed or potential Russian war crimes currently consist mainly in the shooting and killing of civilians that approached Russian checkpoints or military columns, on foot or by car, although the context of these events is sometimes unclear (e.g. if there were any warning shots). There are also allegations of several other crimes against individual Russian soldiers that are currently difficult to verify independently.

On the Ukrainian side, documented war crimes encompass mass torture and mass executions, both against prisoners of war and their own people (if deemed pro-Russian collaborators or sympathizers), including several cases of decapitation; the military use of civilian infrastructure (including schools) and “human shields”; and large-scale shelling of residential areas behind front lines, especially against the city of Donetsk (in one case even hitting a maternity clinic).

Moreover, several Western journalists, whose death was blamed on the Russian side, were in fact killed by the Ukrainian side (in friendly fire incidents).

False claims of major Russian war crimes (i.e. atrocity propaganda) have been used by Western governments to justify weapons supplies to Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. The heavy use of such atrocity propaganda is not a new phenomenon, of course. Important recent examples include the US/NATO wars against Yugoslavia and against Syria.

The topic of war crimes will be covered in a separate, detailed event-by-event analysis.

Propaganda and Censorship

On the Russian side, propaganda efforts depict the Ukraine war as a kind of continuation of the Second World War or Great Patriotic War against National Socialist Germany, focusing on the supposed “denazification” of Ukraine. At the same time, Russian President Putin has criticized Soviet leaders for having made Ukraine a quasi-independent political entity in the first place. Thus, Russian propaganda combines elements of both the former Soviet Union and the earlier Russian Tsarist empire.

Overall, the “Nazi narrative” appears to be quite effective, both in Russia and in the West, in part because many key aspects of the Second World War and NS Germany still cannot be questioned, neither in Russia nor in the sphere of Anglo-American countries, which during the Second World War were allied with Stalin’s Soviet Union against Hitler’s Germany.

On the NATO side, propaganda efforts mainly focus on Russian aggression, supposed Russian war crimes and supposed Ukrainian successes. NATO propaganda is produced by multiple PR agencies, coordinated by intelligence services, and distributed to Western media outlets by the three global news agencies AP (American), AFP (French) and Reuters (British-Canadian). The total number of NATO propaganda messages in Western media is likely approaching about one thousand.

In addition, both sides have introduced significant media censorship. In NATO countries, this includes the removal of Russian and pro-Russian media outlets from major Internet search engines Google, Microsoft Bing and even DuckDuckGo. Furthermore, British security state operatives were caught trying to suppress independent media coverage of the Ukraine war.

Nevertheless, independent media outlets and uncensored Telegram channels have continued to provide important real-time footage and analysis of the situation in Ukraine.

NATO Expansion or Russian Expansion?

Is the Ukraine war about NATO expansion or rather about Russian expansion? In truth, it is likely about both NATO and Russian expansion, although one may argue that the Russian expansion is a response to NATO expansion. It is clear that the current Russian government sees large parts of Ukraine as “historically Russian territory”, or indeed Ukraine as part of Russia. Only by seeking a neutral status and by accepting the loss of Crimea and the autonomy of the Donbas republics might Ukraine have avoided a Russian invasion.

It has been argued that NATO expansion into Ukraine wouldn’t be a threat to nuclear Russia, but this is hardly true. NATO expansion into Ukraine would pose a geostrategic threat (control over pipelines, ports etc.), a direct military threat (planned recapture of Crimea and the Donbas republics), and a strategic military threat (NATO military infrastructure and missile bases). For similar reasons, the US did not and would not accept Russian bases in Cuba, Mexico or Venezuela.

It has been noted that Russia is unlikely to invade Finland or Sweden, despite their intention to join NATO (in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine). In fact, Russia already has a (small) land border with NATO founding member Norway and with Baltic states. Yet Finland and Sweden do not currently threaten Russian territory or Russian interests. Otherwise, a Russian military response may in fact be conceivable (see below).

Is the Russian military operation in Ukraine legal or illegal? From a Western perspective, the Russian operation is clearly illegal, not unlike previous US invasions (e.g. of Grenada, Panama and Iraq) and most US/NATO wars (e.g. against Serbia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria). From a Russian perspective, the military operation is a legitimate intervention into an ongoing, illegal eight-year war against the Donbas republics. Russia will likely annex large parts of Ukraine, but it will try to “legitimize” these annexations by prior referendums.

Energy War: By Whom?

It has also been argued that Russia is waging an energy war by restricting oil and gas exports in order to destabilize NATO countries and especially Europe. Yet upon closer inspection, it is clear that the energy war is in fact waged via sanctions by NATO countries  in order to financially destabilize Russia, although so far this seems to have failed and indeed backfired, with energy security in Europe becoming rather uncertain.

For instance, a reduction in gas flow through the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany was (and is) due to a broken turbine sent by Germany to Canada for repair, but then retained by Canada due to sanctions against Russia. Similarly, the Russian decision to accept energy payments only after conversion into rubles was simply in response to the prior freezing of billions of Russian Euro and dollar reserves by Western countries.

Indeed, neither during nor after the Cold War has Russia (or the USSR) ever used the “energy weapon” against (Western) Europe, as Russia is very much interested in both being seen as a reliable supplier and in foreign currency export revenue.

However, one can argue that Russia is relying on a kind of “indirect energy weapon”: by being a reliable energy supplier, Russia may hope that Europe and NATO will not turn hostile, regardless of Russian military actions. Moreover, if relations should further deteriorate, Russia could of course use the “energy weapon” and stop energy exports to Europe altogether.

The Russian government likes to emphasize that the impact of Western sanctions is rather minor and that the Russian ruble has remained strong. But Russia had to impose capital controls (i.e. the ruble is no longer free floating), and the economic impact is substantial, with tens of thousands of IT specialists having already left the country, for instance.

Nuclear War?

How likely is a nuclear war as a potential escalation of the Ukraine war?

A direct nuclear war targeting the mainland of nuclear states remains very unlikely, as this would lead to the destruction of all states involved. However, from a purely military and geostrategic perspective, there are two rational offensive uses of nuclear weapons, in addition to their defensive use as a deterrent: against hostile non-nuclear states and against overseas military infrastructure of nuclear states.

In this regard, there is a major geostrategic asymmetry between Russia and China on the one hand and the US on the other hand: whereas the US has several hundred overseas military bases and several dozen non-nuclear allies or client states (both in Europe and in Asia), Russia and China have almost no overseas military bases and very few non-nuclear allies.

Thus, Russia and China could consider coordinated nuclear strikes against all US overseas military bases in Eurasia (i.e. in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and East Asia). In addition, Russia and China could consider nuclear strikes against hostile non-nuclear countries, both in Europe and in Asia, targeting military/industrial centers or even population centers.

Theoretically, such a coordinated nuclear operation might remove the US military from the Eurasian continent (and by extension from Africa), limiting US military influence to North and South America. Thereafter, a new geo-economic Cold War between Eurasia/Africa, led by China and Russia, and the Americas would likely ensue.

Nuclear allies of the US in Eurasia, most notably Britain, France and Israel, would have to ensure robust sea- and air-based second strike capability even against modern hypersonic missiles with multiple nuclear warheads, in order to avoid being targeted themselves.

A nuclear attack against non-nuclear NATO states would be seen as an attack against NATO, and a nuclear attack against US overseas military bases would be seen as an attack against the United States, but because of the above-mentioned asymmetry, the US could not respond in a meaningful way without forcing its own destruction.

While such a scenario seems militarily conceivable and even rational (given the breakdown of the post-WWII security architecture), both China and Russia currently seem to follow a different economic, diplomatic and military strategy, using novel alliances such as BRICS, RCEP, the Eurasian Economic Union, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

In contrast, the US may attempt to contain Russia and China via economic and political sanctions and to ultimately overturn regimes in both countries, thus paving the way for global US predominance, which was almost achieved after the end of the Cold War.


1) Results of 2010 Ukrainian presidential election.

Janukovych was the pro-Russian candidate, Tymoshenko was the pro-Western candidate.

Results of 2010 Ukrainian presidential election (Wikimedia)

2) Mariupol: Before and after Russian conquest

Mariupol: Before and after Russian conquest (Telegram)

3) Western propaganda vs. Russian propaganda

Western propaganda vs. Russian propaganda (Lynn PR)

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Economics, False Flag Terrorism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Subjugation - Torture, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

EU chief can’t find texts with Pfizer CEO

Samizdat | June 30, 2022

The European Commission said it is unable to locate text messages sent between its president, Ursula von der Leyen, and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla during talks for a massive vaccine deal last year, but denied prior charges of “maladministration” from an EU watchdog.

The commission issued a letter on Wednesday stating that an expanded search for the missing messages had “not yielded any results,” following months of dispute between the EU’s executive body and oversight officials. It argued that due to the “short-lived and ephemeral nature” of texts, they typically “do not contain important information” and are therefore rarely stored.

While von der Leyen revealed in an April 2021 interview that she and Bourla privately communicated for several weeks while negotiating a contract for nearly 2 billion vaccine doses, a journalist’s public information request for the texts was later shot down, with the commission claiming it could not find the messages in question.

The denial triggered a rebuke from the European ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, who followed up with an investigation last year and blasted EU officials over poor administration and a lack of transparency, saying that “no attempt was made to identify if any text messages existed.” The ombudsman then urged the commission to “search again,” asking it to broaden its criteria in a way that might actually locate the records.

The commission doubled down in its latest response to O’Reilly, however, insisting it had handled the matter properly and made every effort to find the texts. It reiterated that it does not register material that contains no “important information,” and that such documents “are not kept, and, as a consequence, are not in the possession of the institution.”

“The European Commission is of the opinion that it has not treated this request in a ‘narrow way’ and that the search and handling of documents for the purpose of public requests for access to documents … is justified and follows the established practice,” it continued.

The body added that it intends to “issue further guidance on modern communication tools” in hopes of avoiding similar mix-ups in the future, but nonetheless held that its actions were “in line with the applicable legislation and the relevant case law on access to documents.”

The office of the ombudsman, which published the commission’s letter on Wednesday, declared that the response was “problematic on several points,” and noted that a “full analysis” of the case would follow in the coming weeks.

The controversy over the missing texts is not the first dispute regarding a lack of transparency in the EU’s vaccine dealings, as the commission was sued in April by several MEPs, who claimed the negotiations were overly secretive. Though contracts were eventually published, they were heavily redacted in a way that “made it impossible to understand the content of the agreements,” the lawmakers alleged, insisting secrecy “has no place in public agreements with pharmaceutical companies.”

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Deception | , , | 1 Comment

Vladimir Putin comments on Boris Johnson’s remarks

Samizdat | June 29, 2022

Speaking to journalists in Turkmenistan on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to questions about several recent remarks from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. During the latest G7 summit, the UK leader joked that his allies should take their clothes off for the photoshoot – to show that they are “tougher than Putin.”

“I don’t know how they wanted to undress, waist-high or not, but I think it would be a disgusting sight either way,” the Russian president quipped. “Everything should be harmoniously developed in a person, both the body and the soul. However, in order for everything to be harmonious, one has to abandon excessive drinking and break other bad habits, start exercising, take up a sport.”

Johnson’s another recent remark suggested that what he described as a “macho war of invasion” in Ukraine would not happen “if Putin was a woman, which he obviously isn’t.”

The Russian leader responded: “I just want to remind you about the events of modern history, when Margaret Thatcher made a decision to launch military action against Argentina over the Falkland Islands. Here’s a woman, deciding to launch military action. Where are the Falkland Islands and where is Britain? And this was dictated by nothing but imperial ambitions.”

“So coming from an acting British Prime Minister, this is not exactly a correct remark in regards to what is happening today.”

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 8 Comments

Trudeau government extends ban on unvaccinated foreigners

By Thomas Lambert | The Counter Signal | June 29, 2022

The Trudeau government just announced they would be extending the ban on unvaccinated foreigners until September 30 (the start of flu season).

“Today, the Government of Canada announced it is extending current border measures for travellers entering Canada. Requirements for travellers arriving to Canada are expected to remain in effect until at least September 30, 2022,” a Public Health Agency of Canada news release reads.

It should be noted that while unvaccinated Canadians can (at least in the short term) board a plane to travel abroad, the ban on the unvaccinated remains on both sides of the Canada-US border, an apparent unspoken agreement by both countries to not budge on the unvaccinated travel ban until the other does.

Moreover, the latest announcement states that unvaccinated Canadians will still be forced to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to Canada.

Additionally, the government says that the ArriveCan app — which has led to delays so bad it has become an international embarrassment — will remain in place.

As for good news, mandatory random COVID tests at airports are now paused — but only for the vaccinated. This is Transport Minister Omar Alghabra’s half-hearted attempt to keep Canada’s airports “strong, efficient, and resilient” after being disgraced by former NHL player Ryan Whitney.

“In addition, the pause of mandatory random testing will continue at all airports until mid-July for travellers who qualify as fully vaccinated… Mandatory random testing continues at land border points of entry, with no changes. Travellers who do not qualify as fully vaccinated, unless exempt, will continue to test on Day 1 and Day 8 of their 14-day quarantine,” the news release reads.

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Civil Liberties | , , , | 2 Comments

NATO admits it’s been preparing for conflict with Russia since 2014

Samizdat | June 29, 2022

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Wednesday that increases in military spending and rising numbers of troop deployments in Eastern Europe since 2014 were carried out in anticipation of a conflict with Russia.

Speaking after a meeting of NATO members and partner states in Madrid, Stoltenberg accused Russia of “using force in the eastern Donbass since 2014,” despite the fact that Kiev’s forces have shelled cities in the region ever since the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics declared independence from Ukraine that year.

Nevertheless, Stoltenberg said that the US-led military bloc decided in 2014 to start beefing up its forces in Eastern Europe.

“The reality is also that we have been preparing for this since 2014,” he stated. “That is the reason that we have increased our presence in the eastern part of the alliance, why NATO allies have started to invest more in defense, and why we have increased [our] readiness.”

According to NATO figures, the alliance’s European members and Canada have increased their military expenditure by between 1.2% and 5.9% every year since 2014. However, only 10 out of 30 NATO states currently meet the bloc’s target of spending 2% of GDP on defense.

The increase in expenditure has been most noticeable in Eastern Europe and the Baltics, with Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania all meeting the target for the first time in 2022.

Earlier on Wednesday, NATO members agreed to adopt a new Strategic Concept. This policy blueprint sets out the alliance’s stance toward partners, non-members, and adversaries, with the 2022 iteration naming Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to the bloc.

On the other hand, Moscow has labeled NATO’s expansion into former Soviet states since the end of the Cold War – which Western leaders explicitly promised in the early 1990s would not happen – as a threat against its own security. NATO’s official position on Ukraine, set out in the 2008 Bucharest Declaration, is that it and Georgia “will become members of NATO” at an unspecified future date. Russia has cited Ukraine’s pursuit of NATO membership as a key factor behind the current conflict.

Despite the alliance’s post-Cold War march into the former Eastern Bloc, Stoltenberg claimed on Wednesday that “NATO has strived for a better relationship with Russia for decades.”

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, Russophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Statins Increase Diabetes Risk by 38%

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | June 29, 2022

According to a 2020 report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,1 34.1 million U.S. adults had diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes in 2018. There were slightly more men than women, and more white, non-Hispanic people with diabetes than Black, Asian or Hispanic people combined.

Just two years later, these numbers have gone up, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,2 with 37.3 million people having diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes. A total of 96 million over the age of 18 have prediabetes, which is 38% of the U.S. adult population.

These numbers demonstrate that diabetes is already at epidemic proportions in the U.S. A study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 3 found that adults taking statin medications to control cholesterol levels have a higher risk of developing insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes than the general population. However, researchers have repeatedly failed to find evidence that high cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

As I have discussed in many previous articles, three factors have a far greater influence on your cardiovascular disease risk and, to some degree, are interrelated. These are insulin resistance,4 chronic inflammation5 and high iron levels.6 Unfortunately, these primary contributors are rarely the focus of cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment in conventional medicine.

Instead, statins, also called cholesterol-lowering drugs, are the go-to defense in Western medicine, which led to the drug once holding the infamous title of the most profitable drug. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick7 is a general practitioner in Cheshire, England, and the author of three books, including “A Statin Nation: Damaging Millions in a Brave New Post-Health World.” He estimates that the pharmaceutical industry has grossed more than $1 trillion from statins.

Statins Increase Risk of Diabetes by 38%

A team at Erasmus University Medical Center in The Netherlands published the study found in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.8 The researchers wrote that several epidemiological studies had shown an association between statins and diabetes, but this team sought to analyze the associated glycemic traits with Type 2 diabetes.

They included 9,535 people in the Rotterdam Study who did not have diabetes at the start of the study. They followed the participants for 15 years and found those who used statin medications had a higher concentration of serum fasting insulin and insulin resistance as compared to those who had never used a statin.

This was associated with a 38% increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The researchers concluded, “Individuals using statins may be at higher risk for hyperglycemia, insulin resistance and, eventually, Type 2 diabetes. Rigorous preventive strategies such as glucose control and weight reduction in patients when initiating statin therapy might help minimize the risk of diabetes.”

Unfortunately, the mechanism by which statins trigger Type 2 diabetes has not been fully identified and may not be related to obesity. Scientists have also identified a health condition called metabolically obese but normal weight (MONW),9 which is a subgroup of the population that has impaired insulin sensitivity and a higher risk of diabetes while being normal weight.

In this condition, the patient would appear to have a normal weight but have impaired insulin sensitivity, so weight reduction would not be an effective means of reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Recent research has also found the same results — individuals taking statin medications have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Scientists have proposed multiple reasons10 for the increased risk of diabetes in those taking statins, including impaired insulin sensitivity and reduced secretion of insulin from pancreatic beta cells. One paper published in the International Journal of Molecular Science 11 in 2020, reviewed the mechanisms by which statins appear to increase the risk. These included the impact on epigenetics through differential expression of microRNAs.

Another study12 published in the same year investigated the role of epigenetics by comparing DNA methylation in patients using statins against those who did not. They gathered evidence from five cohort studies that included 8,270 participants and found evidence that DNA methylation contributed to the effect that statin medications had on insulin traits.

Statins Also Raise Your Risk of Cardiovascular Events

A third retrospective cohort study13 looked at the results from 13,698 patients that were evenly split between statin users and non-statin users. Participants did not have atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or diabetes in 2005 when the study began. The group was followed until 2013 and evaluated for the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

The results revealed that statin users had a significantly greater risk of new-onset Type 2 diabetes than non-users. The researchers separated the risk by statin medication and found that five-year use was associated with a higher risk for those taking simvastatin (Zocor), followed closely by atorvastatin (Lipitor).14

In January 2021, when the pandemic media storm was in full swing, a study15 was published in the journal Atherosclerosis that showed people taking statin medications have a higher rate of cardiovascular events than those who were not on statins. This is significant since statins are supposed to reduce the rate of cardiovascular events.

The researchers used a coronary artery calcium (CAC) score, which is a noninvasive CT scan designed to detect plaque buildup in the coronary arteries. It’s also called the cardiac calcium score,16 calcium scan or Agatston score.17 This score is often used to calculate the risk of developing coronary artery disease. The researchers wrote18 that statins may increase calcification but sought to examine the prognostic significance of the CAC score with statin medication use.

They compared statin users in 28,025 patients aged 40 to 75. Nearly 11 months after the results were published, Tucker Goodrich extracted the raw data19 from Table 1 into a graphic representation that demonstrated only in the highest CAC score range of 400 or greater were the data nearly identical between statin users and non-users.

Otherwise, those taking statins always had more cardiovascular events than those who were not. The researchers concluded, “CAC scoring retains robust risk prediction in statin users, and the changing relationship of CAC density with outcomes may explain the slightly weaker relationship of CAC with outcomes in statin users.”20

The researchers acknowledge that only a baseline CAC score was known, so they were unable to evaluate whether statins influence the progression of calcification. The score ranges21 from zero to over 400, where zero is no plaque and low risk of a heart attack, 100 is patients with mild heart disease and a moderate risk of heart attack and the range from 101 to 400 represents modern amounts of plaque that could block a coronary artery.

Despite the raw data, others proposed22 patients should have more than one CAC score exposing them to the same radiation as 10 X-rays,23 as the information may alter the results of the study to show that statins had some benefits and reduced calcified plaque. However, this could not change the raw numbers that showed people taking statins died more frequently than those who didn’t.

Misled by the Evidence Raises Big Pharma Profits

In her 2018 peer-reviewed narrative review,24 “Statin Wars: Have We Been Misled About the Evidence?” published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Maryanne Demasi, Ph.D., a former medical science major turned investigative health reporter, delves into some of the ongoing controversies.

While Demasi’s paper is behind a paywall, she reviews her arguments in a presentation at the University of Sydney.25 Among them is the fact that the “statin empire” is built on prescribing these drugs to people who really don’t need them and are likely to suffer side effects without getting any benefits.

For example, some have recommended statins should be given to everyone over the age of 50, regardless of their cholesterol level. Others have suggested screening and dosing young children. Even more outrageous suggestions over the past few years include statin “‘condiments’ in burger outlets to counter the negative effects of a fast-food meal,” and adding statins to the municipal water supply.

Medical professionals are now largely divided into two camps, one saying statins are lifesaving and safe enough for everyone, and the other saying they’re largely unnecessary and harmful. How did such a divide arise when all have access to the same research and data?

Demasi suggests that to understand how health professionals can be so divided on this issue, you have to follow the money. The cost of developing and getting market approval for a new drug exceeds $2.5 billion. “An effective way to fast-track company profits is to extend the indications of an existing drug,”26 Demasi says, and this is precisely what happened with statins.

By simply revising the definition of “high cholesterol,” which was done in 2000 and again in 2004, millions of people became eligible for statin treatment, without any evidence whatsoever that it would benefit them.

As it turns out, eight of the nine members on the U.S. National Cholesterol Education Program panel responsible for these revisions had “direct financial ties to statin manufacturers,”27 Demasi says, and that public revelation sowed the first seed of suspicion in many people’s minds.

“The very nature of science is its contestability,” Demasi notes. “We need to be able to challenge and rechallenge scientific results to ensure they’re reproducible and legitimate.” However, there’s been a “cloud of secrecy” around clinical statin trials, Demasi says, as the raw data on side effects have never been released to the public, or other scientists.

The data are being held by the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists (CTT) Collaboration at CTSU Oxford, headed by Rory Collins, which periodically publishes meta-analyses of the otherwise inaccessible data. While the CTT claims to be an independent organization, it has received more than £260 million from statin makers.

How to Identify and Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

As I have discussed before, it’s important to use simple strategies at home to help normalize your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. I believe a total cholesterol measurement has little benefit in evaluating your risk for heart disease unless the total number is over 300.

In some instances, high cholesterol indicates a problem when your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or triglycerides are high, and your high-density lipoproteins (HDL) are low. You’re better able to evaluate your risk by looking at the two ratios below, in combination with other lifestyle factors such as ferritin and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) tests. To calculate your cholesterol ratios:28,29,30

  • Cholesterol-to-HDL ratio — Divide your total cholesterol by your HDL level. Ideally, the ratio should be below 5-to-1; a ratio below 3.5-to-1 is considered optimal
  • Triglyceride-to-HDL ratio — Divide your triglyceride level by your HDL. This ratio should ideally be below 2

However, rather than focusing on cholesterol, there are two tests far more important for assessing your CVD risk. These are the serum ferritin31 and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT) tests.32 The GGT test can be used as a screening marker for excess free iron and is a strong indicator of your sudden cardiac death risk.

Do Your Homework Before Taking Statin Drugs

Before considering using statin drugs to reduce your cholesterol level in the hope of reducing cardiovascular events, it’s important to do your homework. One systematic review33 published in 2015 evaluated the results of 11 statin trials where patients were followed between two and 6.1 years.

The results showed that death was postponed between a negative five days (meaning they died five days sooner than the control group) and 19 days in primary prevention trials where statin drugs were the primary means used to prevent cardiovascular disease. In other words, the lifespan of those taking statins was five days shorter than the control group and up to 19 days longer.

In secondary prevention trials, death was postponed between 10 days and 27 days. The median postponement of death in primary prevention trials was 3.2 days, and in secondary prevention trials 4.1 days. In other words, people taking statins lived from 3.2 days to 4.1 days longer than the control group.

This is a truly astounding finding, considering people take stains for years, if not decades, and the fact that these drugs are associated with a wide range of serious side effects that can decimate quality of life.

Evidence continues to mount that drug companies sponsored satin research and the resulting PR cannot be trusted oh, and that few of the millions of people currently taking these drugs derive any benefit from them. To learn more see “Statins Do More Harm Than Good” and “How You’ve Been Misled About Statins.”

Sources and References

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | Leave a comment