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WTF happened to John Ioannidis?

John Ioannidis is one of the most published and influential scientists in the world, someone whose skewering of bad medical research we at SBM have frequently lauded over the years. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Since then, Prof. Ioannidis has been publishing dubious studies that minimize the dangers of the coronavirus, shown up in the media to decry “lockdowns,” and, most recently, “punched down”, attacking a graduate student for having criticized him. What happened? Did Prof. Ioannidis change, or was he always like this and I just didn’t see it? Either way, he’s a cautionary tale of how even science watchdogs can fall prey to hubris.

I’ve been meaning to write this post for months now, but have hesitated. Up until yesterday, that hesitation has always led to my abandoning the post and choosing a different topic. The reason for my hesitation is that the topic of this post happens to be a scientist whom, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I had long admired and whom, as a result of his publications, statements, and activities during the pandemic, I no longer do. I am, of course, referring to John Ioannidis, who first made a splash over 15 years ago, when he published what remains his most famous article, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”, leading me (and others) to point out how cranks and quacks have misused and abused Ioannidis’ work to “prove” that science is so unreliable that their quackery or antivaccine pseudoscience should be taken seriously. As you’ve probably already guessed, it was all nonsense. Over the years, Prof. Ioannidis’ work has inspired a number of posts on this blog.

Don’t get me wrong here. I don’t always agree with Ioannidis; for instance, I think he did exaggerate how often research is “wrong” and, in addition, took major issue with his argument that the NIH is so conservative that only the very “safest” projects are funded and that the “brave maverick scientists” who see “bolts out of the blue” to make great leaps in science tend not to be NIH funded. I’ll return to this particular paper at the end of the post, because now, in retrospect, I see it as a harbinger of Ioannidis’ activities during the COVID-19 pandemic that I missed at the time. Had I been more attuned now to what I had noticed then, it might have led me to be less surprised by Ioannidis’ behavior, in which he’s consistently downplayed the deadliness of COVID-19 and, in doing so, engaged in the same sort of scientific sloppiness that he had become known for skewering in other investigators. I’ll enumerate in more depth in a moment, but before I do please indulge me as I do a little exercise.

A little exercise, for perspective on COVID-19

I realize it’s hard to do now that, as of yesterday, the estimated toll in the US alone from COVID-19 is over 560,000 dead from close to 31 million cases; worldwide it’s nearly 2.8 million deaths out of 128 million cases, with all of those numbers almost certainly being significant undercounts of the true toll. Still, try to envision the situation a year ago. At that time, COVID-19 had only recently arrived in the US, and the death toll was still “only” approximately 36,000 worldwide and, by the middle of March in the US there had as yet only been 68 dead due to the disease. Try to envision the world many months before the peak of the latest surge in January, at which time as many as 4,000 people were dying each day in the US of COVID-19.

Before I take you back to those days, there is one useful exercise I like to do to provide perspective. Not unlike the one I did with Marty Makary’s claim that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US in order to show the extreme implausibility of his estimate, it’s just a quick check based on simple math and knowledge of basic statistics alone. (Unsurprisingly, Makary of late has joined the COVID-19 minimization crew, specifically claiming that we will have herd immunity by April (it’s April 5 now), which, with my own state of Michigan appearing to be in the middle of a new surge driven by more transmissible variants of the virus.) The entire population of the US is approximately 330 million people. That means that in a little over a year COVID-19 has killed approximately 0.17% of the entire population of the US, or one out of every 589 people. That’s an enormous toll. To give you even more perspective, let’s look at the five leading causes of death in the US every year. At number one, heart disease claims approximately 660,000 Americans a year, while cancer claims 600,000; accidents, 173,000; respiratory disease, 157,000; and strokes, 150,000. COVID-19 was easily the third leading cause of death in 2020 in the US, despite not exacting a large toll until three months into the year. It wasn’t even close.

Next, just as an intellectual exercise, assume that every single American has been infected with COVID-19. If that were true, then that would mean that the “hard” lower bound of the infection fatality rate (IFR) for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease, is currently approximately 0.17%. (IFR is the fatality rate of all infections, including asymptomatic infections. The case fatality rate, or CFR, represents the fatality rate among people diagnosed with a disease.) Of course, nowhere near 100% of Americans have been infected. Now, if you accept as accurate published estimates that, as of yesterday, 31 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 (again, it’s almost certainly a massive undercount), that would lead to an estimate of 1.8% as the upper bound of the IFR for COVID-19 in the US. Yes, that is a greater than ten-fold range, and the IFR is certainly much lower than 1.8%, but, again, we definitely have an absolute lower bound for the IFR of 0.17%, which is only continuing to grow, as we are still losing roughly 1,000 people a day to the virus. Thus the IFR is certainly at least double, if not triple 0.17% or more. And, yes, I know that IFR can change as the pandemic progresses. People who might have survived when hospitals were not overrun die when they are, for instance. However, simple statistics can show that claims that COVID-19 is “no more deadly than the flu” are utter nonsense.

So why did I just go through this exercise? Hang on, and you’ll see.

Enter John Ioannidis at the dawn of the pandemic

So why have I, after having procrastinated so much over writing this post, finally pulled the trigger and written it? It came in the context of a Twitter discussion a week ago about “silencing” of academics who advocate contrarian views about the pandemic and a new paper by Prof. Ioannidis published on Friday. An example of one thread that I saw last week follows:

Which led a friend of the blog, who wrote an excellent book about critical thinking in medicine (reviewed by Harriet Hall) to bring up an example:

And, a couple of weeks before:

Which brings us back to John Ioannidis. Let’s go through a bit of background first.

Back in April 2020, Ioannidis was co-author of a much-criticized study, COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California. The study was originally published on the pre-print server medRxiv, which by then had become the go-to outlet to publish COVID-19 research before it had been fully peer-reviewed and made it into even the E-pub-ahead-of-print sections of journals. The reason at the time for using preprint servers, which have not been as prominent a year into the pandemic as they were then, was that SARS-CoV-2 and the pandemic were so new and the science was moving so fast that waiting for new papers to go through peer review before they saw the light of day seemed way too slow for the situation.

Ironically, this brings up a point and prediction made by Ioannidis over a year ago with which I most heartily agreed (and continue to agree), namely that governments and public health officials were making decisions without good data. There is no doubt that this was true then (and, to a lesser extent, remains true now). Even a year later, after a tsunami of COVID-19 studies, the science remains more confusing than we would like. Ioannidis also predicted a “once-in-a-century” data fiasco. Even though that was a pretty easy prediction in the early days of the pandemic, you have to give it to the man. He was right. It’s just ironic that Prof. Ioannidis ended up substantially contributing to the data fiasco.

It started when Ioannidis wrote:

If we assume that case fatality rate among individuals infected by SARS-CoV-2 is 0.3% in the general population — a mid-range guess from my Diamond Princess analysis — and that 1% of the U.S. population gets infected (about 3.3 million people), this would translate to about 10,000 deaths. This sounds like a huge number, but it is buried within the noise of the estimate of deaths from “influenza-like illness.” If we had not known about a new virus out there, and had not checked individuals with PCR tests, the number of total deaths due to “influenza-like illness” would not seem unusual this year. At most, we might have casually noted that flu this season seems to be a bit worse than average. The media coverage would have been less than for an NBA game between the two most indifferent teams.

Some worry that the 68 deaths from Covid-19 in the U.S. as of March 16 will increase exponentially to 680, 6,800, 68,000, 680,000 … along with similar catastrophic patterns around the globe. Is that a realistic scenario, or bad science fiction? How can we tell at what point such a curve might stop?

The wag in me can’t help but note that, as of today, the figure of 680,000 deaths used by Prof. Ioannidis as an appeal to ridicule of overblown warnings about COVID-19 death tolls is currently easily the closest to the death toll that we are, unfortunately, likely to see in the US before the pandemic is finally over. Hindsight aside, though, Ioannidis did have a point. If a disease spreads exponentially through an immunologically naïve population, how do you know where it will stop? He just guessed wrong, so very wrong! Normally, there would be no shame in being wrong in such an estimate. Lots of eminent scientists underestimated or overestimated COVID-19 in those very early days of the pandemic. In the fog of uncertainty over a new virus and the potential extent of its spread, coupled with how viruses can spread exponentially, it was very easy for even the best to be off by a factor of ten or even 50. It’s what Ioannidis did subsequently that became the problem. This began a month later, when Ioannidis and colleagues published his most (in)famous COVID-19 study.

Ioannidis’ study (which wasn’t published in The International Journal of Epidemiology until a month ago) examined the prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 virus and estimated that between 2.5% and 4.2% of the residents of Santa Clara County had been infected with coronavirus as of early April 2020. That estimate was drastically larger, 50- to 85-fold larger, than had been estimated up to that point using swab testing. Of course, at the time there was a severe shortage of COVID-19 tests, which meant that the true prevalence of antibodies to the virus was likely considerably higher than the official counts at the time, but as much as 85-fold higher? Using this seroprevalence, Ioannidis and his colleagues concluded that the IFR of COVID-19 was between ) 0.17% (interval: 0.12%-0.2%), only somewhat higher than seasonal influenza, at 0.1%. Predictably, this helped feed the narrative at the time that “COVID-19 is not much worse than the flu”, a narrative that still continues to this day.

Even at the time, even in the context of the extreme uncertainty of the early months of the pandemic, that figure seemed implausible, as Geoffrey Barber of WIRED noted not long after the study had been published and hit the national news, using mathematical reasoning similar to that of my little exercise above:

Skeptics have noted that the conclusions seem at odds with some basic math. In New York City, where more than 10,000 people, or about 0.1 percent of the population, have already died from Covid-19, this estimated fatality rate would mean nearly everyone in the city has already been infected. That’s unlikely, since the number of new cases, and deaths, is still mounting, fast. Others pointed to the Stanford group’s unusual use of Facebook recruitment, which may have drawn in people who were sick in February or March and couldn’t get a swab test to confirm it—the situation for a lot of people in Santa Clara County, an early Covid-19 hot zone where tests were initially scarce. That could have led to an oversampling of people who had antibodies to the virus. Others, noting that only 50 out of the 3,330 people tested, or 1.5 percent, actually tested positive, quibbled with the methods used to weight the sample, which skewed heavily white and female.

Others harshly criticized the study’s methodology, pointing out that, given the false positive rate of the then-existing antibody tests and how Ioannidis and crew had not taken the false positive rate into account properly, the study’s results could just as easily been consistent with close to zero infections in Santa Clara County during the time period of the study. Basically, critics pointed out that, due to the low prevalence of COVID-19 in April 2020, the small number of individuals included in the study, and what was known about the specificity of the COVID-19 antibody test, Ioannidis and his co-investigators could not rule out the possibility that the positive test results they got could all have been false positives.

It gets worse:

When the Stanford team — Drs. Jayanta Bhattacharya, John Ioannidis and Eran Bendavid — released the first draft of their Santa Clara County-based preprint, the news was stunning. The nation’s first study of its type, it found that the virus was astoundingly 50 to 85 times more prevalent than presumed. But that meant the death rate was far lower.

Yet the project raised eyebrows from the start.

Even before they started collecting data, the researchers openly questioned “stay at home” orders. Ioannidis wrote a provocative article arguing that if COVID-19 is less deadly, widespread restrictions “may be totally irrational.” A Wall Street Journal editorial by Bhattacharya and Bendavid was entitled “Is the Coronavirus as Deadly as They Say?” Bhattacharya revisited that theme in the Hoover Institution and Fox Nation program “Questioning Conventional Wisdom.”

When their preprint was published, its conclusions backed the trio’s policy arguments – and it was saddled with statistical problems.

It failed to describe key calculations and made at least five material mistakes, according to Will Fithian, assistant professor in UC Berkeley’s Department of Statistics. The population-weighted intervals in a table were miscalculated. The authors plugged the wrong interval into a formula. They made two math errors in executing that formula. And, misreading their test kit’s manufacturer insert, they used the wrong numbers for the antibody test’s specificity.

Oh, did I forget to mention that one of the future authors of the Great Barrington Declaration was a colleague of Ioannidis and co-author of the study? (More on that later.) True, Ioannidis and company did revise and republish the study in late April, but the revised study still estimated that the prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara County at the low end of the original range, which was plenty high. Worse, in the interim, Ioannidis had shown up on Fox News, CNN, and a number other media outlets promoting his team’s results and using them to cast doubt on the effectiveness of public health interventions and “lockdowns” to slow the spread of the virus.

Then there was this story in Buzzfeed News in July:

Stanford University scientist John Ioannidis has declared in study after study that the coronavirus is not that big of a threat, emboldening opponents of economic shutdowns — and infuriating critics who see fundamental errors in his work.

But even before the epidemiologist had any of that data in hand, he and an elite group of scientists tried to convince President Donald Trump that locking down the country would be the real danger.

In late March, as COVID-19 cases overran hospitals overseas, Ioannidis tried to organize a meeting at the White House where he and a small band of colleagues would caution the president against “shutting down the country for [a] very long time and jeopardizing so many lives in doing this,” according to a statement Ioannidis submitted on the group’s behalf. Their goal, the statement said, was “to both save more lives and avoid serious damage to the US economy using the most reliable data.”

Although the meeting did not happen, Ioannidis believed their message had reached the right people. Within a day of him sending it to the White House, Trump announced that he wanted the country reopened by Easter. “I think our ideas have inflitrated [sic] the White House regardless,” Ioannidis told his collaborators on March 28, in one of dozens of emails that BuzzFeed News obtained through public records requests.

As an aside, I can’t help but point out that, ironically, one member of this group was Dr. David Katz, an “integrative medicine” doctor formerly at Yale whose name should be familiar to longtime readers of this blog for his advocacy of a “more fluid concept of evidence than many of us have imbibed from our medical educations” that he uses to justify using homeopathy.

Dr. Katz aside, early in the pandemic, Prof. Ioannidis published shoddy research on COVID-19 that had raised the suspicion of having been politically motivated, or at the very least Prof. Ioannidis gave the impression of not having been as rigorous in his science as he had long demanded of other scientists. Then he got even worse and started to repeat COVID-19 conspiracy theories, such as the one that claims that COVID-19 death tolls are inflated by inappropriately blaming deaths on COVID-19 that were really due to comorbidities:

This is what I like to refer to as the “6% gambit,” as the most extreme version of this conspiracy theory is that only 6% of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 were really due to COVID-19. It’s a conspiracy theory that relies on the person believing it having no clue how death certificates are normally filled out.

Why did Prof. Ioannidis consistently minimize COVID-19? Perhaps it was due to hubris, but it could also (or alternatively) been due to his political blindspots. Even so, I’d still say that there is no real shame in being wrong, if only one admits it frankly and tries to correct oneself. Unfortunately, with Prof. Ioannidis, that didn’t happen. Quite the opposite, in fact, as you will see.

“I never said that I knew that the death toll was going to be 10,000”

If there’s one characteristic Prof. Ioannidis has demonstrated during the pandemic, it’s that, whenever his COVID-19 prognostications are criticized or attacked, he tends to deny that he had made them and/or double down on similar arguments. For example, Dr. Howard (mentioned above), loves to compare these two statements:

This comes from an interview that Prof. Ioannidis did in Medscape in July, by which point there had been 132,000 deaths in the US:

You’ve criticized models for using faulty data in projecting the death toll. When the lockdown started there were only 60 deaths in the US. You projected 10,000 deaths using an IFR computed from infected passengers on Diamond princess cruise ship. Yet today there more than 132,000 deaths — the figure would likely have been even higher were it not for the social distancing/ lockdown we employed on March 16. Though the mortality numbers are still much lower than the doomsday predictions of Imperial college, they do make your projections overly optimistic.

I never said that I knew that the death toll was going to be “10,000 deaths in the US”. How could I, in a piece where the message was “we don’t know”! The 10,000 deaths in the US projection was meant to be in the most optimistic range of the spectrum and in the same piece I also described the most pessimistic end of the spectrum, 40 million deaths. The point I wanted to emphasize was the huge uncertainty.

Not exactly. First, Prof. Ioannidis was mixing apples and oranges here. His prediction of 10,000 deaths was for the US alone, while that 40 million estimate was for the entire world under a worst case scenario. More importantly, any fair reading of Prof. Ioannidis’ previous article should make it clear that he clearly favored the lowest end of his estimates. In fact, let’s look at his “worst case scenario” estimate in context:

In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.

One can only hope that, much like in 1918, life will continue. Conversely, with lockdowns of months, if not years, life largely stops, short-term and long-term consequences are entirely unknown, and billions, not just millions, of lives may be eventually at stake.

If we decide to jump off the cliff, we need some data to inform us about the rationale of such an action and the chances of landing somewhere safe.

Notice how he explicitly stated that he did not espouse that estimate. Also notice how he immediately pivoted to—you guessed it!—another comparison to the flu, emphasizing how COVID-19 tends to kill the old, not the young, and speculating about the “costs” of “lockdowns”. I also can’t help but note that we already have nearly three million deaths out of nearly 130 million cases worldwide. That’s a death rate of well over 1%. Even if the IFR is under 1%, we’d better hope that nowhere near 50-60% of the global population becomes infected.

Unfortunately, even now, in March 2021, Prof. Ioannidis appears to be sticking to his guns. He just published a paper arguing that the IFR from COVID-19 is actually 0.15%. Worse, he’s used the opportunity to settle scores with—of all people—a graduate student who has a large following on Twitter and has been highly critical of Prof. Ioannidis’ studies.

As a professor of biology named Carl Bergstrom noted:

Prof. Ioannidis’ study was published in The European Journal of Clinical Investigation on Friday, and, to be honest, strikes me more as score-settling than a dispassionate review article. In particular, Prof. Ioannidis seems preoccupied with settling a score with Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, who in December published with Lea Merone in The International Journal of Infectious Diseases a systematic review and meta-analysis of COVID-19 IFRs that estimated an overall IFR of 0.68% (95% confidence interval 0.53%–0.82%), with a range from 0.17% to 1.7%. From my reading, it was a solid meta-analysis and review.

This is how Prof. Ioannidis responded in his new paper. I’m quoting such a long passage because, quite simply, I could not believe my eyes as I read this. This long attack is in an actual scientific paper, and it took up more than a page of the submitted manuscript:

The evaluations by ICCRT4 and Meyerowitz-Katz1 have multiple flaws as well as eligibility, design, and analytical choices that consistently lead to higher IFR estimates. This raises questions of technical competence and/or bias.

In multiple main media interviews and quotes Meyerowitz-Katz is presented professionally as an “epidemiologist”, but apparently he has not received yet a PhD degree as of this writing and he is still a student at the University of Woolongong in Australia. Neither he nor his co-author of the evaluation (apparently another PhD student) had published any peer-reviewed systematic review or meta-analysis on any topic prior to the pandemic. By the end of 2019, Meyerowitz-Katz had published 2 PubMed-indexed papers (both on diabetes) that had received 2 citations and 1 selfcitation in Scopus. Meyerowitz-Katz is very active also in Twitter through an account called Health Nerd (56,800 tweets as of January 19, 2021). The Twitter account has interesting, smart content with strong advocacy, often supporting worthy causes. The same account has also been generating tweetorial content reviewing various COVID-19 papers, including many critical/highly negative comments on my papers, e.g. on the IFR evaluation.5 For fairness, readers may consult these Twitter criticisms of Meyerowitz-Katz and of another prolific Twitter critic with highly similar views as Meyerowitz-Katz (Atomsk’s Sanakan [64,200 tweets as of January 19, 2021], self-described as “Christian; Science, Denialism Debunked, Philosophy, Manga, Death Metal, Pokémon, Immunology FTW; Fan of Bradford Hill + Richard Joyce”, also supporting several worthy causes, e.g. debunking denialism). The tweetorials have been posted in Pubpeer (https://pubpeer.com/publications/C2A5DD4ED8B5A0B13F63A47FEC143A). Comparison against the present manuscript may hopefully help knowledgeable readers generate an informed opinion as to the merits of arguments raised. I don’t have a personal Twitter account, but was alerted to the negative tweetorials by Meyerowitz-Katz several months ago. At that time, the name of the Twitter account owner was not obviously visible (the photo showed an unrecognizable figure with big glasses and a cat), but Meyerowitz-Katz seemed to use the Twitter account prolifically to promote his own work and criticize work contradicting his work. The identity of the Health Nerd Twitter account has become transparent now, since the owner has added a photo of him (wearing a T-shirt that writes “Trust me, I am an epidemiologist”). The identity of the reverberating Atomsk’s Sanakan Twitter account is still unclear (to me at least) and its relationship to Meyerowitz-Katz, if any, is unknown.

Overall, one potential explanation is that the flaws of the Meyerowitz-Katz evaluation may simply reflect lack of experience and technical expertise of otherwise well-intentioned and smart authors with a heightened sense of advocacy during a serious pandemic that represents undoubtedly a major crisis. It is well-known that most published systematic reviews and meta-analyses in the literature have substantial flaws anyhow. For students performing their first evidence synthesis ever, choosing a topic that requires advanced expertise due to unusual cross-design features, difficult methodological challenges and convoluted and often erratic data, a highly-flawed final product should not be surprising. Perusal of the voluminous Twitter comments of Health Nerd similarly demonstrates immediately the wonderful enthusiasm, but also lack of adequate expertise required to conduct such analyses in any rigorous way. Nevertheless, it is worrisome that trustworthy media like Scientific American and The Guardian have espoused Meyerowitz-Katz’s views and serious organizations may guide their planning based on a flawed paper. Meyerowitz-Katz is a columnist also at the American Council on Science and Health (https://www.acsh.org/profile/gideon-meyerowitz-katz), a pro-industry advocacy group. He reports no conflicts of interest.

I will note here that I’ve criticized ACSH on multiple occasions as being industry-associated astroturf, but this last attack by Prof. Ioannidis goes far beyond the pale. Yes, Meyerowitz-Katz is indeed listed on the ACSH website, but he also only wrote one article for the organization (on Red Bull and energy drinks, of all things), and that article is over three years old. This has to be the most egregious ad hominem that I’ve ever seen, and particularly odd given that industry or business bias would tend to lead one to minimize COVID-19, the better to attack public health interventions that interfere with re-opening businesses. As for the rest, I’ll let Prof. Ioannidis’ own words speak for themselves and wonder how such a prolonged attack on a graduate student by an eminent professor ever got through peer-review. Indeed, I’ve never seen such an attack in a peer-reviewed journal article ever, and I’m not alone:

Then it was pointed out to me. Prof. Ioannidis was Editor-in-Chief of The European Journal of Clinical Investigation from 2010-2019. Moreover, unlike most articles of this type, Prof. Ioannidis is the sole author.

One of the targets of Prof. Ioannidis’ ire spent an entire Tweetorial dissecting the distortions in the article. It’s long, but I find its arguments compelling. To summarize, Atomsks Sanakan points out (and documents) that Prof. Ioannidis has a history of cherry picking studies with non-representative samples because studies using representative samples tend to result in an estimate an IFR higher than his and incompatible with his message. Reading Prof. Ioannidis’ screed disguised as a review article, I couldn’t help but be frustrated at Prof. Ioannidis’ relative lack of detail in the methodology, in which, after a discussion of the search strategy used to locate review articles and a description of the data extracted from each one, says simply, “Based on the above, the eligible evaluations were compared against each other with focus on features that may lead to bias and trying to decipher the direction of each bias.” What? What were the criteria to identify “features that may lead to bias”? Whenever that is done in studies, generally more than one person are required to evaluate for bias.

Prof. Ioannidis’ attack is rather ironic given that he himself repeatedly accuses his critics, in particular Meyerowitz-Katz, of “cherry picking” data, a phrase that I’ve never seen in an academic paper before, just as I had never seen a whole page in a manuscript devoted to attacking a graduate student and his Twitter account, while darkly insinuating undisclosed conflicts of interest. I also found this line of attack pretty ironic given that the question of undisclosed conflicts of interest have been credibly raised with respect to Prof. Ioannidis himself. Moreover, the level of rigor in this review article would, if it had been written by someone else, likely have earned Prof. Ioannidis’ justified ire.

The reaction to Prof. Ioannidis’ personal attacks on a graduate student, to his “punching down”, have been swift and intense:

That last one really got me, given how defenders of Prof. Ioannidis decried criticism of his writings, studies, and appearances in the media as “public shaming” (Jeanne Lenzer and Shannon Brownlee, who also decried the “COVID science wars”, portraying Ioannidis as being “silenced”) and the intensity of the attacks as turning scientific disagreements into politics, as Dr. Vinay Prasad did. (Remember him?) Oddly enough, I have yet to see any of Prof. Ioannidis’ defenders take him to task for his own lack of civility in “punching down” on a graduate student.

The bottom line is that it’s not a good look for a world-famous scientist who publishes for the World Health Organization, has over a thousand publications listed in PubMed, and regularly shows up on cable news networks as an expert, to launch such a personal screed against a graduate student. Truly, Meyerowitz-Katz’s criticisms of his work must have gotten under Ioannidis’ skin something awful. The whole article reeks of, “How dare a graduate student with a Twitter account question me?”

It makes me wonder how he might react if this post were to come to his attention and annoy him sufficiently. Given that I have maybe 1/20 the number of publications that he does and have had much, much less of an effect on science than he has, I’m almost certainly beneath his notice. On the other hand, Meyerowitz-Katz is a graduate student and had only published one research paper and a whole bunch of Tweets criticizing Prof. Ioannidis’ work, and that clearly got under his skin to the point where Ioannidis used his pull at a journal to publish a hit piece on Meyerowitz-Katz.

John Ioannidis: Brave maverick

As much as I used to admire him, since the pandemic hit John Ioannidis has consistently disappointed me to an extreme degree. In the last year, my disappointment with Prof. Ioannidis has gotten to the point where it’s hard for me to avoid lumping him with the COVID-19 minimizers/deniers like those who published and continue to promote the Great Barrington Declaration, one of whom was his co-author on his infamous Santa Clara seroprevalence study. The Great Barrington Declaration, boiled down to its essence, asserted that COVID-19 is not dangerous to the vast majority of the population, leading to its writers and signatories to conclude that governments should, in essence, let SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes the disease, run rampant through the population in order to achieve “natural herd immunity”, while putting in place measures designed to protect only those viewed as “at risk”, such as the elderly and those with significant co-morbidities. (Note that, at the time the Declaration was published, there was as yet no safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19, while now there are at least four.) Of course, as many noted, it is not possible to protect the vulnerable if COVID-19 is rampaging unchecked throughout the rest of the population. Also, as I noted when I wrote about it, the Great Barrington Declaration was the product of the American Institute for Economic Research, a right-wing, climate science-denying think tank, which recruited three ideologically—shall we say?—amenable scientists to sign on as authors of the declaration, which was basically, as I put it, “eugenics-adjacent” and full of misinformation and half-truths.

Moreover, I’m not the only one who’s now soured on Prof. Ioannidis. For example, Scientific American columnist John Horgan, someone with whom both Steve Novella and I have had disagreements based on his downplaying of skepticism in medicine with respect to homeopathy:

Optimism has also distorted my view of the coronavirus. Last March, I took heart from warnings by Stanford epidemiologist John Ioannidis that we might be overestimating the deadliness of the virus and hence overreacting to it. He predicted that the U.S. death toll might reach only 10,000 people, lower than the average annual toll of seasonal flu. I wanted Ioannidis to be right, and his analysis seemed plausible to me, but his prediction turned out to be wrong by more than an order of magnitude.

Horgan didn’t go quite far enough in his criticisms for my taste, but such is life.

Then there’s Alex Rubinstein:

“What a weird turn to see John Ioannidis pushing one of sloppiest studies in the deluge of Covid-19 papers,” Alex Rubinsteyn, an assistant professor of computational medicine and genetics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, wrote on Twitter. “If he weren’t an author I would expect [the study] to show up in one of his talks as a particularly potent cocktail of bad research practices.”

Then, of course, there are all the scientists on Twitter criticizing Prof. Ioannidis. In fairness, one has to acknowledge that there are things Prof. Ioannidis has argued that have some merit. His estimates of IFR were closer to the mark than some of the very high estimates early in the pandemic, but they were still off considerably in the other direction. He was not wrong about the poor quality of so much of the data and research on COVID-19; it’s just, in an amazing feat of lacking self-awareness, he himself contributed to it as well.

This brings me back to that discussion of Ioannidis’ paper claiming that the NIH is too conservative and that only conservative, “safe” science is funded. It was more than that, though. He claimed that the scientists on NIH study sections were no better than scientists not on NIH study sections. Before I get to that, though, I note that Ioannidis’ cardinal sin since the pandemic started is not to have been wrong, even repeatedly so. It’s been his extreme arrogance:

Instead, Ioannidis sounded sure of himself. He was right; the others had it wrong. He called out other research teams by name—Johns Hopkins, Imperial College London—to berate their findings as “astronomically wrong,” and “constantly dialed back to match reality.” Here he was, about to come out with an exciting and important finding—if he were right, it could change almost everything about how we deal with this virus—and he seemed unworried by the possibility that something might be amiss with the project.

If anyone should understand how the pressure to contribute to the science of the crisis might lead to flawed work and exaggerated claims, it ought to be Ioannidis, arguably the world’s most famous epidemiologist. Who knows? Perhaps like so many of us, he’s just stressed out by the whole damned thing. Maybe he’s just off his game.

The article from which this quote came dates back to May 2020. Now, eleven months later with the benefit of hindsight, I don’t think you can say that Ioannidis was “off his game”. With his attack on a graduate student, he’s continued to double down and, in fact, has even gone further than Freedman had previously described. That is what brings me back to my previous discussion of his article about those “safe” scientists at the NIH, with a funding process that he’d characterized as “conformity” and “mediocrity”. I wrote this over eight years ago:

In the end, as much as I admire Ioannidis, I think he’s off-base here. It’s not that I don’t agree that the NIH should try to find ways to fund more innovative research. However, Ioannidis’ approach to quantifying the problem seems to suffer from flaws in its very conception. In light of that, I can’t resist revisiting the discussion in my last post on the question of riskiness versus safety in research, and that’s a simple question: What’s the evidence that funding more risky research will result in better research and more treatments? We have lots of anecdotes of scientists whose ideas were later found to be validated and potentially game-changing who couldn’t get NIH funding, but how often does this really happen? As I’ve pointed out before, the vast majority of “wild” ideas are considered “wild” precisely because they are new and there is little good support for them. Once evidence accumulates to support them, they are no longer considered quite so “wild.” We know today that the scientists whose anecdotes of woe describing the depredations of the NIH were indeed onto something. How many more proposed ideas that seemed innovative at the time but ultimately went nowhere?

And my conclusion:

However, the assumption underlying Ioannidis’s analysis seems to be that there must be “bolts out of the blue” discovered by brilliant brave maverick scientists. It’s all very Randian at its heart. However, science is a collaborative enterprise, in which each scientist builds incrementally on the work of his or her predecessors. Bolts out of the blue are a good thing, but we can’t count on them, nor has anyone demonstrated that they are more likely to occur if the NIH funds “riskier research.” It’s equally likely that the end result would be a lot more dud research.

Maybe the problem with Prof. Ioannidis was there all along, and I just didn’t see it until the pandemic amplified it for all to see. He seems, dating back at least to 2012, have had the belief that conventional science is too “safe” and “conformist,” perhaps with a bit of a self-image of himself as being the “brave maverick doctor” or iconoclast. Maybe that’s why, during the pandemic, he was so easily drawn to being a “rebel” or a “contrarian,” whose findings bucked the existing consensus, and maybe that’s why he can’t give that up. After all, it’s happened to greater scientists than he. Moreover, Prof. Ioannidis seems to be an excellent cautionary tale at how being a critic doesn’t necessarily mean that you can do what’s being criticized that well. He’s very good at finding the flaws in studies, but his studies during the pandemic demonstrate that, when designing studies of his own, he’s prone to every bias and flaw that he criticizes in others.

In any event, I should go back and read some of Prof. Ioannidis’ old work in light of what I know about him now, with the realization that the pandemic has done me a favor. I wonder what I might find.

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]

182 replies on “WTF happened to John Ioannidis?”

A. I thought I saw another personal attack in an academic paper and just remembered. It was in a letter to the editor by antivaccine activists, now retracted.

https://retractionwatch.com/2018/02/21/retracted-letter-about-vaccine-safety-made-potentially-slanderous-claims/

B. Re lack of good data, that’s obviously true at the beginning of a pandemic, but public health officials can’t wait for certainty to act. That criticism by him misses the point, which would be more “how do you make good decisions under uncertainty, and which way should we err.”

As you point out, he thought we erred by action. Most experts looking at the U.S. concluded we did not do enough. Aside from his doubling down on global IFR, I wonder where he is on that.

C. One criticism I’ve seen on twitter is that he justified leaving the MK review out of his meta review because it only looked at some countries, not all. Others suggested that was a strength of the review, allowing it to leave out unreliable data.

I’m curious if anyone here has thoughts.

D. His personal attack appears to confuse name and picture on twitter. Might be lack of twitter experience.

For item A, is such an apparently dawdling response by a journal such as Toxicology typical, despite their or Elsevier’s profestations of falling between staff changes? It seems the facts should have been easy enough to check and act upon even so.

I’ve had suspicions about him for a while because his name has appeared a few times on my very sensitive early warning system ( PRN.fm) as the Grand Woo-meister quoted and praised him: Iaonnidis is not the only one- Makary, Gotzsche, Montagnier, Jefferson, Angell, Herbert and others have been noted. When someone usually SB is lauded there, it means that they have either done something quite acceptable to a woo viewpoint or is totally misunderstood.

On a lighter note:
because I got the J&J vaccine ( one and done) Friday, I now have a vaccine card which will allow me to blithely pass border / airport/ public events when they ask for my papers.. .

Woo-meisters can and will abuse and distort just about anyone. What’s more telling than who-likes-Ioannidis is who-Ioannidis-likes to spread his message.

“Most of the population has minimal risk, in the range of dying while you’re driving from home to work and back,” Ioannidis said on the Fox News show Life, Liberty & Levin, a few days after the study’s release.

This is the weekend show hosted by far right flame-thrower, science-denying, Trump-loving conspiracy theorist Mark Levin. Assuming you’re at least semi-conscious, you don’t go on his show unless you’re down with being used for his propaganda purposes.

Following the link above re: “conflicts of interest have been credibly raised with respect to Prof. Ioannidis himself.”

A highly influential coronavirus antibody study was funded in part by David Neeleman, the JetBlue Airways founder and a vocal proponent of the idea that the pandemic isn’t deadly enough to justify continued lockdowns. That’s according to a complaint from an anonymous whistleblower, filed with Stanford University last week and obtained by BuzzFeed News, about the study conducted by the famous scientist John Ioannidis and others. The complaint cites dozens of emails, including exchanges with the airline executive while the study was being conducted.

Throw in the Hoover Institute connection, and you’ve got what looks less like a “political blinspot” and more like just Scott Atlas-lite Trumpian politics.

Sure. I like to tell the story of the days back when I was pretty right wing and actually listened to Rush Limbaugh and his imitators back in the late 1990s/early 2000s. True, this was during the time period when I was gradually becoming more and more disgusted with the Republican Party because of its growing anti-science, anti-expertise bent, but the process hadn’t gone far enough yet. In any event, on days when I wasn’t in clinic and was working in my office or lab I’d often listen to Rush Limbaugh from noon to 3 PM and Sean Hannity after that on WABC in NYC. (This was when I lived in central NJ.) After Hannity came Mark Levin. Now, here I was, still liking listening to Rush and Sean, but then I listened to Mark Levin only a handful of times. My reaction? Even after Rush and Sean? This guy’s too batshit nutty and nasty for me! This was more than 20 years ago, too. From what I’ve seen Levin has only gotten worse over the last couple of decades.

So what happens if you lose your card, as there is no central place that is keeping records? Per the CDC, go back to the place where you got your shot(s) to get a replacement, I no longer live in the state where I got my shot?. So yes, a state keeps records and a vaccine passport to attend an event in New York great, but I don’t live in New York, how do I get a New York passport (or any other state, how about Guam)? I am lucky if I can get my insurance to work in a different state, a Covid passport……..?

and don’t get the cards wet it will destroy special marks on the card, that were put on it to insure its not a fake (fake,now available on the internet). And don’t laminate it. And the fricken card does not fit in a credit card slot (only a government worker could have designed the size) and don’t trim it and their is only room, if a booster shot is required, for one booster shot. ‘Hanlon’s Razor’

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_papers%2C_please

this was humor not serious, ok maybe a little.

That’s funny, yesterday there was a piece in the newspaper that said do laminate your vaccine card, but only after your second shot (if you need one) so they can still write down the information.
But the article really wanted you to please leave it somewhere safe, like with your passport (unless you’re getting your free donut).

Probably if we need new boosters there will be new/redesigned cards.

According to MSN news:
all Covid vaccine providers ( pharmacies, hospitals, health departments etc) have to notify the state with your information within 72 hours so there is a permanent record of your vaccine as well as that of the provider.
You can also keep a record on your phone or a paper copy.

In Michigan, where I live, there is a vaccine database at MICR, run by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Providers, be they physicians’ offices, pharmacies, or whatever, are required to enter every vaccination administered into the database. The original purpose of the database was to track vaccine update and also to make it easy for people when they moved or changed medical practices to let physicians know their vaccination history, so that they don’t get duplicate vaccines or so that the doctor knows when they are due for certain vaccines.

Also, in my case, my hospital system contracted with Walgreens; so I’m sure Walgreens could provide me with a record of my COVID-19 vaccination, should I ever need it.

Well…
According to the Defender’s ( RFKjr’s CHD) Megan Redshaw, the feds won’t issue vaccine ‘passports’ but they may help states, businesses and schools do so.
..
A few states have already opposed or supported this and it doesn’t run entirely as you might expect, red vs blue, respectively.
So, you might someday be required to “show your papers” to the friendly Naz, I mean TSA agent at the airport.** or other places.

Anti-vaxxers are shrieking about universities ( Rutgers, Syracuse) requiring vaccination for students.

How I look at it, if you’re attending a university where you are expected to learn stuff based on reality/ facts to get a degree, amongst thousands of other students why not follow through with vaccines and other reality-based PH measures?

** sarcasm

sarcasm

I am reminded of one time when I was taking a cat to the Puget Sound. For some reason, I almost always test positive for explosives residue, and this time we got to go to the Back Room. Watching these guys try to search for a bomb planted in the cat was hilarious.

@ Narad:

I was once “taken aside” in France and had to sit in a room and wait for an hour ( no idea why but there had been terrorism recently in N Africa) and again, a few months after 9/11 but that was just rifling through my purse by the agent.

In other news..
more universities join the Covid vaccine requirement: Northeastern, Brown, Cornell etc.
Forbes, Independent, today.

Anti-vaxxers will not be pleased..

“For some reason, I almost always test positive for explosives residue, and this time we got to go to the Back Room.”

It’s the nitrates. Stop taking Infowars’ super beta prostate three days before a journey. Beetroot powder is also right out. So is 33-0-0 facial cleanse.

WHO does not back vaccination passports for now……..

“The World Health Organization does not back requiring vaccination passports for travel due to uncertainty over whether inoculation prevents transmission of the virus”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who-vaccines-idUSKBN2BT158?taid=606c42cbc8c94b00018576a3&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

So what is the point of the card?

So what is the point of the card?

The card isn’t intended to be a vaccine passport (though it certainly could stand in as one until a true vaccine passport was developed). I is designed to record the not just the manufacturer of the vaccine received, but the batch that was used. That way, if something like, oh, say, a sudden spike in cerebral sinus thrombosis occurred in vaccine recipients, they could quickly determine if the spike was associated with a specific batch or plant. Among other things.

So you can get your free donut, of course!

As for when there’s more data on the impact of the various vaccines on transmission, I assume that the COVID vaccines will be added to the rest of the spots on the travel vaccines card, probably under yellow fever.

I’m pretty sure that the vaccine requirements for travel are a country-by-country thing, so the WHO is only going to advise.

“That way, if something like, oh, say, a sudden spike in cerebral sinus thrombosis occurred in vaccine recipients”

OoooOHHoo! I don’t want that — sounds nasty; should I wait until after my ‘appointment’ of June 22, 10:00 am so they have time to collect more data?

To get the right flavor followup, it would be so convenient if there were some technology like temporary gold microdot tattos that could be scanned anywhere. No, wait…

So you can get your free donut, of course!

You get a free donut?

Yes, the card has several uses for the vacinee, most importantly because they have to get a second dose for most of the vaccines. It does provide an easy reminder of when you were vaccinated, with which vaccine and which batch number, should anything happen.

As to vaccine passports, Certainly, Australia and New Zealand are going to require evidence of vaccinated status for entry. These countries will not be alone.

Yep, free donut from Krispy Kreme, one per day. Not worth the hour plus drive (I remember when Krispy Kreme opened up a franchise locally back in the late 90s, but it was gone within a couple of years)

The card isn’t intended to be a vaccine passport (though it certainly could stand in as one until a true vaccine passport was developed).

You mean something like the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis?
https://www.who.int/ihr/IVC200_06_26.pdf?ua=1

It’s been around for a long time, the underlying idea since the 1930s.

So now the New York state senate has in committee a bill that says if you have a communicable diseases, or may have come in contact with someone who MAY have the disease or anyone the issuing authority deems posses a threat of the spread of the disease may be detained subject to the will of the issuing authority for a length of time deemed necessary by the issuing authority.

‘REMOVAL AND DETENTION OF CASES, CONTACTS AND CARRIERS WHO
ARE OR MAY BE A DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH’ or MAY be a danger to public health???? The order is good for 60 days of detainment and can be extended for up to 90 with a court order additional court order can be obtained

so now the Governor of New York can issues sweeping arrest warrants just because you belong to a group?
“PERSONS EITHER BY NAME OR BY A REASONABLY SPECIFIC
DESCRIPTION OF THE INDIVIDUALS OR GROUP BEING DETAINED. SUCH PERSON OR
GROUP OF PERSONS SHALL BE DETAINED IN A MEDICAL FACILITY OR OTHER APPRO-
PRIATE FACILITY OR PREMISES DESIGNATED BY THE GOVERNOR OR HIS OR HER
DELEGEE”

“ISSUED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE
GIVEN TO EACH DETAINED INDIVIDUAL; HOWEVER, IF THE ORDER APPLIES TO A
GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS AND IT IS IMPRACTICAL TO PROVIDE INDIVIDUAL COPIES,
IT MAY BE POSTED IN A CONSPICUOUS PLACE IN THE DETENTION PREMISES.”

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/a416

If this doesn’t cause you concern well ………..

New York already has authority to quarantine and isolate – including confine – people suspected of having a contagious disease. This is not unusual. Practically every state has broad confinement power for people suspected of having a disease.

https://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-quarantine-and-isolation-statutes.aspx

This is not a new thing. And yes, quarantine powers can be abused. That’s why you need courts that can oversee them. But by themselves, they’re not new.

The federal government also has quarantine powers.

I do agree with you on the present powers of the government and as it stands now if you are ordered to isolate or quarantine (because of contagious disease) ‘it is to be at home or other residence of his/her choosing that is acceptable to the NYDH’.
Just a point, if the state had this power to quarantine, when Covid started why didn’t they, that has always bothered me, why did they quarantine the healthy.
But this proposed law (and it is just proposed law for now). The Department of Health will quarantine you in a place they choose (set up by them) this is a little different and a little worrisome .
“appropriate facility or premises designated by the governor or his or her deegee’.
and this does not just limit the isolation or quarantine to diseases. But people who “may be a danger to public health”. look at section 8 paragraph II, it does not limit itself to diseases, words and language have meaning.
I want to apologize for the large case lettering as I just copied and pasted from the law (proposed). it was not meant to post that way

@ Clint: “Just a point, if the state had this power to quarantine, when Covid started why didn’t they, that has always bothered me, why did they quarantine the healthy.”

Because at the beginning of COVID there weren’t enough tests to determine who was and who was not infected, and given that COVID is contagious before the patient shows signs or symptoms it wasn’t possible to sort the infected from the uninfected.

Also, stay-at-home orders are not quarantine, not at all.

Wait till they decide that mental illness is a communicable disease and then redefine mental illness to suit political goals of the whomever/whatever wishes to retain power. We’re not at that point. We also have no special immunity that prevents us from getting there.

Communicable diseases are communicable because germs move from one person to another. It’s an objective thing.

If you can find a mental illness that qualified, it will likely justify containment measures. Like rabies does.

“Because at the beginning of COVID there weren’t enough tests to determine who was and who was not infected, and given that COVID is contagious before the patient shows signs or symptoms it wasn’t possible to sort the infected from the uninfected.”

That’s all sorted now. At least, In Alabama:
https://youtu.be/Q94M4Qpdv2I?t=871

I managed to sign up in a couple counties today. I should have just done what everyone else apparently did and lied about my age as previously the portals would only report “not elegible”. One county had 58,502 ahead of me and the other gave a stupid “appointment” for June 22. There is no way that many worked through the cludgy process in the 3 hours it was open here — One county did use in-house non-script based signup; the other was google everything based and by the time I finished training google AI through the stupid captcha, I was bumped three days.

Google, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart,…, Right Aid ect are doing quite the data raping over trying to get one here.

“If you can find a mental illness that qualified,…”

Anti-vaxx grift?

“…it will likely justify containment measures.”

Please.

Connect the dots to answer your own question, Clunk:

So now the New York state senate has in committee

and

so now the Governor of New York can issues sweeping arrest warrants just because you belong to a group?

The bill in question was introduced back in 2016 as a response to Ebola cases in the U.S.
While not pursued further at that time, the idea was to ensure that people with a dangerous disease could not ignore health precautions and enter businesses, schools etc.

The language of the bill states that the maximum time of detention without obtaining a court order would be three days.

Despite disease denialists like the crew at Denatured News going ape over imaginary “concentration camps” being set up to confine Covidiots, it is reasonable to have regulations in place to protect the general public from those willing to spread serious pathogens willy-nilly.

Speaking of idiots:

Dorit’s link mentions controversy over a March conference in Italy set up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Italy’s National Order of Biologists (the speaker lineup included noted antivaxers). Extra background: the President of the ONB, Vincenzo D’Anna is known for outpourings questioning vaccines (while denying that he’s an antivaxer)* and while he may not yet have garnered a whale.to page, there are links to his ramblings on the Corvelva website. Coincidentally (?) he and the ONB were the subject of controversy a couple of years ago when the ONB made an $11,350 donation to Corvelva.** Looks like the ONB or at least its leadership has toxic attitudes toward immunization.

*D’Anna has said that the public needs reassurance about whether vaccines offer “absolute safety”.
**Corvelva later returned the donation because of what it termed an unreasonable “fuss”.
***there still doesn’t appear to be any public acknowledgement of who the leaders of Corvelva are. Quite the secretive bunch.

This has been introduced and gone nowhere in the three previous (two-year) legislative sessions. Do you have any reason to think that it’s more likely to pass this time?

Point of information: it’s not with the state senate, it’s in the state assembly. health committee (which might help anyone else trying to track this down).

One might concluded that The European Journal of Clinical Investigation is now an indelibly blotted copybook unsuitable even for recycling. Perhaps there is some future hope for it if it does a significant reorganization and begins to employ editors and reviewers who are vertebrates.

Update 2: CF fuckup boogaloo.

It is hard to tell when in moderate, but a couple pages went three days without being able to see even Orac’s insolence* that showed there on the home page. There is one page keeps showing 78 comments after clicking on a commenter; I’ve kept track and it is at least up to 86-87 {sorry, Narad; you are passing pearls into a void. For me, at least.}.

It is weird. I would think it wouldn’t happen on a newly posted page but it seems to be random.

*I just gave up and forgot which posts they were on. They were probably just a quick pointing out of stupid and silly anyways.

I mean, one may tweak their browser by going into about:config and disabling webgl {which is used for fingerprinting} but then it just never lets you in with the endless message “checking your browser…”

It feels like rape. RAPE. RAPE I had a PE coach once tell a girl “soccer is just like rape; there is nothing you can do about it so just sit back and enjoy it.” 20 years later, he was arrested for climbing though the apartment ceiling and spying on his neighbor taking a shower. Still, it can’t be as bad as I make it out to be, can it?

I watched a TED talk last night by an intersexed person who had testosterone insensitivity but received repeated physical exams by her gynecologists until eventually as an adult she was referred to a doctor who was knowledgeable about her condition and didn’t even need her to undress. But she was referred to a surgeon who did a gynecological exam anyway,

But she also stated her testicles were not at increased risk for cancer, while I did a quick look and found a paper citing an increased risk for her specific condition.

So I take many of her other statements with a grain of salt.

“I watched a TED talk”

Yeah, I used to do that. I just don’t get it. My old employer’s (electronics repair) girlfriend was a gyneo and he, and she, just jibbingly referenced “woman box” — seen one, seen them all but different solder joints messed up.

I think it is just a control thing even if the one being ‘controlled’ is not conscious. Sensational media has really convinced me that, if the dentist offers sedation, I should really just scream through the pain. Idk what is is with that group; maybe the shape of the chair?

9 out of 10 dentists agree, “#10’s allegations against us are false and defamatory”.

It is really tempting for someone who has once been an iconoclast and proven right in science to remain an iconoclast. It is why we have the Nobel disease where Nobel Prize winners go off the rails promoting all sorts of nonsense because they “know they are right” regardless of the facts. Ioannidis seems to have succumbed without having won a Nobel Prize.

What is a bit sadder really is that Ioannidis main good work was not really all that Earth shattering. Anyone competent in statistical methods knew this. Ioannidis had the gift of being able to promote his findings in pointed ways and started the conversation about better managing statistical methods in medical research. I find it highly ironic when Ioannidis’ work is waved around by anti-science zealots, whether they be anti-vaxxers or some other brand, as a reason to ignore all scientific finding and substitute their own brand of wishful thinking. Science gets right by being wrong. Wishful thinking starts off wrong and stays there.

Politics is playing a role as COVID-19 response has been a political think in the US – fully embraced by Donald Trump. I don’t know enough about the central characters to identify whether Ioannidis took his position because of his political affiliations or whether he has fallen in the the far right because they are willing to idolise him. His stance on COVID-19 in the face of all the evidence has greatly diminished any respect I had for Ioannidis.

There is also a tradition of scientists holding out for unusual ideas in opposition to the consensus to provide a critical alternative and drive innovation. The classic example of this is Fred Hoyle who helped develop the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis which explains the origins of all the heavier elements in the universe.

As he said, “it is better to be interesting and wrong than boring and right”

He argued for a steady state/continuous creation model of the universe in opposition to the Big Bang Theory, which he actually named.

I thought I had read that he had recanted on continuous creation shortly before the discovery of dark matter and dark energy, but Wikipedia doesn’t mention that.

But Ioannidis is not driving his scientific opponents to a deeper understanding in any significant way that I can see.

I would think that, as a supporter of the scientific method, he would at least be open to redoing his own calculations based on newer and more accurate data. Perhaps one of his colleagues at Stanford can nudge him in that direction.

But for now, he seems to simply be digging in his heels.

Scientific method: Use money from an undisclosed donor to fund a study that makes “totally unjustified, amateur-level errors” all in the direction that supports the donor’s “vocal” advocacy and financial interest; disregard warnings about methodological flaws that lead two prospective co-authors to resign from the team; release the study in a channel without peer review that makes headlines worldwide; actively participate in applying the study to the generation of right-wing propaganda (also in line with that donor’s politics and financial interest).

Sit back and watch 500,000 Americans die in the pandemic you called a “minimal risk” with a death rate essentially the same as the seasonal flu.

WHO declares Covid vaccine discriminates against poor people, who knew ( I thought the vaccine was free).

“WHO does not back vaccination passports for now – spokeswoman”

“We as WHO are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.

“There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another,”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-who-vaccines-idUSKBN2BT158?taid=606c42cbc8c94b00018576a3&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

Denise, no need to show your papers for now.

We don’t have a world government yet. The WHO’s recommendations don’t preclude private entities like airlines or sports teams from requiring proof of vaccination, for instance.

Also the WHO is just being cautious (unlike most U.S. state governments and too many private citizens) about how effective these vaccines are in preventing infection and subsequent spread of the virus. The emerging data are quite promising.

This was discussed in TWiV 738, for instance.

I thought the vaccine was free

Really? The government of Australia is forecast to spend at least AUD4.8 billion (~USD3.7 billion) buying and distributing COVID-19 vaccines, so that they can be provided at no charge to recipients.

Where do they go to get their money back?

The recipients aren’t charged for their vaccination and aren’t supposed to be charged for testing either, at least in the U.S. But every country has their own system.

There is still the discrepancy between the wealthy and the poor countries.

But at least there are plans to donate large quantities of vaccines for world distribution. The whole U.S. stock of AstraZeneca’s vaccine might wind up in that category.

And cheaper vaccines are being tested.

The charitable view would be that the U.S. is adopting the airline strategy. Put your own air mask on first, then take care of the other person.

But at least there are plans to donate large quantities of vaccines for world distribution.

Indeed there are, but according to Wikipedia, only about 320 million doses are forecast to be distributed by COVAX. All the vaccines listed in the distribution are two-dose vaccines (AstraZeneca and Pfizer), so they cover 160 million people. It’s a good program, but it’s going to cover only a small part of the need.

I think that it’s exactly that distance, from the number of donated vaccines to the number of people in countries that would have difficulty buying them otherwise, that the WHO is expressing concerns about in the articles that were linked to.

That the distribution of the vaccines is free to recipients in many countries is irrelevant to those concerns, and that’s the point I was trying to make.

@ Scott “WHO declares Covid vaccine discriminates against poor people, who knew ( I thought the vaccine was free).”

There’s nothing like that in the article you cite.

Did you mean poor countries? (Also not in the article you cited.)

Especially ironic that Ioannidis made mistakes that a professional statistician should have avoided. He relied heavily on the Princess Cruise data to estimate the IFR – he fell victim to selection bias. All the people in that sample had to be healthy enough, and wealthy enough, to go on a cruise. Relying on data from healthy/wealthy people to estimate mortality rates in the whole population is major-league stupid.

In addition to errors of statistical reasoning, he ignored easily available data. By March 2020, the high potential mortality of the virus among frail elderly was apparent (see news articles from that timeframe about the Kirkland nursing home). Also he just guessed at a key parameter instead of looking for actual data – he assumed that only a small fraction (“1%”) of the US population would be infected, and that was AFTER well-published news of asymptomatic spread at the Biogen conference (in Feb 2020, with newspaper articles by mid-March) should have made it clear to any awake observer that this would be a highly contagious virus. Those were amateur-level errors, and totally unjustified.

Just an aside rant, here. I’m tired of getting:

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Sure, Billy Bob and Joline may have watched an extra video or two about doing uncouth things to rats and Dan Quayle but, come on, man. I looked into adnauseum* as a way to stick a finger in the eye of the man, but what really gets their goat is to take a rooted phone and let it feed them all the fake telemetry, camera, location, and accellerometer data they care to ingest. Hoo, boy; do they squeal like a piggy — what are they going to do about it, it is a rooted phone with all it’s attendant picked up hitchikers; Stop tracking me?

https://adnauseam.io/

I might be under extra scutiny because of widely publisized intentions of mine to dig up Reagan and smoke pot out of his skull.

Those people are so thin-skinned. I’m doing it, even if by proxy. Bring it, Bob {you know who you are}.

As an aside, I think it is fukkin’ funny when yu feed their hungry asses malformed packets and 2 fith’s of the web goes down. Nothing has changed since Back Orifice {thx, cult of the dead cow and soft ice} — The Justus department had windows 95 two years before it was released. Nothing has changed — they were owned by 1998 but the trick still works.

@ Sophie Amsden

You write: “So what happens if you lose your card, as there is no central place that is keeping records? Per the CDC, go back to the place where you got your shot(s) to get a replacement, I no longer live in the state where I got my shot? . . . and don’t get the cards wet it will destroy special marks on the card, that were put on it to insure its not a fake (fake,now available on the internet). And don’t laminate it.”

Though not a perfect solution, I photocopied my card and have address and phone number where I received it. I’d be willing to bet if I lost it or it was damaged, I could contact them and would receive a duplicate, possibly for a small fee. However, your point isn’t totally wrong. We should have a national central register.

You write: “WHO does not back vaccination passports for now…….So what is the point of the card?”

In my hometown, even where masks not required, some businesses are still requiring them. Not difficult to imagine that until the pandemic subsides some businesses, either for customers or employees, may require proof of vaccinations.

Well the only information on my card is my name and address but not my DOB and it is hand written with black ink) No ID was required for the first shot and the only thing that they asked to see with the second was that you had your card. The place where I obtained my two shots is a local church (the county HD, police and national guard ran the site) , and the nice young man that administered the first shot just put his initials and the nice older woman that gave me the second shot just wrote two numbers, under the Healthcare Professional, so obtaining a duplicate/replacement of the “Reminder Card” could be an issue. As to copying or taking a photo of the card I think has limitation as the card is watermarked card stock and no individual/unique number is on the card.

I am not sure on the private business right (HIPPA) to ask me for my medical records, may be Dorit can answer that one. But what would be the limit on what other vaccines/medical information (tetanus shot) they could demand proof of before allowing you to shop/fly/attend events? The only shot that I have had to prove going outside the US is the Yellow Fever vaccine.

@ Sophie Amsden

Yep, the exception proves the rule. You have made it obvious you are against vaccines, even if you felt compelled to get the current COVID, so you look for every excuse to criticize them. My photocopy is good enough to just make out the watermark. And mine has clinic stamp on it. Guess you were just plain unlucky; but how often do you lose things or let paper get wet? I’ve never in 75 years lost or damaged an ID, not high school, not college, not work, etc. And there have been newspaper articles where various companies have required their workers to either prove they were vaccinated or continue to wear masks and practice physical distancing. The law probably varies from community to community and state to state.

Why would anyone require proof of a tetanus shot? Tetanus is not contagious between people; however, most get tetanus as part of DTaP, diphtheria and pertussis, both can be deadly; but until a major pandemic occurs, why would anyone require proof? Currently, surges are occurring throughout the world and the numbers dead and with Long COVID are increasing. Airlines don’t allow people with active TB and since asymptomatic people can infect others with COVID, a reasonable precaution. Would you want to fly sitting a few rows from someone with active TB? When we reach herd immunity, requirement for proof of vaccination will end.

When I first travelled to Europe in 1968, I got my second smallpox vaccination, Since first was in infancy, was required. And when I worked as civilian college teacher in Western Pacific starting in 1975 for U.S. Navy, I was required to get smallpox for third time plus walk down a corridor getting around 10 shots, including Yellow Fever, all written in vaccination book with date and stamp. I photocopied the pages just in case; but still have the booklet, 46 years later.

So, you really don’t know the basics of immunology, infectious diseases, or epidemiology and you probably have a history of losing and damaging important papers. A role model for ? ? ?

@ Scott Allen

You write: WHO declares Covid vaccine discriminates against poor people, who knew ( I thought the vaccine was free). . . “There are all those other questions, apart from the question of discrimination against the people who are not able to have the vaccine for one reason or another,”

First, it is free; but, for instance, in my hometown, clinics, are not mainly located in the poor and minority parts of my town and some of the large centers would require a car or long exposed bus ride to get to. This is wrong and it is being remedy. Vaccinations are now be targeted for poor parts of town and minorities.

Second, yep, possible temporary discrimination of those unable to get the vaccine, e.g., certain autoimmune disorders. But these same people are at much higher risks for serious problems from COVID itself, so, wise if they practice much more caution that the rest of us, e.g., let other family member do grocery shopping, where double mask, etc. This will subside when herd immunity reached; but what is your solution? Oh, you don’t believe that COVID is serious and don’t believe in vaccines, so your questions aren’t to improve things, just to find problems. Well, there is an old saying: “Don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect.”

Why don’t you crawl back under your rock???

I simply copied a Reuters news article from WHO that said, that to require a vaccine passport was discriminatory.
I said who knew that a vaccine was discriminatory and answered Denise that she didn’t have to “show her papers now”.
You kind of go off the rails once in a while, over 200 words of silliness.

@ Scott Allen

You didn’t just copy a Reuters news article; but injected that you thought COVID vaccine was free. In addition, I would not just copy a news article; but do some additional investigation and discuss the article. Since you have made it absolutely clear you are against vaccines, your motives are crystal clear. The “silliness” is your inability to actually address/refute what people write. This time it was Reuters; but you have also copied articles from a host of sites without much personal “intelligent” input.

So, once again, attack me, the Psychological mechanism of Projection. “Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to other.”

And one of your previous positions, that is, the Holocaust and gun ownership. You continuously attack me for reading so much, for my degrees, etc. I explained that I have known well over 50 actual Holocaust survivors, even met second in command of Warsaw Ghetto uprising when I was in Israel. Have read probably dozen books and 100s of articles on Holocaust, attended numerous seminars, watched many documentaries; but you base your position on one paper written by a lawyer who has represented the NRA for 30 years. And then you mention you had a great grandparent who was Jewish. What in hell does that count for? You do know that Nazis only counted someone as Jewish if one grandparent, so great grandparents don’t count. I explained that I have suffered the nightmares of the Holocaust since my preteen years, that is now over 65 years because I am 100% Jewish, can trace all sides to great grandparents and even some great great grandparents. But, one article, not biased because your definition of bias and/or liberal is simply anything that disagrees with you, regardless of how well documented. You cherry pick papers that confirm your extreme antipathy to gun control, extreme in that you pick one extreme group, ignore many other gun control groups, subscribe to an absolutist slippery slope, and ignore international statistics where gun control exists in many nations, with many fewer murders; but private gun ownership still exists. And you don’t even respond to my question: do you understand what a “loophole” is?

So, project all you want. Anyone with an open mind following our exchanges will understand that you need help or, perhaps, are beyond help.

Joel you have just written more words in you post then the whole article on ‘WHO’ not backing the passports because of “equity concerns” or “apart from the question of discrimination” and my off handed remark.
You bring up gun control, abortion, Jews, NAZI’s and anything that pops into your head and your ‘ignorant’ reading of these positions on vaccinations in hopes that something will stick.
Please use you reading and computer skills and go back to August of last year when the first post to this site was made and find any quote which a claim was made against vaccinations, the very first post, which got the label as an anti vaxxer, was that in questioning the wisdom of vaccination of all our health care workers within the first cohort. The second post to this site (after the onslaught of name calling (the list of name calling is very lengthy and well documented) Was to point out that our host, who said he would not take (or reluctant) the vaccine until it had been thoroughly tested which could take years( cut and pasted quotes from that post) (he changed his mind). Was just a bridge too far for anyone else and was akin to blasphemy. So busy yourself with trying to find any post or quote.

And quit ‘threadjacking’

Please use you reading and computer skills and go back to August of last year when the first post to this site was made

Hubris much?

I’m not sure I agree that Ioannisis comments about the glasses and the cat constitute an “attack” Meyerowitz-Katz’ personal appearance, but given the thang springing out of his foreheadin the photo at the top of this page, he probably ought to refrain from broaching the subject altogether.

I initially thought that Ioannisis was complaining that Meyerowitz-Katz’ Twitter avatar was a cat wearing glasses and not a picture of himself. But then I saw the picture where Meyerowitz-Katz’ face isn’t even really obscured by the cat, and he is wearing the glasses and then the comments about the picture are even more absurd.

It feels very “how dare you use anything other than a boring ‘professional’ headshot when speaking technically?”, which is very, very “man shouts at cloud”. It’s just so petty.

Cranks, CT and anti-vaxxers (redundant, I know) IME have a poorly developed sense of humor. However, they do have a knack for delivering a never-ending stream of straight lines. I appreciate them for that.

It appears that alt med and/ or freedom advocates are lamenting “vaccine passports”
— Mike Adams ( NN) TX and FL will be punished or resisting
— Naomi Wolf ( @ noontime Null- PRN)
— Del and Jaxen @ highwire talk]
— Rand Paul ( the Hill) –
— Paul and 3 other Republican senators also resist Covid vaccines themselves

@ Scott Allen

You accuse me of “threadjacking”. You were the one who brought up Jews and the Holocaust. And again, you attack me; but don’t address/refute what I say. And given your complete ignorance of immunology, infectious diseases, and epidemiology, who gives a shit what you think of vaccinating health care workers in the first group. Guess it never entered your mind that even young healthcare workers could be asymptomatic spreaders and put patients at risk and that many healthcare workers are older, also have comorbidities, etc. If we lost them, home sick, or hospitalized, we would be up the creek without a paddle. As for Orac’s brief hesitation, he changed, something you seem incapable of doing. He changed as he received more info. He is an expert in cancer. and molecular biology. His hesitation was BRIEF. While I claim no “expertise”, I have been following, working on, vaccines for a long time. When I first heard of the mRNA vaccines in their preliminary trials, I got out my molecular biology books, etc. and reviewed as much as I could on mRNA and also looked at the early preliminary work with other mRNA vaccines. With this under my belt, I volunteered for the Moderna Clinical Trial. I know, you don’t like that I read so much. And having received the vaccine, as I already said, I am now a convalescent plasma donor, every four weeks, instead of whole blood donor every eight weeks. Nope, not a hero. Friends and acquaintances who were in Peace Corps or Job Corps, they are my heroes. And regardless what I do, feel guilty haven’t done a hell of a lot more. As a Jew who attended Loyola University of Chicago, something Jews and Catholics have in abundance, guilt.

So, I really don’t care what you wrote last August as you’ve written so much shit that I’ve got a good picture of your paranoid absolutist view of a number of things and your basic inability to address what others write. And quite frankly I don’t believe anything you say about yourself. I’m partly an open book. You can Google my name and find a number of papers I’ve written.

You are so closed minded that you refuse to even read my short paper on Abortion; but attack it all the same. You are sick!

And just to give another example of how I view other ethnic groups, I wrote a OpEd condemning Trump’s banning of refugees from the Middle East. You won’t read it; but others following this might be interested, so here is both papers again (you might learn how someone actually builds a case and backs with references):

Reader’s Editorial (2020 Feb 24). Abortion is a 1st Amendment Issue. East County Magazine. Available at: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/reader’s-editorial-abortion-1st-amendment-issue

Reader’s Editorial (2017 Feb 20). Trump’s Immigration Ban From 7 Muslim Nations Shows Irrational Prejudice and Potential Death Knell for American Compassion. Available at: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/reader’s-editorial-trump’s-immigration-ban-7-muslim-nations-shows-irrational-prejudice-and-potential

Here’s a Readers Digest version of what Joel wrote.
‘Waaaa’…. I can’t find anything in Scott’s 137 posts that takes an anti vaxx postion. But I know he is because I am real smart about these kinds of things.

So I will boast about myself for a couple of paragraphs.

And because I read lots of stuff and books with lots of pages and I am so much smarter then anyone else so my opinion matter more, so ‘who gives a shit what you think’

I wrote an article on abortion for an internet blog, which I am trying to promote, which proves how smart I am and I bet that John Ioannidis is anti abortion and never ever had an abortion and probably doesn’t like Muslims either. And I do all this because I want to show how much I care., because ‘I know my career wasn’t very successful.’

“Waaaa…. my golfball landed in the lava and the sulfur dioxide killed all the whales.”

@ Scott Allen

PART 1

You write: “And because I read lots of stuff and books with lots of pages and I am so much smarter then anyone else so my opinion matter more, so ‘who gives a shit what you think’”

NEVER said I was smarter that anyone else, just that I try to actually delve into a topic, look at both sides, and actually address/refute what I disagree with, as compared to you who often bases your absolutist extreme black and white paranoid approach based on little investigation. You just don’t like it when someone disagrees with you and actually can develop a position and back it with numerous references. Even high intelligence requires training, so there are probably lots of people born with higher intelligence than me; but, through both education, e.g., critical thinking, and openness to explore range of positions, I use whatever I have.

You write: “I wrote an article on abortion for an internet blog, which I am trying to promote, which proves how smart I am”

First, not just a blog; but an online magazine that has won awards and whose editor has won multiple awards, East County Magazine. When you wrote that you supported abortions, I simply responded that maybe we actually agree on something and suggested you read my OpEd on abortions. Rather than reading it, you attacked it without reading it, just one more proof that you are NOT honest, not capable of entering into a rational dialogue. My OpEd on abortion simply shows how I developed a nuanced position, including references. Being able to develop a nuanced position and back it with references doesn’t show “how smart I am”; but certainly demonstrate that whatever level of intelligence I possess I use it.

You write: “Here’s a Readers Digest version of what Joel wrote.
‘Waaaa’…. I can’t find anything in Scott’s 137 posts that takes an anti vaxx postion. But I know he is because I am real smart about these kinds of things”

I based my opinion of your anti-vax position on a number of your posts; but actually wasn’t following Respectful Insolence for awhile. So, you wrote: “Please use you reading and computer skills and back to August of last year when the first post to this site was made and find any quote which a claim was made against vaccinations, the very first post, which got the label as an anti vaxxer, was that in questioning the wisdom of vaccination of all our health care workers within the first cohort.”

So, I checked out each and every one of Orac’s posts for August 2020 and found nothing; however, just to be fair, I then checked out each and every one of Orac’s posts for September 2020 and found:

“Scott Allen
says:
September 24, 2020 at 2:22 pm
I am not an anti-vaxxer (I am currently undergoing phase 3 of the Covid trial so I am up to date on all my vaccines).”

So, I WAS WRONG ABOUT YOU BEING IN GENERAL AN ANTIVACCINATIST, given your participation in vaccine trial and getting all vaccines. Actually, you, just as I, probably got a ton of vaccines before going to Iraq, just as I got a bunch before embarking to Western Pacific in U.S. Naval vessels. As opposed to you, I have NO problem admitting when I’m wrong.

However, you didn’t stop there, you wrote:

You wrote: ”I come to this site to read the comments of supposed well educated people.
The most fascinating ones are those who rail against the anti vaxxers, the
people who post the vitriolic words claim the anti vaxxers are anti-science.
Actually nothing could be further from the truth. The modern anti vaxxers are a product of science, they were basically started in 1974 when two scientist (Wilson & Kulenkampff) wrote a scientific paper in the Archive of Diseases in Childhood which claimed some serious side effects to modern vaccines. The paper was peer reviewed and has never been retracted.
The anti vaxxers got a boost in 1982 from NBC news who aired a documentary called “DPT Vaccine Roulette” In the documentary several well know doctors talked of the dangers of modern vaccines.
Then in 1998 Andrew Wakefield put the anti vaxxers on steroids which was published in the peer reviewed, distinguished “Lancet” which linked autism to vaccines. (It took the Lancet 12 LONG years to realize they were had by lawyers and reporters and admitted their mistake before they retracted the paper.)
So the anti vaxxers were just following the science, the anti vaxxers were told by the best science and news media that vaccinations might be bad and so they “believed the science”.”

First, I actually read and have the article you refer to: M. Kulenkampff, J.S. Schwartzman, and J. Wilson (1974 Jan). Neurological complications of pertussis inoculation. Archives of Disease in Childhood; 49: 46. Note not “serious side effects to modern vaccines”; but specifically one vaccine.

You really don’t understand science. Yep, Kulenkampff’s article was peer-reviewed and never retracted. Articles are only retracted if fraudulent data and/or methodological errors. If later research finds different results, NOT RETRACTED. There are still articles explaining ulcers as based on diet and stress, despite overwhelming research starting in 1980s caused by a bacteria, Heiicobacter pylori. Numerous studies since Kulenkampff’s have found the adverse events he described as more rare; but when compared to the actual diseaseswith much more frequent adverse events, like anything in life, one has to look at the benefits vs costs. As for NBC documentary Vaccine Roulette, it was extremely dishonest, one-sided, and Lea Thompson, the Director, had as an unofficial advisor. Barbara Loe Fischer, a rabid antivaccinationists. In fact, some of the people interviewed later complained that they had basically been asked the same question several times, then their responses cut and pasted. And there was already peer-reviewed research that contradicted the “documentary”. Basically not there weren’t serious adverse events; but much more rare and the consequences of the diseases prevented much much much more serious. Finally, Wakefield’s article. Yep, Lancet took 12 years to retract; but only a couple of years later 10 of 12 co-authors, based on disclosures they weren’t aware of, wrote a disavowal of the article published in the Lancet. And several Lancet articles since then have contradicted it. And science? It was a case series, at best, if it had NOT been fraudulent, would be used to generate hypotheses for future research. Just some of the fraud: Wakefield claimed normal referrals to Royal Free Hospital. Nope, all but one either directly involved in lawsuit or families supporting JABS, an anti vaccine UK organization and cooperating with lawsuit. In addition, access to actual medical records found that, for instance, claims of when vaccine given and first symptoms of autism seen in article tables was bogus. And in fact most of kids weren’t even diagnosed with autism. There is a great recent book that goes into detail just how much a fraud Wakefield was and is: Brian Deer (2020). The Doctor Who Fooled the World: Science, Deception, and the War on Vaccines. Johns Hopkins University Press.

Science isn’t based on one or two studies, or a TV documentary; but understanding scientific methodology, understanding the sciences underlying a particular area of research, and the necessity for various replications. And the vast majority of “antivaccinationists” when confronted with real science then fall back on conspiracy theories, that is, all the researchers are in league with the vaccine manufacturers. They blow way out of proportion the profits made from mandated childhood vaccines. So, your defense of antivaccinationists, despite self having been vaccinated, based on your understanding of science just reinforces why I thought you were completely antivax. There have now been almost 20 studies that have found NO link between vaccines and autism; but all rejected by antivaccinationists. As I’ve written on numerous occasions, studies done in different nations, different population of kids, different cultures, different economic systems, different political systems, different educational systems and, yet, antivaccinationists believe all or vast majority willing to sacrifice their own nation’s children for BIG PHARMA.

So, I WAS WRONG ABOUT YOU BEING IN GENERAL AN ANTIVACCINATIST, given your participation in vaccine trial and getting all vaccines.

I think you’re being too credulous. And in any event, which of the 10 Spotts was making this comment?

@ Scott Allen

PART 2

You then go on to write: “The first is just how profitable vaccines are to pharmaceutical companies. A normal shot/dose cost the company about 1.50 they charge the buyers 9 dollars. These companies spend millions to lobby WHO, CDC and others to make vaccines mandatory in all countries.
The second and probably the scariest one is that the government passed a law in 1988 that makes the industry immune from civil action should anyone be injured or harmed from their vaccines, the companies are even held harmless if the vaccines is not effective (even if there were errors in the manufacturing process. 42 U.S. code 300aa-22) (they are the ONLY manufacturing sector that has this protected class status). Even the EU passed a similar law. So the pharmaceutical companies can make vaccines and sell them at 7 times the cost of production and never have to face civil liability.”

First, vaccines are much much more expensive to develop than most other pharmaceuticals. The FDA regulations for approval for a vaccine is much more stringent, including much larger sample sizes and continue with production facility inspections. Second, vaccines are given, sometimes only one or two shots, sometimes with boosters later on whereas drugs for cholesterol, diabetes, and a host of other things are used daily and FDA approval requirements both lower and in most cases manufacturing costs also much lower. Vaccines are biologicals, most drugs are chemicals. I won’t bother to give the reference; but worldwide total sales of vaccines one year was 2% of their total revenues. They made more from just statins. And there is a reason for the law, though vaccine companies aren’t totally immune. As an analogy, imagine a city gets its engineers to design a bridge, then gets bids to build it. If the bridge collapses, who is responsible? Well, if the company who built it followed exactly the design, shouldn’t be them? But if they skimped on something, yep.

The FDA, as above, has rigorous standards for approval of vaccines. We then mandate them for children. So, if companies do exactly as prescribed, still, rare chance of serious adverse event. One lawsuit could put them out of business, has happened with other medical products; e.g., read Marsia Angell’s “Medicine on Trial”. And juries don’t always rule based on the facts; but might feel company greedy and rule in favor of plaintiff. Actually, due to low profits and lawsuits the number of companies manufacturing vaccines plummeted prior to 1986. What do you think would have happened if no company manufactured vaccines? Also, lawsuits can take a long time and law firms usually take 40% or more. The Vaccine Court is designed to respond much more quickly and has a list of adverse reactions that plaintiff doesn’t need to prove. In addition, the lawyers are paid by the Court, don’t get a percentage and so any awards goes directly to plaintiff, often high amounts because of lifetime costs. However, if proven company cut corners, poor production, etc. can be sued direct. Winning a lawsuit in regular court is an iffy proposition and, as I wrote, can take years, years where families burdened with special needs child with NO help. And if not on Vaccine Court’s list, plaintiff can still get a hearing and Court pays for ALL witnesses. The Vaccine Court isn’t for protecting the Drug Companies; but to foster in the public the belief that not only are vaccines safe; but if a rare adverse event should occur that they will be substantially helped and to keep companies manufacturing vaccines.

So, your understanding of vaccine profits and the Vaccine Court just plain wrong; but I doubt anything will change your mind and, though you get vaccinated, shows your support of antivaccinationists based on a lack of basic knowledge or just ignoring it.

You write: “scott allen
says:
October 19, 2020 at 6:12 pm
Cognitive Dissonance Runs Strong on this Site, you claim money is driving the Barrington Declaration but how much money is being spent on and by the pharmaceutical, PPC, mask, companies.”

The pharmaceutical companies either don’t make the above products or are a minor player. And no company manufacturers anything for nothing, would go out of business. Since the Pandemic some companies have price-gouged; but that is the fault of our government. Regulations exist to stop this and Trump allowed States to bid against each other rather than allocated where needed. Orac has already written about the Barrington Declaration, so I won’t reinvent the wheel. And even prior to pandemic, hospitals used PPC, masks, etc. Duh!

You write: “We locked down to save people’s lives in wealthy countries, only to have people in poorer countries die, to save the wealthy, it is a sad economic reality.
If you don’t like that example try the price of PPE, which have tripled since Covid hit. The wealthy countries had the money to out bid the poorer countries (which just happen to be people of color) and thus save the wealthy and condemned the poor people.”

To some extent I agree with you. However, once again your all or none approach. First, we could have avoided some of the lockdowns if the Trump administration had acted based on scientific advisors. Early in January enough info came from China that South Korea, Taiwan, and New Zealand instituted face masks, physical distancing, testing and contact tracing. If we had done that, we could have avoided many of the lockdowns, that is, if our population went along with it. However, we spend a fortune on our military-industrial complex, not for defense; but to further the interests of American corporations and the wealthy. We could easily afford to help our fellow human beings. But, until recently even poor and minorities in this nation last to get vaccines. I’ve already addressed this. We claim we are the moral leader of the world, a joke. Even before the pandemic our international assistance was more military than helping people. And there are a couple of third world nations in lockdown where the government sends people out to distribute food. Many third world nations are densely packed, large numbers in small structures with little health care. A pandemic could kill a high percentage, since many also suffering malnutrition and other diseases, e.g., worm infestations. Yep, I think it horrible that we haven’t historically helped them more and continue so. We have the wealth, the infrastructure, etc. to help far more. If they can’t harvest and sell to us, then for the duration of the pandemic, we should just give them the money. So, yep. to some extent I agree; but not your take on lockdown. Given the delays of the Trump administration and the vulnerability of Third Worlders, the death toll would be much higher.

And finally, you write: scott allen
says:
October 17, 2020 at 9:53 pm
So can ya’ll just get together (ok teleconference) and decide just which science the common folks are suppose to believe.
WHO said no masks, NYTimes says, no big deal if you test positive for this stuff, I can’t be around my family cause that is who is going to give me the covid and do I flush the toilet or not. Throw in the Peltzman effect, we are all just basically screwed no matter who we believe (you know my body my choice).”

Unfortunately early on, given lack of experience with such a deadly virus, mistakes were made; but the overwhelming scientific evidence, going back starting late Spring is that masks protect both user and others. Since masks only filter so much, if both use masks increased filtering. Only a false sense of security if wearing a mask leads to neglecting other measures, e.g., physical distancing, hand washing, number of people inside, etc. All measures are necessary!

So, yep, I was WRONG about you being totally anti vaccines; but your support for antivaccinationists, not understanding that they cherry pick a few things, then reject anything that conflicts with their beliefs, even falling back on paranoid conspiracy theories, basically your own lack of understanding of science (throwing out word science doesn’t make it so), your basic rejection of masks, reasons for lockdown, etc. for me indicates that while you aren’t absolutely against vaccines, you don’t really understand them, nor the other measures being taken. Typical that you don’t do your homework and then attacking anyone who does.

So, just to be extremely clear, I am NOT super smart; but well-educated and trained to use critical thinking, to be open-minded, to look at many sides and actually address them. And your rejection/refusal to read my short OpEd on abortion just reinforces that you live in your own world of black and white, of not understanding or even attempting to understand many things. And, as usual, you use “facts not in evidence.” Nope, didn’t say I was super intelligent, etc.

@ Scott Allen

PART 3

You write: “I bet that John Ioannidis is anti abortion and never ever had an abortion and probably doesn’t like Muslims either. And I do all this because I want to show how much I care., because ‘I know my career wasn’t very successful.’

Where did I ever even hint that I thought Ioannidis is anti-abortion? And, he is a man, so absurd to claim he never had an abortion. And where did I ever even hint at his opinion on Muslims? As opposed to you, I don’t speculate on things not known, on “facts not in evidence.”

And “because I want to show how much I care., because ‘I know my career wasn’t very successful.’” You love to take things out of context. I mentioned that my career wasn’t very successful because I travelled a lot, lived in different countries, mainly to emphasize that I am NOT making any claims of high intelligence, proved by a successful career; but that I expect reasonable open-minded individuals to actually read what I write and address it, something you are obviously incapable of doing.

Wow! You really need help. I’m serious! YOU ARE A VERY DISTURBED INDIVIDUAL! ! !

“When a man opens a car door for his wife, it’s either a new car or a new wife.” — Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

Scott replied to a lighthearted post by Denise. I replied, what the WHO (the health organization, not the rock band) that a vaccine passport would be discriminatory to poor people.

“WHO declares Covid vaccine discriminates against poor people, who knew ( I thought the vaccine was free).
…….
Denise, no need to show your papers for now.”

Those were the only non Reuters things that were posted.

More then 10 posts and more than 5,000 words later covering such topics as the Jews, the Warsaw ghetto, gun control, labeling Scott Allen as an anti vaxxer (because he actually looked at other points of view and actually questioned some of the information that was being put out), abortion, your travels, your education, your self sacrifice, your reading habits, Muslims and your writing op-ed pieces and not in any of those post did you refer to the object of Orac’s post, John Ioannidis (or at least until I posted that John Ioannidis is anti abortion, which I don’t know if he is or isn’t, nor do I care). I was attempting to show you how truly off topic you had become (off the rails) I never would have guessed that you were so clueless that you/your ego would not see that.

If you had gone back further in your ‘research’ you would have found Scott’s opposition to lock downs and the resulting high unemployment resulting from it, which would cause major drug, alcohol, suicides and other related health issues. Well those issues are now showing up, like opioid deaths doubling in one year, untreated cancers are up, along with alcohol consumption and related deaths (the unintended consequences of good intentions).

You do kind of admit that Scott had NEVER posted anything close to being an advocate of no vaccines (or anti vaxx), but you did go into a 300 word paragraph on how Scott supported anti vaxxers, (which of course, based on the quotes you pulled from Scott post does not show,it is interesting that YOU cherry pick, and take quotes out of context but you are, Joel so YOU can do that, because you know you’re a science type person and looks at all sides of an issue.

So since you have a large amount of knowledge of psychological issues and you have some kind of certificate, you may want to

“You really need help. I’m serious! YOU ARE A VERY DISTURBED INDIVIDUAL! ! !”

If you had gone back further in your ‘research’ you would have found Scott’s opposition to lock downs and the resulting high unemployment resulting from it, which would cause major drug, alcohol, suicides and other related health issues.

Whoops.

@ Narad

I did read what he wrote, just copied part of it above:

You write: “We locked down to save people’s lives in wealthy countries, only to have people in poorer countries die, to save the wealthy, it is a sad economic reality.
If you don’t like that example try the price of PPE, which have tripled since Covid hit. The wealthy countries had the money to out bid the poorer countries (which just happen to be people of color) and thus save the wealthy and condemned the poor people.”

Which is why, if I take him at his word that he actually participated in the trial that I said he wasn’t completely against vaccines. As opposed to Scott and others I have NO problem admitting when I am wrong. However, Scott gave the wrong month; but I went the extra mile. Also that his approach to lockdowns was wrong. I have already written far too much refuting Scott. I could almost write a monograph of all that he claims is wrong; but I think my conclusion that he is in need of help, psychiatrist or psychologist is valid. Some of what he writes appears to represent “decompensation.”

As opposed to Scott and others I have NO problem admitting when I am wrong.

You also don’t need a reverse-sockpuppet mommy to step in to try to save you.

Suicides did dropped from 47,511 to 44,834 (a little less than 3,000)
and to quote the Axios article
“Even if numbers are lower in 2020, it doesn’t mean the issue has gone away or it’s no longer a problem.”

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2020/p1218-overdose-deaths-covid-19.html

““As we continue the fight to end this pandemic, it’s important to not lose sight of different groups being affected in other ways. We need to take care of people suffering from unintended consequences.”

(that’s about 38,000 excess death)

Now onto excess untreated cancer deaths because of Covid.

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/11/e043828

“Estimated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer services and excess 1-year mortality in people with cancer and multimorbidity: near real-time data on cancer care, cancer deaths and a population-based cohort study”

“Conclusions: Dramatic reductions were detected in the demand for, and supply of, cancer services which have not fully recovered with lockdown easing. These may contribute, over a 1-year time horizon, to substantial excess mortality among people with cancer and multimorbidity.”

That would be 7,000 to 18,000 excess death from cancer.

And of course highway deaths have surged by 20% in 2020.
https://www.npr.org/2021/03/05/974006735/tragic-driving-was-down-in-2020-but-traffic-fatality-rates-surged

And these were just the short term effects (and we have not finished the lockdown in some states)
So we had 3,000 less suicides, but 38,000 more OD deaths, 7,000-18,000 excess cancer deaths, and 9,000 more traffic fatalities and you claim I was wrong in my predictions and I didn’t even go into homicides, heart deaths etc.

@ Scott Allen

NOPE! So far at least 550,000 deaths and up to 800,000 with Long COVID and, as I explained earlier, undercounts because, for instance, if someone with mild congestive heart failure, who could have lived for years, died at home of a heart attack, lab tests for COVID often not carried out.

Now, let’s look at your statistics:

38,000 ODs
18,000 (7,000-18,000 excess cancer deaths)
9,000 more traffic deaths
55,000 TOTAL

So, please do your homework and let us know other estimated deaths; but so far, only 1/10th from COVID, not counting Long COVID, and it is also possible that without the lockdown that some of the above would have succumbed to COVID, especially the drug users and cancer patients. And, despite your refusal to accept it, without the lockdown, conservative estimates put total deaths at up to 2 million, and way more Long COVID. However, as I explained and you, in your immense ignorance, continue to ignore, that if Trump had acted on advice from scientists, we could have avoided some of the lockdowns. Other nations who early on reacted with masks, physical distancing, testing and tracing, limiting number of people assembled, managed far fewer deaths and less damage to their economies. And, actually our Republican Congress contributed before Trump even President. President George W. Bush created a dozen huge acre large National Strategic Pandemic Stockpiles with enough N-95 masks, PPE, ventilators, antibiotics and antivirals, beds, and tents for temporary hospitals that would have been a huge help first few months of pandemic; but Republicans had pledged not to go along with anything Obama submiitted, so voted against renewing, though they did agree to a few. And the Republican Party before Trump, both Federally and State-wise, cut funding to Public Health, to the WHO, etc.

So, given the Republican Party and Trump, lockdowns prevented far more deaths and disabilities than anything you can come up with. But even lockdowns were often carried out in a haphazard manner, politicians deciding rather than Public Health experts. And, as I explained above, given our Pandemic measures, we were morally obliged to help Third World Nations; but, then again, we aren’t a very moral nation.

And you ignore the elephant in the room that some of the cancer patients weren’t cared for because our hospitals were full up with COVID patients. And some of the traffic accident victims probably died because closely hospitals told ambulances full up, so delay in getting them to more distant hospitals. So, if we had taken the cancer patients and traffic accident victims, then more COVID patients would have died. And, especially given the shortage of masks and other PPE, taking cancer patients would have put them at increased risk for COVID at hospitals.

I’m sorry you did so poorly in elementary school math that you can’t compute the ratio or absolute number difference between COVID deaths and other causes of deaths. So you write: “you claim I was wrong in my predictions.” I don’t remember you predicting that lockdown would result in 1/10th the number of deaths from other causes, that is, ignoring undercount of COVID deaths, and more COVID patients would have died if hospitals took cancer patients???

And, if you noticed, as opposed to people like you, I did what you suggested, went back to August 2020, didn’t find anything; but checked July, September, found in September that you had stated in a comment you were participating in COVID vaccine clinical trial and had gotten other vaccines. As I wrote, I have NO problem admitting when I’m wrong. But I also found your anti-scientific defense of antivaccinationists, anti-masks, anti-physical distancing, lockdowns, etc. But, I was wrong about one thing and admitted it, something you appear to be incapable of.

Also, when you mentioned you believe women have the right to decide over their own bodies, i.e., abortions, I wrote seems we are in agreement on one thing and suggested you might actually like an OpEd I wrote on abortion. Your reaction was to not read it; but attack it. Really dishonest and stupid; but even more, why would you not want to find out if we actually agreed on something? Probably your need to see the world in black and white, not nuanced gray, so, would go against your rigid anti-intellectual, anti-science, anti-critical thinking, to find an agreement between us.

So, again, sorry about your lack of simple arithmetic skills; but, just the tip of the iceberg, some of your comments seem to represent “decompensation”, simply you are an extremely sick, extremely disturbed individual. YOU NEED PSYCHIATRIC OR PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP! ! !

p.s. it’s really unfair of me to exchange comments with you. Nope, I’m not super intelligent; but I do my homework, don’t see things in black and white, and give logical reasoned responses. Like taking candy from a baby. GET HELP! ! !

If you actually read articles, they say that COVID causes all these problems.. It is not lock downs. Health care is an essential service.

@ Scott Allen

Oops! I left out your 3,000 less suicides, so your total less than 1/10th of underestimated COVID deaths, and I used the high end estimate you gave for cancer deaths. If closer to the low end . . .

@ Scott Allen

You write: “And these were just the short term effects (and we have not finished the lockdown in some states)”

Actually, the COVID variants are now entering the States, some are more transmissible and more virulent, so surges are occurring in a number of states, especially ones who ended lockdowns and they are either going back to lockdowns or requiring masks, physical distancing, etc. Because of the success of the mass vaccinations, approaching 1/3 of population, and those who have already been exposed, e.g., died, long COVID, asymptomatic, the new variants will probably infect younger people and, due to their better health, lead to fewer deaths; but more Long COVID.

We’ll see. Nothing is certain with infectious disease pandemics. The increasing vaccinations, etc. and the 4th surge may subside; but it could also accelerate. Of course, based on your immense ignorance of immunology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, etc. I’m sure, as usual, you are certain it will not accelerate; but if it doesn’t, hospitals may become crowded again, and more cancer patients will get delayed care. The world is complicated, not black and white.

And one other problem that U.S. has compared to a number of other nations is States are responsible for Public Health rather than one National Strategy. So, as mentioned above, politicians may end up with inconsistent approaches, both risking lives and health, and confusing the general public.

Joel you really can’t believe that we are done with the after effects of Covid and Covid lock downs. No where in either of my long term estimate or the last post did I claim that Covid “related” deaths would match Covid deaths, but sadly it is looking like that will happen.
The sources I cited used 2020 data (and not even the whole 12 months but some were data collected until September (7 months ago).
I posted research and news papers which showed that for every 1% rise in unemployment 50,000 people die, guess what we were at 13% unemployment.
This is redundant but here are the cites.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12168579/coronavirus-lockdown-could-kill-200000-people-report/
https://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20121119/unemployment-toll-heart
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1201971219303285
https://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/economic-downturn-excess-cancer-deaths-atun/
https://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/09/health/research/09sick.html?_r=0

The non experts were correct on Covid, in that it hastened the deaths all the people who had commodities. The spike in deaths during covid is now being offset by an ultra low death rate. Nursing home/elderly care facilities occupancy rates are down 8%, why are they down because Covid killed the people with palliative heath issues died.

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

Look at the graph for yourself excess deaths are down by over 30 thousand.

Michigan cases are skyrocketing despite the lock-down (S) by Governor Whitmer.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/10/us/coronavirus-michigan-gretchen-whitmer.html

And just FYI, I had my 3rd Moderna vaccine shot yesterday, because it been 6 months, but now I am out of room on my covid passport.

Plus I just got an email from NIH

“Phase 2 of SARS-COV2 Pandemic Serosurvey and Blood Sampling study

Thank you for participating in the NIH SARs-CoV-2 Pandemic Serosurvey and Blood Sampling Study.

We have published the results of the initial sampling online as a preprint (https://ctsilinks2.ctsi.pitt.edu/e/697993/33532807-/wcvb6/222641641?h=TL4trA23JroFYZMbk93K-rKLksJdQ-GoGkHuBU43pAc) and are seeking final, peer-reviewed publication in a medical journal over the next few months.”

Oh on a side note MASKS don’t work!!!!!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/

Conclusion
“The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health.”

but yes its an anti vax website called the National Institutes of Heath, so you can safely ignore it or you can write 5,000 words why we should ignore them.

Oh and explain to Narad that the original interview he cited was conducted by Axios.

And can you in your wisdom explain to me, when Joe Biden stated that “no amendment is absolute” please put that in perspective with the 19th amendment? “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

The physical properties of medical and non-medical facemasks suggest that facemasks are ineffective to block viral particles due to their difference in scales. According to the current knowledge, the virus SARS-CoV-2 has a diameter of 60 nm to 140 nm [nanometers (billionth of a meter)], while medical and non-medical facemasks’ thread diameter ranges from 55 µm to 440 µm [micrometers (one millionth of a meter), which is more than 1000 times larger. Due to the difference in sizes between SARS-CoV-2 diameter and facemasks thread diameter (the virus is 1000 times smaller), SARS-CoV-2 can easily pass through any facemask

Mr. Baruch Vainshelboim’s hypothesis here leaves out that virus is contained in droplets which should be caught before they skinny up through evaporation and get concentrated, floaty, and able to penetrate other’s masks or get in their eyes {source control}.

Until now, having sex in a voting booth was never on my bucket list anyways.

“but yes its an anti vax website called the National Institutes of Heath, so you can safely ignore it or you can write 5,000 words why we should ignore them.”

Um Scott? What you quoted is not the position of the NIH. It’s from a bozo writing in Medical Hypotheses.

Hypothesis: Scott really is stupid enough not to know the difference between the NIH and a joke journal like Medical Hypotheses, he got so lathered up by Joel that he wasn’t paying attention, or he’s simply a troll.

Option #3 is the most likely.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7680614/

The National Institute of Health is an anti vax website, I must have missed that part of the NIH mission statement (NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.) so no mention of anti vax or alternative health and the research had nothing to do with vaccinations.
And this research paper is a peer reviewed, Elsevier publication/article but then Elsevier might be an anti vax publisher. Does the NIH print just any article?

And no mention of my ‘donation’ of two purple tops every week so a vaccine could be developed and now improved, Joel would have written 12 paragraphs about that trauma.

And I don’t get lathered up by Joel, and his persistent op ed piece on abortion( if he were anti abortion I might have read them) it is actually a change of pace that some one else responds with out having to read 700 words of graciousness .

But then you are a cartoon character with big hands and a little head.

Great, Spotts definitely doesn’t know what Pubmed is or how it works. Just as dumb as a f*cking rock.

Oh and explain to Narad that the original interview he cited was conducted by Axios.

Spottsies, there is no “interview,” and there is no overlap between the WaPo piece and the the Axios piece that you bizarrely went rooting for like a wild pig.

He’s been a very naughty boy and I shall have to spank them. And after the spanking, the oral sex.

You were right, Narad.

Scott really is dumb enough to believe that any paper indexed in the Pub Med database has been officially endorsed by the NIH.

That’s some powerful stupid.

@Scott Allen Do you really not understand that this is an article published Medical hypothesis and linked by NIH ?
Brazil did follow your advice (governors actually try now implement public health measures, though Bolsonaro tries to prevent them):
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/brazil/
Go to daily deaths. They are exploding.
Meanwhile, Manaus uses vertical graves:
https://thewest.com.au/news/health/vertical-graves-for-covid-dead-in-brazil-ng-s-2044702
This is because graveyards are full.

I’ve never actually known of anyone who had “fried their ass” because the black wire was not to brass colored screw.

@ Scott Atlas

PART 1

It is a waste of my time to respond to you; but I’ve decided to write a more developed OpEd refuting point by point what people like you believe about our current pandemic, so my comments to you are being saved and organized.

But, first, one critical point, our for-profit healthcare system. With the election of Ronald Reagan to President, an acceleration of for-profit health care began. Maybe you remember the 24hr stays for baby deliveries? We currently have half the per capita number of hospital beds that we had in the 1950s and 1960s. Along with this we have the corresponding reduction in hospital personnel. Why? Earlier, patients were kept longer after immediate treatment for observation. In many cases, probably kept too long; but now we’ve gone in the opposite direction. Hospitals charge per day, even though once stabilized, additional days cost far less than first intensive days. Insurance companies refuse to pay, so, to make a profit hospitals reduced beds and staff. And the ratio of nurses to seriously ill/injured patients increased. Previously ratio per nurse included serious and recuperating, so now much more intense workload. Many hospitals to increase profits hire LVNs instead of RNs. And often, though workload more intensive, many forced to work long hours because, we currently in U.S. have a severe shortage of nurses. So, what does this have to do with COVID? Quite simply, if fewer beds, fewer staff, hospitals with COVID patients don’t have room for cancer and heart patients.

So, as usual you don’t carefully read papers you refer to, for, if you had, you would have noticed in the Harvard School of Public Health paper:

“In countries with UHC—defined in the study as countries that have
legislation mandating UHC, more than 90% health care coverage, and more than 90% skilled birth attendance—the link between unemployment and excess cancer deaths disappeared, suggesting that greater access to health care played a key role in mitigating the problem. Twenty-six OECD countries were listed in the study as having UHC, while nine—Barbados, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Mexico, Poland, Russia, the U.S., and Uruguay—did not have it.” [Harvard School of Public Health (2016 May 25). Global economic downturn linked with at least 260,000 excess cancer deaths.

So, unemployment may play a role in U.S. because we don’t have universal healthcare coverage. In countries with universal healthcare coverage, whether employed or not, usually get quality healthcare. Add to this the halving of per capita beds and even fewer staff and that COVID patients filling the beds and voila! And, as far as I can tell, for most of the pandemic we’ve had a shortage of PPE, making infection control even more difficult. And the number given was an estimate for nations in OECD, not just the U.S.

The second article you link to deals with stress of unemployment and heart attacks. I don’t disagree; but you already covered this in a previous comment. But you ignore that many have retained their jobs during the Pandemic, able to work from home; but, still, for those who didn’t, yep, increased risk of heart attack, according to article 22%. But, again, you ignore the risk from COVID. I’ll get back to that. [Mann (2012 Nov 19), Unemployment Takes Toll on the Heart. WebMD Archives.] And you ignore that some during current pandemic may have had heart attacks as result of COVID infection and died because nearest hospital full and directed ambulance to more distant hospital, delaying care. Keep in mind that risk from COVID isn’t just death; but Long COVID, e.g., for some severely reduced lung function, etc.

I really don’t know why you included excess deaths from influenza as the current statistics and epidemiology puts COVID risk for death at over 10 times that of influenza [Rosano (2019 Nov) Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons). International Journal of Infectious Diseases; 88: 127-134]

Then you link to an article on austerity, unemployment, and suicide; but your previous comment found suicides actually lower by 3,000, so why link to an article based on previous research when we have up-to-date research on the current pandemic? You are just desperately grasping at straws [Stuckler D and Basu S (2013 May 12). How Austerity Kills. The New York Times] And it reiterates somewhat other problems already dealt with.

And you link to another article, already dealt with [Rabin RC (2009 May 8). Losing Job May Be Hazardous to Health. The New York Times]

You write: “The non experts were correct on Covid, in that it hastened the deaths all the people who had commodities.” Yep, I guess someone with mild congestive heart failure, Type 1 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, etc. that may have lived for years, have NO value to you. And, though the overwhelming majority of those who died were senior citizens and/or with comorbidities, not all, and many who didn’t die developed and are developing Long COVID. The point you seem to miss, don’t understand is the CDC article deals with EXCESS DEATHS, quite simply, way more deaths than would be expected, including among those with pre-existing conditions and/or old age, without COVID.

And you missed: “The completeness of provisional data varies by cause of death and by age group. However, the weights applied do not account for this variability. It is unknown whether completeness varies by race and Hispanic origin. Therefore, the predicted numbers of deaths may be too low for some age groups, race/ethnicity groups, and causes of death. For example, provisional data on deaths among younger age groups is typically less complete than among older age groups. Predicted counts may therefore be too low among the younger age groups. Since the weights were based on the completeness of all-cause mortality data in past years, the weighted estimates for speci!c causes of death are likely too low, as reporting lags are typically larger for speci!c causes of death than for all-cause mortality.” [CDC (2021 Apr 7). Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19]

The “deaths among younger age groups is typically less complete than among older age groups”. Don’t you ever bother to actually carefully read or just use any article that your unscientific understanding cherry picks?

You write: “Michigan cases are skyrocketing despite the lock-down (S) by Governor Whitmer.” WOW! You really don’t read things or are delusional. The article quite clearly states that, despite pleas from experts, the Governor is NOT calling for a lock-down; but more public voluntary cooperation: “Ms. Whitmer’s new position reflects the shifting politics of the pandemic, shaped more by growing public impatience with restrictions and the hope offered by vaccines than by any reassessment among public health authorities of how best to contain the virus.” Do you understand the difference between politics and public health and current policies vs previous??? [Bosman J and Smith M (2021 Apr 10). Michigan’s Virus Cases Are Out of Control, Putting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a Bind: Ms. Whitmer, a Democrat, locked down her state over the din of protests last year. Now she is trying a different approach, appealing to personal responsibility. The New York Times.]

So, why the next article. They “detected an undiagnosed seropositivity rate of 4.6% . . . and an estimated 16.8 million undiagnosed cases by mid-July 2020” And their conclusion: “These data suggest a higher level of infection-induced immunity exists in the population and the size of those with this immunity is even greater now as the virus continued to spread in the months since this study was performed.” Yep, as more and more get vaccinated and more and more are infected we will approach herd immunity; but given surges occurring currently, people still dying and evidence that the COVID variants are infecting younger healthier people, not killing; but causing Long COVID, so we aren’t there yet. [Kalish et al. (2021 Jan 31). Mapping a Pandemic: SARS-CoV-2 Seropositivity 1 in the United States. medRxiv preprint]

@ Scott Allen

PART 2
Journal Medical Hypotheses

And now you show your absolute ignorance regarding a paper claiming that masks don’t work by stating: “but yes its an anti vax website called the National Institutes of Heath, so you can safely ignore it or you can write 5,000 words why we should ignore them.” [Vainshelboim B (2021). Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses; 146]

NOPE, not National Institute of Health; but PubMed, simply a site managed by NIH that indexes and often abstracts of articles published in most medical journals, making NO judgement as to their methodology and/or validity. In fact, the article you refer to is in the journal Medical Hypotheses. Hilarious. Do you even understand the word “hypothesis”? The previous editor of Medical Hypothesis, Bruce Charlton, wrote an article reviewing a book by Roger Dobson (2008). “Death can be cured and 99 other Medical Hypotheses.” MJF Books. Note. I have the book! Carleton writes: “Summary: A new collection of ideas from Medical Hypotheses by Roger Dobson is entitled Death can be cured and 99 other Medical Hypotheses. It consists of humorous summaries of Medical Hypotheses articles from the past 30 years. The book’s humour derives mainly from the subject matter . . .The journal’s official stance is that more harm is done by a failure to publish one idea that might have been true, than by publishing a dozen ideas that turn out to be false. Bizarre ideas tend to catch attention, and may stimulate a valuable response – even when a paper is mostly-wrong. . .The journal review process is susceptible to both false positives and false negatives. False positives occur when we publish an idea that is wrong; false negatives occur when we fail to publish an important idea that is right, and a potential scientific breakthrough never happens. False positives are more obvious, since the paper will be ignored, refuted, or fail to be replicated – and often attracts criticism and controversy. . . Consequently, in Medical Hypotheses the ‘set point’ of risk is nearer to the false positive end of the spectrum than for most journals – and the publication of many apparently-bizarre papers is a natural consequence of this policy.”

And DG (Orac’s nom de guerre) wrote a paper on it: DG [note I discovered if use his full name that comment gets held up for some time] (2010 Mar 15). Is there a role for speculative journals like Medical Hypotheses in the scientific literature? Science-Based Medicine.

But, to be honest, they got rid of previous editor and require a bit better review of articles; but, still, not considered good peer-reviewing and not a well-rated journal.

As for masks, there have been a number of up-to-date peer-reviewed in respected medical journal articles that masks do work, not perfectly; but, as opposed to you, I live in the real world. These studies have include epidemiological comparisons where mask usage compared to non or lesser usage and lab studies that actually measure droplet and aerosols spreading. And, as I’ve mentioned numerous times, science isn’t, except a few exceptions, based on one or two papers; but numerous. I won’t bother giving the references to the aforementioned because I know you don’t care. You choose to believe masks don’t work and if you find anyone who agrees with you, that is your science. However, let’s look briefly at articles referenced in Vainshelboim (2021, Available online 2020 Nov 22). Facemasks in the COVID-19 era: A health hypothesis. And then some more up-to-date articles.

From Vainshelboim:

CDC (2020 Mar 12). Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission.

Chandrasekaran (2020). “Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil’s sword?” – A T physiological hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses

Chou et al. (2020 Jun 24). Masks for Prevention of Respiratory Virus Infections, Including SARS-CoV-2, in Health Care and Community Settings. Annals of Internal Medicine: “Conclusion: Evidence on mask effectiveness for respiratory infection prevention is stronger in health care than community settings. N95 respirators might reduce SARS-CoV-1 risk versus surgical masks in health care settings, but applicability to SARSCoV-2 is uncertain.”

Chu et al. (2020 Jun 27). Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 – a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet: “The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis support physical distancing of 1 m or more and provide quantitative estimates for models and contact tracing to inform policy. Optimum use of face masks, respirators, and eye protection in public and health-care settings should be informed by these findings and contextual factors.”

Isaacs (2020 Apr 14). Do facemasks protect against COVID? COVID-19 LITERATURE REPOSITORY: “A meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) pre- COVID showed that surgical masks or N95 respirators reduced clinical respiratory illness in health care workers by 41% and influenza-like illness by 66%: they work but are far from perfect. N95 masks were not statistically better than surgical masks in preventing proven influenza,2 nor than preventing COVID-19, although the latter is based on weak data.”

Konda et al. (2020 May 26). Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks. ACS NANO: “Although the filtration efficiencies for various fabrics when a single layer was used ranged from 5 to 80% and 5 to 95% for particle sizes of 300 nm, respectively, the efficiencies improved when multiple layers were used and when using a specific combination of different fabrics. Filtration efficiencies of the hybrids (such as cotton−silk, cotton−chiffon, cotton−flannel) was >80% (for particles 90% (for particles >300 nm). We speculate that the enhanced performance of the hybrids is likely due to the combined effect of mechanical and electrostatic-based filtration. Cotton, the most widely used material for cloth masks performs better at higher weave densities (i.e., thread count) and can make a significant difference in filtration efficiencies.”

Leung et al. (2020 May). Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks. Nature Medicine: “Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.”

MacIntyre et al. (2015). A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers – BMJ: “Cloth masks are used in resource-poor settings because of the reduced cost of a reusable option. Various types of cloth masks (made of cotton, gauze and other fibres) have been tested in vitro in the past and show lower filtration capacity compared with disposable masks.7 The protection afforded by gauze masks increases with the fineness of the cloth and the number of layers,37 indicating potential to develop a more effective cloth mask, for example, with finer weave, more layers and a better fit.”

Smith (2016 May 17). Effectiveness of N95 respirators versus surgical masks in protecting health care workers from acute respiratory infection – a systematic review and meta-analysis. CMAJ: “ Interpretation: Although N95 respirators appeared to have a protective advantage over surgical masks in laboratory settings, our meta-analysis showed that there were insufficient data to determine definitively whether N95 respirators are superior to surgical masks in protecting health care workers against transmissible acute respiratory infections in clinical settings.”

First, NOTICE none of the referred to articles are after June 2020 and two from 2015 and 2016 and one by Chandrasekaran in Medical Hypotheses.
I downloaded ALL of the above. Let’s briefly look at some of them:

So, at best early findings were the single-layered cloth masks not very good; though not compared with NO masks at all. So why did he stop his search so early???

Now let’s look at more up-to-date articles:

Brooks JT and Butler JC (2021 Feb 10). Effectiveness of MaskWearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2. JAMA: “The overall community benefit ofwearing masks derives from their combined ability to limit both exhalation and inhalation of infectious virus. Similar to the principle of herd immunity for vaccination, the greater the extent to which the intervention—mask wearing in this case—is adopted by the community, the larger the benefit to each individual member. The prevalence of mask use in the community may be of greater importance than the type of mask worn. It merits noting that a recent study has been improperly characterized by some sources as showing that cloth or surgical masks offer no benefit.” Note that this is a review that, in the Supplementary Appendix, references 11 studies, 6 from after June and a couple before missed by Vainshelboim.

CDC (2020 Nov 20). Community Use of Cloth Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2: CDC recommends community use of masks, specifically non-valved multi-layer cloth masks, to prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Masks are primarily intended to reduce the emission of virus-laden droplets (“source control”), which is especially relevant for asymptomatic or presymptomatic infected wearers who feel well and may be unaware of their infectiousness to others, and who are estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions. Masks also help reduce inhalation of these droplets by the wearer (“Filtration for personal protection”). The community bene!t of masking for SARS-CoV-2 control is due to the combination of these e”ects; individual prevention benefit increases with increasing numbers of people using masks consistently and correctly. . . Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.” Note it has 45 references, far more than Vainshelboim’s nine.

CDC (2021 Apr 6). Considerations for Wearing Masks. [Recommendations of when to use and how to use most effectively]

Howard et al. (2021 Jan 26). An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. “Conclusion. Our review of the literature offers evidence in favor of widespread mask use as source control to reduce community transmission: Nonmedical masks use materials that obstruct particles of the necessary size; people are most infectious in the initial period postinfection, where it is common to have few or no symptoms (45, 46, 141); nonmedical masks have been effective in reducing transmission of respiratory viruses; and places and time periods where mask usage is required or widespread have shown substantially lower community transmission. . . When used in conjunction with widespread testing, contact tracing, quarantining of anyone that may be infected, hand washing, and physical distancing, face masks are a valuable tool to reduce community transmission.” Note article has 141 references.

Lindsley et al (2021 Jan 7). Efficacy of face masks, neck gaiters and face shields for reducing the expulsion of simulated cough-generated aerosols. Aerosol Science and Technology: “We used a cough aerosol simulator with a pliable skin headform to propel small aerosol particles (0 to 7 mm) into different face coverings. An N95 respirator blocked 99% (standard deviation (SD) 0.3%) of the cough aerosol, a medical grade procedure mask blocked 59% (SD 6.9%), a 3- ply cotton cloth face mask blocked 51% (SD 7.7%), and a polyester neck gaiter blocked 47% (SD 7.5%) as a single layer and 60% (SD 7.2%) when folded into a double layer.”

Ueki et al. (2020 Sep). Effectiveness of Face Masks in Preventing Airborne Transmission of SARS-CoV-2. mSphere: “Here, we developed an airborne transmission simulator of infectious SARS-CoV-2-containing droplets/aerosols produced by human respiration and coughs and assessed the transmissibility of the infectious droplets/aerosols and the ability of various types of face masks to block the transmission. We found that cotton masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks all have a protective effect with respect to the transmission of infective droplets/aerosols of SARS-CoV-2 and that the protective efficiency was higher when masks were worn by a virus spreader.”

McDonald (2021 Mar 2). The Evolving Science of Face Masks. FactCheck.org. [If interested the article links to a number of studies available on the web]

NIH (2021 Feb 23). Humidity from masks may lessen severity of COVID-19.

I have over a dozen more studies; but the above should suffice. Quite simply the article you refer to not only is in a questionable journal; but gives only 11 references, all from before July 2020, and even then there were quite a few other articles. Since then there has been an ever increasing number of articles. Quite typical of you to cherry-pick one or a couple of articles then present with an arrogant belief you have proven your point when anyone who takes the time to actually investigate further, once again, finds you WRONG WRONG WRONG!

FINALLY You write: “And can you in your wisdom explain to me, when Joe Biden stated that “no amendment is absolute” please put that in perspective with the 19th amendment? “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The exception proves the rule. Numerous Supreme Court Justices have stated that the “Constitution is NOT a suicide pact,” so, the 1st Amendment’s Freedom of Speech doesn’t included yelling fire in a theater, unless actual fire, doesn’t include inciting a mob to violence, etc. And actually woman citizens can be denied the right to vote if in prison, etc. Just typical of you to ask such a STUPID question.

Didn’t you write: “And quit ‘threadjacking’”

So, what does “no amendment is absolute” have to do with COVID, lockdowns, masks, etc? You really are a stupid hypocrite.

That is a lot of words. Most of which I agree with. source control is the main point and I feel like you should have emphisized that more.

If I saw a fire in a theatre, I would quietly sneek out instead of yelling “fire!” and subsequently get trampled by everybody else; I guess I’m just selfish that way.

@ carbonaceous

If a fire broke out in a theater, I would make it to the door and then yell fire! 😀 And, I wait outside to help.

As for “source”, if you have followed from the beginning, I click on Scott’s links, download, and read what he refers to. He doesn’t read what I link to. For him, anything that disagrees with him is wrong. Years ago, around 1980, the New England Journal of Medicine published an article on coffee and pancreatic cancer. I read it and laughed; but it caused a minor panic. Trail blazing research has often been rejected by main stream journals and published in lesser known obscure journals. Even Medical Hypotheses has had a couple of articles over 40 years that were valid. As the old saying goes: Even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily. Sometimes, seldom, one can learn more from an article that is dead wrong. Learn how people misuse science, bias it, etc. Time is limited, so, yep, one has to pick and choose. And except in rare instances, e.g., Crick and Watson’s structure of DNA, one should NEVER rely on one paper or even two, regardless of how well done.

A lot of word? As opposed to Scott and others, I do my best to read carefully what they write, the address each and every point.

Even the gold standard, placebo-controlled double-blinded randomized clinical trials risk unmeasured variables being non-randomly distributed, thus possibly affecting the result, which is what is meant by the p-value, e.g., p = 0.05 means 5% chance result influenced by such variables. Confidence Intervals are better; but not perfect. Why then use p? For decision making. When one has to decide, e.g., which seed best, which drug best. And p shouldn’t be called “significance level”; but confidence level, how confident we are wasn’t unmeasured variables responsible for outcome. Here is where replication comes in. I have been a member of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader, for going on 35 years. For many years they recommended NOT using a newly FDA approved drug, unless no other choice (e.g., dying) until on market for five years. This gives time for additional studies, reports of adverse events, etc. Even if manufacturer did everything right in their research. A few years ago, Public Citizen now suggests waiting seven years.

Just today was an interesting, upsetting article, on racial bias in many of our mainstream medical journals: McFarling (2021 Apr 12). When a cardiologist flagged the lack of diversity at premier medical journals, the silence was telling. STAT. Available at: Usha Lee McFarling (2021 Apr 12). When a cardiologist flagged the lack of diversity at premier medical journals, the silence was telling. STAT. Available at: https://www.statnews.com/2021/04/12/lack-of-diversity-at-premier-medical-journals-jama-nejm/

There is a fire in this theatre but it is on the screen. There are other ‘issues’ going on though. It’s not like anyone ever in history has shouted “blob!” and been arrested for it {exept for that one malcontent in that 1988 film}.

As to your point on health care in the US vs other countries, You need look no further then Canada (more well to do person frequently cross the border to obtain health care)
https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/crisis-brewing-as-covid-19-derails-life-saving-surgeries-at-canadian-hospitals-1.5347097 and would you really want to live in England right now during the age of Covid.
As to heart issues, almost everyone who died of heart, preparatory issues was listed as a Covid death.
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/birx-says-government-is-classifying-all-deaths-of-patients-with-coronavirus-as-covid-19-deaths-regardless-of-cause.
Next on your list is masks.
https://www.ecotextile.com/2021040127603/dyes-chemicals-news/exclusive-chemical-cocktail-found-in-face-masks.html

And to your final point the ‘fire’ in a theater. I am always surprised that this ruling is often quoted by liberals. The original case Schenck was about protesting the draft in 1918-1919 and had nothing to do with actual speech, but had to do with printing and sending anti war/anti draft materials ( seriously how many times have you quoted this vs how many people have actually been arrested for shouting fire in a theater). The Wilson administration (a liberal) wanted to stop the anti war protesters, so a poor socialist who was just publishing and handing out anti war materials was made an example. It should be noted that the Schenck decision was later partially overturned in the Brandenburg case. I brought up the 19th amendment only to point out to a gun control advocate that the president has indicated that all amendments are “no amendment is absolute”. Your example of a convicted female not being allowed to vote would only apply to that example (Biden’s quote) if ONLY females who were convicted were not allow to vote, to show just how inept Biden is and how hollow that argument is (you have used that argument before).

And to your final point the ‘fire’ in a theater. I am always surprised that this ruling is often quoted by liberals.

Oh, great, one of Spottses’ friends has discovered the Popehat archives.

@ Scott Allen

So, COVID cases are overwhelming Canadian hospitals (Favoro, 2021 Mar 14). Means exactly the point I made that hospitals are being overwhelmed by COVID. Canada has also cut back on health care during the years since I lived there because, as the U.S., they aren’t a democracy. The Conservative Party of Stephen Harper never received more than, if memory serves, 44%; but Canada has “first past the post”, that is, “ridings”, like our districts, if win by one vote, get representative in Parliament. While they don’t have gerrymandering and electoral college, it still biases elections. Imagine five ridings, two with 90% one party and three with 51% the other. The other gets 3 members of Parliament, though fewer voters. Well, a few years ago, Alberta, with 19 members of the Canadian Parliament, had all 19 from the Conservative Party even though the other Parties received 1/3 of the votes, no representation. So, just as I explained, when limited health care, who do we let die, COVID cases or . . .? Keep in mind that, just as COVID is mainly older people and/or those with comorbidities, cancer is also mainly a disease of aging. Yet, both have younger people. However, as I also discussed, when hospital overwhelmed with an infectious disease, controls make it more difficult, distancing between beds, etc. so possibly even fewer patients in some hospitals.

Just one quote: ““When we ask if COVID killed somebody, it means ‘Did they die sooner than they would have if they didn’t have the virus?’” Lessler says. Even a person with a potentially life-shortening condition such as heart disease may have lived another five, 10 or more years, had they not become infected with COVID-19. Some of them were COVID-19 deaths that simply were not documented as such, perhaps because the person died at home and was never tested or because the certificate was miscoded. And some of the extra deaths were probably a consequence of the pandemic yet not necessarily of the virus itself. For instance, he says, imagine a patient with chest pain who is scared to go to the hospital because he or she does not want to get the virus and then dies of a heart attack. Woolf calls this “indirect mortality.” “The deaths aren’t literally caused by the virus itself, but the pandemic is claiming lives,” he says.” (Aschwanden, 2020 Oct 20). Note that the article explains undercounts of deaths at home and deaths not caused by COVID; but because of the pandemic.

As for the UK, Boris Johnson reacted much like Donald Trump in not doing lockdowns in the beginning, not wearing masks, etc. But let’s go back in time to 1980s. Margaret Thatcher literally tried to end the National British Health Care System. She did such damage that it has taken years to bring it back and yet according to international statistics, while they spend far less than most other OECD nations, their outcomes on heart disease, cancer, etc. aren’t that much worse, though wait times not good.

I wrote an article on health care that I know you won’t read; but anyone else following this exchange may find of interest:

Joel A. Harrison (2018 Aug 10). The Case for A Non-Profit Single-Payer Healthcare System. Physicians for a National Health Program. Available at: http://pnhp.org/news/the-case-for-a-non-profit-single-payer-healthcare-system/

It doesn’t matter how well or poorly other health care systems are doing, doesn’t change what I wrote about our race-to-the-bottom for-profit health care system. If we had the same number of beds per capita, the same previous ratio to beds of medical staff, we would have weathered the pandemic much better and a non-profit system would have NOT costs more.

You write: “As to heart issues, almost everyone who died of heart, preparatory issues was listed as a Covid death.” So, you found an article from earliest days of pandemic, April 2020. Typical of you. However, correct, if someone died with another pre-existing condition, e.g., heart and was infected with COVID, counted as COVID death. As I explained, such people may have lived for years without COVID. The article states: “The federal government is classifying the deaths of patients infected with the coronavirus as COVID-19 deaths, regardless of any underlying health issues that could have contributed to the loss of someone’s life.” (Casiano, 2020 Apr 7).However, I guess you missed this one: “In the effort to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, government leaders are working to increase the number of people being tested for COVID-19. In rare cases, that includes testing people who have recently died. . . Few tests are being performed on the dead, but in some cases, testing for the coronavirus is time-sensitive even after death.” (Rice, 2020 Mar 31). So, probably tested if died in hospital; but not at home. Let’s jump forward to more up-to-date info.

An interesting article actually mentions the Birx interview; but gives a good explanation of just how complicated death certificates are. I won’t quote from it, up to you and others if you want to read it. (Boyle, 2021 Feb 18). And for a discussion on COVID stats in England (Reuters Staff, 2020 Sep 4). Finally a couple of CDC papers (CDC, 2021 Apr 7; Apr 12).

So, as far as I can find, non-hospital deaths have NOT ALWAYS been tested for COVID, though as time has passed more have been.

As for the Shenk case, I actually discussed it much earlier in my critique of the Supreme Court. I referred to the book: Geoffrey R. Stone (2004). Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime. Norton. You missed the entire point. You were questioning, critiquing what Biden said, so I gave some examples. Supreme Court Justices have several times stated “The Constitution isn’t a suicide pact” and whether yelling fire was actually from a case or just to make a point doesn’t matter.

You write: “Your example of a convicted female not being allowed to vote would only apply to that example (Biden’s quote) if ONLY females who were convicted were not allow to vote, to show just how inept Biden is and how hollow that argument is (you have used that argument before).”

Are you that completely stupid? The 19th Amendment was written to grant the right to vote to women, so my reply focused on that. Doesn’t matter that men also in many states lose the right to vote if imprisoned. One more example of how you focus on trivia because you are completely incompetent at entering a civil dialogue. And you also miss that it was you who accused me of “‘threadjacking’” AND once more you ignore what I wrote. Why did you bring up what Biden said about Constitution when discussing pandemic responses? Clear example of threadjacking.

So, now I’ve collected far more articles than I included in this comment, preparation for a paper on how dishonest, hypocritical, people like you cherry-pick one or two articles, often not even carefully reading them, without understanding science, critical thinking, or in regard to pandemic, immunology, infectious disease, epidemiology, post comments with air of being so smug that you are right when in fact not even close.

You represent, unfortunately, a lot of people in this and other nations and though you claim you didn’t vote for Trump, just as he never admitted he was wrong; but just did his own Gish Gallup, I don’t believe you. I think you probably voted for Trump because he thinks, or better doesn’t think, like you.

I also find it difficult to believe you ever went to law school as you exhibit an inability to actually develop an argument with extensive references. And I find it difficult to believe you participated in COVID vaccine trial. But, as opposed to you, I claim no certainty. As I’ve written several times: Even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily, so even someone as despicably dishonest may have done a couple of positive things???

So keep proving just as dishonest you are, just how incapable of actually entering into a civil dialogue, just how others actually read articles you link to; but not you. Again, you really should read my articles on abortion, Trumps banning of immigrants from Middle East, and on Health care; but you won’t.

REFERENCES:

Aschwanden (2020 Oct 20). Debunking the False Claim That COVID Death Counts Are Inflated. Scientific American

Boyle (2021 Feb 18). How are COVID-19 deaths counted? It’s complicated. AAMC

Casiano (2020 Apr 7). Birx says government is classifying all deaths of patients with coronavirus as ‘COVID-19’ deaths, regardless of cause. Fox News

CDC (2021 Apr 7). Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19; Ahmad et al.(2021 Apr 12). Provisional Mortality Data — United States, 2020 . MMWR

Favoro et al (2021 Mar 14). Crisis brewing as COVID-19 derails life-saving surgeries at Canadian hospitals. CNBC News

Reuters Staff (2020 Sep 4). Fact check: Figures relating to deaths from COVID-19, heart attack, stroke and homicide are false. Reuters

Rice (2020 Mar 31). Few COVID-19 tests performed after death. Medical Xpress]

I actually post links to the articles. You only post limited information (and yes its good that you use Fox as a reference.)You even post an article from March 2020 as an up to date source. I used Brix own words to describe how Covid deaths are being counted (even people who tested negative but had Covid like symptoms were counted.)
There are more articles on how inflated Covid deaths are (the state of Washington actually listed 7 people who had been shot to death as Covid because they had Covid in their system). As a scientist if your data is bad the experiment is useless. “If you thought that science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.”

I question what the government tells me, you do not. Since the days of Ancel Keys and the low fat and high carbohydrate diet (and how he and others were paid by the sugar industry to fake science and even getting the government to back that diet) (which might be a contributor to our obesity problem now). If you still trust your government give Steven Hatfill a call. But that is for future posts

as to the health care industry, My question was a very simple one if you were sick which medical care would you rather have the US or Canada/Britain?

The 19th amendment, I was pointing out to you that Biden has said all amendments are “not absolute”, he of course referring to the 2nd (in much the same way you did). I just referenced one amendment that sure looks absolute to me. I posted actual Supreme Court decisions, you post what people think of those decisions. It is nice that you quote Trump “”Our constitution is great, but it doesn’t necessarily give us the right to commit suicide” but then you probably knew that.

Most of you posts are hundreds of words and this last post was over 1,500 words.
It might interest you, the land mark case of brown vs board of education was only 4,000 words. Posting more words is a sign of a week case (if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with B.S.) On a side note you once again self cited, which, ironically is what ioannidis is accused of in the paper in question.

I believe that Brevity is the Soul of Wit

“and yes its good that you use Fox as a reference.”

You really gotta love that Tucker Carlson. What a national treasure. They got out of a defamation suit because the judge agreed with Fox that no reasonable viewer would take anything he says as true. Fox is listed as entertainment, not news, in TV Guide — to get out of a previous lawsuit. “We gonna put the GOP on TV” — Newt Getrich, contract with Austrailia, 1994.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/judge-tosses-suit-trump-affair-story-fox-news-tucker-carlson/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/03/23/sidney-powells-tucker-carlson-esque-defense/

@ Scott Allen

Oops! Missed responding to your ONE article on masks.

From article: “Top German scientists have found that wearing certain types of face masks for long periods of time could result
in potentially hazardous chemicals and harmful microplastics being inhaled deep into human lungs.”

Notice “certain types of masks” AND “could result in potentially” AND “perhaps outweighing the short-term risk of any exposure to the coronavirus?” AND finally: “Masks have been an integral part of the global response to the coronavirus and a necessary intervention – especially at the height of the pandemic. But as we start to emerge from this global health crisis, leading scientists are now questioning whether the real risk of exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals from long-term mask wearing is actually higher than the risk of coming into contact with the Sars-CoV-2 virus.”

You do understand “could” and “potentially” are NOT certainties, though your black and white view of things translates them as such.

So, the article re-emphasizes how important masks were during height of pandemic, something you were against. And questions whether still as necessary. Well, in areas with high vaccination rates and number already exposed, probably not so; but where surge in progress, still necessary. As for the specific chemicals, as with any medical and/or public health intervention, improvements do occur and I would anticipate that, if this nation has learned anything, we will develop better masks. But, without masks, physical distancing, limiting indoor gatherings, and lockdowns, as I’ve said again and again, we could have had 2 million or more deaths and potentially as many suffering from Long Covid. So, again, if further evidence indicates we need to develop better masks than I am all for it; but as the old saying goes: “Don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect”. Any potential risk during the height of the pandemic from masks was far outweighed by the risk of deaths and long covid.

I won’t bother listing studies in other nations where combination of masks, etc. resulted in far fewer deaths from COVID or studies where initial high death rates were brought down with similar measures. Wouldn’t faze you.

As usual, you posted one article in your attempt to discredit completely masks and, as usual, missed the nuanced discussion.

You are really STUPID STUPID STUPID.

@ Scott Allen

You wrote: “And to your final point the ‘fire’ in a theater. I am always surprised that this ruling is often quoted by liberals. The original case Schenck was about protesting the draft in 1918-1919 and had nothing to do with actual speech.”

Oops! Should have done my homework before replying.

From Oliver Wendell Holmes decision in the Schenk case: “The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic. […] The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

Notice Holmes actually says “shouting fire in a theatre.” And when I did Google search found the quote on numerous websites. I doubt they were based on liberal vs conservative. Just one more example of how you automatically disagree with anything by labeling it “liberal”.

You really are dishonest! ! !

STUPID STUPID STUPID
but congrats on the under 1500 word count but you negated it by using two posts.
I actually did research, as time will tell on the face mask but I am guessing that a 16 year olds who have an almost zero chance of getting covid much less dying of it, probably should not be wearing a mask 8-10 hours a day.
As to your Holmes quote, could you please do a quick study on the websites you visited as to conservative or liberal.
No I don’t automatically disagree with anything by labeling it “liberal” I just disagree with stupid and poorly researched comments.
just out of curiousness, why do you mostly end your post with denigrating remarks, is it because of your weak arguments. “when you resort to name calling you have lost the argument”.

I am disappointed in Narad, he didn’t correct my spelling (week/weak) he must be slipping

https://babylonbee.com/news/experts-always-know-what-theyre-talking-about-and-never-make-mistakes-experts-confirm

@ Scott Allen

No, I won’t check liberal or conservative for websites. The point is that you claim to have a law degree; yet didn’t bother to check Schenk which did contain the quote which you implied it didn’t. And, as usual, you ignore that I proved you wrong.

You write: “I actually did research, as time will tell on the face mask but I am guessing that a 16 year olds who have an almost zero chance of getting covid much less dying of it, probably should not be wearing a mask 8-10 hours a day.”

And you may be right; but during the height of the pandemic it was NOT clear who was most vulnerable and I don’t believe you did research because you posted ONE article and ignored parts of what it said. So, one more example where I don’t automatically take on opposing position.

You write: “No I don’t automatically disagree with anything by labeling it “liberal” I just disagree with stupid and poorly researched comments”

Bull Shit. On a number of topics I have clearly explained just how much reading I’ve done and you attacked me for reading too many books, etc. You rejected the number of articles I referred to, without reading them, etc. And while I have read your linked to articles, you haven’t read mine and even attacked my article on abortion without reading it.

You write: “just out of curiousness, why do you mostly end your post with denigrating remarks, is it because of your weak arguments. “when you resort to name calling you have lost the argument”.”

For someone who has accused me of being a racist and an anti-semite, someone who attacks my education, my credibility, who claims I presented my self as more intelligent than others rather than just do my homework, at some point it is clear that one can’t engage you in any civil manner.

So, once more you really didn’t actually address what I wrote in the three previous comments, not even admitting you were wrong about “yelling fire in theater” and wrong about 19th Amendment not being to guarantee vote for women, which is why I mentioned, agreed with Biden that Constitution not an absolute.

So, you either are very stupid, rigidly see things in black and white, or simply are an extremely unhappy individual who posts, not for a civil dialogue; but just to get a rise out of people. Without the internet you’d be lost; but instead of wasting time writing comments, I would devote time to writing articles which would be published in magazines, newspapers, and journals, as I already have.

Ending my articles with calling you accurate names doesn’t detract from what I wrote if people read the comment from the start, understanding my reasoning, etc; but if they only skip to the end, yep, but then just like you who ignore most of what i write.

You are a very sick disturbed individual and one thing I learned during my training as a clinical psychologist is that the more disturbed an individual is the less capable they are of acknowledging it. Now attack my education and training as a clinical psychologist. I took all the coursework, did all the workshops, and did a one year internship at the psychiatric clinic at Sahlgrenska Hospital, the main hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden and was supervised by both a Board Certified Psychiatrist and a Board Certified Psychologist. And obtained my Swedish clinical psychologist license.

I am disappointed in Narad, he didn’t correct my spelling (week/weak) he must be slipping

No, Spotts, I just no longer give a shit about you and your mommies.

Scott, why shouldn’t young people be wearing face coverings 8-10 hours a day?

You know that many young people exercise while wearing a face covering every winter, right? Often for many hours at a time?

You know there are parts of the world where many people cover their face all day long, for cultural or environmental reasons?

You know that many people in the medical and biological fields often cover their faces for many, many hours at a stretch while doing very delicate and difficult work, requiring excellent focus and mental acuity?

“16 year olds who have an almost zero chance of getting covid much less dying of it”
251 children under 17 have died of COVID in the USA.
So, you’re sure wrong on that front. Care to revise?

251 children in the US died from Covid out of over 40 million children under the age of 17 in the US. That works out to about 0.0000062% chance. Kids riding bicycles are 100 times more likely to die from a bike accident.
How many kids under 18 are working in the medical and biological fields.

Aarno even wikipedia says that governments issue death certificates, I don’t quite know what your argument with that was? I not sure if you can call the meat and dairy industry a fat lobby. I am thinking fast food lobby would be close to a fat lobby. My point was that industries spend billions to lobby the government to (basically) endorse or promote their products, which are actually harmful.

Scott, you didn’t answer any of my questions.

So I’ll repeat the important one:
Why shouldn’t young people be wearing face coverings 8-10 hours a day?

Wikipedia actually says that a medical professional writes s death certificate and government department issues a copy of it on demand

There actually is a fat industry, dairies (they sell butter), not to mention meat industry. They will benefit from low carb diet. Why they are not lobbying ?
Quote from your link:
“Although the study is more than just another entry in the long-running nutrition wars — it is more rigorous than the vast majority of research on the topic — Ramsden makes no claims that it settles the question. Instead, he said, his discovery and analysis of long-lost data underline how the failure to publish the results of clinical trials can undermine truth.”
So nothing definitive there
For death certificates, check Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_certificate
Same rules apply in all countries.

@ Scott Allen

I found a few comments by you where you MISUSED liberal; but I was wrong claiming you used term often; mostly you just reject anything that disagrees with, claiming invalid or something to that effect; but without bothering to read it. As opposed to I actually read everything you linked to, found that you often didn’t carefully read your linked to articles or just ignored anything in them that didn’t back your black and white view. So, I admit confusing you with someone else who used word “liberal” to attack anything he disagreed with; but didn’t read; but, same difference, both attacking without actually reading and addressing/refuting. Birds of a feather.

You wrote: “I am well aware of the eugenics movement in the US and how its founders are celebrated by liberals and yes I know that the Germans/Nazis actually copied them” WRONG; but does show how you want to label liberal as the bad guys.

You wrote: “And to your final point the ‘fire’ in a theater. I am always surprised that this ruling is often quoted by liberals. The original case Schenck was about protesting the draft in 1918-1919.” Why would liberals specifically quote this? Though I can’t right this moment ask someone who considers themselves Conservative, I would venture guess that they would agree that the 1st Amendment is NOT an absolute. And, of course, one can always find those who believe it is absolute; but not educated mainstream Conservatives.

@Scott Allen You seems to believe that everything unscientific is true, including low carb diets. Actually, there is many studies showing that eating fat make you fat and saturated fats are dangerous, even if you drop study you mentioned. Besides, why do you think that sugar industry can control government but fat industry cannot ?
There is a list of mask studies:
Brooks JT, Butler JC. Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2. JAMA. 2021;325(10):998–999. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.1505
70% reduction of infections seems to to be a constant Yep, mask contain any number of polysyllabic words. They may not be dangerous, even if you cannot pronounce them.
Government does not write death certificates. Any case, there is lots of excess deaths. Do you think there is an epidemic of heart attacks ? How do you explain it ?
Speaking about excess deaths, there is a report from no lock down country, Brazil (it is even written by a journo):
https://thewest.com.au/news/health/vertical-graves-for-covid-dead-in-brazil-ng-s-2044702

Narad, yet here you are and you did respond. ironic.

Aarno, I think that a lot of industries control our government and its policies, those industries spend billions of dollars on influencing government policies or fund for studies that promote their selected point of view. The sugar lobby is still pretty strong in the US the world price of sugar is around 15 cents a pound in the US we pay about 33 cents per pound (due to tariffs, lobbied by the sugar industry).

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html

I am not sure there is a ‘fat’ lobby or fat industry.

I am not trying to pick on the sugar industry, as I stated every industry pays billions to promote research on their product

“especially if you get them published in a very prominent journal, tend to shape the overall scientific discussion,”

Government doesn’t write death certificates, do you not live in the US, if you don’t I can see how you would not know that?

This is an example of research suppression from 40 years ago.

https://www.statnews.com/2016/04/12/unearthed-data-challenge-dietary-advice/

This was a quote from the article and does concern me about suppression of opposing ideas.
“The idea that there might be something adverse about lowering cholesterol [via vegetable oils] was really antithetical to the dogma of the day,”

and on this website you might was to go easy on the idea that what we put into our bodies effect/affects our health (terrain shaping was posted about a few months ago and widely criticized as a tool of the vitamin industry).

Joel you insult anyone who disagrees with you ‘Nataile, Kim, Kay et al”. the list is long even though they have never insulted you or called you names. You frequently use insults in a vain attempt to bully opposition. You write such long posts and you even forget what you have posted.
‘For someone who has accused me of being a racist and an anti-semite’ really I called you an anti-semite, you are Jewish? I did call you a racist when I quoted an article from the ‘Times of India” and you called it a 3rd rate paper that no one reads (its the largest selling English language paper in the world) that was arrogant, condescending and racist.

And this whooper (and not the sandwich kind)
“I am well aware of the eugenics movement in the US and how its founders are celebrated by liberals and yes I know that the Germans/Nazis actually copied them” WRONG; but does show how you want to label liberal as the bad guys’.

You were the one that posted that tidbit of information on the Nazis copying the US eugenics movement (as I was responding to your post) So is that how that works you post something then some one re-posts it and they you call them wrong, is that how you do research?

“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers” Socrates

After 130 comments on the topic of John Ioannidis wanting to silence a critic, not one person has seen the irony of Orac and others trying to shut down other websites and persons or de-platforming of those who disagree with his positions. It was pointed out that Ioannidis questioned the credentials of his critics, but poster on this site often question the credentials of anti vaxxers, whole body health people, etc. all the time. That is even more ironic

@ Charles Bronski

You seem to ignore the overwhelming evidence that Ioannidis no longer basis his opinions/writings/speaking on science and that it is he who attacks, questions the credentials of his critics. I guess you don’t believe Orac has a right to point this out.

As for “poster on this site often question the credentials of anti vaxxers, whole body health people, etc. all the time. That is even more ironic.”

If someone refuses to address/refute anyone who disagrees with them as antivaxxers do, including not allowing or seldom allowing comments to be posted on their websites, if they clearly lack and in many cases even admit they don’t understand the basics of immunology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, etc. and if the few who should understand the aforementioned are shown overwhelmingly by clear scientific explanations to be wrong, what credentials do they have? People not schooled in science base opinions on, among other things, anecdotes, logical errors such as post hoc ergo prompter, social media (which the Russians use to influence our elections), etc. Science teaches us to question critically, to look at the research, e.g., methodology, and to usually not base our position on a single or couple of studies; but the cumulative science. None of the aforementioned requires even a university degree; but devoting time and effort. For instance, I highly recommend a short well-written book on immunology (I’ve read half dozen textbooks, 100s of articles, attended seminars; but this book gives a good foundation, necessary to understand how vaccines work): Lauren Sompayrac. How the Immune System Works. 6th edition. Available on Amazon.com, not expensive.

I don’t know you; but if you actually are willing to read a book, I would strongly recommend: Brian Deer (2020 Sep). The Doctor Who Fooled the World. Johns Hopkins University Press. If you still believe Andrew Wakefield has any credibility, well . . .”
It can be purchase on Amazon.com Not expensive.

Note this is not about basic intelligence. Someone could give me a number of plans for building a bridge over a river and ask my opinion. Well, though well-educated and reasonably intelligent, I have NEVER taken a single course in structural engineering. So, yep, I could give my opinion; but what would it be worth?

Hmmm. I don’t recall ever having tried to “shut down another website.” Perhaps you could provide an example. Similarly, there’s a difference between questioning the credentials of someone and making fun of his appearance in his Twitter bio.🙄

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/03/26/disinformation-dozen-vs-public-health/

“Be that as it may, the CCDH report is a warning. Will Twitter, Facebook, and Google heed the warning? I’m not optimistic.”

did i misread your posted article? I don’t want or call for the de-platforming of anyone, or support anyone who would support de-platforming people. Some of your readers imply that was what you and they wanted. I believe that if you try to bully or silence your opposition you actually make them stronger and much more difficult to combat their arguments.
I do find that our governments handling of Covid vaccine has been horrid, Pfizer and Modern have killed over 2,000 people ( really an insignificant number considering the number of people vaccinated) Yet our government has stopped/paused the J&J vaccination because 6 people developed blood clots (I would bet that more people developed blood clots from flying in airplanes today than that). I would bet that the government/news stories has done more to hurt the vaccine effort then all the anti-vaxxers combined, the whole issue of Covid has been a politicized from the get go, but that just my opinion.

and, I don’t do twitter nor facebook.

“I don’t do twitter nor facebook.”

You’ve de-platformed yourself. That’s very kind of you.

rs I never platformed, I understood that those site were just data mining sites. (look up a government project call ‘lifelog’) it was a darpa project.

Julian, if you have a better site I am open to suggestions.
https://coronavirusbellcurve.com

Denice did you even read what you wrote? First you claim that nobody here tried to shut down other website. then you claimed that you supported private companies that shut down those sites. Do you think stores can now prevent people with other beliefs or race or sex from shopping?
Would you approve of the web host (world press) of this site shutting RI down because of a belief or public pressure, if misinformation were a reason to shut down websites, there wouldn’t be much on the web, look at face book, how many people exaggerate what they post or out right lie, if face book did that it would be out of business tomorrow.
All i am saying is that shut downs can work both ways.

@ Charles Bronski:

Those are two different things:
a website like Age of Autism or Natural News is run as a charity or a company respectively and its operation is paid for by its owners

Social media- I’m not discussing hosting services- like FaceBook, Twitter,,YouTube, Instagram etc, are private companies that allow individuals or companies to use their outlet to communicate, proselytise and advertise their ideas, products and services for FREE. Many alt med/ anti-vax entities get around paying for adverts/ outreach because of their use of social media and can therefore maintain lower cost websites.
.
Since social media are private companies they can choose what is allowed on their outlets** just like the aforementioned websites can ( AoA censors comments/ Orac RARELY bans commenters but could easily):
if I owned a shop- a private company- and had a community bulletin board for local events and businesses there, I could pick and choose who is allowed to put up ads and announcements.in other words, Julia’s Hair Salon might be IN and Darryl’s Sex Dungeon might be OUT. A meeting of the Gardening Club may be alright but a meeting of Parents Against Trans Students’ Rights would be banished by me..

Right now, being “banned” by social media is a big issue amongst anti-vax and alt med companies because it cuts into their profit stream – they need to set up their own alternatives- which cost them money Because I monitor these companies, I know how vehemently they oppose social media’s actions.: Natural News, Mercola, Progressive, Radio Network, Stop Mandatory Vaccination and the social media of websites like Age of Autism are examples..

** they choose to not allow misinformation or advocacy for groups like disagree with.

I’ve never read Orac or any of his regulars try to “shut down” websites of anti-vaxxers or woo-meisters although they do ridicule them.. It is true that many of us support the decision of private social media companies to de-platform pseudo-science believers or conspiracy theorists using their outlets to post misinformation: they can get their own websites to broadcast dubious claims and research.

Questioning credentials is often unavoidable when people who never studied a given subject speak ex cathedra when their position is diametrically opposed to consensus science and accumulated data in that area of inquiry: they use their websites as advice or counselling to other even less informed readers. It is a public service to alert readers to misinformation and undue fear mongering about medical issues that are easily
disproven. Often, the perpetrators amplify their own qualifications by citing suspicious or bogus degrees or outright lying about their experience to convince readers to follow their
usually untrustworthy advice.

.

“It was pointed out that Ioannidis questioned the credentials of his critics, but poster on this site often question the credentials of anti vaxxers, whole body health people, etc. all the time.”

What you’re missing is that Orac and commenters focus on demolishing bad arguments and pseudoscience, rather than just questioning credentials. It’s a far different story in the world of woo and antivax, where personal attacks (often based on phony “shill” accusations) predominate.

Props for defending “whole body health people:” though. Too often we obsess about fixing stuff but neglect what’s really important. When you go to the ER with a ruptured appendix or visit a non-holistic orthopedist with an anterior cruciate ligament tear, do they first spend a couple hours questioning you about whole body health? Hardly ever. 🙁

@ Scott Allen

You write: “And this whooper (and not the sandwich kind)
“I am well aware of the eugenics movement in the US and how its founders are celebrated by liberals and yes I know that the Germans/Nazis actually copied them” WRONG; but does show how you want to label liberal as the bad guys’.
You were the one that posted that tidbit of information on the Nazis copying the US eugenics movement (as I was responding to your post) So is that how that works you post something then some one re-posts it and they you call them wrong, is that how you do research?

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
March 30, 2021 at 6:15 pm

By the way, you are probably aware that Nazi Germany based their first sterilization laws on ours, even some Americans from the Eugenics league visited and conferred with the Nazis.

Scott Allen
says:
March 30, 2021 at 10:08 pm

“am well aware of the eugenics movement in the US and how its founders are celebrated by liberals and yes I know that the Germans/Nazis actually copied them.”

Note it was YOU who claimed the eugenics movement was “celebrated by liberals”. WRONG WRONG WRONG; but as I wrote, I’m sure one can find someone seen as a liberal who did. As the old saying goes: “the exception proves the rule.”

You write: “Joel you insult anyone who disagrees with you ‘Nataile, Kim, Kay et al”. the list is long even though they have never insulted you or called you names. You frequently use insults in a vain attempt to bully opposition. You write such long posts and you even forget what you have posted.”

Let’s start with my “long posts”. You also write: “Most of you posts are hundreds of words and this last post was over 1,500 words. . . I believe that Brevity is the Soul of Wit.” AND: “congrats on the under 1500 word count but you negated it by using two posts.”

Your soul of wit would make it impossible to address point by point some of your comments; e.g., my refutation of your citing one article on masks in journal Medical Hypotheses

Joel A. Harrison
says:
April 11, 2021 at 6:54 pm
@ Scott Allen
PART 2
Journal Medical Hypotheses

However, talk about HYPOCRISY, you posted a comment with 3,459 Words, and made it almost impossible to follow because you didn’t both spacing, etc.

Scott Allen
says:
March 30, 2021 at 12:32 pm
at: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/03/26/disinformation-dozen-vs-public-health/#comment-442321

“Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift, Nr. 12, Dezember 2001, S. 8-11. . . “

Finally, yep, when over and over, as with you, commenters ignore what I write, i.e., don’t address, refuse to answer what they base their opinions on, e.g., basic knowledge of, for instance, immunology, etc. and post with such black and white certainty, attack papers I refer to without reading them while I try to read what they refer to, etc. So, not to “bully”; but to express my frustration and anger.

As I’ve written and you rejected, I have engaged in discussions over my lifetime with lots of people who disagreed with me; but in the discussions they actually addressed points I made and vice versa, and, actually in some cases I changed my mind or found a compromise position. And, if you noticed, when I have been wrong I have NO problem admitting it. And it is you who have attacked me, among other things that I claimed superior intelligence, denigrating my reading so much, basing my opinions on it whereas you base your comments on one or a few papers, even refusing to read a short opinion piece I wrote; but attacking it all the same.

I realize this is a waste of time; but just wanted to show your continued dishonesty, i.e., it was you who claimed eugenists were liberals, and your hypocrisy attacking length of my comments with a ridiculous “brevity is the soul of wit” which would disallow my point by point addressing what you write, etc. while you posted one of the longest comments of our exchange.

By the way, upon re-reading my exchanges with you, though you did attack me and my position on the Holocaust, I was WRONG in claiming you called me an anti-semite, though sometimes the way you word your comments makes it hard to not overreact. And, as for calling me a racist because I refuted an article in the Time of India, how absurd. I guess when I’ve refuted an article in the Washington Post, etc. that would make me what??? And the Times India may be a well-read newspaper; but so is The National Inquirer and Jacob Puliyel, an Indian pediatrician and anti-vaccinationists regularly has had articles published in the Times of India (which I could easily refute) and it is not considered in the U.S. as a newspaper of record: “A newspaper of record is a major newspaper with large circulation whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered authoritative.” Just another example of how you grasp at straws to attack me. So, as Francois de La Rochefoucauld wrote in the 17th Century: “l’hypocrisie dans l’hommage que le vice rend à la vertu”. English translation: “hypocrisy in the homage vice pays to virtue.”

@ EVERYONE

SCOTT ALLEN vs JOEL A HARRISON.

FOR ANYONE OPEN-MINDED WHO WANTS TO JUDGE FOR THEMSELVES WHO TRIED TO ACTUALLY ENGAGE IN A CIVIL DISCOURSE, ACTUALLY ADDRESS WHAT THE OTHER WROTE.

Basically he twists what I write, takes out of context, exaggerates (that is, makes things black and white when I give nuanced balanced positions), or plain simple makes things up, things I didn’t say or even hint at. I realize that this is just my word against his; but for anyone open-minded I simply ask you to follow two sets of exchanges I had with Scott. Judge for yourselves:

Orac (2021 Mar 26). The “Disinformation Dozen” vs. public health. Available at: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/03/26/disinformation-dozen-vs-public-health/#comment-442321
Orac (2021 Apr 5). WTF happened to John Ioannidis? Available at: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/04/05/wtf-happened-to-john-ioannidis/#comment-442785

Since both have quite a few comments, just use search function to find first with “Scott Allen”, read and scroll down to “Joel A. Harrison” then “Scott Allen” and so on.

Below is one example of Scott’s inability to enter into a civil dialogue. While I have tried to read every link in his comments, he has refused to read papers I list, even when I thought we actually may agree on something. What does that tell you about him?

As an example of Scott’s avoiding that we may agree on something and his rabid rejection of a short OpEd I wrote, without reading it, read the following exchange on ABORTION (Note. I am not asking nor expecting anyone to agree with my OpEd but simply to acknowledge that it was well-written, nuanced, and referenced. I often disagree with papers; but still acknowledge that they are well-written, etc. and learn how others see things. The world is complex and no one can possibly know/understand all the nuances, etc):

Scott Allen
says:
March 28, 2021 at 11:12 am

You then went on to bang on the Supreme court for past decision, I have not agreed with a few myself, the right to an abortion comes to mind and the justice who wrote the decision used the ‘right to privacy” (there are probably 5 or 6 other ways they could have held up the law that were more applicable). By using that tortured way they opened a pandoras box of other legal challenges based on ‘right to privacy’. But then you could check with Dorit on the better ways to get the “right to an abortion” approved.And just to be clear I think abortions should be legal.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
March 28, 2021 at 10:02 pm

As for abortion, something we may agree on. I actually wrote an OpEd on it. You might find it of interest: Joel A. Harrison (2020 Feb 24). Reader’s Editorial: Abortion is a 1st Amendment Issue. East County Magazine. Available at: https://www.eastcountymagazine.org/reader’s-editorial-abortion-1st-amendment-issue

However, I also agree with “The Right to Privacy”. One could start with the 3rd Amendment which prohibits housing of military in private homes; but if one doesn’t have privacy in ones home or over ones own body then what type of freedom do we have? The right to privacy and 14th Amendment apply to gays in their bedrooms, birth control, and more.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
March 31, 2021 at 11:21 am

Did you read my article on abortions? Since the one thing we seem to agree on, I thought you might find it of interest. If you read it, you would understand that I emphasize that abortion is a last resort for people who can’t afford decent health care, etc. As a nation the U.S. helps working class and poor people far less than many other nations. In Sweden, if a poor family has a child, top prenatal care, monthly check per child, quality state sponsored daycare so you can continue to work, even rent subsidies to move into larger apartment. France also has similar programs. So, no, I am not happy at how abortions carried out in U.S. and who gets them. As my article points out, we don’t have “choice”. If having a child means losing ones job, or leaving with potentially untrustworthy care, or substandard prenatal and postnatal, etc. not much of a choice. Read my article!

Scott Allen
says:
April 4, 2021 at 8:40 pm

“You frequently refer to abortion and cite numerous editorials and drivel you write, Why in the world would I care what you pontificated about abortion an on line newspaper, your straw person is silly. What does that even have to do with de-platforming people, other than to silence any opposition or to display your ‘brilliance’ (?) in op ed writing.”

So, without reading my OpEd, he calls it “drivel” and a “pontification.” I think this says it all about Scott. I would love for anyone who takes the time to actually read our exchanges to comment.

Now, it is obvious that Scott is playing leap frog, trying to get in the last word. It’s his word against mine, so in the future I will try not to respond to his comments; but repost this one and ask anyone with an open mind following our exchanges to read them and comment. And, by the way, I know I sometimes get things wrong, usually not completely; but in detail, so, please if you find such, let me know. And I don’t claim to always be right; but base my positions on considerable investigation, e.g., books, papers, attending seminars, documentaries; but always possible either missed something and/or new information, e.g., new research.

Last word, from the leap frog. by the way “frogger” was a great game.
You seem to try to beat a dead horse, but your insistence that I read your words of wisdom on the 1st amendment and abortion (I really really don’t care about abortion and I would bet most people don’t want to engage in any kind of discussion about abortion ) and as I have stated, I agree, if a woman wants an abortion she should get one. What you wrote in a blog is really a non argument and of no concern to me. I did note that you now fall back on the 3rd and the 14th as a justification for a woman right to choose and as I posted the Supreme’s could have crafted a better reason for abortion. So really what is your fascination with your op-ed piece in the “backwoods” blog. Your shotgun approach to an argument does make it difficult to respond in any meaningful way. And your ego ………

As I have no argument against anyone reading what I posted, read away, keep in mind, not once did I call Joel a fat head poopie pants or “STUPID STUPID STUPID” or “who gives a shit what you think’ or an “ASSHOLE” or “ASSHOLE ON STEROIDS” or worse.

So I guess I win because I got the last word, but I seriously doubt with your ego you will let it go at that.

@ Scott Allen

What you ignore, fail to realize, is that I explained before using cuss words why I was frustrated, angry at you and others, e.g., your failure to address/refute what I wrote, etc., so, I don’t regret what I called you. Suits you perfectly. And I would much prefer to be called an asshole, one person’s opinion of my personality, than a racist, something I have devoted energy and time during my life to oppose or your really stupid attacks on my devoting time and energy to a subject before forming an opinion. I guess just proves that your opinions based on bias and cherry-picking confirmation with at best a couple of papers, even some you fail to actually read carefully.

And you write: “So really what is your fascination with your op-ed piece in the “backwoods” blog. Your shotgun approach to an argument does make it difficult to respond in any meaningful way. And your ego ………”

I simply thought it was something that we might agree on, and, as usual, you twist it to sound negative. Not my ego; but just something to narrow the gap between us, to develop a more positive interaction, some common ground. You devote so much time and effort to finding one or two articles to attack whatever my position is, much more flexible and nuanced than yours and couldn’t find 10 minutes to read one OpEd by me; but instead attack it and attack me. And “backwoods” blog. I explained an award winning magazine, award winning editor, and has over 300,000 readers. You are SICK!

And you write: “What you wrote in a blog is really a non argument and of no concern to me. I did note that you now fall back on the 3rd and the 14th as a justification for a woman right to choose.”

The title of my OpEd is about the 1st Amendment. The fact that one can also back a right by more than one amendment once more proves your inability to see things other than black and white. “Fall back on?” I guess when someone, for instance, writes a legal brief, they should back it with only one set of precedents even if there are several??? Did you really go to law school? And my training and education taught me to build arguments based on all available research so when I have written papers they include number of lines of research. For instance, on vaccines, immunological studies, cell studies, animal studies, epidemiological studies of humans, etc. The world is complex, not simply black and white as you choose to see it.

I said I would try NOT to respond; but you are such despicable excuse for a human being, not once admitting any mistake, while I have several, and continuing to twist, distort, and just dishonestly respond to what I have written, that here it is.

@ Scott Allen

I’m sure you will have something to say about my latest comment, so, just to make clear, I didn’t say I wouldn’t comment, but wrote: “in the future I will try not to respond to his comments.”

And you write: “So I guess I win because I got the last word, but I seriously doubt with your ego you will let it go at that.”

First, getting the last word doesn’t prove anything, certainly not your winning; but more importantly, if it’s my “ego” that results in my responding, how do you explain your continuing to respond? The pot calling the kettle black.

And, just to be clear, you have problems with my giving several reasons for something, additional proof of your limited intelligence. I’d hate to have you on a jury. After one witness, you would probably be incapable of assimilating additional evidence. If you didn’t represent such a significant number of Americans who also lack the ability to formulate positions, to deal with multiple facts, and to engage in an intelligent civil dialogue I wouldn’t bother; but, though you claim to not be a Trump supporter, your mentality says the opposite.

@ Scott Allen

You write: “So I guess I win because I got the last word”

I guess, if you actually went to law school, that you didn’t learn that opposing sides in both civil and criminal cases give summations at end of trial, whether before jury or judge. Tell me, does the last summation given result in a verdict in favor? Or does, at least hopefully, the judge or jury actually consider all the evidence? Oops! I forgot that if you were the judge or on the jury that you have limited ability to absorb/consider more than one or, perhaps, two pieces of evidence.

And I now understand why it would have been worthless for you to attempt to read my OpEd since it contained several points, not a simple black and white paper. I always give the benefit of the doubt that others have abilities that some turn out to lack.

Joel, you are a really really great guy…… I bet my golf bud, that you would respond (I knew your ego), He said “no way ……… , I will buy you lunch and drinks, if I’m wrong.” So thanks, I will make a toast in your honor.

Oh and 300,000 readers, you do realize that is more readers then the Washington Post and almost as many readers of the LA Times.

And the prosecutor gets the first and the last (or final) closing argument, but with your extensive legal training you probably knew that.

@ Scott Allen

So, once again you miss the point I made, that is, you wrote that since you got the last word you won; but I simply pointed out that in trials who gets the last word doesn’t necessarily win, so thanks once again for proving your inability to address what I write or, perhaps, just one more example of your not really being interested in a civil dialogue; but just to irritate others. And what a stupid thing to say: “with your extensive legal training you probably knew that.” Almost any person I know would know that just from following news, watching TV shows, etc, not dependent on any legal education. The point was that you didn’t seem to know it despite claims of a legal eduction.

As for 300,000 readers, our local newspaper has over one million subscribers, and the point was that you wrote after I explained it was an award winning magazine with a award winning editor: “So really what is your fascination with your op-ed piece in the backwoods” blog.” You are incredibly DISHONEST.

As for my ego getting me to respond, I ask once again, why are you responding? The pot calling the kettle black.

You really are a sick very disturbed excuse for a human being.

I only hope that this exchange is being viewed by a lot of people, so that I am not the only one who sees you for what you are.

@ Scott Allen

You write: “Oh and 300,000 readers, you do realize that is more readers then the Washington Post and almost as many readers of the LA Times.”

I found on Washington Post website: 356,768 (Daily, 2015) 838,014 (Sunday, 2013) 1,000,000 (Digital, 2018) and the The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.3 million and 2 million on Sunday, more than 30 million unique latimes.com visitors monthly and a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4.6 million.

Just another example of just how worthless you are, don’t even bother to check your facts.

@ Charles Bronski

You write in response to Orac: “did i misread your posted article? I don’t want or call for the de-platforming of anyone, or support anyone who would support de-platforming people. Some of your readers imply that was what you and they wanted. I believe that if you try to bully or silence your opposition you actually make them stronger and much more difficult to combat their arguments.”

So, if a website advises people to treat COVID with ethylene glycol, it should be allowed to stand, even if people follow its recommendations and die? Where should we draw the line? As for combatting their arguments, only if people actually use critical thinking skills and do a search of the web for several different websites, not just ones recommended by the first. And, in addition, how should people judge? If, in regards to COVID, most people don’t even understand the basics of immunology, infectious diseases, and epidemiology, how can they judge which source to trust?

You provide an excellent example of this when you write: “I do find that our governments handling of Covid vaccine has been horrid, Pfizer and Modern have killed over 2,000 people ( really an insignificant number considering the number of people vaccinated) Yet our government has stopped/paused the J&J vaccination because 6 people developed blood clots (I would bet that more people developed blood clots from flying in airplanes today than that). I would bet that the government/news stories has done more to hurt the vaccine effort then all the anti-vaxxers combined, the whole issue of Covid has been a politicized from the get go, but that just my opinion.”

Where did you get “over 2,000 people.” I prefer when one posts comments they give the source. Let’s assume you got it from a website that got it from the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). VAERS is a passive reporting system. Anyone can easily access it; but there is a major problem, in Latin, Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc (after something, so must have caused). A simple example:

According to the CDC about 655,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, so daily about 1794 each and every day. Now imagine that a couple of them changed breakfast cereals and died, so must be the new cereal? Now multiply 1794 by, say, 10 days, results in 17,940 deaths. So, given the number of people who have received the vaccine and among the first groups were senior citizens and those with comorbidities, highly likely that a few would die from heart disease within 10 days of receiving the vaccine. And I am not including stroke, falls, other infections, etc. which would increase the number who died. So, what do people do when something horrendous happens? They try to remember events that occurred in proximity. Maybe it was the new cereal or, of course, the vaccine. Antivax websites focus on VAERS because it “confirms” their beliefs. I should mention that VAERS has had posts by Mickey Mouse, etc., by a parent claiming child broke arm, etc.

And I agree with you that the temporary stopping of Johnson & Johnson uncalled for, except as more and more people refuse the vaccine, unfortunately, our government has to bend over backwards to convince them that safety is being monitored. and taken seriously, though it already was. I doubt that the vaccine was responsible, as explained above. As for the Astra-Zeneca, same thing. However, what happens if it is discovered that AZ vaccine was responsible for, say, 1 case out of one million. Well, if enough of the other vaccines are available, fine; but if not, the risk from the actual disease is far far greater than from the vaccine. If I had NOT already received the Moderna vaccine, I would NOT hesitate to get either of the two. And I am an extremely cautious person and 75.

VAERS

There is a gross misconception on how VAERS works and ignoring that it is just one of several surveillance systems. Briefly, VAERS is an underreported system, though studies have found that serious
adverse reactions are reported at higher rates (e.g., Rosenthal, 1995). The CDC has teams who monitor VAERS. If there are even a small number of a serious adverse event reported, they investigate. “Although underreporting
is a limitation, VAERS is capable of detecting possible safety problems through disproportionality analyses and other methods (Shimabukuro, 2015).” According to Moro: “Signal detection/hypothesis generation . . . Detect new, unusual, or rare adverse events (Moro, 2015, page 17).
The vast majority of the VAERS reports are for minor adverse events, short-lived fever, sore arm, etc (VAERS, 2017). The Vaccine Safety Datalink is a “real-time” link to several large HMOs with membership topping 2 million. Every vaccine, including lot number, child or adults age, gender, comorbidities, and medical problems following vaccinations are available. And there are other projects, e.g., the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project (CDC, 2018). Plus, the UK, Sweden, and most other advanced nations have their own vaccine monitoring systems and the WHO collects all of them.

The bottom line is the “more than 2,000 deaths” you write was NOT confirmed by further investigation. While I don’t blame you, just citing what you read, I hope that my explanation above will change how you read and react to medical information. One can always hope.

You writes: “Would you approve of the web host (world press) of this site shutting RI down because of a belief or public pressure, if misinformation were a reason to shut down websites, there wouldn’t be much on the web, look at face book, how many people exaggerate what they post or out right lie, if face book did that it would be out of business tomorrow. All i am saying is that shut downs can work both ways.”

Actually, if you have been following the news, Facebook has blocked a number of accounts. You do remember the storming of the Congress on January 6 or the attempted kidnapping of Michigan’s governor and they have also blocked some accounts with outrageous unscientific claims about vaccines and treatments or how about Russia’s attempt to influence our elections?. However, unfortunately, such people and groups can get around this and, to some extent, you are right in that people might think the government is being dishonest, which it often is. Unfortunately, too many people too easily believe what they read on social media, again without doubling down and doing further searches.

However, the way to deal with this is to teach people critical thinking, teach them to NOT rely on one or two sources. Teach them how vaccine approval by the FDA is regulated at a much higher standard than other pharmaceuticals and medical devices, including requiring much larger study size groups, onsite manufacturing visits, and much much more post-market surveillance. And how do we do this? For instance, local newspapers could devote on page per week to examples and rules. And our schools need to do a much better job. Some studies have found that over 70% of Americans don’t understand even the basics of science or critical thinking.

As I’ve written before, I was a volunteer in Moderna’s Covid Vaccine trial. Before volunteering I got out my molecular biology textbooks and carefully reviewed mRNA. I then did a search of Google Scholar and PubMed for any and all mRNA projects, downloaded, and read several dozen papers. At 75 I wasn’t going to take any chances. After my research I gladly volunteered. And I used to be a whole blood donor; but now donate every four week convalescent plasma, that is plasma that has COVID antibodies and can be used with hospitalized Covid patients. Blood bank notified me that I have a HIGH Covid antibody titre.

References

CDC (2018 Oct 19). Vaccine Safety Publications. [check out Vaccine Adverse Events System, Vaccine Safety Datalink, Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project and CDC Vaccine Safety Publications by Year]. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/research/publications/index.html

Moro PL (2015 Oct 15). Signal detection and signal strengthening in CDC’s vaccine safety monitoring systems. CDC Vaccine Safety/VAERS Webinar. Available at: https://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/immunizations/pdf/vaerscisa101515.pdf

Rosenthal S, Chen R (1995 Dec). The Reporting Sensitivities of Two Passive Surveillance Systems for Vaccine Adverse Events. American Journal of Public Health; 85: 1706-1709. Available at:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1615747/pdf/amjph00450-0108…

Shimabukuro TT, Nguyen M, Martin D, DeStefano F (2015 Aug 26). Safety monitoring in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Vaccine; 33(36): 4398-4405. Available at:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632204/

WHO (2013 Mar). CAUSALITY ASSESSMENT OF AN ADVERSE EVENT FOLLOWING IMMUNIZATION (AEFI). Available at: https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/publications/aevi_manual.pdf?ua51

WHO (2018 Jan). CAUSALITY ASSESSMENT OF AN ADVERSE EVENT FOLLOWING IMMUNIZATION (AEFI) Second Edition. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/259959/9789241513654-en

Joel you are my best buddy now. we just finished the best Mahi-mahi and two long islands on someone else’s tab because, you are you, highly predictable and an ego that won’t stop.

I am some what surprised that you would cite figures from 2015 in your Washington Post evidence, 6 year old information (really) (I have been told that the Washington Post is not a first source for information, I don’t remember exactly who said that …..) but here is the latest subscription for the leading newspapers in the US. Washington Post only has 214,000 PAID subscribers and the LA Times Only has 410,000 PAID subscribers.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/184682/us-daily-newspapers-by-circulation/

I respond because of bets made on your posts, you are like the jute boxes of our youth, you could drop a quarter and you could get 6 songs. With you its I post 100 words and watch Joel respond with 3,000 words, impeccable logic (according to you) and a few school yard vulgarities to top it off.

Thanks again.

@ Scott Allen

Then East County Magazine has 0 subscribers because people read it free online; however, they have advertisers and donators. Much more costly to print and distribute a daily paper. In fact, I have only an electronic subscription to my hometown paper, both cheaper and less recycling. And I sometimes read Washington Post and LA Times online. Both allow limited access; however, my local public library has both and I can simply go online, enter my account number, and read them at my leisure. However, you posted stats on paid subscriptions; but I cut and pasted directly from LA Times: “The Los Angeles Times is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country, with a daily readership of 1.3 million and 2 million on Sunday, more than 30 million unique latimes.com visitors monthly and a combined print and online local weekly audience of 4.6 million.” So, guess you are wrong once more. Readership of LA Times vs East County Magazine, not paid subscriptions. I’m too tired to look up Washington Post again.

@ Scott Allen

You write: “Joel you are my best buddy now. we just finished the best Mahi-mahi and two long islands on someone else’s tab because, you are you, highly predictable and an ego that won’t stop. . . . I respond because of bets made on your posts, you are like the jute boxes of our youth, you could drop a quarter and you could get 6 songs. With you its I post 100 words and watch Joel respond with 3,000 words, impeccable logic (according to you) and a few school yard vulgarities to top it off. Thanks again.”
Thank you. It is absolutely clear that, on the whole, you are posting comments for your own amusement, not caring who you upset. While I post comments because people are dying, suffering, and, at least some could be avoided. As I wrote and you rejected, I grew up knowing many Holocaust survivors, made me perhaps oversensitive. I remember crying watching news clips of children, either dead or with bloated bellies during the Biafran War, while at University of Hawaii, met several refugees from Indonesia after U.S. government arranged a coup. which resulted in the slaughter of over 1 million people. Life is short and painful under the best of circumstances. We see people we care about suffer and die, some even young, e.g., a friend, just accepted to law school, two weeks from graduation at UH and a drunk driver crossed the medium and killed him. Another friend, only 53 died of a heart attack, not obese, not a smoker. Another long time friend got up to make coffee for wife, she heard a crash, he died of an aneurism, again, not a smoker, not obese, and I moved home when my mother was diagnosed with cancer and took care of her, holding her hand while she took her last breath. And my oldest and closest childhood friend died exactly 63 years from month we met in 5th grade after suffering almost five years with myasthenia gravis and I have had several friends who developed multiple sclerosis. Yet, what do many people do, hate, racist, antisemites, islamophobes, vote against any programs to help others, and, in more and more cases practice and/or threaten direct violence. And people like you who amuse themselves at others expense.

Yep, somewhat my ego. Feels good to be an old man, probably not around much longer, to submit comments that clearly for anyone open-minded show you up for what you are; but on topics that I consider important, again where human life and well-being are involved as opposed to you who just comment for amusement. Thank you for making it absolutely clear what a SICKO you are.

p.s. I’ve asked some people to read our exchanges and give me their honest opinions. They promised to do so and they were just as angry at your comments as I and said in any legitimate forum you wouldn’t even come close. Doesn’t mean I’m claiming to be of superior intelligence, just much more honest and scholarly by far than you.

And, again, I don’t believe you when you claim not to be a Trump supporter because, having read his nieces biography of him and watched him, he too gets his jollies hurting other people. Birds of a feather.

You know? That pig Chavin stayed on the man until he was sure he was dead (they have been doing this since at least the late ’80s). What I really wish would have been highlighted was how he was playing pocket pool with himself while he was doing the murdering.

Again with the human shields, to defend you from well researched and link posted sites.

You are too tired to click on the link to the research on readership, you quote posts from a news (or any other business website) is self serving on their part. I posted the link to an unbiased fact website and yet you return to the latimes website, that is not original research,as you claim you always do.

If as you say their are 300,000 readers of the backwoods website please post the google analytic report (someone who is as well connected to that site as you claim, should easily obtain the information), otherwise you are just making up facts. You self cite article you have written (something the Orac has ridiculed in this very topic of Ioannidis’s credibility) yet you continue to post those.

I am sorry you are old but I would bet I am older than you., I was born in 48 do the math, I served in Viet Nam (when you were state side and other ‘dirt head’ friends of yours were calling us “baby killers”), you frequently refer to your Jewish heritage, well good for you (did you have a choice in the matter?) I am 1/4 Puerto Rican, and have a little Jewish blood in my background. But does it really matter to the discussion?

Quit trying to gain sympathy with your sad tales of woe. You are a sick and egotistic person using the plight of others to advance you position. You parade the down trodden when you think it will help you and just as quickly discard them when their usefulness to you has ended.

Please cite those people or at least copy and paste what they wrote, who are angry with me and are you sure they are not just placating you. Yes you are a scholar and educated, and I am not worthy of you or your posts and now you claim that this is not a “legitimate forum” well ……… why do you post stuff here, vanity or ego, there is no third option.

You actually always cite journos, almost never research papers. If you do latter, you either not understand them all or flatly lie.
You seem to not understand that someone can criticize your links. Perhaps journo has it wrong, even when he supports solid republican points.
Basic problem with lock downs is, of course, that they damage business. If somebody admitted it, I would be OK with that. But instead, we have conspiracy theories all kinds of false claims.

@ Scott Allen

You write: “you quote posts from a news (or any other business website) is self serving on their part. . . . I posted the link to an unbiased fact website and yet you return to the latimes website, that is not original research,as you claim you always do.”.

Yep, you are right, my bad. Once more, something you are incapable of, I readily admit when I’m wrong. But, I am only human, so a few slips up not even close to proof of how I do things, as my list of papers given in various comments shows and even more so if you were to take the time to read some of my papers and OpEds, even the two on Science-Based Medicine.

According to AWStats (available at: https://www.awstats.org , see also Wikipedia. AWStats ), East County Magazine has averages 12 million hits a month and an average of  over 500,000  visitors a month. I don’t have access to Google Analytic Report; but sent e-mail to a couple of people who may.

However, the main point is that you attacked an OpEd I wrote without bothering to read it, attacking the magazine that posted it, e.g. “backwoods website” and worse. And you write you are OK with my reading papers you linked to. Yikes! I guess in your world you expect people to just agree with you without even a minimum of investigation. The point I made was that I actually read almost everything you referenced, which is how I determined just how you cherry pick, that is only things that support you and that even some of the papers you referred to gave far more nuanced positions that you either ignored or probably just used the paper after seeing something that supported you. And I explained quite clearly that, as opposed to you, I attempt to understand, to read, others positions and address them. In other words, you display a total lack of critical thinking and refusal to enter into a civil dialogue where the goal is for each party to grow. And, I have bookmarked a number of right-wing, left-wing, and in-between blogs/newspapers/magazines and sometimes learn something from each. Some trailblazing medical research, as an example, was rejected by several mainstream journals and eventually published by a little known one, only later to be acknowledged. So, even if you linked to some obscure site, I read it.

You write: “You self cite article you have written (something the Orac has ridiculed in this very topic of Ioannidis’s credibility) yet you continue to post those.”

Are you nuts! Orac has NEVER criticized any of my OpEds and/or articles. In fact, on his other website, Science-Based Medicine, they posted two of my articles and I have outlines for several more that I am confident they will post. Get back on your meds!

You write: “am sorry you are old but I would bet I am older than you., I was born in 48 do the math”

WRONG! I was born January 1947, so you do the math!

You write: “I served in Viet Nam (when you were state side and other ‘dirt head’ friends of yours were calling us “baby killers”)”

Once more “facts not in evidence.” Yep, without knowing any of my friends, you call the “dirt heads”. Typical. However, one of my roommates led draft card burnings and FBI came to our house; but neither I nor any friend, as far as I know, ever called those who served in Vietnam “baby killers”. However, we would we meet troops on leave from Vietnam, show them around Honolulu and, yes, tell them the history of Vietnam and, not me, but some of my colleagues offered to help them get to Canada. However, numerous studies have uncovered that, at least some GIs, created fake kill counts by massacring innocent villages and rapes were quite frequent. My Lai was not the exception. Early on I simply went to university library and read a couple of histories on Vietnam (yep, attack me for reading too much) and discovered that many of their celebrations/holidays were about defeating Chinese attempts to conquer them. In fact, Ho Chi Minh was once imprisoned in China by Mao and feared for his life. And, at the same time the U.S. was pushing the Domino Theory, we were praising Tito’s independent communist nation. So, young Americans who served in Vietnam couldn’t be expected to know that our government had lied to them and as long as they followed the rules of war, I didn’t and don’t blame them. You really are SICK, just imagine things and then attack people.
News plays up demonstrations, so, of course, demonstrators yelling horrible things; but didn’t cover the many who opposed the War in other ways. And, by the way, during WWII if allied pilots crashed near Ho Chi Minh, they were rescued, taken well care of, and smuggled back to allies; but if they crashed near Vietnam puppet government, interned and abused during war. Pilots have testified to how well they were treated by Ho Chi Minh and his 1946 independence speech began with: “We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . He created a coalition government with communists, catholics, etc. He was an admirer of Thomas Jeffersson. In fact, he was far more a nationalist than a communist. So, what did we do? France wanted their colony back and we helped with weapons, etc. Then when France was defeated at Peace Conference we agreed to free elections; but ignored this and set up a government run by someone who had collaborated with the Japanese. Had we supported an independent Vietnam, millions of lives, 100s of billions of dollars would have been saved; and, now, we have a trade agreement with Vietnam. We are NOT the moral leaders of the world and not defenders of democracies.

As for me, as I wrote earlier, I did two years of ROTC and had I continued would have been an officer during Vietnam War. However, starting in my Junior year, no longer in ROTC, I started my reading on Vietnam. As an undergraduate PoliSci major had a course in International Relations. The more I learned, not just about Vietnam, the more I discovered just how dishonest our government was. Many of our wars were to benefit American corporations or the Military-Industrial complex; i.e., weapons when used have to be replaced. I could give you a list of credible articles and books; but I know you won’t check them out.

In any case, I applied for grad school in Canada and was accepted. While in Canada I received notice to come in for draft physical. I was sure I would fail because of my eyes, so I drove down to Chicago, took physical, returned to Canada, yep, failed; but had I passed I would have stayed in Canada. Fortunately, this allowed me to visit my family.

And now you served in Vietnam and Iraq. I can’t wait for additional, e.g., invasion of Grenada, Panama, etc. Did you win any medals? Bronze star, etc.??? During World War II many Germans, who were not Nazis nor Nazi supporters, served nobly in their military. Serving in military doesn’t give one more authority on politics and doesn’t testify to ones overall morality. In fact, if you watch the Frontline “American Insurrection” a number of current and former military subscribe to overthrowing our government. TImothy McVeigh was former military.

You write: “you frequently refer to your Jewish heritage, well good for you (did you have a choice in the matter?) . . .But does it really matter to the discussion?”

Again, you ignore the context. I explained how early on I learned about the Holocaust and have had nightmares most of my life, Early on I began to read on the Holocaust, to ask my parents friends, each a sole survivor of an extended family. Then in Sweden I was literally adopted by several Jewish families who I met at synagogue. Gothenburg had around 2,000 Jews, mainly Holocaust survivors. Then I spent six months in Israel. So, all in all I have known around 50 Holocaust survivors and knew quite well around 20. And I have read dozens of books, 100s of papers, attended seminars, seen most documentaries, sometimes more than once. So when you based your analysis of the Holocaust on one paper written by an over 30 years lawyer and strong supporter of the NRA, I explained all the above, which you discounted, after all, if you cherry picked one paper then that was all that was needed. You pushed that had the Jews of Europe owned guns the Holocaust would not have occurred. Basically you insulted/denigrated the memory of the victims. Maybe not all; but guns could have been had, even in Nazi Germany, just as we have gun laws in the U.S.; but doesn’t stop many from getting outlawed weapons. So, basically, whether you have Jewish blood or not, I doubt you have had a single nightmare regarding the Holocaust nor known any survivors, maybe slightly; but not even close to my experiences. I even shook hands with 2nd in command of Warsaw Ghetto uprising. But one cherry picked article and you go on the attack. So, again, you ignore context just to belittle me and in my opinion you insult/denigrate the memory of Holocaust victims. In this you really went over the line. You are truly despicable.

I just watched a great documentary on PBS Frontline “American Insurrection”. Just as you give a clear impression that you think like Trump who likes to hurt people, I think you might well be sympathizer with the groups portrayed in the documentary. And, again, as opposed to you, I don’t claim any certainty, just a suspicion.

You write: “Quit trying to gain sympathy with your sad tales of woe. You are a sick and egotistic person using the plight of others to advance you position. You parade the down trodden when you think it will help you and just as quickly discard them when their usefulness to you has ended.”

Again, you ignore the point I was making, that is, life is short and everyone sees friends and loved ones suffer and die and it will be their turn, so why don’t people try to make things better rather than hate. How is feeling both sympathy and empathy a negative in your opinion? And where did I write that I “discarded them.” Once more “Facts not in evidence”; but maybe a projection of how you have treated people. Trump is known to have turned on people who have been lifetime supporters just for disagreeing on one thing. Your hero??? As I wrote some time ago, when friends or even neighbors were sick or injured I did shopping for them, etc. When friends, single mothers needed a break I would baby sit their kids, I have worked soup kitchens, and have been a regular blood donor and NO doesn’t make me a great person. Friends and acquaintances who joined the Peace Corps or Job Corps, those are my heroes. And, something Jews are great at, guilt, I feel guilty that I have done so little for my fellow man. I like a saying of Rabbi Hillel, just a bit before Jesus: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me; but if I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when? Or he also said: “Don’t do unto others what you wouldn’t want them to do unto you? Jesus just changed it a bit to: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.? Yep, I have read the entire new testament. And believe that if I had lived in Palestine at time of Jesus, would have been a follower, not for promise of afterlife; but because what he taught and was a roll model for.

So, you attack what I write without reading it. You lack critical thinking skills, that is, looking at various points and addressing them, attacking me because I do. You ignore the context why I explained my being Jewish resulted in a lifelong study of the Holocaust. And you twist what I said about how we suffer. Oh, by the way, I did cleaning and shopping for my friend with myasthenia gravis and am devastated that he passed as I would have been more than happy to continue for years. Oh, he was the Libertarian I mentioned long ago.

I don’t have access to Google Analytic Report; but sent e-mail to a couple of people who may.

Are you two arguing about here? Similarweb reports 135,710 visits in March. Take it for what it’s worth.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
April 12, 2021 at 1:59 pm

“You do understand “could” and “potentially” are NOT certainties”

But you freely admit to believing the climate models which predict rising sea, flood, droughts, dogs and cats living together etc. and they use those very words. Cognitive Dissonance.

“I won’t bother listing studies in other nations where combination of masks, etc. resulted in far fewer deaths from COVID or studies where initial high death rates were brought down with similar measures.”

feel free to post those studies, I actually read your science links but not your editorials. But please show studies published after November

here is a link to a website, which has a break down of states, listing covid infection, and graphs of each state when lock downs and face masks were mandatory and the death rate for each state. Mandatory masks and lock downs didn’t have much effect/affect on the final numbers. (but then again 2500 people could die in Wyoming right after I post this).

https://coronavirusbellcurve.com

“If the psychiatrist says more words than the patient, then the psychiatrist is the patient.”

“If the psychiatrist says more words than the patient, then the psychiatrist is the patient.”

The apparent source of this banality is <a href=https://thelastpsychiatrist.com/2006/11/post_2.html”>here.

I’m particularly fond of this bit:

You couldn’t tell they were bipolar before you learned their family history?

Yes, psychiatry manifest as telepathy. Christ, my shrink and I would talk baseball. Something tells me that German psychiatry is a touch different from how it is here.

@ Scott Allen

ONE MORE POINT about your writing: “You write: “You self cite article you have written (something the Orac has ridiculed in this very topic of Ioannidis’s credibility) yet you continue to post those.”

Orac often links in his articles to previous articles by him. Articles in peer-reviewed medical journals often include their previous research. Books by historians often include their previous writings. What planet are you on? Attacking me for referring to something I wrote, attacking it, attacking its forum; but not bothering to read it. YOU ARE A SICK DESPICABLE AND IGNORANT PERSON!

@ Scott Allen

You write: ““You do understand “could” and “potentially” are NOT certainties” But you freely admit to believing the climate models which predict rising sea, flood, droughts, dogs and cats living together etc. and they use those very words. Cognitive Dissonance.”

“Dogs and cats living together.” Are you NUTS? What does that have to do with climate models? And, yes, based on reading almost every article in Scientific American since mid 1980s, articles in Nature and Science Magazines, each and every International Panel on Climate Change report, half dozen books, attended seminars, and watched most documentaries, yep, I believe our climate is changing and we are responsible. 100%. Nope, no matter how good the science and climate change science is excellent, other unknown, unanticipated variables could intervene; but, for example:

there are different isotopes of carbon dioxide and they can actually measure them in belt above Earth. One of the isotopes definitely comes from burning of fossil fuels. And measurements of CO2 in atmosphere over past 70 years parallels increase in our use of fossil fuels. The oceans of world absorb excess CO2 from atmosphere; but they can’t absorb much more and have become more acidic, killing off phytoplankton, main source of oxygen in world. White ice repels solar heat, called albedo; but ice in arctic has melted and become blue water, thus absorbing more heat. Permafrost, above arctic circle, has melted and CO2 and methane, a gas with 30 – 40 times the heat trapping of CO2 is being released. And back to oceans, methane hydrate, frozen methane in seabed is melting and one can actually go off coast of Santa Barbara see bubbles and light it.

The above and more is based on literally thousands of studies over decades and overall consensus of experts, literally thousands, is climate change is real.

While you posted one article which contained “could” and “potentially” and equate that with thousands of scientific papers. Just one more example of your total lack of understanding of science. As I’ve explained multiple times, science seldom if ever bases itself on one or two studies, regardless of how well done. While antivaccinationists come up with, perhaps, one or two poorly done studies at best, there have been over 17 just looking at MMR vaccine and autism, conducted in different nations, by different researchers, on different populations, with different study designs, etc. And the number of peer-reviewed medical journal articles on vaccines and safety number over 1,000. And, as opposed to you, while the overwhelming evidence is MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism, I am always open to new studies that, for instance, could find some link with certain genetic predispositions or intake of certain toxins. Highly unlikely; but if future well-done research should find such, then I would have NO problem accepting it. Such a finding wouldn’t negate previous research, just qualify it, slightly reduce who applies to.

As for international studies after November? OK:

Bragazzi et al. (2021 Mar 9). Effectiveness of community face mask use on COVID 19 epidemiological trends and patterns in Italy evidence from a translational study. Infectious Diseases; 53(4): 252-254.

Hoertel et al. (2021 Jan 28). Impact of the timing and adherence to face mask use on the course of the COVID-19 epidemic in France. Journal of Travel Medicine.

Howard et al. (2021 Jan 26). An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. PNAS; 118(4).

Pedersen & Meneghini (2021 Feb 25). Data driven estimation of change points reveals correlation between face mask use and accelerated curtailing of the first wave of the COVID 19. Infectious Diseases; 53(4)P 243-251.

Tabatabaeizadeh (2021 Jan 2). Airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the role of face mask to prevent it – a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Medical Research; 26(1).

Note. I have a few more and a half dozen up-to-date studies of masks and COVID in U.S. I realize that you really aren’t interested in science, just want to irritate me and get me to do extra work; but as I wrote earlier, I am planning some articles on COVID and would have had to increase recent articles anyway.

So you write: “here is a link to a website, which has a break down of states, listing covid infection, and graphs of each state when lock downs and face masks were mandatory and the death rate for each state. Mandatory masks and lock downs didn’t have much effect/affect on the final numbers. (but then again 2500 people could die in Wyoming right after I post this).”

You link to a website entitled: Corona Bell Curve. I searched the web and couldn’t find who is responsible for it. I should point out that I can find various stats on COVID on many websites, including antivax ones, so how do I know this one is legit. And it gives COVID-19 Vaccine Deaths . . . Numbers only count deaths reported to VAERS . . . Vaccine Deaths by Vaccine Type.

I already wrote about VAERS above; but here goes again (it is not a valid stat. Think of a suspect in a crime. Doesn’t mean they are guilty. Further investigation required. Same with VAERS) Keep in mind that a mask mandate provides only some information. There are also studies that look at actual usage. We have laws against driving under the influence, doesn’t mean some people don’t ignore:

There is a gross misconception on how VAERS works and ignoring that it is just one of several surveillance systems. Briefly, VAERS is an underreported system, though studies have found that serious adverse reactions are reported at higher rates (e.g., Rosenthal, 1995). The CDC has teams who monitor VAERS. If there are even a small number of a serious adverse event reported, they investigate. “Although underreporting
is a limitation, VAERS is capable of detecting possible safety problems through disproportionality analyses and other methods (Shimabukuro, 2015).” According to Moro: “Signal detection/hypothesis generation . . . Detect new, unusual, or rare adverse events (Moro, 2015, page 17). The vast majority of the VAERS reports are for minor adverse events, short-lived fever, sore arm, etc (VAERS, 2017). The Vaccine Safety Datalink is a “real-time” link to several large HMOs with membership topping 2 million. Every vaccine, including lot number, child or adults age, gender, comorbidities, and medical problems following vaccinations are available. And there are other projects, e.g., the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project (CDC, 2018). Plus, the UK, Sweden, and most other advanced nations have their own vaccine monitoring systems and the WHO collects all of them.

But just to counter your link, some additional up-to-date studies for just United States (Note. once more typical of you that you find a website, a paper that confirms your belief and stop there):

Guy et al. (2021 Mar 12). Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020 – MMWR; 70(10).

Joo et al. (2021 Feb 12). Decline in COVID-19 Hospitalization Growth Rates Associated with Statewide Mask Mandates — 10 States, March–October 2020 – MMWR; 70(6).

And an interesting analysis of Trump’s initial approach to masks and deaths:

Hahn (2021). Estimating the COVID-Related Deaths Attributable to President Trump’s Early Pronouncements About Masks. International Journal of Health Services; 51(1): 14-17.

So, you don’t understand or don’t want to understand the difference between a science based on over 40 years research and thousands of studies and one paper. Wow! And I doubt anything will change your mind/approach. So, above I gave a number of up-to-date international studies and pointed out that the one set of stats you link to includes one major flaw, e.g., relying on VAERS and I couldn’t find anything about who is responsible for it, could be a covid denier. If you want up-to-date stats on covid you can always go to CDC website directly. But, of course, if it confirms what you choose to believe, then, in your mind, it is valid.

Oh, one last point. I actually own Leon Festinger’s book “A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance” It was one of textbooks in my Masters program in Social Psychology at Carleton University, 1968-1970. I would bet I understand the concept much better than you.

@ Scott Allen

You write: “With you its I post 100 words and watch Joel respond with 3,000 words AND “If the psychiatrist says more words than the patient, then the psychiatrist is the patient.”

In high school we were required to write term papers with minimum of 1,000 words and essay questions of exams required minimum of 250 words. Yep, if someone just wants to put out their belief without any underlying discussion, 100 words may suffice; but my goal is to actually document my thinking. And in college essays on exams could require 1,000 words and term papers, 2,500 or more. Oops! I forgot, thinking isn’t your strong point.

You have several times predicted that “my ego” will result in me replying. Yep! This blog and her sister blog, Science-Based Medicine has goal to emphasize science and critical thinking. On this blog Orac finds articles on other blogs, newspapers, etc and addresses/refutes them point by point with science and logic and often links to his previous articles, other journal articles, and even other blogs. And some of his papers are way more than 2,500 words. Just because something is on a blog doesn’t mean it is substandard. Many top scientists, etc. maintain their own blogs. So, I may not be in Orac’s league; but I try to do the same. When you attack me; e.g., outright lie, twist, distort, take out of context, and just plain make up things I said, it not only angers me; but, if people monitoring this blog only read it, may lead to them not actually reading what I write. So, yep, I respond.

I have asked you umpteen times why you continue to respond; but as with almost everything else, you ignore. You do understand that ego means: The first person singular nominative case personal pronoun in Modern English or Self-Concept, a collection of beliefs about oneself that embodies the answer to “Who am I?” So, unless you are a droid, your ego is as pronounced as anyones. So, why do you keep posting? As I’ve written before, probably because you are an extremely unhappy person and get your jollies baiting and hurting other people, like Donald Trump. Seldom have you actually posted a comment that adds anything of scientific or critical thinking value to ongoing exchanges.

While I repeat that I do not believe I am more intelligent that many others, I use my intelligence to actually investigate subjects, look at several sides, address them, etc. So, I don’t know what your innate intelligence is in relationship to mine; but it is clear whatever it is, you don’t really use it, not even close, unless one considers posting stupidly just for amusement at others expense.

@ Scott Allen

You write: ““You do understand “could” and “potentially” are NOT certainties” But you freely admit to believing the climate models which predict rising sea, flood, droughts, dogs and cats living together etc. and they use those very words. Cognitive Dissonance.”

“Dogs and cats living together.” Are you NUTS? What does that have to do with climate models? And, yes, based on reading almost every article in Scientific American since mid 1980s, articles in Nature and Science Magazines, each and every International Panel on Climate Change report, half dozen books, attended seminars, and watched most documentaries, yep, I believe our climate is changing and we are responsible. 100%. Nope, no matter how good the science and climate change science is excellent, other unknown, unanticipated variables could intervene; but, for example:

there are different isotopes of carbon dioxide and they can actually measure them in belt above Earth. One of the isotopes definitely comes from burning of fossil fuels. And measurements of CO2 in atmosphere over past 70 years parallels increase in our use of fossil fuels. The oceans of world absorb excess CO2 from atmosphere; but they can’t absorb much more and have become more acidic, killing off phytoplankton, main source of oxygen in world. White ice repels solar heat, called albedo; but ice in arctic has melted and become blue water, thus absorbing more heat. Permafrost, above arctic circle, has melted and CO2 and methane, a gas with 30 – 40 times the heat trapping of CO2 is being released. And back to oceans, methane hydrate, frozen methane in seabed is melting and one can actually go off coast of Santa Barbara see bubbles and light it.

The above and more is based on literally thousands of studies over decades and overall consensus of experts, literally thousands, is climate change is real.

While you posted one article which contained “could” and “potentially” and equate that with thousands of scientific papers. Just one more example of your total lack of understanding of science. As I’ve explained multiple times, science seldom if ever bases itself on one or two studies, regardless of how well done. While antivaccinationists come up with, perhaps, one or two poorly done studies at best, there have been over 17 just looking at MMR vaccine and autism, conducted in different nations, by different researchers, on different populations, with different study designs, etc. And the number of peer-reviewed medical journal articles on vaccines and safety number over 1,000. And, as opposed to you, while the overwhelming evidence is MMR vaccine doesn’t cause autism, I am always open to new studies that, for instance, could find some link with certain genetic predispositions or intake of certain toxins. Highly unlikely; but if future well-done research should find such, then I would have NO problem accepting it. Such a finding wouldn’t negate previous research, just qualify it, slightly reduce who applies to.

As for international studies after November? OK:

Bragazzi et al. (2021 Mar 9). Effectiveness of community face mask use on COVID 19 epidemiological trends and patterns in Italy evidence from a translational study. Infectious Diseases; 53(4): 252-254.

Hoertel et al. (2021 Jan 28). Impact of the timing and adherence to face mask use on the course of the COVID-19 epidemic in France. Journal of Travel Medicine.

Howard et al. (2021 Jan 26). An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. PNAS; 118(4).

Pedersen & Meneghini (2021 Feb 25). Data driven estimation of change points reveals correlation between face mask use and accelerated curtailing of the first wave of the COVID 19. Infectious Diseases; 53(4)P 243-251.

Tabatabaeizadeh (2021 Jan 2). Airborne transmission of COVID-19 and the role of face mask to prevent it – a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Medical Research; 26(1).

Note. I have a few more and a half dozen up-to-date studies of masks and COVID in U.S. I realize that you really aren’t interested in science, just want to irritate me and get me to do extra work; but as I wrote earlier, I am planning some articles on COVID and would have had to increase recent articles anyway.

So you write: “here is a link to a website, which has a break down of states, listing covid infection, and graphs of each state when lock downs and face masks were mandatory and the death rate for each state. Mandatory masks and lock downs didn’t have much effect/affect on the final numbers. (but then again 2500 people could die in Wyoming right after I post this).”

You link to a website entitled: Corona Bell Curve. I searched the web and couldn’t find who is responsible for it. I should point out that I can find various stats on COVID on many websites, including antivax ones, so how do I know this one is legit. And it gives COVID-19 Vaccine Deaths . . . Numbers only count deaths reported to VAERS . . . Vaccine Deaths by Vaccine Type.

I already wrote about VAERS above; but here goes again (it is not a valid stat. Think of a suspect in a crime. Doesn’t mean they are guilty. Further investigation required. Same with VAERS) Keep in mind that a mask mandate provides only some information. There are also studies that look at actual usage. We have laws against driving under the influence, doesn’t mean some people don’t ignore:

There is a gross misconception on how VAERS works and ignoring that it is just one of several surveillance systems. Briefly, VAERS is an underreported system, though studies have found that serious adverse reactions are reported at higher rates (e.g., Rosenthal, 1995). The CDC has teams who monitor VAERS. If there are even a small number of a serious adverse event reported, they investigate. “Although underreporting
is a limitation, VAERS is capable of detecting possible safety problems through disproportionality analyses and other methods (Shimabukuro, 2015).” According to Moro: “Signal detection/hypothesis generation . . . Detect new, unusual, or rare adverse events (Moro, 2015, page 17). The vast majority of the VAERS reports are for minor adverse events, short-lived fever, sore arm, etc (VAERS, 2017). The Vaccine Safety Datalink is a “real-time” link to several large HMOs with membership topping 2 million. Every vaccine, including lot number, child or adults age, gender, comorbidities, and medical problems following vaccinations are available. And there are other projects, e.g., the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment (CISA) Project (CDC, 2018). Plus, the UK, Sweden, and most other advanced nations have their own vaccine monitoring systems and the WHO collects all of them.

But just to counter your link, some additional up-to-date studies for just United States (Note. once more typical of you that you find a website, a paper that confirms your belief and stop there):

Guy et al. (2021 Mar 12). Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020 – MMWR; 70(10).

Joo et al. (2021 Feb 12). Decline in COVID-19 Hospitalization Growth Rates Associated with Statewide Mask Mandates — 10 States, March–October 2020 – MMWR; 70(6).

And an interesting analysis of Trump’s initial approach to masks and deaths:

Hahn (2021). Estimating the COVID-Related Deaths Attributable to President Trump’s Early Pronouncements About Masks. International Journal of Health Services; 51(1): 14-17.

So, you don’t understand or don’t want to understand the difference between a science based on over 40 years research and thousands of studies and one paper. Wow! And I doubt anything will change your mind/approach. So, above I gave a number of up-to-date international studies and pointed out that the one set of stats you link to includes one major flaw, e.g., relying on VAERS and I couldn’t find anything about who is responsible for it, could be a covid denier. If you want up-to-date stats on covid you can always go to CDC website directly. But, of course, if it confirms what you choose to believe, then, in your mind, it is valid.

One last point. I actually own Leon Festinger’s book

Meanwhile, at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/eci.13554, the second supplementary appendix has been removed.

“Note added by the author in proof: An earlier pre-proof version of the paper contained an additional supplementary appendix that I have asked the journal to remove. The appendix was an earnest effort to explore in more depth whether technical competence issues or confirmation biases could explain why two overviews had strong, unidirectional biases that differentiated them from the other 4 overviews. I am grateful to commentators who suggested that this effort might be misinterpreted here. Dispassionate discussion of these technical and bias issues may be pursued in other fora. The notion that other people’s feelings may be hurt causes me more regret than the vilification that I have suffered, because my priority as a physician and epidemiologist has always been to care for other people, even more so in a time of major crisis. Commotion shifts the discussion away from the scientific essence of the main paper, effectively silencing scientific debate. I particularly applaud students who have offered me their wisdom and critique in this occasion, as I consider myself the least knowledgeable student of all. “

Meanwhile, the second supplementary appendix has been removed:

Note added by the author in proof: An earlier pre-proof version of the paper contained an additional supplementary appendix that I have asked the journal to remove. The appendix was an earnest effort to explore in more depth whether technical competence issues or confirmation biases could explain why two overviews had strong, unidirectional biases that differentiated them from the other 4 overviews. I am grateful to commentators who suggested that this effort might be misinterpreted here. Dispassionate discussion of these technical and bias issues may be pursued in other fora. The notion that other people’s feelings may be hurt causes me more regret than the vilification that I have suffered, because my priority as a physician and epidemiologist has always been to care for other people, even more so in a time of major crisis. Commotion shifts the discussion away from the scientific essence of the main paper, effectively silencing scientific debate. I particularly applaud students who have offered me their wisdom and critique in this occasion, as I consider myself the least knowledgeable student of all.

Well another 20,000 words from Joel.
If you have a better source for deaths from the vaccines please post a link.
“dogs and cats living together” was a line from Ghostbusters and was used to make fun of the New York city mayor.
And the two words you put in quotation marks,“could” and “potentially” those were copied from your post about the possible hazard of wearing cheap face masks. You do realize that you post so much stuff you forget what you have posted? plink

Even Narad disagreed with your boost of 300,000 readers of a website, you used to promote your pro abortion post, Jesus God, what the heck does that even have to do with John Ioannidis?.
Narad says:
April 15, 2021 at 11:46 am
“Are you two arguing about here? Similarweb reports 135,710 visits in March. Take it for what it’s worth”

As I said you write so much you can’t even remember what you wrote.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH says:
April 15, 2021 at 6:37 pm
Oh, one last point. I actually own Leon Festinger’s book “A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance” It was one of textbooks in my Masters program in Social Psychology at Carleton University, 1968-1970

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPHsays:
April 15, 2021 at 6:39 pm
“One last point. I actually own Leon Festinger’s book”

and in reviewing your posts the first post was at 6:37 pm
over 1,500 words later and only 2 minutes later at 6:39 pm your second post appears, do you really type 750 words per minute?

Now you are proud of you anti war protesting, and being in Canada. It is interesting that while you were “studying” some poor kid or a person of color was taking your spot, getting shot at or blown-up in Viet Nam.

and you call me a ‘sicko’

@ Scott Allen

You write: “f you have a better source for deaths from the vaccines please post a link. “dogs and cats living together” was a line from Ghostbusters and was used to make fun of the New York city mayor. And the two words you put in quotation marks,“could” and “potentially” those were copied from your post about the possible hazard of wearing cheap face masks. You do realize that you post so much stuff you forget what you have posted? plink.

A better source, how about CDC (Selected Adverse Events Reported after COVID-19 Vaccination Updated April 13, 2021): “Reports of death after COVID-19 vaccination. To date, Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has not detected patterns in cause of death that would indicate a safety problem with COVID-19 vaccines.

Reports of death to VAERS following vaccination do not necessarily mean the vaccine caused the death.

CDC follows up on any report of death to request additional information and learn more about what occurred and to determine whether the death was a result of the vaccine or unrelated.

CDC, FDA, and other federal partners will continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

FDA requires vaccination providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS.

Over 189 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through April 12, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 3,005 reports of death (0.00158%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths. CDC and FDA will continue to investigate reports of adverse events, including deaths, reported to VAERS.
So, if you read carefully, they investigate thoroughly every VAERS report and found: “no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths.”

I won’t bother giving WHO, basically the same; but what if they finally prove vaccine killed a dozen or so, compared to what? Number who would have died from COVID? Not even in ballpark.

And I really didn’t have to provide a “better source”. If a defense attorney proves that a witness is lying about his client beyond any doubt, the prosecutor can’t ask him to then provide a witness. He may do that of his on volition; but it is up to the prosecution to prove guilt, not the defense to prove innocence. You don’t really care if a website is totally bogus as long as it confirms what you chose to believe.

As for “dogs and cats living together” it was you who posted: ““You do understand “could” and “potentially” are NOT certainties” But you freely admit to believing the climate models which predict rising sea, flood, droughts, dogs and cats living together etc. and they use those very words. Cognitive Dissonance.”

I was simply asking how you got from masks to climate change and where did anyone mention dogs and cats living together. It was you who mixed them altogether. Don’t you even understand what you write? You are the one who seems to forget what he posted. Again, the pot calling the kettle black.

And, as I pointed out, it doesn’t matter where I posted my OpEd, the point is that you attacked it without reading it, that you are too stupid to realize, as I wrote, that where an article is written is not a definitive for its worth. And, it is NOT pro-abortion, it is a nuanced piece that emphasizes we could reduce considerably abortions if we allowed easier access to birth control and if a woman became pregnant we ensured quality medical care and a reasonable level of support. I know families who love their children; but literally could not afford one more. Once more you prove just what a dishonest person you are by commenting on something you didn’t read. You are sickening.

And, yep, I thought it hadn’t gone through, so I clicked on it twice. So what? You really look for trivia don’t you, anything and everything. I’ve asked Orac to delete the second one.

You write: “Now you are proud of you anti war protesting, and being in Canada. It is interesting that while you were “studying” some poor kid or a person of color was taking your spot, getting shot at or blown-up in Viet Nam.”

I have read about Germans who fled Nazi Germany so as not to serve in the German army. What do you think of them? As an undergraduate I participated in demonstrations against the war in Vietnam and “proud”, perhaps; but certainly not ashamed of not being willing to participate in both types of war crimes going back to the Treaty of Westphalia following the 30 Years War in 1648 and the Hague Conventions of 1900 that we were signatories to. It is a war crime to attack another nation that has not attacked you and even if attacked it is still a war crime to attack civilian infrastructure, etc. Vietnam under Ho Chi Minh never threatened us, at best it was a civil war, one side a ruthless dictatorship we put in place, one who arrested, tortured and killed a lot of people. We bombed their hospitals, power stations, etc. And it does upset me horribly that “some poor kid or a person of color was taking [my] spot, getting shot at or blown-up in Viet Nam.” But if I had been a German who fled Nazi Germany I would also be saddened that other young innocent Germans were fighting and dying; but wouldn’t regret fleeing. But it also upsets me to this day how many innocent Vietnamese lost their lives, their limbs, etc. In fact, according to reports, the chemicals we dumped on Vietnam even today are causing birth defects. So, you think that knowing what I knew I should have participated in war crimes? You are really sick sick sick. I would like to believe as my father did that had I been alive and of age on December 7, 1941 I would have been at the recruitment station the next day; but it is one thing to defend ones country, it is another to participate in war crimes.

And you avoid addressing most of the points I raised and not even close to 20,000 words; but you being the hypocrite that you are forget that I brought up you posting a comment of around 3,500 words.

And, once again, why do you keep commenting since you apparently don’t have an ego??? I really wish we could debate on an open stage in front of a randomly chosen audience. You would be laughed off the stage.

And I repeat that your comments on the Holocaust went way over the line, implying that if Jews had guns they could have prevented it, thus, basically laying blame on the victims. If you said that to my face only one of us would walk away and it wouldn’t be you. I’ve had to live with the Holocaust all my life and the fact that you reject this, trivialize what it is like having known around 50 Holocaust survivors, around 20 quite well, just shows what an absolutely callous sicko you are.

While I am not some great person, I am proof-reading and making editorial suggestions for a colleagues next edition of an undergraduate microbiology book of 850 pages, now half way through. I did the same for the previous edition which sold more than 20,000 copies last I heard. Receive no pay, just nice mention of me in acknowledgements. My reward is knowing I’ve helped the education of the next generation. And I continue to donate plasma and await hearing from several Food Banks I phoned offering my help. So, I’m not great person; but try to at least do some positive things. What have you done lately?

p.s. since you claim you served in Vietnam, i wonder if you ever shot and killed an innocent Vietnamese peasant? Or, perhaps, a number of? And you also claim you were in Iraq, another dual American war crime. Did you kill or harm any innocent Iraqi civilians? Just curious; but I’m sure you would deny it.

@ Scott Allen

You call me a sicko for not going to Vietnam and allowing others, poor people and minorities to take my place

I wonder if you had been German during the Nazis, would you have stayed, killed Jews, Polish civilians, etc. so that, perhaps, others might not have had to???

I’m sure you’ve heard of the My Lai massacre. Between 300 and 500 Vietnamese, totally defenseless, were raped and killed by American soldiers, including throwing babies in a ditch and shooting them. When it came out, the details were irrefutable; yet polls showed 70% of Americans didn’t want them punished, so Nixon arranged only for Lt Calley to be tried. He was convicted; but basically sentenced to house arrest and the officers who tried to suppress the incident were not punished at all. When students protested against the Vietnam War at Kent State, a few national guardsman, without orders opened fired, killing four and wounding nine UNARMED STUDENTS. Again, polls showed majority of Americans didn’t want them punished and they weren’t. Afterwards families of the kids received death threat phone calls, including the family of one of the dead students who wasn’t a protestor; but an ROTC student just walking by.

As a Jew I hate the Nazis with every fiber of my being; but before U.S. joined war FDR condemned the Nazi bombing of Rotterdam and Warsaw because they were war crimes; yet when it was clear that Nazi Germany was in full retreat from the Russians and would lose the war we began massive firebombing of their cities, killing women and children. I have, despite your contempt for my actually reading lots, studied both the Holocaust and World War II, etc. Perhaps, you didn’t know that Hitler never received the majority of votes? I believe 44%. And even many who voted for him believed him when he said he was the peace candidate and, perhaps, didn’t like Jews; but thought he was just transporting them out of the nation. In any case, one charge/indictment not leveled at the Nazis at the Nuremberg war crimes trials was the crime of bombing civilians, clearly a war crime; but they would have thrown it back at us.

And during the Afghan and Iraq wars we waterboarded captives. Waterboarding was one of the charges that led to the conviction and execution of Japanese at the Tokyo war crimes trials. And during our brutal occupation of the Phillipines, several times when an American soldier was killed we would enter a village and either execute ever male 10 years of age or older or just massacre the entire village. Some officers returned to the U.S and bragged about it; but President Roosevelt ordered them to shut up because, despite everything, there were and are extremely decent people in this nation.

For our government and many Americans, certainly not all, a war crime is only something done by someone else. So much for claims U.S. moral leader of the world and above is just the tip of the iceberg.

As I’ve stated numerous times, I don’t make absolutist claims. So, let’s begin with your take on the Holocaust. Did you know that 200,000 Jews served in the German army during World War I and a few even won the Iron Cross (their equivalent of the Congressional Medal of Honor)? How many were alive and not crippled during the late 1930s I don’t know, let’s say at least 100,000. As in the U.S., despite gun control laws, people could obtain weapons [“The 1938 revisions completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition.” (Mile, 2021)] ; but I won’t bother giving details of what is wrong with claims without gun control the Holocaust never would have happened, instead I just give a list of papers (see below and I have more).

In any case, your opinion of the Holocaust, since Jews could have obtained weapons, not only insults/denigrates the memory of the victims; but even lays partial blame on them. Together with your almost absolutist support of the 2nd Amendment makes me wonder if you are either a neo-Nazi or, at least a supporter. I direct you to recent PBS Frontline “American Insurrection” and wonder if you secretly or, perhaps, among friends support some of the groups, even the assault on the Capitol and attempt to kidnap Michigan’s governor. In the Frontline program all claim only defending their rights and freedoms, an absolutist approach, not even recognizing that rights and freedoms, except if one lives in a wilderness, exist only because of the society and community we live in. Everything from safe water, electricity, roads, safe foods, etc. is dependent on a functioning government and we don’t have the right to drive drunk, to blast music at 3 pm, etc. etc. Rights and freedoms have to be balanced with some laws and restrictions, with obligations or we have anarchy and chaos. In addition, in the Frontline program many seem eager to kill. I wonder if some of them just espouse the claims of rights and freedoms as an excuse to kill, that is, they just like killing and harming others, especially the racists among them. So, I just wonder if you are a supporter. Can’t be sure; but you certainly give hints of it.

References Nazi Gun Laws and Holocaust:

Harcourt (2004). On Gun Registration the NRA Adolf Hitler and Nazi Gun Laws (A Call to Historians). Fordham Law Review; 73(2).

Miles (2021 Mar). Hitler Gun Control Facts U.S. Pro-Gun Advocates Have More in Common With Hitler Than They Think.

Putterman (2019 Apr 8). No, gun control regulation in Nazi Germany did not help advance the Holocaust – PolitiFact.

Seitz-Wald (2013 Jan 11). The Hitler gun control lie | salon.com

Wikipedia. Nazi gun control argument [especially section “Criticism”, gives more references]

And Jews did resist when possible:

Wikipedia. Jewish resistance in German-occupied Europe

So, let’s summarize:

You focus on trivia, e.g., number of subscribers to a magazine (haven’t received response about Google Analogies, my accidentally submitting twice a comment, minor mistakes I made which I readily realized and admitted; but attack a paper I wrote without reading it, based your position on gun control basically on one paper by long time lawyer and supporter of NRA, a paper with mainly references from Nazi propaganda sheets, and you give the indication that you think it wrong of me for not participating in war crimes. So, again I ask you if living in Nazi Germany would you have fled if possible or served, killing Jews, Polish civilians, etc.? And if you really were in Vietnam or Iraq, did you commit any war crimes/atrocities? Did I leave anything out???

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