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COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring: The J&J vaccine and blood clots

Yesterday, the FDA paused use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 due to a rare association with a very uncommon type of blood clot. Detecting one-in-a-million potential adverse events shows that our monitoring is working, but predictably antivaxxers are weaponizing this development to spread fear of COVID vaccines.

Long ago (seemingly, at least, when in this pandemic months can seem like years), I—and many other vaccine advocates—warned that when safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines finally rolled out there would be adverse reactions and even deaths reported after the vaccines, that these events would be sensationalized by the news media, and that they would be weaponized by the antivaccine movement. This has come to pass even beyond what I had anticipated. Examples abound, ranging from Bell’s palsy to cardiac events to immune thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP) to, yes, deaths, with antivaxxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. regularly mining the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) in order to make it seem as though COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous and that “they” are covering it up, even though, as I and others have pointed out, these adverse events were not occurring above the expected baseline rate and have not been shown to be related causally to the vaccines. Our message was that, any time tens or hundreds of millions of doses of a vaccine are administered, the law of very large numbers dictates that there will be deaths and adverse events that occur after that vaccine by random chance alone, because coincidence is far more common than people believe. We also warned that it will take time to disentangle whether any given adverse event observed after COVID-19 vaccines could plausibly be causally related, particularly for rare adverse events, which brings us to the announcement yesterday from the FDA and CDC about the decision to pause the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to the reporting of rare instances of blood clots after the administration of this vaccine.

Let’s look at the press release yesterday from the FDA and CDC:

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.html.

I had a couple of reaction to the news stories about this, and my reaction evolved as the day went on. You see, I had a busy operating room day yesterday, which, fortunately, meant that I didn’t obsess over this story because I couldn’t. I had to concentrate on the operations at hand. Unfortunately, though, the turnaround time in our particular operating room can sometimes be…suboptimal. That meant that, even after I had time to talk to patients’ families, make sure that each patient was doing alright in the recovery room, and talk to the next patient, there was still plenty of time to peruse Twitter between cases for new developments, particularly in the afternoon, when, due to a backup of patients in the recovery room, there was a rather long delay of my last case.

The FDA and CDC: Between a rock and a hard place

I’ll get to the science and whether the reaction of the FDA and CDC was appropriate in a moment. First, I must admit that I had a negative reaction when I saw the news stories in the morning and kept seeing the phrase “abundance of caution.” Does anyone remember that phrase? Those who’ve followed the antivaccine movement for a while might remember that phrase being used when the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommended removing mercury from vaccines two decades ago out of an “abundance of caution” and to make “safe vaccines even safer.” At the time some childhood vaccines contained the antimicrobial preservative thimerosal (which contained mercury), and antivaxxers were claiming that thimerosal caused autism. (Indeed, RFK Jr.’s whole early shtick was conspiracy mongering about how the CDC had “covered up” the alleged link between thimerosal in vaccines and autism.) Unsurprisingly, the removal of mercury from all childhood vaccines had exactly the opposite effect, sending the unintentional message to antivaxxers that they had been right all along about mercury and leading parents to wonder, not at all unreasonably, why the CDC had removed thimerosal if, as it claimed, thimerosal was safe, it had removed it from childhood vaccines. It was the precautionary principle run amok, given that there was not then and is not now any good evidence linking thimerosal-containing vaccines to autism and plenty of evidence showing no association, the best of which is the observation that, even after the removal of thimerosal from childhood vaccines, autism prevalence kept increasing for 20 years, leading some wags to suggest sarcastically that maybe thimerosal prevents autism. In any event, in a pandemic, one has to weigh the question of how many more might die unnecessarily of COVID-19 due to not being able to access the J&J COVID-19 vaccine versus, even if the association ends up being found to be causative, the less than one-in-a-million risk of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).

Here’s the problem. Most people see “abundance of caution” and interpret it to mean: “Danger, Will Robinson!” Certainly that’s what happened 20 years ago with thimerosal, and that’s what’s likely to happen now, particularly given that the vaccines are new, are being distributed under an emergency use authorization (EUA), and haven’t yet been fully FDA-approved. That’s why my next reaction was sympathy for the CDC and FDA. They truly are between a rock and a hard place on this. They called a pause based on these reports, and antivaxxers are predictably doing what antivaxxers always do, weaponizing the decision in order to portray the J&J vaccine as dangerous. If they hadn’t called a pause, antivaxxers would have weaponized that decision in order to portray the CDC and FDA as “covering up” or “ignoring” the adverse events. Basically, the FDA and CDC are damned if they do, damned if they don’t, and I now admit that I don’t know what the right call is.

This is also basically the same dilemma European regulators found themselves in a month ago after eerily similar rare reports of CVST after the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Similar to the reports after the J&J vaccine, the patients experiencing CVST after the AstraZeneca vaccine were more common in women under the age of 55. Ultimately, the European Medicines Agency concluded:

  • the benefits of the vaccine in combating the still widespread threat of COVID-19 (which itself results in clotting problems and may be fatal) continue to outweigh the risk of side effects;
  • the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots (thromboembolic events) in those who receive it;
  • there is no evidence of a problem related to specific batches of the vaccine or to particular manufacturing sites;
  • however, the vaccine may be associated with very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia, i.e. low levels of blood platelets (elements in the blood that help it to clot) with or without bleeding, including rare cases of clots in the vessels draining blood from the brain (CVST).
These are rare cases – around 20 million people in the UK and EEA had received the vaccine as of March 16 and EMA had reviewed only 7 cases of blood clots in multiple blood vessels (disseminated intravascular coagulation, DIC) and 18 cases of CVST. A causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and deserves further analysis.

Again, this was not unreasonable in terms of a risk-benefit analysis. Even if CVST were linked to the AstraZeneca (or J&J) vaccine, in the middle of a pandemic the risk of these very rare events needs to be weighed against the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19. However, the human brain is not good at thinking this way, weighing very small risks against much larger risks, particularly when those very small risks come from an intervention used in people with no disease designed to prevent something that hasn’t happened yet. Contrast this to cancer chemotherapy, for instance. People can accept the serious adverse events and even the risk of death from chemotherapy when it is weighed against the risk of certain death from cancer. They have a much harder problem accepting even a one-in-a-million chance of a serious adverse event from a preventative treatment like a vaccine.

So what’s with the clots, anyway?

What makes the reports of CVST after the J&J and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines a bit more plausible as being related to the vaccines has to do with the type of vaccines they are and the fact that, after 180millions of doses, there have been no reports of CVST after the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines. Why is that important? The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines use a different method to generate SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as an antigen than these vaccines. You’ll recall that the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines use messenger RNA (mRNA) encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles in deliver the “message” that induces cells to make the protein to generate an immune response. The J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines also induce the recipients’ cells to make the spike protein to generate an immune response, but they use the DNA encoding the spike protein inserted into a replication-deficient adenovirus vector. Adenoviral vectors have long been used as tools to get cells to make various proteins and have been tested as gene therapy and vaccine vectors. AstraZeneca uses a chimpanzee adenovirus base, while J&J uses a human adenovirus, but the technology is very similar. So the fact that these rare clotting events have been observed after the use of two vaccines using an adenovirus vector and not at all after the use of mRNA-based vaccines is one factor constituting a safety signal for adenovirus-based vaccines.

Another worrisome aspect of these reports is the presence of thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) along with the clotting disorder, as described in this joint media call:

From the transcript, here’s Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research:

Thank you, Dr. Woodcock. Together, the CDC and the FDA are reviewing data involving six reports of a rare type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or CBST in combination with low levels of platelets in the blood called thrombocytopenia in women ages 18 to 48 who presented with symptoms between six and 13 days after receiving the Johnson and Johnson or Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from typical treatments for other types of blood clots, which usually involve an anticoagulant called heparin. With cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, heparin may be dangerous and alternative treatments need to be given preferably under the guidance of physicians experienced in the treatment of blood clots. Of the clots seen in the United States, one case was fatal and one patient is in critical condition. While we review the available data out of an abundance of caution, the FDA and CDC are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine in the United States.

Later in the call, Dr. Marks elaborates:

So the issue of cerebral venous veins, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, the background rate of that is probably somewhere between two and 14 per million people, but that’s in the setting of a normal platelet count. The combination here, the real thing that is so notable here is not just the cerebral venous sinus thrombosis or the thrombocytopenia. Those two things can occur. It’s their occurrence together that makes a pattern. And that pattern is very, very similar to what was seen in Europe with another vaccine. So I think we have to take the time to make sure we understand this complication, and we address it properly.

The important things to note here are (1) this particular type of clotting should not be treated with heparin, as acute clotting normally is and (2) the association between this particular kind of clot plus a low platelet count could suggest an immune mechanism.

Interestingly, last week a paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine by a group of German and Austrian researchers about this phenomenon observed after the AstraZeneca vaccine. The investigators assessed the clinical and laboratory features of who developed thrombosis or thrombocytopenia after vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCov-19 (the AstraZeneca vaccine) and found the development of immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia mediated by platelet-activating antibodies against PF4, which clinically mimics autoimmune heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. They even suggested naming this novel entity vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT), in order to avoid confusion with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, while suggesting:

Since vaccination of millions of persons will be complicated by a background of thrombotic events unrelated to vaccination, a PF4-dependent ELISA or a PF4-enhanced platelet-activation assay may be used to confirm the diagnosis of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia through this novel mechanism of postvaccination formation of platelet-activating antibodies against PF4.

As I was saying, the background rate of adverse events matters, and it’s still not entirely clear whether we’re observing this phenomenon at a higher than background rate. As I like to say, the more you look for something, the more of it you will find, and the unprecedented vaccine safety monitoring after the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines guarantees that rare events that might not have been noticed before will be found. That being said, this association is more suggestive of vaccine causality than previous adverse reactions that have been reported.

The authors note that it’s known that adenovirus can bind to platelets and activate them, but even they seemed a bit puzzled that the vaccine could cause such a reaction:

Although we found enhanced reactivity of patient serum with platelets in the presence of ChAdOx1 nCov-19, this is likely to be an in vitro artifact. It is well known that adenovirus binds to platelets22 and causes platelet activation.22,23 Furthermore, the amount of adenovirus in a 500-microliter vaccine injection administered 1 or 2 weeks earlier would seem unlikely to contribute to subsequent platelet activation observed in these patients. 

But they nonetheless speculated:

However, interactions between the vaccine and platelets or between the vaccine and PF4 could play a role in pathogenesis. One possible trigger of these PF4-reactive antibodies could be free DNA in the vaccine. We have previously shown that DNA and RNA form multimolecular complexes with PF4, which bind antibodies from patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and also induce antibodies against PF4–heparin in a murine model.24

This last bit strikes me as rather hand-wavey. Still, if this association is real, this could be the mechanism that explains it. The real question, though, is why such a rare reaction would be observed predominantly in premenopausal women. Given how rare this immune-mediated clotting is, even if it does turn out to be caused by the vaccines, it’s going to be really hard to figure out the mechanism and why women are more susceptible, and the CDC notes that there are still too few cases of this phenomenon to conclude it is due to adenovirus vectors or any other risk factors. Still, appropriately, scientists are all over it, looking to confirm causality and determine potential mechanisms.

Vaccine safety monitoring works

I can’t help but wrap up by pointing something out that seems to elude antivaxxers. If there’s one consistent theme in antivaccine disinformation, it’s the false claim that vaccine safety monitoring systems are inadequate and miss all the horrific adverse events that antivaxxers attribute to vaccines. Yet, right here, right now, in 2021 in real time, vaccine safety monitoring in Europe and the US have rapidly identified a potential complication of a specific type of COVID-19 vaccines that is rare. (Indeed, in the case of the J&J vaccine thus far, it’s less than one in a million doses.) As seen on Twitter:

Exactly.

In a rational world, the fact that regulators in Europe and the US identified, acted on, and investigated such a rare correlation should increase confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine (and, actually, all vaccines). Even if worry is increased about the AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines, this system should provide even more confidence in the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, for which no such serious rare complications have been reported after 180 million doses. Moreover, scientists are all over this, investigating potential immune mechanisms by which these rare instances of CVST might be caused by the vaccine. No one is “ignoring” anything. No one is sweeping anything under the rug. Sadly, this is not a rational world, and it is likely that this pause in the use of the J&J vaccine, even if it’s only a few days to investigate, will likely contribute to vaccine hesitancy. Certainly the antivaccine movement is doing its best to see to that.

Also, as Steve Novella points out, there remains a serious dilemma that involves weighing the risk of these rare but serious events after vaccination with the risk of people dying of COVID-19:

The adenovirus vaccines are also safe and effective, but it increasingly seems like they can trigger a rare (about one in a million) autoimmune reaction in women less than 50. The medical community needs to know about this, how to recognize and treat it properly, and the general public needs to know in order to be vigilant about early symptoms. But the dilemma remains – in the middle of the COVID pandemic these vaccines will save thousands of lives for every one they take, and if we are careful we may be able to avoid any vaccine-related deaths. But we also know the public mostly does not make rational decisions based on math, and are more likely to avoid causing harm even if that passively allows a far greater harm to occur.

As Eric Topol noted:

Although it should be noted:

This problem is even more acute in Europe, which relies far more heavily on the AstraZeneca vaccine, while the J&J vaccine is thus far only a relatively small proportion of the COVID-19 vaccines being administered.

Again, I’m not sure what the right answer is, to do what the FDA and CDC have done and pause the J&J vaccine or to have continued to administer it with a black box warning. What I do know from this is that vaccine safety monitoring is very effective and that antivaxxers will capitalize no matter what the FDA and CDC do.

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]

143 replies on “COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring: The J&J vaccine and blood clots”

You already have this covered, but I’ll say it even more explicitly: Not only does it show that monitoring systems can pick up rare issues, it also shows that when there’s a safety signal, it’s taken seriously. There is no conspiracy of silence or ignoring things.

I also hope many people here will consider listening to ACIP today from 1:30 PM ET: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/webcast-instructions.html

Finally, if they do see it, at least for now, in a specific group, is one way to manage it to prioritize women under 50 for mRNA vaccines, and use these vaccines in groups in which it’s not an issue? I realize it’s much more complex, for example, the evidence of the effectiveness of these vaccines in older people is not as strong as for mRNA, so that age group may need to be prioritized too, but management is not always give or put aside.

” However the human brain is not good at thinking this way, weighing very small risks against the possibility of much larger risks….”

Agreed. In fact, I wonder if the idea of one-in-a-million even can “sink in” realistically for most people. People buy lottery tickets as if they might actually win with millions to one odds..
One in a million means that only a handful of people might be involved in a large city. One in a million is not the same as zero but it’s very close.

“Here’s the problem. Most people see “abundance of caution” and interpret it to mean: “Danger, Will Robinson!” ” …

Actually, under normal circumstances; my interpretation of “abundance of caution” means: “We think this is overkill but we are going to do it anyway, because safety is our top priority”.

Because “abundance” almost implies “excessive”. The message to the average Joe; is that the pause is excessive & probably unwarranted. The message to the average Joe is also that safety is the top priority.

But what the antivaxxer in me understands, is that coming from the CDC, FDA et al … They might have reason to believe that the pause IS warranted & they don’t want to negatively impact vaccine hesitancy amongst the average Joes. Meaning that safety is not actually the top priority.

“Meaning that safety is not actually the top priority.”

They are pausing to get word around about the unique situation with the clotting so that possessed persons who develop it after vaccination are not misunderstandingly given heparin. 1(?) has died so far; they appear to really care. Allergic reactions are probably far more likely so that the rare occurrences are being watched for and treated.

https://youtu.be/586T56XQ-MU?t=22

Could you just imagine if that happened to 1 in a million across the world? There would be panic, chaos, blood in the streets.

I’m sorry but no matter which way your brain may spin this, this was done for safety.

@ Christopher Hickie,

Sorry but I believe that when the CDC et al uses the phrase “abundance of caution”; they are trying to sound as if they are applying “more caution than is warranted”.

If they said they were pausing ALL vaccines to investigate the 7,900+ reports of serious adverse events including deaths on VAERS; I would consider that a genuine statement, because VAERS reports cannot be used to imply nor deny causation. That would be caution in abundance.

But that’s not why they are using the phrase “abundance of caution”. They are saying it to justify pausing the J&J due to “six reports they are investigating”.

Please.

Sorry but I believe that when the CDC et al uses the phrase “abundance of caution”; they are trying to sound as if they are applying “more caution than is warranted”.

As opposed to what it actually means?

What Are Your Risks of Dying from Everyday Activities? Emily Petsko MentalFloss

Riding in a car 1 in 6700
Canoeing 1 in 10 000
Riding in an airplane 1+ in 100 000
Bicycle 1 in 140 000
Dance parties 1 in 100 000
Running or jogging 1 in 1 000 000
Swimming 1 in 1 000 000

other activities from relatively safe ones like skiing or snowboarding to dangerous ones like base jumping, mountain sports, Nepal ( Infographic from Bored Panda)

So getting the J&J wasn’t as reckless as activities I’ve already done

You want to watch that mental knot you are tying yourself in. If you twist much more you’ll be looking at your arse from the inside.

Reassuring the public and investigating safety signals is their job. The history of Covid is that it has killed a much greater percentage of the people who’ve caught it, than have been killed by blood clot issues. I’m sure that you are fed up of the seatbelt analogy so how about safety harnesses? If I drive a MEWP then I have to wear one. However, if I end up suspended from the lanyard for an extended period it can cause serious injury. Someone worked out that the number of deaths due to the harness was less than the number of deaths caused by having your head smashed open on a concrete floor. Hence, wearing the harness is better.

@ Number Wang,

I am no more tying myself in a knot regarding MY concern of the use of “abundance of caution”, than Orac is when he points out that the phrase caught his eye after seeing how it was used re Thimerosal.

It’s a recognizable catch phrase. There’s a REASON it’s used, it’s not like it’s just randomly invoked.

Like how every congressional hearing & vaccine safety study (that found something concerning) used to start with:

“Vaccines Have Been The Most Important Scientific Advancement of The 20th Century …”

… Right before they said: “BUT …”. Like it was the obligatory preamble before speaking blasphemy about vaccines. Every time I see a transcript/study that starts with “Vaccines Have Been The Most Important Scientific Advancement of The 20th Century …”; I know I’ll be glad I read it.

Nope, you are twisting yourself inside out. The CDC etc are doing their job. The big Pharma companies are not able to hide the figures. The government is not hiding the figures. Yet you STILL keep sucking on those sour grapes. Could it be because an incredibly rare possible side effect is being taken seriously? Bit harder for the AV conspiracy theories about ASD and SIDS to make sense now eh?

The trouble you have with everything, Christine, is that you view the entire world through the lens of your anti-vaccine beliefs.

In your mind, simple, sane statements made based on scientific evidence become highly suspect, because “vaccines bad”. Every comment you make on this blog is couched in exactly that framework. It is one of the reasons that readers of this blog don’t take any of your statements seriously.

@Cristine Kincaid VAERS reports things happening after vaccination. It does not establish a causal connection. Do you not understand that hundred millions has been vaccinated ? There would be lots of deaths among hundred million people even without vaccines.
Speaking about abundance of caution, meaning of it is very clear to me. It ii being very, very cautious.

“But what the antivaxxer in me understands”

The only thing you’ve shown you understand is the ability to type. You clearly have no understanding of statistics or medical issues

When I had the first dose of the Moderna vaccine, the paperwork they sent me home with included both information about VAERS and a link to a Covid-vaccine-specific system that asked about my health and possible side effects daily for one week, then weekly. They also nudged me to make sure I had an appointment for the second dose, and restarted the daily check-ins after I got the second dose.

I had no serious side effects to report, but the app told me that depending on my answers, someone from the CDC might contact me. That’s rather more attention than has been paid with any of my prescription drugs, even ones that haven’t already been used by hundreds of thousands of people.

Not exactly.

That incidence is 5 per million per year. The J&J EUA was only issued on February 27, about a month and a half ago. That means that, normalizing that incidence of CVST to a whole year, the baseline incidence we’d expect to see in any given month and a half period would be around ~0.6 cases per million. What we’ve actually observed is somewhat higher than that, 6 cases out of 6.8 million, or ~0.9 per million, which could be a statistical fluke or could be a real signal. Also, given that the J&J vaccine was being administered right up until yesterday, we won’t know the true number of these cases for a couple of weeks; so it could be slightly higher.

Is it not also interesting that they have all happened within two weeks of the shot?

“The rate with J&J seems to be less than 1 per million.”

Gupta is showing that, within the demographic of women 18-49, it’s 1 in 201,984 {of Covid, 1 in 6495}.

“In a rational world, the fact that regulators in Europe and the US identified, acted on, and investigated such a rare correlation should increase confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine (and, actually, all vaccines). ”

It does. I mean; that’s nice & all but so what. Firstly, just because six cases are being investigated, does not mean it has only happened to six people. Secondly, CVST with thrombocytopenia was not reported as occurring during clinical trials. If this was missed; what else may have been?

There is a difference between “missed” as in “it happened but researchers did not record it” and “it did not happen in the study population”.

If CVST with thrombocytopenia actually did not happen in the clinical trials then it wasn’t really “missed” was it? You can’t miss something that isn’t there. And given the size of the vaccine trials and the number of incidences that have been observed at this time, it is more likely than not that this did not happen in the clinical trial population.

Not everything is malice aforethought. Most things aren’t. We are all subject to the whims of chance and chaos and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it.

One in the J&J trial (25yo male) presented with it and died. They paused the trial. But also one in the placebo group developed the condition*. What are they supposed to do with that??

Some months ago, Squirrelelite pondered, given certain symptoms of “long covid,” that maybe the common cold had sometimes given a sequela of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Perhaps this weird clotting condition is just something that adenoviruses occasionally do. {75% in females of childbearing age. Hmm. Hormones? Birth control?}

If that is the case and they can edit in a spike protein and edit out it’s ability to replicate then perhaps, one day, they’ll be able to get rid of the platelet thing to.

Oh c’mon. People might be farting skittles and growing unicorn horns out their foreheads after the J&J vaccine and we might not know that either [1440 degree bilateral eye roll with ensuing rupture of all ocular muscles in my head ensues].

Wait, I know…Let me build you a wearable MRI helmet using stressed 2d graphene sheets and a qbit computer that can be put on everyone who gets a covid-19 vaccine for real-time MRI/A, and couple it with simultaneous real-time blood chemistry/coag/hematology monitoring as well as EKG and respiratory telemetry for every person who gets the vaccine and they can wear this sh*t for the rest of their lives just to be absodamnfamlutely sure nothing bad happens, and then we can put it on their kids and grandkids and monitor for Nth generation adverse vaccine events until finally some in the year 3240 all the world’s disaffected teens tear all this junk off their body because it was NOT NEEDED and even then didn’t convince a single anti-vaxxer that vaccines are safe and effective.

Would that make you happy?????????????? (this is rhetorical)

“until finally some in the year 3240 all the world’s disaffected teens tear all this junk off their body”

O.M.G. They must be educated as to why this should not be done. That MRI/A takes some nasty shuttered magnets so that just tearing them off after so much time would cause instant withdrawal to substances such as yttrium, boron, cobalt, and samarium. Heads would violently explode from seconds to days after removal. It can’t be predicted, what if it happened at Baskin Robbins?

Thank you, sir, for your forward thinking having brought this impending apocolypse to our attention.

@ Christopher Hickie,

Add a feature of continuous cytokine & T cell profile monitoring & wear it for 6 months following vaccination & we might have some hope for future generations.

@Christinekincaid:

What is the type of assay you propose to be used to evaluate T-cell function?
Is it portable?

Who would have thought that the Babylon Bee would be accurate in a real news story.

https://babylonbee.com/news/vaccine-recalled-after-two-people-who-took-it-fell-down-a-manhole-and-died

This whole episode on the J & J vaccine is unbelievable. 6 a whole people, I repeat 6 developed blood clots after taking the vaccine out of 6 or 7 million people. Fauci et al are not even sure that the vaccine caused the blood clots. I am all for caution but this borders on absurd, more people will now refuse or be reluctant to get the damn shot. Fauci et. al. are doing more damage to vaccination then any anti vaxxer ever did. Guess what 8,000 people died in the US today (and everyday), not from Covid and certainly not from the vaccines. Have we really turned in to a nation that is afraid all the time?

Apparently the Babylon Bee fundamentalists who do bad imitations of The Onion* are capable of recognizing scaremongering over bogus vaccine reactions. Too bad they’re simultaneously boosting the antivax cause by sowing distrust of Fauci.

Kind of mixed messaging there.

The bit about falling down manholes is reminiscent of an actual VAERS report that the antivax group NVIC placed on their website, involving a 12 year-old girl’s fatal fall into a quarry, a month and a half after receiving an HPV vaccine.

https://medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php?IDNUMBER=379570

Attempting to make a connection between these two unrelated events would be laughable if potential consequences (avoiding an effective and safe vaccine and as a result developing debilitating disease or fatal cancer) weren’t so dire.

*the Babylon Bee, like the comic strip Mallard Fillmore is evidence that self-righteous ideologues tend to be heavy-handed and unfunny when they try to do humor.

The Bee doesn’t need to sow distrust of Fauci, he does enough on his own. From 60 minutes interview (we shouldn’t wear masks) to well all need to wear masks, to we need to wear two masks, and then even if you’ve had the vaccine you need to wear masks (what is the point of the vaccine). So yes he sows distrust with every interview/press conference he does as he changes his mind as the prevailing view changes.
If you can’t see how Fauci et al. have hurt the vaccination program and increase the reluctance issue all over 6 cases of blood clots, I am sorry for you.

@Scott Allen re: Fauci’s position on masks

“Well when the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

Nobel Laureate Paul Samuelson, citing a (possibly apocryphal) quotation from John Maynard Keynes.

This morning’s NYT has an excellent article on another aspect of this pause in administering the J&J (and also AstraZeneca) vaccines: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/14/world/europe/western-vaccines-africa-hesitancy.html It points out that in South Africa J&J is the only vaccine on offer, & the concern about messaging relating to the pause in use in richer countries is that people in poor countries will become more & more hesitant about being vaccinated themselves.

That is also reported as happening in Papua New Guinea with the AstraZeneca vaccine:

Australia’s decision to limit the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 50 has created vaccine hesitancy in Papua New Guinea, where the government is continuing with its rollout of the jab.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-13/png-people-are-hesitant-to-take-astrazeneca-vaccine/100063694

The total number of cases there is currently still less than 1000/million (slightly less than Australia’s per capita rate), but the number of cases has roughly trebled in the last 31 days (and the numbers are probably an underestimate).

@ Christine Kincaid

You write: “Firstly, just because six cases are being investigated, does not mean it has only happened to six people. Secondly, CVST with thrombocytopenia was not reported as occurring during clinical trials. If this was missed; what else may have been?”

If you look at the government report, it was about one case per million shots, so the clinical trials was 40,000. Yep, clinical trials can NEVER catch every rare event; but that is why we have a number of post-marketing surveillance systems. I guess if you had your way we could NEVER approve any vaccine unless we did clinical trials on several million people, both logistically impossible and exorbitantly costly. However, let’s look closer at Cerebral Venus Sinus Thrombosis:

“In our population of 953 390 adults, this represented an incidence of 15.7 million per year (95% confidence interval.” (Devasagayam, 2016)

“The incidence was 1.78/100,000 per year for women (95% CI: 1.13-2.43) and 1.16/100,000 per year for men (95% CI: 0.57-1.75).” (Fairbanks, 2018). In case you have problems with math, would be 17.8 for women and 11.6 for men per million.

“Cerebral venous thrombosis is a rare condition, but nevertheless among the most common causes of stroke in persons under 45 years of age.” (Saxhaug, 2018)

It is clear that NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I’VE EXPLAINED IT “POST-HOC ERGO PROMPTER HOC” (the logical fallacy of after something so the something must have cause it) you refuse to even consider it. When something occurs that is horrible, people try to figure out what caused it and, of course, more tangible things like a recent vaccine will come to mine. Quite simply the incidence of CVST is between 11 and 16 per million, so HIGHLY LIKELY that some or all of the cases following the vaccine would have occurred anyway, especially given the cases were reported to have occurred as much as two weeks after receiving the vaccine. And, just to be honest I found some studies with slightly lower numbers; but several more with similar as above. I say some or all because as opposed to you who want to see vaccines as bad period, I accept that rare adverse events can occur; however, it is also possible that not one case of CVST was caused by the vaccine.
Now, what is the risk of dying if infected with Covid, (563,510 / 31,350,152) x 1,000,000 = 17,975 per million. Now currently 68,121 new cases/day, so ballpark slightly less than 1,000 deaths per day. Now, to be honest more people are surviving; but then more people are developing Long Covid, e.g., decreased lung capacity, heart arrthymias, etc. and no one is sure how long they will last; but some already six months. So, if we, for example, assume that some of the cases following the vaccine would have occurred anyway, let’s say half, then the vaccine could save around 17,000 either dying or with long covid compared to 3 developing CVST. Wow! I think those are excellent odds. (United States COVID-10 Statistics (April 14, 2021)

Now as more and more people get vaccinated and/or are exposed to Covid, then the risk obviously will come down; but until then, I think anyone with a modicum of common sense would choose the vaccine, not only to protect themselves; but their friends and loved ones.

And just to be quite clear, it is extremely doubtful that someone suffering CVST would not seek medical attention. What planet are you on?

References:

Devasagayam et al. (2016 Sep). Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis Incidence Is Higher Than Previously Thought – A Retrospective Population-Based Study. Stroke; 47: 2180-2182.

Fairbanks et al. (2018 Jul). Population-based incidence and visual outcomes of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract.

Saxhaug et al. (2018 Aug 21). Cerebral venous thrombosis – epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment. Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening

@ Scott Allen

Wow! When you aren’t being a jerk, e.g., commenting just to be unpleasant, to irritate me, you actually can make sense, make a positive contribution. Maybe, just maybe, I underestimated you or did you just get back on your meds? Well, even in that case displays a different side to you.

@ Christine Kincaid

A little thought experiment. Imagine that COVID was killing lots of people around the world; but hadn’t yet come to the U.S. Imagine that the J&J vaccine had been developed and approved. And, for sake of argument, let’s accept that the clinical trials showed one case of CVST per million shots. Now we know around 30,000,000 sickened by and over 500,000 died. So, if we had give shots to 30 million would have caused 30 cases of CVST and, yep, one in six died, so 5 deaths; but would have saved over 500,000 lives and many more cases of Long Covid. 500,000 deaths plus several hundred thousand long covid vs 30 cases of CVST and 5 deaths. Exponential odds. Far better than many other medical interventions or even foods or consumer products, e.g., e-coli 0157 H7 in hamburgers, spinach, and cookie dough. And without the vaccine, possible that one or more of the CVST cases would have gotten active COVID. Since younger women, probably would have lived; but possibly with long covid; but given whatever made them susceptible to CVST, maybe one or more would have died.

And, though HIGHLY UNLIKELY, maybe a few cases of CVST weren’t reported, lets say, for sake of argument, 10 times, still end up with 500,000 deaths vs 300 cases of CVST, with 60 deaths. If other vaccines available, fine; but we are still vaccinating and counting those already vaccinated and those who have been exposed, still far from herd immunity and some communities with high vaccine refusers even more vulnerable

I realize that you rigid antivaccinationist position makes it impossible for you to consider the above. As I have explained previously, your twins were extremely premature and extremely low birthweight and you have mentioned genetic disorders that you may have passed on, so studies show such cases have high incidence of SIDS, etc. But I also said that I don’t outright reject that future research will show that infants with such problems should be on alternative vaccination schedules or just be protected by herd immunity around them; but you reject this and are against ALL vaccines, no exception.

Your latest refers to your reading of Peter Aaby, Gregory Poland, who writes about individually tailored vaccines. Well, there is credible criticism of Aaby’s studies, something I may include in later comments and I have nothing against “individualized vaccines” and someday we will probably have them. Quite simply, a swab of blood and computer will direct preparation. Maybe in 10 years, maybe 20 years . . . But, diseases exist today. There is an old saying: “don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect”

However, I suggest if you or a friend develop cancer that you refuse treatment because 10 or 20 years down the line treatments will be far more effective with far few adverse effects. I, for one, live in the present!

@ Joel,
“I realize that you rigid antivaccinationist position makes it impossible for you to
consider the above.”

Actually, the rigid antivaccinationist in me wants to say: “Well, if they wouldn’t have had a seasonal flu vaccine campaign in the middle of a sars-cov2 pandemic; they wouldn’t have blunted their CD4 T cell responses & lost 500,000 people.”

But that happened HERE, where we lead the world in flu vaccine uptake. In your proposed scenario; I’d say “Pause the flu vaccine. Don’t start a new vaccine to mitigate the issues from the other vaccine”.

I trust Aaby’s work so much that I would be willing to give SOME vaccines a chance, based on some of his findings: Bring back a Measles only vaccine & administer at 9-12 months. Bring back the Tetanus only vaccine & give that once. Throw that DPT & all it’s next gens into a space-proof capsule & launch it into another galaxy. Or don’t, because I’d hate for it to contaminate the Final Frontier.

@ Christine Kincaid

Please give complete references for each and every peer-reviewed study that claims flu vaccine blunted CD4 T cell responses.

Though only an anecdote, I got the FLUAD Quadrivalent flu vaccine and then got both shots of Moderna COVID mRNA vaccine. I am now a convalescent plasma donor and received feedback that I have high titers for COVID antibodies. So, if that’s the case, why would the flu vaccine inhibit such if I were exposed to natural Covid?And, though they don’t test for it, literature on coronaviruses show that the S-spike protein elicits both strong antibody and strong T-helper cell responses. T-helper same as CD4.

As for your trusting Aaby’s work, you’ve shown over and over again that you lack the basic skills, e.g., understanding epidemiological research methodology, to make such a judgment. Yep, he is a key figure in finding non-specific effects of vaccines; but his African studies had methodological problems. I’m just too tired to write more about this just now; but, once again, you refuse to even acknowledge a remote possibility that it wasn’t the vaccine that caused your infants death. Yep, you are absolutely certain and, as I’ve written before, you are NOT a deity, you are a human being and NO human being can have absolute certainty. And you refuse to even consider that if it was the vaccine that was a contributing factor, that it was because of your infants particular vulnerability and that vaccines confer exponentially more benefit than harm to the vast majority of people.

I suggest you stop posting on this site and take up a pulpit since would suit your mentality better.

You had a paper about flu and flu vaccines. Results could be explained with a very old concept, original antigenic sin:
Vatti A, Monsalve DM, Pacheco Y, Chang C, Anaya JM, Gershwin ME. Original antigenic sin: A comprehensive review. J Autoimmun. 2017 Sep;83:12-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jaut.2017.04.008. Epub 2017 May 5. PMID: 28479213.
This means that if antigens are related, defense is mounted from immune memory. New immune response against new antigen would be more efficient, thus blunting.
If vaccines actually blunt T cell response, they would not work at all.
As I have said any number of times, Aaby worked in a developing country, There were lots of unrelated related deaths during some vaccines campaigns, thus gis result. Data from an industrialized country would be more relevant there.
T cell assays are, of course, commercially available:
https://cellero.com/protocols/antigen-specific-t-cell-assay/
Do an internet search.

I’d be more interested in her data showing that every person who died had also had a flu jab.

@ JustaTech,

What is the type of assay you propose to be used to evaluate T-cell function? Is it portable?”

Hell if I know. I thought Christopher Hickie could figure it out.

Let’s just say this: Elizabeth Holmes was a fraud and none of the things you suggest are even slightly possible.

The smallest flow cytometer I know of is still bigger than a microwave, and that’s without the computer or tanks.

@ Brian

Right on! Scott and others focus on earlier positions if it confirms what they choose to believe; but ignore that science doesn’t work that way. If you go to “”WTF happened to John Ioannidis?” at: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/04/05/wtf-happened-to-john-ioannidis/#comment-442785 you will find that I posted several comments addressing and refuting Scott Allen’s, though Scott could care less. Just scroll down until you find Scott’s first comment on masks and the exchanges between us. If you do, please comment. I’d love to hear from someone independent.

@ Christine Kincaid

In today’s newspaper a new study confirmed what I wrote:

The risk of blood clots among those who’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 is higher than among those who’ve received vaccines against the disease, according to a new study from the University of Oxford. COVID patients saw a clot risk of 39 in a million. That compared with four in a million in mRNA vaccines like those developed by Pfizer and BioNTech or Moderna, and five in a million people after AstraZeneca’s vaccine. Though the analyses for the three vaccines are based on different data sets, making comparisons difficult, the study suggests that the risk of a clot among those with the disease is about eight to 10 times higher than after vaccination. “All the evidence we have is that risks of COVID are so much greater than whatever the risks of the vaccines might be,” Paul Harrison, professor of psychiatry at Oxford and one of the study’s authors, said in a briefing. “And unfortunately you might think you’re not going to catch it, but I think everybody would agree there’s a risk of catching COVID in the current climate.”

Note the study doesn’t question the reports, that is, that further investigation will find none or, at least fewer of vaccine associated clots actually caused by vaccines. So the benefit to risk ratio may turn out to be even higher; but I realize you would rather sacrifice thousands of lives than risk a few from vaccines and ignore the fact that those could eventually also be infected with covid.

Todd Gillespie (2021 Apr 16). Study: Vaccine clot risk lower vs. COVID-19: Researchers say vaccines are safer than having disease. San Diego Union-Tribune

Note later today I will try to find the actual study, got other things to do just now.

And just to make absolutely clear, note use of word “absolutely”, I hold in absolute contempt anyone who claims absolute knowledge about vaccines or any other branch of medicine. If a G-d exists, only entity with absolute knowledge, not us mortal humans; but, if you want to stand in front of a pulpit, religious beliefs often are absolutists; but not science.

@ Joel, re: Note later today I will try to find the actual study, got other things to do just now.”

I can’t find it, just a few press releases. Interested in what it says regarding age groups. I’m thinking that it MIGHT be true for those over 65 but I doubt it is in younger people.

@Joel:

<

blockquote>Note later today I will try to find the actual study, got other things to do just now.

There’s a link to the paper in the Oxford University press release about the paper.:
https://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2021-04-15-risk-rare-blood-clotting-higher-covid-19-vaccines

It was the first hit on a Google search for “Paul Harrison covid blood clots”.

I found the numbers of clotting events reported by age group, but no analysis of the risk relative to the group size.

@christine: the largest number of clotting events was for the age group “< 30”, 6 out of a total of 20, and 10 out of 20 for age < 40 (4 for the 30 <= age < 40). But as I said, I couldn’t find the risk relative to the group size reported in the paper.

@ Joel:

A few observations:
scott just likes to argue. I suggest that you shepherd him away from general topics ( war, politics, prejudice) because those have a tendency to spread beyond their original boundaries. SBM topics are easier to manage- we can stick to data. I’ve read lots of what he writes and I can’t tell if he is predominantly SB or not.
Maybe he really likes you as a sparring partner, take it as a compliment.

RI has trolls whose backgrounds are in medically aligned services AND are NOT doctors or scientists trained in researching, designing or criticising studies. YET they prognosicate about vaccines and medical interventions on a grand scale usually contradicting standard SBM. This would – in their cases- go against what their education and training advise YET they claim expertise based upon their education, training and personal experiences. It’s like a woo-meister saying that he is a dietician with degrees and then denying most of what that discipline teaches to spout his own idees fixes. No, it’s highly unlikely that he is a bold, new Galileo overturning decades of research and is instead a loud mouthed, crank unable to critique his own level of ability and expertise, proudly displaying his personal issues and lack of executive function skills to self-evaluate..

You do a great job educating readers and it’s no wonder that Orac and Co at SBM accept your work… . .

I’ve read lots of what he writes and I can’t tell if he is predominantly SB or not.

Did you miss the AGW denialism?

^ The glottal stop was supposed to be in the correct direction, but WordPress.

“scott just likes to argue”

Scott just likes to be contrary, and imagines that is argumentation. Send him to Python’s argument clinic where he can get what he wants.

They are a scam. It is not argument, just contradiction. Never pay for the full argument; like and extended warranty, you won’t get it.

@ Aarno, re: “This means that if antigens are related, defense is mounted from immune memory. New immune response against new antigen would be more efficient, thus blunting.
If vaccines actually blunt T cell response, they would not work at all.”

Repeatedly vaccinated. https://www.infectiousdiseaseadvisor.com/home/topics/respiratory/influenza/repeated-vaccination-against-influenza-may-contribute-to-diminished-response/

Meaning that people who were vaccinated in 2019, experienced a blunting in 2020 after receiving the 2020 seasonal flu vaccine. In the Northern hemisphere, that started officially on September 23 & by October; covid rates went vertical. The CD4 T cell response to influenza has been found to be similar to that for sars-cov2.

You think a year-over-year comparison of responses to influenza vaccination has any relevance to COVID vaccines? Pitiful, just pitiful.

@ Narad,

No. I think a year-over-year comparison of responses to influenza vaccination is relevant to COVID fatalities.

SARS CoV 2 and T Cell responses are very similar ? What does that mean ? Antigens involved are very different.

@ Christine Kincaid

Yep, there is some good evidence that repeated flu vaccination can, in some circumstances, reduce CD4 T cells; however what you miss is that even those receiving repeated vaccinations experience lower rates of severe influenza, hospitalization, and deaths. Or are you aware of this and intentionally omit mentioning it?

You obviously don’t really understand antibody-dependent enhancement nor original antigenic sin. And, by the way, not ALL studies have found that sequential administration of flu vaccines have such an effect. It partly depends on how closely related the two season’s strains are. And this is one reason they are working on developing a “universal” flu vaccine that will recognize a part of the virus that seldom if ever changes. And compared to the overwhelming evidence of effectiveness of COVID vaccines, flu vaccines are among our least effective, sometimes only reducing hospitalizations and deaths by under 50%; but still far better than risks from the vaccines.

And, given we have approximately 100 million different antibodies coursing thru are bodies, about 30 of each, and an equal number of CD4 (helper) T cells, our immune system is designed to recognize more possible antigens that actually probably exist. As I’ve already written, COVID-19 is quite different from flu virus. Besides the mRNA vaccines elicit high antibody counts and T-cell counts. Antibody-dependent enhancement occurs if vaccine elicits a poor/weak response, thus, instead of antibodies neutralizing, etc. virus, virus uses them as vehicle to spread. Not so with mRNA vaccines. Antibodies and T-cells that recognize flu quite different from those that recognized COVID. There is NOTHING on a flu virion that even comes remotely close to the COVID S-spike protein.

Stacey HD and Miller MS (2020 Jul). Repeated Seasonal Influenza Vaccination: How Much Is Too Much of a Good Thing? The Journal of Infectious Diseases; 222.

So, keep displaying your ignorance or, perhaps, your antipathy to vaccines, your dishonesty.

Flu and SARS CoV2 are very different viruses, of course. And the article you linked did not consider original antigenic sin.
COVID vaccines does elicit helper T cell response, of course:
Sahin, U., Muik, A., Derhovanessian, E. et al. COVID-19 vaccine BNT162b1 elicits human antibody and TH1 T cell responses. Nature 586, 594–599 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2814-7
You should check the safety data, too. Check what “severe systematic side effects” mean.
Antivaxxers are lying again.

-btw-
I got the J&J vaccine two weeks ago today: still not dead.
Where’s Terrie? I assume not dead either.

@Denice, Very not dead. Too busy to be dead. I’ve done little but work and sleep the last couple days.

@ Denice Walter

You write: “A few observations: scott just likes to argue. I suggest that you shepherd him away from general topics ( war, politics, prejudice) because those have a tendency to spread beyond their original boundaries. SBM topics are easier to manage- we can stick to data. I’ve read lots of what he writes and I can’t tell if he is predominantly SB or not. Maybe he really likes you as a sparring partner, take it as a compliment.”

Maybe; but some of his comments indicate more than just sparring, much more. I don’t know if you continued to follow our exchange at “WTF happened to John Ioannidis?” but if not read the last dozen comments or so. Some of his comments just go way to far over the line of any type of human decency. And, though science-based medicine allows for databased discussion, other topics certainly allow for applying critical thinking.

And Christine refuses to even consider that she cannot possibly be absolutely certain that a vaccine was responsible for her infants tragic death. And she continues on her Gish Gallup of finding studies that she believes support her anti vaccination stand as, once more, I point out in the previous comment.

@ Denise Walters AND EVERYBODY

Just to be clear, it was Scott who began the discussion of guns and the Holocaust, not me:

The “Disinformation Dozen” vs. public health
https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/03/26/disinformation-dozen-vs-public-health/#comment-442321

Scott Allen
says:
March 30, 2021 at 12:32 pm

It was Scott who introduced Climate Change, etc.

By the way, he used a term to denote such changes. I can’t remember what it was. Can anyone help?

One last request. Does anyone have access to Google Analytics. I know it is free; but I avoid signing up for anything on line, so if anyone is already signed up, could you please look up circulation numbers, not subscription numbers, for:

Los Angeles Times
Washington Post
East County Magazine

If you do, please just cut and paste entire results in a comment.

The site, Alexa, used to have all that stuff for free: Rank, reach, clicks, time spent, page load time, bounce rates, comparing site to site, all that. It looks to be some limited app now with all the good stuff not free. Might be worth a look, though. {I also don’t know if a site has to have alexa script or widget for them to be in their list.. it used to, I think.}

https://support.alexa.com/hc/en-us/articles/200449744-How-are-Alexa-s-traffic-rankings-determined-

As for wanting GA stats, more and more have learned to block that and especially those blocking ads or getting around paywalls; probably not the best metric.

Joel, your head is getting pretty crowded from all the people you have living rent free in it.

just a few passing comments.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
March 27, 2021 at 3:24 pm
@ Q-ball
Apparently you don’t know that a frequent commenter on this blog, Dorit Rubenstein Reiss, is an Israeli Jew. And I am also someone who comments, though less frequently, am Jewish, including having lived in Israel for six months in 1978.

“Dorit Rubenstein Reiss, is an Israeli Jew. And I am also someone who comments, though less frequently,”

Dorit post 1 or 2 comments per Orac post to you post 20 or more, she is very concise and on topic, with side/related information. She doesn’t discuss her back ground/history because she knows it is not germane to her posts.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
March 30, 2021 at 11:46 am

“Oh, I left out one other area I have read a lot about, climate change”

I just pointed out the cognitive dissonance you displayed when. I posted a link to the plastic/chemical dangers for masks.
https://www.ecotextile.com/2021040127603/dyes-chemicals-news/exclusive-chemical-cocktail-found-in-face-masks.html

You rightly pointed out the words use were “You do understand “could” and “potentially” are NOT certainties,” were part of the research and story. I just pointed out the cognitive dissonance you displayed, when on you posted your knowledge of ‘climate change’, which is based on computer models and the resulting papers and news stories use the words ‘could’,’might’,’possibly’ and that those are NOT certainties.

Also off topic
“Permafrost, above arctic circle, has melted and CO2 and methane, a gas with 30 – 40 times the heat trapping of CO2 is being released”

Interesting that you would post a gas with 30-40 times the GHG but ignore two man made gasses that have 17,000 times , NF3 and 23,000 times SF6 the GHG that CO2 is, but those gases are use to make solar panel and windmills so they are ok

And you keep posting this same link
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

So I just post that “I bet that John Ioannidis is anti abortion and never ever had an abortion and probably doesn’t like Muslims either.” I attempt to maybe get you back to the topic of the article but…….

You replied
“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?”

of course not realizing how off topic you went..

As I have posted you write so much you forget what and when you write stuff

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.

But now you claim Scott Allen started it and posted first about abortion and the jews and Nazi’s ……

As I like probably 99% the people that come to this site could care less about abortion/sterilization or the Nazi and Jews, I told you I didn’t care that if a woman wanted an abortion she should get one. A non issue, well at lease I thought. 12 posts later with your constant referring to an op-ed piece you wrote for a blog, which you claimed had a bigger readership than the Washington post (did you provide an independent research on circulation/readership numbers) Even Narad had enough and posted the real numbers of hits, you are still appealing for people to back up your boastful/exaggerated claims . “If you do, please comment. I’d love to hear from someone independent.”
And call on them to help you, because Scott is a meany.

You have asked my back ground which I supplied, you asked my race, which I supplied, if I owned guns and was an NRA member as if those thing mattered to what Orac had posted.
You even asked how many civilians and babies I killed in Viet Nam and Iraq? In Iraq I was working for the State Department then the time I was working for the DOJ the 2 shop/JAG. In both of those wars there were no uniforms the Vietcong or ISIS wore, you estimation of civilian death is a WAG.

You also accuse me of being a neo NAZI. Yes I am well aware of how Hitler came into power using newspapers/movie and thugs to intimidate the opposition by destroying opposition news papers and opposition leaders. Much the same that is being done today, only time will tell on that.

And you call me a “SICKO” and of course “ASSHOLE ON STEROIDS” and others names equally as childish.

So if you won’t listen to me about staying on topic and quit bragging so much. Maybe you will listen to this person who says things in a gentler way.

Denice Walter says:
April 16, 2021 at 11:12 am
@ Joel:

A few observations:
scott just likes to argue. I suggest that you shepherd him away from general topics ( war, politics, prejudice) because those have a tendency to spread beyond their original boundaries. SBM topics are easier to manage- we can stick to data. I’ve read lots of what he writes and I can’t tell if he is predominantly SB or not.
Maybe he really likes you as a sparring partner, take it as a compliment.

You are not my sparring partner and my replies are not a complement.

But please listen to Denice

So now Joel is calling everyone to help him because he is in over his head and can’t seem to focus on the topic Orac has chosen to write about.

“Just scroll down until you find Scott’s first comment on masks and the exchanges between us. If you do, please comment. I’d love to hear from someone independent.

One last request. Does anyone have access to Google Analytics. I know it is free; but I avoid signing up for anything on line, so if anyone is already signed up, could you please look up circulation numbers, not subscription numbers, for:
Los Angeles Times
Washington Post
East County Magazine
If you do, please just cut and paste entire results in a comment.”

AKA: Scott is being mean to me.

@ Scott Allen
Wow! When you aren’t being a jerk, e.g., commenting just to be unpleasant, to irritate me, you actually can make sense, make a positive contribution. Maybe, just maybe, I underestimated you or did you just get back on your meds? Well, even in that case displays a different side to you.

Joels response to Scott’s post on, why 6 people out of 6-7 million was cause for alarm, he calls me a jerk to maybe a drug user.

Denise in response to Joel.

@ Joel:
A few observations:
scott just likes to argue. I suggest that you shepherd him away from general topics ( war, politics, prejudice) because those have a tendency to spread beyond their original boundaries. SBM topics are easier to manage- we can stick to data.

Joel please listen to Denise, she is trying to help you.

I’m quite sure you are no ‘drug user’ because you are a ‘conservative’, ‘evangelical’, ‘ditto head’ prick. You would watch your mom writhe around in pain instead of recommending currently legal delta-8 THC. Not that she would take it anyways… she raised you, after all.

“Tee time.” Ya’ll always got to make it nasty, don’cha?

@ Scott Allen

You write: “So now Joel is calling everyone to help him because he is in over his head and can’t seem to focus on the topic Orac has chosen to write about.
“Just scroll down until you find Scott’s first comment on masks and the exchanges between us. If you do, please comment. I’d love to hear from someone independent.

You really are STUPID. Since going back and forth with you, when you refuse to actually address what I write, I simply was asking for other independent opinions. Over my head? I may not be super intelligent; but compared to you my ability to actually develop positions, back them with more than one or two references makes me, at least compared to you appear super intelligent. As for “focusing on Orac topic” it was you who introduced your sick take on Jews and the Holocaust and it was you who introduced climate change. I just responded to your sick sick sick comments.

You write: “One last request. Does anyone have access to Google Analytics. I know it is free; but I avoid signing up for anything on line, so if anyone is already signed up, could you please look up circulation numbers, not subscription numbers, for:
Los Angeles Times
Washington Post
East County Magazine
If you do, please just cut and paste entire results in a comment.”
AKA: Scott is being mean to me.”

You asked me to check out Google Analytics:

“Scott Allen
says:
April 14, 2021 at 11:03 pm
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.”

I admitted that I was wrong to cite what LA Times claimed about readership. As I’ve said several times, I have no problem admitting when I am wrong. So, I simply wanted to get the data from Google Analytics. If it backed you up, I would not hesitate to post it and admit it; but, again, you miss the main point, that is, you attacked both an OpEd I wrote and an online magazine without reading my OpEd and knowing nothing about the magazine. Even if it has a small readership, says nothing about its quality, except in your sick mine

You write: “@ Joel:
A few observations:
scott just likes to argue. I suggest that you shepherd him away from general topics ( war, politics, prejudice) because those have a tendency to spread beyond their original boundaries. SBM topics are easier to manage- we can stick to data.
Joel please listen to Denise, she is trying to help you.”

As I explained in responding to her, you started the topics on war, prejudice, literally calling me a racist. And you ignore that Denise pointed out that you just like to argue; but I disagreed. I think you are a sick sick person and once again you twist things, refuse to actually address most of the points I’ve made. If you just liked to argue, you would actually address what I write, not ignore, the twist, distort, lie about, and make up what I said. Nope, you are arguing, you are just a sicko who wants to upset others. And that indicates you are just a very unhappy person and/or mentally ill. So, if you agree with Denise, why are you doing your best to rile me up? Since I haven’t written any replies to you, it would have ended.

And you never answered, if you had lived in Germany during Nazis era and could have fled, would you have stayed and killed Jews, Polish civilians, etc.?

And did you commit any war crimes in Vietnam or Iraq?

Simple questions because you attacked me for not wanting to participate in a war crime. Please answer the two questions.

Oh, I forgot the other question, are you a neo-Nazi or just sympathize with them, given your almost absolutist take on the 2nd Amendment, freedom and rights with as few limits as possible, without any recognition we iive in communities/societies and without them there would be no rights.

Could you two get a room and stop cluttering up the comments with this idiotic feud?

Could you two get a room and stop cluttering up the comments with this idiotic feud?

I’ve long wished our host would create a permanent comment bucket titled “Outside” so people who want to debate stuff that is totally off-topic can be told to “take it outside.”
I’ve largely quit reading most of the comments. I look through the recent comments list to see what might interest me, but there seems to be a very very long lag between a comment being listed there and actually appearing, so that just means I don’t read those either.

@ Scott Allen

As you quoted from Denise: “SBM topics are easier to manage- we can stick to data.”

Well, you asked me if I could come up with data regarding international mask use from Nov 2020, so I did, together with up-to-date U.S. data. Any reply from you? Any acknowledgement? Nope, because your posts are NOT about engaging in a civil dialogue. You think your request for my finding the masks was just giving me more grief; but, since, as I mentioned several times, I have outlines for a number of papers and have collected articles for references, every article/paper/document I find gets appropriately filed in folders on my computer for future reference. Most I probably would have eventually searched for, even stuff on guns. So, while your only goal is to harass, to bait, etc. though it angers me, as it would any decent human being, I use it to build my knowledge base.

In case you are too stupid to understand, masks fall under Science-Based Medicine topics!

A reminder to those that get into the pigpen to wrestle with Scott Allen:

This is a guy who argues that when a journal article is indexed in the NIH’s PubMed database of scientific publications, that means the NIH endorses its conclusions.

It’s like saying that public libraries which carry copies of Mein Kampf support Nazi ideology.

Repeatedly engaging at length with dimwitted provocateurs is generally not a good idea.

@ Narad

You are free to do what you want; but your one sentence implies that you consider both my comments and Scotts somehow equally worthless. You might find some of
my arguments and the references I give of value, just as I have always downloaded any articles/papers you referred to; but do as you want. I’m sure Scott will take that and twist it to his advantage, just as he did what Denice wrote.

Personally, though I understand that Orac doesn’t want to imitate, for instance, antivax sites that block any disagreement, at some point someone like Scott who doesn’t contribute anything to the conversation, who uses the venue to just bait and irritate people, perhaps, should be blocked.

your one sentence implies that you consider both my comments and Scotts somehow equally worthless

I find your squabbling to be an irritation. Get over yourself. Spotts is an unadulterated sack of shit, but your tedious and wholly unnecessary responses are just compounding the problem.

If you want him to get lost, as I imagine most of the commentariat does, stop responding.

@ Dangerous Bacon

Great analogy.

And I agree that I should ignore him; but not easily done, especially his insinuation that Jews bore part of blame for Holocaust. Beyond any acceptable limits.

Almost by definition, the goal of a troll is to provoke you, so the unacceptable is part of their bag of tricks.

I agree it’s hard not to respond.

I want to remind you that this person – who initially tried to pretend to be pro-vaccine and middle of the road – has admitted that the account is being used by a group of people whose purpose is to troll.

has admitted

I would amend that to “purported.” So far, there has only been one clear Spotts reverse-sock, and the original is pretty easily identified by its lapses in composition.

And I agree that I should ignore him; but not easily done

I know the feeling, but you really have to master it. Close the browser window and think about what tasks are immediately useful. Myself, I’ve allowed myself to listen to “Philosophy Talk” until 3p EDT and then it’s chores and calls.

@ Narad

You write: “I find your squabbling to be an irritation. Get over yourself. Spotts is an unadulterated sack of shit, but your tedious and wholly unnecessary responses are just compounding the problem.”

My “tedious” responses? Now you are beginning to sound like him, since you wrote above you just skip over them, thus don’t know what they contain. Yep, I shouldn’t respond; but I do by developing scientific and logical arguments, including numerous references. And they sometimes are a bit long; but does that mean you have a short attention span???

Thanks for agree with Scott???

My “tedious” responses?

Yes. You’re replying at length to someone who shouldn’t deserve your time, and the entire exchange is simply not worth mine.

Thanks for agree with Scott???

Christ, put your f*cking Big Boy pants on rather than emitting this sort of petulant foolishness.

@ Narad

You write: “Christ, put your f*cking Big Boy pants on rather than emitting this sort of petulant foolishness.”

Once more you sound like Scott. Was the last sentence really necessary or just your need to attack?

Dr Harrison, are you familiar with with aphorism about not wrestling with a pig because you get covered in mud and the pig likes it?

Scott is the metaphorical pig; he likes it when you argue with him (notice how often Scott fails to respond to the rest of us).

If you want to wrestle him and get covered in metaphorical mud, that’s fine. But now both of your very long comments (yours with citations, his generally without) are dominating the comment section to the point that the rest of us can’t have a conversation. Essentially, now you’re both throwing mud all over the room.

So some of the commentariat is requesting (some more politely than others) that you let go of this pig. He’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want to learn, and most of the rest of us either already know the material or aren’t interested.

@ Joel (@ JustaTech)

I’m afraid I have to agree with JustaTech, Joel. Scott Allen is not someone you can discuss with. You have to humiliate him. There’s no way around that fact. So you do have to stoop lower than this kind of person to corner him rhetorically. He’s not interested in any kind of discussion. He only wants to play the “I’m a victim” card and accuse anyone else of racism or some other nonsense of his own imagination. It’s hopeless to discuss science or facts with that person. The only thing you can do is outwit him on a rhetorical level and play chess on the chessboard of fantasized victimhood and phoney arguments.

Rook takes f3 !!!

I am puzzled by Narad’s ‘unadulterated bag of shit’ insult regards Scott Allen. He may be many things, clearly many of them unacceptable, but the shit I have been acquainted with in some bulk has been bags of horse manure ( for my garden) and it seemed adulterated with some unsavory components as does our own human excreta. And Joel, it would be better to keep responding with your rational arguments and reduce the insults about others’ ignorance etc since in the grand scheme of things we are all vastly ignorant in the grand scope of human knowledge and thinking. It cannot be otherwise.

@ Dorit

Thanks for your logical and positive comment. Yep, “hard not to respond.” I have agreed with everyone who wrote I shouldn’t respond; but, sometimes I actually benefit because I do web searches for papers I may use in future and develop outlines for possible future papers; but also, quite simply as I wrote that his claiming that had Jews had guns Holocaust wouldn’t happen and, among other things, I gave clear documentation both that guns could have been had, just as in U.S. people get guns, including totally outlawed ones, and that the gun control laws in Germany preceded Hitler and were instituted by the victorious allies, and I gave more. So, besides calling me a racist, he, at least partially blamed the victims of the Holocaust and that crosses the line, way over the line.

Even “trolling” has to have some limits??? His position on the Holocaust implies a sympathy with neo-Nazis. If not, then shows an incredible level of stupidity to choose as a subject.

I was thinking the other day that there are “useful” trolls and “tedious” trolls.

The difference is that the useful trolls at least give me something of possible interest to research to try to learn something even if I am pretty sure whatever they are saying is a misinterpretation or completely wrong. The other category are just trying to get a rise out of us. I consigned S.A. to that group a while ago.

I’ve been known to write a few extended replies myself and I appreciate the work you put into some of yours. But I would second the motion just to ignore him/them.

I found one WP killfile, I think written by the same guy who did the last one, but it didn’t work on Orac’s (or my, but I doubt it) install. It’s a plugin this time.

I think the only limit on trolling is how low the troll is willing to go. Sometimes it’s very low.

Remember there were people who hounded parents who lost children in Sandy Hook.

@ Dorit

You can always stoop lower, Dorit. It’s just a lack of will and guts that stops you from stooping even lower.

(Just kidding…)

But trust me: you can always stoop lower than low if you’re motivated enough.

If you want proof of that fact, just ponder 10 secs on the mere notion of lockdowns in North Korea. Abstractly, y’a know…

Joel is now the Shire reeve of Oracham/Orachville/Oraceshire, he called out for his posse to come help him slay the brigant, scott allen.

It is interesting that he was about to pounce on Narad for even slightly agreeing with Scott your response was quite and vehement “Once more you sound like Scott” and “Thanks for agree with Scott?”
That is the response of an ego driven bully, don’t cross him or you are his next target.

“you attacked both an OpEd I wrote and an online magazine without reading my OpEd”

Please find me the quotation that Scott Allen attacked your OpEd. Never said anything about the OPED other than it was irrelevant/immaterial to Orac’s post and that I was in favor of abortion your OPED added nothing to John Ioannidis and the post about him. Yet you persisted for 15 of you post about the oped, as I said I don’t think that anyone who come to this site disagrees with a women’s right to choose. Yet you demand loyalty.

“literally calling me a racist”
After you calling the Times of India a 3rd World paper that no one read (it is the largest English written paper in the world) but calling what you did is racism.

You accuse me of war crimes/killing of civilians in Viet Nam and Iraq.
Could you please point out the difference between a civilian in Viet Nam and a Viet Cong. The NVA at least wore uniforms.
As for Iraq I was a civilian working under contract with first the state department and then with the DOJ.

Your next question was of course idiotic but that has been your way of disagreeing
“And you never answered, if you had lived in Germany during Nazis era and could have fled, would you have stayed and killed Jews, Polish civilians, etc.?’

You only had two answers I will give you a third answer, I would have fought in the under ground against the Nazis and not run away to a foreign country.

As to your accusation of me blaming the jews for the Holocaust please cite me that in my post.
or is that another one of you human shields that you frequently post about.

Just because I support the 2nd amendment ?? I actually found the paper on the Nazis and control on the JDL website.

And what the heck does John Ioannidis have to do with Muslims and prejudice.
“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

and for you claim about climate change.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
March 30, 2021 at 11:46 am

“Oh, I left out one other area I have read a lot about, climate change”

As I have said my great grandfather was a polish jew. to which you respond, “you know that the Nazis would have said you were not Jewish”
to which i say, who cares what the Nazi thought.

I have never used any kind of gutter language, insults or calling me a “baby killer, war crimes suspect, a neo Nazis “Holocaust implies a sympathy with neo-Nazis.”, an anti vaxxer and a NazI. You and your posse have lied about what I wrote or made up stuff that I didn’t write, you and your posse feel the need to respond as you have.
You suffer a moral narcissism and routinely engage in Marcusian Rhetorical.

I have posted website and research that oppose you and you have dismissed them as only one or two researchers.

I will leave you to your blood pressure medicine, these quotes. Which of course you will dismiss.

“Nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.”
“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

“Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
Albert Einstein

“Could you please point out the difference between a civilian in Viet Nam and a Viet Cong.”

Sweet.

“So, we invented napalm. But, if the Gooks were quick, they could just scrape it off. So then we added phosphorous; burns straight through to the bone, even under water.”

Thank you for your service.

Actually the Greeks invented napalm, it was called “Greek fire”.
And “willie pete” was first use by the Irish in the 1800 and has been use by most governments military since that time.

but thanks for playing,

now you can go back to your bong.

@ Scott Allen

“Actually the Greeks invented napalm, it was called “Greek fire”.”

Wouldn’t call that napalm. But would you call mysorean rockets rockets ?

Pedantism is a scourge.

@ Orac

“As longtime readers know, I definitely do not like pedants, but in this case I’ll allow it.😉”

I suspect you have weird kinks that you dare not disclose.

More seriously: please keep up the good work. It’s essential in these crazy times. People have gone completely bonkers and we need reference material such as these posts.

(Anyhow, my comment was not intended to tell you in any way what you ought to do, if ever you got the wrong idea.)

“Actually the Greeks invented napalm, it was called “Greek fire”.”

I’m going to give you that one, Scott Allen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_fire

I might add that I suspect the crucial missing ingredient was elemental sodium metal. Of course, that would require high currents for melting and electrolysis of salt but who can say?

Question for Dorit and Denise.

If Joel were not a ultra pro vaxx person but instead an anti vax person would you still tolerate his responses( name calling, degrading language etc.) to the females that post here; Natalie, Kay, Christine, Sophie and others, who have shared personal tragedies in their life only to be met with name calling and dismissive/degrading comments by Joel. Denise, even your post about him, needing to narrow his focus to the topic that Orac has written about was met with a mild rebuke. that is how bullies operate. Their word is law and is not to be questioned.

The bottom line is, Joel is a bully. He may be educated, he maybe smart, he might have read lots of stuff but the bottom line is, he just a bully.

@ Scott Allen

Rather than continue to waste time and effort, I will, in the future, try to submit the following in response to any comments from you:

Denice Walter
says:
April 16, 2021 at 11:12 am
@ Joel:
it’s highly unlikely that he is a bold, new Galileo overturning decades of research and is instead a loud mouthed, crank unable to critique his own level of ability and expertise, proudly displaying his personal issues and lack of executive function skills to self-evaluate..
You do a great job educating readers and it’s no wonder that Orac and Co at SBM accept your work… . .

Dangerous Bacon
says:
April 18, 2021 at 10:22 am
A reminder to those that get into the pigpen to wrestle with Scott Allen:
This is a guy who argues that when a journal article is indexed in the NIH’s PubMed database of scientific publications, that means the NIH endorses its conclusions.
It’s like saying that public libraries which carry copies of Mein Kampf support Nazi ideology.
Repeatedly engaging at length with dimwitted provocateurs is generally not a good idea.

Narad
says:
April 18, 2021 at 2:11 pm
if you want him to get lost, as I imagine most of the commentariat does, stop responding

Dorit Reiss
says:
April 18, 2021 at 1:12 pm
Almost by definition, the goal of a troll is to provoke you, so the unacceptable is part of their bag of tricks.
I agree it’s hard not to respond.
I want to remind you that this person – who initially tried to pretend to be pro-vaccine and middle of the road – has admitted that the account is being used by a group of people whose purpose is to troll.

Narad
says:
April 18, 2021 at 2:34 pm
He’s just one idiot. Feeding him is like feeding a weed.

squirrelelite
says:
April 18, 2021 at 3:45 pm
I was thinking the other day that there are “useful” trolls and “tedious” trolls.
The difference is that the useful trolls at least give me something of possible interest to research to try to learn something even if I am pretty sure whatever they are saying is a misinterpretation or completely wrong. The other category are just trying to get a rise out of us. I consigned S.A. to that group a while ago.
I’ve been known to write a few extended replies myself and I appreciate the work you put into some of yours. But I would second the motion just to ignore him/them.

THANKS EVERYONE, COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER. 😀

@ Scott Allen

“The bottom line is, Joel is a bully. He may be educated, he maybe smart, he might have read lots of stuff but the bottom line is, he just a bully.”

Poor poor you. Show me all these bruises you have…

Sometimes you do have to call out people on their idiocy. Being a bully is a tad more than merely calling someone out.

If Joel were roaming the streets and calling random people antivax, or harassing you on the net by following your every moves, he’d be a bully. But you came here. Willingly. Believed you could make a point. It’s your choice. You get name-calling in return. That’s not bullying: it’s calling you out.

Now Joel can take some things at heart sometimes. I grant that. But you should be able to stand your ground like a big boy. And not resort to whining in order to make a point.

(Gee… I’ve grown pitiless over the years.)

Silent reader of my mind, do you know what I will ask of you?
Tell me if you wanna hide, Tell me if you wanna be lied to.

But you came here. Willingly.

I do sometimes wonder how Spotts came to find himself here in the first place.

Christine Kincaid shared a tragedy, her preterm died one day after the oxygen supply was cut. She thinks that it was vaccines. It is not bullying to say that there exists a much better explanation.

And Joel posted these little tid bits about her (Christine’s) posts:

“What planet are you on?

Not very scientific, deary.

It’s hard to believe anyone could be as stupid as you seem.

Why don’t you find another blog to keep saying the same thing. You are pathetic.
you’ve shown over and over again that you lack the basic skills

And, as I’ve written, it is your absolute certainty that is despicable
I suggest you stop posting on this site and take up a pulpit since would suit your mentality better.

So, keep displaying your ignorance or, perhaps, your antipathy to vaccines, your dishonesty.

I love how you just continue to make a fool of yourself.

You don’t care about others, so you could care less.

how do you explain your twins extreme low birthweight and extreme prematurity? Have you had similar with other of your children? Please, how do you explain?
I wonder if your focus on vaccines in SIDS death of one of your children is to deflect some sort of guilt on your part. Perhaps, your lifestyle; but even if you did everything right, unfortunately SHIT HAPPENS and it wouldn’t be your fault; but it has to be the vaccine.”

“DEARY” !!!!!! quite sexist and demeaning.

And insensitive to anyone who has lost a newborn and yet he blames the victim.
“SIDS death of one of your children is to deflect some sort of guilt on your part. Perhaps, your lifestyle;”

And yet he claims to be a sensitive person who cares do you really thing that some who would post those things is really sensitive and caring person.

Beside the bulling, ego, pedantic posts he is a besserwisserin.

some one else said it best “an empty vessel makes the most noise”

@ F68.10

Ah, c’est maintenant un classique.
Si un jour un biopic est fait de Chirac, je me demande si cette phrase sera mentionnée ?

@ Athaic

I struggled to find an adequate English translation of These Words Of Wisdom From Our Beloved Presidential Republican Monarchs.

But, yeah, I hope he goes down in history books. If only for that sentence.

(Sometimes, I just wish the Queen of England were the French head of state. I would fume less.)

Aarno- a great deal more is said of C Kincaid than just explaining with better hypotheses the death of her offspring. The bullying accusation ( not mine) resides in the insults and much else that she endures because of her often poor arguments and lack of scientific knowledge..

@ Scott Allen

Rather than continue to waste time and effort, I will, in the future, try to submit the following in response to any comments from you:

Denice Walter
says:
April 16, 2021 at 11:12 am
@ Joel:
it’s highly unlikely that he is a bold, new Galileo overturning decades of research and is instead a loud mouthed, crank unable to critique his own level of ability and expertise, proudly displaying his personal issues and lack of executive function skills to self-evaluate..
You do a great job educating readers and it’s no wonder that Orac and Co at SBM accept your work… . .

Dangerous Bacon
says:
April 18, 2021 at 10:22 am
A reminder to those that get into the pigpen to wrestle with Scott Allen:
This is a guy who argues that when a journal article is indexed in the NIH’s PubMed database of scientific publications, that means the NIH endorses its conclusions.
It’s like saying that public libraries which carry copies of Mein Kampf support Nazi ideology.
Repeatedly engaging at length with dimwitted provocateurs is generally not a good idea.

Narad
says:
April 18, 2021 at 2:11 pm
if you want him to get lost, as I imagine most of the commentariat does, stop responding

Dorit Reiss
says:
April 18, 2021 at 1:12 pm
Almost by definition, the goal of a troll is to provoke you, so the unacceptable is part of their bag of tricks.
I agree it’s hard not to respond.
I want to remind you that this person – who initially tried to pretend to be pro-vaccine and middle of the road – has admitted that the account is being used by a group of people whose purpose is to troll.

Narad
says:
April 18, 2021 at 2:34 pm
He’s just one idiot. Feeding him is like feeding a weed.

squirrelelite
says:
April 18, 2021 at 3:45 pm
I was thinking the other day that there are “useful” trolls and “tedious” trolls.
The difference is that the useful trolls at least give me something of possible interest to research to try to learn something even if I am pretty sure whatever they are saying is a misinterpretation or completely wrong. The other category are just trying to get a rise out of us. I consigned S.A. to that group a while ago.
I’ve been known to write a few extended replies myself and I appreciate the work you put into some of yours. But I would second the motion just to ignore him/them.

THANKS EVERYONE, COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER. 😀

@ Aarno Syvänen

You write: “Christine Kincaid shared a tragedy, her preterm died one day after the oxygen supply was cut. She thinks that it was vaccines. It is not bullying to say that there exists a much better explanation.”

Do you remember the Terri Schiavo case? She was in a persistent vegetative state for years with NO evidence of cerebral brain functioning. A four hour video showed NO awareness. Her husband wanted to unhook her from the machines that kept her alive; but her parents fought it. Cutting brief sections of the video showed her with eyes open, allegedly following objects; but the 4-hour video showed this as just random. Finally, they pulled the plug and autopsies performed by two separate pathologists found her brain was half size of normal brain and occipital lobe (vision) was shrunken. I’m sure people know that dead people sometimes have eyes, though fixed, open.

The reason I give this example is that I don’t believe that it was the ending of oxygen that can be blamed for Christine Kincaid’s infants death; but the oxygen was ended because lower brain parts, the stem, can continue to work long after any part of the cerebral brain is dead. However, as I’ve explained numerous times, Christine’s infant was born extremely premature, extremely low birthweight, and Christine has admitted she suffers from some genetic disorders that could have been passed on. Quite simply, multiple research shows the risk of severe problems, including SIDS is over 50% with such infants. So, highly likely that the vaccine was just coincident, Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc.

However, as opposed to Christine actually writing that she was “absolutely” certain it was the vaccine, I have made clear that, though the overwhelming science says no, science is based on probabilities, not religious certainty. So, I asked her several times if she could admit that there was even a small possibility that it wasn’t the vaccine. Nope. So, what angered me was, as I clearly pointed out, that she as well as I am mere mortals, incapable of being absolutely certain. And I pointed out that as a scientist if future research should find that the rare infant with the combination of problems hers had, that a vaccine could either contribute to or cause SIDS, then, as with other conditions, recommendations as to vaccinating, delaying vaccinating, etc. would then apply. And I would have absolutely no problem with that. I also pointed out that her gross overgeneralization to all vaccines was totally wrong, that the benefits for vaccines far outweighs the rare serious adverse events, and that the rare few who might experience such might, without the vaccine, been one of those experiencing the most severe outcome, even death, from the actual microbe. She refuses to budge and proceeds with a Gish Gallup, finding more and more reasons to be antivax, which I have refuted with science, which she ignores, etc.

So, why is Christine this way? She claims to be an RN and claims that at the outset of the current pandemic she knew it was real and went out and bought plenty of N-95 masks, etc. So, aside from vaccines, she seems to be intelligent. I can think of three reasons:

(1) Parents often feel guilty if child born with problems, whether they actually did anything, e.g., smoking, drinking, or led as healthy a life as possible. So, how to alleviate such guilt? Simple, blame something else, in this case, a vaccine.

(2) In psychology, people often prefer to be to be treated negatively, as opposed to being invisible. So, Christine may be a frustrated lonely person (one can be lonely even if surrounded by “friends”) and, thus, by commenting on a blog where the overwhelming majority of followers think she is both wrong and rigidly unopen to real dialogue, at least she feels people recognize her existence.

(3) Finally, she may just be another troll, simply posting to irritate people.

And, maybe some combination of the above.

Scott posted

“Joel is now the Shire reeve of Oracham, he called out for his posse to come help him slay the brigant, scott allen.”

Joel appealed to his faithful to come to his rescue, of course not having read the whole exchanges between Scott and Joel and only “cherry picking” what Joel wanted you to read.

“Just scroll down until you find Scott’s first comment on masks and the exchanges between us. If you do, please comment. I’d love to hear from someone independent.

If you do, please just cut and paste entire results in a comment.

yep, I just post true stuff on this “not a legitimate forum”

Joel actually said this was “not a legitimate forum”

“THANKS EVERYONE, COULDN’T HAVE SAID IT BETTER”

He is so great he had to post it TWICE.

So to those of you who Joel used like a 20 dollar prostitute or like one of Joel’s endless parade of human shields, are you really better off for posting what you did and supporting this bully/user/egomaniac/blowhard?

Narad
Dorit Reiss
Narad
Dangerous Bacon
Denice Walter

Do you feel even a little dirty or used.

[…] Again, even though the mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines were made in record time, the groundwork for their development was two decades in the making, as scientists have been developing this technology for SARS, MERS, and other coronaviruses, as well as for other viral diseases. Contrary to what antivaxxers like to claim or imply, mRNA vaccine technology did not just magically appear last spring as the pandemic took off. Indeed, it’s been said that, had COVID-19 hit us five years ago, the technology would not have been ready yet, and we wouldn’t have had a vaccine so quickly. As for the claim that “no study” has been done to test the safety of such vaccines, that’s just nonsense. No, it’s a lie. For the mRNA vaccines, there were phase 3 studies involving a total of over 70,000 subjects, and now that over 240 million doses of these vaccines have been administered in the US alone, the post-vaccination safety monitoring has been intense and found no serious safety signals for mRNA vaccines. Even in the case of the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines, which do use the spike protein as the antigen but use replication-deficient adenovirus vectors to induce recipient cells to make spike protein, the monitoring system has found rare, literally one-in-a-million adverse events in basically real time, as discussed by Steve Novella and a certain friend of the blog. […]

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