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Why is Peter Doshi still an editor at The BMJ?

Peter Doshi is at least borderline antivaccine and has been casting doubt on vaccine efficacy since 2009. Earlier this month, he posted a badly flawed “analysis” casting doubt on the efficacy of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Why does The BMJ still employ him?

Why is Peter Doshi still an associate editor for The BMJ? I keep asking that question, but no one seems able to answer it.

I first encountered Peter Doshi in 2009, when I noted that, as the H1N1 pandemic of 2009-2010 was bearing down on us, he was scheduled to speak at an antivaccine conference hosted by the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). Indeed, he had even been contacted about the nature of the conference and replied with a lame, “my speaking there does not imply endorsement” gambit. Since then, he’s been nothing if not consistent. While all the while claiming he’s “not antivaccine, he’s parroted more than a few antivaccine talking points himself while trying to portray himself as an authority on influenza and the flu vaccine. Through it all, he’s played the “victim” card that people who are borderline antivaccine or antivaccine love to play, claiming that they are “just asking questions” and that anyone who “questions” vaccines is labeled, in a knee-jerk fashion, “antivaccine.” In fact, Doshi’s borderline antivaccine stylings go back further than 2009, when senior pseudonymous epidemiologist whose blog I used to read religiously back then chastised him for an “unhelpful” commentary in which Doshi had claimed that estimates for yearly influenza deaths were “grossly inflated.” That was 2006.

Since then, Peter Doshi has somehow managed to become an associate editor of The BMJ, one of the premiere medical journals in the world. How this happened, I have no idea, but periodically he publishes posts for The BMJ that are—to put it kindly—far below the standards that a medical journal with the history of The BMJ should ever associate itself with. Most recently, he published one more such blog post entitled, Pfizer and Moderna’s “95% effective” vaccines—we need more details and the raw data.

How “reasonable” sounding. After all, who could argue against more transparency, right? But notice the scare quotes around “95% effective.” They give the game away right there. So does the beginning of the post, which seeks to cast doubt on the conclusion that the two mRNA vaccines are roughly 95% effective at preventing COVID-19:

All attention has focused on the dramatic efficacy results: Pfizer reported 170 PCR confirmed covid-19 cases, split 8 to 162 between vaccine and placebo groups. But these numbers were dwarfed by a category of disease called “suspected covid-19”—those with symptomatic covid-19 that were not PCR confirmed. According to FDA’s report on Pfizer’s vaccine, there were “3410 total cases of suspected, but unconfirmed covid-19 in the overall study population, 1594 occurred in the vaccine group vs. 1816 in the placebo group.”

With 20 times more suspected than confirmed cases, this category of disease cannot be ignored simply because there was no positive PCR test result. Indeed this makes it all the more urgent to understand. A rough estimate of vaccine efficacy against developing covid-19 symptoms, with or without a positive PCR test result, would be a relative risk reduction of 19% (see footnote)—far below the 50% effectiveness threshold for authorization set by regulators. Even after removing cases occurring within 7 days of vaccination (409 on Pfizer’s vaccine vs. 287 on placebo), which should include the majority of symptoms due to short-term vaccine reactogenicity, vaccine efficacy remains low: 29% (see footnote).

If many or most of these suspected cases were in people who had a false negative PCR test result, this would dramatically decrease vaccine efficacy. But considering that influenza-like illnesses have always had myriad causes—rhinoviruses, influenza viruses, other coronaviruses, adenoviruses, respiratory syncytial virus, etc.—some or many of the suspected covid-19 cases may be due to a different causative agent.

But why should etiology matter? If those experiencing “suspected covid-19” had essentially the same clinical course as confirmed covid-19, then “suspected plus confirmed covid-19” may be a more clinically meaningful endpoint than just confirmed covid-19.

First of all, I can’t help but note that the whole “adding different hyperlinks to several words in a sentence in a row” thing is highly annoying, the sort of thing that bloggers should do very sparingly, if at all. Second, let’s look at Doshi’s arguments, which, at its core is that the clinical trials for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines had a critical flaw that led them to miss a whole lot of cases of COVID-19, which, if included in the analysis, would lead to an analysis that would have shown much less efficacy of the vaccine. At its core, this is an argument so profoundly ridiculous and unscientific that it’s a wonder that The BMJ would allow it to be made on its blog. Think about it. After having made the observation that many different viruses cause the common cold and influenza-like illnesses (true), Doshi is arguing that Pfizer and Moderna should have included influenza-like diseases not confirmed as COVID-19 in its analysis, even though the vast majority of them were almost certainly not COVID-19.

As virologist John Skylar notes:

Before you read that, I want to emphasize that Dr. Doshi is just wrong. He claims that the clinical trials for the vaccines contained a design flaw that has made them miss a large number of cases of COVID-19. Specifically, he believes it is inappropriate that they measured only confirmed cases of COVID-19 rather than looking at suspected cases of COVID-19. His argument is that if you look at suspected cases, you see a vaccine efficacy of only about 19%, where looking at confirmed cases gives an efficacy of 95%.

The thing is, this analysis is wildly flawed. Dr. Doshi conveniently ignores the fact that many of the suspected cases turned out to be negative for SARS-CoV-2 infection. So many, in fact, that it would suggest that PCR tests only correctly detect 5% of tested cases. We know this isn’t the case.

While it is probable that some positive cases were missed, it is unlikely that this is a very substantial number.

Exactly. Respiratory infections are very common, and at the time that the studies were being done most of them would not have been expected to be due to COVID-19. Doshi seems oblivious to the observation that the number of cases of “suspected” COVID-19 were roughly similar in both trials. As our feathery reptilian friend Skeptical Raptor notes, removing these cases doesn’t have a material impact on the analysis, and as Skylar further notes:

Additionally, it is not reasonable to just assume that all cases of respiratory illness in a sample of 30,000 people are due to COVID-19. This disease does not have a lot of characteristic symptoms. It is easily confused with other illnesses. Bacterial infections can cause many of the symptoms that COVID-19 causes, and there is no virus involved there even! Not to mention other viruses that can cause COVID-19-like illness. To presume without confirmation that all of these cases—even after we rule out the very many of them with negative PCR tests—are COVID-19 is, frankly, just bad science.

“Bad science” is Peter Doshi’s middle name, actually, going back at least to 2006, accelerating in 2009 as the H1N1 influenza pandemic hit, and continuing all the way to 2021. It’s his schtick. It’s what he’s known for.

Particularly silly is this complaint by Doshi:

Another reason we need more data is to analyse an unexplained detail found in a table of FDA’s review of Pfizer’s vaccine: 371 individuals excluded from the efficacy analysis for “important protocol deviations on or prior to 7 days after Dose 2.”  What is concerning is the imbalance between randomized groups in the number of these excluded individuals: 311 from the vaccine group vs 60 on placebo. (In contrast, in Moderna’s trial, there were just 36 participants excluded from the efficacy analysis for “major protocol deviation”—12 vaccine group vs 24 placebo group.)

What were these protocol deviations in Pfizer’s study, and why were there five times more participants excluded in the vaccine group?  The FDA report doesn’t say, and these exclusions are difficult to even spot in Pfizer’s report and journal publication.

Again, Peter Doshi is not a scientist, nor is he a clinical trials expert. Protocol deviations are routinely excluded from analysis in clinical trials, not just of vaccines, depending on the severity. Basically, a protocol violation/deviation is defined as an “unplanned excursion from the protocol that is not implemented or intended as a systematic change.” There are generally two main types of protocol deviations that occur in a clinical trial:

  • Deviations that have the potential to be significant, meaning they could potentially affect subjects’ safety and/or the data’s integrity
  • Deviations that are insignificant, meaning they could not.

Most commonly, “insignificant” deviations or violations are unplanned minor or administrative instances of noncompliance on the part of the subject, investigator, or study staff, such as minor paperwork oversights or “out of window” visits for medical followup, which occur when a subject misses a time frame (or has a medical visit outside of the timeframe) during which a followup evaluation is required in the protocol. As for the Pfizer and Moderna trials, they had a combined total of well over 70,000 subjects. The numbers Doshi is harping on are tiny compared to the size of the clinical trials used to gain an emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for these vaccines. As our feathery friend notes, this is less than 0.5% of the total number of subjects, which is actually pretty damned good for such large clinical trials. Basically, as a “gotcha” observation, this is really nitpicking. Most clinical trialists would be thrilled to have only 0.5% of the subjects in one of their trials need to be excluded from the final analysis for protocol deviations, and even given the imbalance in deviations between the placebo and vaccine groups this is a number too small to have significantly affected the final analysis.

Doshi pulls the same schtick with the number of “confirmed” cases of COVID-19 at baseline, where he complains about a small percentage of COVID-19 positivity noted at baseline. Indeed, what Doshi did for his “analysis” reminds me very much of what antivaxxers do with vaccine clinical trials. He went through the data tables published by the FDA line-by-line, looking for any anomaly he can spin to cast doubt on the trial, whether significant or not.

Another strange complaint that Doshi raises is this:

Last month I expressed concern about the potential confounding role of pain and fever medications to treat symptoms. I posited that such drugs could mask symptoms, leading to underdetection of covid-19 cases, possibly in greater numbers in people who received the vaccine in an effort to prevent or treat adverse events. However, it seems their potential to confound results was fairly limited: although the results indicate that these medicines were taken around 34 times more often in vaccine versus placebo recipients (at least for Pfizer’s vaccine—Moderna did not report as clearly), their use was presumably concentrated in the first week after vaccine use, taken to relieve post-injection local and systemic adverse events. But the cumulative incidencecurves suggest a fairly constant rate of confirmed covid-19 cases over time, with symptom onset dates extending well beyond a week after dosing.

That said, the higher rate of medication use in the vaccine arm provides further reason to worry about unofficial unblinding. Given the vaccines’ reactogenicity, it’s hard to imagine participants and investigators could not make educated guesses about which group they were in.  The primary endpoint in the trials is relatively subjective making unblinding an important concern. Yet neither FDA nor the companies seem to have formally probed the reliability of the blinding procedure, and its effects on the reported outcomes.

While this starts with a somewhat reasonable concern (certainly NSAIDs can mask fever and muscle aches), the likelihood that NSAIDs would so totally mask symptoms as to make a diagnosis of COVID-19 so much less likely as to decrease the apparent numbers of COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group is incredibly unlikely given that COVID-19 is a respiratory illness and NSAIDS would not mask respiratory symptoms. Nor would NSAIDs mask other common COVID-19 symptoms, such as loss of sense of taste and smell, GI symptoms, and others. Certainly, in a population as closely monitored as the participants in these clinical trials, it’s highly unlikely that this would make a difference, particularly given that the trials were double-blinded.

Not that any of this stops Doshi from implying nefariousness by pointing out that the event adjudication committee for the Pfizer trial consisted of three Pfizer employees. Of course, he also mentions that the Moderna event adjudication committee consisted of university-affiliated physicians. So does that mean that Doshi accepts the rulings of the Moderna event adjudication committee with respect to COVID-19 cases? Or is he “just asking questions,” a.k.a. JAQing off?

Doshi concludes with a plea that we “need the raw data”:

Addressing the many open questions about these trials requires access to the raw trial data. But no company seems to have shared data with any third party at this point.

Pfizer says it is making data available “upon request, and subject to review.” This stops far short of making data publicly available, but at least leaves the door open. How open is unclear, since the study protocol says Pfizer will only start making data available 24 months after study completion.

Moderna’s data sharing statement states data “may be available upon request once the trial is complete.” This translates to sometime in mid-to-late 2022, as follow-up is planned for 2 years.

To be honest, I’m a bit torn here. Yes, access to raw data is desirable. Transparency is generally a good thing in science. However, in the case of any clinical trial, be it for a COVID-19 vaccine or any other drug, the question is: “When?” In general, clinical trial raw data are not made public at least until after the clinical trial is completed, often not at all, our trust being placed in government regulatory agencies to evaluate the trial data. Maybe that should change as a result of the pandemic. However, Peter Doshi’s demands for “transparency” strike me as very self-serving in that there is a huge contingent of people like him out there, waiting to go through the clinical trial raw data with a fine tooth comb looking for even the smallest anomalies (of which there will always be at least a few in any large clinical trial, given that human beings are not perfect and no clinical trial is perfect) that they can use to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the vaccines, whether justified or not.

Going back to our feathery reptilian friend, too, I can’t help but note that Doshi seems to think that he knows more than the committee charged with evaluating the clinical trial data for the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines:

Here’s my largest problem with Peter Doshi and his anti-vaccine opinions – he arrogantly believes that he has some “gotcha” moment that wasn’t discovered during an all-day review of actual vaccine scientists at the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) in advance of an emergency use authorization (EUA).

VRBPAC is the expert committee that reviews all vaccines before making a recommendation to the FDA for approval or non-approval.  It is made up of experts in vaccines, public health, and statistics. There are around 30 individuals on the committee including one vaccine industry expert (a clinical physician-scientist, not some highly-paid executive) and one consumer representative, in this case, a respected attorney who concentrates on healthcare issues.

Could it be, perhaps, that the reason VRBPAC did not find these anomalies that Doshi is harping on to be sufficient reason not to issue an EUA for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines is because, scientifically, they were big nothingburgers as far as problems with the clinical trials go? Could it be that Doshi, who has no relevant expertise in clinical trial design or implementation, virology, epidemiology, or infectious disease, thinks he knows more than, for instance, John Skylar? Skylar, after all, saw the same datasets that Doshi did and concluded:

Unfortunately, now that the datasets have been released, it’s quite clear that the vaccines are efficacious. The testing protocols were accurate. Yes, the trials could have been designed to tell us more about severe cases, or more about how the vaccines impact the spread of the virus, but these are studies that remain planned. The raw efficacy, as measured, is convincing. It is my feeling that Dr. Doshi has become entrenched in a position due to his past communications, and is having trouble admitting that the vaccines worked despite the criticism. Unfortunately, I think this is leading him to communicate things that fall into the realm of misinformation, which is why I chose to speak out.

It’s important to think critically and read many sources. While an article like this may appear to be convincing, it is not always clear what the author might not be telling you. It is easy for an expert to be misleading, even unintentionally. I hope to combat that, every time I sit down to write this newsletter.

John Skylar is far too kind in his assessment of Peter Doshi, whose training is in anthropology, East Asian studies, history, and “science, technology and society.” True, he apparently did finish a fellowship in comparative effectiveness research, but without Doshi having a background in the relevant sciences, I have a hard time accepting him as any sort of clinical trial, infectious disease, or vaccine expert. Indeed, after nearly 15 years of observing Doshi, I’ve come to two conclusions. First, I can’t believe that I’ve never done a post primarily about him in all the years and view this post as an opportunity to rectify that deficiency in my blog. Second, I’m no longer willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, as Skylar is. After all, Doshi now has a long history of parroting the more “reasonable”-seeming antivaccine talking points in the guise of “transparency.” Indeed, he even once bought into a truly risible conspiracy theory about the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is hardly the sign of someone who knows how vaccine adverse events are reported or even understands the basics of how websites work.

The bottom line is that Peter Doshi is a false authority on vaccines and clinical trials. He does not possess the requisite expertise, his apparent completion of a fellowship in comparative effectiveness research not withstanding. If you don’t accept my assessment, just look at his history of playing footsie with the antivaccine movement, amplifying antivaccine conspiracy theories, downplaying the severity of influenza and thus feeding antivaccine narratives, using sleight-of-hand to downplay the effectiveness of flu vaccines, and generally playing the role of a false skeptic with respect to vaccines. At this point, I can’t help but note that Doshi also once signed a petition “questioning” whether HIV causes AIDS. When called out on it by Steve Salzberg, he responded disingenuously:

On the question of signing the HIV/AIDS petition, Doshi responded that “Seeing how my name was published and people have misconstrued this as some kind of endorsement, I have written the list owner and asked for my name to be removed.” He declined to state directly that he agrees that the HIV virus causes AIDS—though I gave him ample opportunity.

Let me remind you of what Peter Doshi signed and then only asked for his signature to be removed after being publicly called out. It’s a petition “questioning” the hypothesis that HIV causers AIDS. The Wayback Machine shows his name in the list of signatories. It even includes this gem when you scroll over certain text:

HIV/AIDS petition rant

You get the idea. Think of it this way: What is one doing when one signs a petition other than endorsing the statements on that petition? No, seriously. I want to know. Why on earth would Doshi have signed that HIV/AIDS denial petition if he didn’t endorse at least some, if not all, of the statements included the petition at the time he signed it? Does Doshi really think that Steve Salzberg (or anyone else) would be so clueless as to believe that he would have signed a petition that he didn’t believe in? I could have believed and perhaps forgiven Doshi if he had explained his removal of his signature as coming from the sort of shame that results from a realization that he had made a huge mistake and been totally wrong to have questioned the science showing that HIV causes AIDS and apologized for his mistake, but he did not. Instead tried to dismiss the “reaction” to his having signed the petition as a “misconstrual” of his intent and removed his signature in a fit of pique at that “misconstrual.”

No, there was no “misconstrual” of Peter Doshi’s intent in signing that petition. He was just angry and embarrassed that someone as high profile as Steve Salzberg had noticed and asked him about it while doing research for a Forbes post.

The bottom line is that Peter Doshi is a false expert on vaccines and vaccine clinical trials. Historically, his big bugaboo has been the influenza vaccine, his demonization of which has long included classic antivaccine tropes that the “disease isn’t that bad” and that the “vaccine doesn’t work.” It’s not surprising (to me, at least), that he’s pivoted to amplifying similar antivaccine tropes about the COVID-19 vaccines, which is a far easier task given the newness of the vaccines. I therefore end this article as I began it by asking: Why the hell is Peter Doshi still an associate editor of The BMJ?

ADDENDUM:

I totally forgot about it while writing this, but Doshi also served as an expert witness in a bogus lawsuit by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s antivaccine group Children’s Health Defense. Dorit Reiss reminded me in a comment below:

He was also one of the expert witnesses for the anti-vaccine organization Children’s Health Defense lawsuit against the University of California’s influenza vaccine mandate. A judge has rejected their request for preliminary injunction in a decision that strongly suggested the case was dead on arrival, but participation in a case by an organization that is clearly anti-vaccine raises questions.

The question Doshi’s involvement primarily raises is: Is he antivaccine? Can someone with so much education be so utterly clueless as not to realize that Children’s Health Defense is an organization that is antivaccine to the core? That’s the only alternative to Doshi’s being antivaccine that I can think of right now.

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]

163 replies on “Why is Peter Doshi still an editor at The BMJ?”

In addition to, as you point out, VRBPAC closely reviewing the data, ACIP also reviewed it, and Dr. Doshi’s view that he caught a glaring error that both committees missed is, as you point out, unpersuasive.

Also in addition to Dr. Doshi’s strange VAERS report, Doshi wrote an article criticizing non-profits like Vaccinate Your Family and Voices for Vaccines for not being CDC watchdogs – organizations that were never created to be, or supposed to be, or suggested that they were CDC watchdogs. He came up with an elaborate conspiracy theory there, too.

He was also one of the expert witnesses for the anti-vaccine organization Children’s Health Defense lawsuit against the University of California’s influenza vaccine mandate. A judge has rejected their request for preliminary injunction in a decision that strongly suggested the case was dead on arrival, but participation in a case by an organization that is clearly anti-vaccine raises questions.

I agree that the BMJ should not be giving Dr. Doshi a platform to promote anti-vaccine misinformation under their name. Even if the only harm is having their name on such claims, and not actively deterring real vaccine researchers from publishing with them, it’s a harm.

“He was also one of the expert witnesses for the anti-vaccine organization Children’s Health Defense lawsuit against the University of California’s influenza vaccine mandate.”

Was he paid by RFKJr’s organization? Is there a disclosure form for that somewhere, I wonder…

I recently asked BMJ to disclose the consulting money that another one of their anti-vax authors, but they refused. This is a strange coincidence.

My compliments: no argument on the merits. Congratulations on your total lack of substantive rebuttal. The emptyness of stigmatising defamation of those who have a point of view, premises and readings different from yours. Your logic consecutio is Nazi-like and focused on the imposition of a single dominant thought. I suggest you learning dialogue and confrontation.

If you actually read the post it goes through the article criticized and explains why its substance is incorrect.

@Ms Reiss: How the heck do you attract these groupies? Did you leave out some rotten meat?

@Mr Opitz: Pompous pretensions and Reductio ad Hitlerum in a single paragraph? Credit where due: you may be dense but at least you’re short.

The Pfizer vaccine data is total garbage and so is your ridiculous rebuttal. It is a complete lie. It all starts with the trial design, and then the results are totally false. It is not 94.6% effective. It’s not effective at all.

What irony. It’s the biggest medical catastrophe in human history. Massive clinical trials. And yet SAG Aftra has more stringent and controlled Covid testing for movie productions than Pfizer did. Seriously? So we are testing a new vaccine to mandate across the world on an emergency basis, without approval, but virtually no one in the trial is actually tested for Covid after getting the shots. In the film industry, everyone is required to be tested 1 to 3 times per week, and that is hundreds of thousands of people. But in the most important medical trials in human history, there are no mandatory regular Covid tests, not even if the doctors suspects a case of covid. How is that possible? But it gets worse. Much worse.

What do all the headlines tell you? The Pfizer vaccine is 94.6% effective in preventing covid, and this is from testing 30 thousand people, which is huge, and so it is impeccable proof that it works. Oh really? The Pfizer vaccine was approved on the first 178 people to get confirmed Covid. Nine got it who were vaccinated and 169 were placebo. These were the people who had confirmed covid at least 7 days after the second shot. Statistically this is almost 20 to 1. So the vaccine efficacy is 94.6%. That’s what you’ve been told. But here’s the rub… Here’s the lie. Its all about one word: Confirmed. The trial efficacy was determined by the first 178 confirmed covid cases. That means they were lab tested. But there were 3600 people who got covid symptoms and 2878 of them got sick at least 7 days after the 2nd shot. But only 178 of them got a covid test so all the other cases were just ignored.

The only way the trial could have this data is if 3600 people reported that they were symptomatic and the doctors suspected they had covid. According to the protocol, they were supposed to have at least a telemed appt. The doctors clearly suspected these people got covid because that’s what was reported. So how does a trial testing a vaccine for the most important trial in human history not bother to lab test 3400 sick people suspected of having the very condition the trial is supposed to prove the vaccine prevents? Are you kidding me?

This means that patients reporting covid symptoms were not required or directed to provide laboratory confirmation to confirm or rule out covid. 1600 of these people had the vaccine and 1800 had the placebo. About 700 of them had the symptoms within 7 days of either the 1st or 2nd shot. So if 700 people got infected before the vaccine had time to work, that leaves 2700 remaining post shot “covid” cases that were never lab tested. When you add the confirmed covid tested cases to the unconfirmed covid cases, there were 1209 people who got covid after being vaccinated and 1669 people who got covid after the placebo shots. That’s a ratio of 58%. Statistically speaking, that difference in a study like this is not proof that a vaccine works at all. There is no way having damn near half of all covid cases in both groups within plus or minus 10% for a 60 day exposure has any statistical basis to prove the vaccine has anything to do with preventing Covid.

The CDC data shows that influenza disappeared and pretty much all people having pathogenic respiratory symptoms are Covid. If that’s true, then all or most of the suspected and/or confirmed covid cases would have to actually be covid. No matter how you slice the data, and no matter how many of them were not covid, there had to be at least hundreds if not a couple thousand of them that were covid, lab tested or not. Not 178. This means 94% of the cases were all left out of that big 94.6% efficacy number. It’s complete trash.

But the lie gets worse. Since 2700 hundred people who probably had covid were cut out, all of the data that says the vaccine prevented severe covid even for people who had covid is false also. They have zero data on severe cases, hospitalization or death for any of the 2700 untested cases of which almost ½ were vaccinated people. So we have absolutely no idea what happened to any of them.

Then the safety part. They say the trial proves its safe. Garbage. Cardiovascular and Death events were “not applicable” for required adverse event reporting. Say what? And 371 patients including 311 in the vaccine group and 60 in the placebo group were excluded. The reasons given for excluding these people were not getting the 2nd shot. Really? Why didn’t they? That’s 20 times more people who got the vaccine who didn’t get the 2nd shot than the placebo. That’s not normal to be so different without something causing it that probably shouldn’t be excluded.

On top of that, the thousands of people who were blocked from the efficacy calculations because they didn’t have a lab test confirmation, were left out of the vaccine safety calculations because any bad things that happened to these people had to be caused by their unconfirmed covid, and not the vaccine, without needing the lab test. So that means adverse events in over 3 thousand people were ignored from vaccine safety without the lab test to confirm they were caused by actual covid. But those same people who had bad things caused by covid, clearly could not be included in efficacy without a lab tested to confirm they actually had covid. Really? How completely ridiculous.

The real efficacy data from the trial is 2,878 suspected or confirmed covid cases at least 7 days post shots. If Pfizer conveniently didn’t bother to lab confirm 2,700 of those cases, that’s on them. They can’t just pretend there were only 178 cases of covid to calculate efficacy. That’s nuts. The multibillion dollar taxpayer subsidized vaccine company couldn’t get a lab test for these people for this damn clinical trial? So they can just call them covid in one calculation and then not call them covid in another calculation just so they can make false claims about safety and efficacy? That’s just ridiculous.

Bottom line, the Pfizer vaccine trial was so flawed that it can’t prove anything about efficacy or safety. If it could prove anything, the trial would prove the vaccine doesn’t work. Since no one can prove otherwise, there were over 2800 people with covid in the trial, not 178 people. And the efficacy of the vaccine for all of them is pretty much 50-50 +/- 8% placebo verses vaccine in preventing covid. Zippo efficacy. And as for severe covid, the trial can’t determine at all the ability of the vaccine to prevent severe covid since there is no severity data on any of 2700 suspected covid patients. This all basically means the vaccine doesn’t work. It means they did a trial without standard testing for the very condition they are supposed to prove. And we paid for it.. And now every news outlet, social media site, government agency and idiot blogger stating how safe and effective this vaccine is because it had 94.6% efficacy and no serious adverse events are spreading false information. As facebook would say… it’s “Missing Context”, “Unproven” or “false information.”

were left out of the vaccine safety calculations because any bad things that happened to these people had to be caused by their unconfirmed covid, and not the vaccine, without needing the lab test. So that means adverse events in over 3 thousand people were ignored from vaccine safety without the lab test to confirm they were caused by actual covid.

Sigh. “covid” is coronavirus disease state. Most do not go there. Everybody from talking head media on has fallen for replacing “Sars-CoV-2” with “covid”; even Orac, from time to time. Even the labels on the vials {save Moderna, which is why I want that one}. And that execretable Todd Herman Limbaugh standin uses that to conflate and confuse that “cases used to be measured by symptoms.”

The thing appears to work and to be the safest vaccine ever; maybe if only because of the lack of ‘adjuvants’.

First trial was dose escalation, to determine dose. Highest does was not used afterwards.
So you think that people with negative tests should be included ? Who then would be excluded ? Vaccine is not against any respiratory infection, it is against COVID. There are false positives, too.
Of course, there efficiency data coming from vaccination campaign:
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/medrxiv/early/2021/02/19/2021.02.05.21251139.full.pdf
Real efficiency seems to be as predicted.,

Carla, your response was very detailed and I appreciated the fact that you were able to respond to this post without the usual vitriol that is unfortunately too prevalent on both sides of the debate. I wonder what your thoughts are on the papers that were recently released by Geert Vanden Bossche. Any thoughts you may have regarding his claims would be most appreciated. Thanks.

” Let me remind you what Peter Doshi signed …” Orac.

That should be enough to cast suspicion upon his judgment in general

Heck, quoting absolute numbers (311) where percentages are appropriate (0.5%) should be enough to get him stripped of all privilege and thrown out the room. It doesn’t matter if it’s incompetence or malice; either one is more than sufficient ground on its own (although it could also be both, of course).

My guess: he knows how to play establishment politics and has long since dug himself in like a tick. And if there’s one thing august, respectable, conservative institutions like BMJ and GMC don’t like doing, it’s digging out their own parasites in public view. Just look at how long it took them to dislodge the venal Wakefield; and how many others continue to operate with little if any censure at all.

And medical regulators wonder why the public loses faith in them. Perhaps if they acted for the interests of patients, not their malpractising members, that might be a good start.

While I was at Hopkins, he hosted a talk by some dude who used to work for the Cochrane Policy Institute. It was nothing but a gish-gallop of conspiracy theories. The dude even said that he feared for his life just standing there, and that someone in the audience might kill him. We all looked at each other with confusion. Lots of people got up and left throughout the talk. I got up to leave when the talk ended and Doshi was wrapping up the Q&A. It just happened that I stood up when Doshi mentioned vaccines, and he joked that maybe my stance on vaccines was clear. I turned around to say something, but the prefrontal cortex kicked in and reminded me that there were bigger fish to be fried at that school… So I left.
Now, I wish I would have confronted him. His interviews became parroted as “Hopkins researcher says” this and “Johns Hopkins University says” that.
I’m glad Reuben found his signature on that AIDS denialism list. That really showed who Doshi is, in my opinion.

@ Orac

I think there should be no shame in both endorsing more transparency and fighting back against nitpicking such as Doshi’s. In fact, as information flows more and more freely nowadays, I do not see any other way out of this conundrum that doing both: 1. more transparency 2. more fight against nitpicking. As a matter of fact, it’s precisely what you’ve been doing for quite some time! I do not get it why you’re “a bit torn here”. There’s no other way out. Nitpickers will always exist. If you do not fully disclose info, they’ll nitpick and will pound on secrecy shamelessly. If you fully disclose info, they’ll nitpick anyway just as they do today. So I do not see what the big deal here is. As a matter of fact, I’d really wish articles came with fully executable R code. Of course that would enable nitpicking. But by showing how easy it is to nitpick, it would also raise awareness about the dangers and issues involved in nitpicking.

On the question of signing the HIV/AIDS petition, Doshi responded that “Seeing how my name was published and people have misconstrued this as some kind of endorsement, I have written the list owner and asked for my name to be removed.”

Okay, that is just hilarious. Doshi is essentially saying: “I did endorse the petition by signing it, but people mistakenly thought that, by signing it, I was endorsing it. So take me off the list so that these people don’t think I was endorsing it. Even though I was, in fact, endorsing it. Got that?”

As anti-vaxxers, Covid denialists/minimisers and anti-mask/ anti-lockdown freedom fighters continue upon their merry way(s) obfuscating and wasting time,.
the virus spreads, infects and mutates, becoming more infectious.

Good work, lunatics. ,

They’re calling the South Africa one (E484K) an ‘escape’ meaning the current vaccines don’t work. Good thing those mRNA ones claim to be able to gen back up to them in six weeks. Seeing how mass minglings are going in some places, that flexibility may need to bump up to six hours.

It’s not true that vaccines don’t work against that variant. The lead author of the study that found possible reduced effectiveness of antibodies even pointed that out, saying that reduced effectiveness is a very different thing from no effectiveness.

Well, I expect nothing but the full effectiveness for all the sore arm, napping, and extra autism I’m going to get from it.

Biden did not sound like he has dementia, but a plan that might let me get it within the year. Bwwhahhaa, a certain someone will burn everything to the ground so that is not realistic.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/trump-tries-to-claw-back-billions-from-covid-vaccine-distributor/

https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/01/fda-blindsided-as-trump-admin-cripples-agency-on-its-way-out/

{sorry for all the ars ones; I don’t get out much.}

Musk and Bezos should throw a few billion in. It certainly might mitigate “big tech’s” silencing of The Don in the eyes of the people. Come on, guys? what’s the hangup? Just supplant this guy.

Maybe embrace of ‘technocracy’ all falls down in the near future, but we need these guys {or rather, their money} now.

Wassamatter, Musk? Can’t go to Mars if yur lungs are already glass. “pedo guy” says, “you kind of chinsy.” And he knows a thing or two about breathing. Do it.

Upstaged by Bill Fucking Gates and Dolly Parton?? Sad.

Yes good work perpetuating mass hysteria, promoting gene therapy with no long-term safety data and suppressing life-saving early treatments like Ivermectin. Really well done all you experts in nothing.

I am highly amused that the first person to comment on that blog was Dana Ullman. He was quite fawning over the opinionated hack’s writing.

Just today an antivaxxer cited Doshi in a comment on an article on the CBC website. His purpose was clearly to cast doubt on the vaccines for COVID-19.

BMJ, what the hell are you thinking giving a platform to this pinhead. Did you think it was cool and edgy to have a writer who’s confident he’s smarter than all those boring experts with actual subject matter knowledge?

Doshi also lets anti-vaxxers (inlcuding some from Age of Autism) write utter anti-vax bullshit letters that get appended to the online journal. It’s horrible, really horrible b/c those letters then get cited by the anti-vax pseudoscientists.

Yup, and the antivax “scientists” and activists then deceptively cite them as though they were legitimate peer-reviewed publications in The BMJ.

It’s funny that anti-vaxxers/ woo-meisters rant and rail against SB sources like BMJ – ( especially when they- Deer and Godlee- crucified Holy Martyr Wakefield) but then gladly parade references to them when one of their own gets a letter published!

Similarly ,woo-meisters excoriate particular universities but brag when they produce research that vaguely resembles their pet theories- ( although they usually distort results). ” Those corrupt researchers at Oxford lied about the new vaccine” vs.
“A brilliant professor at Oxford researches how phytonutrients can replace meds”

While poster to this site are busy targeting RFK jr., Peter Doshi, Mikovits and other anti vaxxers in the US. They are missing one organization that has lots of holistic medical and holistic science believers as advisors. Some of the positions of groups, who are contributors, put forth slightly anti vaxxer positions and some members of those groups are anti vaxxers. This is a tax payer funded organization and part of the UN.

http://www.harmonywithnatureun.org

“so as to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in Harmony with Nature.”

“encouraging a holistic approach of education and public awareness”

Anytime someone puts HOLISTIC approach to science and medicine, be prepared for “Terrain” management to follow shortly.

“Taxpayer-funded,” perhaps, but since I don’t pay Bolivian taxes, I’m not going to tell the government of Bolivia how to spend their money.

This has nothing to do with Doshi or the BMJ, and doesn’t seem relevant to medicine or anti-vaxxers:

I poked at the website you linked to. It has pages about how, if at all, different countries are protecting the rights of nature. For the United States, they correctly note that there’s nothing on the subject in the US Constitution, and that the Endangered Species Act is relevant.

It is the fricken UN, all taxpayers pay for it.
Dr. baconator, are you really this myopic, HOLISTIC medicine/science.
Your letting anti vaxxers have a say in a UN program

@ scott allen

The UN is a political body. You have lots of people who have a say in the UN. Lots and friggin’ lots. Heck! China does influence health policy.

That’s called politics. Negotiation. Civilisation.

The alternative are nukes.

Slightly unrelated — but is any of this crap truly ever unrelated?!– I suppose with their rollout, Norway is providing a true sample of the safety and efficacy of Pfizer’s Covid vaccination. Let me get this right: If in one of their care homes, the vaccine killed 12% of the recipients who were over 80, ‘that’s to be expected because they were old and frail’, yet we are to lockdown and bankrupt the entire world if Covid kills 8% of people over 80?!

Yeah, I might be a bias antivaxxer, but please explain how any of this makes sense?! As well, please also explain if it’s really the case that deaths are spiking in countries leading the vaccination rollout because of new ‘strains’ being detected? Also, are countries opting to delay the second dose truly doing so because of limited supply? What about Pfizer’s latest announcement that it will slash distribution to Europe and Canada? Is it really because they want to revamp one of their supply plants?

https://www.news18.com/news/world/norway-covid19-vaccine-side-effects-deaths-coronavirus-sick-elderly-europe-caution-3297452.html

Do you have some problem with “bankrupt[ing] the entire world,” Gerg? I’m just curious how that would work, given the ability to manage fiat currency. If the first thing that oozes from your cranium starts with a ‘Z’, you lose, Losey McLoserson.

@ Narad

“I’m just curious how that would work, given the ability to manage fiat currency.”

I kind of have ideas about that…

Because in these nursing home, the number of deaths is within the norm – in fact, lower – than without the vaccine.

Covid-19 kills beyond what die without. And yet, the deaths are investigated, when there is even a theoretical risk of a link with the vaccine it is noted, and recommendations are made to reduce it.

““It may be a coincidence, but we aren’t sure,” Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told The BMJ. “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

More than 20 000 doses of the vaccine have been administered over the past few weeks in Norway and around 400 deaths normally occur among care home residents every week.”

https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n149

@ Greg

“Yeah, I might be a bias antivaxxer, but please explain how any of this makes sense?!”

I’m the one on this blog that has been genuinely worried about non-health related impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns. The only trouble is, as a leading politician around here said to someone arguing that the measures would be damaging: “Look me in the eyes, and tell to me and the rest of the audience that you want the virus to freely live his happy life” (or something along the lines). Opposition to governmental policy also manifested itself by people seizing courts to prosecute the betrayal of the government for allegedly willingly not doing or not having done enough.

Before you start bashing people who try to manage things in the most sensible way, please have a go first with those holding Abnormal Illness Beliefs and who think that it is a Very Sensible Idea to prosecute a virus in courts.

Start directing your ire towards the biggest wankers so that people who could take more business-friendly measures had more leeway to do so. Until then, Humanism and Big Oozy Gushy Feelings will dictate that “One Human Life Lost Is One Human Life Too Much”.

In 10 to 20 years, we’ll have more hindsight to determine if anything else could have been done more smartly. ‘Till then, place your bets on the vaccine if you want people to come back to their senses and mental capacities.

@F68

In 10 to 20 years, we’ll have more hindsight to determine if anything else could have been done more smartly

Oh, the absolute hubris! Sometimes there is nothing that can be done.

Haven’t you guys learned enough from autism?! Sometimes you should just realize that you have a losing hand and fold rather than doubling down.

@ Greg

“Haven’t you guys learned enough from autism?!”

Chandrasekhar stupidity mass reached. Greg is now a spacetime singularity.

“Oh, the absolute hubris!”

Angular momentum still remains to be evaluated.

I should add that my adult autistic child has more empathy and is more intelligent than Greg. Though I admit it is not a high bar, though the distance between Greg and my kid is kind of long. My kid is certainly nicer and much smarter than Greg.

Chandrasekhar stupidity mass reached.

I had a college friend who insisted that he saw Chandra coming out of a bathroom stall with his Nobel hanging outside his shirt (we were all in the same lab at the time).

Nice try, Greg.
Most of the deceased were reportedly elderly and terminally ill patients.

Throwing light on the risk factor of the vaccine, the Norwegian Institute of Public Heath said even relatively mild vaccine side effects can have serious consequences for those with the most severe frailty, the Bloomberg reported. “For those who have a very short remaining life span anyway, the benefit of the vaccine may be marginal or irrelevant,” it said.

We are not alarmed by this. It is quite clear that these vaccines have very little risk, with a small exception for the frailest patients, Steinar Madsen, medical director with the agency, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

The patients were a special case.

Nice try, Greg.
Most of the deceased were reportedly elderly and terminally ill patients.

My bad, Julian! I forgot the vaccine was only intended for the spry 20-somethings in group homes. Someone should’ve also told Norway this.

Julian, just about everyone in a nursing home is elderly and practically terminal. Remember that these were the folks that the vaccines were to save?

@ Greg

Nope. Not all people in nursing homes allegedly had only a few months to live left. Those that died were in that subgroup.

And Norway seems to be adapting its vaccination policy to this subgroup. Are they not?

@F68

Nope. Not all people in nursing homes allegedly had only a few months to live left. Those that died were in that subgroup.

And, once again occam’s razor prevails. I knew you were a phony playing a script.

F68, are we really to believe that the deceased residents all had ‘a few months to live’ stamped on their files. No, it’s just an ‘allegation’ being made now after the fact.

Likely, their was no predicting when those nursing home residents would die other than the assumption that they were elderly and frail and didn’t have long to live. Again, this can be said of practically every nursing home resident, and it stands to reason that the vaccine could kill just about every one of them. In fact, never mind just nursing home residents, the deaths would suggest that the vaccine is risky for all seniors at a very advanced age. The prime group of people that the vaccine was expected to save!

As for Norway’s recommendation, they are suggesting physicians should use their discretion of who should be considered too elderly and frail and should skip the vaccine. Yeah — real science there, and we should all take comfort that a sound protocol is being recommended to avoid future deaths!

@ Greg

“No, it’s just an ‘allegation’ being made now after the fact.”

Ever heard of life tables in actuarial science? It’s statistics, so never a 100% bull’s-eye prediction, but it’s not up for grabs either. Not saying they are using life tables (cannot know) but they do have a right to look at their records and make an educated guess.

What we do know if that the authorities asserted it. Now, of course, we have no means, as far as I know, to double-check that. We’ll have to take it on trust for the time being until contradictory evidence pops up. Or you can also choose to push for more transparency on such issues.

What you also should take into account is that only Norway has for the moment come up with such claims. So, for now, bless Norway to be the most transparent country, or the most fear-ridden country. The first case should relieve your rational side (if it exists), the second your antivaxxer side.

But… bottom line: doesn’t change the game for the rest of the population when it comes to vaccinations.

“The prime group of people that the vaccine was expected to save!”

Yeah. Well I do not care so much for that. What I have in mind is mass immunisation and return to normal.

“As for Norway’s recommendation, they are suggesting physicians should use their discretion of who should be considered too elderly and frail and should skip the vaccine. Yeah — real science there, and we should all take comfort that a sound protocol is being recommended to avoid future deaths!”

Yep. So they are taking corrective action. Thanks for agreeing with me. “Real science” is supposed to be the best game we have in town. Convince Norway that you have a better one. The best way we can taylor vaccination to frail elderly people is by trial and error. Trial. And error. So yeah: everything right on track. As far as I can tell.

But of course, I cannot know how precisely all this is being handled. If you have solid sources, tell me…

Something else that hasn’t been emphasized is that the vaccine is ‘linked’ to the 29 deaths (Norway increased it by six) or 15% of the 191 vaccinated residents, and this came after just the first dose! Remember again that in the trial more adverse events were reported after the second dose. Could deaths in this nursing home reach over 40% after the second dose?!

@F68

What you also should take into account is that only Norway has for the moment come up with such claims. So, for now, bless Norway to be the most transparent country, or the most fear-ridden country. The first case should relieve your rational side (if it exists), the second your antivaxxer side.

Actually, it doesn’t appear that Norway is the only country suggesting that the vaccine might be killing residents of its elderly care homes; Quebec, Canada also reported an instance.

Thanks, I am leaning to these cases relieving my ‘antivaxxer’ side.

https://www.cp24.com/news/outbreak-grows-in-vaccinated-quebec-care-home-expert-says-it-was-to-be-expected-1.5257052

@ Greg

“Something else that hasn’t been emphasized is that the vaccine is ‘linked’ to the 29 deaths (Norway increased it by six) or 15% of the 191 vaccinated residents, and this came after just the first dose!”

Source required. I could not find that figure of 191 by a quick search. Disclose your evidence.

@ Greg

The Québec link you gave has nothing to do with the Norway one or what you make it to be.

You’re full of shit.

(As if that was a surprise anyway…)

Source required. I could not find that figure of 191 by a quick search. Disclose your evidence.

F68, I stand corrected: Although the linked article below is about the deaths in the Norwegian care home, the reference of 24 deaths out of 191 residents pertained to a New York nursing home. Make what you want of my error, yet we have another alleged case of seniors in nursing homes dropping dead after they receive their ‘miracle’ Covid vaccine.

https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/norway-officials-not-alarmed-deaths-elderly-covid-vaccine/?itm_term=home

@ Greg

“Make what you want of my error.”

Not much. I welcome the recognition of your error.

Most clinical trials would be thrilled to have only 0.5% of the subjects in one of their trials need to be excluded from the final analysis for protocol deviations, and even given the imbalance in deviations between the placebo and vaccine groups this is a number too small to have significantly affected the final analysis.

Maybe not the efficacy results, but what about the safety results? Were the 311 also excluded from the safety assessment? What if they were the ones suffering episodes of fainting, anaphylactic reactions, Bell’s, and so on?

While I’m here…

as disinformational sources./ insurrectionists** get banned from Parler etc, Telegram welcomes them: Mike Adams is there now. He tells us in his Brighteon video ( not written down)
@ realhealthranger is his handle

** more videos of that shitshow now being seen

if readers were never at the Capitol they should know that the long park-like lawn- the Mall- extending from it to the Obelisk/ Monument is lined with world class museums that are free: History, Natural Science, Aviation/Space, Botanical Gardens, Native American, African American, several Art museums and galleries, Sculpture Gardens. A treasure trove..

My parents took us there when I was 12. We did the Botanical Gardens, Native American Museum, and the Smithsonian where I was most struck with the Foucault’s pendulum display, the giant steel ball bouncing around in the bowl {where it stuck with me forever that steel on steel is the most elastic collision}, the first internal combustion engine {years later, I was most irked that it didn’t mention the hemp seed oil}, and, of course, the high voltage particle accelerator devices. We went to the Capitol (where there was a friendly squirrel; not albino but just mostly white), and Library of Congress (borrring). We did Jefferson Memorial, and the Washington Monument {where I discovered that I was afraid of heights}.

There was all kinds of music (not just the top-40 that we had at home) and we went to the theater to see The Thing (oopsie, it weirded me out all the following nights). I played Centipedes in the hotel lobby with some other kid that kept saying “wicked!”.

It is so sad to see what is happening now.

…Yeah my blood’s so mad feels like coagulating
I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
I can’t twist the truth it knows no regulation
Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
And marches alone can’t bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin’
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

And you tell me
Over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don’t believe
We’re on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for four days in space
But when you return it’s the same old place
The pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace…

— Eve of Destruction, Barry McGuire

Eve of Destruction, Barry McGuire

Zager & Evans it ain’t.

“I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom’s way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!”

Obviously it isn’t possible at this point, but it would be amusing to see how Doshi’s writings would be treated if they were submitted for peer review by people who would normally review formal papers submitted to the BMJ.

F6810: Humanism and Big Oozy Gushy Feelings will dictate that “One Human Life Lost Is One Human Life Too Much”.

So, you think no one matters and we should just throw open all the doors and just step blithely over the bodies. Cool beanz, but why are you here then?

@ politicalguineapig85

“So, you think no one matters and we should just throw open all the doors and just step blithely over the bodies.”

Nope: false dichotomy. And we do not have a choice anyway. That’s my point: even if we found good reasons to try to avoid lockdowns, we could not sell it to the public anyway. The backlash would be much more severe than anti-mask people. So I do not see reasons to dive into such considerations until the pandemic is “over”.

“Cool beanz, but why are you here then?”

Good question.

I may have missed it but were we told what the cycle threshold was for a positive PCR? The cycle threshold is a key variable to distinguish between a likely active infection and just exposure (either current or in the somewhat recent past).

F6810: That’s my point: even if we found good reasons to try to avoid lockdowns, we could not sell it to the public anyway.

That’s what you think. Unlike people in 1919, people are fine with losing “loved ones” and friends. I think you misunderstand the purpose of public health; it’s founded on science, not feelings, but the people in those departments have to make the civilians follow guidelines somehow, and the easiest way to do that is to assume the public has feelings and play on those.

Narad: I’m not a bigot. I just have a more accurate view of the human race than you high-minded boomers do. Which is why you guys lost in the first place.

@ politicalguineapig85

“That’s what you think.”

Yep: I do think moral imperatives are constrained by social and psychological imperatives. 100%. Doesn’t mean science is absent: merely that it can only fail to oppose such deep-seated imperatives.

“Unlike people in 1919, people are fine with losing “loved ones” and friends.”

Unless I misunderstand you, I’m pretty sure of the opposite.

“I think you misunderstand the purpose of public health; it’s founded on science, not feelings…”

It’s supposed to be founded on science. To claim that in concrete day-to-day matters feelings are absent is 100% wrong. Many public health initiatives are severely constrained by public sentiment, and it is a monstrous fallacy to hide these sentiments behind science by pretending they do not exist and do not matter.

“…but the people in those departments have to make the civilians follow guidelines somehow, and the easiest way to do that is to assume the public has feelings and play on those.”

Goes both ways. And it’s not always pretty to see. Take child abuse for instance. Incest is now big in the news around here. If you fail to see feelings in this public health policy matter, I do not see how I can help you around.

@ Narad (@ PGP)

Please help me out: I did not understand what “bigot of the first water” means. So I’m missing out half of the conversation.

@ Tim

Thanks Tim. I’m quite fluent in English but not quite a native speaker. Some idioms are sometimes unknown to me. I’ll see how the discussion turns out with PGP and check if that allegation holds water.

” than you high-minded boomers do. Which is why you guys lost in the first place.”

??^^ Are yu insinuating that educated + old + white == Trumptard??

Well, I’m not even that old. Unlike old man; middle-aged man, here, knows how to set the clock on a VCR.

I’m not a bigot. I just have a more accurate view of the human race than you high-minded boomers do.

Q.E.D. I’m also not a “boomer,” Ms. Assumptions.

Which is why you guys lost in the first place.

I have no idea what this is supposed to mean. As for “of the first water,” it’s basically equivalent to “of the first order.”

Bear in mind that your commenting history still exists.

^ Sorry, mixed up PGP and F68.10 when arranging those last two sentences. No coffee yet, and I’m in a bit of a rush this morning — I usually take a couple of hours to get my shit together, read the news, etc., but I have some contractors coming over and both I and the kitchen are in need of tidying up.

Unstuckit Tew: Pointless Comment Boogaloo

{maybe it is CF “oncookie” or something acting Gerg-like} Obviously, CF has fingerprinted and linked everything here, which I’m not fond of, but it’s acting broken regardless.

{maybe it is CF “oncookie” or something acting Gerg-like}

Tim, I don’t know if you’re new, but don’t think we were acquainted. Please introduce yourself.

I’ll disregard my own better judgment just briefly:

Please introduce yourself.

This is Gerg’s way of saying “play the slobber blues on my skin flute.”

oOOOoo. Greg, I’ve not “introduced” myself in quite some time (I’m chaste).

First, it would have to be isolated from myriads of similarly sized and textured packaging peanuts. Then braized, brazed, and electroplated. Finally, annealed and drilled. That’s as far as I’m going; it’s good enough to play but quite unfinished.

Ship your favorite sheet music along with it, if you wish, but I’m just going to play Yankee Doodle anyways.

No charge, my collection could use a miniature tin whistle
https://youtu.be/R4pKwtAhzlE?t=167

Otherwise, “There are some who call me.. Tim?”

Wait. Didn’t I flunk you out of second semester troll?

F68: I do think moral imperatives are constrained by social and psychological imperatives. 100%. Doesn’t mean science is absent: merely that it can only fail to oppose such deep-seated imperatives.

Ok, first of all, could you try to be clearer? Because it seems to me you’re talking in circles here. Morality and psychology have nothing to do with each other. And if you think people in 2020 don’t just shrug when they lose people, you haven’t met a lot of Americans.

“It’s supposed to be founded on science. To claim that in concrete day-to-day matters feelings are absent is 100% wrong. Many public health initiatives are severely constrained by public sentiment..”

Again with the circling. Science occasionally butts up against politics, true. But politics isn’t sentiment or feelings. (Well, aside from rage.)

“Goes both ways. And it’s not always pretty to see. Take child abuse for instance. Incest is now big in the news around here. If you fail to see feelings in this public health policy matter, I do not see how I can help you around.”

Ok, I have to admit that I’m not exactly sure what you’re trying to get at here, partially because of a language barrier, and partially because you appear to be hard of thinking sometimes. First of all, I think you’re trying to turn the whole incest cover-up by a politician into more grist for your one person rage parade. As I understand it, that particular politician had nothing to do with public health, and people are overreacting all over the place. Including you, who seems to be trying to turn it into ‘incest is everywhere and physicians are covering it up!!!!’ because you hate doctors. (And yet..you’re here.) And I’m not sure what you want done about it, anyway. The particular bum has been thrown out, yes? Are you suggesting the guillotine should be brought back?

@ Tim

“Including you, who seems to be trying to turn it into ‘incest is everywhere and physicians are covering it up!!!!”

BWAHAHAHAH!!!

The question of incest being covered up is quintessential to the issue of incest. Parents are the first in line in the cover up.

No matter what you think, child abuse is a public health matter. I could have taken many other examples where my argument would still hold. Just happens that incest is the news, and the ones covering it up have names. And big ones. In front of the shitshow we are witnessing today, nope, it cannot be argued that I am “overreacting”. I just love the shitshow! In fact, seeing that newspapers are making parallels about a well known academic and Trump, both being deplatformed, the first on the topic of incest and the second on the topic of insurrection, shows that these issues are consubstantial to the fabric of free speech in a given country. If we cannot deplatform Finkelkraut, we’ll never manage to deplatform Raoult, for instance, and will never manage to hold the media accountable to basic standards of truth: the way the Norwegian vaccination alleged incidents (a topic much more consequential than incest, that goes without saying) has been handled by French newspapers is a shame. So all these issues tie in, whether I like it or not, and whether or not I have a stake in incest. That’s what’s lovely in shitshows.

RTL (not Alex Jones…): “Coronavirus : 13 deaths in Norway linked to side-effects of the vaccine. The Norwegian drug authority has established a link between the 13 deaths of weekly elderly and the vaccine Pfizer injection.”

And it’s not the worst article on the matter: the content is somewhat better than the title.

Nothing quite says “I’m interested in a serious and informed discussion quite like”

I knew you were a phony playing a script.

The Norway deaths are obviously a concern, but similar cases don’t seem to have been reported elsewhere. Perhaps because most countries are struggling to get the vaccines delivered to their nursing home patients?

I didn’t find a good quality news article about this, but the source I found was listing the 23 and 13 numbers.

Norway has reported that 23 elderly people have died within days of taking the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, with 13 of those deaths said to be related to “side effects”.

So, at least in their estimation, the other 10 deaths may have been coincidental.

The mRNA vaccines seem to provoke a strong immune response and a number of allergic reactions have been reported,

So, it is plausible that in especially frail individuals, the vaccine might trigger a response which their system is not able to handle. Norway is apparently revising their vaccination instructions at least for now and Pfizer is working with that country to investigate and identify a possible problem.

One elderly person I know that received the vaccine is 72 with multiple co-morbidities. She reported no side effects at all. AFAIK, she is not terminally ill either.

The mRNA vaccines seem to provoke a strong immune response and a number of allergic reactions have been reported,

So, it is plausible that in especially frail individuals, the vaccine might trigger a response which their system is not able to handle.

Without knowing much about it myself, I have this feeling that the response should be self governing/limiting — older/frail == weaker response??

By the way.
An antivaxxer who dressed up as the measles for Halloween has changed her mins and is now provaxx.
Details on the <a href=”https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2021/01/17/a-prominent-anti-vaxxer-is-now-apologizing-for-telling-people-to-avoid-vaccines/>Friendly Atheist.

Bottom line: you cannot grow out of antivax beliefs if you do not try understand the basics of the statistical mindset. (BTW, not a fan of either the death threats she received from pro-vax dumbasses nor the cancel culture seemingly rife in antivax circles).

She’s saying all the right things now, but after the attention and back-patting subside, who knows?

“Be kind. Understand that those anti-vaxxers are often less interested in embracing conspiracy theories and more just scared for their kids.”

That’s also a good strategy to convert the Trumpites who stormed the Capitol. They’ll discard their hateful rhetoric and wild conspiracy theories when we appeal to them with kindness and sweet reason.

@ Dangerous Bacon

I guess it depends what antivaxers you’re targeting. Many are bonkers and cannot be reasoned with. Others are simply scared and have no grasp of what they’re being talked into when mentioning vaccines. People are not taught how to handle conflicting evidence and how to hierarchise it in school… we won’t get out of the post-truth mess by merely wishing idiots went smart.

An antivaxxer who dressed up as the measles for Halloween has changed her mins and is now provaxx

Julian, I asked you before but I don’t believe I ever got an answer; what do you think the ratio is between provaxxers and antivaxxers changing their mind? We are talking antivaxxers packing it in and saying they’re now provaxx, and provaxx parents that dutifully vaccinate their kids becoming antivaxx after crap happens. Julian, I would honestly say for every 1 antivaxxer that changes her mind, 100 provaxxers change their’s. Of course I am making this estimate guided by the prevailing autism rate.

@ Greg

“Of course I am making this estimate guided by the prevailing autism rate.”

Of course…

Gee… how dense you are: no matter what the rates of conversion are, this does not change the science. The whole world may join religion X, it doesn’t mean that God exists! Far from it.

You’re a poor soul, Greg.

Julian, I asked you before but I don’t believe I ever got an answer; what do you think the ratio is between provaxxers and antivaxxers changing their mind?

I don’t recall you ever asking me that question, but I’ll answer it.
Don’t know, don’t care.

Gee… how dense you are: no matter what the rates of conversion are, this does not change the science. The whole world may join religion X, it doesn’t mean that God exists! Far from it.

And, even more hubris from you! F68, you’re saying the ‘science’ is supreme? I would say not! Not if it doesn’t deliver progress and enrich individuals’ lives.

F68, where is the benefit in a ‘science’ that a mom dutifully follows, only to find that she is up a nights wondering which group-home will be abusing her kid when she is dead? F68, where is the gain from the ‘science’ that unleashed this monster pandemic, killing millions around the world and throwing even more into poverty and turmoil? F68, what is to be achieved from pharma’ ‘science’ to fix this pandemic if it only makes matters worse and creates more devastation?

F68, it is not good enough for your ‘science’ to be ‘correct’, it must also be accountable. It only matters if it’s of benefit to the species. Failing that, ‘religion X’ may indeed be the more sensible option.

@ Greg

“And, even more hubris from you! F68, you’re saying the ‘science’ is supreme? I would say not! Not if it doesn’t deliver progress and enrich individuals’ lives.”

Hubris??? Nah… I just know what my limits are: None. That’s called humility. Biggest lesson Gurren Lagann taught me, indeed: my drill is the drill the will pierce the heavens!

More seriously: that kind of cheap shaming doesn’t work on me, bro. The only mechanism which the human species has ever devised to understand reality is rationality. Science is a by-product of it. And whatever the ends to which one wishes to put it, sorry… history has taught us that the best way to make science useful is to search for truth in itself. And the best way to do so is to methodically destroy bullshit.

It’s that simple.

history has taught us that the best way to make science useful is to search for truth in itself

Really?! When have we ever planted crops, invented the wheel, or pursue basic hygiene out of some idle pursuit of truth exercise? History has taught us that we pursue science out of a desire to satisfy our needs and improve our lives. Discovering ‘truths’ almost always aligns with this, and, if it doesnt, that is often an excellent indication that we don’t have truth or science.

That provaxxers are attempting to flip the cart just shows what scoundrels they are. Such hubris is nothing more than disingenuity in selling human failures and as they call it ‘science’.

@ Greg

“Really?!”

Yep.

“When have we ever planted crops, invented the wheel, or pursue basic hygiene out of some idle pursuit of truth exercise?”

Pursuit for truth is not idle. We have nonetheless searched for truth in idle ways many times, and many inventions were found that could not have a real world impact at the time. For instance, if I’m not mistaken, the Greeks did have a prototype of the steam engine. Time wasn’t ripe for the industrial revolution. That doesn’t change the fact that, yes, within the scope of scientific research throughout the ages, you find many instances of revolutionary ideas that were sought out in a given cultural context and thus not out of the void but were nonetheless sought out for a pure quest for truth. 100%. Optics is a case in point. Heck! Even christianity with its emphasis on the Jesus = Truth slogan gave legitimacy to this mindset…

Anytime you loose sight of that genuine quest for truth and are willing to massage the truth because it suits a purpose, you end up more or less engineering a mess. And some research topics are still taboo and cannot fully be investigated. Philosophy, which in my sense is an important and integral component of science, also has a role to play there.

Personnally, I 100% oppose people who are willing to massage the truth. Whatever their credentials or lack thereof may be: doesn’t matter.

@F68

F68, even though I question your motives and don’t consider you’re entirely sincere, your true personality nevertheless shines through. You are so proud and stupid! F68, do you find that you have trouble with romantic relationships?

So we are arguing the same ideas, let me make clear my ideas: We cannot accept science as some entity in itself, irrespective of it satisfying our needs. Those needs may be as arbitrary as our quest for knowledge, or as practical as assisting with our survival as a species. Put another way, science must be accountable to us. It must be accountable to our experiences. Failing this, we are not obliged to accept it, and we can simply reject it as bad science.

Let this example suffice: In the past it was thought that the earth was flat. Obviously, looking at the earth from a short distance it appeared flat.
That was science. Observers then noticed that with a ship on a distant sea you could see the sail before the deck. How could that be? Of course, a flat earth could not account for this because the curvature of the earth obscured the deck. I could give you another example of Newtonian physics not being able to account for Mercury’s orbit and it was eventually replaced with Einstein’s theory, but let that example suffice.

F68, with denying the VCA link, you’re essentially pitching unaccountable science that is in such grave conflict with reality. You’re essentially asking folks to accept this ‘settled’ pharma science as a ‘just because’ regardless of its conflict with our most basic experiences. In the same way you would not expect folks to jump form a cliff because ‘science’ say it’s safe, folks have every right to reject your pharma ‘science’ as bad science.

@ Greg

“F68, even though I question your motives”

Ahh… long story. You’ll find that answer in Tractatus de Intellectus Emendatione. Or… Gurren Lagann! It’s roughly the same message but the second one is fun while the first is in latin. Your choice.

“You are so proud and stupid!”

Thanks! Makes me proud!

“F68, do you find that you have trouble with romantic relationships?”

I’ve been turning down chicks my whole life. Not my line of business.

But, overall, skimming over the rest of your message, you’re massively wrong about me. You have moreover such a naive view of science that I do not consider it worthwile to dive into that topic with you. BTW? Earth round? That was shown by measuring the lack of deformation of the Earth’s shadow on the Moon. If it had been flat, the shadow would have changed shape over time. There you go.

BTW? Earth round? That was shown by measuring the lack of deformation of the Earth’s shadow on the Moon. If it had been flat, the shadow would have changed shape over time. There you go.

Of course, even back in time there were real ‘scientific’ evidence pointing to the earth being round. There were also other crude observations as the example I have given.

My point still stands; we cannot accept science -and this is often implied as what is found in the lab — as ultimate truths regardless of whether they jive with our experiences. Not only does this thinking wreak of hubris, it’s unscientific. Good science is always conditional on it being able to account for our experiences.

Science that doesn’t satisfactorily account for our experience of the world must be rejected, or, at least, sidelined as we go back to the drawing board in search of better science that offers better explanations.

PS: My apologies to Newton’s legacy for implying his science is bad. It’s actually very good science but incomplete.

@ Greg

“There were also other crude observations as the example I have given.”

These observations did not light up a light bulb at the time. You also have Herodotus documenting stories of the sun switching trajectories when going in the Southern Hemisphere. But they did not stack up to scrutiny given the state of knowledge at the time. The first documented evidence stating that the Earth is round indeed is due to Aristotle (if I’m not mistaken) when asserting that the shadow of the Earth on the Moon did not change shape during eclipses.

We also had Aristarchus of Samos who laid down the hypothesis of the Earth orbiting the Sun. No data could disprove it at the time. But his theory wasn’t picked up… because people had not developed enough epistemological knowledge to know better than to reject it. Descartes was the one to sum up, organise and develop the idea of method based on that millennia-long screw-up that got uncovered by Galileo. Before that moment, the idea of refutation really was obscure (though you can find antique Indian documents where that idea is in gestation, but that’s another topic: it ended up more or less still-born).

“My point still stands; we cannot accept science – and this is often implied as what is found in the lab — as ultimate truths regardless of whether they jive with our experiences.”

All knowledge is conjectural as per Popper (see Conjectures and Refutations for instance). Doesn’t change the fact that we have a method to establish critical preferences. And antivaxxers really fall short there.

But thanks for the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. I always enjoy it.

“Some forms of terror are fresher than others. The more intense the fear, the more the emotions die. Terror, in its truest sense, is not a static state, but a dynamic one. It is the moment when hope turns to despair.” — Gilles de Rais.

I presume this has already been pointed out, but…

Let this example suffice: In the past it was thought that the earth was flat.

Dear f*cking G-d are you dense, Gerg. You can’t even troll well.

^ It’s cute that Gerg is now parading around his New Word, ‘suffice’. And here I thought Highlights had folded.

“‘Pot for Shots’ is our way of showing our commitment in assisting helping the community get back to normalcy. We support the safe and responsible use of cannabis and hope this is the beginning of the end of this insidious pandemic.”

https://www.metrotimes.com/detroit/this-michigan-marijuana-dispensary-is-giving-free-weed-to-anyone-who-can-prove-they-got-the-covid-19-vaccine/Content?oid=26261127

cries in Alabamian What’s a covid-19 vaccine, Precious?

F68: No matter what you think, child abuse is a public health matter. I could have taken many other examples where my argument would still hold.

Ok, so incest is a public health matter and it’s EVERYWHERE!! So..should the public health board or the minister in charge just put everything else on the backburner to deal with it? Separate all parents and children? Give up on coronavirus prevention entirely? Don’t just whine about it, if you’re going to pick this particular hill to die on, make a plan of action. Otherwise, you’re just ragevomiting everywhere and taking up space.

Narad: Well, how about the fact that in almost all the causes the boomers cared about, no progress has been made since, oh, about 1990? In fact, except for the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage, everything’s been stuck in reverse. And will continue to get worse. And as for my commenting history, well, what’s wrong with removing science education and books from areas that have no need for them.

Tim:Are yu insinuating that educated + old + white == Trumptard??

I’d subtract the ‘educated’ bit, but Trump’s base skews very old and very white. And don’t think I’m letting you off the hook, buddy. You may act like an old hippie, but you hate women as much as any Trumper. I guess educated and accomplished women make you very sad and frustrated, because you aren’t used to women who have more personality than a doormat. You really should think about that.

You may act like an old hippie, but you hate women as much as any Trumper. I guess educated and accomplished women make you very sad and frustrated

Not at all. Very empowering; I used to get them ‘administrative assistants’ to fix my presentations, sort out my travel and per deim, collaberate on atmospheric phenomena, plasma physics, computer syntax, biological improbabilities, and recommending romantic prospects. Also, they often told me to fuck off wherein I dutifully obliged.

Also, may I borrow your Bo {untrained, as I am}? I need to perform a medical proceedure on an outgoing ex-presnedent loser.

Well, I don’t know what I borked with my last comment that isn’t here…

Are you denying my Trump Derangement Syndrome? It’s denying my Trump Derangement Syndrome. What a hateful, hateful person you are to deny my Trump Derangement Syndrome. It is a real condition, after all.

Bo stick. Let me borrow. Up his ass sideways, I’ll stuff. Makes for great television; Yu can look and point and say “see, he cray cray” and “I don’t think I want that thing back”.

@ PGP

“Don’t just whine about it, if you’re going to pick this particular hill to die on, make a plan of action.”

Yeah. Good idea. Given what’s in the news around here, I have a plan of action: giggling! (I can’t help myself anyway given the absolute shitshow we now have around here).

Did you know that incest is not a crime around here (only rape is) since the French Revolution? So we keep attempting to discern in courts whether or not a kid is consenting to sex? Even when it’s a 4 year old?

Sorry: I must giggle. It’s a moral duty.

@ Narad (@ PGP)

“And as for my commenting history, well, what’s wrong with removing science education and books from areas that have no need for them.” — PGP

Ouch! That starts to be really serious nonsense. Not bigotry yet, but very very serious nonsense. PGP indeed seems blinded by his ideology, though, from the few comments I just read from him. Usually I react very strongly and with strong intolerance to people telling me what my moral values ought to be in the way he did. He should back off from that, but likely won’t. We’ll see.

PGP: “Narad: Well, how about the fact that in almost all the causes the boomers cared about, no progress has been made since, oh, about 1990? In fact, except for the legalization of marijuana and gay marriage, everything’s been stuck in reverse. ”

Acid Rain.
The Ozone Layer.
ANWR? (Trump tried to open it and the oil companies were like “nah”.)
Electric cars. Solar on people’s houses (I’m getting mine next month.)

And what about the Gen Xers? What have they done or not done?
(Seriously, gay marriage was a huge civil rights win and should be celebrated.)

Tim:Very empowering; I used to get them ‘administrative assistants’ to fix my presentations, sort out my travel and per deim, collaberate on atmospheric phenomena, plasma physics, computer syntax, biological improbabilities, and recommending romantic prospects..

Kinda proving my point there, buddy.You really can’t cope with intelligent women because you’ve been used to dealing with women as basically mobile furniture. And no you may not borrow my bo. Those things are expensive, and I’m not wasting it on Trumpie. A sharp stick would be better.

F68: Well, if you don’t have a concrete plan, than stop whining. As for the educational system, hear me out: The US’s education system is perpetually cash-strapped and inefficient. If we stop service in some areas (the most intransigent, unwilling, and perpetually grumbly bits), we could deliver better service to the areas that actually WANT education. Also, nothing adds value to a commodity than sudden scarcity.

@ PGP

“F68: Well, if you don’t have a concrete plan, than stop whining.”

I have a concrete plan. I’m very busy shaming Alain Finkielkraut for the moment, pushing for a tad more cancel culture in France, a country which is very hostile to the concept (and which banned social media from censoring material as the State wants to retain the control on that matter) which is all the funnier as Finkielkraut was the one to push for holocaust denial laws back in the good ol’ days… the irony…

“As for the educational system, hear me out: The US’s education system is perpetually cash-strapped and inefficient.”

I’m kind of tired of the cash-strapped gambit being played by the left. Kind of immunized. And you haven’t explained yourself about “removing science education and books from areas that have no need for them”. A concept which I find appalling.

(And BTW: you are not entitled to know what my plans, if any, are. I do not like control freaks.)

“because you’ve been used to dealing with women as basically mobile furniture.”

I don’t even know what that means.

I propably said it wrong before, but those “administative assistants” ran the roost. They were stong and I would not have it any other way.

I was still in college when recruited there and did not know my way around. My posistion was weird and I never bothered to lean the details — It seemed like how they financed the ‘machine that goes ping’ in Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. Officially, I was some kind of subcontractor critter under contract and they paid me small dollars out of the entity that paid the university big dollars — research/engineering assistant, or something. I had to undergo a background/security check and never knew why.

Those two sexetaries walked me through it all. One of them kept loosing her baby and was depressed alot but that is beside the point — she got better.

If I couldn’t find the computer guy (IT guy, as it would be said today) jerking off in his usual corner, ‘Cindie’ knew where he was and point me there.

“Here is where you go and say this to procure this equipment, or travel arrangements” before I even asked.

She was miffed at me after trying to hook me up with a worker in a different depatment that I was in elementrary school with and I did not bite. I should have, she was right, but I did not. I think she figured out I was probably gay before I did.

I make crass generalizions from time to time, usualy in jest see: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/01/15/why-is-peter-doshi-still-an-editor-at-the-bmj/#comment-438676

But, you. I just want to ask “what is your damage, little girl?”

@ Tim

“But, you. I just want to ask “what is your damage, little girl?””

Please don’t. That ends up being indelicate.

F68: I don’t care about your plans really. I just want you to stop spamming and maybe make an effort to stay on topic. As for the books and science stuff: I’m calling it the “big yoink.” And why are you appalled? As I said, it’s about driving up the value of education and reading. If things are scarce, people value them more, and besides, books are wasted on some people. And yes, I realize that there are quite a few stupid reasons that schools are not properly funded in the US, but again, one quick fix is better than the current system where nothing ever gets done.

@ PGP

“F68: I don’t care about your plans really.”

Then do not ask.

“I just want you to stop spamming and maybe make an effort to stay on topic.”

When the topic is Greg, the topic is Greg.

I really do not get the point about science books availability you are making. I just do not perceive the issue you are trying to solve.

Timbo: “My damage” is that I am a person and do not like being disrespected or condescended to. You seem to be incapable of understanding that women are, in fact, people, or maybe it doesn’t get through that haze of smoke. Also, I am really sick of dealing with the perpetual butthurt and whininess of some citizens of these so-called United States, and the dippy hippies who keep pretending all is well.

F68: I’m trying to prove that you can in, fact, fix stupid. Or at least make it clear that stupidity can and should be penalized.

OK you got me PgP. I do think women should stay in the lab; men are just like bulls in china shops around all that dainty, expensive instrumentation. But they can be pretty good out in the field also. Nothing caps off a day of documenting tonado destruction like having a soft and squishy ambulatory throw pillow to recline on amongst the rubble. /s

“and the dippy hippies who keep pretending all is well.”

In what part of “these so-called United States” is your sanitorium located?? If you are being held and forced to type stuff against your will then retransmit this symbol: 🦥

☺️

@ PGP

Penalizing stupidity? I do not quite get where you’re coming from nor going to. That was about the science books?

Up a bit, you stated this:

If we stop service in some areas (the most intransigent, unwilling, and perpetually grumbly bits), we could deliver better service to the areas that actually WANT education. Also, nothing adds value to a commodity than sudden scarcity*.

And keep coming back to it in various ways so I assume it’s not just out of a moment of pique.

But what of individuals within the larger group in the discrete “areas” that are motivated, do want to learn, and have (not “show” because the larger mob may beat it down to hide it) aptitude? That punishes the virtuous for the stupid of the statistically larger peer group.

How does that differ from that old chestnut of punishing the whole for the actions of a few or the one? I guess the motivation for that one is that the group is empowered to beat down the nail that sticks up.

Ohh. I think l know this one.. Under your scheme, those few nails never get the chance to stick up in the first place.

That’ll learn ’em.

said every publishing house ever — therein lies your real beef. Gosh. What criminality it generates! — *cough, cough, scihub, cough

p.s. Pointy? Really? I don’t want to injure him, I just want to shove a battle proven stick up his ass

‘Second class Covid vaccines are on the way’? Is that an implicit acknowledgment of the failure of mRNA vaccination?

Related, why with Israel leading the rollout have we not seen appreciable decline in deaths and hospitalizations in their country? In fact, their numbers are surging? Likewise, England is also not far behind with their vaccination, but they have the highest Covid death rate.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-second-generation-covid-vaccines-are-coming/

@ Greg

You got your answer in the article you linked.

“But impressive as they are, these vaccines alone will likely not be sufficient to end the pandemic, experts say.”

Next.

Yes, F68, I am also reading the article and I am sensing jitters…

Gregory Poland, a vaccinologist at the Mayo Clinic, agrees it is far too early to think we have this virus beat. He points out that no vaccine for a coronavirus has ever been deployed in a public vaccination program. And mRNA vaccines such as Pfizer’s and Moderna’s—touted by many as the future of vaccinology—have never previously been brought to market. “We don’t know what we don’t know. We have no idea what surprises we might find in a virus that we’ve only been aware of for a year,” says Poland, who co-authored an extensive review of COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the Lancet last October. “And the history of vaccinology—in which I’ve been involved for four decades—is amply littered with things we thought we knew.”

Surely, real success with mRNA vaccination so far would inspire more optimism.

I am also reading the article and I am sensing jitters…

Try doing it without your hand in your pants.

Israel had only vaccinated 27% of its population as of a few days ago, but is seeing Covid-19 case numbers declining.

“Israel has vaccinated more than a quarter of its population against COVID-19, and cases of the disease are finally beginning to decline following a surge that prompted a nationwide lockdown.”

“More than 2.43 million people in Israel have now received at least one dose of the two-dose vaccines. That’s about 27% of the country, according to data from Our World In Data. The country reported 8,190 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, down from a record 9,997 cases on January 13, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.”

http://businessinsider.com/israel-has-vaccinated-27-of-its-population-for-covid-19-2021-1

That encouraging statistic might not be directly attributable to the vaccination of Israelis, but it’s hardly justification for denialists to trumpet vaccine failure.

As mentioned in another RI discussion, expect antivaxers to come up with their usual silly excuses for upcoming case declines. Maybe Israel’s drop is because it suddenly implemented good nutrition and sanitation. 😉

Israel has vaccinated more than a quarter of its population against COVID-19, and cases of the disease are finally beginning to decline following a surge that prompted a nationwide lockdown

Yes, Dangerous One, there was that report, and a contradictory one about a day ago reporting they had reached he highest reported new daily cases since the epidemic began. See link below.

Dangerous One, to be honest, with their aggressive vaccination effort, I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if they eventually start seeing reduction in cases. With studies coming out of their country though suggesting the vaccine is only 30% effective after only one dose, I don’t expect the decline to be significant or even lasting. It might be significant after they give their entire population two doses, but with the poor safety signal of the vaccine so far, that might be an extremely scary proposition. It might be a situation of them — or even the entire world– having to decide how many people we are willing to kill to save lives. That’s scary in there might actually be a negative net gain!.

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-Confirmed-Covid-cases-reach-daily-peak-in-Israel-1001357643

@ Greg

“It might be a situation of them — or even the entire world– having to decide how many people we are willing to kill to save lives.”

You’re a pussy.

Reports out of Israel as of a couple hours ago show the daily Covid-19 new case rate continuing to drop (it’s now at a little over 7,000 cases/day, down from nearly 10,000 cases/day.

From the Jerusalem Post:

“The highest rates of infection remain among the ultra-Orthodox, where the British and potentially other mutations are active…As the numbers decline, the hope is that the lockdown will be lifted as announced on January 31.
Coronavirus commissioner Prof. Nachman Ash said on Thursday in an interview with Channel 12 that he is optimistic that no further extension will be needed.
“The data is encouraging,” Ash said. “We hope that the trend will continue.”…Israel has reached another peak in daily vaccinations: 224,000 Israelis were vaccinated on Thursday. Some 69,183 people received the first dose and the rest their second.
Thousands of high school students age 16-18 will also now be able to get vaccinated. The Health Ministry confirmed late Thursday that beginning next week these teens could get the jab. The Health and Education ministries will work together wit the health funds to formulate a logistical plan to promote the student vaccination campaign.

“Education must be our top priority,” Blue and White leader and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz said. “After we have ensured that the teachers are vaccinated, we must make sure that the youth can attend their exams and return to the school framework as soon as possible.”
In total 850,000 Israelis have received their second dose and 200,000 are already eligible for their vaccination certificates.”

Yehuda Shoenfeld must be crying in his beer.

In science you are expected to change your understanding based on significant new evidence.

It’s what science does.

The lot of them are like some sort of Zefram Cochrane collection humming David Crosby’s “Triad” while testing the Dwark Drive.

@Narad,

I’m not sure whose interpretation of Zefram Cochrane I like the best. Its been a long time.

@Greg,

I could hardly care less about what term an anonymous news source used to describe the status of our Covid-19 response.

Looking at Dr Fauci’s talk today, I thought he was very happy with the change.

“Looking at Dr Fauci’s talk today, I thought he was very happy”

And all that without tucking his shirt in for minutes on end.

And, speaking of Israel’s leading vaccination rollout, here is an interesting interview,,,

Q. The government and Pfizer agreed to trade medical data for doses of vaccines. What’s the impact of that? Was the public given enough information on the details of this agreement?

A:We got a special agreement from Pfizer, and when they publicized the agreement, at least one-third of it was blackened out. And I think it’s done more damage than good, because now we don’t know how much information they get on us.

If indeed Israel is leading in vaccinating its population, and you do want to learn about the efficacy and adverse effects, why not give this information for free for all the health ministries and systems and laboratories? It’s a global challenge. Why make Pfizer the only one with this knowledge? I don’t know. This is something that we are trying to look into.

https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/01/22/1016471/israel-covid-vaccine-rollout-hadas-ziv/

suppressing life-saving early treatments like Ivermectin

Yah. You’re also not going to be happy with today’s JAMA paper on the subject.

@orac

there’s a reason why you’re running a 2-bit “science” blog and he’s the assoc. editor of the bmj. i understand it’s beyond you.

The brass bars we put on the cribs aren’t strong enough. The baby trolls have broken free again and are busting up all the furniture. The time has come to spend big on carbon fiber cribs and ring them with razor wire.

Actually Orac is a surgeon and Doshi is an anthropologist. So that is why Doshi does not know anything.

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