I’m often asked to comment on medical issues by friends. I’ve been having a Messaging conversation with a libertarian friend about what I consider myths. Here’s a loooong post, based on that conversation. I’m not linking to his reference videos, but you can search for them (or ask on my Facebook page) if you really want to give them the “clicks.” Comments should also be made on Facebook. (Keeping comments more public as well as trying to avoid “blog-pimping.”)
The problem I’ve seen is mixing criticism about policy (politics) errors from the actual science. It’s important to separate the science myths from the evidence for science facts. This “ZDoggMD” (Zubin Damania, MD) video is a good place to start for an overview. https://youtu.be/v8RpPeXCySw
As is this one, between Dr. Damania and Dr. Mike (Mikhail Varshavski, DO) who, in another useful (and easy to watch) conversation,
point out that it’s not wrong to be skeptical and question data. While reviewing the science and the scientific method, they discuss the harm from tribalism and politicization. Also, at 59 minutes, there’s an explanation about how the variants arise.
However, the skeptics are wrong to dismiss all data from formal regulatory and research sources. The scientific literature is best evaluated over time and in proportion with the number of supporting reports. As in the case of the Wuhan doctors who stood against their government to call the world’s attention to the outbreak in the first place, minority reports should be considered. The valid reports will stand the test of time, public scrutiny, and real world observation. In contrast, as in the case of the (infamous) retracted papers in Lancet and JAMA, questionable data will be disproven.
If we can’t agree on the above paragraph, there’s no common ground for discussion.
As for the questions I often receive about my personal sources (in reality, my integrity): I use as many sites as possible. I certainly do not refer to only one silo of information. And, yes, I have watched all of the videos people share – at least until last night, when my friend linked to ten. I have worked through over half of them, and watched the first part of all of those.
I prefer to evaluate the myths themselves, rarely discussing the validity of the sources, except to point out those falsehoods or to point out obvious pre-existing biases based on the statements of the speakers themselves.
For instance, there are repeated referrals to Robert F Kennedy, Jr., who isn’t a good source. He has made inaccurate claims about vaccines for years, shifting from blaming measles vaccines to aluminum and mercury & he makes money from his anti-vaccine advocacy.
The doctor at the school board meeting loses validity right from the first by flatly stating that masks cannot protect from any virus. Surgical masks and N95s work. https://www.aerzteblatt.de/int/archive/article/217467
He repeatedly talks about “the vaccine,” when there are at least four, developed by different companies, tested in different sites. Are all the nurses and other personnel involved going along with some conspiracy(ies) promulgated by corrupt doctors and companies?
He is absolutely mistaken about enhancement by the vaccines – as Dr. Zubin Damania pointed out in the first video above, real world observation on the sheer numbers of vaccinated disprove this myth.
The event he referenced about in Barnstable, Massachusetts is an anomaly, due to large indoor gatherings.
The pdf of the actual report is here https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/pdfs/mm7031e2-H.pdf
In fact, Barnstable answers the doctor’s question about why we’re seeing a surge in summer: people who were previously “socially distanced” are now gathering with fewer precautions. (Add the fact that the biggest breakouts are occurring in areas where close spaces and air conditioning are predominant.)
In the rest of the world, the vaccinated are less likely to get infected at all. At least 1/3 less likely, perhaps closer to 90%.
(This is pre-peer-reviewed data.)
In one video recommended, Geert Vanden Bossche, DMV, PhD, who is a frequently referred to, emphatically states that there is a virus, that it is highly infectious and it is deadly and that the vaccines are “excellent” & prevent disease – meaning the severe effects of infection. However, since they do prevent infection, I believe he is wrong about using vaccines in the middle of the pandemic.
The largest number of people becoming infected, and by corollary, becoming infectious, symptomatic, requiring hospitalization and dying, are unvaccinated. What we are seeing is that the vaccinated who do get infected are less sick – even though they are older and have more comorbidities.
There may be a kernel of truth in what Bossche says (in spite of the decreased numbers infected), since the vaccines were authorized first for the elderly and sick, who were also most likely to have an incomplete immune response.
Vanden Bossche proposes that the variants come from patients with partial immunity in the same way that antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria are exposed to antibiotics in already infected patients. As pointed out in the Dr Z and Dr. Mike explanation about how viruses mutate, the variants occur after thousands or millions of replications in infected people. The viruses first have to infect, then they have to survive and be infectious.
The vaccinated are much less likely to get infected in the first place so the numbers of infections that are necessary to happen for the event of mutations and spread to others occur in the unvaccinated. So fewer infections mean less chances to mutate.
Vanden Bossche doesn’t answer the question: “What do we do?” The alternative was to let them get sick and risk death, a risk which is much greater in this population than in younger people who likely have a stronger immune response.
Mike Yeadon, Ph.D. is another “expert ” that is frequently referenced because he once was a head researcher and CEO at Pfizer. He was one members of the team that did early mRNA vaccine research. Even he notes that he repeats that government shouldn’t be trusted. Included in contradictory statements, he claims that there’s no virus, after saying older and sicker people should probably choose to be vaccinated. What infection is Bossche talking about if Yeadon is right?
There’s an emotional video at the “A Warrior” vlog that has too many distractions to be useful in fighting for sane policy, with its emphasis on 9-11 and pedophile truthers. But I’ll cover some of the obvious errors:
Dr Sam Smith is wrong about the SARS-1 animal experiments. https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKBN2A22UW
Il repeat: Do you believe that any group is powerful enough to suppress the observation of the effects of 500,000,000 doses of different vaccines all over the world – 350 million in the US, alone? – by the hundreds of thousands of doctors & even more nurses and other professionals who are involved and would need to be complicit?
Smith’s major objection is the regulation of treatments and what he believes is a politically motivated exaggerated risk of COVID. However, I know several people who have been hospitalized with the infection, and several friends have lost relatively young loved ones to it. I’m sure you have the same experience.
An August 26, 2021 “McCullough Report” podcast begins with a major myth: that there are 90% false positives in asymptomatic testing. That number might actually be 2-3% for saliva tests. But is closer to 1%. Confirmatory tests are recommended for any positive test.
(McCullough does quote the correct percentage of hospitalized cases which are vaccinated in the UK and Israel: 40%. This number should be evaluated in relation to the percentageof vaccinatedin the community and who is getting sick. Both countries have a majority of elderly, who are likely to have less immunity efficacy, and were the first eligible for vaccination roll outs. These are also the people who are getting sick.)
BTW, going to integrity and trust, Zubin Damania has been active for years in fighting the politicization and socialization of medicine in the US, as have I. Google his conversations with Dr. Atlas, and two of the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration (which I also signed), Dr. Jay Bhattacharya and Dr. Sunetra Gupta. We are all secure in supporting vaccination, opposed to blanket lockdowns, draconian enforcement, and politicization of treatments by physicians.
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