This document is part of an archive of postings by John Ray on Dissecting Leftism, a blog hosted by Blogspot who are in turn owned by Google. The index to the archive is available here or here. Indexes to my other blogs can be located here or here. Archives do accompany my original postings but, given the animus towards conservative writing on Google and other internet institutions, their permanence is uncertain. These alternative archives help ensure a more permanent record of what I have written.

This is a backup copy of the original blog

Below is the backup of this blog for September, 2023. To access the backups in earlier years, click here

29 September, 2023

COVID Vaccines Causally Linked to Increased Mortality, Resulting in 17 Million Deaths: Scientific Report

A new scientific report challenges the idea that COVID-19 vaccines have prevented deaths after researchers assessed all-cause mortality in 17 countries and found COVID-19 vaccines did not have any beneficial effect on reducing mortality. Instead, researchers found that unprecedented peaks in high all-cause mortality in each country—especially among the elderly population when COVID-19 vaccines were deployed—coincided with the rollout of third and fourth booster doses.

The report published Sept. 17 by Correlation Research in the Public Interest (pdf) quantified the vaccine-dose fatality rate (vDFR) for all ages—which is the ratio of inferred vaccine-induced deaths to vaccine doses delivered in a given population. After analyzing mortality data, the researchers calculated a mean all-ages fatal toxicity by injection of vDFR of one death per 800 injections across all ages and countries.

This equates to 17 million COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths worldwide from 13.25 billion injections as of Sept. 2, 2023.
"This would correspond to a mass iatrogenic event that killed (0.213 ± 0.006) % of the world population (1 death per 470 living persons, in less than 3 years), and did not measurably prevent any deaths," the authors said. The overall risk of death induced by COVID-19 vaccines is 1,000 times greater than previously reported in data from clinical trials, adverse event monitoring, and cause-of-death statistics obtained from death certificates.

"All-cause mortality is a good feature to use in statistical medical analyses since there is no ambiguity in whether someone has died or not," Stephanie Seneff, a senior research scientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), told The Epoch Times in an email. "It is highly disturbing that these authors have found a consistent trend among seventeen countries showing a significant increase in all-cause mortality coinciding with extensive COVID vaccine rollout. Their estimate of one death for every 800 injections globally is alarming."

Ms. Seneff said her investigations into potential mechanisms of vaccine injury have led her to believe that it is plausible that these injections are "extremely toxic" and should not have been approved by regulatory agencies.

Key Findings

The researchers conducted an analysis of all-cause mortality using data from the World Mortality Dataset for 17 equatorial and Southern Hemisphere countries, including Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Suriname, Thailand, and Uruguay. Equatorial countries have no summer and winter seasons, so there are no seasonal variations in their all-cause mortality patterns.
These countries comprise 9.1 percent of the global population and 10.3 percent of worldwide COVID-19 injections—with a vaccination rate of 1.91 injections per person of all ages—and include nearly every COVID-19 vaccine product and manufacturer across four continents.

Key findings from the 180-page report include:

In all countries included in the analysis, all-cause mortality increased when COVID-19 vaccines were deployed.

Nine of 17 countries had no detectable excess deaths following the World Health Organization’s March 11, 2020, declaration and the beginning of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

Unprecedented peaks in all-cause mortality were observed in January and February 2022, during the summer season of Southern Hemisphere countries coinciding with or following the rollout of boosters in 15 of 17 countries studied.

Excess all-cause mortality during the vaccination period beginning January 2021 was 1.74 million deaths, or one death per 800 injections, in the 17 countries studied.

The vDFR increased exponentially with age, reaching almost 5 percent among those 90 years and older who received a fourth vaccine dose.

"There is no evidence in the hard data of all-cause mortality of a beneficial effect from the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. No lives were saved,” Denis Rancourt, co-director of Correlation Research in the Public Interest with a doctorate in physics, told The Epoch Times in an email. “On the contrary, the evidence can be understood in terms of being subjected to a toxic substance. The risk of death per injection increases exponentially with age. The policy of prioritizing the elderly for injection must be ended immediately.”

Peaks in All-Cause Mortality Coincide with Booster Doses

Using mortality and vaccination data from Chile and Peru by age and dose number, researchers observed clear peaks in all-cause mortality in July through August 2021, January through February 2022, and July through August 2022 among elderly age groups. The increase in all-cause mortality observed in January and February 2022 in both countries coincided with the rapid rollout of Chile’s fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose and Peru’s third dose.

It is unlikely that the rise in all-cause mortality coinciding with the rollout and sustained administration of COVID-19 vaccines in all 17 countries could be due to any cause other than the vaccines, researchers said.

In Chile and Peru, the vDFR increased exponentially with age and was most significant for the most recent booster doses, resulting in one death per 20 injections of vaccine dose for in those over age 90. This pattern was similar to data the same researchers collected in Australia.

“Synchronicity between the many peaks in ACM (in 17 countries, on 4 continents, in all elderly age groups, at different times) and associated rapid booster rollouts allows this firm conclusion regarding causality and accurate quantification of COVID-19-vaccine toxicity,” the researchers wrote.

Results in other countries mirrored what was observed in Chile and Peru in every case where age-stratified mortality and age-stratified dose-specific vaccination data were available. In 15 countries with sufficient mortality data, an unprecedented surge in all-age all-cause mortality during or near January and February 2022 coincided with or was immediately preceded by a rapid rollout of booster doses three or four depending on the country and the continued administration of non-booster doses.

Researchers Found No Evidence COVID-19 Vaccines Improved Mortality

The researchers said their findings are conclusive, and the associations observed are numerous and systematic. They could not find a single counter-example showing COVID-19 vaccines improved all-cause mortality.

“If vaccines prevented transmission, infection or serious illness, then there should be decreases in mortality following vaccine rollouts, not increases, as in every observed elderly age group subjected to rapid booster rollouts. And, mortality would not increase solely when vaccines are rolled out, where no excess mortality occurs before vaccine rollouts, as we have documented here, in nine countries across three continents,” researchers concluded.

According to the report, data from numerous countries such as India, Australia, Canada, Israel, and the United States show a similar phenomenon—abnormal peaks in all-cause mortality coinciding with booster rollouts. In the United States, deaths were prominent in the 25 to 64 age group in 21 states, coinciding with a “rapid surge” in vaccines given during the “vaccine equity” campaigns launched by regulatory agencies. Researchers estimated the United States experienced roughly 160,000 excess deaths during a period where more than 60 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered


Elon Musk: 'I Would Rather Go to Prison Than...'

Billionaire businessman and "X" (formerly known as Twitter) owner Elon Musk is speaking out about government vaccine mandates and companies that forced employees to take the COVID-19 vaccine or be fired. Musk, who oversees approximately 140,000 employees at Telsa, SpaceX and X, is staunchly against the practice.

Writing on his social media platform, where he has 158 million followers, Musk detailed the lengths he would go to avoid forcing his employees to undergo a medical procedure they do not want.

"My concern was more the outrageous demand that people *must* take the vaccine and multiple boosters to do anything at all. That was messed up," Musk wrote on X. "Until the Supreme Court invalidated Biden's exec order, SpaceX and many other companies would have been forced to fire anyone who refused to get vaccinated! We would not have done so. I would rather go to prison than fire good people who didn't want to be jabbed."

He continued by explaining his own status and complications from the COVID-19 vaccine while touting vaccines for other, more serious diseases.

"As for myself, I got original Covid before the vaccine was out (mild cold symptoms) and had to get three vaccines for travel. The third shot almost sent me to hospital," Musk said. "It's not like I don't believe in vaccines – I do. However, the cure cannot be potentially worse than the disease. And public debate over efficacy should not be shut down. There is also great potential for curing many diseases using synthetic mRNA, so let's not throw the baby out with the bath water."

In September 2021, President Joe Biden announced an executive order forcing private companies across the country, through OSHA enforcement, to fire unvaccinated employees. The mandate was eventually struck down by the Supreme Court.

"On November 12, 2021, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted a motion to stay OSHA's COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard, published on November 5, 2021 (86 Fed. Reg. 61402) ("ETS"). The court ordered that OSHA 'take no steps to implement or enforce' the ETS 'until further court order,'" the OSHA website stated when the mandate was repealed. "While OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies, OSHA has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement of the ETS pending future developments in the litigation."


27 September, 2023

False, Misleading Information About COVID-19 Vaccines and Myocarditis Spreads Widely

False and misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines and heart inflammation is being spread widely, including by doctors.

That includes claims that data clearly show myocarditis, or heart inflammation, is more prevalent after COVID-19 infection when compared to COVID-19 vaccination.

"Teen boys have been up to five times as likely to have heart inflammation after having a COVID infection than after getting vaccinated," Dr. Mandy Cohen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in a video encouraging nearly all Americans to get one of the new COVID-19 vaccines.

A similar claim was made by Dr. Scott Rivkees, Florida's former surgeon general, to ABC.

The claims are largely based on a non-peer reviewed study from the CDC from April 2022.

"At this point it does not seem like an intellectually honest attempt to conduct a risk-benefit analysis," Allison Krug, an epidemiologist, told The Epoch Times. "I'm just dismayed that they don't seem genuinely interested in repairing the credibility with parents lost over the last two-and-a-half years."

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.

Dr. Rivkees, presented with studies that have found people in at least some populations are at a higher risk of myocarditis after vaccination when compared to after a positive test, doubled down on his claim.

"In articles that compare risks of myocarditis from COVID vs. following vaccination ... the risk of myocarditis is greater after COVID than after vaccination," Dr. Rivkees, professor of the practice of health services, policy, and practice at Brown University, told The Epoch Times via email.

In one of the papers, English researchers found a higher risk for men under 40 who were vaccinated with Moderna's shot.
Nordic researchers also identified a higher risk for men under 40, as well as some females.

German researchers found 655 cases related to a COVID-19 vaccine, versus 77 related to COVID-19.

The CDC researchers found a higher rate of cardiac complications after a positive COVID-19 test than after COVID-19 vaccination in 40 U.S. health care systems. They did not include all COVID-19 infections.

Dr. Rivkees later sent meta-analyses that confirm the COVID-19 vaccines increase the risk of myocarditis, with no tabulations for the risk following COVID-19.

Dr. Rivkees was quoted by ABC as countering recommendations from Florida to people under 65 to avoid new COVID-19 vaccines, which have virtually no clinical trial data behind them.

Florida's recommendations contradict the CDC, which advises nearly all Americans receive one of the new shots, but align with or are close to the recommendations from much of the rest of the world, including many European countries and Israel.

Other Claims

Other recent reporting on COVID-19 vaccines also includes false or misleading claims about myocarditis.

"The risk of myocarditis from the virus is far greater than the risk of myocarditis from the vaccine,” Dr. Kawsar Talaat, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told MIT Technology Review. Dr. Talaat did not provide any citations. A request for comment returned an away message.

CBS News reporter Alexander Tin wrote in an article that "research shows people are more likely to develop myocarditis from a COVID infection than from the vaccine." Mr. Tin did not link to any of the purported research and declined to comment on the record.

USA Today reporter Karen Weintraub wrote that no myocarditis cases were recorded after receipt of the bivalent vaccines, which were available from 2022 through when the new vaccines were cleared. That's false, according to the CDC presentation (pdf) to which she hyperlinked. The CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink alone recorded two confirmed cases, including one in a young male. Ms. Weintraub did not respond to a query.

Continues Trend

Solid information on myocarditis and COVID-19 vaccines has been hard to come by during the pandemic, with even the CDC hiding data and making false statements about the condition.
State health officials and agencies have also repeatedly offered false and misleading information, including on heart inflammation.

In guidance on its website, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says that COVID-19 poses more of a risk than COVID-19 vaccination. Officials pointed to the same CDC paper cited by vaccine proponents.

That report, published by the CDC's quasi-journal, analyzed electronic health records from 40 U.S. health care systems and counted cardiac complications following a positive COVID-19 test or COVID-19 vaccination. Then they compared the rates and claimed people were at higher risk after a positive test.

"For post COVID-myocarditis, they only included young people with an official COVID diagnosis in the health system," Dr. Tracy Beth Hoeg, an epidemiologist in California, told The Epoch Times via email.

"So not only was this a non-representative sample because these were a subset of the sickest children who were seeking medical attention but happened to also have a COVID positive test," she added. "At the same time they underestimated the total number of children infected by only including those with a health system associated positive result (so this shrinks the denominator and increases the myocarditis rate per infection)," she said.

Those choices would inflate the rate of post-COVID myocarditis cases, she said.

The researchers did include in the paper calculations for post-vaccination myocarditis as high as 360 cases per million second doses in 12- to 17-year-old males, or as high as one in 2,800 second doses.

The CDC "glossed over" those calculations, Dr. Hoeg said. "I don't know how many parents would have taken the chance on vaccination if they had known this risk of myocarditis was around 1/3,000 according to the CDC's own study, which was consistent by the way with data from Hong Kong."

Dr. Hoeg and Ms. Krug previously authored a paper that found the risk of cardiac complications to young, healthy males from COVID-19 vaccines was higher than the risk from COVID-19.
Dr. Jason Block, the CDC study's corresponding author, did not respond to a request for comment. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services did not respond to an inquiry. Pfizer and Moderna have not responded to requests for comment.

Cases After Bivalent Shot

According to the Vaccine Safety Datalink data, through March 11, one case of myocarditis was detected after Pfizer vaccination and one case was detected after Moderna vaccination.

CDC officials did not present any data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Starting in mid-2021, the CDC has analyzed reports to the system and verified some of them before regularly updating reported rates.

The CDC, asked for the data, would only provide a study that covered VAERS reports lodged through Oct. 23, 2022. The study found nine reports of myocarditis or pericarditis, seven of which were verified by medical record review.

Asked for more current data, the official said the study "is the most recent publicly available data we have on the topic" and that more current data would be made available to the public "when appropriate."

An Epoch Times search of VAERS turned up 98 myocarditis, pericarditis, or myopericarditis reports following bivalent vaccination through Sept. 8. Ms. Krug counted 10 reported cases that were or appeared to be myocarditis or pericarditis among 12- to 29-year-olds.

Dr. Rivkees said the Vaccine Safety Datalink data "show that the risk of myocarditis following COVID boosters is very rare." He did not comment on the lack of VAERS data.

Dr. Walid Gellad disagreed.

Without the VAERS data, "no risk benefit can accurately be calculated for young people," Dr. Gellad, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, wrote on X.

Dr. Rivkees said he also felt the vaccines would prevent deaths in children, pointing to observational papers on older versions of the shots. Two were non-peer reviewed studies from the CDC.

Multiple people, including children, have died from post-vaccination myocarditis. And there's no evidence the new vaccines prevent infections, hospitalizations, or deaths in any age group. Pfizer's vaccine has no human data behind it, while Moderna's vaccine was tested on just 50 people, with no efficacy estimates presented. One of those 50 suffered a medically-attended adverse event deemed related to the shot. Moderna has not disclosed what the event was.

Older Misinformation

The CDC started the trend of mis- and disinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and myocarditis in early 2021, when then-Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky falsely claimed that the agency had seen no cases of the condition.

The agency also missed or ignored a safety signal for myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination.

Outside researchers have also downplayed the cases by citing how symptoms resolved quickly in many patients, while abnormalities on imaging and symptoms persisted in some.

They've also made false claims about deaths from post-vaccination myocarditis.

"No deaths from myocarditis post-mRNA COVID-19 vaccination have been reported in the USA, with very rare deaths reported worldwide," U.S. researchers wrote in a review article in 2022. By then, multiple deaths had been reported in the United States alone. Dr. Stephanie Chin, the study's corresponding author, did not return a query.

In another example from late 2021, Chinese researchers falsely said, "so far, all adults and adolescents with myocarditis/pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccinations, including those reported in the current study, have been mild cases." They cited a single study from California.
Severe cases, including deadly ones, were reported in the literature starting in mid-2021.


26 September, 2023

Scientists ‘shocked’ and ‘alarmed’ at what’s in the mRNA shots

Early in 2023, genomics scientist Kevin McKernan made an accidental discovery. While running an experiment in his Boston lab, McKernan used some vials of mRNA Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines as controls. He was ‘shocked’ to find that they were allegedly contaminated with tiny fragments of plasma DNA.

McKernan, who has 25 years’ experience in his field, ran the experiment again, confirming that the vials contained up to, in his opinion, 18-70 times more DNA contamination than the legal limits allowed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

In particular, McKernan was alarmed to find the presence of an SV40 promoter in the Pfizer vaccine vials. This is a sequence that is, ‘…used to drive DNA into the nucleus, especially in gene therapies,’ McKernan explains. This is something that regulatory agencies around the world have specifically said is not possible with the mRNA vaccines.

Knowing that the contamination had not been disclosed by the manufacturers during the regulatory process, McKernan raised the alarm, posting his findings to Twitter (now X) and Substack with a call-out to other scientists to see if they could replicate his findings.

Other scientists soon confirmed McKernan’s findings, though the amount of DNA contamination was variable, suggesting inconsistency of vial contents depending on batch lots. One of these scientists was cancer genomics expert Dr Phillip Buckhaults, who is a proponent of the mRNA platform and has received the Pfizer Covid vaccine himself.

In September of this year, Dr Buckhaults shared his findings in South Carolina Senate hearing. ‘I’m kind of alarmed about this DNA being in the vaccine – it’s different from RNA, because it can be permanent,’ he told those present.

‘There is a very real hazard,’ he said, that the contaminant DNA fragments will integrate with a person’s genome and become a ‘permanent fixture of the cell’ leading to autoimmune problems and cancers in some people who have had the vaccinations. He also noted that these genome changes can ‘last for generations’.

Dr Buckhaults alleges that the presence of high levels of contaminant DNA in the mRNA vaccines ‘may be causing some of the rare but serious side effects, like death from cardiac arrest’. He added, ‘I think this is a real serious regulatory oversight that happened at the federal level.’

Dr Buckhaults’ concerns are shared by McKernan, who presented his findings to the FDA in June. At the time of writing, McKernan had not received any response from the FDA on the matter. Dr Buckhaults said in the Senate hearing that he had emailed his findings to the FDA, but he had not received a response either.

In Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) maintains that Covid vaccines cannot alter a person’s DNA. A spokesperson for the TGA stated, ‘The mRNA in the vaccines does not enter the nucleus of cells and is not integrated into the human genome. Thus, the mRNA does not cause genetic damage or affect the offspring of vaccinated individuals.’

They also said, ‘All batches of Covid vaccines distributed to Australians have been tested for the presence of contaminants including residual DNA template levels.’

However, a legal case filed in the Australian Federal Court in July of this year alleges that the TGA is not the appropriate regulator of Covid mRNA vaccines because, under the Gene Technology Act (2000) definition, the DNA contamination is a genetically modified organism (GMO).

The plaintiff, Victorian doctor and pharmacist Dr Julian Fidge, is seeking an injunction to stop Pfizer and Moderna from distributing their mRNA Covid vaccines because they never obtained a license from the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR), which is the agency that oversees all GMO related products.

The TGA did not require tests for genotoxicity or carcinogenicity before providing provisional approval and, eventually, full registration of both the Moderna and Pfizer Covid vaccines. OGTR guidance strongly suggests such tests should be undertaken where there exists a risk of harm to human health.

McKernan, who provided expert advice on the case, agrees that the DNA contamination in the mRNA vaccines fits the Australian legal definition of a GMO. But there is also a second component of the mRNA vaccines that fits the definition.

That’s the mRNA itself, which is actually modified RNA wrapped in lipid nanoparticles (LNPs). The case argues that this ‘LNP-mod-RNA complex’ falls under the legal definition of a GMO and that, like the DNA contamination, it has the capacity to enter the cell nucleus and integrate into the human genome.

There is already at least one peer-reviewed scientific paper demonstrating that the Pfizer Covid vaccine mRNA can enter the human liver cell line and reverse transcribe into DNA in vitro (meaning in a lab dish).

Other studies cited in the case materials show the presence of spike protein mRNA in the nucleus of human cells, and evidence that acquired immune traits pass down to the offspring of mice pre-exposed to the Covid vaccine mRNA-LNP platform. This is suggestive that, once in the nucleus, the vaccine mRNA can be transferred and integrated with chromosomal DNA.

Taking both the LNP-mod-RNA complexes and the recently discovered DNA contamination present in the mRNA Covid vaccines, acting solicitor Katie Ashby Koppens says, ‘Every single person who has been injected with these products has received a GMO that has not been through the expert regulatory process in this country.’ She adds, ‘The human genome could be changed permanently, and no one was informed.’

Now, McKernan, Dr Buckhaults and other scientists are calling for urgent research to test whether the DNA contamination is lingering in the cells of mRNA vaccinated people, and whether the human genome has in fact been altered by mRNA Covid vaccines.


Doctor working for US government visited Wuhan lab and raised safety concerns TWO YEARS before the pandemic hit

A doctor working for the US government visited the Wuhan facility which has faced questions over the origins of Covid-19 and raised safety concerns almost two years before the start of the pandemic.

Dr Ping Chen was director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) office in China when she went to the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in October 2017.

She wrote a report the following month in which she expressed her worries about the laboratory and the staff working in it.

'It is clear to me by talking to the technician that certainly there is a need for training support,' Dr Chen wrote in the memo seen by The New York Post.

The FBI believes Covid-19 'most likely' originated in a 'Chinese government-controlled lab' and supporters of the theory have pointed at the WIV - but there is no evidence to prove this claim.

'I think the institute would welcome any help and technical support by NIAID,' Dr Chen wrote about the Wuhan laboratory.

Senator Ron Johnson, from Wisconsin, is seeking more information about the concerns the doctor previously raised.

He believes a State Department cable from 2018 which referenced Chen and other scientists' misgivings about the WIV was more pointed.

'[D]uring interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted that the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory,' it read.

Some of Dr Chen's private concerns about the Wuhan facility have previously been documented.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) were pressured for more information by Johnson and Senator Rand Paul in 2021.

They got their hands on a redacted copy of Chen's report and were allowed an in camera review of it.

However, Johnson was frustrated by the large number of redactions in the version of the report he was handed.

The health department later admitted that now all of the redactions were made due to national security concerns.

'In the public FOIA document, HHS redacted Dr. Chen’s entire report claiming that it contains privacy and deliberative information,' Johnson said in a letter to the head of the HSS and National Institutes of Health on Thursday.

'It seems apparent that the only reason that HHS redacted this information was to hide the report’s contents from the American people.

'Perhaps HHS did not want the public to fully understand the fact that NIH and NIAID officials were aware of safety concerns at the WIV dating as far back as 2017.'

Those who believe the 'lab leak' theory have suggested the pandemic started at the WIV where 'gain-of-function' research on bat coronavirus was performed, with some of it funded by the US taxpayer.

The HHS told Congress on Tuesday that the Wuhan facility would no longer receive US government support until at least July 2033.

It pointed to the laboratory's failure to comply with government regulations.

Senator Johnson, who is the ranking member of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, has demanded an interview with Dr Chen.

He is also calling for unredacted copies of her 2017 report, her private communications on it and other material relating to the WIV.

'HHS and NIH continue to obstruct my oversight efforts. It is unacceptable that HHS and NIH had Dr. Chen’s report in its possession and only provided a slightly-less redacted version for my staff to review in camera,' he said.

Johnson sent a letter with those demands to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and NIH acting director Lawrence Tabak.

Almost seven million people have died due to coronavirus around the world, with 1.1 million deaths in the US.


25 September, 2023

We’re fighting the Covid censors

Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff

On July 4, our Independence Day, Judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction ordering the federal government to immediately cease contact with social media companies, which it had been urging to censor protected free speech. Evidence unearthed in the Missouri v. Biden case, in which we are co-plaintiffs, has revealed a vast federal enterprise dictating to social media companies who and what to censor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Surgeon General’s office, the National Institutes of Health, the FBI, the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security and the White House itself were all closely involved.

You can get a good sense of what ideas the government finds threatening from its priority list of what it does not want Americans to talk about freely: the pandemic, vaccines, wars, concerns about election fraud and Hunter Biden’s laptop.

In the Missouri case, depositions of government officials and the discovery of email exchanges between the government and social media companies show an administration willing to threaten the use of its regulatory power to harm social media companies that do not comply with censorship demands.

Social media companies rely on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which immunizes them against defamation lawsuits that traditional media are subject to. It states, “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” But unlike, for example, a phone company, they may still censor or decline to publish perfectly legal content protected under the First Amendment. For social media companies, losing this protection would threaten their multibillion-dollar business.

The companies understand what is at stake even if the threats are not explicit. But documents adduced in this case sometimes show explicit threats. For instance, at one point, White House communications director Kate Bedingfield announced that “the White House is assessing whether social-media platforms are legally liable for misinformation spread on their platforms, and examining how misinformation fits into the liability protection process by Section 230 of The Communication [sic] Decency Act.” The government’s message to social media companies was unmistakable: comply or else. Internal documents show company employees sometimes trying to push back on censorship demands but then capitulating.

The administration insists that without the power to censor social media, dangerous misinformation will spread unchecked. But the government also wanted social media companies to censor true information that cut against its policy goals. For instance, social media censored accurate health information like the fact that Covid recovery provides excellent natural immunity that is better than that developed from receiving the vaccines.

We both have personal experience of social media censorship. In October 2020, Francis Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, emailed then-director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci to organize a “devastating takedown” of the Great Barrington Declaration, a focused protection anti-lockdown public letter co-written by the two of us and Professor Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University. Almost immediately, tech companies such as YouTube, Google, Reddit and Facebook censored mentions of the Declaration.

In 2020, Twitter blacklisted one of us (Dr. Kulldorff) for arguing that schools should re-open. He cited an excellent study that showed Sweden safely kept its schools and daycare open for children fifteen and under in the spring, with no Covid deaths among its 1.8 million school-aged children and no excess risk for teachers. In 2021, Twitter blacklisted the other (Dr. Bhattacharya) immediately after joining for posting a link to the Great Barrington Declaration.

Ironically, even the White House itself was caught by its censorship demands. At the administration’s behest, Facebook implemented AI algorithms to suppress posts their computers deemed “antivax.” When the CDC issued a “pause” on the distribution of the Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine because it had identified an elevated level of strokes, the Facebook algorithms tagged the White House account as “antivax.” The administration angrily ordered Facebook to stop censoring its speech while at the same time firing Dr. Kulldorff from a position as a CDC scientific advisor for arguing against the J&J “pause.” Their apparent position: free speech for the government, but not for anyone opposing the government in whatever direction.

The July 4 ruling in Missouri v. Biden restored free speech in America for ten days. On July 14, the government appealed to the Fifth Circuit Court, leading to an adminis- trative stay of the injunction. On August 10, in an oral argument, the government told the federal judges that it has a right to violate the First Amendment because there is an ongoing pandemic, including a right to censor the truth. At the time of writing the Fifth Circuit ruling is still pending, and due to its fundamental and significant implications regarding freedom of speech, the case may eventually end up at the Supreme Court.

Why were knowledgeable and outspoken scientists treated with censorship and contempt during the pandemic? The government’s smearing and censorship of scientific dissidents caused other scientists to self-censor. Its censorship enterprise created a public illusion that there was scientific consensus in favor of the government’s policies, even though many epidemiologists and public health scientists disagreed with the unscientific and ill-fated lockdown strategy that contradicted ethical principles of public health.

When there is scientific disagreement or uncertainty, the government must never pretend there is consensus and certainty. Let us learn from this shameful episode that the truth should never be censored and that the solution to incorrect information is more speech, not less.


Pfizer-Funded Study Shows Poor Effectiveness for COVID-19 Vaccine in Young Children

A new study funded by Pfizer found the company's COVID-19 vaccine did not perform well in children under 5. Children aged 6 months to 4 years are supposed to receive three shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The number was increased from two when early testing showed little effectiveness.

Three doses of the Pfizer vaccine provided little protection against emergency room visits, urgent care encounters, or outpatient visits, according to the new study.

Researchers with and funded by Pfizer analyzed records from Kaiser Permanente Southern California. They included patients who tested for COVID-19 at an emergency department, urgent care, or outpatient setting along with being diagnosed with acute respiratory infection. The date range was July 23, 2022 through May 19, 2023.

Positive cases were those with a positive test result. Controls tested negative and had no evidence of prior infection in the past 90 days. Children were only counted as vaccinated if they received a second or third shot two or more weeks before being exposed to COVID-19. Children were excluded if they only received one dose, received any doses from a different company, or did not follow the recommended dosing schedule.

After adjusting for factors such as age and sex, researchers estimated just 12 percent effectiveness against medically-attended encounters for children who completed the three-dose primary series.

Confidence intervals crossed well over one, indicating that the effectiveness might actually be worse or even negative.

The effectiveness was estimated to be higher, or 44 percent, for children who received two doses of the regimen.

Researchers speculated that the difference stemmed from more immune-evasive virus variants becoming dominant in the United States by the time children received a third dose.

"Updated vaccines will likely be needed to maintain protection against contemporary Omicron strains in young children," they wrote.

The study was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sara Tartof, the study's corresponding author and an employee of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, did not answer questions, including why researchers included those with two doses but not those with one dose.

Among the key problems with the research were only including children who were diagnosed with acute respiratory infection (ARI), Dr. Robert Malone, who was not involved in the research, said.

That "may predispose to young children that lack a primary care physician/pediatrician," Dr. Malone, who helped invent the mRNA technology Pfizer's vaccine utilizes, told The Epoch Times via email.

"Likewise, the control group of non-vaccinated with ARI will also have selection bias. These intrinsic study biases make the relevance of the measured outcome to the general population quite problematic."

The newly reported results are based on a test-negative design, which is inappropriate for measuring effectiveness, said Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor of health policy at Stanford University.

"The design starts with children who are already seeing a doctor and then makes strong and unsupportable statistical assumptions to derive the probability of seeing a doctor for vaccinated and unvaccinated children," Dr. Bhattacharya, who was not involved in the research, told The Epoch Times via email.

"What is needed to answer this question without bias is a randomized control trial. I am shocked that the FDA has not asked Pfizer and Moderna to conduct such a study," he added.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared Pfizer's shot on the basis of immunobridging, or comparing antibody levels in children after vaccination with levels in adults after vaccination.

Antibodies are believed to protect people against COVID-19.

The authorization has been the subject of protests, including a complaint that said the FDA violated its own standards with the clearance.

A single dose of a bivalent shot, introduced in the fall of 2022, boosted protection to 61 percent, but no estimates were available over time and the estimate was based on just eight vaccinated patients who tested positive.

"This imprecision indicates that the actual [effectiveness] could be substantially different," the CDC said.


24 September, 2023

They Suffered Myocarditis After COVID-19 Vaccination. Years Later, Some Still Haven't Recovered

Mr. Cohen did not want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. He knew the shots had not been available for long. He was worried about their safety.

While Mr. Cohen initially resisted receiving a shot, he faced restrictions such as being forced to remain on base while vaccinated soldiers left. He was also pressured by military commanders, who scheduled a vaccination appointment for him and contacted his mother as part of a multipronged campaign.

"They told me, 'Come on. It's your mother. She's crying. She's worried. What wouldn't you do for her?'" Mr. Cohen, who asked to be identified by a pseudonym because of concern about repercussions for going public, told The Epoch Times.

"I didn't want to take the vaccine. I didn't believe in it," he said. But he wanted to appease his mother. "I would do anything for her."

Mr. Cohen received his first shot, manufactured by Pfizer, on Sept. 22, 2021. He was 21.

Two weeks later, he was awakened by a sharp pain at 3 a.m. "I felt like my heart was trying to get out of my chest," Mr. Cohen said. The soldier has felt pain before. "I never felt something like this," he said.

Mr. Cohen went with a friend to the hospital, where he was placed in quarantine because he wasn't fully vaccinated. Thirty minutes ticked by.

"I felt like it was the first time in my life I actually started seeing flashbacks of things that I did in my life—I felt like I was truly dying," Mr. Cohen said.

Doctors finally came in and ran tests. They diagnosed Mr. Cohen with perimyocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle and the tissue around the heart.

They said Mr. Cohen was lucky. If he had come just a little later, he would have needed open heart surgery.

He spent three days in the hospital, taking medication and pills. When he was discharged, he was told not to engage in any physical activity for at least six months. He also needed to report for regular checkups and take a pill every day.

Six months after leaving the hospital, Mr. Cohen's cardiac MRI showed concerning results. His heart still hadn't recovered.

Doctors gave him more pills. "They told me maybe I will need them for the rest of my life," Mr. Cohen said. The military marked him as unable to serve for the rest of his life, and released him.

To this day, he suffers. "I've been feeling, I'm not sure if it's trauma or something, but it feels sometimes like a sting there, a short sharp pain," Mr. Cohen said.

He's also unable to do all he used to do before. "I was training. I was playing soccer. I did a lot of physical things, which now I can't afford ... to do anymore," Mr. Cohen said.

Dr. Adam Hirschfeld was among the first people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. The orthopedic surgeon was motivated by a desire to prevent his patients from becoming sick. "I didn't want to put any of my patients at risk," Dr. Hirschfeld told The Epoch Times. He received a Moderna primary series, composed of two doses, in January 2021. He was 36.

Three days after the second shot, Dr. Hirschfeld felt discomfort in his chest and numbness in his left arm. A cardiac MRI confirmed evidence of heart inflammation. Dr. Hirschfeld was prescribed medicine and discharged two days later.

Dr. Hirschfeld has since undergone about a dozen electrocardiograms, another half a dozen echocardiograms, and a follow-up cardiac MRI.

"I went from being completely healthy—no issues, no medications—to seeing 10 different doctors in the blink of an eye," Dr. Hirschfeld said.

The follow-up MRI, conducted about 18 months after the vaccinations, showed normal cardiac function. But Dr. Hirschfeld still experiences pain.

"I have continued chest pain on the right side, and then I have neuropathic type pains in my neck and shoulder areas," he told The Epoch Times. "I have it when I wake up, and it's there when I go to sleep."

The suffering affects the doctor physically and mentally. "Having chest pain every day for two and a half years is very disconcerting," he said.

Mr. Cohen lives in Israel. Dr. Hirschfeld lives in the United States. The first myocarditis cases after COVID-19 vaccination were reported in those countries in January 2021. Only a few weeks had elapsed since authorities cleared and recommended the shots for large portions of the population, including many young, healthy people.

At first, authorities hid reports of myocarditis from the public. Israel first acknowledged there was a likely link between the shots and the inflammation. The United States finally followed in June 2021, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there was a "likely association."

Even after the association was made public, officials and many experts claimed that the myocarditis cases were mild. Most patients were hospitalized, authorities acknowledged, but they said patients could expect to recover without treatment and with rest.

The myocarditis is "rare but mild," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC's director at the time, said on "Good Morning America" on June 24, 2021. Dr. Walensky said the cases were "self-limited," or didn't require treatment to resolve.

Dr. Jeremy Faust, editor-in-chief of MedPage Today and a teacher at Harvard Medical School, on Twitter two days later described the cases as "self-limited troponinemia," or elevated troponin levels that would resolve on their own. Troponin is a protein in the heart that's a marker of heart injury.

Those claims were already wrong at the time, based on case reports alone. A previously healthy 24-year-old man in Massachusetts, for example, experienced chest pain so serious that he went to an emergency department, doctors reported on May 18, 2021. He was eventually discharged with a prescription for a beta-blocker and anti-inflammatory drugs and told not to engage in strenuous activity for three months.

Another early case involved a previously healthy 16-year-old boy in California who experienced "stabbing chest pain" and went to the emergency department for help. He described the pain as 6 to 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. The symptoms prompted doctors to admit him to intensive care. He spent six days in the hospital before being discharged.

Like many early case reports, no follow-up data were reported, making it impossible to say that the cases had fully resolved.

"Unless you've experienced it individually, you can't tell somebody that their case was mild," Dr. Hirschfeld said. "If you have elevated troponin, that's your cardiac muscle breaking down. "That's something that's permanent. And so to tell me that my cardiac muscle breaking down is mild is pretty insulting."

Signs of persistent symptoms appeared in the literature before long. U.S. military researchers, for instance, stated on June 29, 2021, that seven of 23 patients continued to have chest discomfort weeks or even months later. Dire outcomes were known even earlier. Two deaths were reported to U.S. authorities in February 2021, while another two were reported in Israel in the spring. Both of the Israelis who died were previously young and healthy.

Professional Biker Affected

Kyle Warner was a professional mountain bike racer when he received his first COVID-19 vaccine in May 2021. He completed a primary series the following month. Mr. Warner, who lives in the western United States, teaches older people and wanted to protect them from COVID-19. The CDC and others promoted the idea that the vaccines curbed or even prevented transmission based on observational data.

"The sentiment was these are safe and effective. If you get them, you don't need to wear a mask anymore, and you can't transmit COVID or catch COVID," Mr. Warner told The Epoch Times. "I spend quite a bit of time around older people and help them learn.

"I wasn't necessarily afraid of COVID myself. Not that I did respect it, but I wasn't worried it was going to kill me," he added. "But I was worried about getting someone else sick, especially when I'm with our older clients."

Mr. Warner was diagnosed with myopericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination and was hospitalized. After being discharged, Mr. Warner was bedridden for weeks.

"There's points where I was unable to even get up out of bed without passing out or blacking out," Mr. Warner told The Epoch Times. "It was really eye-opening. I felt like I went from being 28 years old to being 88 years old."

Mr. Warner was diagnosed with myopericarditis and two other conditions—postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and mast cell activation syndrome—that others have also been diagnosed with following COVID-19 vaccination.

Hyperbaric oxygen, which has relieved some of Dr. Hirschfeld's pain, helped bring Mr. Warner's energy levels back up.

But the cyclist, who didn't ride again until February 2022, still struggles with pain, especially when he exercises in the summer.

Mr. Warner utilizes a heart rate monitor, which he became familiar with in his racing career. During a recent ride, Mr. Warner pushed himself, trying his hardest for four minutes. That sent his heart rate up to 189 beats per minute—the highest since the injury.

"I did OK, but then the next few weeks, I had a kind of a lingering chest pain and tightness. And about four days after, it was pretty significant where I was having a hard time sleeping and my heart felt like it was palpitating every once in a while, and then—even more than a week later—I still had a little bit of chest tightness and pain," Mr. Warner said.

"It kind of scared me because it's been well over a year since my last treatment with hyperbaric and I'm still dealing with it. And when I do try to push myself harder, then I have to pay for the next few days to a week. "Back in the day, I would be able to do that with no problem at all."

Doctors who have spoken to Mr. Warner have told him that when his heart becomes stressed, it signals his immune system to attack and inflame it. He tries to keep his heart rate under 160 beats per minute.

14-Year-Old Rushed to Hospital

Aiden Ekanayake woke up in the middle of the night.
"Every breath deeper in was like knives in my chest," Aiden, who is from Georgia, said during a podcast appearance.
It was June 12, 2021, two days after Aiden received a second shot of Pfizer's vaccine. He was 14.

Aiden was able to fall asleep through shallow breathing, but was soon awakened. He went to his mother, who rushed him to the hospital.

Tests revealed abnormalities. Aiden was taken to the acute cardiac unit, where more tests confirmed that the vaccine was the cause. Aiden spent four days in the hospital. After being discharged, he was inactive for more than four months.

"I don't know where they get this 'two days and you're done, you're good.' That's a crock of [expletive]," Emily Ekanayake, Aiden's mother, told The Epoch Times.

Ms. Ekanayake had read early studies from Israel that found an elevated risk for myocarditis among young males who had received the Pfizer vaccine, but concluded with her son that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks. "I was really scared of COVID," Ms. Ekanayake said.

Aiden said he wanted to get vaccinated to help protect himself and his brother, both of whom have asthma.

Aiden's doctor also recommended the shot. Shortly before Aiden was vaccinated, the CDC director said the agency found no safety signal for myocarditis. U.S. officials cleared and recommended the vaccine to virtually all children aged 12 to 15, after initially only making it available to those 16 and older.

Aiden eventually resumed exercise after being cleared by a cardiopulmonary stress test.

The result of the test was "probably more like that of an old man," Ms. Ekanayake said. "His CO2 was low. He wasn't able to run much. He's got a lot of work in that way to go still. But he does like walking.

"I still worry about strenuous activity. I can't help it. I don't know that that will ever go away."

More here:


21 September, 2023

Breakthrough Infections and the elderly

A breakthrough infection is when a vaccinated person still gets the disease. Study suggests that the elderly are LESS affected by breakthrough infections. The study authors were Chinese but their data was international, not Chinese

Published in the journal of Infectious Disease by Jing et al., “SARS-CoV-2 vaccine breakthrough infection in the older adults: a meta-analysis and systematic review,” as the durability challenges of the COVID-19 vaccines lead to waning vaccine effectiveness, associated breakthrough infections tend to rise.

The study authors, affiliated with the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in the northern coastal metropolis of about 14 million people, come to the bombshell conclusion contrary to popular understanding: elderly persons face far less risk for breakthrough infection than is popularly understood, and that the risk of severe COVID-19, hospitalization and death due to breakthrough infection remains perhaps even lower risk than for breakthrough infection alone.

Do these findings alter the risk-benefit calculus for vaccination? Could these results be because of vaccination or natural Immunity? These are important questions. While TrialSite doesn’t anticipate that this important meta-analysis will be picked up by mainstream press in the West the outcomes, limitations aside, are important for further consideration.

The study, published in BMC infectious Diseases and represented by corresponding author Xiaohui Jing with the Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Tianjin, China raises significant questions. Much of the data generated by U.S. public health sources points to far more COVID-19 risk associated with older individuals. Yet this study out of China points to an opposite conclusion.

The Study

Designed as a systematic review or meta-analysis, from November 2, 2022, the study team reviewed 30 studies published across English language journal platforms from PubMed and Embase to Cochrane Library and Web of Science. Employing the use of a random-effects model the team calculated pooled estimates of the prevalence and occurrences of COVID-19 breakthrough infections in elderly persons.

Mindful of the influence of bias, the study team employed use of funnel plots, Egger’s regression test, as well as sensitivity analyses while following standard guidelines for this class of study-- Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).

The Results

The study authors report across 30 publications reveals a pool prevalence of COVID-19 breakthrough infection among the elderly at 7.7 per 1,000 individuals (95% CI, 4.0-15.0), with pooled incidence equaling 29.1 per 1000 person-years (95%CI 15.2–55.7).

The China-based researchers take away from their meta-analysis that the prevalence and incidence of SARS-CoV-19 breakthrough infection in older adults was low. But more eye opening was the finding associated with the risk of hospitalization, severe disease and death associated with the elderly and breakthrough infections, which was even lower than the risk of breakthrough infection.

Study Limitations

Jing and colleagues disclosure a handful of limitations including 1) study data restricted to publications in English, 2) the inclusion of studies with a sample size greater than 500 may result in the loss of small eligible studies; 3) Lots of heterogeneity was observed in the included studies; 4) most of the studies included in this study were observed within six months of vaccination; 5) some studies provided little information about the potential influencing factors such as vaccine type, vaccine dose, gender, prior infection, time from vaccination to breakthrough infection, comorbidity, and lifestyle of the included older adults on the prevalence and incidence of COVID-19 breakthrough infection and finally 6) It was also impossible to conduct meta-analyses among some groups due to the less information from studies assessing those factors. Clearly more research is required.


Supreme Court Issues Pause on Banning Biden Administration from Contacting Social Media Platforms

In early September, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled that the White House, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and social media companies to remove content or posts the Biden administration considers to be misinformation. This included posts about COVID-19.

The court ruled the government had most likely overstepped the First Amendment by urging major social platforms to remove the content the Biden administration thought was misleading.

The decision came down from a three-judge panel for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, ruling that the White House and the Surgeon General had “coerced the platforms to make their moderation decisions by way of intimidating messages and threats of adverse consequences” and “significantly encouraged the platforms’ decisions by commandeering their decision-making processes.” The court also found the FBI used coercion in its interactions with the social media companies which took down 50% of the online posts the bureau’s agents deemed “troublesome”.

A theme generally considered to be a pattern during COVID-19: that the Biden administration was directly, or indirectly censoring Americans, attacking any critical voices not concurring with the standard pandemic narrative.

The New Orleans panel upheld a decision by a lower court judge declaring that the government pressured Facebook, Google, X (Twitter) and YouTube into censoring posts related to COVID-19 and allegations of election fraud.

But the Fifth Circuit judges also put a 10-day injunction, or hold, on the lower court’s ruling in order to give the Justice Department, which is defending the Biden administration, a chance to appeal to the Supreme Court. And, last week the highest court in the land responded.

Temporary Hold

Last Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily put on hold an order restricting the ability of President Joe Biden's administration to encourage social media companies to remove content it considers misleading, including about the Covid-19 pandemic. The order was issued by Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, and it pauses the lower court ruling until September 22.

In their filing against the lower court ruling, the Justice Department said, “The court cited no precedent for that boundless theory, which would allow any state or local government to challenge any alleged violation of any constituent’s right to speak.” Additionally, the Justice Department said, “The Fifth Circuit’s decision contradicts fundamental First Amendment principles. It is axiomatic that the government is entitled to provide the public with information and to ‘advocate and defend its own policies.’”

Missouri AG Plans to Oppose Appeal

A spokesperson for Missouri Attorney General Andrew Baily said he plans to oppose the administration's Supreme Court appeal. "We are rooting out this censorship enterprise and will hold any wrongdoers accountable," Bailey said in a statement. Missouri and Louisiana were the original plaintiff’s in the lawsuit claiming the administration threatened the social media platforms with antitrust enforcement and reforms to tech platforms’ liability shield, known as Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, if they didn’t comply with the government’s takedown requests.

The Justice Department said there was no coercion beyond the private and public appeals to companies by officials. “Rather than any pattern of coercive threats backed by sanctions, the record reflects a back-and-forth in which the government and platforms often shared goals and worked together, sometimes disagreed, and occasionally became frustrated with one another, as all parties articulated and pursued their own goals and interests during an unprecedented pandemic,” the Department of Justice said in their filing.

TrialSite’s main news website, on the topic of censorship has experienced continuous problems, not directly because the website is independent, but indirectly as groups such as News Guard have attempted to challenge content, all clearly labeled as opinion, on the TrialSite platform.

Also, TrialSite content has been censored on social media platforms such as YouTube. For example, a documentary about Ivermectin, balanced, objective and not taking any sides, was deleted by the subsidiary of Google. Another example when the nation of Slovakia authorized on an emergency basis the use of ivermectin during the COVID-19 pandemic, Facebook deleted the TrialSite post even though the article was based on a formal government ruling. It was as if facts didn’t matter.

Censorship is alive and well in America during the age of COVID-19.


20 September, 2023

Eris (E.G5) –The Current Variant of Interest

The new SARS-CoV-2 subvariant EG.5, also called Eris, is responsible for the increase in COVID-19 infections and is currently causing concern. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 24.5% of the total number of cases in the United States reported from Feb 2023 up until September 2023 are due to EG.5. Researchers are trying to update the COVID-19 vaccines to target the new variants. TrialSite previously reported on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) concerns about this strain.

Eris is a sub-variant of the Omicron variant. The first case of EG.5 was reported on Feb 17, 2023. Similar to other variants, it shows symptoms like fever, nausea, headache, sore throat, etc. It also demonstrates high transmissibility, which is concerning for researchers. Additionally, the variant can evade the immune response generated by antibodies that were developed either by vaccination or previous infection with other variants.

How concerning is this new variant?

EG.5 has one mutation in its spike protein that makes it different from the Omicron variant. This genetic change helps it to escape the immune response, which makes it more contagious. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a “variant of interest” which means there is a need to focus on it because its transmissibility may cause a rapid increase in hospitalization.

Stanley Martin, MD., the Director of Infectious Diseases at Geisinger Medical Centre said that there is no need to worry about this variant unless you are above 65 or immunocompromised. However, you should be aware of this variant and take precautionary measures if you live around immunocompromised or elderly people because there is a risk of passing this variant on to them.

Dr. Brett Osborn, a board-certified neurosurgeon, said that in most cases, it is a self-limiting variant, so there is nothing to be concerned about.

Will the updated vaccine protect against EG.5?

There is currently no specific vaccine against EG.5; however, an updated version of the COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be released in September 2023. The vaccine manufacturing companies Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Novavax are creating COVID-19 booster vaccines that will target XBB.1.5 (a subvariant of Omicron), but they expect that this booster will also provide some level of protection against EG.5 because they are closely related strains. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended these booster vaccines and explained that they will continue to monitor the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Anyone above the age of two is eligible for this booster vaccine.

Moderna’s clinical trials have confirmed that the booster vaccine will effectively target EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 (another subvariant of Omicron). The antiviral medicine, Paxlovid, also provides protection and works well against EG.5.

Experts' opinions on COVID-19 variants and vaccines
Osborn said that SARS-CoV-2 and its variants are here to stay, and we have to live with them because their mutation rate is high, like the influenza virus. Mostly, RNA viruses (those containing RNA as genetic material) become less harmful with time and pose less threat to lives, but there is also a chance that one of the strains will become virulent, which may lead to an increase in the death rate.

Scott Roberts, MD, an infectious diseases specialist, said that the vaccine takes about three months to provide high efficacy. The people who get vaccinated immediately after the vaccine release in September will have the maximum protection in the upcoming year.

Updated vaccine or booster shot?

The FDA and other health authorities have shifted in language from “booster” to “updated COVID-19 vaccine” because the booster only reinforces the immunity obtained from the previous vaccines, while the updated COVID-19 vaccine is designed to induce a new immune response against the existing variants. The term “updated COVID-19 vaccine” helps to normalize the idea of getting the COVID-19 vaccine on a regular basis, just like annual flu shots.

Bottom line

The current death rate associated with the Eris variant appears low. On the other hand, since many medical experts are warning the public about its high contagiousness, preventive measures such as mask-wearing, handwashing and maintaining appropriate distance remain important.

Current evidence suggests that updated COVID-19 booster shots can be an effective tool for prevention, especially for high-risk people such as the elderly or those suffering from severe health conditions. Still, vaccine hesitancy might affect the vaccination rates. This emphasizes the importance of transparent sharing of information with the public about COVID-19 vaccines.


Viral RNA Can Persist for 2 Years After COVID-19: Preprint Study

A new study may explain why some people who get COVID-19 never return to normal and instead experience new medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, clotting dysfunction, activation of latent viruses, diabetes mellitus, or what’s known as “long COVID” after SARS-CoV-2 infection.

In a recent preprint study published on medRxiv, researchers conducted the first positron emission tomography (PET) imaging study of T cell activation in individuals who previously recovered from COVID-19 and found that SARS-CoV-2 infection may result in persistent T cell activation in a variety of body tissues for years following initial symptoms.
Even in clinically mild cases of COVID-19, this phenomenon could explain the systemic changes observed in the immune system and in those with long COVID symptoms.

However, most of the participants were vaccinated and the study didn't investigate the link between the existence of viral RNA and vaccination.

To carry out the study, researchers conducted whole-body PET scans of 24 participants who were previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 and recovered from acute infection at time points ranging from 27 to 910 days following COVID-19 symptom onset.
A PET scan is an imaging test that uses a radioactive drug called a tracer to assess the metabolic or biochemical function of tissues and organs and can reveal both normal and abnormal metabolic activity. The tracer is usually injected into the hand or vein in the arm and collects in areas of the body with higher levels of metabolic or biochemical activity, which can reveal the location of the disease.

Using a novel radiopharmaceutical agent that detects specific molecules associated with a type of white blood cell called T lymphocytes, researchers found uptake of the tracer was significantly higher in post-acute COVID-19 participants compared to pre-pandemic controls in the brain stem, spinal cord, bone marrow, nasopharyngeal and hilar lymphoid tissue, cardiopulmonary tissues, and gut wall. Among males and females, male participants tended to have higher uptake in the pharyngeal tonsils, rectal wall, and hilar lymphoid tissue compared to female participants.

Researchers specifically identified cellular SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the gut tissue of all participants with long COVID symptoms who underwent biopsy—in the absence of reinfection—ranging from 158 to 676 days following initial COVID-19 illness, suggesting that tissue viral persistence could be associated with long-term immunological concerns. Although the uptake of the tracer in some tissues appeared to decline with time, the levels still remained elevated compared to the control group of healthy pre-pandemic volunteers.

"These data significantly extend prior observations of a durable and dysfunctional cellular immune response to SARS-CoV-2 and suggest that SARS-CoV-2 infection could result in a new immunologic steady state in the years following COVID-19," the researchers wrote.

To determine the association between T cell activation and long COVID symptoms, researchers compared post-acute COVID-19 participants with and without long COVID symptoms at the time of PET imaging. Those with long COVID symptoms reported a median of 5.5 symptoms at the time of imaging. Findings showed a “modestly higher uptake” of the agent in the spinal cord, hilar lymph nodes, and colon/rectal wall in those with long COVID symptoms.

In participants with long COVID who reported five or more symptoms at the time of imaging, researchers observed higher levels of inflammatory markers, “including proteins involved in immune responses, chemokine signaling, inflammation responses, and nervous system development.” Compared to both pre-pandemic controls and those participants who had COVID-19 and completely recovered, people with long COVID showed higher T cell activation in the spinal cord and gut wall.

All But 1 Participant Was Vaccinated

Researchers attribute their findings to SARS-CoV-2 infection, although all but one participant had received at least one COVID-19 vaccination prior to PET imaging.

To minimize the impact of vaccination on T cell activation, PET imaging was performed more than 60 days from any vaccine dose, except for the one participant who received a booster vaccine dose six days prior to imaging. Others who had received a COVID-19 vaccine within four weeks of imaging were excluded.

Researchers also grouped participants by receipt of a COVID-19 dose greater than or less than 180 days prior to PET imaging.

The researchers said their study had several other limitations, including small sample size, limited correlative studies, evolving variants, rapid and inconsistent rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, which required them to shift their imaging protocols, using pre-pandemic individuals as controls, and the extreme difficulty of finding people who had never been infected with SARS-CoV-2.

"In summary, our results provide provocative evidence of long-term immune system activation in several specific tissues following SARS-CoV-2 infection, including in those experiencing Long COVID symptoms," the researchers concluded. "We identified that SARS-CoV-2 persistence is one potential driver of this ongoing activated immune state, and we show that SARS-CoV-2 RNA may persist in gut tissue for nearly 2 years after the initial infection."


CDC Director Responds to COVID-19 Mask Mandate Speculation

The director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) responded to speculation that COVID-19-related mask mandates or lockdowns could return, coming after the agency recommended new vaccine boosters for nearly all Americans.

CDC Director Mandy Cohen was asked on Sept. 12 whether she feels confident that there won't be widespread lockdowns, school closures, and a reversion to mask mandates.

"Right now, we have all the tools we need to keep this virus at bay if we use the vaccines and we use testing and treatment," Ms. Cohen told WCNC, a Charlotte, North Carolina, TV station.

"What I see is I don’t see any need for mandates or those kinds of things right now. But we have to keep watching this virus, seeing how it changes, and if we need to make other recommendations, we will," the CDC head said.

Her comment comes as the CDC issued a recommendation that people should receive the updated COVID-19 booster shot that targets the XBB1.5 subvariant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration similarly authorized and approved the new mRNA-based shots, made by Pfizer and Moderna.

Meanwhile, since mid-August, there has been widespread speculation that the CDC and other federal agencies may attempt to recommend or push lockdowns, vaccine mandates, or masking mandates because of a small upswing in COVID-19 cases across the United States. A small number of schools, colleges, hospitals, and private businesses have implemented masking mandates, sparking alarm among some GOP officials and candidates.

CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Meet on COVID-19 and Vaccines

Several weeks ago, meanwhile, the Transportation Security Administration told The Epoch Times that claims that the agency held discussions that it would be reimplementing mandates or lockdowns are incorrect. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the CDC told the Associated Press around the same time that reports of pending lockdowns are "utterly false."
When asked by The Epoch Times about discussions around a possible federal mask mandate recommendation, a spokesperson said late last month that COVID-19 hospital admission levels "are currently low for 96 percent" of the United States. A separate spokesperson told other outlets that there were no agency discussions about bringing mask mandates back, and no new masking guidelines have been issued on the CDC's website in recent days.


19 September, 2023

Myocarditis and COVID-19 Vaccines: How the CDC Missed a Safety Signal and Hid a Warning

Even after deaths from myocarditis—inflammation of the heart—were reported and myocarditis was designated as a likely side effect of the shots, U.S. officials kept recommending vaccination for virtually the entire populace.

That led to millions of young people receiving a vaccine.

Many of those people suffered.

Aiden Ekanayake, 14, was one of them. He received a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in May 2021, and a second dose in June 2021.

Two days after the second dose, Aiden was woken in the middle of the night with pain that was comparable to when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament. His mother, Emily, rushed him to the hospital, where he spent days receiving care. Even after he was discharged, his exercise was limited for more than four months.

Ms. Ekanayake trusted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before the experience. Now, she does not. "I hate them. I think they're evil," Ms. Ekanayake told The Epoch Times.

No Transparency

The CDC, America's public health agency, was warned by Israel on Feb. 28, 2021, about a "large number" of myocarditis cases after Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination, documents obtained by The Epoch Times show.

Internally, the warning was designated as "high" importance and set off a review of U.S. data. The review found 27 reported cases in the United States, according to a U.S. government memorandum dated March 9, 2021. The incidence rate was low, but "missing and incomplete data make it challenging to assess causation," the memo stated. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it said, "has not made a final determination regarding the causality."

Weeks later, neither the CDC nor the FDA had alerted the public to the issue, even after the death of a previously healthy 22-year-old Israeli woman and briefings from Israeli officials and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) researchers.
Like Israel, the DOD was recording a higher-than-expected number of myocarditis cases. Patients were mostly young, healthy males.

The CDC met with military officials twice behind closed doors in April 2021. Military officials presented data during at least one of the meetings to the CDC. That presentation, which has never been released to the public, "included our preliminary patient data and analysis that suggested to us that myocarditis was indeed a possible side effect to the messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines (within the US military)," Dr. Jay Montgomery, one of the presenters, told The Epoch Times via email.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA).

On April 27, 2021, after the meetings, then-CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky finally spoke about the matter in public, during a White House briefing.

Dr. Walensky said "we have not seen any reports" of myocarditis after vaccination. That's false, according to CDC data—the agency received 141 reports of myocarditis in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) by the end of March 2021. Another 24 cases were recorded in the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a second system run by the CDC.

Additionally, before the briefing, Dr. Walensky was copied on multiple threads discussing myocarditis and a related condition, pericarditis, including a thread about doctors in California seeing the cases, internal emails obtained by The Epoch Times show. She responded to one of the threads, saying the information was "super helpful."

"We have not seen a [safety] signal," Dr. Walensky also told reporters during the briefing, "and we’ve actually looked intentionally for the signal in the over 200 million doses we’ve given."

The CDC and FDA are supposed to monitor data from VAERS, which officials have described as the country's "early warning system" for possible vaccine problems. But they failed to detect a safety signal for myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination that triggered on Feb. 18, 2021, when using a statistical analysis method called Proportional Reporting Ratio (PRR), according to archived VAERS data from the National Vaccine Information Center, The Epoch Times confirmed.

The CDC initially said it started running PRRs in February 2021, but later acknowledged that was false. The agency now says it did not start PRRs until 2022. The first time the CDC ran complete PRRs, officials detected a signal for myocarditis, according to files obtained by The Epoch Times.

"It's unimaginable that they wouldn't have seen the signal," Brian Hooker, senior director of science and research at Children's Health Defense, who detected an early signal for myocarditis in VAERS using a different method, told The Epoch Times. "They were alerted by the DOD. They were alerted by the Israeli Ministry of Health. And so, if they just didn't know then, they have absolutely no excuse because they were warned."

Children's Health Defense, a nonprofit that says its mission is to end childhood health epidemics, first obtained the emails between Israel and the CDC.

Dr. Walensky, who has since departed the CDC, has not responded to a request for comment about her myocarditis claims.

A CDC spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email: "CDC has been continuously monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines since they began to be administered in the United States. At the time of the director’s press conference, CDC did not have sufficient evidence to conclude there was a safety signal for myocarditis following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination."

The CDC has said it did not run PRRs in 2021 because officials were relying on a different analytic method, called Empirical Bayesian data mining. It's unclear when that method, utilized by the FDA, first detected a signal for myocarditis. The FDA has declined to answer questions on the matter. The CDC has told The Epoch Times that its 2022 detection of a signal for myocarditis using PRRs was "consistent with" the data mining results.

Both the CDC and FDA use contractors to process VAERS data.

"Even FDA doesn't really know the mechanics of how its contractor does the data mining," one CDC official said in an email obtained by The Epoch Times. The official and the FDA did not respond to requests for comment on the email.
A safety signal is a sign that an adverse event may be caused by a vaccine. Authorities say signals can only be substantiated with further research.

"Once the safety signal comes up, why not start warning the public about the fact that' hey, you can take it if you want, but understand that there is this risk that we have discovered and we are looking into it," Dr. Anish Koka, an American cardiologist, told The Epoch Times.

One possible motivation for not fully examining the issue was that it could have led to a halt in vaccination. The CDC and FDA essentially imposed a pause on Johnson & Johnson's shot on April 13, 2021, after a small number of blood clotting cases.
"A pause of the Pfizer/Moderna administration (much like the J&J blood clot pause) will have an adverse impact on US/CA vaccination rates," one military official said in a message obtained by The Epoch Times that was flagged for top CDC officials.

Between February 2021 and May 2021, the percentage of the U.S. population that had received a COVID-19 vaccine soared from 14.2 percent to 50.5 percent.

"It was most likely a strategic move in order to make sure that they didn't curtail vaccination rates," Mr. Hooker said.

"Due to the large number of reports that we are receiving at this time, processing is taking longer than usual," one official said. The message was sent to a woman who said she'd filed a VAERS report for her son's myocarditis on April 21 but that the report had still not appeared in the system days later.

Elaine Miller, a CDC official, wrote around the same time that there were "processing delays" for VAERS reports.

One of the contractors used by the CDC estimated before the vaccines were rolled out that no more than 1,000 reports would be filed per day. The number soared above that estimate by the end of 2020, internal documents obtained by The Epoch Times show.

Workers for the contractor, General Dynamics Information Technology, increased the speed at which they processed but were "unable to keep up with the increased surge in reports at current staffing levels," the contractor informed the CDC in one message.

The backlog increased to nearly 94,000 reports even after the contractor hired nearly 300 additional staff members.

Dr. Adam Hirschfeld, 36, of Ohio, submitted a report to VAERS soon after suffering myocarditis following COVID-19 vaccination in January 2021. It took months for the CDC to respond to him. "I could have been dead by then," Dr. Hirschfeld told The Epoch Times.

Health care providers who administer COVID-19 vaccines are required to report serious adverse events, including all cases of myocarditis, to VAERS.

But not all doctors were following the rules, other emails show.

"Providers aren't reporting these cases to VAERS," Dr. John Su, one of the CDC's top vaccine safety officials, wrote to colleagues on May 17, 2021. He also wrote that the "myocarditis thing" was "exploding."

CDC officials, in correspondence with officials in Washington state, said around the same time that nine post-vaccination myocarditis cases had not been reported to VAERS.

The backlog was eventually cleared. VAERS data show that 146 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis were reported by the end of March 2021. An additional 158 cases were reported in April 2021 and 487 more were entered in May 2021.

Just a third of the cases reported to VAERS through April 26, 2021, were fully processed as of May 3, 2021, according to an internal presentation.

In addition to Dr. Walensky's false claim, the CDC has falsely told other health officials and media outlets that it did not receive any reports until May or June 2021, internal emails show.

Another CDC vaccine safety monitoring system, V-safe, did not include myocarditis despite the CDC and FDA identifying the heart inflammation as an adverse event of special interest, or a possible side effect, for the COVID-19 vaccines before they were authorized. The Vaccine Safety Datalink did include myocarditis but did not detect a signal until 2022, possibly because it was using a too-narrow case definition. A fourth system, run by the FDA and partners like CVS, detected a signal in 2023.

Cases Started in January

Doctors started seeing postvaccination myocarditis cases in January 2021, months before the public was informed about them.

The U.S. military researchers, for instance, detailed in a paper that 22 previously healthy service members suffered from myocarditis after vaccination as early as January 2021.
Seventeen cases happened in January 2021 alone in Israel, Israeli researchers reported in another study.

Dr. Dror Mevorach, a co-author of the paper, said he tried warning Pfizer of the possible link between myocarditis and its shot.

"They refused to believe me for a period of four months," Dr. Mevorach told Haaretz. Pfizer did not respond to a request for comment.


18 September, 2023

FDA Has 'Gone Rogue' in Its Approval of New COVID-19 Boosters: Dr. Robert Malone

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has "gone rogue," according to virologist Dr. Robert Malone, who accused the federal agency of sacrificing its own rules and regulations with its decision to recommend the latest batch of COVID-19 boosters, which only have limited clinical trial data attesting to their efficacy and safety.

Dr. Malone made the remarks in an interview with EpochTV's "Crossroads" program on Sept. 11, the day that the FDA cleared new COVID-19 vaccines in a bid to counter the waning effectiveness of the currently available shots.

"It's difficult to conclude anything other than the FDA is no longer feeling bound by their own rules and regulations," Dr. Malone said. "The term is—they've gone rogue."

Dr. Malone objected to the lack of clinical trial data on humans demonstrating effectiveness and safety of the updated vaccines, arguing that should preclude their approval by the FDA.

He said that, essentially, the FDA allowing the new vaccines to be used under an emergency use authorization on the premise that “neutralizing antibodies as detected in mice and their cross-reactivity are a correlative protection—That's a lie. There are no established correlates of protection for SARS-CoV-2."

FDA officials didn't respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

However, in a statement announcing its approval, the FDA said that the decision was supported by its evaluation of "manufacturing data" from vaccine producers and "non-clinical immune response data on the updated formulations including the XBB.1.5 component."

The benefit-risk profile of previously approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccines is "well understood," the FDA said, adding that the similar manufacturing process for the updated vaccines "suggests that the vaccines are a good match for protecting against the currently circulating COVID-19 variants."

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) followed with their own recommendation on Sept. 12, urging nearly all Americans to get the new vaccines, which will be available to children as young as 6 months old this month.

The new vaccines target XBB.1.5, a sub-type of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the disease COVID-19. However, the XBB.1.5. subvariant has already largely been displaced by newer strains of the quickly evolving virus, including EG.5, according to the CDC.

"There's essentially no data," Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said at a recent news conference, where he suggested that people might be better off passing on the new round of shots.

"Not only that, but there are a lot of red flags," Dr. Ladapo added, while pointing to studies finding that the effectiveness of the vaccines turns negative over time.

“There's been no clinical trial done in human beings showing that it benefits people, there's been no clinical trial showing that it is a safe product for people."

He also noted that studies have linked previous versions of the COVID-19 vaccine to cardiac problems such as heart inflammation.

"It's truly irresponsible for FDA, CDC, and others to be championing something ... when we don't know the implications of it," Dr. Ladapo said.

While acknowledging the current vaccines' waning effectiveness, CDC Director Mandy Cohen penned an op-ed in The New York Times on Sept. 13, in which she called the updated COVID-19 vaccines "one of the most effective tools in combating the virus."

"Covid-19 vaccines are the best way to give the body the ability to keep the virus from causing significant harm. Extensive studies and real-world experience have shown that they are safe and they work," she wrote. "And most Americans take them."

Dr. Cohen said the vaccines were put through extensive clinical trials before they were introduced in 2021 and "since then, their safety has been intensely monitored."

She didn't address criticism, such as that the updated vaccines haven't been subjected to clinical trials.

In its green-light statement, the FDA said it's "confident in the safety and effectiveness of these updated vaccines and the agency's benefit-risk assessment demonstrates that the benefits of these vaccines for individuals 6 months of age and older outweigh their risks."

That FDA endorsement, however, stands in contrast to remarks made by Dr. Paul Offit, an FDA adviser, who suggested to the UK's Daily Mail that younger, healthy people who have already been vaccinated don't need one of the new doses.

"We are best served by targeting these booster doses to those who are most at risk of severe disease," such as people older than 75, Dr. Offit said. "Boosting otherwise healthy young people is a low-risk, low-reward strategy."

In his remarks at the news conference, Dr. Ladapo asked people to make decisions based on their “resonance of truth” rather than depending on “very educated people telling you what you should think.”

“When they try to convince you to be comfortable and agree with things that don't feel comfortable and don't feel like things you should agree with, that's a sign ... And I encourage you and certainly beg and hope that you do listen to it, because it will serve you right,” he said.

A January–July 2023 study that analyzed data from 33 California state prisons found that individuals who received new COVID-19 booster shots were more likely to contract COVID-19 compared to those who didn't receive the jabs.
The infection rate among the group that received the bivalent booster shots came in at 3.2 percent—higher than the 2.7 percent among the unvaccinated.

Late last month, the CDC conceded that the new BA.2.86 strain can cause infection even among people who have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The large number of mutations in this variant raises concerns of greater escape from existing immunity from vaccines and previous infections compared with other recent variants,” the agency said in its assessment.


Dr. Marty Makary Weighs in on the New COVID Vaccines Biden Is Pushing

Dr. Marty Makary — a rare voice of reason and sanity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic — is out with a review of the "real data" behind the new vaccines being pushed by the Biden administration and Democrat leaders around the country.

Makary, along with Dr. Tracy Høeg, open their analysis of the new vaccines Biden & Co. are pushing for Americans as young as six months old with an alarming scenario that's anything but hypothetical.

What if I told you one in 50 people who took a new medication had a 'medically attended adverse event' and the manufacturer refused to disclose what exactly the complication was — would you take it?

And what if the theoretical benefit was only transient, lasting about three months, after which your susceptibility goes back to baseline?

And what if we told you the Food and Drug Administration cleared it without any human-outcomes data and European regulators are not universally recommending it as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is?

Writing in The New York Post, Makary and Høeg say that's all scientists know about the new vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that are being more than recommended by the Biden administration.

"The push is so hard that former White House COVID coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha and CDC head Mandy Cohen are making unsupported claims the new vaccine reduces hospitalizations. long COVID and the likelihood you will spread COVID," the doctors' analysis explains. "None of those claims has a shred of scientific support," and "if the manufacturers said that, they could be fined for making false marketing claims beyond an FDA-approved indication."

Yet, the Biden administration is plunging ahead with another push to drive up the use of these new vaccines, a push that blows past what The Science™ says or The Experts™ have concluded.

"The questions surrounding Moderna’s new COVID vaccine approved this week are still looming," Makary and Høeg say of the reality being ignored by the White House. "Pfizer’s version, approved this week as well, also has zero efficacy data and has not been tested on humans at all," they note. "We only have data about antibody production from 10 mice."

Does the Biden administration view the American people as any better than lab rats? It seems not based on this situation.

What's more, the doctors note that neither the FDA nor Moderna have disclosed "what happened to the patient who took the new vaccine and had a complication that required medical attention."

Were there contributing factors to the complication? How serious was it? Are there any long term effects from the complication?

None of these answers have or are likely to come from the Biden administration in their push to get the new vaccine administered far and wide. Why even have regulators if they are apparently unwilling to scrutinize the things they approve?

Despite the White House's refusal to give Americans the full, honest picture, Makary and Høeg are among those reminding America's leaders that "[t]he public has a right to know." Indeed.


17 September, 2023

How we can prevent COVID mandates from coming back

A recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, accompanied by the predictable hysterical media coverage, has spurred nationwide chatter about a possible return to pandemic restrictions, from school closures to mask mandates. This is not baseless supposition, as schools, universities, and hospital systems across the nation have recently reinstituted masking and quarantine requirements. Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., recently reinstated a mask mandate in his Capitol Hill offices, while MSNBC pundit Mehdi Hassan has been working overtime to convince his audience that school closures did not actually harm children—a formidable task given the evidence refuting his claims.

People living in hub cities and other blue jurisdictions have reason to worry that their political leaders might turn back the clock on pandemic restrictions ahead of the 2024 election cycle. Despite scads of legal challenges from individuals and groups negatively impacted by lockdowns and vaccine requirements, the law still offers little protection. Mandates levied by state and local governments tended to survive lawsuits due to the Constitution’s allocation of police power to the states, so courts have given governors and state legislatures the green light to continue inflicting pandemic theater on their constituents. 

Whether or not the Biden administration will attempt to implement mandates at the federal level—as some have speculated despite the presidential proclamation ending the COVID-19 emergency this past May—is another matter. In contrast to state and local COVID-19 restrictions, most federal mandates imposed by presidential decree have not withstood legal challenges. Thus, for Americans who are more concerned about COVID-19 tyranny than the virus itself, there is reason to be hopeful that even if restrictions return, they won’t be as totalizing and intrusive as the last round.

First and foremost, President Biden’s vaccine mandates, which he instituted through executive orders in the fall of 2021, were by and large a failure (apart from the mandate for health care workers at facilities that receive federal funds). The president attempted to use federal statutes obviously meant to serve entirely different purposes to compel vaccine-hesitant Americans to get the shot. Altogether, the mandates applied to around 100 million Americans.

One of the most extensive involved the administration’s instrumentalization of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) to force private companies that employed 100 or more people to require vaccination or frequent testing as a condition of continued employment. Preliminarily enjoining the mandate, the Supreme Court recognized that the president lacked this authority, since Congress had only authorized OSHA to regulate workplace safety, not impose “broad public health measures” that were “untethered, in any causal sense, from the workplace.”

The White House’s misuse of the Procurement Act to force all employees of federal contractors to receive a COVID-19 inoculation met a similar fate. The act’s stated purpose is to provide for the “economical and efficient” procurement of government contracts. Several United States Courts of Appeals rightly held that Congress, in enacting this statute, clearly did not intend to provide for the federal executive to impose vaccination on one-fifth of the nation’s workforce. Thus, Biden had exceeded his delegated powers. Likewise, a 10-judge majority of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s ruling preliminarily enjoining the federal employees’ vaccine mandate. While as a technical matter the decision addressed jurisdiction, in determining that the plaintiffs could bring their case in federal court, the ruling set the groundwork for a successful challenge on the merits of the claims, and was widely seen as a victory for the plaintiffs.

We need politicians with practical plans to avoid a replay of restrictions—especially given that most COVID-19 mandates proved not only useless, but harmful.

Vaccine mandates were not the only pandemic restriction imposed through federal executive decree to be preliminarily enjoined. When, in July 2020, Congress failed to renew an emergency act halting evictions from properties that participated in federal assistance programs or were subject to federally backed loans, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), extended the moratorium and broadened it to include all residential properties nationwide. In an unprecedented move, the CDC even provided for criminal penalties for noncompliant landlords. The CDC’s dubious statutory justification for this sweeping order was its authority to “make and enforce such regulations as in [the surgeon general’s] judgment are necessary to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases[.]” According to the agency, the eviction moratorium was necessary because economic hardship during the pandemic meant many tenants could no longer afford to pay rent, and forcing them out of their homes would disseminate COVID-19.

From a practical and moral standpoint, the policy was a fiasco. Noncorporate, middle-class landlords could not afford mortgages and repairs without tenants’ rent. In many instances, tenants did not default out of necessity, but rather because they could get away with it. For example, a Washington Post article featured a Hawaii waitress who lost her job due to business closures and could not stay afloat using rent from small condos she owned since her tenants simply didn’t pay.

The Supreme Court, in Alabama Association of Realtors v. HHS, rightly found that the CDC had exceeded the authority delegated to it by Congress and struck down the moratorium. The court explained in conclusion that: “[O]ur system does not permit agencies to act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends …. It is up to Congress, not the CDC, to decide whether the public interest merits further action here.”

Similar principles came into play when the CDC was taken to court over its public transportation mask mandate. A district court judge in Florida held that the agency lacked power to compel travelers throughout the nation to wear masks on public transit. (The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the case, dodging the merits because the government represented that the administration would not attempt to reimpose the mandate.)

Very recently, the Fifth Circuit held that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had unlawfully interfered with doctors’ ability to prescribe ivermectin to patients to treat COVID-19 symptoms. Three doctors had challenged FDA tweets ordering Americans to stop taking the medication, which is a commonly used anti-parasitic drug that has been met with controversy in the COVID-19 context. (Some hypothesize that vaccine companies and their allies orchestrated hostility to the drug because its efficacy threatened their profit margins.)They alleged that the FDA’s stance had caused them to suffer adverse professional consequences, including loss of admitting privileges at hospitals and positions at medical schools, as well as referrals to medical boards. The Fifth Circuit agreed, declaring that “[n]othing in the [enabling] Act’s plain text authorizes FDA to issue medical advice or recommendations … while FDA cites plenty of statutory authority allowing it to issue information, it never identifies even colorable authority allowing it to make medical recommendations (at least without notice and comment.”

All of the decisions discussed above are based on a common principle: Generally speaking, the president of the United States and his executive agencies do not have the constitutional authority to impose public health mandates through executive decree. Congressional acts are a different story, though. As the Supreme Court insinuated in Alabama Association, the same public health measures instituted properly, through the legislative process, would probably pass constitutional muster.

Thus, Americans who oppose public health tyranny would be wise to elect national representatives who not only share their concerns, but have practical plans to pass legislation that would protect Americans against future restrictions—especially given that most COVID-19 mandates proved not only useless, but harmful.

Unlike the successful challenges to federal mandates, however, efforts to block COVID restrictions at the state and local levels have been less successful. That is because state and local governments have broad authority (known as “police power” embodied in the Constitution’s 10th Amendment) to pass laws and regulations to address a perceived public health crisis. 

A prime culprit for the current state of affairs is a case from 1905 known as Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Henning Jacobson, a pastor in Cambridge, had defied a law requiring residents of his township to receive a smallpox vaccine during an outbreak of the disease. The Supreme Court rejected Jacobson’s due process challenge. The law was a proper exercise of Massachusetts’ 10th Amendment police power, the court explained, and did not violate Jacobson’s constitutional rights. [T]he police power of a state must be held to embrace, at least, such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and safety.”

Courts have since relied on Jacobson to justify upholding most state and local public health mandates, from vaccine requirements imposed by state employers to mask mandates to school and business closures—not only those enacted by legislatures. Attempts to distinguish or revisit Jacobson on various salient grounds, such as the relative lethality of smallpox compared to COVID-19, evolving societal recognition of rights to bodily autonomy, or the fact that the law in question had been passed through the legislative process as opposed to executive decree, usually fail. Instead of engaging in reasoned analysis, courts reflexively apply Jacobson and wash their hands of further analysis.

There are some exceptions to this general rule, most notably in the First Amendment context (the First Amendment provides for Americans’ rights to speak and practice religion without government infringement). Having earlier denied a church’s challenge to California Gov. Newsom’s executive order restricting public gatherings, in November 2020 the Supreme Court struck down an executive order issued by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo severely limiting church attendance. The order violated the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause, the court held. In a now oft-quoted line, Justice Gorsuch opined in concurrence that “Government is not free to disregard the First Amendment in times of crisis.” 

In another hopeful decision, a district court judge in California preliminarily enjoined a state law prohibiting doctors from dispensing advice or treatment to patients that departs from the “contemporary scientific consensus” on COVID-19. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which heard argument on the constitutionality of the law this past July, appears poised to hold that it presents due process and First Amendment problems.

The common theme underpinning these challenges to state level COVID-19 restrictions, however, is that they implicate enumerated First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise—in other words, rights that the Constitution explicitly protects. If Americans want to safeguard other liberties, such as the rights to bodily autonomy, to decline medical treatment, and to run a business or to attend school, they should turn to the legislative process. The courts cannot be relied upon to protect our rights to leave our homes, run our businesses, send our children to school, and breathe unhindered.


15 September, 2023

Defining conservatism

A few years back, I put together a big article designed to look at the history of conservatism and extract from that history a clear picture of what conservatism consistently is. I traced conservatism back as far as 1500 years ago. Yes. There have always been conservatives and they have been consistent in what they say. And they are NOT simply "opposed to change"

And I look at the psychology of conservatism: What makes some people conservative and others not?

I have recently put up a slightly revised version of that article, with the changes principally designed to make it an easier read. You can find it here or here


Medical Hiatus

At age 80, I can reasonably expect some health problems. And I am no exception. I am at the moment battling two types of cancer -- SCCs in my upper body and metastasized prostate cancer in my lower body. Both are treatable. I underwent the first treatment steps today. I got an anti-androgen medication (injected Firmagon) for the prostate problems and a monoclonal antibody -- Cemiplimab --for the SCCs in my upper body.

Cemiplimab is an extremely expensive medication that has only recently emerged from clinical trials. The Australian government put it on the "free" list just in November last year so I am lucky to be getting it

Both problems have popped up recently so I am very washed out by them and in some pain.

At any event, the treatments did knock me around a bit so I slept from 4pm to 9pm today -- times when I would normally be blogging. So I am not blogging at all today on my other blogs

Zora and Anne are both out of town but I am pleased that in my time of trial I have received affectionate messages from both of them -- and Jenny has stepped up to become my live-in carer

Saturday update: They talk about the luck of the Irish. I do have substantial Irish ancestry and some of that luck seems to have rubbed off on me. I went to the Wesley for my treatment, which is a major Brisbane private hospital. And it turns out that I was the first to get Cemiplimab there. It came on to the free list just in time for me to get it -- JR


14 September, 2023

CIA Pro-China COVID Corruption?

By now, we all know that the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t originate in the wild; that its genesis wasn’t the result of a fruit bat getting frisky with a pangolin.

We all know that it came from a lab in communist China. Common sense dictates it. Senator Tom Cotton called it within days of the outbreak. The stone’s-throw proximity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology to the location of initial outbreak makes any other scenario seem about as implausible as the Steele dossier, about as unlikely as Hunter Biden’s laptop being Russian disinformation.

Indeed, we know where the virus came from despite Anthony Fauci’s best efforts to cover it up due to his agency’s funding of the ChiComs’ dangerous gain-of-function research.

These days, only the lowest of low-information voters believe the virus emerged naturally rather than artificially. Heck, even Jon Stewart long ago embraced the chocolatey goodness of the truth.

Looking back, we were struck by how reluctant so many ostensibly intelligent people were to come to this obvious conclusion. We always figured either money or professional embarrassment were behind it — or, in the case of Fauci, both. But now, thanks to a Central Intelligence Agency whistleblower, we have yet another reason to follow the money.

According to that longtime CIA officer, his agency commissioned an investigation into COVID-19’s origins, and then, when it didn’t like the investigative team’s findings, it paid them to change their position. A letter sent Tuesday from House Coronavirus Pandemic Subcommittee Chairman Brad Wenstrup and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner to CIA Director William Burns provides the details:

A multi-decade, senior-level, current Agency officer has come forward to provide information to the Committees regarding the Agency’s analysis into the origins of COVID-19. According to the whistleblower, the Agency assigned seven officers to a COVID Discovery Team (Team). The Team consisted of multi-disciplinary and experienced officers with significant scientific expertise. According to the whistleblower, at the end of its review, six of the seven members of the Team believed the intelligence and science were sufficient to make a low confidence assessment that COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. The seventh member of the Team, who also happened to be the most senior, was the lone officer to believe COVID-19 originated through zoonosis. The whistleblower further contends that to come to the eventual public determination of uncertainty, the other six members were given a significant monetary incentive to change their position.

That last sentence is stunning. It says that the agency’s analysis is for sale. The officers on the CIA’s COVID Discovery Team were nearly unanimous in their conclusion that the coronavirus originated from the Wuhan lab, but they were then bought off.

And yet it’s not so stunning at all, is it? The CIA simply isn’t what it used to be. This morning, upon reading these revelations, one of our colleagues invoked Captain Renault: He was shocked — SHOCKED — to learn that the agency’s report was inconclusive.

The letter from Wenstrup and Turner continues: “These allegations, from a seemingly credible source, requires the Committees to conduct further oversight of how the CIA handled its internal investigation into the origins of COVID-19. To assist the Committees with their investigations, we request the following documents and information as soon as possible, but no later than September 26, 2023.”

Why would the CIA be so dead-set against acknowledging the strength of the lab-leak theory? What might cause it to essentially jump into bed with the communist Chinese? Perhaps those within the agency who bought off the investigative team were bought off themselves.

Or perhaps they were rabid partisans. Perhaps they were Trump-hating Democrats, and they were thus loath to be seen as siding with the then-president, who’d been calling COVID-19 “the China Virus” all along, and whose tough-on-China policies had not only made the communist Chinese unhappy but also discomfited the go-along get-along Washington establishment.

Sixteen years ago, Tim Weiner, then a reporter for The New York Times, published a book called Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA. The fundamental question posed by that book is as crucial today as it was then: Why is it that the most powerful nation in history can’t seem to create a first-rate spy agency?

In any case, we see this as a big story and a deeply troubling matter of national security, and we look forward to seeing where the evidence takes these House Republicans as they do their constitutionally prescribed duty of oversight.


BS 24.7 The next Covid variant?

Rebecca Weisser

Once again, New Zealand is leading the world in the pandemic stakes. While Australian premiers are still hung up on pretending Covid vaccines are ‘safe and effective’ TM, New Zealand’s Prime Minister and former Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has moved on to the stage of denying that the mandates were mandates. As he puts it, ‘In terms of the vaccine mandates… (people) ultimately made their own choices… There was no compulsory vaccination.’

Did he get the idea from Pfizer’s man down under, Dr Brian Hewitt, who tried it on Senator Pauline Hanson in a recent Senate Committee Hearing saying, ‘No one was forced to have a vaccine’, people were offered an ‘opportunity’ to get vaccinated. Fair point. We should be more positive. Being held up at knifepoint in a dark alley isn’t being mugged, it’s an ‘opportunity’ to donate your valuables to a masked bandit.

In Australia, the vaccine efficacy that preoccupies state premiers – who imposed the mandates – is getting re-elected. As Premier Andrews put it when he won the Victorian election in a ‘Dan-slide’ last November, ‘Vaccines work!’ In Queensland, Premier Palasczcuk is so keen to repeat the act that she’s hired Andrews’ adman.

But who will last longer? The mandates or Palasczcuk? On Friday 1 September, Health Minister Shannon Fentiman (mooted to be a front-runner to replace the Premier) announced two-week consultations on removing the mandates, two years after they were imposed in September 2021.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) has already said they should go but the power of the CHO which seemed almost unlimited at the height of Covid hysteria has diminished now that he is proposing something sensible.

A group called Doctors Against Mandates mounted a legal challenge to the mandates on 12 March 2022. Within a fortnight of receiving 13 affidavits from medical professionals and six reports from international experts, the CHO revoked the mandates for health workers in the private sector. Unfortunately, mandates which cover the public sector health are still in force.

One of the most damning indictments of vaccine efficacy was filed in relation to the doctors’ challenge to the mandate in the Supreme Court of Queensland early this year by the state’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard. It revealed that once 80 per cent of the population were vaccinated and the borders opened in December 2021, not only did Covid cases explode, peaking at 18,500 per day in January, but 80 per cent of the 176 Covid deaths were in people who had had one or more Covid vaccine jabs. Most were double-vaxxed but 13 were triple-vaxxed and one died after five shots. In other words, the vaccines were duds. They failed to stop the pandemic or prevent the vulnerable from dying. All the bullying of the unvaccinated, preventing grieving Australians from comforting their dying loved ones or attending their funerals, denying a pregnant woman in New South Wales permission to cross the border and get urgent medical treatment which meant she waited 16 hours to fly to Sydney, and lost one of her twins – it was all for nothing.

Did the Premier rush to apologise for the damage done by the ‘failed vaccines’, to quote Bill Gates who profited heavily from his investment in the Pfizer jab? Of course not. The information was only made public last month by Rebekah Barnett in her excellent substack Dystopian Downunder.

Far from apologising, Queensland Health is still threatening disciplinary action against ‘hundreds’ of workers who ‘did not comply with their employment contract’ by getting jabbed.

Infectious disease physician Paul Griffin supports ending the mandates but thinks the biggest risk is that ‘people will think the initial rule was wrong, which,’ according to him, ‘isn’t the case’.

That’s the nub of it. The government doesn’t want to admit that the vaccines are useless and the mandates were morally, scientifically and practically wrong.

The only reason it is ending the mandate is because it can’t replace the more than 2,100 healthcare workers who were stood down or forced to resign.

‘We have global workforce shortages, so I think it makes sense now to reconsider this mandate,’ Fentiman says.

‘If someone wants to now reapply for a job with Queensland Health who is not vaccinated for Covid, they’ll be treated the same as any other worker.’

Despite a massive increase in Australia’s international immigration intake and wage hikes in the health sector, acute shortages persist, not least because the repeatedly vaccinated healthcare workers repeatedly get Covid-19. This was observed in a study of more than 50,000 US healthcare workers in the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, which showed the more often you were jabbed, the more you caught Covid.

Interstate migration into Queensland, predominantly Victoria, and NSW, the states worst affected by lockdown lunacy, has increased demand for health services.

National excess mortality of over 13 per cent this year has increased pressure on hospitals.

The dramatic spike in ‘dying suddenly’ is recorded under ‘other cardiac conditions’ in Australia’s provisional mortality data. Deaths from January to May are 15.5 per cent higher than the baseline average and 1 per cent higher than the same period in 2022.

Deaths due to diabetes were 22 per cent above the baseline average in May 2023, and 1.4 per cent higher than in May 2022

Deaths due to dementia including Alzheimer’s were 18 per cent above the baseline average in May 2023, and 2.1 per cent above May 2022.

Each of these causes of death has been linked in studies to the spike protein in the virus and/or the vaccine. For example, a paper from Larson et al. at Linkoping University, Sweden published on 1 September presents evidence for the initiation or acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by the spike protein.

When the mandate for health workers ends in Queensland, flagged for 25 September, only NSW, Victoria and South Australia will be left. Will that be the end?

Who knows? In the US some colleges and hospitals are trying to bring back mask mandates.

Scott Gottlieb, former head of the US Food and Drug Administration and now on the board of Pfizer is talking up the next booster.

The latest variant has been named after Eris, the Greek goddess of ‘strife and discord’. What is the plan? A rerun of lockdowns and Black Lives Matter on the rampage in the run-up to the 2024 Presidential election? Skeptics have their own name for the variant – BS.24.7.


13 September, 2023

Experts Consulted by Fauci Suddenly Changed Their Minds

More revelations concerning the initial responses of top officials at the National Institutes of Health about the origins of COVID-19, which killed an estimated 1.1 million Americans, keep dripping out of the federal bureaucracy.

Top officials’ initial narrative hardened into a stubborn insistence on natural origins for COVID-19. However, most leading virologists consulted by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, initially thought that the novel coronavirus had an unnatural origin.

Fauci’s Memo. Today, we can take Fauci’s word for it. On Feb. 1, 2020, he conferred with a group of top virologists to discuss the origins of COVID-19. In his email that day (delivered at 11:58 p.m.) to Department of Health and Human Services officials Garrett Grigsby and Brian Harrison (with copies to other HHS officials, as well as NIH Director Francis Collins), Fauci writes of the virologists:

They were concerned about the fact that upon viewing the sequences of several isolates of the nCoV [the virus that causes COVID-19], there were mutations in the virus that would be most unusual to have evolved naturally in the bats and that there was a suspicion that this mutation was intentionally inserted. The suspicion was heightened by the fact that scientists in [China’s] Wuhan University are known to have been working on gain of function experiments to determine the molecular mechanisms associated with bat viruses adapting to human infection, and the outbreak originated in Wuhan.

Wuhan, China, is home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, suspected of being the source of a virus that somehow escaped a research lab.

Fauci’s memo confirmed his personal knowledge that “gain of function” experiments—research designed to enhance the transmissibility and virulence of pathogens—were being conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Genetic Engineering? In the same email Feb. 1, 2020, Fauci emphasized that “some of the scientists felt more strongly about this [genetic engineering] possibility, but two others felt differently.”

For example, the day before the call, Jan. 31, 2020, Dr. Kristian Andersen of Scripps Research Institute emailed Fauci about the novel coronavirus, stating in part: “Some of the features (potentially) look engineered … I should mention that after discussions earlier today, Eddie [Holmes], Bob [Garry], Mike [Ferguson], and myself all find the genome inconsistent with expectations from evolutionary theory.”

And the day after the call, on Feb. 2, Dr. Robert Garry of Tulane University wrote:

I really can’t think of a plausible natural scenario where you get from the bat virus or one very similar to it to nCoV where you insert exactly 4 amino acids 12 nucleotide that all have to be added at the exact same time to gain this function—that and you don’t change any other amino acid in S2? I just can’t figure out how this gets accomplished in nature. Do the alignment of the spikes at the amino acid level—it’s stunning.

Despite these questions, the result of that crucial teleconference was the publication March 17, 2020, of a paper titled “Proximal Origin of SARS-CoV-2” in the journal Nature Medicine. That article concluded that “SARS-CoV-2 [the virus that causes COVID-19] is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.”

This conclusion, quickly endorsed by NIH’s Collins and heralded in the media, became one of the most influential scientific papers of all time.

Enthusiastic acceptance of a “natural origin” for the pandemic, particularly among the media and the political class, is itself a curiosity. Since Communist China shut down access to COVID-19 information in January 2020, the authors of the paper published by Nature Medicine neither had nor could have had access to Chinese hard data.

At the time, the Wuhan Institute for Virology certainly was the site of substandard conditions and serious biosafety risks, a fact acknowledged by Chinese authorities themselves.

Without an identified intermediate animal host for transmission of the novel coronavirus to humans, they could only speculate as to whether that host was a pangolin or a racoon dog or some other exotic creature sold in Wuhan’s notorious “wet market.” To this day, that intermediate host is yet to be identified.

About-Face. What has intrigued congressional investigators is that Andersen and Garry seemed to have abandoned overnight their support of the lab-leak theory in favor of a natural viral origin for COVID-19.

Andersen subsequently referred to the lab origin as a “crackpot theory” and accused those who thought otherwise as conspiracy theorists, which oddly enough would have included Andersen himself before publication of the article in Nature Medicine.

Congressional investigators rightly have been intrigued by this dramatic about-face among key authors of the Nature Medicine paper. In his testimony July 11, 2023, before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, Andersen insisted that Fauci merely encouraged him to explore the matter further. That response didn’t satisfy Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y., who asked: “What happened within that three-day period, between the conference call and the paper, that all of a sudden you did a 180, and it couldn’t possibly come from a lab … ?”

In a separate report, staff of the House select subcommittee documented privately expressed concerns among the teleconference participants about preserving international harmony with their Chinese counterparts.

Consider the Feb. 2, 2020, email that Dr. Andrew Rambaut (another virologist on the original call) wrote to Andersen, Holmes, and Garry: “Given the s— show that would happen if anyone serious accused the Chinese of even accidental release, my feeling is we should say that given there is no evidence of a specifically engineered virus, we cannot possibly distinguish between natural evolution and escape so we are content with ascribing it to natural processes.”

So much for the scientific method.

During the select subcommittee hearing, Malliotakis observed: “Scientists do not flip-flop in a matter of 72 hours, and whether it was the fear of accusing Communist China for this leak, whether it was needing to get the FBI involved and what that might lead to down the line, whether it was the fact that millions of U.S. dollars had made their way … to Communist China … Interesting chart I have here [documenting] $3.7 million.”

That $3.7 million was awarded in 2014 to EcoHealth Alliance, a research firm that collaborated with Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study bat coronaviruses. An EcoHealth Alliance spokesperson says that, under the NIH definition of gain-of-function research, the firm did not support such research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. It is a fact, however, that Shi, a subcontractor of EcoHealth Alliance, worked with other scientists to manipulate bat coronaviruses to determine their potential to infect humans.

It is also a fact that two other Chinese research institutions, Wuhan University and Academy of Military Medical Sciences, also received substantial NIH funding. That is why congressional investigators are determined to find out if any taxpayers’ money was used for any dangerous gain- of-function research, engineering a pathogen that may have escaped and caused a global pandemic.

Lab Origin Gains Ground. Today, most Americans (66%, one poll finds), once tagged as “conspiracy theorists,” agree with senior analysts at the Department of Energy and the FBI that the pandemic probably originated in a Chinese lab, although U.S. intelligence agencies remain divided.

Curiously, as noted in a comprehensive Senate staff report sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., as early as January 2020 Chinese citizens were among the very first to suspect a lab leak.

Shi, the top Wuhan scientist, told a foreign journalist that the deadly coronavirus might have escaped from her lab, though she quickly reversed herself. The Communist Chinese party line, after all, is that the pandemic didn’t originate in a lab.

Undeterred by the Biden administration’s unresponsiveness, plus the sheer difficulty inherent in the task, congressional investigators are not letting up in their efforts to get to the bottom of the origins of COVID-19.

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, has asked Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to provide all related information (memos, notes, and other relevant documents) concerning Fauci’s teleconference with top virologists in early 2020.

In his letter to Becerra, Wenstrup requested delivery of the information by July 27. Another month has elapsed, and no response.

All Americans deserve to know the truth.


Taiwan CDC Reports 18-Fold Increase in Weekly Vaccine Injury Claims Reviews Due to COVID-19 Jabs

Possibly evidencing a potential safety signal, the total number of COVID-19 vaccine injury payouts, equaling NT$153 million equals the NT$129.6 million paid to all vaccine injured for all vaccines combined over the past three decades! And that’s with only 45% of the claims processed to date. Reviewers and local health authorities are completely overwhelmed, according to the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2023, vaccine injury review will work on an average of 235 cases per month, which is an 18-fold increase to the 20 case per month average in 2020.

This updates comes courtesy of the media Taiwan English News, a media venture started by Phillip Charlier, who went to the contested island nation originally to teach English there.

TrialSite recently reported on the demands of the more right-leaning party against the mainstream to accelerate vaccine claims injury processing. This same contingent according to Taiwan English News also launched complaints against the Taiwan CDC.

As TrialSite explained, the nationalist and politically right Kuomintang (KMT), considered and an opposition party at a September 6 press conference urged the government to expedite the resolution of COVID-19 vaccine injury cases.

According to Taiwan English News, “KMT caucus leader, Tseng Ming-tsung, said three major issues were holding up resolution of cases: complexity of procedures, lengthy processing times, and difficulty in determining causality.”

The independent media reported that the Taiwan CDC’s Tseng Shu-hui responded to the criticism, defending the process. Tseng Shu-hui highlighted the expertise and integrity, and complexity of the process involved.

The CDC representative in Taiwan further explained that the reviewers, plus local health authorities, have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 vaccine injury claims since 2021.

To put the workload in perspective, according to Tseng Shu-hui, in 2023 the government’s reviewers deal with an average of 235 claims cases per month to review, which compares to 13 cases per month in 2020. This equals an 18-fold increase in claims to process.


12 September, 2023

Unvaccinated Wins the US Open

When in early 2022, Australia barred Novak Djokovic from competing in the country’s major tennis tournament, and forced him into quarantine while he awaited a judge’s final decision, many of us were appalled.

He was favored to win but the government would not allow him to compete on grounds that he had refused the COVID vaccine. No one seriously believed that he was a health threat to anyone. He was barred for being politically noncompliant.

Tragically, most Australians cheered as he was deported from the country.

Americans had watched this country lock down for the virus in ways that went beyond what we saw in the United States. Population resistance was very low. It was a sad sight to see. Americans often think of Australia as a kind of sister country but in those months, we became profoundly aware of what it means not to have a Bill of Rights but instead be ruled by an administrative state controlled by a medical cartel.

The sense that something was wrong there but not here did not last long. The United States too barred him. This was a shock to many Americans because we did not really believe that the U.S. government was capable of such absurdity. This happened in August of 2022, a time when vaccine mandates were being repealed around the country. Even so, the world’s greatest tennis player who was expected to win in the U.S. wasn’t even allowed to compete.

Most players very likely knew that they didn’t need the vaccine and that it came with unnecessary health risks. Indeed, vaccine specialists knew this from day one, but the mandates came anyway. For a time, even large cities like New York and Boston were under strict rules of vaccine segregation. The unvaccinated were not allowed into restaurants, bars, theaters, and libraries.

For people in sports, and for many of us who want to travel and live a normal life, this posed a terrible dilemma. Perhaps it seemed like giving in and getting the shot was worth it. Why give up one’s hopes and dreams over such a small issue? Why not just relent and get on with one’s life?

Novak had a different view. He knew he was under infinitesimal risk from COVID and likely far more from the shot itself, which did not stop infection or transmission anyway. And look at all the deaths among athletes! So he made the hardest choice that very few in his class of achievement made. He refused. And he refused repeatedly. His choice likely cost him several titles. He never wavered in his view. His refusal also casts a pall over the victories of those achieved in his absence.

Novak explained in several interviews that it was a simple matter of principle. He took care of his health. He was in charge of his own body. That was more important than anything else. He would not give up this principle, no matter what, even if it cost him his career. This was not about politics. It was about personal autonomy and control. His decision was remarkable for the time because the pressure to go along was so great.

But it was more than that. We had by then lived through two years in which most governments all over the world had forced all their citizens into a weird science experiment. They had us forcibly separated. They closed businesses. When churches, schools, and businesses were allowed to open, it was with Plexiglas everywhere, forced separation, sanitizer dispensers every ten feet, and universal masking.

No rational person could possibly believe that all these outrageous antics would really control the virus, and they did not. But people went along anyway because they kept accepting the deal: if you comply, you can have your rights and freedoms back.

Novak was among the most high-profile athletes in the world who simply said no. He faced quarantine, bans, and brutal public and media attacks. He never once wavered from his position. Indeed, his refusal likely contributed to a great extent in the eventual unraveling of the regime of forced vaccines. After all, we are supposed to have sports competitions that reward the best players, not just the best players that comply with mandatory shot injections as pushed by a government-backed medical cartel.

Eventually the mandates faded and finally went away. By then Novak had lost two years in several high-profile venues and he was getting older. For him to come back to the United States and win the U.S. Open, as the oldest player to do so, was an astonishing and thrilling victory. Even if he had not won, his bravery would have been an inspiration. That he actually won back what was his had a massive element of ironic delight.

And get this: the vaccine company Moderna itself was a major sponsor of the U.S. Open. Throughout the tournament, the company had festooned its ads everywhere. Viewers were forced to see them, knowing full well that this company likely had some hand in lobbying governments to ban players who had not consumed its product. This is the worst form of crony capitalism or fascist corporatism that one can imagine, right here on full display.

Already teed up as a final sponsored ad was Moderna’s “Shot of the Day” plug. The company was forced to make that “Shot of the Day” the winning stroke of a player who absolutely refused to accept the shot, even at the pain of being excluded by the tournament itself. There was so much bitter irony to that and it was not lost on viewers.

In the end, the shot mandates were not really about good health or public well-being. We know that now. Most everyone does. They were about political compliance and corporate profits at the expense of freedom and public health. The grim truth is that most people went along because it was too much trouble to resist. Most people accepted the deal: take meds you don’t need in exchange for which you can stay out of trouble.

It has been inspiring and thrilling to see one great hero stand up and say no, even when doing so cost him his dream. This is because he has a moral principle that he considers to be even higher than his career goal. What an awesome and rare thing in our highly politicized times.


Nasal Sprays – A Novel Approach to COVID-19 Vaccination

Researchers at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) are working to develop a new COVID-19 vaccine that can be administered through a nasal spray. This vaccine will be easier to administer compared to the others which are given intravenously. TrialSite has been following the development of similar nasal vaccines in Israel and Bahrain.

The hope for global mass vaccination has not been achieved due to several limitations of using intramuscular vaccines. These include the requirement of having available healthcare professionals, unequal vaccine distribution, and lack of proper cold chain supply.

Nasal COVID-19 vaccines could be a viable alternative to the existing ones. Dr. Peter Wright, an infectious disease specialist and international healthcare provider, is leading the research team at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine to develop a nasal vaccine. The team is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Exothera, a contract development and manufacturing organization based in Belgium, for this endeavor.

How do nasal vaccines work?

The mucous membrane, termed mucosa, is the body’s first line of defense against infectious particles after they enter the mouth or nose. The mucosal immune system works at two starting points, the gut (digestive system) and the nasopharynx (near the back of the nose).

The nasal vaccine activates the immune system at these two points with the help of specialized cells. This defense system then starts synthesizing antibodies to kill the viruses or neutralize them.

When SARS-CoV-2 enters through the nose, the virus’s spike proteins attach to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors present on the mucosal lining. These foreign particles are later killed by the immune system activated by the nasal vaccine.

Why this vaccine is unique

The COVID-19 nasal vaccine being developed in the U.S. is an adenovirus type 4-based vaccine. Adenovirus vectors (AdV) are DNA virus vehicles used for vaccine delivery. Adenovirus vectors are considered efficient as they can induce both innate (the body’s first line of defense against foreign particles) and adaptive (introducing antigens as a strategy to induce an immune response) responses in the body.

The AstraZeneca vaccine (ChAdOx1) uses a virus vector, but the mode of administration is intramuscular. The Dartmouth vaccine under development is in the form of a nasal spray, making it the first-ever adenovirus-based vaccine for COVID-19 in the U.S. These vectors are relatively easy to produce compared to other vectors and show high gene expression, thus facilitating large-scale vaccine production.

The in-vivo testing of the adenovirus type 4-based COVID-19 nasal vaccine has shown promising results in hamsters. The human trials will begin in 2024. These clinical trials are planned to take place in the USA and Africa. If successful, the vaccine will be available within one to two years.

Global expansion of COVID-19 nasal vaccine trials

Two nasal vaccines, Convidecia Air from CanSino Biologics in China, and iNCOVACC from Bharat Biotech in India, have received approval in their respective countries. Both of these companies use adenovirus vectors in their recombinant vaccines. Many other nasal vaccines are undergoing clinical trials.

The University of Oxford, in partnership with AstraZeneca, developed a COVID-19 vaccine named ChAdOx1, which was previously given intramuscularly. However, the researchers are working to turn it into a nasal spray and have announced the first clinical trials.

Mount Sinai researchers who used Newcastle disease virus (NDV) as a vector have completed phase 1 and 2 clinical trials of their nasal vaccine in Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, and Mexico and have started the clinical trial phase 1 in the USA. CoviLiv, a live attenuated nasal vaccine developed by Codagenix company based in the USA, has also started its phase 1 clinical trials.

TrialSite previously reported on the clinical trials of nitric oxide nasal spray (NONS) manufactured by Canada-based company, SaNOtize to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Advantages of COVID-19 nasal vaccine

Adenovirus vector-based COVID-19 vaccines induce strong immune responses and have a low risk of causing virus mutations because they do not integrate into the host genome.

The existing COVID-19 vaccines are administered

intramuscularly and are designed to induce a systemic immune response without developing mucosal protection. As a result, the protections offered by these vaccines may not be enough to combat the replication and shedding of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the upper respiratory tract. Therefore, there is still a risk of vaccinated individuals transmitting the virus as they can still be infected through the nasal route.

Nasal vaccines, on the other hand, can effectively generate mucosal immunity in addition to a systemic immune response thus eliminating the risk of viral infection and transmission post-vaccination.

It is estimated that 25% of adults and 66.7% of children fear needles. 10% of these individuals may postpone COVID-19 vaccination due to their fears. Nasal vaccines provide an alternative for such people. It is less expensive and easier to administer compared to other intramuscular vaccines due to its non-invasiveness.

Another advantage is that these vaccines do not require cold storage because adenovirus vectors are thermostable, making them easier to store and deliver to different parts of the world.

Drawbacks of COVID-19 nasal vaccines

The whole-pathogen-based nasal vaccine is associated with some safety concerns, including the probability of the pathogen reverting to its replicating form.

Some nasal vaccines contain attenuated or weakened viruses. These viruses are designed to replicate inside the body to trigger an immune response without causing disease in healthy individuals. Therefore, these may not be administered to children, elderly people, and immunocompromised patients.

Vaccines administered through the nose become diluted due to the presence of mucous in the nasal cavity. Thus, higher doses are required as compared to vaccines administered via injections.

Additionally, nasal vaccines are associated with the probability of retrograde transport through the olfactory nerves present in the nose, to the brain. This has been reported in association with live attenuated adenoviruses.


Intranasally delivered vaccines show promise in preventing reinfection and transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through the development of mucosal immune response.

While these vaccines demonstrate some advantages over those delivered via the intermuscular route, they are also associated with several concerns, some of them serious. These challenges should be considered by researchers in the course of developing these vaccines.

TrialSite will continue to monitor the progression of the various clinical trials involved in the development of various nasal vaccines.


11 September, 2023

Covid-19 vaccinations in New Zealand: An unfolding tragedy?

Did the vaccination campaigns actually SPREAD the virus?

Between January 2020 and October 4th, 2021, New Zealand recorded 27 Covid-19 deaths and 4,050 cases. It was widely praised for its approach in "eliminating the virus" [1]. During this period, every time there was any indication of community transmission, New Zealand enforced strict restrictions only to ease them once community transmission was eliminated. [2] In October of 2021, following an outbreak and after about 75% of the population aged 12+ had been vaccinated with at least 1 dose of the vaccine, and about half were fully vaccinated, New Zealand finally gave up on its Covid "elimination strategy", arguing that Delta variant was the game changer and that NZ was transitioning into a new phase with the availability of vaccines [3].

Massive Covid-19 waves after vast majority of population vaccinated

By the time New Zealand had fully vaccinated about 90% of it's population above the age of 12, on February 12th, 2022, New Zealand had recorded 53 Covid-19 deaths and 19,400 cases. However, massive Covid-19 waves followed, and by September 3rd, 2023, New Zealand had recorded over 2.45 million cases and 4,746 deaths. This implies that approximately 99% of Covid-19 cases and deaths in New Zealand have been recorded in almost 19 months following vaccination of about 90% of the population aged above 12 years of age.

Several examples have been covered here using publicly available data and published research to argue that Covid-19 vaccinations triggered massive Covid-19 waves. New Zealand comes across as one such example. An illustration of Covid-19 deaths in the graph below indicates New Zealand had one of the highest Covid-19 mortality in the Oceania region, 15 times higher than Papua New Guinea, which has the lowest vaccination rate of 4% in the region. [4] What would the Covid-19 numbers look like in the absence of vaccination? Would we have witnessed such massive Covid waves? Why has Papua New Guinea not experienced a massive "Omicron" wave similar to other regions that are highly vaccinated?

Is it possible to quantify the harms to the vaccinated?

Based on publicly available data [5], we observe the below

In the above 12 age group, where about 90% of the population is vaccinated, about 96% of the cases are vaccinated, including 95% that are fully vaccinated or boosted.

About 88% of all Covid deaths to date i.e. 4,176 deaths (out of 4,746) were fully vaccinated or boosted.

Per a response to a Freedom of Information request on all cause mortality, over 91% of all deaths in 2022 were vaccinated. [6]

As of April 2023 - there have been 3,818 vaccine injury compensation claims, out of which 1,541 have been compensated for a total of NZ$ 5.6 million. [7]

As of November 2022, over 61,000 post vaccination adverse events were reported, out of which 3,688 were classified as serious.

These AEFI come with a string attached around "causal association" , but do serve as a data signal, especially when looked at in the context of vaccine injury claims highlighted above. [8]

What should one make of results like the above for a product that was claimed as safe and 100% effective against severe Covid-19 disease? [9][10]


CDC Says Existing COVID Antibodies Work Against New Variant

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sept. 8 said research shows that antibodies produced by a prior COVID-19 infection or existing vaccines were good enough to protect against a new variant that has been found in the United States.

The CDC suggested in its update that the data are “encouraging” for the latest COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, which is currently being reviewed by federal health agencies. The Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to authorize updated vaccines that target subvariants of Omicron.

“Early research data from multiple labs are reassuring and show that existing antibodies work against the new BA.2.86 variant,” the CDC stated in an update on Sept. 8. “These data are also encouraging because of what it may mean for the effectiveness of the 2023–2024 COVID-19 vaccine, which is currently under review. That’s because the vaccine is tailored to the currently circulating variants.”

The public health agency added that the new BA.2.86 lineage of COVID-19 was not driving the small recent increases in cases and hospitalizations in the United States, which the agency attributed to other predominantly circulating viruses.

Since the CDC’s initial risk assessment in August, BA.2.86 had been identified in nine U.S. states as of Sept. 8. The Omicron offshoot has also been identified from both human and wastewater specimens in countries Japan, the UK, and Canada.

“Additionally, based on CDC’s experience with past SARS-CoV-2 variants, people will likely have protection against severe disease mediated by both cellular and antibody immunity,” the agency stated. “Real-world data are needed to fully understand the impact given the complexities of the immune response to this variant. Additional studies on this are ongoing, and we expect to learn more in upcoming weeks.”

Earlier CDC Statements

The CDC stated in late August that the new COVID-19 variant may be more capable than older variants of causing infection in people who have previously had COVID-19 or who have received vaccines.

At the time, the health agency said that it was too soon to determine whether BA.2.86 could cause more severe illness in people than previous variants. It noted that there are a high number of mutations with the lineage and cited concerns about the effectiveness of vaccines and prior infection.

“The large number of mutations in this variant raises concerns of greater escape from existing immunity from vaccines and previous infections compared with other recent variants,” the CDC stated in its assessment in August. “For example, one analysis of mutations suggests the difference may be as large as or greater than that between BA.2 and XBB.1.5, which circulated nearly a year apart.”

But officials noted at the time that “virus samples are not yet broadly available for more reliable laboratory testing of antibodies, and it is too soon to know the real-world impacts on immunity.”

The assessment said that most of the American population possesses COVID-19 antibodies from a prior infection, vaccination, or both. It’s likely that the antibodies will provide some protection against the latest variant, it stated at the time.

Around the same time, a high-level official with the World Health Organization designated the BA.2.86 a “variant under monitoring,” saying there was “limited” information about it. But some researchers said that people shouldn’t jump to any conclusions, noting that a number of other COVID-19 strains had little impact.

“Intrinsic severity of a virus is a byproduct of many traits, a product of selection on other features. Any attempt to guess the intrinsic severity of BA.2.86 (within reasonable parameters) is just that—a guess,” Aris Katzourakis, a biologist with the University of Oxford, said via social media in August. “It is far, far too early to evaluate the potential of this variant.”


Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo warns Americans NOT to take latest COVID booster and claims there are 'red flags' over its safety

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis' hand-picked surgeon general has warned against getting the new COVID-19 booster vaccine that is expected to receive approval in the coming days.

The state's Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo made the claims at a press conference on Thursday, saying there was no evidence to support getting the shot and that there are 'red flags' about its safety.

The updated shots, which target an Omicron subvariant named XBB.1.5, are awaiting FDA approval on standards for safety, effectiveness and quality, and must then receive CDC sign-off, which could come as early as Tuesday.

'Listen inside to what makes sense, what feels right, you know, what feels like truth,' said Lapado, offering his advice on receiving the shots.

'We all know it when we feel it inside.' Lapado went on to claim global studies showed people who had the boosters were more likely to catch COVID itself.

DeSantis joined Lapado at the event and did not offer a specific opinion on the booster, but slammed federal regulators at the FDA and CDC as corrupt, claiming they 'have basically become an arm of Big Pharma.'

Ladapo's previous warnings against older versions of the COVID-19 vaccines drew a harsh rebuke from the two agencies in March, when they published an open letter accusing him of 'fueling vaccine hesitancy'.

'Based on available information for the COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized or approved in the United States, the known and potential benefits of these vaccines clearly outweigh their known and potential risks,' the letter said.

'It is the job of public health officials around the country to protect the lives of the populations they serve, particularly the vulnerable. Fueling vaccine hesitancy undermines this effort,' added the letter, signed by FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and then-CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

Approval of the updated COVID-19 booster shots is expected within days. Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax all have manufactured new versions of the vaccine.

Similar to how flu shots are updated each year, the FDA gave COVID-19 vaccine makers a new recipe, targeting the variant that was dominant over the summer.

But as expected, the XBB.1.5 variant it targets has faded away in the months it took to tweak the vaccine.

CDC estimates show XBB.1.5 is responsible for about 3 percent of current cases, while a soup of other newer Omicron variants dominates, led by EG.5 at about 20 percent.

FDA vaccine adviser Dr Paul Offit says healthy young people don't need another Covid booster

Dr Paul Offit, who advises the FDA on a range of shots for infectious diseases, told middle-aged and younger Americans who do not have chronic diseases already had strong enough immunity through previous Covid vaccines and infections to prevent severe illness this winter.

In his remarks at Thursday's event, held inside an Irish pub in Jacksonville, DeSantis vowed Florida would not be temporarily closing schools or mandating mask-wearing because of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.

'People are lurching toward this insanity again,' DeSantis said. 'As we see these things being orchestrated ... there needs to be pushback.'

The Florida governor is also hoping his message in the Sunshine State resonates on the campaign trail as he seeks the GOP nomination for president.

Soon after the Thursday press conference, his presidential campaign sent out an email to supporters vowing to 'fight back against every bogus attempt the Left makes to expand government control' when it comes to COVID-19 precautions.

He also appeared on Fox News that evening, saying: 'No mask mandates, no mandates on school children, no COVID vax mandates.'

DeSantis' news conference in Jacksonville came almost two weeks after three black people were fatally shot there by a 21-year-old white supremacist who authorities say left behind ramblings that read like 'the diary of a madman.'

As DeSantis took questions at Thursday's news conference, an unidentified man spoke out, saying the governor had 'allowed weapons to fill the street' and was to blame for the shootings.

'I did not allow anything with that,' DeSantis fired back angrily. 'I'm not going to let you accuse me of committing criminal activity. I'm not going to take that!'

'You have allowed people to hunt people like me,' continued the audience member, who was black, prompting a visibly angry DeSantis to respond: 'Oh, that is nonsense. That is such nonsense.'


10 September, 2023

Megyn Kelly Reveals Possible Vaccine Injury, Regrets Getting COVID Shot

Megyn Kelly, a veteran journalist and podcaster, said Wednesday that she deeply regrets getting the COVID-19 vaccine because she believes she may have suffered a vaccine injury.

Ms. Kelly said that she regrets getting vaccinated and then boosted, saying she doesn't think it was necessary—and that a doctor told her that an autoimmune condition she developed after getting the shot may be related to the vaccine.

“I regret getting the vaccine even though I’m a 52-year-old woman because I don’t think I needed it,” Ms. Kelly said during a Sept. 6 episode of her podcast "The Megyn Kelly Show."

DeSantis Says COVID Mandates Are 'Dead on Arrival' in Florida
“I think I would have been fine. I had got COVID many times, and it was well past when the vaccine was doing what it was supposed to be doing,” she added.

“For the first time, I tested positive for an autoimmune issue at my annual physical. And I went to the best rheumatologist in New York, and I asked her, do you think this could have to do with the fact that I got the damn booster and then got COVID within three weeks? And she said yes. Yes. I wasn’t the only one she’d seen that with,” Ms. Kelly said.

Her current vaccine regret stands in contrast to remarks she made in April 2021, when she said she had "zero qualms" about getting the shot.

“Am getting the [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine this [weekend]. Have zero qualms [because] have spent a life immersed in a media obsessed with fear-mongering that is often irresponsible and untrue. Do what your doctor tells you to do and ignore everyone else,” she said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Ms. Kelly's expression of regret at getting the shot comes amid reports linking spike protein-based COVID-19 vaccines to skin problems, a dull ringing in the ears known as tinnitus, visual impairments, blood clotting, and even death.

Studies have also revealed a number of issues affecting vaccinated children. For example, one recent study, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, shows that the mRNA-based vaccine for COVID-19 reduced children's immune responses to other infections, making them more prone to getting sick after coming into contact with other pathogens.

Another study published by Circulation showed that some children who experienced heart inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination had scarring on their hearts months later.


Do I need to be worried about the new Covid strain Pirola - and will my booster jab protect me? How do I know if I have the new variant?

It is the 'most striking strain of Covid-19 since Omicron', according to one of the UK's top scientists, amid fears it could evade the vaccines.

The new variant, dubbed Pirola, is thought to be behind an uptick in cases across Europe – and last week it officially landed in the UK.

Such is the concern that the Government has brought forward the autumn booster programme by a month. And some experts are even calling for the return of face masks in hospitals and GP surgeries to protect the most vulnerable.

But with just a few dozen confirmed cases in the UK, how worried should we really be?

Here's everything you need to know about the new Covid strain.

Q I thought new Covid strains appear all the time – why is everyone talking about this one?

A The main concern about Pirola – scientifically known as BA.2.86 – is that it might be able to evade the protection we have from vaccines and previous infection.

The strain has descended from Omicron but has 35 mutations on the part of the virus that the vaccines are designed to target, known as the spike protein. There are also mutations that might help Pirola evade the natural protection we have from our immune system.

If we have less immunity, it could mean a large wave of infections and more serious illness.

'Pirola has made people sit up because of the unusually large number of mutations,' says Professor Jonathan Ball, a virologist at the University of Nottingham.

'Viruses naturally mutate to survive. But when there's 30 or more mutations, scientists need to ask what that means. Does it make vaccines less effective, could it transmit more easily than Omicron and does it cause more serious disease?'

These concerns prompted the Department of Health and Social Care to bring forward its autumn booster programme so the most at-risk individuals could receive a jab sooner. Ministers said this was to reduce pressure on the health service while the strain could be investigated fully.

Since then there has been some indication from small laboratory studies that Pirola may be less infectious than previous Omicron variants and may not evade the immune system, or the vaccine, as some suspected it might. But as there have only been low numbers of cases around the world, this remains to be proven.

The UK Health Security Agency has confirmed 36 cases in the UK so far – 28 of these from one care home. Five patients were hospitalised.

Q How will I know if I have this strain or another one?

A You won't. Scientists say that Pirola symptoms are indistinguishable from other Covid variants. Most people can expect to have a runny nose, sore throat, headache and fatigue.

Can I still get a test if I've got symptoms and will it pick up this new strain?

Free tests aren't available any more. There is also no official requirement to take a test if you have symptoms, nor to self-isolate if you test positive.

But packs of lateral flow tests can be bought from pharmacies for £2, and gold-standard PCR tests, which are more definitive, are available online for about £50.

Prof Ball says. 'They won't tell you what strain you have, but if you have Covid – regardless of the strain – the tests are designed to find it.'

Q But won't I have protection from the vaccines, boosters and previous infection?

A Most people will have some immunity against severe disease from Pirola, even if they have not been eligible for a vaccine since the mass rollout ended in 2021.

Although vaccine immunity does wane over time, many people have also been infected by the virus too, which offers a broader protection. A small study looking at Pirola found those who had recently had an Omicron infection had high levels of antibodies against the new strain.

'Both vaccination and natural infection help protect us against severe disease by creating immunity with antibodies,' says Prof Ball. 'That means most people can expect a relatively mild infection if they get Pirola. When the virus first emerged, we saw lots of deaths and complications, such as long Covid, but those have fallen dramatically, and that's partly because of the vaccines and natural immunity.

'Covid variants can still cause problems but they shouldn't be near the scale we saw in 2020.'

How many vaccines have I had?

For some people, the autumn booster – available to over-65s and the clinically vulnerable from this week – will be their eighth dose of the Covid-19 vaccines.

The most vulnerable would have had three initial doses, an additional booster, as well as the spring and winter jabs last year and a spring booster this year. Most aged 50-75 have had four shots in total: two initial doses, a booster and a 2022 autumn booster. Otherwise, extra jabs have been offered only to care home residents, the clinically vulnerable and the over-75s.

Those eligible for this coming jab are the over-65s, people with severe lung problems, blood cancer, heart disease or weakened immune systems, along with care home residents, frontline health and social care workers, carers and the household contacts of people with suppressed immune systems. The NHS will contact those who are eligible to invite them to book a jab in the coming weeks. You can then book online via or by calling 119.

Q I'm over 65 and supposed to have an autumn booster. Will it work against this new strain?

A Scientists are still investigating this. The vaccines have been updated to include another Omicron descendent – XBB.1.5 – which has been dominant in 2023.

Pfizer and Moderna said last week their updated vaccines generated 'strong responses' against the new Pirola strain in the lab.

'Even if the vaccines are less effective against Pirola – which we don't know they are – they will still offer some protection,' says Prof Ball. 'Pirola may have 35 mutations but there are many parts of the spike protein that the immune system does recognise. The virus will find it impossible to change all of those to evade it completely.'

Q What's going on in hospitals right now with Covid?

A The number of hospital beds in England occupied by Covid patients has risen 15 per cent in a week, to 2,500 out of the total 140,000 beds.

The latest data, up to September 3, shows larger rises in the South West (42 per cent), the North West (25 per cent) and in the North East and Yorkshire (23 per cent).

It's important to keep in mind that, at the height of the pandemic in January 2021, 33,000 hospital beds were occupied by Covid patients. Reassuringly, the number of Covid patients in critical care has remained largely static at about 60.

Q I'm not eligible for a booster. Can I get one anyway?

A No. The NHS will invite only those who are eligible to book in for a jab, and – unlike flu jabs – they are not available to buy privately.

There is nothing to prevent pharmaceutical companies selling vaccines to private providers but they are currently tasked with fulfilling their Government contracts.

However, they could be available privately in the US this autumn, and the UK could follow suit.


8 September, 2023

Failed vaccine mandates

In Australia, the vaccine efficacy that preoccupies state premiers – who imposed the mandates – is getting re-elected. As Premier Andrews put it when he won the Victorian election in a ‘Dan-slide’ last November, ‘Vaccines work!’ In Queensland, Premier Palasczcuk is so keen to repeat the act that she’s hired Andrews’ adman.

But who will last longer? The mandates or Palasczcuk? On Friday 1 September, Health Minister Shannon Fentiman (mooted to be a front-runner to replace the Premier) announced two-week consultations on removing the mandates, two years after they were imposed in September 2021.

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer (CHO) has already said they should go but the power of the CHO which seemed almost unlimited at the height of Covid hysteria has diminished now that he is proposing something sensible.

A group called Doctors Against Mandates mounted a legal challenge to the mandates on 12 March 2022. Within a fortnight of receiving 13 affidavits from medical professionals and six reports from international experts, the CHO revoked the mandates for health workers in the private sector. Unfortunately, mandates which cover the public sector health are still in force.

One of the most damning indictments of vaccine efficacy was filed in relation to the doctors’ challenge to the mandate in the Supreme Court of Queensland early this year by the state’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard. It revealed that once 80 per cent of the population were vaccinated and the borders opened in December 2021, not only did Covid cases explode, peaking at 18,500 per day in January, but 80 per cent of the 176 Covid deaths were in people who had had one or more Covid vaccine jabs. Most were double-vaxxed but 13 were triple-vaxxed and one died after five shots. In other words, the vaccines were duds. They failed to stop the pandemic or prevent the vulnerable from dying. All the bullying of the unvaccinated, preventing grieving Australians from comforting their dying loved ones or attending their funerals, denying a pregnant woman in New South Wales permission to cross the border and get urgent medical treatment which meant she waited 16 hours to fly to Sydney, and lost one of her twins – it was all for nothing.

Did the Premier rush to apologise for the damage done by the ‘failed vaccines’, to quote Bill Gates who profited heavily from his investment in the Pfizer jab? Of course not. The information was only made public last month by Rebekah Barnett in her excellent substack Dystopian Downunder.

Far from apologising, Queensland Health is still threatening disciplinary action against ‘hundreds’ of workers who ‘did not comply with their employment contract’ by getting jabbed.

Infectious disease physician Paul Griffin supports ending the mandates but thinks the biggest risk is that ‘people will think the initial rule was wrong, which,’ according to him, ‘isn’t the case’.

That’s the nub of it. The government doesn’t want to admit that the vaccines are useless and the mandates were morally, scientifically and practically wrong.

The only reason it is ending the mandate is because it can’t replace the more than 2,100 healthcare workers who were stood down or forced to resign.

‘We have global workforce shortages, so I think it makes sense now to reconsider this mandate,’ Fentiman says.

‘If someone wants to now reapply for a job with Queensland Health who is not vaccinated for Covid, they’ll be treated the same as any other worker.’

Despite a massive increase in Australia’s international immigration intake and wage hikes in the health sector, acute shortages persist, not least because the repeatedly vaccinated healthcare workers repeatedly get Covid-19. This was observed in a study of more than 50,000 US healthcare workers in the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, which showed the more often you were jabbed, the more you caught Covid.

Interstate migration into Queensland, predominantly Victoria, and NSW, the states worst affected by lockdown lunacy, has increased demand for health services.

National excess mortality of over 13 per cent this year has increased pressure on hospitals.

The dramatic spike in ‘dying suddenly’ is recorded under ‘other cardiac conditions’ in Australia’s provisional mortality data. Deaths from January to May are 15.5 per cent higher than the baseline average and 1 per cent higher than the same period in 2022.

Deaths due to diabetes were 22 per cent above the baseline average in May 2023, and 1.4 per cent higher than in May 2022

Deaths due to dementia including Alzheimer’s were 18 per cent above the baseline average in May 2023, and 2.1 per cent above May 2022.

Each of these causes of death has been linked in studies to the spike protein in the virus and/or the vaccine. For example, a paper from Larson et al. at Linkoping University, Sweden published on 1 September presents evidence for the initiation or acceleration of Alzheimer’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease by the spike protein.

When the mandate for health workers ends in Queensland, flagged for 25 September, only NSW, Victoria and South Australia will be left. Will that be the end?

Who knows? In the US some colleges and hospitals are trying to bring back mask mandates.

Scott Gottlieb, former head of the US Food and Drug Administration and now on the board of Pfizer is talking up the next booster.

The latest variant has been named after Eris, the Greek goddess of ‘strife and discord’. What is the plan? A rerun of lockdowns and Black Lives Matter on the rampage in the run-up to the 2024 Presidential election? Skeptics have their own name for the variant – BS.24.7.


Racist duck hunting regulations

The recent state parliamentary report into recreational native bird hunting gives Victorians a taste of the kind of division the Voice to Parliament will have across every area of life in regional Australia should advocates for constitutional change be successful at the October referendum.

The report, almost 300 pages long, lays out a recipe for the kind of race-based division of laws and rights that the federal government would make permanent nationwide.

Without any solid justification – except, it would seem, that some people do not like bird hunting – the committee has recommended the Victorian government end recreational bird hunting on all public and private land from 2024.

Only that would not apply to everyone. According to the committee, the hunting rights of ‘traditional owners’ should be retained.

Other key recommendations include that the government introduce additional protections for ‘Aboriginal cultural heritage’ sites and current penalties for ‘cultural destruction’. The committee even recommends a government re-education program that would require hunters to learn about ‘Aboriginal cultural heritage awareness’.

One of the claims made in support of the committee’s proposed restrictions is that bird hunting is a niche practice and only 0.4 per cent of Victorians hold a bird hunting licence.

It is not clear whether the committee questioned how many ‘traditional owners’ are currently exercising their hunting rights. One gets the impression that it would not matter to the committee members, as its position is that one category of Victorian deserves greater protection.

This goes right to the heart of the concern of a growing number of Australians when it comes to the proposed Voice to Parliament, that laws are increasingly being used to separate people into different groups.

Brazen in its divisiveness, the Victorian parliamentary committee said it would be too cruel if Victorians who do not have Indigenous heritage were allowed to continue to hunt, but it would not be too cruel if those Victorians were Indigenous.

The same concerns became a flashpoint in Western Australia recently, with the confusion and concern generated by proposed Indigenous Cultural Heritage laws. These now abandoned reforms would have mandated property owners obtain permission from local Indigenous authorities before even a fence post could have been dug on land only slightly larger than a suburban block.

The Western Australian reforms were abandoned after overwhelming community pressure following statements of the newly appointed Premier Roger Cook let the cat out of the bag saying his ‘cultural heritage laws do the same thing as the Voice.’

Claims that people should be divided and given different rights would become more commonplace if the indigenous-only voice to parliament – a parallel system of political representation based on race – is inserted into the Australian Constitution.

The federal government’s proposed constitutional change would establish the voice and give it the constitutional duty to make ‘representations’ to the Parliament and the executive government. This means the voice would be empowered to intervene at all stages of the lawmaking process – not just the drafting, review, and debate of laws, but also the right to make representations about how laws are enforced.

There is no limit to the scope of matters that the voice may make recommendations. If passed, the Voice would have the right to make representations to the government ‘on matters relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’. This, in effect, means any issue because all Indigenous Australians are Australians, and the law applies to all Australians equally – or at least it should.

Any disputes in the lawmaking process between the Canberra Voice to pParliament and the elected Parliament will not be resolved democratically. Because the Canberra Voice to Parliament will be enshrined in the Constitution, it will be the High Court that will determine the scope, rights, and powers of the Voice and adjudicate disputes.

The Victorian bird hunting inquiry demonstrates how issues of general concern can quickly be hijacked by activists pushing a divisive agenda and demands for separate treatment can be accommodated by dismantling the principle of equality before the law. At the referendum on October 14, 2023, this could become a permanent feature of our way of life.


Single-sex schools have the academic advantage, NAPLAN data reveals

When prospective parents agonise over the decision to enrol their daughter in a single-sex school, Campbelltown’s St Patrick’s College for Girls principal Sue Lennox has a simple answer: “Boys get away with stuff because ‘boys will be boys’ and that is a dreadful lesson for girls. That is what girls at co-ed school learn,” she said.

“When girls are in class without the boys, they can be themselves. It is a safe place where they can ask questions. They don’t feel they have to be anyone in particular because there are no boys. They grow in confidence.

“In co-ed schools, some subjects are considered ‘boy subjects’ and some are considered ‘girl subjects’. That is absent here.”

An analysis of NAPLAN results from across the country’s 304 single-sex schools shows there is another advantage to segregating boys and girls: they both perform slightly better when it comes to academic results.

After accounting for socio-educational background, the analysis by Catholic Schools NSW using NAPLAN test data from 2019 to 2022 found the single-sex advantage was particularly pronounced when it came to numeracy scores in boys’ schools.

Students enrolled in boys’ schools typically scored between 11 and 12 points higher than those in co-ed schools, after accounting for socio-educational background, the report said.

“Overall, the results of this analysis imply a modest academic advantage for single-sex schools, with the advantage generally greater for boys’ schools than girls’ schools,” the report said.

When it came to numeracy, girls who went to a single-sex school scored on average three points higher than those who attended a co-ed school, after differences in social background were considered.

There are about 284,000 students across the country enrolled in single-sex schools. While they might be performing better academically, the share of all students in those schools across the country declined slightly from 7.2 per cent in 2018 to 7 per cent in 2022.

The shrinking share of students in single-sex schools is likely driven by the fact that many boys schools have decided to open their doors to girls, the report said.

In Sydney, that includes Marist school Corpus Christi College which opened its doors to girls in year 7 this year. It followed North Sydney’s Marist Catholic College North Shore which went co-ed in 2021.

The $41,000-a-year Cranbrook in Bellevue Hill will open its doors to girls in 2026, and Newington College in Stanmore is also weighing up a possible shift to co-ed.

Flinders University researcher Dr Katherine Dix analysed NAPLAN data ranging from 2010 to 2012. She found in numeracy that students at boys’ schools were one school term ahead of students in girls’ schools. However, her research found single-sex schools offered no added value in academic results over time when compared to co-ed schools.

She now believes girls’ schools remained popular because the values they promoted were attractive to parents, while that was less the case for boys’ schools.

“Wanting to develop strong independent young women is a stronger driver in a traditionally male-dominated world. The same driver is not there for single-sex male schools,” she said.

Chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW Dallas McInerney wants single-sex schools to remain an option for parents. He warned that going co-ed by admitting girls should not be considered a quick-fix solution to help a struggling school.

“Just as we believe in parental choice between sectors, it also extends to the type of school be it co-ed or single sex because different children are better suited to different environments,” he said.

“There are a number of different reasons we might want to bring together two single-sex schools on a single site. But as a general principle, one section should not be called upon to save a failing school of the opposite sex. Don’t bring in girls to salvage a struggling boys’ schools.”

At St Patrick’s in Campbelltown, Rebecca, 15, said when she compared the school to her co-ed primary school she preferred just having girls in the classroom.

“It is a lot more quiet and focused,” she said.

Abigail, 15, said she liked the close friendships she had made at school, while her classmate Diadem, also 15, said she liked being in a supportive environment of an all-girls school.

“It is a sisterhood, I feel really encouraged to do my best,” she said.


Truth-telling body using ‘make-believe history’: Blainey

Eminent historian Geoffrey Blainey has accused Victoria’s Indigenous “truth-telling” body of drawing upon a “make-believe” version of history in its latest report, arguing claims Aborigines had democratic decision-making processes prior to 1788 are wrong.

The Yoorrook Justice Commission’s report claims Aboriginal Victorians had “collective decision making” at the heart of their societies before the British Empire colonised the land in 1788, and uses this history as a basis for its calls for “decision-making power, authority, control and resources” in both the child protection and criminal justice systems to be transferred to Indigenous Victorians.

But Professor Blainey says the commission is ignoring the authoritarian and at times violent nature of relations between Indigenous groups, suggesting their version of history is closer to the views of Anthony Albanese and Dark Emu author Bruce Pascoe than those of historians. The commission said the report had been produced after “12 months of intensive research and evidence gathering”, while Professor Pascoe said he had never claimed there had been no violence in ­Aboriginal society.

ANU WK Hancock Distinguished Professor of History Ann McGrath accused Professor Blainey of “having an imaginary argument with Bruce Pascoe”, claiming the historian has “turned away” from the conclusions of his seminal history of Aboriginal Australia, Triumph of the Nomads.

Yoorrook’s report on Victoria’s child protection and criminal justice systems, published on Monday, states: “Before European invasion, First Peoples were independent and governed by collective decision-making processes with shared kinship, language and culture. They belonged to and were custodians of defined areas of country.”

Professor Blainey said “many scholars” disagreed with this view. “The idea that Aboriginals practised ‘collective decision making’ comes from Bruce Pascoe and our Prime Minister. Their belief that Aboriginals invented democracy 80,000 years ago is make-believe,” the University of Melbourne emeritus professor said.

“Traditional Aboriginal society tended to be authoritarian, and far from democratic. My book, The Story of Australia’s People: the Rise and Fall of Ancient Australia, discusses the kind of historical ­errors which are now embodied in the Yoorrook verdicts.”

The book won a Prime Minister’s Literary Award in 2016.

Professor Blainey said many experts also disagreed with Yoorrook’s claim that “the systemic racism which persists today has its origins in colonial systems and institutions”.

“There is plenty of evidence that Aboriginal tribes or ‘nations’ thought that they were innately superior to their neighbours,” Professor Blainey said.

He cited a reference in his preface to Triumph of the Nomads to an Indigenous Victorian “meeting a black tribe living only 100 miles away” in the 1840s, and commenting “They are foreign in speech, they are foreign in countenance, they are foreign altogether – they are no good”.

“Brutal warfare existed between Aboriginal peoples, but it is not even mentioned in this week’s edict. Victoria was not the Garden of Eden before 1788, nor after 1788,” Professor Blainey said.


7 September, 2023

US judge slams pharma regulator for rubbishing drug ivermectin

The world’s most powerful drug regulator has been humiliated after a US federal court ruled it was out of bounds in telling Americans they were not a “horse” so should not take the drug ivermectin – an anti-parasitic medication whose inventors won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2015 – to treat Covid-19.

The US federal appeals court in Louisiana on Friday (Saturday AEST) ruled the Food and Drug Administration erred in a tweet that went viral in August 2021, saying “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it”, in response to reports, later debunked, that Americans were overdosing by taking the drug as an alternative to Covid vaccines.

“FDA is not a physician. It has authority to inform, announce, and apprise – but not to endorse, denounce, or advise,” judge Don Willett wrote for the appeals court. “The doctors have plausibly alleged that FDA’s posts fell on the wrong side of the line between telling about and telling to,” the judge concluded, referring to three doctors who had sued the FDA for, in effect, stymieing their ability to prescribe ivermectin to their patients.

Mary Bowden, one of the plaintiffs, claimed her ability to prescribe ivermectin for patients had been undermined by the FDA’s social media posts, which caused some pharmacies to withhold the drug, in addition to reputational damage caused.

“I’ve treated over 6000 Covid patients now and found ivermectin not only effective but also extremely safe,” she told The Australian in an interview.

Throughout the pandemic an aggressive war emerged between some doctors and pharmaceutical regulators over the utility of two off-patent drugs, ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, which some observational studies had shown to be effective if prescribed early in the onset of Covid-19 symptoms.

In January the US federal court blocked California from enforcing a new state law that would have punished doctors for giving advice contrary to the government public health and pharmaceutical regulators.

“There are a number of significant public health risks associated with taking ivermectin in an attempt to prevent Covid-19 infection rather than getting vaccinated,” Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration said in September 2021, as it banned Australian doctors from prescribing the drug.

Dr Bowden suspected institutional resistance to ivermectin for Covid-19, in the US and other developed nations including Australia, stemmed from a desire to encourage take-up of next-generation vaccine technology.

“If they had a safe, effective treatment, that would be an obstacle to getting the vaccine out, which really is too big to fail, just too much money and ego involved,” she said.

It has been reported that US law prevented the granting of Emergency Use Authorisation for then new Covid-19 vaccines, which have generated more than $US110bn in revenue for the three US pharmaceutical giants if existing prophylactic treatments were already available.

Robert Clancy, a retired University of Newcastle professor of immunology, told The Australian it was “nonsense to say ivermectin didn’t work”. “It was panned because it would have stopped the FDA and TGA from legally allowing the Covid-19 vaccines,” he posited.

In 2021, America’s top podcaster, Joe Rogan, and CNN butted heads over the drug after the latter accused Rogan, who said he had taken the drug via a prescription from his doctor, had consumed “horse dewormer”.

The TGA in May reversed its 2021 ban on prescribing ivermectin for Covid-19, claiming “sufficient evidence the safety risks to individuals and public health” was “low”.

However, the TGA does not endorse off-label prescribing of ivermectin for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.

Asked if drugs such as ivermectin were more effective than the Covid-19 vaccines, Dr Bowden said “hands down, the medications”. “That’s what prompted my scepticism to begin with: I was seeing a lot of patients coming in who had been vaccinated, and they were just as sick if not sicker than the patients that were not vaccinated.”


Why Won't COVID Lockdown Artists Admit They Were Wrong?

COVID mania just won't go away. The deadly strains of the virus have been gone for two years now, and yet the recent outbreak of a mild flu-like variant is again stoking panic on the Left.

Nearly 100 universities are requiring masks this fall.

Lionsgate movie studios in Los Angeles and Atlanta-based Morris Brown College recently stated they are reinstating not just mask mandates but social distancing measures and contact tracing.

CNN, which led the panic in 2020 and 2021 -- causing manic school, restaurant and business shutdowns and vaccine mandates -- recently put out a headline on its website that encouraged its readers not to go outside without a mask on. Really? The latest evidence finds this is less dangerous than a normal flu virus and tracking data suggest that the wave has already peaked.

What's even more disturbing here is that the leftist medical community and the media aren't renouncing their calls for mitigation strategies that were catastrophically wrong in the panic era of 2020 and 2021 -- but instead calling for more of these assaults on freedom in the future.

It is one thing for well-meaning medical experts to have disagreed about how to best combat a once-in-a-half-century deadly virus. We didn't know exactly what we were dealing with. But now we know with concrete scientific evidence that most mandates and lockdowns had a small impact on the spread of the virus and on fatalities. It turns out there was almost no difference in death rates in states with strict lockdowns and no lockdowns at all. The same is true of cross-country evidence.

Healthy children were never at risk from COVID (something we knew early on), so shutting down schools for one or two years was a sop to the teachers unions but a disaster for this generation of kids. Test scores are the worst in 30 years.

Before the pandemic, only 15% of public school students were chronically absent -- more than 18 or more days a year.

Stanford University education professor Thomas Dee's data shows an estimated 6.5 million additional students are now chronically absent. In Connecticut and Massachusetts, chronic absenteeism remains double its pre-pandemic rate.

But polls show that Democrats -- even those who are highly educated -- generally still support the lockdowns that were mandated. These are the same people who lecture about "following the science." The most comprehensive study by experts at Johns Hopkins University found death rates from lockdowns were reduced by 0.1 percent. But how many people died from the isolation of lockdowns, delayed health screening from cancer, the increase in drug overdoses?

Biden's vaccine mandates only made Americans more resistant to get pricked. They backfired.

Worst of all, Anthony Fauci, who remains a hero of the Left, recently not only refused to admit the errors of his advice but said the "lockdown was absolutely justified."

Why does this bizarre rewrite of recent history matter? Because the fearmongering Left can't wait to install new lockdowns every time we have a new flu virus and health scare. They've even started putting out feelers for occasional climate change economic shutdowns.

Those who love freedom must strenuously resist this coming tyranny.


Back in Masks?

Dr. Jill Biden has COVID with “mild symptoms,” and though Joe Biden tested negative, he’s in a mask, despite both of them being stuck full of shots and boosters. Anthony “The Science” Fauci is on CNN extolling the efficacy of masks. Did we fall in a time warp and end up in 2021 again? Is Biden’s pandemic presidency ever going to be over?

Not if Democrats once again use COVID to rig the election with bulk-mail ballots.

The truth, of course, is that COVID is now endemic, not a pandemic. It’s going to be around for a while in whatever mutated form happens to spread this week. Most people now think of it as a mild or sometimes bad cold. But some people want more panic.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre promises the 80-year-old Biden is “not experiencing any symptoms,” but he “will be masking while indoors and around people, in alignment with CDC guidance.”

Or not.

Those CDC guidelines stipulate that people should test, wear masks, and self-isolate after exposure, “regardless of your vaccination status or if you have had a previous infection.” The guidelines were last updated in August 2022. Biden didn’t follow the CDC, even while presenting the Medal of Honor to 81-year-old Larry Taylor and then immediately fleeing the room, so why should anyone else?

“We are in a very good position to deal with COVID-19 in the fall,” Jean-Pierre added, “and we’re going to continue to listen to the experts as we move forward.”

Ah, the “experts.” Those would be the same experts who politicized a virus and wrecked our economy over it.

Speaking of those “experts,” the 82-year-old Fauci says he’s “concerned that people will not abide by recommendations.” Lavishly retired but still making appearances on CNN, Fauci opined, “I would hope that if we get to the point that the volume of cases is such and organizations like the CDC recommends — CDC does not mandate anything — recommends that people wear masks, I would hope that people abide by that recommendation and take into account the risks to themselves and their families.”

Oh don’t worry, Tony. We’re taking things into account and know exactly where you can stick those recommendations.

After he patronized the American people with his sanctimony, Fauci continued talking out of both sides of his mouth about masks. CNN’s Michael Smerconish challenged Fauci to explain the huge Cochran Review study of randomized tests earlier this year that concluded, “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference.” Just as all the experts knew back in early 2020 before politics took the place of science.

“When you’re talking about the effect on the pandemic as a whole, the data is less strong,” Fauci sputtered. “But when you talk about an individual basis of someone protecting themselves … there’s no doubt that there’s many studies that show that there is an advantage [to masks].” Whatever, dude.

This is the same guy who in March 2020 said, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” That was before he told us it was “common sense” to wear not one mask but two.

Fauci’s “credibility is entirely shot,” said Stanford epidemiologist Jay Bhattacharya back in 2021. “He’s been all over the place on masks.”

Masks aren’t all, either. Fauci lied about that little matter of U.S. taxpayer funding for gain-of-function research at the Wuhan lab that leaked COVID into the world. More evidence that he knew of that funding back in 2020 before spending years denying it just came to light this week. Can we get a lockdown of Fauci?

Meanwhile, the same people who want to help kids change their gender want those kids to mask up in schools again. Because science, or something.

Maybe Fauci wouldn’t be “concerned” about people ignoring medical advice if anything the “experts” said made any sense at all anymore.


6 September, 2023

FDA, CDC Hid Data on Spike in COVID Cases Among the Vaccinated: Documents

COVID-19 cases among vaccinated seniors soared in 2021, according to newly disclosed data that was acquired by U.S. health agencies but not presented to the public.

Humetrix Cloud Services was contracted by the U.S. military to analyze vaccine data. The company performed a fresh analysis as authorities considered in 2021 whether COVID-19 vaccine boosters were necessary amid studies finding waning vaccine effectiveness.

Humetrix researchers found that the proportion of total COVID-19 cases among the seniors was increasingly comprised of vaccinated people, according to the newly disclosed documents.

For the week ending on July 31, 2021, post-vaccination COVID-19 cases represented 73 percent of the cases among people 65 and older, the company found. The elderly were 80 percent fully vaccinated at the time.

Breakthrough infection rates were higher among those who were vaccinated early, the researchers found. They estimated that the rates were twice as high in those who had been vaccinated five to six months prior, when compared to people vaccinated three to four months before.

The breakthrough cases started in January 2021, according to the data.

Protection against hospitalization was also fading, researchers discovered.

In the week ending on July 31, 2021, 63 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations in seniors were among the fully vaccinated, according to the documents. The same pattern of weaker protection among people who were vaccinated early was found.

Researchers calculated that the vaccine effectiveness (VE) against infection was just 33 percent while the effectiveness against hospitalization had dropped to 57 percent.

Seniors who previously had COVID-19 and recovered were more likely to avoid hospitalization, the researchers also found. Risk factors included serious underlying conditions such as obesity and being in the oldest age group, or older than 85.

The cohort analysis was completed on 20 million Medicare beneficiaries, including 5.6 million seniors who received a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Our observational study VE findings show a very significant decrease in VE against infection and hospitalization in the Delta phase of the pandemic for individuals vaccinated with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for those 5–6 months post vaccination vs. those 3–4 months post vaccination," Dr. Bettina Experton, Humetrix's president and CEO, said in a Sept. 15, 2021, email to top U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials.

Humetrix also found that among the beneficiaries, there had been 133,000 cases, 27,000 hospitalizations, and 8,300 intensive care admissions among the fully vaccinated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Experton disclosed that Humetrix shared the data with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August 2021.

"It would have been nice to know [the military] was conducting this prior to now. Also might have been nice for CDC to share the data," Dr. Peter Marks, one of the FDA officials, told colleagues in response.

"This is more worrisome than the other data we have in my opinion," Dr. Janet Woodcock, the FDA's acting commissioner at the time, said in reply.

The presentation and emails were obtained by the Informed Consent Action Network, a nonprofit that seeks to provide transparency around medical issues, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

"It is hard to see this as anything other than a failure of our health authorities to assess, share, make public, and act upon valuable, real-world data in the midst of a so-called pandemic," Del Bigtree, founder of the network, told The Epoch Times via email. "And without FOIA, the public likely would never be made aware of these failures which, of course, allows them to be perpetrated again and again."

The FDA and CDC declined to comment.

Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health at the time, wrote in a separate email obtained through FOIA that the results of the study provided "pretty compelling evidence that VE is falling 5–6 months post vaccination for both infection and hospitalization for those over 65."

He added, "Even for those 3–4 months out there is a trend toward worsening VE.”

The CDC, FDA, and National Institutes of Health did not share the data with the public as they considered whether to clear and recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

The CDC held a meeting with its vaccine advisers on Aug. 30, 2021. During the meeting, CDC officials went over emerging data on waning vaccine effectiveness. But the military study was not included.

The FDA held a similar meeting on Sept. 17, 2021. The CDC participated. The Humetrix analysis was also not presented during that meeting.

Both agencies have aggressively promoted COVID-19 vaccines throughout the pandemic, including hyping them as strongly protective against severe disease even after their own data have suggested that is not the case.

The CDC did present (pdf) data from COVID-NET, one of its systems, that showed effectiveness against COVID-19-associated hospitalization was falling among the elderly since the emergence of the Delta variant but that data still showed 80 percent effectiveness.

The presentation also included data from outside researchers and Israel that estimated the protection during the Delta era against infection ranged from 39 percent to 84 percent and that the effectiveness against hospitalization ranged from 75 to 95 percent.

The FDA ended up clearing a Pfizer booster for many Americans. The CDC advised most people to receive it. The agencies later expanded booster clearance and recommendations to virtually all Americans aged 5 and older, with Moderna's shot as another option. Authorities have since replaced the old shots due to their lack of durability, and are preparing to roll out another slate of shots this fall.


Control Versus Choice

John Stossel

COVID cases are up. Hospitalizations climbed 24% last week.

But the media make everything seem scarier than it is. The headline "Up 24%!" comes after dramatic lows. Hospitalizations are still less than half what they were when President Joe Biden said, "The pandemic is over."

Yet the shallow media keep pounding away: "It may be time to break out the masks" headlined CNN.

Frightened people believe. The movie studio Lionsgate reinstated an office mask mandate. Atlanta's Morris Brown College mandated masks and even banned parties.

This month, several school districts in Kentucky and Texas closed. "The safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, and community is a top priority," said the school superintendent in Texas.

But kids rarely get very sick from COVID, and schools aren't COVID hotspots. Studies on tens of thousands of people found "no consistent relationship between in-person K-12 schooling and the spread of the coronavirus."

A Lancet study found Florida had the 12th-fewest excess COVID deaths in the country, even though Florida students went back to school without masks relatively soon.

At least Texas' and Kentucky's closures were isolated and brief. Long-term closures during the pandemic brought America's lowest math and reading scores in decades. Florida's kids suffered less learning loss than kids in other states.

Sweden, which never closed its schools, suffered no learning loss. Sweden's education minister wrote that children were "at much lower risk of serious illness" and that "keeping children learning was vital."

Sweden also imposed fewer restrictions on adults. At the time, Sweden was mocked in the media. NBC called Sweden's openness a "failed experiment."

But Sweden's approach did work. Data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that Sweden had fewer excess deaths since COVID than any other European country.

Fortunately, this year, most of America seems less likely to panic.

Unfortunately, that doesn't include Facebook and its idiot authoritarian "fact-checkers." Even though the World Health Organization says kids under 5 should not be required to wear masks, Facebook still censors science writer John Tierney for writing that forcing children to wear masks is unnecessary.

Masks, lockdowns and closing schools won't stop COVID. We have to live with it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 96.7% of us now have some immunity through vaccines or prior infection. That probably means future infections will be less severe.

Still, COVID continues to kill some of us.

I'm skeptical of the anti-vax messages in my social media. Unvaccinated people are five times more likely to die. Vaccines are still the most effective way to protect ourselves.

I'm also skeptical of politicians eager to use force. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis forbade private businesses from requiring customers to wear masks or have vaccinations.

But I say privately owned should mean ... private. A store owner should be allowed to make his own choices. If customers don't like a policy, there are lots of other businesses to patronize.

I confronted DeSantis about that:

Stossel: "If it's my business, and I'm scared, and I want to have that, why can't I?"

DeSantis: "You had some big corporations basically imposing Fauci-ism, vax mandates, mask mandates. ... So we barred (them)."

Stossel: "But if I have a candy store and want to say you have to stand on your head to buy my candy ... "

DeSantis: "Yeah, but there's certain business regulations that everyone's gotta abide by ... "

Stossel: "I'm just surprised you're pushing them."

DeSantis: "Sometimes, you just gotta say, is this something that we want in our state at all? That's how we've come down."

That's how we've come down? The politician decides for everyone?

I hate that tyranny, whether it comes from DeSantis, who had mostly sensible Covid policies, or from worse repressers like New York's Andrew Cuomo and California's Gavin Newsom.

We individuals should get to decide what's best for us.

I'm 76. Nine in 10 COVID deaths happen people over 65.

So I'm glad I've been vaccinated. I'll get the new booster this fall.

I will wear a mask in crowded places when I travel to Chicago to speak at the Heartland Institute next week.

But that's my choice. There's a big difference between choice and force.

Individuals should decide, not politicians.


5 September, 2023

Florida Doctor Reinstated After Losing Board Certification for Criticizing COVID-19 Vaccines

A Florida physician known for being outspoken about COVID-related topics has regained his board certification that was stripped because he publicly criticized COVID vaccines.

Now, Dr. John Littell is moving forward from the experience with plans to help future physicians defend themselves when disciplined for voicing viewpoints that are not in the majority, he told The Epoch Times.

Dr. Littell, a longtime family physician in Ocala and a medical school professor, began posting videos sharing his thoughts about COVID-19 testing, treatments, and vaccines early in the pandemic. He was frustrated to find his content often was pulled down from his YouTube channel.

But he fought against what he saw as censorship by moving the content to other platforms, such as Rumble, he said.

Then, in January 2022 and again five months later, he received warning letters from the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the organization that issued his certification for his medical specialty.

The letter stated that his videos on YouTube and Rumble spread “medical misinformation” and could put his board certification in jeopardy, he said.

The ABFM declined to comment on the matter because the board's "policy indicates we are unable to comment about professionalism cases," an unidentified spokesperson said in an email to The Epoch Times.

The ABFM is the third largest of the 24 boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties. More than 100,000 family medicine doctors are certified by the board, according to its website.

To keep their certification, physicians must uphold the board's ethical standards and "guidelines for professionalism, licensure, and personal conduct," the website states.

In letters from the board, Dr. Littell was told his public statements violated those guidelines. Dr. Littell responded to the letters and continued to speak publicly and post videos about the subjects, he said.

Months later, when he didn’t hear back, he said he thought the threat was gone.

“I was very happily under the radar,” he said.

That changed after he was escorted out of a Sarasota Memorial Hospital board meeting in February for approaching a board member behind the dais. He wanted to thank the board member, he said, for letting him speak at the meeting. He didn't realize that move would be seen as inappropriate, he said.

Though he's cared for many patients in hospitals, he'd never attended a hospital board meeting, let alone a contentious one, he said.

That day, medical freedom activists filled the boardroom to speak against the public hospital's policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many were angry their loved ones were denied the opportunity to try ivermectin, an antiparasitic for humans and animals widely used by some in treating COVID-19, and other treatments.

Dr. Littell spoke cordially to board members from the podium, an Epoch Times reporter confirmed. He told board members how treating patients with ivermectin had been his key to success in helping them recover. And he praised hospital personnel for their work during the pandemic.

Shortly after that, security guards escorted him outside.

A video of Dr. Littell's removal from the meeting by security guards was posted to social media and received millions of views and media coverage. And that thrust him back in the spotlight as a doctor vocal about COVID-19 policies. “I had a target on my back,” he said.

He questioned whether someone else would have been removed for the same reason.

Many doctors have faced consequences for questioning the efficacy and safety of COVID-19 vaccines and for advocating for the use of medicines such as ivermectin in the treatment of the disease.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wrote in one social media post about ivermectin: “You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it.” It linked to a page entitled "Why You Should Not Use Ivermectin to Treat or Prevent COVID-19."

Three doctors sued the FDA over the statements, saying it had no power to tell doctors which drugs to prescribe.

On Sept. 1, a federal court ruled that the agency likely overstepped its authority when it told Americans to "stop" using ivermectin against COVID-19. The FDA can inform, but has "no authority" to recommend consumers "stop" taking medicine, U.S. Circuit Judge Don Willett wrote in the ruling.

Accused of 'Spreading False' Information

The month after Dr. Littell spoke in Sarasota, the board sent a letter saying he'd been de-certified for “spreading false, inaccurate, and misleading materials about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccination, and treatment and mitigation of the virus," The Epoch Times confirmed.

A letter reviewed by The Epoch Times stated that if Dr. Littell appealed the decision within 20 days, he would continue to be represented by the board, pending a review of his case by the professionalism committee of the ABFM board of directors.

The reason for the decision to review his record was because of his past suggestions the COVID-19 vaccine was a product of genetic engineering, causing deaths in children and causing the rise of the Delta variant, the letter indicated. It also referenced "false" statements made by Drs. Ryan Cole and Robert Malone, who spoke at a medical freedom conference Dr. Littell organized in October 2022.

In the letter, the board also criticized Dr. Littell for "offering to provide medical exemptions from vaccination" to patients across the country and "publicly comparing the U.S. public health system's response to the COVID-19 pandemic to Nazi Germany."

After receiving the troubling letter, Dr. Littell sought the help of attorney Jeff Childers, a business attorney in Gainesville, Florida. Since the COVID-19 lockdowns began, Mr. Childers has become active in lawsuits around the country related to medical freedom. He authors a daily blog called Coffee and Covid, which started by chronicling COVID-19 issues and now tracks other social and political issues, as well.

Mr. Childers crafted a 64-page appeal to the board, dissecting every accusation made against Dr. Littell, an Epoch Times reporter confirmed. And as word of the threat to Dr. Littell's board certification spread—a move that would prevent him from practicing medicine—medical freedom activists rose up to take his side.

A campaign was started to collect donations to fund his legal fees. More than 6,400 people donated almost $255,000. And more than 1,900 pledged to pray for Dr. Littell.

The Global Covid Summit, an international group of doctors focused on medical freedom in COVID-19 treatment, sent a letter signed by 169 doctors to the ABFM in support of Dr. Littell. In the letter, they argued that the board was false in every accusation made against Dr. Littell.

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo also voiced support for Dr. Littell.

“What they’re doing is being a bully,” he said in an interview with The Floridian. “It’s not going to age well.

“I read the letter from the Board, and it’s dripping with political animosity.”

Both Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Dr. Littell's congresswoman, Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) sent letters in his defense to the board, Dr. Littell said.

“I’ve got to believe it's not in the dozens, but probably in the hundreds of people who called and sent letters to the American Board of Family Medicine," Dr. Littell said. "I never asked them to, but that is what was happening.”

In July, Dr. Littell received word that the board had reviewed his case and retroactively de-certified him for three months, from March 16 to June 16. He never stopped seeing patients.

“It's like a slap on the wrist so they’d feel good about it, but wouldn't, presumably, have to face any legal action," he said.

His attorney agreed. “They did it in a very face-saving way,” Mr. Childers said. But ultimately, he's pleased with the decision.

“We were really surprised and gratified that we were able to achieve that result," Mr. Childers said.

Dr. Littell credits it to being “a God thing" that he was able to keep caring for patients and face a decertification period only retroactively.

“If they had said I was decertified, I would not have been able to do what I was doing. I mean, especially with the hospital care patients. I could have gotten into big trouble.”

He still may face consequences for having the blemish on his record, he said. He’ll have to report it to the hospitals at which he works and explain what happened, he said.

“Every time I go up for privileges with a hospital or any other institution, they're going to say, ‘Well, has your license ever been suspended or revoked, and has your board certification ever been revoked?’ So, it's still an issue. It’s not like you can just forget about it.”

He’s been advised by some other doctors, such as cardiologist Peter McCullough, to pursue legal action for the disciplinary measure they feel was wrong, he said.

Continuing to Speak Out

Dr. Littell continues to speak out about the same topics. So he suspects he’ll face retribution again, he said. “The way I read the letter, it's sort of like a warning,” Dr. Littell said.

The board, he said, seemed to be sending the warning, “If you act up again, we know it's a privilege to have this board certification, and it can be removed at any time.”

And the next time, the punishment is likely to escalate.

“The implication is that if it happens again, it's going to be more than just three months,” Mr. Childers said.

Around the country, a slew of doctors had board certifications removed and licensure threatened for sharing their COVID-related opinions.

“Most people would probably be surprised to find out there's a lot of this going on, now that the pandemic is over,” Mr. Childers said. “From what I've heard, there's probably more challenges to doctor licensing right now than at any other time.”

But because most doctors aren’t vocal about receiving discipline, it’s hard to know exactly how often it’s occurring, he said.

Doctors who have been active on social media seem to be targeted more often by medical authorities, he said.

Doctors who were not actively posting their thoughts about COVID-19 on social media "should feel very confident that if they follow a similar approach to what Dr. Littell did, they could hope for a good result at this point," he said.

Obtaining good legal advice is key, he said. It also helps to spread the word.

“All too often doctors either ignore these kinds of letters until it's too late because they're embarrassed, or they try to handle it on their own," he said.

“It's important that people know when this happens. And if they'll let folks know, they'll find that they get a lot of support.”

Dr. Littell has no plans to keep quiet about what he feels went wrong during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m not letting up," he said.

He's organizing his third annual medical freedom summit in November called “Food, Family & Medical Freedom" in Ocala, Florida at the World Equestrian Center.

Helping Future Doctors

He intends to use the remaining money donated to his legal fund to help others respond to similar licensure problems, especially threats faced by medical students, he said.

He's trying "to come up with a legal, legislative, and public relations strategy that helps future physicians,” he said. When they see practicing doctors disciplined and “raked over the coals” for speaking out about medical freedom issues, it deters good people from pursuing a degree in medicine, he said.

“I would like the medical freedom fighters, as I'm calling them, to create a sanctuary for pre-med, especially, and medical school students.”

"Early on, even in the colleges, they weed out the physicians who dare to question the narrative or challenge it," he said, of those who insist that doctors decrees made by federal health agencies.

But asking questions and challenging prevailing thought is important to the goal of continually improving medical treatments, he said.

"And that intellectual curiosity is what we’re so desperately lacking now in medicine, and in most professions.”

He also envisions the network expanding to help connect like-minded educators in colleges, universities, and medical schools to share their ideas without fear of being in opposition to “woke” ideology, he said.

He hopes to see that network push back against “lockstep mentality” and help students who are suffering because of it.

Medical students taught by Dr. Littell often tell him how difficult it is to be entering the field of medicine at this time, he said.

One student told him that his second-year class was forced to be vaccinated for COVID-19, he said. Classmates were told by their university they'd be "thrown out" of medical school in two weeks if they didn't comply, Dr. Littell said.

The student told him that, although more than half the class didn't want the vaccine, they felt they had no other option, Dr. Littell said. Weeks later, the mandate was lifted. But it was too late—many students already had submitted to getting the shot they didn't want.


4 September, 2023

Excess Deaths in England: Everything but mRNA Vaccines Blamed

Back in June, TrialSite looked at the issue of excess deaths across Europe. Today, we focus on England with additional data on this frightening topic. As excess death reports pop up around the globe, a key question remains: are these due to lack of care during the lockdowns, COVID-19 mRNA vaccinations, COVID-19 itself, or some other causes?

While we can’t answer that today, we can add a few pieces to the puzzle. According to an Office of National Statistics report from September 2022, the total “excess deaths” in England and Wales from March 2020 to June 2022 were 137,447, about 87,000 men and 50,000 women. Excess deaths were concentrated as follows: cirrhosis/liver disease, 3.834 excess deaths; diabetes, 3,466 excess deaths, and “ill-defined” conditions which are often connected to old age and/or frailty, 9,094 excess deaths. Not counting COVID-19, deaths were above average for six consecutive months from July 2021 to December 2021, and this coincides with periods of heavy vaccination. In this time frame, 89,253 excess deaths took place at private homes, a 30.2% increase over the prior five-year average.

100,000 excess cardiac-related deaths

In June 2023, the British Heart Foundation took a look at this issue, with a focus on cardiac-related excess deaths. According to their headline, “Nearly 100,000 more deaths involving heart conditions and stroke than usual since the pandemic began.” These statistics mean that on average, “there have been over 500 additional deaths a week involving cardiovascular disease since the pandemic began.” The BHF cites many likely “contributing factors, including extreme and widespread pressure on NHS services and Covid-19.” BHF also notes that cardiovascular conditions account for more excess deaths than other disease groups—“a total of 96,540 since 21st March 2020, the analysis of data from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) finds.”

Year three of the pandemic shows massive non-COVID-19-related heart conditions?

BHF continues that, “In the first year of the pandemic, COVID-19 infection drove high numbers of excess deaths involving cardiovascular disease – an umbrella term for a range of heart and blood vessel conditions including heart attack and stroke. But while deaths from COVID-19 have since fallen year-on-year, the number of deaths involving cardiovascular disease have remained high above expected levels.” According to the chart below from the report’s Appendix, in year one of the pandemic a particular heart disease and COVID-19 deaths were comparable, yet when we look at year three, there is a serious mismatch, showing excess non-COVID-19 heart-related deaths:

A comprehensive solution to the complex challenge

BHF states that they, “believe that there are now other major factors likely driving the continued increase in excess deaths involving cardiovascular disease, including the severe, ongoing disruption to NHS heart care, and Covid-19 increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke." And “We're calling on the UK Government to take charge of the increasingly urgent cardiovascular disease crisis.” After listing every possible cause except the mRNA vaccines, BHF says that “While there has been some progress towards addressing the cardiovascular disease crisis, the BHF is pushing for the UK Government to go much further and faster in providing a comprehensive and coordinated solution to a complex challenge.”

COVID-19 no longer explains excess deaths

Dr. Sonya Babu-Narayan, Associate Medical Director for BHF, said: “Covid-19 no longer fully explains the significant numbers of excess deaths involving cardiovascular disease. Other major factors are likely contributing, including the extreme and unrelenting pressure on the NHS over the last few years----As more and more heart patients wait longer and longer, we need to see a specific and long-term commitment from the government to fast-track improvements in cardiovascular care now and for the future.”

Why are vaccines not suspected?

Perhaps ignoring the mRNA elephant in the room, Professor John Greenwood, who is the president of the British Cardiovascular Society, noted: “The high numbers of excess cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths published today are worrying, but unfortunately not surprising. We know that Covid has caused direct (Covid leading to new CVD), indirect (reduced treatment and prevention of CVD) and long-term effects (CVD and Long Covid)----The BCS recommends urgent prioritization of CVD prevention and treatment, as well as an increase in the cardiovascular workforce (primary and secondary care, and multidisciplinary team) to begin tackling the backlog of work and long waiting lists for treatment. Added to this we need a strong public health strategy from the government to promote healthy behaviors and prevent heart disease in the first place.”

When will the full facts be known?

In considering these excess deaths, one must ask why the experts are considering everything but the mRNA vaccines. This is especially true with cardiac-related deaths: we know that these vaccines have cardiovascular risks. Perhaps once the fog of COVID-19 dissipates, we will get some real answers to these important questions.


Are unvaccinated children healthier?

* A 2021 study that compared health outcomes among vaccinated and unvaccinated children found significantly higher incidence of severe allergies, autism, chronic ear infections, gastrointestinal disorders, asthma and ADD/ADHD (attention deficit hyper disorder) in vaccinated children. [1]

* A 2020 study of children over 5 years of age found higher incidence of development delays, asthma, ear infection and gastrointestinal disorders in vaccinated children compared to unvaccinated children.[2]

* Another study from 2020 found a higher incidence of doctor office visits for conditions such as fever, ear pain, asthma, allergic rhinitis, conjunctivitis, sinusitis, breathing issues, anemia, eczema, urticaria, behavioural issues, gastroenteritis and weight and eating disorders. Oddly enough this study was retracted.[3]

* A 2017 study of 6 to 12 year old children found higher incidence of otitis media, pneumonia, allergic rhinitis, allergies, ADHD, ASD, eczema, learning disability and neurodevelopmental disorder. [4]

* As far back as 1992, a study was conducted by a body named IAS in New Zealand. While the study is not peer reviewed, some of the findings were similar to findings of studies highlighted above. The study found increased incidence of asthma, eczema, ear infection , tonsillitis, tonsillectomy, apnoea, hyperactivity, epilepsy and slow development of motor skills among vaccinated children. [5]


Covid-19 vaccinations in Thailand: Risks outweighed Benefits?

Outside of China, Thailand was the first country to report a Covid-19 case. [0]Prior to the launch of mass vaccinations, Covid-19 in Thailand was limited to just a few cases and small contained outbreaks. As the country gradually opened up, Thailand continued to be free of any major Covid-19 outbreaks.

As of July 1st, 2020 bars, pubs, shopping malls, Internet cafes and convenience stores and all opened up and schools and restarted. [1] International travel restrictions were still there for much of the year and tourism continued to be impacted, although restrictions started gradually easing in October. [2] Over the next 6 months, Thailand seemed to heading in the right direction in terms of reopening of the economy,

Throughout 2020, Thailand recorded 120 deaths and 6,331 cases. Up until the launch of the vaccination program on Feb 14th, 2021, Thailand had recorded ~24,400 cases and 80 deaths over approximately 11 months since the first reported case. However, as vaccination ramped up, Thailand recorded 20,445 deaths 2,252,976 cases over the next 11 months. This represented a 92-fold increase in cases and 256-fold increase in deaths over the same time frame of 11 months after vaccination, compared to the timeframe of 11 months before vaccination.

The Covid-19 cases and deaths were observed to be in strong temporal association with the rollout of the vaccination program. It has been argued by this author in this article, quoting publicly available data as well as published studies, that massive Covid-19 waves in several countries seem to have been triggered by mass vaccinations, with 1-dose vaccinated the likely spreaders to close contacts thereby triggering outbreaks. To date, Thailand has reported 34,453 Covid-19 deaths, out of which 34,373, or 99.8% have occurred after the launch of mass vaccinations.

Another important piece of statistic for this vaccination drive is the number of people who have been compensated for vaccine injury. As of September 9th, 2022, 21,139 people had filed vaccine injury claims, of which 17,559 met eligibility for compensation. Families of 4,441 people were compensated for post-vaccination deaths or disability. [3]At least 3,670 families were compensated for post-vaccination deaths. [4]


Despite opening up much of its domestic economy in July 2020, Thailand was free of Covid-19 outbreaks for the best part of the next 6 months, up until the launch of the vaccination campaign.

99.8% of all Covid-19 deaths in Thailand occurred after the launch of the mass vaccination program, in strong temporal association with the vaccination drive.

21,139 people filed for vaccine injury compensation, of which 17,559 already have been or will be compensated.

4,441 people suffered post vaccination deaths or disability for which families were compensated.

Based on the above facts, what should one infer about the outcome of the Covid-19 vaccination program in Thailand?


3 September, 2023

Maine Hospital Fired Nurses for Refusing COVID Shots—Now It’s Begging Them to Come Back

Nurses and other health care workers at MaineGeneral Health, one of Maine’s largest health care providers, were unceremoniously fired two years ago if they refused to take the experimental mRNA injections touted as COVID-19 preventatives.

Some of those workers were even slapped with misconduct charges for refusing to comply with the mandate, many were later denied unemployment benefits, and no requests for religious exemptions were honored.

Now, one of the nonprofit hospitals that left some employees jobless and without recourse to Maine’s unemployment insurance benefits is sending text messages to the same employees it cast aside practically begging them to come back to work.

“You were once a proud member of the MaineGeneral team. Would you consider rejoining us? We would be pleased to discuss options with you,” the MaineGeneral Health Recruitment team said in a text message to former registered nurse Terry Poland.

“As you know, nearly 2 years ago MaineGeneral had to comply with a state mandate for COVID-19 vaccination. We lost a number of great employees as a result, including you,” MaineGeneral said.

“MaineGeneral has eliminated the COVID-19 vaccination as an employment condition,” MaineGeneral said.

Poland, who lives in Augusta, had worked as a registered nurse for 33 years. Her career included employment with MaineGeneral, Central Maine Medical Center, Pen Bay Medical Center, and the Aroostook Medical Center.

She couldn’t believe that the hospital would contact her in such a manner after casting her life into chaos for nearly two years.

“I was livid. Like, how dare you force me out of a career that I’ve dedicated my whole life to, taken away my livelihood, my ability to earn a good income, and now you think I’m gonna come grovel back to you?” Poland said.

Poland continued:

“I don’t hardly think so. And that’s the attitude of most everybody that I’ve been in contact with since yesterday.”

A source told the Maine Wire that about 15 former MaineGeneral Health employees received similar text messages.

Poland refused to take the experimental COVID-19 shots after Gov. Janet Mills decreed on Aug. 12, 2021, that health care workers would be forced to receive the shots as a condition of working in health care by Oct. 1, 2021.

Documents reviewed by the Maine Wire show that MaineGeneral established a speedier timeline of Sept. 17 for compliance.

Eventually, the state pushed back the deadline to the end of October.

Poland was never opposed to vaccines generally speaking.

Though she previously used a religious exemption to avoid taking an influenza shot, she willingly took the other vaccines required to work in health care prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, including immunizations for measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B.

She said she was concerned about the novel nature of the mRNA technology, a form of gene therapy, which prior to COVID-19 had not been used in the standard schedule of immunizations.

“I knew enough not to take it. I’ve been a nurse long enough to know I need to question what new products are,” Poland said. “I’m not going to be the first one to jump on board of an experiment.”

When she discovered that fetal tissues are commonly used in the development and production of the drugs, that only strengthened her resolve as a Christian not to get the injections.

In previous years, Poland has said she was allowed an exemption from taking the influenza shot so long as she wore a mask during flu season. However, the hospital was unwilling to provide this accommodation for COVID-19.

As a result of her choice, Poland faced not only termination but also an allegation of misconduct from her former employer.

When she applied for unemployment benefits, she was rejected because of the misconduct allegation.

When she appealed, she was turned away.

Documents reviewed by the Maine Wire show that the Maine Department of Labor determined that MaineGeneral Health “discharged” her; however, the agency concluded that Poland’s refusal to get the injections was a violation that constituted a “culpable breach of obligations to the employer.”

As a result, Poland had to rely on her savings to get by in the middle of economically disastrous government lockdowns and soaring inflation.

Poland then sought help from the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that she’d been discriminated against on the basis of her religious beliefs.

MaineGeneral Health, in responding to the commission, argued that allowing Poland religious accommodations would impose an “undue hardship” on the hospital. On that basis, the commission declined to take on her case.

The Maine Human Rights Commission also rejected her discrimination complaint.

“[T]here has been positive energy between human resource personnel and managers who are in the process of working together to reach out to former employees to see if they are interested in returning,” said Joy McKenna, director of communications for MaineGeneral, in an email.

“Since Monday, we are only aware of a few people who have indicated that they are interested in having a conversation about applying for an open position,” she said. “We currently have 453 open positions, which is similar to our pre-COVID open position count.”

McKenna said the hospital did not intentionally fire unvaccinated employees in a way that would block them from getting unemployment benefits.

Some of those positions have been filled by foreign nationals with green cards, McKenna said, though she was not able to provide an exact number on Aug. 9.

At the time MaineGeneral fired her, Poland was working at the MaineGeneral Rehabilitation and Long Term Care at Gray Birch facility in Augusta.

The facility provides nursing home and assisted living services and has a 37-bed capacity. Federal stats show the facility had 141 staff before the mandate and 110 after it was enforced.

In the years since she was fired, she estimates she’s earned only $12,000 and $17,000 as a home health care worker, a position that hasn’t provided similar benefits to the job she lost.

As a registered nurse, Poland was making about $75,000 per year.

She’s still not willing to give MaineGeneral another shot.


New ‘Pirola’ variant of COVID is spreading fast, has experts concerned

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide, a new variant dubbed “Pirola” has experts worried.

Also referred to as BA.2.86, Pirola is a highly mutated variant of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus, which emerged in 2021 and led to a frightful spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

“When Omicron hit in the winter of 2021, there was a huge rise in COVID-19 cases because it was so different from the Delta variant, and it evaded immunity from both natural infection and vaccination,” infectious disease specialist Dr. Scott Roberts said in a Yale Medicine bulletin.

The bulletin states that “there is some reason to worry, in that this variant … has more than 30 mutations to its spike protein,” referring to the proteins on the surface of the virus that allow it to enter and infect human cells.

“Such a high number of mutations is notable,” Roberts said. “When we went from XBB.1.5 to EG.5, that was maybe one or two mutations. But these massive shifts, which we also saw from Delta to Omicron, are worrisome.”

Is the new COVID variant worse?

The three biggest questions facing medical experts are: How transmissible is Pirola? Will it bypass existing immune defenses? How lethal will it be for those unlucky enough to get infected by it?

“Nobody knows right now, but studies are ongoing,” Roberts said.

The Pirola variant was initially detected in Israel and was later identified in Canada, Denmark, the UK, South Africa, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland and Thailand, according to the CDC.

By August, it had surfaced in Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and New York. And Thursday, Dr. S. Wesley Long of Houston Methodist Hospital reported that he had isolated a Texas case of the Pirola variant.

The rapid spread of Pirola “doesn’t look good right now,” Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute in La Jolla, Calif., told Reuters.

Pirola’s multiple mutations make it “radically different in its structure” compared to earlier coronavirus variants, Topol said.

As far as Pirola’s severity is concerned, “[i]t is too soon to know whether this variant might cause more severe illness compared with previous variants,” the CDC stated.

Our current levels of immunity, whether from vaccination or prior infection, also remain to be seen.

The new booster shots, expected to be available later this month, were developed to target the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5.

Nonetheless, the boosters “will likely be effective at reducing severe disease and hospitalization” from BA.2.86, the CDC states. “That assessment may change as additional scientific data are developed.”

“The vaccine is still going to provide you great defense against illness and death,” Long said.

Other experts agree: Despite Pirola’s mutations, “it’s important to remember that it’s still the same virus at its core, so the same prevention methods — masking, vaccination and hand-washing, among others — can help people avoid infection,” Roberts said.


Team Youngkin Addresses Future COVID-19 Restrictions: ‘In Virginia You Get to Choose’

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin won’t be mandating that Americans mask up or lock down to fight the COVID-19 pandemic any time soon, The Daily Signal has learned.

Some schools, hospitals, and businesses have begun encouraging Americans to wear masks again amid a rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the country, sparking fears that lawmakers will once again institute lockdown measures and mask mandates.

Youngkin’s office told The Daily Signal on Thursday that such measures won’t be happening in the state, where the governor previously has banned schools from mandating masks.

“Governor Youngkin has been consistent since the beginning of his administration, if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask, but in Virginia you get to choose,” spokesman Christian Martinez said.

He added: “On Inauguration Day, Governor Glenn Youngkin declared Virginia open for business, the governor has no plans to change that.”

On Tuesday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Mandy Cohen said that up to 10,000 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 per week in the United States. Cohen noted that this number is significantly lower than the comparative figures for August 2022, at the pandemic’s highest point, when there were 40,000 hospitalizations a week.

“We’re in a much different and better place in August of 2023,” she said. “We have stronger immunity and tools to protect ourselves, we have vaccines, at-home tests, effective treatments, and commonsense strategies like washing your hands and staying away from people when you’re sick.”

The Daily Signal also asked 2024 presidential candidates whether they would support future mask mandates or lockdowns. None of the 2024 hopefuls that The Daily Signal spoke with supported any such restrictions.

“No mask mandates,” candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told The Daily Signal on Thursday. “No vaccine mandates. No lockdown ever again.”


1 September, 2023

‘No Lockdown Ever Again’: 2024 Candidates Push Back Against Future COVID-19 Lockdowns, Mandates

Amid growing fears that Americans could face more COVID-19 lockdowns or mandates, Republican candidates vying for the 2024 presidential nomination say they are firmly against such restrictive measures.

“No mask mandates,” candidate Vivek Ramaswamy told The Daily Signal on Thursday. “No vaccine mandates. No lockdown ever again.”

Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas reminded The Daily Signal of how he handled the pandemic within his own state: “No, I would not,” he said, asked if he would support more lockdowns or mask mandates. “During the last pandemic, as governor, we had no shelter-in-place orders or business lockdown policies in Arkansas.”

Sen. Tim Scott is also adamantly against locking down the American people again.

“I have always been against mandates,” the South Carolina Republican told The Daily Signal on Thursday. “Period. I’m unapologetically a First Amendment kind of guy, so I believe that individual freedom is central to who we are as Americans.”

“It is important to call out the lies told by [Dr. Anthony] Fauci,” Scott added. “There was a devastating impact of their lies and theories. Human dignity comes from maximizing one’s potential, and the mandates and lockdowns hurt children, small businesses, and all Americans.”

Asked if former Vice President Mike Pence supports more COVID-19 lockdowns or mandates, spokesman Devin O’Malley replied: “Not a chance.”

A spokesman for Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, similarly decried the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on the American people.

“Lockdowns wreaked havoc on our economy and the mental and physical health of every American—especially our children,” spokesman Ken Farnaso told The Daily Signal. “Lockdowns, championed by leftist teachers unions, damaged our children’s’ education for a generation. A Haley administration will plan for the next pandemic and ensure we do not allow fear, government overreach, or bureaucrat-forced mandates to devastate our country ever again.”

On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump’s campaign released a video denouncing the Left’s push to “restart the COVID hysteria” and pledging that the United States would not return to lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates.

“Hear my words—WE WILL NOT COMPLY,” the campaign posted on X, formerly Twitter.

“To every COVID tyrant who wants to take away our freedom, hear these words: We will not comply, so don’t even think about it,” the former president said. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also did not respond to requests for comment on the matter. According to his campaign, he has spent the week focused on the state’s response to Hurricane Idalia.

During the last presidential debate, the Florida governor promised: “As your president, I will never let the deep state bureaucrats lock you down.”

The Daily Signal reached out to all top GOP candidates regarding future lockdowns and mandates as well as to Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. and to President Joe Biden’s White House. Candidates Chris Christie, Doug Burgum, and Kennedy (as well as Trump and DeSantis) did not respond to The Daily Signal’s requests for comment.

On Thursday, the Biden administration released the “National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.”

“We look to a future when Americans no longer fear lockdowns, shutdowns, and our kids not going to school,” the White House said. “It’s a future when the country relies on the powerful layers of protection we have built and invests in the next generation of tools to stay ahead of this virus.”

The plan emphasizes that the White House wants to keep kids in school and workers in the work place: “The path forward in the fight against COVID-19 is clear: schools, workers, and workplaces have resources and guidance to prevent shutdowns.”

A White House spokesperson told The Daily Signal on Thursday that the Biden administration expects updated COVID-19 vaccines to be available in mid-September. The White House will be encouraging Americans to get this vaccine in addition to their annual flu shots and, for people over 60 as well as infants, the RSV immunization.


Ivermectin makes a comeback: It should never have been banned

Writing for the Brownstone Institute, Debbie Lerman asked a provocative question: ‘What If There Had Been No Covid Coup’ and the leading US public health agencies had been left in charge of the pandemic response? Instead, it was taken over by the National Security Council and the departments of defense and homeland security. The prevailing assumption being, of course, that the same set of responses would have unfolded over the next two to three years. She refutes this and explains with great clarity and considerable plausibility why the national security elite had to take over and what the implications are.

For one thing, the existing national and World Health Organisation guidelines would have been followed, to wit: don’t panic, treat serious cases on presentation, keep society functioning as close to normality as possible, and look for inexpensive and widely available early treatment options to reduce the risk of serious illness. With national security agencies taking over, the new pandemic response paradigm became that of biowarfare: shut down society, institute medical countermeasures, and develop and roll out vaccines at warp speed. Designed to counter biowarfare and bioterrorism, they upended the scientific underpinnings and ethical principles of existing public health-based interventions. Propaganda, censorship and silencing of critical and dissenting voices were essential and therefore integral to the new normal.

In a complementary article, also for Brownstone, Dr Meryl Nass speculates that ‘maybe the vaccines were not made for the pandemic, and instead the pandemic was made to roll out the vaccines’. As part of the evidence, she notes that Australia, the EU and the US were purchasing 8 to 10 vaccine doses per capita in mid-2021, despite unresolved doubts over their safety and prophylactic efficacy in infection and transmission. Because these were unresolved, the Covid vaccines could only be granted ‘emergency use authorisation’ after a public health emergency had been declared in order, says the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ‘prevent serious or life-threatening diseases or conditions when certain statutory criteria have been met, including that there are no adequate, approved, and available alternatives’. In sum, fear porn was necessary to convince the public of the gravity and urgency of a public health emergency, which was then used to justify cutting corners in the development, manufacture and rollout of vaccines. But this could not be done if an alternative treatment was available. It therefore became necessary to reject any role for cheap, widely available and potentially lifesaving drugs like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, repurposed to treat Covid-19, and doctors were banned from recommending them for prophylaxis and early outpatient treatment.

With around four billion pills sold around the world over several decades, ivermectin’s safety profile was well established. There were three parallel tracks along which to assess ivermectin efficacy and risks: randomised control trials, observational data and meta-analysis. The signals from all three indicated moderately positive outcomes. These included observational data from Brazil and states in Peru and India, plus meta-analyses supported by the WHO, Stockholm-based physician Sebastian Rushworth, and biostatistician Andrew Bryant and medical doctor and researcher Tess Lawrie. These showed between 56 per cent and 62 per cent mortality reduction associated with ivermectin use. However, although suggestive, these were not conclusive enough to establish ivermectin’s efficacy in preventing and treating Covid.

A study of ivermectin (IVM) use in Peru, using excess deaths rather than deaths with Covid as the yardstick, found a 74 per cent mortality reduction in the 30 days after peak deaths in the ten of Peru’s 25 states with the most intensive IVM use. Strikingly: ‘During four months of IVM use in 2020, before a new president of Peru restricted its use, there was a 14-fold reduction in nationwide excess deaths and then a 13-fold increase in the two months following the restriction of IVM use’.

Unfortunately, pharmaceutical companies frown on cheap generic drugs like ivermectin and few regulators of rich Western countries were able to escape industry capture. On 4 February 2021, Merck – which makes patent-free low profit Ivermectin and has been selling it for years – questioned its safety. In August 2021, the FDA warned Americans against taking ivermectin, a medicine used to deworm livestock: ‘You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it’. The next month, Australia’s TGA banned GPs from prescribing ivermectin for preventing or treating Covid-19, citing ‘a number of significant public health risks associated with taking ivermectin in an attempt to prevent Covid-19 infection rather than getting vaccinated’. In other words the ivermectin ban was meant to promote vaccination.

The August 2021 tweet from the FDA, reinforcing the message that ivermectin was a horse de-wormer and not authorised to treat Covid-19, went viral. In response, some ivermectin-prescribing doctors took the FDA to court. During oral arguments in a US appeals court on 8 August 2023, Ashley Cheung Honold, a Department of Justice lawyer representing the FDA, said the ‘FDA explicitly recognises that doctors do have the authority to prescribe ivermectin to treat Covid’. Australia’s TGA had already lifted its restrictions on IVM from 1 June 2023. Suspicions grew that the financial interests of the pharmaceutical sector might have unduly influenced regulators’ decisions in banning the use of ivermectin. These have been strengthened with the removal of the bans: how can a product that was considered safe for decades before 2020 but banned during 2020-22 suddenly become safe once again?

In this connection, it is worth noting that the Peru study was published in preprint on 8 March 2021, yet it was not published as a peer-reviewed article in the Cureus Journal of Medical Science until 8 August 2023. The journal says its average time from submission to publication is 33 days. Readers can draw their own conclusions.

On 12 May, Governor Ron DeSantis signed four laws aiming to give Florida the strongest protection of medical freedoms in America. The package protects citizens against testing, mask and vaccine mandates by government, business and educational institutions. It also protects medical professionals’ freedom of speech and their right to prescribe alternative treatments to their patients.

Writing in the Federalist on 21 August, Jay Bhattacharya and Martin Kulldorff, two of the three authors of the Great Barrington Declaration, argue that after the litany of lies, abuses of power and conflicts of interests exposed during the Covid years, the US Congress must enact structural reforms of the National Institutes of Health.

Could we please copy both initiatives? ?