Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

Barbara Loe Fisher: Using COVID-19 to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about all vaccines

Barbara Loe Fisher, never missing an opportunity to demonize vaccines, is using the COVID-19 outbreak to spread fear about all vaccines.

I’ve noted that, since the pandemic began, an unholy alliance has developed between COVID-19 denialists and conspiracy theorists and antivaccine activists, with antivaxxers eagerly joining the conspiracy theorists claiming that COVID-19 is a “plandemic,” that it’s due to a failed SARS coronavirus vaccine, that it’s due to 5G, that it’s “just a cold,” and just about every other false claim about COVID-19, including that masks don’t work to slow it’s spread. (They do.) So it’s not surprising that the other day I came across a video by the grande dame of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, the founder of the Orwellian-named National Vaccine Information Center. Personally, yet another one of my irony meters melted down into a smoldering, zapping pile of plastic, wires, and goo after I read the transcript of the video, Vaccination: What’s Trust Got to Do with It?:

Fisher is correct that the vaccination program does depend on us trusting the the medical profession, the government, and the regulatory apparatus that approve vaccines based on their safety and efficacy, but, being an antivaxxer, that’s obviously not what she’s about. What she’s about is doing her best to gin up more distrust of vaccines, not to assuage any distrust, and to do that by promoting her Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination that will be broadcast online Oct. 16-18, 2020. How does she frame the issue of a COVID-19 vaccine? Take a guess. It’s just the same way antimaskers and lockdown protesters frame it:

As the National Vaccine Information Center prepares to host the three day, three night Fifth International Public Conference on Vaccination that will be broadcast online Oct. 16-18, 2020, the theme we have chosen is Protecting Health and Autonomy in the 21st Century, because at no time in modern history has it been more important for all of us to take a stand and do just that. This year, the orchestrated actions by governments around the world to restrict or eliminate civil liberties in response to the emergence of a new coronavirus has been unprecedented, and it has had profound effects on the global economy and on the physical, mental and emotional health of billions of people.

It’s a common refrain, that the COVID-19 pandemic is going to be used as a pretext to impose mandatory mass vaccination. She also does her best to downplay the severity of the disease:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the overall mortality rate for the new SARS coronavirus causing COVID-19 is about 0.6 percent, 5 although some scientists say it is lower, 6 while others estimate it can be as high as one to two percent in some parts of the world. Compared to Ebola with a 50 percent mortality rate 8or smallpox, at 30 percent; 9 tuberculosis at 20 to 70 percent; 10 diphtheria at 5 to 10 percent; 11 or the 1918 influenza pandemic with a 2.5 percent mortality rate, 12 COVID-19 is near the bottom of the infectious diseases mortality scale with a less one percent mortality rate in most countries.

This is, of course, a misunderstanding, likely intentional, of why the COVID-19 pandemic is so severe. For an infectious disease a death rate that is “only 0.6%” has to be taken in the context of how many people are vulnerable and the law of large numbers. COVID-19 is a disease currently tearing through a population with little or no preexisting immunity to it and that can spread rapidly through the air. Using the 0.6% mortality rate (which might or might not turn out to be accurate), if 100 million are infected we can expect 600,000 to die. If a billion people around the world are infected, 6 million can be expected to die. Large numbers mean that even seemingly small mortality rates can result in a lot of deaths. This also ignores the long term complications of COVID-19, which have left an as yet unknown number of people with debilitating symptoms that impair their quality of life and ability to function.

Last week, the US death toll from COVID-19 passed 200,000 deaths, which brings it into an interesting range. First, it’s now the third leading cause of death in the US for 2020, behind heart disease and cancer. Second, it’s now in a range that you might have heard about on this blog before, between 200,000 and 250,000. Sound familiar? That’s one of the widely cited figures for deaths due to medical error in the US. As I’ve described many times before, it’s a BS figure based on unreasonable extrapolations and too sensitive instruments capturing “error” that often fail to distinguish between expected complications and actual medical errors. It’s also a figure that the same people who are antivaxxers and/or COVID-19 conspiracy theorists love to tout that figure as evidence that medicine kills lots of people. In that context, they certainly don’t consider 200,000 deaths a year to be insignificant or not a big deal. Yet, these same people often do their damnedest to portray 200,000 deaths (and counting) in a single year due to COVID-19 as insignificant, no big deal. One more time, being the third leading cause of death is not “insignificant.” Indeed, a quick perusal of Fisher’s website demonstrates that she certainly doesn’t consider 250,000 deaths supposedly due to medical error (a figure lower than the number of lives that COVID-19 will certainly claim before year’s end) shows that she doesn’t consider such a number of deaths “insignificant.”

Next up on the denial parade:

Those at highest risk for complications and death include the elderly and those with one or more poor health conditions. 13 The CDC recently reported that only six percent of COVID-19-related deaths were solely due to coronavirus infection and 94 percent of the people who died also had influenza or pneumonia; heart, lung or kidney disease; high blood pressure; diabetes, or another underlying poor health condition. 14 Most studies suggest it is rare for children to suffer complications and die from COVID-19.

But seven months after the World Health Organization 16 declared a coronavirus pandemic, 17 and public health officials persuaded lawmakers to turn the world upside down, a lot of people are asking questions and so are doctors who disagree with each other about the facts.

Ah, yes. You can tell that the JAQing off is about to commence. But, first, let’s note that Fisher is parroting what I like to refer to as the “only 6%” gambit, bit of COVID-19 disinformation that deceptively claims that “only 6%” of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 were really due to coronavirus because other conditions were listed on their death certificates, including conditions caused by COVID-19 infection. Next up, she does her best to cast doubt on whether masks work (they do) based on previous statements from early in the pandemic and how long it took the World Health Organization to change its recommendation stating that routine masking wasn’t supported by high quality evidence. Times change, and so does science, though. Now, the evidence has moved the scientific consensus to strongly support the use of masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus. There’s even been speculation that masks can decrease the severity of illness even when infection occurs. Naturally, Fisher uses this uncertainty to attack mandates and anyone who enforces them.

I don’t really want to dwell that much on Fisher’s specific tactics to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re very much typical of antimaskers and COVID-19 denialists and, I must admit, even a bit restrained compared to the average rhetoric that comes from such people. The reason is that I want to cut to the chase, to get to the purpose behind Fisher’s Gish galloping. Predictably, it’s to sow fear, undertainty, and doubt about vaccines:

While doctors debate the science, it is becoming clearer that the response to the new coronavirus infection by government health officials has been a public relations disaster. The anxiety, fear, and chaos created by regulations instituted by most governments after the declaration of a COVID-19 pandemic in March 2019 has torn the fabric of societies and affected public opinion about public health laws and vaccination.

Now the people are being told that there is one – and only one – simple solution to resolving the crisis and getting back to normal: that is, the only way we can take off our masks and touch, hug, kiss, or come close to each other again is for every person living in every country to get injected with one of the liability-free COVID-19 vaccines being fast tracked to market.

In April, World Health Organization officials at the United Nations launched a global initiative “to end the Covid-19 pandemic, ”proclaiming that, “no one is safe until everyone is safe.” By May, they were warning that if every person in the world doesn’t get injected with a COVID-19 vaccination, the virus “may never go away.”

The World Health Organization, US government and lawmakers in the European Union, along with wealthy and politically powerful non-governmental organizations (NGOs) like the Gates Foundation, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) have given the pharmaceutical industry tens of billions of dollars to develop and fast track experimental coronavirus vaccines to market and promote their universal use. At the same time, governments have given pharmaceutical companies a liability shield from lawsuits when COVID-19 vaccines injure or kill people.

The hard sell is on, but a lot of people are not buying it.

Notice how Fisher pivots from a statement that is arguably true, namely that the regulations and steps taken to slow the spread of the pandemic by various governments have caused fear and resistance. Much of that fear and resistance has been promoted by the antivaccine movement and antivaccine activists like Fisher, but certainly not all of it. A lot of it has been also caused by fans of various populist leaders and antigovernment protesters. Even so, notice how Fisher is trying to demonize a vaccine that doesn’t yet exist using typical antivaccine tropes about big pharma. True, it is not unreasonable to be concerned about the largesse that’s been showered upon pharmaceutical companies to produce a vaccine, nor is it unreasonable to worry about programs like Operation Warp Speed. Indeed, I myself have expressed concern about wehther Operation Warp Speed will sacrifice safety for speed in the development of COVID-19 vaccines.

Again, though, that’s not what Fisher is about here. She’s about using legitimate concerns about COVID-19 vaccine development and using them to promote distrust of all vaccines. She accomplishes this by going on and on and on about resisting the “sales pitch” for any new COVID-19 vaccine and how it’s all about “freedom” and “forced vaccination.” She even cites Steve Salzberg’s post suggesting allowing the approval and use of a COVID-19 before phase 3 testing is done, conveniently forgetting to mention that he later reversed himself and admitted that he’d been mistaken to suggest such a thing.

After recounting various anti-lockdown and anti-mask protests, Fisher finally gets to what she’s really about:

So whether or not you will be punished for refusing to get a COVID-19 shot next year primarily will be determined by your state’s Governor and the representatives who have been elected to make laws in your state Capitol. 140 Depending upon where you live and the political philosophy of the majority of representatives in your state legislature, after the COVID-19 vaccine is licensed by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and recommended by the CDC for use by all children and adults, 141 if you refuse to get a COVID-19 shot, you could be blocked from: 142
  • Being employed and going to work in an office
  • Getting and education
  • Obtaining a driver’s license or passport
  • Boarding a train or other public transportation
  • Attending a sports game or concert
  • Entering a store, restaurant, bar, coffee shop or nail salon
  • Booking an appointment with a doctor
  • And you could be prohibited from checking into a hospital for surgery, or visiting a family member in a nursing home, or blocked from obtaining private health insurance and Medicaid or Medicare.
In other words, if you refuse to get a coronavirus vaccination, you could be subjected to the kinds of punitive social sanctions I have been predicting and publicly warned about since 1997, sanctions that are already being applied to Americans who decline to get or give their children dozens of doses of CDC “recommended” liability free vaccines and already are being denied an education, medical care, and employment.

See what I mean? She’s trying to claim that potential draconian measures to ensure that everyone is vaccinated against COVID-19 are akin to what antivaxxers already experience for not vaccinating their children, which is ridiculous. All antivaxxers experience for their refusal is that their children can’t attend school or day care. That’s basically it.


What we get from medical professors in universities receiving lots of money from the government and pharmaceutical companies, and from doctors developing vaccines, and from public health officials pushing “no exceptions” vaccination policies is threats, name-calling, bullying and punishment if we try to exercise informed consent to vaccination.

There is no other word for it but abuse.

They order us to obey them but refuse to take responsibility for what happens when we obey the orders they give. They expect us to trust them and refuse to care about the victims of vaccination when the benefits do not outweigh the risks. Instead, they act to protect the power and profit-making of their business partners: the pharmaceutical industry, medical trade associations, multi-national media corporations and Silicon Valley billionaires, and leave vaccine victims to take care of themselves.

What’s trust got to do with it?

Broken trust has everything to do with why the majority of people in the U.S. and Europe do not want to roll the dice and find out whether the odds of surviving a COVID-19 vaccination are in their favor.

Of course, what Fisher and her fellow antivaxxers are exercising is not “informed consent.” Rather, it is what I like to refer to “misinformed consent,” although more recently I’ve been calling it something that’s more accurate (I think): Misinformed refusal, because that’s what it is, a refusal to vaccinate based on misinformation claiming that vaccines cause autism, autoimmune disease, neurdevelopmental disorders, cancer, and basically more conditions and diseases than I can easily recount, all while not working to prevent infectious disease.

In other words, COVID-19 is nothing more than a convenient tool for Fisher to promote her message of fear mongering about vaccines and playing the persecuted martyr for her refusal. Same as it ever was.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

266 replies on “Barbara Loe Fisher: Using COVID-19 to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt about all vaccines”

Five of the 40 listed talks at BLF’s pseudoscience conference list COVID or coronavirus in their title and it’s a fair bet many of the other quack speakers will beat the COVID hoax/conspiracy/control drum as well. When this pandemic started I remember thinking that perhaps the only silver linings were (1) driving home how critical vaccines are for individual and public health, and (2) giving better support to the basic science behind vaccine development. I don’t see those silver linings anymore, thanks to a perfect storm of science illiteracy, social media spamming, election year lies from Trump and the shameful willingness of fake scientists and quack physicians to exploit this pandemic for their own greedy profits. I’m also very worried in the next few years that children won’t be caught up on the vaccines they’ve fallen behind on during the pandemic, leading to pertussis/measles/meningitis outbreaks that the then more powerful anti-vax movement will exploit to claim vaccines never worked anyhow.

One death that I put on my wall of “vaccine victims” for my dangerously delusional anti-vaccine agenda is a horrible tragedy.
A million deaths that I can’t use for my warped agenda are a statistic.
— Babs “Stalin**” Fisher and all the other anti-science, anti-vaccine, COVID deniers.

**Yes, comrades, I know that this is only weakly attributed to ‘the man of steel’.

For Americans: The “man of steel” is not Superman. It refers to “Joseph Stalin”, who took a name based on the Russian word for “steel”. His birth name was “Ioseb Besarionis dzе Jughashvili.”

One advantage with having a dad who was a linguist. Though we did learn to never repeat what he yelled at us unless we knew what it meant. We were yelled at in at least four non-English languages. Yes, one of them was Russian.

My grandfather spoke at least some Russian. He found it quite useful as a high school teacher in a town with a significant Ukrainian population to have some idea what people were saying when they thought he couldn’t understand them. (And occasionally to bluff with what little he could speak to make them think he actually understood every word.)

My father attended this state’s land grant university with a very strong agricultural program, along with the typical college degrees. They had snagged a very renowned poultry breeding researcher from Russia after WWII.

Those just returned veterans of WWII attending on the GI Bill were delighted there was a real Russian on the faculty. They asked him to teach them Russian, which he did. Now my father had found out he was not cut out for physics (he could not grok the math), so switched to the classes he had the most credits in: French. He found he had a knack for it, and took the Russian, along with German, etc. Then returned to the Army after graduation as part of the Counter Intelligence Corps.

It turns out that due to Stalin believing the Lysenko version of biology, real biologists were driven out of Russia or sent to Siberia. This biology researcher got out when he could and helped teach the future soldiers of the Cold War his native tongue.

influenza or pneumonia; heart, lung or kidney disease; high blood pressure; diabetes, or another underlying poor health condition

To belabor the obvious, these health conditions could be managed by an appropriate mix of medication, dietary changes and lifestyle changes and people suffering from these can usually hope to still be around in a few decades. To present them as if they already have one foot in the grave is disingenuous. Adding all these people togther, they also represent a good slice of the population.

Wait, did they just acknowledge that influenza could kill?

Stephen Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 1963 when he was in grad school. He did all of his best work with this condition and died in 2018 at the age of 76.


Oh, yes on Medscape they were discussing months ago how the disabled needed to be put at the back of the line when it came to ICU beds and ventilators. States now have policies in place where they will give a bed to a non-disabled person first…apparently the disabled like Steven Hawking are expected to die.

And the comments I read, that if a person is over 60 or has a pre-existing condition are just amazing. I hope those commenters get treated that way when they hit 60, or have a pre-existing condition.

Everyone gets sick and older unless they die young. And more and more young people are developing pre-existing conditions at a younger age every year in the US. Obesity is going through the roof.

But ageism and discrimination against the disabled is getting worse than racism in this country. With COVID-19 they expect them to die, so do not waste resources is the litany spouted.

A friend with Diabetes was told by someone, to her face, that he hoped she’d get COVID-19, so she’d stop being a burden on society. I was about ready to violate social distancing to punch him in the face.


How awful, but sadly I hear remarks like that all the time. And when it is doctors and other medical personnel it really boggles the mind.

Remarks like that once were very rare and people used to be alarmed and disgusted at the person who said such things…now it is a daily occurrence

I may have accidentally hit them with my cane.

Our society has sunk so low, I am afraid it will go lower if we do not get Mister “Punch Them In The Face” out of office. Daily encouragement to be violent or putting people down because they do not totally agree with you, is not conducive to Social Concord.

As you, yourself, have expressed concerns about the trustworthiness of the process for approving a Covid-19 vaccine, what is your anticipated reaction if a vaccine is required by your hospital in order to do surgery there but you do not concur with the recommendation?

Can’t answer for Orac, but it seems unlikely his hospital would require their surgeons to take a vaccine that wasn’t approved in a reasonable fashion. So I suspect, strongly, that your scenario is a non-starter. (So much so it seems like poorly done trolling.)

I agree that it is unlikely to actually occur. I was simply curious as to how he would respond to such a scenario. I give Orac about 60% chance of responding as you have – i.e. that it won’t come up in reality.


Hospitals require Flu vaccinations, and some require more than just that one.

The CDC is intending to vaccinate all hospital workers first, because so many hospital workers have died of COVID-19. So it is going to real interesting when a mass exodus of hospital medical personnel and other hospital employees leave after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.

You should read on Medscape the comments from doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel who say they will not take a vaccine being so poorly done.

A vaccine also gives hospitals a reason not to provide good PPE (personal protection equipment) like N95 facemasks, and gowns, etc.

The fight for decent PPE will go on.

…it is going to real interesting when a mass exodus of hospital medical personnel and other hospital employees leave after refusing the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is sometimes useful to argue hypotheticals. But in my opinion, those hypotheticals must be at least plausible. This scenario isn’t.

Julian Frost

You need to listen to people who work in Medicine, right now the controversy is that the vaccine is being rushed and people in Medicine are seeing big problems ahead with all of the vaccines under development.

Right now, 75% of the people I know who work in Medicine are saying No, they will not take the vaccine, no way. They will wait a year or two to see what the real-life experience with the vaccine will be. It is like a new model car that comes out, wise people wait to see what problems crop up before they will make a purchase. The first yearor two is when all the kinks that can make a new product a lemon get discovered.

On top if it, these vaccines are using a new idea of using a manipulated RNA fragment of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to make a vaccine. Totally different and radically new process.

The arguments are going backhand forth and the majority condense I am seeing is they are going to hold off.

We want PPE which will protect us while woraking, to hell with the vaccine because the antibodies disappear too fast in the real disease.

I personally know one person who works at our hospital who has gotten COVID-19 twice, and tested positive for it both times. On a kidney disease list I belong to, the moderator who works in a hospital in Colorado, and has a co-worker who has had it three times already. We are talking COVID-19 infections that are confirmed as being different versions of the virus, not the same virus gene sequence. We are talking different mutated versions.

Which is why they are trying a radical idea of using only a tiny part of the entire RNA sequence from the SARS-CoV-2 virus, hoping it will work, trying to get around the problem of the vaccine working on only one version of the virus.

Most everyone is angry, wages have been cut while having to work long dangerous shifts without adequate PPE. Even doctors have had their wages cut, not just the rest of us peons and we are fed up with this treatment.

Corporations have even fired doctors, even ER specialists to boot, in order to cut their payroll. Leaving the rest of us overworked and ready to riot in some cases.

So, if you think it is unlikely that hospital workers will refuse a COVID-19 vaccine and will quit instead, just wait and see what happens.

Aelxa, it’s incredibly unlikely that a great many hospitals in the USA will require their staff to take a largely untested vaccine, which is the question in question here. Your comments to the contrary don’t do you any favors.

Beth, while we’re getting Orac to respond to an absurd hypothetical, let’s not stop there. It’s vital we know. So, if Orac was in the path of an oncoming car, would he move out of the way or let it hit him? Or, if someone gave Orac a lottery ticket anonymously and the ticket hit for a million bucks, would Orac accept the money?

Alexa: “A vaccine also gives hospitals a reason not to provide good PPE (personal protection equipment) like N95 facemasks, and gowns, etc.

The fight for decent PPE will go on.”

You know that PPE is required regardless of what vaccines the clinicians have had, right? Even if you’ve had a flu shot, when you work with a flu patient you wear the standard respiratory PPE: N95 or PAPR, scrubs, gown, gloves, etc.

PPE protects the wearer, but it also protects the patient. That’s why you wear it.


You think I am making this up? The CDC already decided medical personnel are to be vaccinated first…..

They intend to use two different vaccines, either Vaccine A or Vaccine B, in the same city at the same time. Gee, nice to be made into a guinea pig.

And few months ago the CDC was already saying medical personnel were to be first……

So face it, after the initial testing the testing continues using the general population of the US. I am glad I live in the country, they are starting in the big cities first.


And are you aware we are being made it use one mask all shift, and sometimes for days on end?

N95 masks are expensive, they are trying to find a safe way to sterilize and reuse them. Some models can be sterilized and re-used a few times. Mist can not.

I use PPE daily, I work in the ER, and Critical Care Units, I know how to use PPE, I have been going it since 1973.

I am a Respiratory Therapist, not a civilian, I run ventilators daily. I have had the COVID-19 virus, never had to be admitted to the hospital, and I have no antibodies. COVID-19 damaged my heart and kidneys. If anyone knows what is going on, I sure do.

@JDM Unlike your sarcastic suggestions, I thought it would be interesting to hear from ORAC (or any other medical professionals) how they would feel about the situation. People often feel differently when faced with a situation personally. It’s quite similar to the situation now posed by those who feel uncertain about current vaccines and have workplace vaccination requirements placed on them. I’m not surprised that the response has mainly been along the lines of your suggested evasion that the hypothetical situation won’t happen. Likely it won’t and likely even if it does, there will be multiple vaccines to choose. I do wish someone had indicated how they would respond. I do place the odds of ORAC winning the lottery though as even lower than my hypothetical though. 🙂

Enough of this nonsense. Hospitals absolutely DO NOT “Require flu vaccines.” Nor shall they require this one.

How would we enforce it? “Test” everyone who walks in the door for a titer? How long do those take? Do you know? Do you know how much they cost? Do you honestly think they will turn down elective surgeries, a huge cash cow, because an asymptomatic person might not have a vaccine we can’t prove he/she has, anyway? Really? Especially after the rest of us who have any sense are vaccinated and are no longer at risk from this kind of idiocy?

I’m guessing you are conflating requiring staff to get vaccinated for flu with “Everyone.” Guess what? That’s not required, either. If “Muh freedumb” is so important to you – you can wear a mask around instead. Why should the hospital incur liability allowing a staff member to possibly spread flu, COVID, hepatitis, or any other damn thing to immunocompromised or otherwise weakened and sick patients when perfectly effective vaccines exist?

First, the COVID-19 vaccines are already paid for by the government, what did you think they were paying the vaccines companies for?. Just like the Small Pox vaccine I got in the 1950s which was at no cost to my parents, the COVID-19 vaccines will not have a charge to the patient.

My hospital requires the flu vaccine be given to each employee, unless there is a medical reason not to give it to a particular person. I was not talking about patients coming into the hospital.

And the CDC has already stated that medical personnel are being vaccinated first, did you read the link?

So many medical personnel have died from COVID-19, they intend to “protect” everyone working in hospitals. Even though we still do not have the final results as to side-effects and efficiency.

Spreading Hepatitis? Uhhh, are you having sex, or sharing drugs with a patient?

Immunocompromised patients are in complete strict isolation, and we wear complete head to toe gear for them. I have had to do it a time or two, and I have no Hepatitis vaccinations or Flu vaccination either.

If I am sick I do not work, only fools go to work sick and spread disease. Same thing if going out, if sick I wear a mask and only do the necessary things like go to the doctor. But now that TeleMedicine is being reimbursed, I rarely gave to see a doctor in person.

@ Aelxa

“only fools go to work sick”

I’m starting to get mightily annoyed by this specific type of crap. Of course people go to work sick! They’re not fools! They just do not have a doctor handy in their pockets to sign off whatever they would need to on a whim! And there are many many more reasons why people go to work sick.

Gee… This is way beyond ignorance. It’s the typical medico-patronizing mentality I just. cannot. stand. anymore: “I care” therefore “I’m better”.

Don’t work until I tell ya. Raise your arm. Say “aaaah”.

Get yourself a pet dog.

In fact, U.S. sick leave policies sometimes seemed designed to encourage people to go to work sick. There just isn’t a financial way for many people to stay home.

Such statements (here) seem to reflect privilege.


Not going to work in a hospital while sick reflects “Privilege” ??????

Really, Dorit? If you were sick in the Hospital and a Therapist comes into to give you a breathing treatment while hacking and coughing their lungs out on you….you would be ok with that???

I sure would not be OK with either being the patient nor with being the Therapist in that situation.

It is not “Privilege”, it is being considerate of other people and taking a sick day or two, or a week. I have literally spent my vacation time allotted thus, by using it for sick days instead.

I spent decades not going on a vacation because I had no vacation days left at the end of the year.

@ Aelxa

Not going to work in a hospital while sick reflects “Privilege”?

Reading comprehension, sweetie.
A privilege is something you can do.
Not going to work while sick is a wise move, or even maybe a duty.
Being in the position to be able to do it is a privilege.

Same thing with people staying cloistered 14 days before or after traveling to a different country, really.
It’s technically feasible, within limits of available resources. Someone has to pay for all these hotel rooms. That’s why some countries went for telling people to self-quarantine in their own home. Better than nothing, but less than ideal. They have first to travel from the point of entry to their home, and then, back in their familiar surroundings, they should find the discipline and awareness to stick to a very boring program.
Similarly, someone has to pay for all this extra vacation time one is taking by staying confined after some out-of-country trip.

And seasonal workers, by example, cannot afford to sit on their bum for two weeks during harvest season.

“Being able to not go to work is a privilege”.

No, it is not a privilege, it is a necessity when sick. You think it is not a hardship for me to be unable to take any vacation and relax once a year for at least a week?

The definition of “privileged” ……

“Having or enjoying one or enjoying one or more privileges”
“Not subjected to the usual rules or penalties.”

This year I spent two and a half months sick with COVID-19, and I owe money left and right due to it. And I am still not well, with Heart and Kidney problems from it, but I am working because I have to. Privileged, what a load of horse puckies. With inadequate PPE and cut wages, taking my life in my hands everytime I go to work????

What a privilege, try to get workman’s comp for COVID-19.

@ Aelxa

“No, it is not a privilege, it is a necessity when sick.”

You obviously haven’t been in the situation of being sectioned in a mental hospital and hiding stealthily in the wardrobe of your room with your phone, hiding away from nurses, doctors, and raving patients in order to pass phone interviews (and succeed) for consulting jobs in the banking sector.

I spent a huge portion of my life fleeing dumbass medical staff in order to work.

Going to work while being sick is in fact the norm, and what people have to do in order to get by. It is the responsibility of the employer to avoid this. The random person has no real choice in this domain until other persons agree to the sick leave, and even then, there may be very valid reasons to avoid benefiting from sick leaves.

So yes, what you are claiming is ignorant, and reflects “privilege”. Absolutely.

Orac: (The antivax focus on deaths) also ignores the long term complications of COVID-19, which have left an as yet unknown number of people with debilitating symptoms that impair their quality of life and ability to function.”

It’s classic antivax strategy – ignore the misery of vaccine-preventable illness and its complications affecting millions of people to harp solely on deaths, the number of which AVers ghoulishly believe to be “manageable”. Though with worldwide Covid deaths about to pass the million mark, this strategy is even more self-defeating than usual.

Michael Shermer, in reviewing Brian Deer’s “The Man Who Fooled The World” (about the Wakefield investigation and debacle) in today’s Wall St. Journal missed an opportunity to show how antivaxers and grifters are taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic in much the same way – for instance, detailing how another ex-researcher has faced charges of data manipulation and sloppy work while becoming a heroine to the antivax movement – Judy Mikovits.

*Shermer’s review contains one glaring error – identifying the MMR vaccine’s “purportedly harmful element” as thimerosal. No no no Michael! The MMR never contained thimerosal.


Even traces means it is still there, as the article says it is used in making all vaccines. And back then thimerosol was used in everything. It was even in my saline solution for my contacts.

Every little bit adds up, and in tiny babies who are still developing and grow faster than the grass in Summer, adding a toxin is not a good idea.

One pediatrician I know recommends his patients hold off on most vaccines until the child is a year old, then only use single dose vaccines, and vaccinate for one disease at a time.

And he is not a antivaxxer, he is a pediatric neurologist.


As the article stated, all vaccines contain thimerosol, it is just at a low level and they slap a “thimerosol-free” label on it. They use in making vaccines and can not avoid it, so they say.

You do not believe in people getting it twice or more??? Then read this……..

I work in a hospital and I do not care what you believe, I am on the front lines and deal with patients coming in sick with COVID-19 all the time. The person I know who got sick twice works at the front desk admitting patients. And she refuses to tie back her hair. She is constantly touching her hair, pushing it back after it falls onto her face and in her eyes, over and over again. One time I clocked her doing this five times in ten minutes. Plain stupidity.


Even thimerosol-free vaccines still contain thimerosol according to this article. Granted it is a small amount, but it us still there as it is usedbin making vaccines. I love how something can contain an item, yet they slap a “thimerosol- free” label on it…..

And vaccines that are “thimerosol-free” in the US are still sold overseas with the higher thimerosol levels that kids pre-1999 received in the US.

Wakefield was in England where they were using MMR that contained thimerosol. Vaccine formulations outside the US were and still are different from the US.

It is like baking soda, in Canada baking soda is Aluminum-free, and 95% of baking soda in the US contains Aluminum.

Tuna salad has much more mercury than trace amount in vaccines. Does a tuna salad kill you ?
You are a great medical export and do not know that live vaccines cannot have thiomerosal.


The point is that “thimerisol-free” vaccines are not really thimerisol-free at all, and I did point out it is a very small amount, it is still there nonetheless. To claim it is not is facetious.

Personally, I have a double gene that makes detoxifying any metal hard, so I do not eat fish at all for this reason, I build up metals like lead and mercury fast.

I know about live vaccines, I have administered them to patients myself. If you want to take a vaccine I have no problem giving it to you, just roll up your sleeve and I will stick you.

Only a few vaccines are live, most are not, and multi-dose vials use thimerisol as a preservative. I take a medication that impairs my immune system, and requires that I NEVER be given a live vaccine as I would come down with a full blown case of whatever live vaccine they give.

The viral section of my immune system does not work well, so you can culture multiple various viruses having a holiday in my bloodstream, since my immune system barely takes a wack at keeping them suppressed. It also means I am more likely to get an infection than anyone else, so I am very careful to wear a facemask plus a shield, carry 75.5% alcohol wipes and am super careful at all times.

Which is why I have not had a cold in 25 years and the flu only twice in my life. Most communicable disease is avoidable if you take precautions.

I have never been exported, so can scarcely be a “medical export”. 🙂

where they were using MMR that contained thimerosol.

MMR is a live-attenuated vaccine.
Thimerosol is a preservative.
MMR doesn’t contain thimerosol.

Or if it is, these are traces, remains from the processing. The same way there are traces of cyanide chloride in your tap water.

Do you wake up in the morning this full of shit, or do you have to work at it? MMR has never contained thimerosol, it can’t, because it’s a live vaccine, and thimerosol would kill it.

I also don’t believe for a second that you know personally someone who has been confirmed as being infected with Covid twice, by 2 different strains.

MMR did not and could not contain thimerosal, since it’s a live virus vaccine and thimerosal would kill the weakened viruses used to generate immunity. The MMR vaccine used in the UK was a different formulation than the U.S., but not on that, and is not different now. It’s the same.

Honestly, since you repeatedly and routinely say very incorrect thing with apparent confidence, I do not think anything you say can be taken at face value without fact checking.


“Too low to be meaningful” depends on the person. It may look too low to be meaningful to you, but that small amount will harm my son. He has gene variants that make small tiny amounts dangerous to his health and brain.

I on the other hand can tolerate that tiny amount if it is rarely given.

People are not “one size fits all” as many people who try to wear clothing marked that way will tell you.

If it were truly so we would have one blood pressure medicine, one antibiotic, one diabetes medicine, etc, etc.

The article did not say all vaccines contain thimerosal. And it includes,in fact, this statement.
” Inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) and live viral vaccines, such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), varicella, and oral polio vaccine (OPV) do not contain, and have never contained, thimerosal (AAP, 1999; FDA, 2001).”

It also says “At this time, vaccines currently manufactured or marketed that are on the recommended immunization schedule and given to children six years of age or younger contain no thimerosal as a preservative or contain only trace amounts (<0.5 µg Hg per dose) of thimerosal left over from the manufacturing process (CDC, 2000b).”

It does not say all vaccines contain thimerosal, and when you say that, you are at best mistaken.

@ Dorit

Off-topic: remember when I was bitching about Freedom of Information requests and wishing we had possibilities to harass our institutions in France in roughly the same ways nutters harass you and Orac? Dunno if you do, but I do.

Read this.

The Commission d’Accès aux Documents Administratifs has denied journalists access to documents, on “business secrecy” grounds, concerning the faulty and fraudulent breast implant devices revealed by the ICIJ.

Now where are my pareidolia-enhancing sunglasses that allow me to see reptilians? Maybe they’re next to my tinfoil hat in my wardrobe? Let me see…

It’s always a balance. Freedom of information laws can be abused, but not having them may make government non-transparent (or not having vigorous enough enforcement of them).
Thank you, this is really interesting.

As for statistics – according to the data released by our Ministry of Health, about 14% of Covid deaths so far have been in people with no co-morbidities. They were basically healthy, not very old – and yet Covid killed them. So no, it’s not only the old and the unhealthy that get seriously ill and die.

A. It’s nice that Fisher finally acknowledges that vaccine preventable diseases like diphtheria are dangerous.

B. Aside from the points you do well made, not every criticism of a problematic position is “abuse.”

re Fisher’s list of places/ activities which may have restrictions for the unvaccinated:

it may be feasible for attending schools or being employed- perhaps even passports and DLs, maybe boarding planes- because you don’t apply/ embark very often but some of her other bans? SRSLY

Boarding public transportation ( including buses, trains, cars), entering bars, restaurants, stores, salons, games, concerts etc.
wouldn’t that require an awful lot of monitoring? Imagine having to pass through security or be checked by guards about vaccination status ( on top of all the other security measures post 2001 and in 2020) to buy something, have dinner, coffee or take a 15 minute bus or train ride ( with new passengers at each stop)…or standing in lines for games or concerts with thousands of people
At ALL of these businesses and venues? Every time you visit?
I’m sure that small businesses and public transit wouldn’t be exactly thrilled with these scenarios.

Living in the unlicensed cat rescue is not going to be sustainable. The wholesale flea infestation seems to be under control for the moment (my severely scabbed legs are a testament to that issue), but being told by my host that I am “screwing her over” while busting my ass — mind you, I was supposed to be able to work a part-time editorial gig here, which hasn’t even risen to plausibility — is a bit much coming from someone who doesn’t bathe* and has the emotional stability of an 11-year-old girl, on top of the paranoic issues.

*I I have to impose upon a friend.


Fun With Fleas —

(1) take the parabolic reflector off one of those ‘beam’ heaters
(2) mound up a dirty sock (bait) outside the rim as a ‘ramp’
(3) enjoy watching ‘trapped’ fleas end up back in the center no matter where they leap from.
(4) when there is about 300 of them, hang a microphone at the focus for some real nightmare-fuel soundtracks

I like putting fleas I take off my cat into a glass Coca-Cola bottle and then watch them try to climb up the sides of the bottle. You do not even have to put the cap back on, they never get even half way up before they fall down.

Keeps the kids entertained for hours watching the fleas put on a show.

This is typical overblown vergabe.

First of all, the “herd immunity” theory is only a throey and is based on the idea that once a “herd” of humans gets a disease, it dies out once approximately 60% of humans in that area get the infection and that percentage have antibodies.

The problem is the theory was developed in the 1920s, when people rarely moved far from home, only rich people went on vacations and long distance travel was slow. A trip overseas took weeks, even in 1963 a trip to Europe by boat took weeks, air travel to Europe cost almost a $1,000 when most people made less than $7,000 a year.

So movement was slow between “herds” of humans, in the 21st Century movement us at hyperspeed compared to the 1920s. And how degrading is it to call humans by the name “herds”? Hmmm??

So, the problem is even if you vaccinate 90% of the population the “herd” is still not protected. Do not believe me? Just read this article from John Hopkins School of Public Health……

It points out even at a 93% vaccination rate a “herd” is not protected from infection by Measles. Why? Because there is always an idiot coming from overseas who brings in the “wild-type” of Measles and infects the vaccinated who developed little or poor functioning antibodies because their immune systems do not function well, or the few unvaccinated.

And lo and behold, we have a Measles outbreak that everyone gets scared about and starts screaming we need 100% immunization the achieve “herd immunity”.

100% immunization will still not work because we still have those who get a poor antibody response to vaccination, and a 100% immunization rate is not “herd immunity”. It is 100% immunization, period.

The only thing that will achieve “herd immunity” is that once the infection dies down there is NO new herd member allowed in without a 2 week quarantine.

Any small farmer who raises cows will tell you they keep new animals separate from the herd for a few weeks to make sure there is no disease the new animal can give the herd. Plus they have the veterinarian check the animal for a slew of diseases and parasites which incubate a long time period. I spent a year on a farm as a kid, and no farmer would allow unimpeded mixing of animals for fear of disease spreading. When they brought in a bull to inseminate cows, that bull was isolated for a few weeks, etc, etc.

So the CDC and the WHO are talking about required 100% immunization and giving “incentives” to “encourage” everyone to get immunized. And we are talking about a virus, COVID-19, where they find people who got the real disease have steadily decreasing to absent antibodies in less than six months. And immunizations never produce a immunize response with antibody protection like the real disease.

So you immunized everyone, dome people die from a reaction , some people get poor to no antibody response, and the rest get a half-decent response.

Great, we have 331 million people in America more or less….and the ones who had a good response are protected for about six months.

Now, there are how many BILLIONS of people living on Earth…..about 7 Billion people. How are you going to get 7 Billion people immunized all at once? Remember, the immunization MIGHT last six months.

So, say we got all 331 Million Americans immunized, you then have to not allow anyone else into the herd, remember we gave people who will develop little to no antibodies to think of…..

No one gets to go on vacation outside the US, unless they are willing to go into isolation quarantine for almost a month afterwards to make sure they did not bring home to America a nsdty bug. Same for someone coming to visit the US, strict quarantine for almost a month, two weeks at least.

And this is only one virus, you should check out the least new bat virus, NIPAH virus……

And the nifty NIPAH virus has already gone air-borne infectious in India…..

And here is how NIPAH was discovered, a fascinating story about stupidity and human greed, plus governmental narrow-mindedness….

Basicly, if you want herd immunity you are going to have to institute strictly enforced quarantine for everyone with no exceptions. Because vaccinating 7 Billion people all at once is an impossible task.

And there are even newer bat infections like Hendry Virus……

And there are new and ever evolving infections since making wild animals like bats respect herd borders and national borders is totally impossible.

But the US has gotten lax on shipping animals to the US, the Ebola Virus outbreak in a research animal supply business by Washington DC years ago in 1989 is just an example, and the story about it was told in a book called “The Hot Zone” which is a scary read, or you can read an article about the outbreak here……

Luckily, for some inexplicable reason, the particular Ebola virus that killed the research monkeys did not infect the humans caring for them….which is the only reason why the US did not experience an Ebola outbreak in 1989.

But the point is a cat or a dog or a horse could easily be brought into the US…an animal which is carrying NIPAH virus or Hendra virus, and we are all up the creek because the US government is no longer maintaining as extensive quarantine facilities for animal bought into the US, now if you have a rabies certificate there is no quarantine or testing before the animal is allowed into the US…….

What it comes down to is the US and humans are being very laissez faire about flitting around the World, too many people in the World, and thinking vaccinates will solve the problem of disease spread.

Issac Asimov wrote about this back in 1971, in his book “The Stars In Their Courses” in Chapter 16 titled “The Power of Progression”…. The problem is population, too many people displacing plants and animals and basicly turning the Earth into a disease-ridden garbage can that is not big enough to hold all the garbage….plus the people, too.

I highly recommend reading Asimov’s book, mostly it is a book of essays on topic having to be about Physics, but he throws in thoughts about the logical progression of the human foible of ignoring logic and the progression of human stupidity.

So, if anyone thinks the solution is a vaccine, I can confidently say “No, a vaccine will not solve this virus problem. But at least it makes look like the government is doing it’s best to deal with COVID-19….just like the Malaysian government and their spraying for mosquitoes to stop NIPAH Virus, it is totally worthless in the end without restricting travel, sensible quarantine, masks, etc.

“…how degrading is it to call humans by the name “herds”? Hmmm??”

Given the mind-numbing bovine acceptance by antivaxers of all sorts of foolishness (including denial of the validity of herd immunity), “herd stupidity” categorizes their beliefs rather well.

Ah, Bacon, you can always be counted on to call derogatory names, how sweet of you.

If a vaccine can produce more or better antibodies than the real disease, I would love to see it…it has never happened in the history of human vaccination.

And the real antibodies pretty much disappear in six months, just like another coronavirus called “The Common Cold” which is a close cousin to COVID-19.

And we need 7 Billion people vaccinated to stop this disease, they want to vaccinate everyone in the World like they did with Small Pox. But that was when the World population was tiny compared to the 7 Billion we have today.

And if the vaccine works to some extent, you will need to be revaccinated every six months and by then the virus will likely be mutated enough to laugh at your vaccination. And a new version of the vaccine will be needed, and we can not produce a new vaccine every six months. Look how long it is taking to make this one.

And will they test it by exposing the vaccinated guinea pigs to the newest version of COVID-19 going around? Or just the old version the vaccine was based on?

I would recommend exposing them to both, since they need to make sure it works for what is being passed around now, the old version dying out in Houston Texas, and the new one is spreading like wild-fire.

Why do you think there is no vaccination for the “Common Cold”? It mutates too fast, so vaccination did not work.

It will be interesting to see what happens next with the COVID-19 vaccine.

Where did you get idea that COVID antibodies disappear after six months ? We will see that after a good clinical trial.

@Aelxa A citation from your link
“The researchers noted that only a small group of people were studied and that the human body can also use T cells to kill the virus and B cells to produce new antibodies, Business Insider reported. Neither T cells nor B cells were measured in the new study.”
Believe me. I will read your links


Good to see you read the links, now read this one……

Most people had lots of antibodies while sick, but after 2-3 months only 17% of them had antibodies at the same level.

And people who had mild cases of COVID-19 had almost no detectable antibodies at all.

Most people in the US have had mild to asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, which is why the quest for blood plasma to harvest antibodies in order to treat the sick is not working out well. People’s bodies either are just not making antibodies, or their immune systems are not continuing maintaining the production of antibodies.

Now a vaccine produces a mild response, so how much antibodies will be made in the beginning right after they get the vaccine? And will you even detect any antibodies at all after 3 months, never mind 6 months?

We are talking about a virus that appears to have same effect on the human immune system as the Common Cold, which means an antibody response, then the antibodies disappear in about 6 months.

People have been talking about T-cells and B-cells, but they are no use in the Common Cold either. The immune system just stops making them for the virus.

This is why most people who work in Medicine are looking askance at the COVID-19 vaccines being made, and are very very skeptical about them.

@Aelxa Do you not know that antibodies against a disease always go down after the disease is over ? Memory B cells produce antibodies when a second challenge happens. Clinical trials will not measure antibodies but reduction of infections.

If a vaccine can produce more or better antibodies than the real disease


(starts typing, gets bored)
You don’t know what you are talking about.

As if the humanity’s single health problem was about semantics. Phew.

I hope that there is a special place in hell for those who get metaphors literally although they know better. Also, a large group of loud and stomping mammals? Well… Why not a herd. And, after all, why people take so much offense in being compared to ungulates? Those have important function in the ecosystem and I’d wager that some humans are less useful.

Dorit: “Tetanus vaccines provide immunity where tetanus, the disease, does not.”

The same with diphtheria, though in reality both of those vaccines protect against the toxins created by the bacteria, not the actual bacteria.

The rotavirus vaccines protect against rotavirus infection (you can get it again after recovering, it is just more dangerous in young children).

The new term is “community immunity”.

Your understanding of community immunity seems a little bit fuzzy. It’s still something people study now, not something that was developed in the 1920s and left alone. Also, people have always traveled more than you described, even back to the Middle Ages and beyond.

Nipah virus isn’t particularly new “Nipah virus (NiV) is an emerging bat-borne pathogen. It was first identified 20 years ago in Malaysia ” (your citation).

But above all that, what’s your point? I don’t understand.

@ Aelxa

“First of all, the “herd immunity” theory is only a throey and is based on the idea that once a “herd” of humans gets a disease, it dies out once approximately 60% of humans in that area get the infection and that percentage have antibodies.”

You got the rough idea.

But your rebuttal is bonkers.

Even if people move around more than before, the fact that people are immunized does slow or even stop the propagation of the disease. It’s a mathematical fact. The only question is how the hypotheses map onto reality or do not do so. But your “people moving around more than before” does not cut any ice. In fact, it only shows that diseases can spread more easily and therefore that herd immunity is important.

“And how degrading is it to call humans by the name “herds”? Hmmm??”

Did I ever tell you I am a monkey? No, I didn’t? Because, in fact, I truly am one!

And how degrading is it to call humans by the name “herds”? Hmmm??

Who gives a rat’s ass, apart from those who revel in exquisite sensitivity?


I guess you must be a cow then, since you do not mind being called a member of a “herd”. Mindlessly following behind the next cow are you? Cows are such nice placid creatures, do not mind being milked and go easily to slaughter.

Me, I am no cow and no member of a “herd”, thank you very much.

Mindlessly following behind the next cow are you? Cows are such nice placid creatures, do not mind being milked and go easily to slaughter.

Did you smartass apex predator ever get into a fight with a cow?

People regularly get killed by cows in my region. Personally I don’t give a shit if it’s called herd immunity. I’m not precious enough to care or take it personally.

@ F68.10, one of my personal pet phrases is that humans are nothing more than monkeys with delusions of grandeur. Take a step back and the primate behaviour is obvious.

@Aelxa, I can’t work out if you really don’t understand the background of herd immunity or not. On a topical note, it’s the difference between starting a fire in the dry season vs the wet season. You might still get a fire but I guarantee there are fewer casualties and damages in the second scenario.


My uncle had cows, they just moved away slowly when you approached them and they did not know you. Getting a cow to fight you? They are too placid and easy-going.

Are you thinking of a bull? They tend to be ornery, I encountered one that had gotten out of his isolation pen one morning while bicycling to school, thankfully he did not charge me as I came out of the mist. He was just startled and ran back into the fog is he could not see me. My uncle did not have a bull, he had Jersey milk cows. Farmers refer to the females as “cows” and males as “bulls”.


I understand herd immunity just fine, it does not exist. Why do you think a farmer isolates a new animal before introducing it to the herd? To make sure it harms none of the herd, that no disease the farmer’s herd might catch is introduced.

Did any of you notice the title of the John Hopkins article?

The title was “The Myth About Herd Immunity”.

God, talk about cherry picking. They tell you even a 90% vaccination rate does not confer “herd immunity” so the damn theory is NOT REAL.

How hard is it for you people to understand “herd immunity” does not exist, and an infection will find susceptible persons and infect them within a 90% immunized population.

You want to guarantee no infection infects anyone in your area? An impossible task, can not be done with even 100% immunization rates.

Why? Because each person’s immune system is different, one person will produce an excellent antibody response and be completely protected…. And another person will have a poor immune response with poor or even no antibody production.

And do not wine at me about T-cells and B-cells etc. The total immune system works together, and a poor antibody response is in concert with a poor response in other immune fractions.Sometimes one part can work better but without the other sections working well, you windup getting infected.

@ Aelxa

“How hard is it for you people to understand “herd immunity” does not exist, and an infection will find susceptible persons and infect them within a 90% immunized population.”



The idea that you can deny the existence of something that, the basics of, can be demonstrated with three different coloured pens, some paper and a bit of maths is frankly mind boggling.

The praticalities of attaining ideal herd immunity levels for multiple diseases are a different kettle of fish.

Your farming example means what? Firstly, the farmer may isolate new animals because of the risk of an infection that the herd is NOT immunised against. Secondly the farmer may isolate new animals because the risks of a disease, that has a less effective vaccine (or just <100%), are too great to his/her livelihood. Thirdly the farmer may isolate new animals due to the risk of bacterial, fungal infections or parasites. None of which has any bearing on the existance of herd immunity. I’ve yet to see a farmer who would be happy to lose valuable livestock but I guarantee that, once an infection is loose in the herd, they’ll be glad to lose only ten percent rather than lose the lot.

Herd immunity is pure mathematics. An infected people meets a certain number of people. How many of them will be infected ? This depends, firstly, how easily the disease spread and secondly, how many people he meets are immune. If enough people are immune, average infection rate per person is less than one and the disease does not spread (to give you a toy model).


Here us an MIT article on decreasing antibodies to COVID-19. It contains a link to a medical paper on the study the MIT article covers……

And I have read enough medical papers and studies published in the BJM to know way more than you about R1. R1 is when the replication rate is one infected person infecting only one other person, which does not stop the Pandemic but merely sustains the present number of infected persons.

Herd immunity is a theory, and not a real thing. You can believe it all you want but it ain’t happening unless you restrict influx into the herd.

How do you know how many medical papers I have read ?
If an infected person infects, in average, less than one person, amount of infected person will go down. (And imported infections will not cause problems.)Only if an infected person infects exactly one person in average. infection will continue at same level.
Your covid antibody citation is bullshit. Actually read the link.

Oh, I know..
The mathematics can be demonstrated by following real world examples.:
in the past few years, several Orthodox communities experienced outbreaks of measles ( Williamsburg in Brooklyn, Lakewood, Monsey/Rockland, etc) because the kids were vaccinated at lower levels than the surrounding areas. In Rockland, unvaccinated kids were even restricted in their daily activities for a while **.
Although most children go to religious schools, they do not live in a bubble or in a castle behind walls and a moat: in fact fathers often work outside of the community, mothers shop and their enclaves are located in either a major city or along state highways in suburbia. where they frequently interact with the community at large.
we do not see measles spread to locales close by,( e.g. Park Slope or Mahwah). BECAUSE those kids were vaccinated at a level sufficient to discourage spread of the disease .As rates increased, outbreaks diminished. as they did in Samoa..
.** religious leaders strongly encouraged vaccination


Try looking at the title of the John Hopkins article, and contemplate the fact that the “herd immunity” theory was developed while the author was at John Hopkins and was based on a disease outbreak in Baltimore…..where John Hopkins is located.

The title of the article is…..what is it now?

“The Myth Of Herd Immunity”……, for goodness sake you talk about cherry-picking, you need to take the watermelon out of your own eye.

And re-read the article without any bias this time please,….. they clearly state that …..let me repeat this again…..that even with 90% vaccination rates….which is almost 90% immunity taking into account people with a poor immune response to the vaccine…… THERE IS NO HERD IMMUNITY ACHIEVED.

Good grief, Charlie Brown. How hard is it to understand what they wrote.

Perhaps it is all the other stuff stating the party line that confuses you, but the title gives you the facts, and the fact that a 93% immunization rate still does not protect an entire community shoots the “herd immunity” theory dead as a door nail.

And I do not care if they change the name to “community immunity” it still does not work. End of Story.


Since they estimate about only 15% of the population has gotten the SARS- CoV-2 virus and the population of the US is 331 Million….only a little less than 49Million American might have antibodies, but over 205,000 of the 49 Million died.

And since over 255,000 people have died in excess of the usual amount of people died in previous years….there are about 50,000 deaths unaccounted for so far this year.

To see how your State is doing in the Replication Race go to this site……

You can go down below the bar graph and look at how the replication rate has fluctuated in your individual State, and in how much of that period it spent at R1 or below. The majority of the States have spent the majority of their time resting above R1.

Denice Walter

And not one child died of the Measles in the Orthodox Jewish community where it broke out. So much for the touted death rate of the Measles.

And it was in the New York City area where there is the main major international airport into the US from Europe and Africa, of course an infectious disease from overseas would spread there first.

Just like COVID-19 did.

@ Aelxa

“And not one child died of the Measles in the Orthodox Jewish community where it broke out. So much for the touted death rate of the Measles.”

Go on. Crunch the numbers. We’re waiting…

Herd immunity has been demonstrated, and the concept has already been used to annihilate one horrible disease (smallpox), and it is very close to annihilating a second (polio). Smallpox killed 300 to 500 million people in the 20th century alone, until it was finally wiped out forever in 1979 in a culmination of the work begun by Edward Jenner in 1799. They systematically vaccinated people around the world so that the disease could no longer transmit itself, achieving herd immunity, choking off the disease until it was eradicated. Polio used to be a dread disease, so common that a sitting president of the United States was afflicted by it. Wards filled with rows of iron lungs used to be a common sight in hospital wards. Now though, the disease has been reduced to places like Afghanistan and Pakistan where mistrust of vaccines is still rampant thanks to Islamic fundamentalism and a generalised distrust of the West. Measles could also be eradicated in the same way, if it weren’t for people like you who have a contagious distrust of science and expertise.


We have 7 Billion people to vaccinate, and when the Small Pox eradication program began in 1952, it was started in the US, the world population was only 2.6 Billion.

Small Pox was a disease that produced a good antibody response that did not disappear.

COVID-19 produces a good antibody response only those who have severe cases, those who are hospitalized. And the antibodies disappear in most people in 3-6 months.

I have no distrust in Science and Medicine I work in the Medical field as a Respiratory Therapist, you know, the person who runs and maintains the ventilators that are helping to keep the worst COVID-19 patients alive.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt caught polio before he became president, not while he was president. He just hid the fact he was partially paralyzed while he ran for president and afterwards he kept it hidden so people would not look down on him as a “cripple”.

I have no need for a measles vaccine because I had the measles in 1958, and I got the Small pox vaccination in 1963.

You make alot of assumptions, even ORAC is skeptical about the process being used to make the COVID-19 vaccines.


I got pregnant in 1991 and they tested my antibody levels to the regular Measles and the German Measles.

Now take into account I had the Measles in 1958 or 1959, and got the German Measles twice and the last time was in 1969.

My antibody levels for both diseases was on the higher end of the scale, way above the counts that immunized persons have. And I had the Measles 32 years before, and the German Measles 22 years before the pregnancy. And I was better protected than kids immunized with a vaccine only a year before.

But with COVID-19 people who get the disease and make antibodies can catch the disease and in another few weeks, when their antibodies get low enough or even totally disappear. It is happening over and over again every where.

This is not hard to understand, if the immune response is poor or disappears you can catch the disease again.

Just like a cold. The Common Cold has no vaccination because the antibodies disappear, and the cold virus is a cousin of SARS-CoV-2. The antibody response the COVID-19 is acting just like as it does when you have a cold.

Only about 17% of people who survive having COVID-19 develop lasting antibodies, and they are the severe cases who have to be hospitalized. Mild cases of COVID-19 develop few antibodies or even none. And the few antibodies are disappearing in weeks, not years or decades. In just weeks.

What are you going to do, take a COVID-19 vaccination every few weeks to keep antibodies up? And how will the immune system respond to taking that vaccine so often?

These are the questions I see discussed on Medscape among doctors, nurses and other medical specialists. I am not alone in the medical field saying we have a problem with COVID-19, and the solution does not look like a vaccine at this time unless they pull a miracle out of a hat.

You’re a sample of one. Anecdote for anecdote: my mom vaccinated me against measles. Once. I never got it. I was immune before my second pregnancy, in 2015.

Most people who get two doses of mmr are immune for life from measles and rubella, without the risks of the disease.

Your argument that it’s better to get the diseases doesn’t stand on your anecdote either.

And notice that by implication, you are okay with deaths and harms from the diseases.

@ Aelxa

“I am not alone in the medical field saying we have a problem with COVID-19…”

Of course, you’re not! Duh.


No, you are assuming again.

I got the both the Measles and the German Measles before the vaccine was commonly given. And I got the Small Pox vaccine in the 1950s with everyone else.

I have had many vaccinations, flu, tetnus, in fact had a tetanus shot four years ago….so stuff your assumptions up the Ying-Yang.

Having concerns about how vaccines are made and when they are given to children, does NOT make me an antivaxxer. It makes me an informed consumer

I make sure I get single dose vaccines, take only the absolutely necessary ones, etc. My son gets none, ever since he died and I had to resuscitate him after he got his six month shots. He has neurological damage and has Autism.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have waited until he was a year old then insisted on only one vaccination at a time, no vaccines for multiple diseases. Since I was clueless, my son suffers.

So go fly a kite, Dorit.

A. Promoting misinformation aimed to make people fear and distrust vaccines – like claiming that MMR has thimerosal (it doesn’t), that there are no vaccines that give better immunity than the disease, makes one an anti-vaccine activist.

B. If your son really stopped breathing, that must have been horrible. I sympathize.

C. Vaccines don’t cause autism. Making that claim is a pretty good sign someone is anti-vaccine. Maybe not in the past, but now.


“If your son really stopped breathing”….you know you really take the cake.

As a Respiratory Therapist who has done thousands of Code Blues since 1973 I think I know when someone has stopped breathing. And oh, look! I own not just a adult stethoscope but a pediatric one, also.

Being certified in adult and pediatric CPR, I can attempt to save anyone who codes but you fell in front of me I would be tempted to ignore you at this point.

Coding does not cause Autism, I guess it must have been the rain that fell when he was born.

@ Aelxa

““If your son really stopped breathing”….you know you really take the cake.”

That is a hy-po-the-ti-cal, you moron!

“Being certified in adult and pediatric CPR, I can attempt to save anyone who codes but you fell in front of me I would be tempted to ignore you at this point.”

Look, this is all nice and fine. But medical professionals who claim that they will ignore you while they rush and try to save you the next minute when you asked for nothing are roughly as ridiculous as people making death threats but who never act on them.

But they are more of a pain in the ****.


Here is another study showing that 8 weeks after infection 40% of the asymptomatic cases had no antibodies detected in their blood anymore……

It is all adding up to disappearing antibodies, and many people getting infected more than once.

I can keep finding the same over and over again for you, but it is not a fluke, the antibodies just do not stay, the immune system stops making them in a huge percentage of people. Which means a vaccine will likely act the same way, ad it provokes a very mild response to no symptoms at all.

As I said before, It is memory B cells that produce second challenge response. But yes, of course, a good clinical trial is needed

Of Course the antibody levels in the blood decrease after the infection has been cleared. They have to, if you’re going to have room in your blood for whatever antibodies you need right now.

That is what memory B cells are for, as Aarno keeps trying to tell you.

You don’t maintain infection levels of antibodies to every single antigen you have ever encountered in your entire life at all times. Every immunologist knows that. There is a cost to your body to make antibodies. So your body only makes them when they are needed, during an infection.

You just keep getting so many things wrong, it MUST be intentional.

You post an article about herd immunity and completely misunderstand or purposely misexplain the point. You continually talk about “antibody levels” as if they are the one and only measurement of immune system response, even after being explained why that is wrong. People are trying to educate you and you refuse to learn or acknowledge. So I can only conclude that you know you’re wrong and don’t care.

Oh, look, Aelxa did his/her R3S3ARCH. Now please put it on a tri-fold poster board and bring it to your local flat earth society pseudoscience fair, where you just might get a certificate of participation.

Wow – that’s an impressive wall of text. The commentary you cited from Johns Hopkins (actually written by professors at Duke) was stressing the importance of high vaccination rates. Your cherry picking did not go unnoticed.

No one claims a vaccine is 100% effective or a guarantee against developing a disease. However, a highly effective vaccine coupled with the undeniable effects of vaccine-derived herd immunity is very close.

You’re a moron.

(Other commenters please excuse me for being crass but the rant is full of inaccuracies, non sequiturs and general nonsense which everyone can spot themselves. Quotes don’t make it any better.)

You’re forgiven. I’ll even grant you several indulgences so you that you can do it again and again without becoming anxious about it.

And you are a cretin, I can exchange derogatory remarks all day long if you want.

So spot me some of your inaccuracies for fun’s sake. You posted no productive comments at all, just putdowns. Produce something in opposition.

“This is typical overblown vergabe”.

“Vergabe” seems to mean vegetable in German. What does it mean in this context?

“And how degrading is it to call humans by the name “herds”?”

Not degrading at all. We are animals, after all.

Degrading is when people seem to feel that the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions aren’t worth protecting.


I typed “verbiage” and the machine changed it to vergabe. I fight with the machine all the time and it still wins. It may be confused because I also type in German on the machine when I go to German websites.

I also fight with doctors all the time on Medscape when they say people who are older, have pre-existing conditions, or disabled are just a waste of time and COVID-19 resources, and should be left to die and not given an ICU bed.

I am older, have pre-existing conditions, and have a disability.

If I was a member of a “herd” and acted like a “cow” going going placidly along with the program I would have been dead decades ago. F–K them, I am not going to roll over and die because some else think I am “a waste of space and resources”. Just wait until it’s their turn to experience ageism and discrimination due to disability or disease. I hope they get a good dose of their own medicine.

@Aelxa You numbers change 60%, 90% is required for herd immunity. Actually how big vaccination rate is needed for it obviously depend how infectious the pathogen is. There is no general “herd immunity rate”.
There are some numbers:
It is not in JAMA, even !
You would notice that for measles, 90% is indeed not enough. But for SARS, 20% was the estimate.


Since they were unable to make a safe vaccine for SARS, there was no choice but to get it stopped with quarantine, masks, etc…and that worked. SARS had a 15% deathrate overall, and a 50% deathrate if you were over 64.

What helped stop it was also the fact that you got very sick right away, you were not asymptomatic for 3 days to two weeks like COVID-19.

But there was no SARS vaccine and stopping it had NOTHING to do with “herd immunity”. They worked like fiends to stop the spread of SARS in China and the few other places it got to.

It all comes down to being willing to seriously work to stop a disease. In the US we could have had a chance if they took it as serious as if it were SARS, and spent some money in quarantine facilities, but no … trade and traffic flow must go on unencumbered.

Remember, you do not want to panic people, so do not tell them they must wear masks and take sensible precautions. Which is why the Donald and mellie are sick with COVID-19 now, how not sad.

@Aelxa SARS stopped before a vaccine was developed. Perhaps natural herd immunity was a cause ? Do you believe that infections cause a natural immunity against the disease ? Actually, Thucydides noticed that plague never stroke twice.
There is actually a mathematical equation equation for heard immunity, a very simple one. Consider it again: a person infects, on average, certain number of people (this is different with different diseases). Now consider that some people are immune to the disease (naturally or because they are vaccinated). Then said person would infect less people. Critical number is when a person infects only one person. When he infects less than one person (on average) then the disease would not spread. Can you tell a problem with this model ?

Plague never struck twice?

Well, in England the plague struck almost yearly between 1348 and 1665……

Herd immunity had nothing to do with stopping the SARS epidemic. Look at this timeline from 2003…….

Notice what they did on March 29th, the CDC quarantine staff met planes, cargo ships and cruise ships coming from countries that had SARS cases and checked out everyone. And they gave cards to everyone outlining the symptoms and what to do.

Contrast that with the US response to COVID-19 which was basically zip. People coming in on planes were not told anything.

When people are not made aware of a serious situation they take no precautions, and so the SARS-GoV-2 virus got to spread like crazy….

They knew they had US cases of the disease in January, but did nothing to check incoming travelers from overseas until mid-March.

And now in mid-September the CDC decided to stop screening incoming passengers from overseas, which somehow is supposed to be “innovative”. …..

Pretty stupid thing to do in my opinion, but hey we will assume you are ok, you would not fly to the US if you might be infected. Of course, we all know about the word “assume”…it makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”..

When you put too many links in a comment, your comment gets sent to moderation. Just so you know why your comment didn’t appear right away.

@ Aarno

When he infects less than one person (on average) then the disease would not spread. Can you tell a problem with this model ?

As I must have said here a number of times already, it’s the same model – no, it’s the same mechanism – in a nuclear explosion (1). One exploding atom of uranium will shoot 2 or 3 neutrons, some of them will “infect” other uranium atoms, which will in turn explode…
Absorb enough neutrons, and the reaction peters out. Absorb just enough of them, and you get a self-sustaining reaction.
Pack enough susceptible individuals – I mean atoms – together, don’t limit the spread of the reaction, and you get a nuclear mushroom.
Or a pillar of melted nuclear stuff affectionately nicknamed “the elephant foot” by the people who had to visit Tchernobyl, in the aftermath (2).
Or the “Chinese syndrome” (3), if the melting nuclear fuel starts borrowing into the Earth and just keeps going until it reaches China, on the other side. That never happened, actually. So far. Not a reason to keep trying.

(1) This comparison was actually done the other way round, by Bruce Colin and Claire Palmer in the (very fun) book “Conned Again, Watson”. It’s where i picked the idea.
(2) Fun fact: how to gather samples of this highly suspicious pillar of melted radioactive slag? The solution the local engineers came with was to pick an AK-47 (or a close cousin) and shoot at the pillar, using armor-piercing rounds.
(3) ah, again, the Chinese.

The citations do not have to be links. You can post the PMID link, or even something like this:
Pediatrics. 2014 Apr;133(4):577-85.
Economic Evaluation of the Routine Childhood Immunization Program in the United States, 2009.

Also PubMed has a link to “Cite” that you can link on and will give you a box with a citation like this:
Mina MJ. Measles, immune suppression and vaccination: direct and indirect nonspecific vaccine benefits. J Infect. 2017 Jun;74 Suppl 1:S10-S17. doi: 10.1016/S0163-4453(17)30185-8. PMID: 28646947.

@Aelxa When Thucydides said that plague never strikes twice he meant that nobody get it two times. This is called immunity. Do you think that there is no immunity in the case of SARS ?
Plague can, of course, strike twice, even if there is a full herd immunity. This happens after immune people have died for other causes. Adaptive immunity is not heritable.
CDC’s actions explain why SARS did not come US, not why it disappeared.


Plague has a high deathrate in ancient times. Bubonic plague is 50-70%, Septicaemic plague almost 100% and Pneumonic plague is 100%, is I would say it would not strike twice in most people, most people would be dead.

Why did SARS disappear?

Because it was faster developing and more highly fatal than COVID-19…..which reduced the chances of passing it on to other persons. It was not as able to be passed on by asymptomatic infected persons, as COVID-19 is being spread now in 2020. Instead they found it spreading in apartment buildings via the sewer system connections to bathrooms…..

And now they are finding bathrooms again can cause spread in apartment buildings with COVID-19……

I have been telling people since February to put the toilet lid down before flushing, and flee the bathroom as soon as you flush. And keep nothing in a bathroom, no towels and definitely no toothbrush should be in the bathroom.

A toilet should ideally be a room all by itself, and separated from the shower, bath and sink areas.


You quoted an ancient Greek about plagues and I gave you the statistics of the deathrate of the plagues at that time in history.

Yes, in contrast to ancient Greece RELATIVELY few people died of SARS…..but it means nothing as after 3 years from the initial infection, they are producing few antibodies and can catch SARS again. After more than 16 years they are no longer immune at all, the last outbreak was from 2002 to 2004.

The Coronavirus antibodies disappear after short periods of time, which is why the flu requires annual shots, colds have no vaccines, neither SARS nor MERS have vaccines.

SARS may have disappeared for now, but MERS is still active. And if SARS came back, which is to be expected, it has a 10% deathrate. America has a population of 331 million, if everyone caught it and 10% died….then 31 million people would die.

To think SARS is gone for good is wishful thinking, so expect it to pop up in China any year now.

@Aelxa To repeat: Antibodies always go down after infection. Otherwise there would be a permanent infection. Humoral immune response depends on memory B cells, which start production of new antibodies ij a case of second infection.
Viruses repeat inside cells, antibodies circulate outside. That is why T cells are are more important in a case of viral infections (they kill infected cells).
A citation of T cell response in a case of SARS:
Ng OW, Chia A, Tan AT, Jadi RS, Leong HN, Bertoletti A, Tan YJ. Memory T cell responses targeting the SARS coronavirus persist up to 11 years post-infection. Vaccine. 2016 Apr 12;34(17):2008-14. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.02.063. Epub 2016 Mar 5. PMID: 26954467; PMCID: PMC7115611.


Yes antibodies always go down, but the problem is the antibodies to COVID-19 are totally disappearing.

Keep on whining about T-cells and B-cells, without any antibodies at all, the immune response will be like with colds and the flu. You will catch a flu and spread it , but you may not die of it. You might just wish you would because you get so sick, but you may also die from it developing into pneumonia.

Assuming for the sake of argument that one of the ten finalists proves to be a safe and effective vaccine, we are going to enter a transition period for the human population where there will be a relatively few survivors who already had the virus (maybe 10 to 20 million in the U.S) a growing number of people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, and a collection of those who refuse vaccination or just haven’t gotten around to it. In other words, we will still have an epidemic, albeit of lesser proportions. I’m perfectly OK with Fisher’s list of limitations except that I don’t see the point about limiting driver licenses or passports. But I do see an interval where the red dot on my ID card attesting to my inoculated status is necessary for me to get into a baseball game or a concert, or even to visit the public library. At some point, perhaps when we have herd immunity with 70% inoculated, the restrictions can be reduced.

I seriously doubt that the European countries or Asia or New Zealand are going to welcome Americans who are unvaccinated once a vaccine becomes available.We will probably go back to the international vaccination certificate that people used to carry along with their passports.

I suspect that the public reticence over taking the shot is based on uncertainty over what the vaccine is going to be, and a significant part of those who are reticent are this way due to the understanding that Donald Trump makes claims and promises that have no basis in fact. When there is enough serious support from enough serious people that the vaccine (or vaccines — there may be more than one effective vaccine) are OK, then we will see a lessening of that attitude.

I don’t see the point about limiting …. passports.

Not a problem to the issuing authority. The problem is that one would have to present convincing evidence to a host country that one had had the vaccination. I have a little yellow booklet for that, now.

I seriously doubt that the European countries or Asia or New Zealand are going to welcome Americans who are unvaccinated once a vaccine becomes available.

Canada is not going to be either and if Mexico gets things under reasonable control I doubt that they will be either.

As I explained to a French friend who was spouting off all this stuff, there are already lots of countries that require you show evidence of vaccination before you’re allowed across the border. It’s for everyone’s safety.

(Then again I also know some people who got fake vaccine books because they didn’t want to get a specific shot for a disease that isn’t in their country or the country they were visiting. I Did Not Approve.)

Yes, NIPAH was identified in Malaysia over 20 years ago, and now it has traveled as far as India.

SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is not new either, they checked and found it had been circulating in bats since the 1960s or even earlier. It merely recently adjusted to infect humans…due to human contact with bats that increased overtime due to population explosion and expansion into the bat’s territory. That and eating bats, too, which they do in China. Too many people and no enough food.

NIPAH virus took off due to going from a family raising a pig or two for their own consumption, to factory farming pigs for selling to other people not living in the household.

Try looking on a map and see how far away Malaysia is from India, and a bat had to cover a huge distance to get there. Have you seen any bats who travel over water that far? We are talking fruit-eating bats here, which are fairly large mammals. But they travel from island to island and finally got to the mainland and the infection is spreading. It does not kill bats but the kill rate in humans can be 40% or more.

But the point is a person can have the infection, or they can bring their pet who has the infection, on a trip from India or Malaysia or anywhere inbetween, to the US and before you know it we have another Pandemic happening.

This Pandemic would not have happened if we had strict quarantine on coming to the US, but heaven forbid if we require someone sit in a room for two weeks to make sure they have not brought home some souvenir that they can easily pass to others.

People think wearing a mask is onerous and anti-American and restricting their “Liberty” unreasonably … wait until it gets to the point where going to the next county is restricted. All because we will not take reasonable precautions in people and animals coming from overseas

My understanding of “community” is not fuzzy at all, your understanding is the problem. And I read the original theory, it was developed at John Hopkins.

Oh, Medieval Ages and the Black Death….yes it spread because there is always someone who thinks running away will save them. That is how the County next to mine was infected by a woman who came 1,000 miles from New York City to die a week later. Stupidity lives eternal. But Then they sure did not bop over to England from Italy in two hours either back in the Medieval Ages. It took awhile longer to get that far.

And the human population is increasing exponentially. .As Asimov pointed out ….from 100AD to 1600AD it took 900 years to double, 1600AD to 1800AD it took 265 years for the Earth’s population to double, 1800 to 1900 only 90 years, 1900 to 1950 it doubled again, from 1950 to 1969 again, and now in 2020 we have 7 Billion people on Earth and a disease problem due to overpopulation and extremely fast travel with no oversight.

The spread of new and novel diseases incubated by factory farming and spread by travel will only get worse not better.

So thinking a vaccine will help is magical thinking. A vaccine is merely a “fire break” in a huge evolving problem, which everyone is ignoring. We have a huge problem, and stomping out this fire and that fire as infections pop up is going to be like playing “Whack a Mole”….the infections will pop up faster and faster until you are unable to whack enough to stay even never mind win.

Antibiotics and vaccinations worked well since 1918 until the 1980s when suddenly we had problems in our hospitals with antibiotic resistant bacteria, now companies are no longer wanting to develop new antibiotics because the bacteria evolve and become resistant too fast to be able to make a profit.

Now we are dealing with viruses that are developing a taste for humans when they were formerly isolated in animal populations, all due to overpopulation and lax travel habits without quarantine.

My Dad came by ship to the US in from Europe in 1918 to Ellis Island, and everyone was inspected for disease and quarantined if found to be sick, and those with a chronic medical problem were sent back to the country they came from.

Now we just let people move willy-nilly with no thought or care, thinking our medical system will deal with any outbreaks. Well, I am telling you that we in Medicine have reached the point where we can not develop solutions faster than the bacteria and viruses can evolve resistance and new versions to infect humans.

It has only been nine months since the US government learned about COVID-19, and in Houston Texas they already have a new more infectious version of the virus spreading.

What happens in a few years and the World population doubles again? How much faster will diseases develop and spread?

It is time to reconsider how we deal with travel.

And we need to decrease population because there just is not enough room to have 7 Billion people, never mind 14 Billion. With 14 Billion people we will wipe out most animal species and plant species and you can not live well on air that does not contain much oxygen.

How will 14 Billion people be fed? And just the human feces and urine alone will make the Earth like a pig farm farm. Have you ever past near a pig farm? You can smell the pig waste for miles, I suggest visiting the neighborhood of a pig farm and get a good preview of how it is going to be for most of us. Pig farms have open waste lagoons that smell nasty for miles and miles and pollute the ground water with pig waste. Pig farms are not required to process their waste, it would make eating pork a luxury for the rich only. And disease spreads in pig farms like wildfire, just checkout the disease that killed 25% of pigs in China already, it has now popped up in pig farms in Poland. Likely because most pig farms in Poland are now owned by China, and company representatives from China visit those farms.

By the way, do you know China owns the biggest meat processing company in America now? Who cares about Tik-Tok…. 25% of the pork raised in the US is being sent to China right now. Wonder why Trump pressed to re-open the meat processing plants? Now you know. And the percentage will only go up as China’s population grows, hey they own the company and they can send their product where they want to, per the WTO.

The only people who will live well and be safe are rich people. Dystopia is coming real soon to a neighborhood near you. Try to look at the big picture before it steam rolls you and your loved ones.

Call me an alarmist if you want, but do not complain in 10 to 15 years when things are really getting hairy between disease spread and food.

TCM uses lots of animals. Importing pangolins for it is a possibility. Fruit bats are a delicacy, so China imports them for eating. Fruit bats do not need to fly to China.,
Antibiotics still works, just for your info. For your info, MRSA in treated with them.
Vaccine will create iherd mmunity against COVID 19. No magical thinking there. It is detoxing pushed by CAM that is magical thinking


What the geckos are you talking about? Detoxing pushed by CAM? What the heck is that?

And iherd mmunity? And I thought my “smart” phone was messed up.

It real easy to understand Aarno, the real antibodies to the real disease disappear in about six months, vaccines make less antibodies than the real disease… just do the math.


For your information there are already over 18 antibiotic resistant organisms and 35,000 people die each year in the US alone from antibiotic-resistant infections, other people lose limbs like legs and arms….. But then I work in Medicine and you do not and have completely outdated information.

Try reading this CDC handout to get more up-to-date…..

And I was talking about fruit bats in Malaysia and India, not China. But with the Chinese habit of eating bats expect the next pandemic to come from there anyway. I mean every year the Flu comes from there, the country of China incubates so many new diseases.

Why did you say that fruit bats do not fly to China ? Obviously, you meant that they are not source of covid. But as I said, fruit bats could be imported for meat.
I presume that you cannot comment my post about herd immunity, and speak about a typo instead. So I was right, evidently.
You did not tell us where you get the idea that covid antibodies disappear after six months. A citation, please.
There are no antibiotics resistant bacteria, strictly speaking. There are bacteria resistant to many separate antibiotics, which of course is bad enough but does not mean that antibiotics generally does not work any more.
Guides to treat MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) are here:
A list of antibiotics, you would notice

@ Aarno

To be more nuanced, and fair to Aelxia

where you get the idea that covid antibodies disappear after six months.

It was making the round in the news articles, a few months ago.
Although at that time this was still needed to be confirmed if it was just a few unlucky people or a general trend of the virus.
Also, as you point out, and as it was already pointed here at the time (or maybe on Derek Lowe’s blog), antibodies are only one-half of the adaptative immune system. The cellular response is the second half, and we would expect T-cells to be quite involved in the response to a virus infection.

Ah, searched the archives of the blog In the Pipeline, Derek Lowe had a post mid-august about anti-Covid19 antibody persistence. It seems our fears were misplaced and we can hope for some lasting humorous immunity. I mean humoral.

There are bacteria resistant to many separate antibiotics, which of course is bad enough but does not mean that antibiotics generally does not work any more.

Oh yes, we still have solutions. And non-resistant bacteria are still fair game. But the situation is less ideal than two decades ago.
IIRC that my clinical microbiologist teachers told me, the issue is that methicillin is a first-line, broad-spectrum antibiotic, and generally well-accepted by patients. Other classes of antibiotics concerned by antibiotic resistance would fit the same description, more or less.
The remaining antibiotics are serviceable enough, but they are often not as handy as antibiotics of the beta-lactam family. There are good reasons they are second choice.
Tetracyclines, by example, have generally a good reputation as antibiotics. Not exactly the same profile as beta-lactams, in some way better, in other way worse.
Combining antibacterial agents is a possibility, too. Even if the bacteria could resist to one agent, it may be sensitive to a second one, and this second agent may even depress the resistance to the first. However, some bacteria species like to share and collect resistances with other bacteria species. Not helping.

In short, we find ourselves with our favorite tools blunted. This is not a confortable situation.

Athaic: slightly off topic, but what do you think about phage therapy for multi-drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria?
I agree that most of the low-hanging fruit of antibiotics have been picked, so it’s time for a new direction.


I gave you multiple citations and links showing antibodies disappear in COVID-19 patients over a short period of time.

And the antibodies are important because in Medicine, they are what we use to evaluate Immune System response.

Here is a link to a paper that discusses the problems regarding T-cell, B-cell, etc in response to SARS-CoV-2 virus in COVID-19 patients…….

And you still did not answer me as to what “detoxing being pushed by CAM” is.

I wrote that Nipah virus has spread from Malaysia andcis now in India, via the fruit bats flying from island to island. I wrote nothing about fruit bats flying to China. I am sure that fruit bats might already be infected in areas near South China, but that is neither here nor there.And I wrote nothing about fruit bats spreading COVID-19 at all, just fruit bats and Nipah virus.

And MRSA is only one antibiotic-resistant infection, the CDC lists 17 more antibiotic-resistant infections in the link I sent you.


Here is a Pew Trust article on the problem regarding new antibiotic development. …….

Note that they found 75% of the companies developing antibiotics are new and have no products on the market. They also point out the major pharmaceutical companies that used to develop new antibiotics are not doing so.

The problem we are having in Medicine is resistance is developing too fast, and that turns making antibiotics a much less profitable field then before. Hence we are now seeing tiny startups going into the antibiotic field, they are happy to take a smaller profit than a company like Pfizer, etc.

Smaller new companies with no huge monetary cushion to fall back on, so they can not take forever to develop a good antibiotic that gets through the vetting process successfully.

My brother almost died of a antibiotic-resistant bacteria, he wound up having to have 3 heart valves replaced that the infection destroyed, plus almost lost his kidneys.

And the infection was not MRSA.

Alexa, you Nature paper does not discuss B-cells at all, and mostly says that T cells in COVID-19 patients need more study because the only data available is pre-print from hospitalized patients and my not fully describe the general T-cell response to SARS-CoV-2.

Though it does note that the one study that looked at memory T cells found 100% of patients had CD4+ memory T cells, and 70% of patients had CD8+ memory T cells.

Based on that paper I wouldn’t say the researcher saw “problems” so much as noted that, in the very sickest patients the T cell response was not optimal (which is probably why they were so sick in the first place).

So SARS-CoV-2 does promote a memory T cell response, which makes long-lasting protective immunity more likely.


The article says there are studies showing both positives and negatives regarding T-cells and B-cells and other fractions of the immune system, and that it is all unknown at present as to what protection these non-antibody fractions will provide.

The problem is we are seeing studies done on COVID-19 caused by different versions of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This virus is mutating fast enough that a more contagious version is already displacing a less contagious version in Houston Texas. When this version takes over, we will see a bump up in infections. And will the vaccines being developed work to protect the vaccinated from the newer versions.

Trump wants the vaccinated followed for only two months before using the vaccines on the general population, the CDC wants to extend it up to six months to make sure that it protects at least that long. This is a vaccine program that is costing Billions of Dollars just for the USA alone.

How would the rest of the World afford it, if it works? We can not even afford it, unless we go back to the 62% tax rate on the rich that existed back in 1953. I doubt the rich 1% will accept that since the have been having it easy with a 34% tax rate in 2020.

Hell, Trump only paid $750 in personal taxes in 2016, could you see taxing him at 63%?

So we will see what happens, but it all looks similar to the Common Cold vaccines they tried to make.

@ JustaTech

slightly off topic, but what do you think about phage therapy for multi-drug-resistant pathogenic bacteria?

My knowledge is slightly outdated (and I’m at risk of running into a COI, as my lab has some projects exploring other avenues of research of new antimicrobial molecules).

I know the basics: some phages can be highly species-specific and quite thorough in wiping out a bacteria population. So it’s worth a shot trying them.
The downside is that, like about anything else, bacteria can develop resistance to phages. At least for the phage species requiring specific bacteria proteins to anchor to. So like Alice and the Red Queen, we will have to keep running to keep level. But that’s not news.
I don’t know about the risk of people developing an immune response to the phages, and thus neutralizing them during a second use. I hope scientists are looking into that aspect.

@Aelxa Go to any CAM provider, and they will sell you a detox cure. Tenpenny’s site, for example. This is utterly ridiculous, and an example magical thinking (toxins are curse to be removed by purification).
For antibiotic resistant bacteria, I suggest Crislip’s Infectious Disease Compendium. He is a manic hand washer, too. Of course, beta lactams are much better than second line antibiotics. They attack bacterial cell wall, which humans of course do not have.
A small company can very well develop a drug, and a big pharma company can buy it. This has happened many times.
You have been told multiple times that after an infection is cleared, antibodies will go
down. Otherwise, you would have a permanent inflammation. One indeed, in medicine, measure antibodies. This is done to test do you have an infection.

@Athaic Bacteria are very capable to fight phages. There are restriction enzymes (that restrict phage growth) and CRISPR, which is actually something like an immune system of bacteria.

@ Aarno

Oh, yes. CRISPR is used by bacteria to fight phages. I think you told me already, but I forgot. I’m really out of touch on this topic.

Re: antibiotics
I was wondering how they become involved in the discussion. Ah, found their point of entry in Aelxa’s post:

Antibiotics and vaccinations worked well since 1918 until the 1980s when suddenly we had problems in our hospitals with antibiotic resistant bacteria

OK, still not seeing how antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant bacteria are relevant to a discussion about vaccines. Anti-virus vaccines, to boot.
Last time I checked, bacteria didn’t develop a resistance to vaccination. Definitively not to the extend common bacteria developed resistance to antibiotics.

“This Pandemic would not have happened if we had strict quarantine on coming to the US, but heaven forbid if we require someone sit in a room for two weeks to make sure they have not brought home some souvenir that they can easily pass to others.”

Hey Alexa: how many people pass through the USA every day on international flights (2019 data)?
In 2019 there were 76.29 million inbound international visitors. (

Where would you house each of them for 2 weeks? Who would pay for their food and lodging?
And what about returning residents? You know most people in the US don’t have enough vacation time to take an extra two weeks off on top of whatever travel they were doing. Who will make up for their lost income?

And how does this address asymptomatic people who were still contagious after 2 weeks?

So basically your “solution” is that no one should ever travel ever again. What about people who need to travel for business? To see family? To say goodbye to family? What about military deployments? Or MSF?

Please think about the basic logistics of your suggestions and try again.


The solution is simple, use the same ideas these Summer Camps in Maine used…..

Number One was to require home isolation before coming to camp, so they would not pick up the infection right before they got there to the camp.

Vistors from overseas can do the same, have a Health Passport that confirms the isolation was done before they got on a plane to get to North America. Americans vacationing overseas and want to come home can have a nice 2 week hotel stay enjoying a room before coming home.

If an American wants to go overseas, then they isolate at home for two weeks before getting on a plane.

No isolation facilities are needed to do this, just sensible precautions at home. And it would not be forever, in 2 years the infection should die down and disappear, IF people get serious about wearing masks, face shields, etc to eliminate this infection spread.

So big deal if you have to wait two years, just save your money and then you can have a nicer vacation overseas in 2 years.

Alexa, and when I have to travel overseas for an emergency at one of my plants in Germany or China, and I going to have to be locked alone in my house for two weeks before and after?

What about people who are traveling to say goodbye to a dying relative?

And again, who is paying for that hotel room, and food and toiletries? The apple picker from Mexico doesn’t have the money to pay for a hotel room, nor does he have the ability to completely isolate himself in his home.

Just say it: only rich people with no time-based obligations should ever travel. Anyone traveling for work or family should just not.

I’m curious why you didn’t bring up the other, more obvious, more reasonable approach: test everyone. If you fly in to Rome right now you’re tested and get results in 30 minutes (antigen test). If your test is negative away you go.

Wouldn’t that be far more efficient?

Americans are still welcome in Belarus; no precautions imposed. I think they’re all gonna die including all the corrupt ‘Mericuns that thought it Trump-smart to escape there (like anyone has any legitimate purpose to want/need to be in Belarus).


The problem with testing so far is it is incorrect 30% of the time, I just earned a CME ( Continuing Medical Education) certificate at Medscape on this very subject.

You mean there is no one in Germany who knows how to solve a problem at a factory. What do you have, a super secret machine that will blow up unless you personally place hands on it to defang it? Hell, I would like to visit Germany and my relatives there, I have not seen them in person since 1970, but I would not go until 2022 at the earliest at this point in time.

What is Zoom for? Most of my physicians never see me in person anymore, I take my BP, temperature, weight and SpO2 percentage at home with all the machines I have available, and we talk over the telephone for 30 minutes. You should be able to just use Zoom or whatever they prefer in Germany to deal with people. Germany is filled with very tech-savvy professionals you know.

Yeah, I know, you are cranky because your lifestyle is being impeded, it is the same for everyone else. You are not being singled out, we are all getting cranky.

So for a few years only the rich get to play overseas, big deal. Try visiting the USA, there are 48 contiguous States to chose from. And the locals will appreciate the tourist dollars you provide, if you take precautions and help slow the disease spread while enjoying their neighborhood.

Especially since Europe is in no hurry to have Americans visit anytime soon, and Europeans will not be coming here to vacation. They are horrified at how poorly we have handled this Pandemic.

I mean 1 Million people dead reported worldwide, and over 205,000 of them are Americans. The World population is over 7 Billion and the US population is only 331 Million. It is a disgrace.

No one is eager to see an American come visit unless we get our act together. Even Sweden is rethinking their “herd immunity” policy and has decided to switch to getting better at what to do to physically stop the spread of COVID-19.

We need to stop thinking a vaccine alone will solve the problem, and use the other tools in the box that we have available. I use a facemask plus a faceshield, plus 75.5% alcohol wipes I make, washing hands, etc. I go to stores when they are not as busy, avoid non-mask wearers like the plague, and so on.

I never eat inside a restaurant but get take-out instead. My local Chinese restaurant has still not opened the dining room, there is only take-out available. Sadly, it is getting cold, so meals outdoors in the fresh air will slowly disappear on my calender, but better safe, than sick or dead.

The Spanish Flu lasted more than two years and they had the same problems, try reading up on it. Old newspaper articles are on-line to read, about trying to open schools and having to re-close them, encouraging people to wear masks and wash hands, not being able to go on Summer vacation, etc.

This is all a re-run, only 100 years later.


No, no! The latest and better place to escape to is Montenegro, which was once part of Yugoslavia, is on the Mediterranean, and for the right price they will make you a citizen.

Go look it up, I forget how many hundreds of thousands it costs to become a citizen but there are no taxes there…..for now.

I mean, lay the cheese down and the rats will come running. Of course, later on things will always change. The only constant in life is change.

@Aelxa My friend is trying write a recommendation to buy a machine with only films of machine operation available. It does not work at all.
A paper about test accuracy is here:
Diagnostic accuracy of serological tests for covid-19: systematic review and meta-analysis
BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 01 July 2020)
Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2516
A basic medical education should have told you that different tests have different sensitivities and specificities.

So you could do your job over Zoom? Can you train a new respiratory tech over Zoom, without showing them where exactly to put their hands?

Look, I’m not telling you how to do your job, please don’t presume you can tell me how to do mine. You don’t even know what my job is.

Speaking of things you don’t know about me: “try reading up on it. Old newspaper articles are on-line to read,” Please. I’ve been “reading up” on the 1918 influenza since 2001, when I had to go to the library in person to read the microfiche. I currently have 5 books on the 1918 influenza. I have visited the graves of US soldiers killed by the 1918 influenza. I’m an immunologist with a Master’s of Public Health.

When you say that your CME told you that COVID-19 testing was “wrong” 30% of the time, was it 30% false negatives, 30% false positives, or a mix of both? And what kind of test was it, PCR, antigen or antibody?

Even a test that is wrong 30% of the time is still right 70% of the time, and that is better than nothing.

In Australia they are providing hotels rooms to individuals to quarantine in after arriving from overseas……

The problem that is coming seems to be rich foreigners being put at the head of the line, and Australians stranded overseas are left to wait to go home.

And New Zealanders will be able to enter Australia after Oct 16 without doing the hotel quarantine …….

So other countries are already doing the two week quarantine in specified hotel facilities, but I only found out about it today. So much for it being impossible to do. Where there is a will, then there is always a way.

It is just going to come down to, do you want to end this Pandemic? Or are you unable to make the adjustments needed and let it go on forever.

Aelxa – it’s not a blanket entry to Australia for NZers, it’s just two states. Personally I wouldn’t bother atm because a) neither of those states is absolutely covid-free (that’s true only for Western Australia, and their borders remain closed) and b) because NZers subsequently returning home are still required to quarantine for 2 weeks in a managed-isolation facility and pay for it because they made the decision to take an overseas holiday. I can’t see many taking it up, tbh.

You want to decrease the population?
That’s a solved problem, even if it hasn’t been implemented yet.

Educate girls.
Provide free/low cost contraceptives of all varieties to all women everywhere.
Make use of contraception socially acceptable.

But even if you only implement that first one, educating girls, you’ll decrease the birth rate by giving girls and women more choices.

Educate girls??? Preposterous. My sideburns are curling up in horror of the thought. Do you want more Mary Shelley’s novel, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus literary turds dropped all over the civilized, non-shithole countries of the world?? My god. Perish the thought. Impetuous. Educate girls. LoL.


Yeah, and in the US the Radical Right is poised with the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to overturn Roe vs Wade, restrict birth control, allow insurance companies to refuse insurance to people with pre-existing conditions,etc, etc, etc….

I never thought we would see the day again where an America woman would have to fly to Europe to get an abortion, or even to get birth control itself. Good grief, we are going backwards to the 1950s when I was born.

The American government used to help the WHO give out birth control, in the last decades it has all been stopped dead.

Fellow Humans and Christians, you should know we have filled the Earth….and it is time to stop multiplying. We are no longer stewards to the Earth, we are now raping the Earth and destroying the animals.

@ Aelxa

“Fellow Humans and Christians, you should know we have filled the Earth….and it is time to stop multiplying.”

The demographic transition is already under way. Do not worry too much about that. Worry about getting fossil fuels out of the way, because even with a smaller population, that specific problem would ultimately be left intact.

“We are no longer stewards to the Earth, we are now raping the Earth and destroying the animals.”

Not quite. Animal welfare is an important issue, but not much will change until we get rid of poverty. There are upcoming techniques. See Esther Duflo. But before that, we should worry about Pakistani nukes not falling on Charlie Hebdo, and getting Hezbollah to behave in the current Lebanese crisis.

There are priorities.

Aelxa: “Where I get the idea COVID-19 antibodies disappear after a few month? Well , you see I work in Mefucibe”

It’s a nice little town in Venezuela, but unfortunately there’s no Walgreens. 🙁

And this is why you don’t normally criticize somebody else by their typoes, like ‘iherd mmunity’, because you’ve probably made at least one yourself somewhere.

Jenora Feuer

Oh, I make alot of typing mistakes. It is a “smart”phone and the keyboard is very tiny, so I go back before sending them and correct them, but they still get published from time to time anyway, like the phone insists on deleting my corrections.

But then there are others which I never misspelled, like when I wrote “Medicine” and it was published as”Mefucible”. If you pronounce that word out is “Me Fuc Able” which is disgusting and I never typed that.

But then I take it with an attitude of irony.

As for pointing out a typing mistake …..Bacon does it to me all the time so I am just passing on his stuff to someone else. What comes around, goes around.

“Medicine” is not considered a proper noun in English. Therefore, it is not capitalized unless it’s at the begiinng of a sentence or part of a name, e.g. Harvard School of Medicine.

Well, since I am German I will stick with the German Rules, all Nouns are capitalized, period. Makes it so much easier to deal with Nouns.

And if you do not like it , tough. Or should I point out your “beginning”?

Hi Aelxa , just curious . I take it you’re American , so why the BMJ , possibly the most boring publication in the world . To practice in the UK you more or less need to be in the BMA since it’s basically our trade union so that’s why I received it . Most of mine are never opened and binned in their unopened package !
The Christmas edition is the worst , were they try , and fail , to be entertaining.

Nigel Dennis

I wound up reading alot of BMJ because in the beginning of the Pandemic they were publishing lot of the new stuff coming out on the SARS- CoV -2 virus free on-line. Read alot of Lancet, etc but the JAMA is not open to letting non-physicians read their magazine. And most of what JAMA prints is very conservative and seems to be mostly bolstering up the corporation line.

I mean, anything not a profit-making drug is put down and denigrated, like CoQ10. I got COVID-19 and it affected my heart. The cardiologist had no solution, so I went on PubMed and read up on non-drug treatment, reading convinced me to that taking 200mg-300mg a day would help. So I started taking 200mg of CoQ10, and in 3 days my very severe SOB on just standing up and walking 10 feet went completely away. When I try to reduce the CoQ10 to 100mg a day, the symptoms come back. The stuff is expensive but it works.

But the point is, the AMA is so conservative that helpful over the counter nutrients are viewed negatively in JAMA. It is only a valid treatment if it is a prescription drug in the AMA world view.

Medicine is not a cheery field, I can not imagine an entertaining medical journal edition.

“anything not a profit-making drug is put down and denigrated (by JAMA)”

You mean like the article published September 3d in JAMA on association between vitamin D deficiency and the likelihood of testing positive for Covid-19?

“In this cohort study of 489 patients who had a vitamin D level measured in the year before COVID-19 testing, the relative risk of testing positive for COVID-19 was 1.77 times greater for patients with likely deficient vitamin D status compared with patients with likely sufficient vitamin D status, a difference that was statistically significant.”

“These findings appear to support a role of vitamin D status in COVID-19 risk; randomized clinical trials are needed to determine whether broad population interventions and interventions among groups at increased risk of vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 could reduce COVID-19 incidence.”

Not wild enthusiasm, but hardly a bolstering of the “corporation line” on behalf of evil Pharma.*

It’s not hard to find recognition in JAMA of disease association with vitamin/supplement deficiency states, just as it’s commonplace to find randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled studies that find no significant benefit to supplementation. Good science has a way of dampening enthusiasms for supplementation in healthy people.

It’s comical how many people (including those who profess to be “in Medicine”) view the A.M.A. as an all-powerful organization that ruthlessly polices its members and determines how medical care is provided in the U.S.
In reality, maybe one-sixth of American doctors are A.M.A. members, counting med students and residents. The A.M.A. has zero power to discipline members or enforce its guidelines, and it has very limited interest these days in exposing and fighting quackery. Contrast the A.M.A.’s status with that of the B.M.A. to which more than two-thirds of U.K. docs supposedly belong, and which serves as a trade union for the British medical profession.

*we should remember though that vitamin and supplement sales are something like a $30 billion annual business in the U.S., and much of that income goes to drug giants who’ve been recently buying up supplement companies. Why spend $$$ on R&D and regulatory expenses when you can push supplement pills with grossly inflated claims, without having to fear pushback from the F.D.A.?


With all the studies being published worldwide about Vitamin D levels affecting how severe the case of COVID-19 becomes, how could JAMA not also publish?

But they will never say you should treat COVID-19 with Vitamin D, only that you should increase your Vitamin D levels to help lessen your COVID-19 when you finally get the disease.

Big Harma has been trying to buy up vitamin and nutrient companies since the 1980s, when the Public fought off PHarma’s push to make vitamins a prescription item. TwinLab has been a PHarma company for decades, I do not buy their stuff.

There are tons of medical studies on PubMed showing vitamins and nutrients treat disease, they are just not done in the USA.

Alot of them are being done in Italy lately, like the UBI Study that shows Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) cuts the deathrate from CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) in half, and cut the rate of having to go on dialysis almost in half.

Yup, there is no medicine that will do these things but baking soda will. My Nephrologist has me on Baking Soda, but we are not mentioning it to the AMA. And my GFR went up to 72 in only three days, and it had been at 50. It is a F-ing miracle, and it is on your kitchen shelf.

For those of you who do not know ….. GFR stands for Glomular Filtration Rate, a measure of how well your kidneys are filtering out toxins and making urine. A GFR of 50 means real soon you will need to go on dialysis if it gets a few points lower…and a GFR or 60 or greater is considered normal kidney function.

So much for there being no studies, try reading on PubMed.

Do you think that supplement pushers sell D vitamin for loss ?
Clinical trials list 52 studies about covid 19 and D vitamin
So definitely no suppression here. But I admit that I prefer something that would directly target SARS COV 2.
Actually Hoffmann La Roche started with vitamins, and still makes them. But vitamin C is now an industrial chemical, so a chemical company would make it.


Wow, is that all???

I put “COVID-19” into the JAMA search box and got 1,444 results….and COVID-19 has only been around less than a year…….

JAMA has existed since 1883, if Vitamin D got only 2209 results that tells you the whole story right there in a nut shell.


So 512 results for Vitamin D in 5 years is supposed to be relevant?

Versus 1444 results for COVID-19 in nine months.

I think you should try to limit the results for the last nine months and see what happens.

@Aelxa I would rather start to cite specific papers. Like this:
Lappe J, Watson P, Travers-Gustafson D, et al. Effect of Vitamin D and Calcium Supplementation on Cancer Incidence in Older Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2017;317(12):1234–1243. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2115
I think you think this is relevant, am I right?

oh good grief. We put every COVID patient on vitamin D. Since we start them on some much crap now I have no clue if it is helping at all; time will tell.

Oral bicarb is bicarb. Whether you get it from an orange box in your kitchen or elsewhere. It neutralizes acid. That makes your body dump protons into your GI tract that would have otherwise been eliminated in your kidneys. This is nothing new or hidden. This is no new secret knowledge. I remember an old Nephro recommending it in the ICU one afternoon for a guy who blew his kidneys up shooting dirty meth. No one is hiding this or suppressing it.

@ Dangerous Bacon and Medical Yeti:

What do you guys know: you’re only doctors!

More seriously. regarding the denialism and animus apparent in rightist political circles, at the alt med/ anti-vax sites I survey and from contrarian scoffers at RI as well, I despair for humanity.

I’ve brought up studies here that explore personal characteristics of anti-vaxxers that may also describe the other groups to a degree : they value freedom and purity above all and don’t believe in hierarchies of expertise: anyone can “do their research” and trump doctors, scientists and other professionals.Just like that!
Have internet access and social media made a sector of the population even more simultaneously “uninformed and unaware”, as D-K might say? What bothers me most is the barely disguised contempt and aggression towards well educated people that I detect in many of their screeds and “instructional” rants that betray their own inner workings. Perhaps we sceptics should consider them a lost cause.
But then, you already know that.. .




Yes, you might find a few older and wiser Nephrologists who will use Sodium Bicarbonate, but the complaint was that it was not an authorized standard practice treatment, because there were no long-term double blind studies ever done confirming the treatment was efficacious and a valid treatment. There were only a few short-term studies done and published on PubMed.

So the Italians did a three year double blind study that shows it cut the deathrate in half in patients with a serum bicarbonate of 20. My bicarbonate level was at 18 and was staying there for months, causing me to wind up in the ER multiple times, hyperventilating to blow off CO2 in order to keep my blood pH at 7.40.

And all the other Nephrologists refused to allow me to treat the problem with Baking Soda, it took shoving the UBI Study in my new Nephrologist nose to get him to change his tune.

So yes, treating the problem with Sodium Bicarbonate as a daily treatment at home is being suppressed in the US. Bicarbonate is given often in the hospital all the time in the ICU and CCU, but not as a regular treatment for CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) patients at home.

And while we may be putting every COVID-19 patient on Vitamin D, it is not being claimed to be a treatment, only support to possibly decrease the severity of the disease progression. Because we do know those with higher Vitamin D levels are less likely to get sick, and if they get sick they have milder cases. There is a huge difference between a “Treatment” and a effort to get serum levels of a nutrient into “Normal Range”.

Denice Walter

Why don’ t you go on Medscape and read the comments from physicians on the problem of disappearing antibodies and the COVID-19 vaccines being developed?

These are not antivaxxers, these are regular physicians concerned that a radical RNA vaccine designed is being attempted that has not been used before to make a vaccine.

It is known that the antibodies to COVID-19 completely disappear in mild cases, just like happens in the Common Cold. Which is why they are trying this new technique, and like anything radically be it normally takes almost ten years to work the bugs out and make a half-way safe product.

But instead we are rushing this never-before-used idea and are going to injection millions of people with it.

Like I said, I take some vaccines, like the tetnus shot I had four years ago. It was the single vaccine with no preservative, not the multi-vaccine shot.

But I am not taking the COVID-19 shot, no way. And neither is my son.

You should cite Italian bicarbonate study. You do not give enough hints to find it. I doubt that misquote it, as you always do.
You do not do not know does D vitamin help against COVID. Only clinical trials will tell. Vitamins Do Not Cure Everything, you know.
Why do you cannot understand a simple fact: antibody levels will always go down after infection. If this does not happen, you would have a constant inflammation. Besides of that, T cells are more important for immunity against viral infections. Antibodies are important against bacteria and toxins. Lastly, there will be (if Trump does not mess it up) clinical trials. These will determine safety and efficiency of vaccine.
You do not know what COVID vaccine is accepted. It may even be killed virus vaccine. Why do you oppose vaccine, when you not even know what the vaccine is ?


Just google “UBI Study and Italy and bicarbonate” and it is the first thing at the top of the page.

Or you can go to PubMed and put the same words in the Search function and it will come up as the second item…..

Or you can click here for the study……

But if you intend to do the treatment there is a correction to the dosage calculations here…….

I do not know Vitamin D helps in COVID-19??? Really???…….

And here is an article interviewing one of the researchers of the study just above….

Those should be enough to help you decide of you should increase your Vitamin D levels or not, I take a low dose Vitamin D everyday myself.

And I never said Vitamins cure Disease.

But there are a few diseases that are only cured by a vitamin, like Beriberi and then there is Scurvy.

There are a few other conditions that are worse with low levels of other vitamins and nutrients, like a lack of iodine will cause Goiter and Hypothyroidism. And too much Iodine can cause both Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism to occur. And the list goes on.

More does not mean better.

Right now, the US government has contracts of three different vaccines, that I know of Modrna, Jansen, and Astra-Zenica . And a trial on a fourth vaccine is going on in the US…..

Oh yes, there is also Pfizer and BioNTech, which makes it five……

And you read the previous links, the CDC intends to start vaccinating people in a select large US cities like Houston Texas, using two different vaccines, A and B, per city. What A is and B is who knows, only the CDC will know.

What the vaccines are made of has already been published, but you will not know which one you are gettininner what is in it.

Name of bicarbonate paper is
“Correction of metabolic acidosis improves insulin resistance in chronic kidney disease”
You would notice how a citation helps ? Bicarbonate obviously neutralize. Chronic kidney disease damages ph homeostatis, so external bicarbonate is useful. AMA’s ninja gang would not go after you because of that.
Your D vitamin links are from random websites. You should cite a clinical trial.
Governments have indeed ordered vaccines that may be proved unsafe and uneffective in clinical trials. Do the contracts come null and void in this case ? I really hope so. Do governments force an untested vaccine, even Trump ?

“My Nephrologist has me on Baking Soda, but we are not mentioning it to the AMA.”

Good thing you’re keeping it quiet. If the A.M.A. learns about it, they’ll send a black-clad ninja team to your home to confiscate your stash.

$2,000 to tell one’s Covid-19 story is chicken feed.

Compare that to the $2.5 million in revenue Del Bigtree’s antivax group received in one recent year, enabling them to spread lies about vaccination.

It is a casting call. So I sm afraid only a few people will be accepted. Barbara Lou Fisher makes more from NVIC, though her salary has gone down lately. NP schadenfreude here, no man. (Check IRS 990 form.)
Do you really think that antivaxxers antivax for free ?

@ Aarno

Do you really think that antivaxxers antivax for free ?

As one ESL to another, may I say I like your mastering of English?
I will have to steal that sentence.

@ Aarno
@ Athaic:

I think that your English is phenomenal! And I often work with EFL/ ESL ( potential) university students. and study foreign languages myself PLUS you inform and de-fuse mis-informational content by scoffers with great style and gusto..

Do anti-vaxxers anti-vax for free?
Not the professionals!
— alt med salesmen ( and it’s mostly men) speak or write about the “dangers” of vaccines to attract an audience who may then purchase their products ( including supplements, foods, books, films, webinars). Business sites have shown huge profits**.
— purely anti-vax prevaricators usually have a charity where followers can donate money and may also sell products or books***
RI has discussed the exact amounts of money their charities pay them.

Then, there are the semi-pros:
usually anti-vax mothers who write books, manage websites or lecture at anti-vax events****

Last of all, we have individuals who comment on anti-vax as well as SB sites/ FB to spread pseudoscience and to insult sceptics. They work for free.

** Natural News, PRN, Mercola
*** Age of Autism, Children’s Health Defense, TMR, The High Wire, Stop Mandatory Vaccination Now, NVIC
**** several at AoA like Kim Rossi, Ann Dachel; also TMs, Louise Kuo, individual bloggers ,

Just an FYI to my readers. I have the last of my major grant deadlines for the year on Monday (unless one mechanism sets its deadline in December). So there’ll probably be no new material this week, but next week I really do plan on getting back to regular blogging. It’s been driving me nuts not to be able to write about all the pseudoscience and quackery in the news.

ICAN 990 charity forms are available from IRS. Del Bigtree made 180000 and has a Chief Administrative Officer to help him. ICAN actually got the money from Selz foundation, not from donations. But ICAN’s 990 form is actually available, Robert Kennedy Jr’s is not. I wonder (or actually, do not wonder) why this is the case.

Stakeholders receive a percentage of the take, and all the profits.

Grift leaders receive a percentage of the take, and may be salaried.

Minions are salaried employees, plus bonuses.

Support staff are salaried employees.

Shills invoice on a fee for service basis.

Marketing recruits and encourages external resources who work for free.

For money Selz Foundation gives to ICAN, check Foundation’s 990PF form, which is available at IRS website. Last one is 1800000.

With antivax groups, it’s less about how much money they take in, compared to the issue of how it’s spent.

ICAN has gotten big bucks from the Selz Foundation (their major backers), but it’s hard to see how those dollars are directly benefiting autistic children and adults, as opposed to bankrolling lawyers.

“A large portion of the Informed Consent Action Network’s capital was spent on legal counsel in 2017, its form 990 shows. The group paid Siri & Glimstad LLP, a New York-based law firm, $672,506 in 2017, according to the form.

When an Institutional Investor reporter called a spokesperson for the Informed Consent Action Network, the spokesperson said, “we’re not interested,” and hung up.”

The Selz Foundation has also given lots of money to the Autism Media Channel Foundation (the leaders of which include Andrew Wakefield and Polly Tommey, producers of “Vaxxed”), $450,000 in 2017.

The AMCF raised about $1.3 million in one recent two-year period but details of its spending are murky according to a Left Brain/Right Brain article.

The Austin Statesman reported that the now-defunct Strategic Autism Initiative raised about $623,000 over a three-year period, supposedly to support autism research. Over $316,000 of that went as salary to Andrew Wakefield for working 30-hour and then 15-hour weeks.

Aren’t antivaxers always harping on transparency and accountability regarding donations and income? Apparently it’s only an issue for them as far as immunization advocates are concerned. Antivax leaders can do what they like with the money, and their followers in the vaccines-cause-everything camp don’t seem to care how it’s spent.

Over $316,000 of that went as salary to Andrew Wakefield for working 30-hour and then 15-hour weeks.

I am really in the wrong business.


You should see what the NRA head makes a year….more than $2 Million…that is over $5,000 a day if he works 365 days a year. If he worked 5 days a week for 52 weeks a year that is $7,692 a day. But we know they take vacations , let us say only 20 days a year… That means he makes $8,333.33 a day.

Gee, I wonder what he does to earn that salary. Polish all the brass casings of the bullets sold each year? What is worth $8,333.33 a day?

And the head of Boystown gets over $1 Million.

Can you tell me what a person has to do to get one of these jobs? Well, first it looks like you need to be a guy…out of the fist 25 charities listed, only 6 are headed by women.

@ Aelxa

I have this feeling, if we start exchanging notes about NRA and Russian femmes fatales, we will find ourselves in full agreement on many things.

They’re not the only ones making money:
The Lancet, Oct 2020: The on-line anti-vaccine movement in the age of Covid-19 recounts a Centre for Countering Digital Hate report ( link) that illustrates how social media companies like Facebook profit off of the recent growth of vaccine mis-information.

A great writer once said that ‘if someone tells you who they are, believe them’
I’ll add a qualification:
sometimes they say they’re not something but then prove themselves otherwise.
Orac wrote a series ( 27 posts: “The Annals of ‘I’m not anti-vaccine'”) about anti-vaxxers saying that they’re not anti-vaccine BUT… they always show their stripes eventually**
Here are a few tell-take signs of anti-vax that reveal their core beliefs.:
–They’re pro safe vaccines
–Certain vaccines are alright but most are not
–VPDs are not dangerous
–Vaccines cause autism, SIDS, “brain damage”, Alzheimer’s, ADHD and other conditions that are not linked to them by multitudinous international studies done over decades
–Vaccines contain dangerous chemicals/ toxins/ poisons/ monkey cells/ baby parts etc
–They raise fear, uncertainty and doubt about vaccines that don’t exist yet
–Vaccines are not tested enough or monitored post approval
–They’ll never take ( allow their children to take) a particular vaccine

So believe what they “say” including the subtext/ dog whistles/ innuendo

** similarly, hiv/aids denialists

Denice Walter

I guess then in your mind Ralph Nader was an anti-technology Luddite because he got down on the automobile manufacturers mailing unsafe cars with no mandatory seatbelts, which when in a crash would crumple like a cardboard box and kill people? By not letting up Ralph Nader made cars safer for all of us. Of course, Nader’s job was made easier by the fact people could sue the car maker from damages.

But somehow in Orac’s mind and your mind it is ok to have vaccines so unsafe that the government had to give the manufacturers a “get out if jail free” card, by prohibiting anyone from sueing them for damages.

On top of it the government made records of vaccine side-effects almost worthless by making reporting voluntary…. No doctor is required to report a patient having a bad reaction. And most doctors do not report it because it means $$$ lost in time and effort to get the forms, fill them out, etc.

The same can not be said about cars, auto accident reports are filed on every car accident.

Doesn’t it say something about a country where your car safety is more important than your vaccine safety?

And to claim anyone who takes a vaccine is still an “antivaxxer” is ludicrous to the extreme.

Wanting safety in a vaccine, being a good consumer and deciding to take only those one finds have a safe history of use does not make one an “antivaxxer” ……but it sure makes a person who claims this is so, a person who does not care about the safety and health of people. One wonders why anyone would not care about having a safe product injected into their bodies.


Did you read your link?

If you bothered, you would have downloaded the PDF and found reporting certain side-effects that manifested during certain time periods from certain vaccines was only mandatory after March 21, 2017.

Wow, they FINALLY got around the REQUIRING “healthcare providers” to report CERTAIN vaccine side-effects.

The mandatory reporting has only been required during the last 3 years, so all the previous reporting was strictly at the discretion of the physician.

So all the records before March 21, 2017 are totally incomplete and if you read the link. ……..physicians are ENCOURAGED to report side-effects that fall outside the parameters of the PDF handout.

And what are the consequences if you do not report? I could not find a single punishment for not reporting.

Wow, how effective can this program be if physicians are used to not being required to report for decades? And then there is the PDF. My son sees his pediatrician this month, my son is 28 but still sees a pediatrician since the pediatrician is the only Autism Specialist in the area.

I will be sure to ask him about whether he has a copy of the PDF on hand. Afterall, there are specific time limits on side-effects required to be reported, like 7 days in many cases

My son got no compensation as it was not required to be reported in 1992. And my son’s new pediatrician wanted to report it, it was totally voluntary in 1992, but the former pediatrician conveniently “lost” my son’s medical file.

I do not have any idea what vaccines he got or who the manufacturer was…… or even if he was given something under study. That the medical records disappeared is highly suspicious and left us with no recourse to pay for all the treatments and therapy my son requires to this day.

I did not lie, I was simply unaware that they FINALLY changed the reporting system effective March 2017. And the reporting system is still weak if they have to ENCOURAGE physicians to report and if there are no consequences for not reporting.

Imagine a traffic law with no consequences like a ticket or jail, how effective would it be?

I did not speak about past, I spoke about things happening today. So did you. It is indeed marginally better to speak without checking facts than lie, even though checking was very simple in this case.
CDC actually says that reporting vaccine side effects is required by law, and reporting any effects is encouraged.
Reporting every effect makes VAERS unreliable for evaluating causation (everything happening after vaccination is not caused by vaccines). This is why epidemiological studies are needed.


A lie is when you knowingly tell a falsehood, since I was unaware that the feds finally made reportly CERTAIN side-effects that manifest during CERTAIN time periods now mandatory… means I did not lie since I was unaware of the change.

To claim I did because I did not check before writing my post is facetious.

Checking is not always so simple when you have a adult handicapped child to take care of with no assistance from the feds, who did not have mandatory reporting in 1992, and your husband is dead since 1996 from Agent Orange.

Try taking care of a handicapped person 24/7 by yourself then tell me about checking stuff for changes. The last time I looked in 2015 it was still not mandatory.


Reporting every unusual effect after a vaccination is the only way to discover if a vaccine, or a drug, has unexpected effects that never appeared during the original testing.

It is the way alot of drugs wind up get pulled, like Vioxx which worked like a charm for Fibromyalgia pain, but wound up causing heart disease and heart attacks in women, was discovered. Or they might get “Black Box” notices instead of being pulled, but it saves lives.

They may seem like “frivolous reporting” of “unrelated symptoms” to you, but the trends revealed by side-effect reporting, is how these problems with certain drugs are discovered.

Of course, drug manufacturers would prefer possible side-effects not be reported, they want to sell as much of the drug as possible, to make as much money as possible.

For patient safety reporting all side-effects is necessary.

@Aelxa CDC encourages reporting all adverse effects after vaccination, regardless of cause. It is of course good thing, but it does mean that no causation is proved.
I typed “vaccine adverse effect reporting law” into Google Search box. Not difficult thing to figure out. Perhaps you purposefully avoid the truth ?

Shocking news: Amazon has removed the new blockbuster book by Thomas Cowan and Sally Fallon Morell, “The Contagion Myth” from its site.

According to the Weston Price Foundation, this is because the authors have “struck a nerve” with their paradigm-shifting volume. Da trufe is not what They are telling us.

“The disease called Covid-19 is not contagious and scientists have not properly isolated and purified a virus associated with the disease. The illness, characterized by lack of oxygen, widespread clotting, electrical or “fizzing” feelings, and degeneration of the lungs, fits the description of radiation poisoning from exposure to electromagnetic frequencies. The most likely culprit: microwave radiation from fifth generation wireless—5G.”

Viruses don’t cause disease, it’s Electrosmog and 5G.

Thankfully you can still buy the book via Barnes and Noble and other sites. And Cowan’s other books (with revelations including the heart not being a pump and cancer being caused by a derangement in the internal structure of water) are still being sold on Amazon.

I have sympathy with the free speech angle, though a business is not obligated to facilitate the spread of misinformation that imperils public health. But in that case, why is Amazon continuing to sell hundreds or thousands of books equally or more damaging in their potential effects?

When I worked at a used bookstore our buyers had a few limits on what they wouldn’t put up for sale (we had a thing where if we wanted even one of the books you brought in we would take them all, so you didn’t have to cart them home).

Mostly we didn’t sell things like pornography, and the one copy we had of the Anarchist Cookbook was locked up (because it was a signed edition; I think we put up a sign saying where you could download the text). But we wouldn’t sell Mien Kamft (I’m not looking up the correct spelling) or the Protocols of The Elders of Zion.

As book people we took not banning very seriously.

As people with strong moral convictions we took not spreading hate very seriously as well.

(Being situated in the funky/gay neighborhood of a very liberal city made these decisions much easier, because we didn’t get a lot of really questionable stuff.)

@Aelxa Result of that epidemic was that FDA now kinda regulates compound pharmacies. If they make large batches, this is considered manufacturing. So there are a possibility that your compound pharmacy is as well regulated as drug makers. It does not mean that you should buy random intravenously injectable things .

@Aelxa About your link, do read it. Most of this year crop is hand sanitizers and various natural products. You may be interested that many thyroid products are included. (And homeopaths suffer bacterial contamination.)


“It does not mean you should buy randomly injectable intravenous things.”

First of all, it requires a physician’s prescription to purchase medication from a compounding pharmacy.

Second of all, all pharmacies were originally compounding pharmacies, they are not the local drug dealer hawking illegal drugs.

I have had my physician prescribe an item or two that only was available from a compounding pharmacy. …..because of allergies. Mass manufactured drugs tend to contain alot of unnecessary additives that are allergens.

I do not know exactly where you live, the name looks Swedish, but back in the 1960s pharmacies in Germany did alot of compounding of medications when I lived there, so I know compounding pharmacies still exist there. In fact, there are about 21,500 of them in Germany today.

To make it sound as if compounding pharmacies were like illegal drug labs and anyone using them might be a druggie of some kind is……I am not quite sure what to call it, but it sounds like spreading libel to me at the minimum.


I read the link.

The hand sanitizers are on it because they used a toxic form of alcohol that can be absorbed through the skin and damage the kidneys and even cause kidney failure. About 60 of the items on the list are these hand sanitizers.

If you read the list, the first and the fourth items are a diabetes drug called metformin. Metformin is a medication just like the thyroid medications are.

Most of the stuff is all made overseas and not manufactured in the USA.

But all of the items are on the list because they can cause bodily harm. Including the hand sanitizers.


Considering that thymosin alpha-1 is an injection that has been used for years to treat viral infections, plus there is a study showing it cuts death from COVID-19 from 30% to 11.11% in patients with severe cases of COVID-19…… I would say thymosin alpha-1 is a effective treatment for COVID-19.

So why are they giving physicians using it a hard time?

And Smith is a diversion, there are independent compounding pharmacies all over the country and like any company quality and practices will vary. To indict all compounding pharmacies due to the problems with a few smells of a “witch-hunt” and perhaps a concerted effort to eliminate competition with drug companies.

We are in an age of rising fascism, and an competing against the monopoly will to stepped on and eliminated.

Thymalfasin IS being studied for COVID and the ID guys/gals use it for chronic Hep C. No one is giving physicians a hard time. If I tried to order it for one of my COVID pts I would, first, have to write a paper script for it since NO ONE has it on formulary. Next, I’d get a call from the pharmacy asking ‘What the h*ll?” Then, I’d get a call from administration saying: “”Haha – NO.” when they see the price tag.

My response to them to better advocate for my patient? “I think it might work based on anecdote and deductive reasoning.” They’d laugh me out of the building. Get real. I thought you worked in “Healthcare?” It seems like you really have a poor understanding of how it works.

Next, I decide I want to give it to a clinic patient. They take that script, again paper because it’s not in any e-prescribing database, to their local CVS. CVS calls me and says: “Does this person have hepatitis?” I say: “No but I think it might work on COVID. I’m a doctor, I know sht.” They hang up and try to pre-authorize it with the insurance plan. Plan says “Hll no.” Pharmacist tells patient: “Hey guy, we can get this for you but it’ll cost ya $2800/week.” Patient promptly finds a new doctor. Get real.

I want to give my patients every chance I can. I’d love to try this and about five other drugs that might work and have low risk profiles for COVID but I can’t. See above.


I know it is being studied, did you notice my link to one study?????

Hell, they probably gave it to trump as one of the many drugs that he got while he was hospitalized for three days.

Tell me about expensive drugs, I have one injection I take, once every two weeks, that costs $1,500 a shot. Fortunately the feds pay for it in compensation for my husband’s death, 100% service-connected.

I know how it works, sometimes you just have to jump through the hoops, one drug I take was not on the formulary and the doctor filled out the “medically necessary” paperwork and I got the drug.

Or there are no hoops if you are trump. And if you are rich it is no problem at all to pay for it.

@ Aelxa

“We are in an age of rising fascism, and an competing against the monopoly will to stepped on and eliminated.”

Fascism is not that. Sorry.

Getting tired of people not knowing the basic meaning of words like that.

Just got into an Internet fight – once again… – with a guy (journalist) who wanted to make me pass for a Holocaust denier on the mere basis that I oppose government-enforced free speech restrictions on Holocaust denial. Gas chambers once again… And the guy, seemingly, wasn’t aware that gas chambers were designed for mentally ill people and handicapped people in the first place (Hadamar clinic, typically…), and that this is why they have a very specific place in the history and meaning of the Holocaust and of Holocaust denialism…

He wanted to score a quick point in a debate where he claimed that Creative Commons License are more or less illegal or at least should not be enforced or enforceable. And brought up gas chambers to score a quick point…

That kind of instrumentalisation and ignorance from people who claim to educate other on what nazism or fascism is is starting to annoy me very seriously. I am fed up of being portrayed as a Holocaust denier…

Open a history book, Aelxa.

Then we’ll talk about fascism.


Gee, is your name Tim? And I have not addressed a single post to you, F68.10 for months because you do not come out of left field, you come from a completely different universe.

Perhaps you need to learn about Fascism, ie including the corporations Mussolini formed as monopolies in manufacturing production, 22 of them in Italy if I remember correctly.

You can not tell me bupkiss about Fascism, and even Nazi Germany. My grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins all lived thru Nazi Germany and gave us first hand accounts of it. My parents left for America before WW2. One uncle was caught wounded in East Germany and told of the Soviet era there that he went thru. One side of the family that was Jewish was eliminated in those camps.

Now I will continue to ignore iyou once again for a long, long time, hopefully forever.

@Aelxa What about Red E Male pills and homeopathic products. Not medicine, these.
A pharmacy fulfilling prescription is not a problem. There are, however, compound pharmacies that various alternative products that are supposed to cure disease.


There are many causes of disease.

Example: Osteomalacia and Osteoporosis can be caused by a lack of Vitamin D, or Calcium, or Boron, or Magnesium. And the cure is not a medication but giving the patient the proper nutrients to build bone.

Or the cause can be a lack of weight-bearing exercise, from being bedbound or paralysis. Again the cure is not a medicine.

As for homeopathic medicines, they are not used to treat disease, they are used to treat symptoms. As to their efficacy , all you have to do is look at the deathrates in homeopathic hospitals in the US during the Spanish Flu (approx 2%) vs the deathrates in other hospitals (40-60%).

Herbs are known to have “medicinal” effects.

You need to remember that medicines were originally extracted from plants, such as Aspirin was originally from the bark of the willow, and there are still researchers who investigate plants for their medicinal effects, in order to develop patentable drugs.

Personally, I use everything from Physical Therapy to prescription drugs to vitamins and nutrients to treat disease. Including homeopathic medicines. And daily meditation is excellent in helping to control high blood pressure, as it reduces the dosage of blood pressure medication needed.

Just because the AMA or any other institutions badmouths other treatment modalities, does not mean those other modes of treatment are quackery.

Smith, who has identified himself as the company’s vice president of business development, has also been the subject of criminal investigation. In 2015, he was arrested for allegedly placing a hidden camera in the women’s bathroom at the University of Kentucky and taking photos without people’s consent, according to widespread news reports. Court records indicate he was convicted of “voyeurism,” and a Kentucky State Police database lists him as a registered sex offender. The records note that his victim was 16 years old.

Wow. That is some smear. I’ll bet the stuff works:: thymosin alpha-1. It is an injection, though. Eew. I bet that it’s bullshit. But… wellness. I’m going to see if I can vape it.

From u/Incred

It’s early morning, the tweet goes out
Last night I was boofing and pretty loud
The hoax is spreading, my mask came in
Will wearing this mean the liberals win?

America’s dying, do something they tell
Just hold more rallies, so I can yell
Playing it down, these stories must go
Oh shit I have Covid, it’s time for a show

Here I am
Rock you like a Hermancain
Here I am
Rock you like a Hermancain

Too soon? 🙅‍♂️

“I will not go gently into that good night…” Fuck you, Barr; and muh ax. I wish to say to you, “your fight is over”.

Bill Stepien’s diagnosis is the latest blow to a reeling reelection effort. He plans to maintain control of the campaign while in quarantine.

Na, na na na, hey, hey, hey; goodbye.

Didn’t Orac post somthing about superspreaders, or something?? Well, there ya go.

Speaking of superspreaders:

Can Akismet or other WordPress feature be tweaked to prevent more than three consecutive comments from the same person?*

*especially when they sound like they’re coming from an 9-year-old who’s just discovered profanity.

“Can that stuff be deleted?”

Sure, since we are now in a rising fascist country…did you see that Fascist uniform that Melania wore to trump’s acceptance speech, it was even brown in color. Only thing missing were the military patches.

All dissenting speech can be squashed, but you might not like the end results…concentration camps and all that go with it. Remember it was not only the Jews who were sent there, the list was long and included certain religions and even the handicapped.

Guess it is “Heil Trump” time in America.At least it is for the far right.

I hope he gets what he deserves from God real soon. Did you see the interview where he was asked if he was more partial to the Old or the New Testament, and said he did not want to take sides on the matter? And asked what quote from the Bible was his favorite….he was unable to quote anything and said he preferred not to speak on that subject.

I bet you he can not even tell you that Genesis is the first book in the Bible. Trump as never cracked open a Bible in his entire life. But he can sure lead the rightwing lemmings.

So sorry, it is my Tourettes, I’m afraid.

Also, they knew. Mr. “I get tested every day” knew; and was fashionably late to the debate so there was no time to test him. Melonianoma knew, she jerked away from him during an attempted hug. He tried to give it to Biden and Biden’s team was never warned.

They were just gonna not tell until he had to go to hospital (gig’s up). He’s been in my ‘thoughts and prayers’ just not in a way that has a positive resolution of outcome from his perspective (die, fat, fascist, totalitarian, Xi/Jung Un wannabe fuck, I pray god).

His ‘good German genes’ may not be up to the challenge. He proclaims he ‘feels good’ today. But you don’t see him on phone interview with his fox news friends, waving out the window to the people, or taking a stroll around the lot for some fresh air.

I here it is a little like radiation poisoning where one might improve and feel fine for a time only to rot in place fast a couple days later (day 7-9 for most people to transition).

— I don’t want to go on the cart! I’m happy; so happy. I’m feeling better.

— No, you are not. You’ll be stone dead in a moment…

Ohh. My bad, he took a ride* today. People in hospital with coronavirus die without even being allowed to say goodbye to family and this narcissistic Nero, this mango Mao goes for a stoll in a hermetically-sealed vehicle with his protectors so that he can get an ego-hit off his frothing, spraying, chin-diaper wearing followers. He’s just gonna double down if he lives; I’ll say the quiet part out loud for everybody — He needs to die, I hope he dies, and I hope half his senate dies with him.

*I also have screened Weekend at Donnie’s..ermm.. Bernie’s.

Lee: Sociopathy is dangerous, in part because out of envy of other human beings for having human characteristics, it actively desires people to suffer and die. I believe it is not an exaggeration to say that Donald Trump delights in putting people in danger for multiple reasons. When he forces his followers into crowded indoor rallies without masks, for example, he is demanding they prove their loyalty to him with their lives.
Rhetoric and demonstrations of behavior coming out of a powerful figure, furthermore, translate into widespread imitation and deadly results for the population.
It fits with his entire plan to show that the virus is no big deal, and we can ignore it — basically to have us adopt his fantasy world view. In real life, this will make the pandemic grow even more uncontrollable and kill many more people, but this is the side effect of his inability to fight the virus and his need to fight reality instead. This is how pathology is different from rational thinking — and how it combines with a criminal mind to make it even more destructive.
What people need to understand about many of his followers is that in their need for a parental figure who will take care of them, his position alone justifies whatever he does, and any exposure of his fraudulence and criminality will be experienced as an existential threat to them, which is why it only activates defensive denial, disavowal and protection of their “protector.”

Violence, paranoia and delusions are also particularly contagious, and so having someone with these symptoms in an influential position is almost a setup for propagation of these traits — what I have been calling “shared psychosis” but which others have also called “folie à millions,” or madness by the millions.

{And the way he’s working those neck muscles these days makes me think they accidentally sewed his little Axolotl gills together.}

You are a man of culture and have read me correctly. I have a 7 year old pet slime mold and if Trump came over here and said he wanted to play with it, I would pour it upon my head, tell him “no”, and shoot him in the face.

What the actual fuck is this??:

I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!

God damn, gran gran, sorry u so dead now. If you weren’t, you could watch me shoot Donnie in the face whilst my pet slime mold is dripping off my head. I’d bet you would have got a kick outta that.

i watched about a minute of that clown before deciding I couldn’t believe whatever he was going to get around to telling me.

I searched for a recent report from the CDC with a stated IFR and didn’t find one. If it was in the MMWR, it was well buried.

But I found the article above which calculated an IFR of 0.65%. That is practically the same as the 0.68% I saw in published research I cited in another thread. That makes the cost of achieving “natural herd immunity” horrific.

We need a good vaccine.


What about the extra “excess deaths” of 50,000+ persons who have died who are not being counted as COVID-19 deaths? Nobody is talking about them.

Afterall, if you die at home and there was no test done before you died confirming you had COVID-19…you are just not counted. The CDC is not publishing those numbers, they said 200,000 people had died of COVID-19, when they knew they already had 250,000+ excess deaths nationally.

The infrared product he advertises might be a good thing.. I’ve felt for a long time that what’s wrong with lots of people is that good ‘healing’ open hearth fires (minus the particulates) is that everyone sticks glass in front of them now, down-converting it to Tera Hz waves. They make one nicely illuminated for viewing from space but not so much for aching bones.

Ok, the numbers are all wrong…,

If the flu was that much more deadly than COVID-19….

And we have 210,000 dead from COVID-19 ( not to mention the extra 50,000+ deaths not listed as COVID-19)……

Where are the many more millions of deaths from the Flu that have never occurred each year ????????

CDC numbers are based on
Estimation of SARS-CoV-2 mortality during the early stages of an epidemic: a modeling study in Hubei, China, and six regions in Europe
Anthony Hauser, Michel J Counotte, Charles C Margossian, Garyfallos Konstantinoudis, Nicola Low, Christian L Althaus, Julien Riou
These values are similar than ones known before. Your link contains planning scenarios so using lowest numbers is not right. Numbers are decimal fractions, not procents. Perhaps you confuse these two.

Good morning, Nat. So what do you make of those numbers? Or, to borrow a book title quote, “How Shall We Then Live?”

More people have died from this virus in about 7 months than died from influenza in the last 4 or 5 flu seasons combined. I think that is plenty of reason to be concerned about SARS-CoV-2 and try to protect against it.

What methods do you recommend?

And based on those CDC numbers, how many deaths do you estimate the U.S. will suffer to achieve community protection where both the incidence of the disease and the consequent deaths will steadily decline?

“More people have died from this virus in about 7 months than died from influenza in the last 4 or 5 flu seasons combined. I think that is plenty of reason to be concerned about SARS-CoV-2 and try to protect against it.” Citation please.

Annual U.S. cancer deaths avg over 600,000 a year for some perspective.

I think you know the difference, Tim. Natalie has been arguing by dropping a link. I’m trying to get her to state her argument, conclusion, or whatever.

Natalie White

If you bothered checking before taking that tube video seriously, you would know the numbers were all wrong.

You can find the ESTIMATED flu deaths here because the CDC does not want to bother recording the real numbers……

If the flu was more deadly than COVID-19, we would be hip deep in dead people every year and hospitals would be paralyzed with the sick and dying flowing out the doors.

Just really think about the numbers, if the flu was more deadly it would be enforced social distancing every flu season, and chaos would have destroyed the nation long ago.

Utube should take down that video for spreading false information.

Of course, I know the difference. I was just being unnecessarily misogynistic.

“I’m trying to get her to state her argument… or whatever”

You go, boy; good luck with that. — That chin diaper-wearing fembot.

Annual U.S. cancer deaths avg over 600,000 a year for some perspective.

It’s cancers, plural. IOW, not a single illness. I, too, can present some big numbers by folding together a few dozens (hundreds?) non-related causes of death.

And we are not just sitting here doing nothing about cancer, we are already throwing plenty of resources at that.
So it’s not a good reason to do nothing about about covid19.

Heck, as viruses like influenza and sars-cov are going to be more lethal for people under cancer treatment, getting busy limiting the spread of these viruses is actually also working, if somewhat indirectly, on reducing death from cancer.

Want to respond to Orac? Here's your chance. Leave a reply!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.