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Antivaccine nonsense Politics

One more time: The Republican Party is the antivaccine party

NPR recently did a story about the alignment of the Republican Party and antivaxxers. Come for the freedom, stay for the antivax pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.

I almost didn’t write this post, given that it’s only been less than three months since the last time I wrote about this topic. You might recall that in September I described how Republicans and conservatives were losing their minds over President Joseph Biden’s federal vaccine mandate. You might recall that at the time I referenced Amber Ruffin’s regular segment on her weekly show that, “How did we get here?” I have, of course, been been explaining for several years now how the Republican Party has been increasingly embracing not just opposition to vaccine mandates, but actual antivaccine misinformation, as no longer fringe but part of the mainstream of the party. As I usually do, I pointed out that it wasn’t that long ago that the prevailing stereotype promoted by the press of antivaxxers was that they are crunchy, hippy-dippy lefties who are antivaccine because they love the “natural” and hate capitalistic profit-driven big pharma. Although there is certainly that element to parts of the antivaccine movement, I also described how that stereotype was never really accurate, given that there has long also been a right wing/libertarian component to the antivaccine movement aligned with the “health freedom” movement, a movement that I like to characterize as demanding the “freedom” from pesky laws preventing quacks from defrauding people. Basically, antivaccine conspiracy theories have long been embraced by people across the political spectrum; it’s just that the reasons vary depending on whether you’re on the right or the left.

Then I saw this article earlier this week in NPR based on a segment from All Things Considered entitled Inside the growing alliance between anti-vaccine activists and pro-Trump Republicans by Geoff Brumfiel. The story itself documents what I’ve been describing for several years now, how increasingly antivaxxers have turned opposition to government mandates into new recruits for the antivaccine movement. As I like to say on Twitter, come for the freedom (or should I say “freedumb”?), stay for the antivax pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. Indeed, in 2015 I noted how antivax arguments disguised as “anti-mandate” appeals to “freedom” and “parental rights” had infiltrated the Republican debates, with an outright antivaxxer like Rand Paul competing with Donald Trump and others to see who could be more in favor of an antivaccine “anti-mandate” version of “freedumb,” as formerly vocal supporters of vaccine mandates remained silent, and by 2018 I was openly arguing that the Republican Party had become the antivaccine party as I noted how my local GOP office had hosted an antivaccine “vaccine choice” roundtable, It was a sentiment I revisit from time to time, including now.

Although there is much that is very good in the story, the overall framing is one that I see all too often (and that annoys me), namely that it’s “unexpected” that the right would ally with antivaxxers. It’s not unexpected. It never was unexpected. But the mainstream media have long labored under this delusion even though it hasn’t been even remotely true for at least several years, if not much more than a decade.

NPR reported on a recent antivaccine quack event that at which Eric Trump spoke, noting:

In October, a conference filled with anti-vaccine activists in Nashville, Tenn., received a high-profile political guest: former President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump.

While portions of the younger Trump’s half-hour address were typical political platitudes, some of his biggest applause lines came when he attacked COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

“Do you want to get a vaccine or do you not? Do you want to be left alone or not?” said Trump to a roaring audience.

I was immediately reminded of antivaccine activist Del Bigtree when he came through Michigan just before the 2016 election. Let’s quote him right here (as I did then), just so that you can see the similarities, particularly given that he features in the NPR story:

If we do not fight now, then there will be nothing left to fight for. And I think that is where everyone in this room, I pray you realize how important you are in this historic moment. We will never be stronger than we are right now. We will never be healthier than we are right now. Our children are looking like this, a generation of children, as we’ve said on The Doctors television show this is the first generation of children that will not live to be as old as their parents. Are we going to stand…are we going to sit down and take it? Or are we going to stand up and say: This is a historic moment, that my forefathers, those from Jefferson all the way to Martin Luther King, the moments where people stood up and something inside of them said I’m going to stand for freedom and I’m going to stand for it now. That is in our DNA. It is pumping through me, and I pray that you feel it pumping through you, because we must look back. Our grandchildren will look back and thank us for having stood up one more time and been the generation that said, “We the People of the United States of America stood for freedom, stand for freedom. We will die for freedom today.

You can go back to this post if you want to see the original video to compare to that of Eric Trump.

Then NPR’s take became a bit puzzling to those of us who have been following the antivaccine movement for a long time:

Still, Trump’s emphasis was very different from those of many of the other speakers at the event, put on by longtime anti-vaccine activists Ty and Charlene Bollinger.

The day before Trump’s speech, a homeopathic doctor named Edward Group stood on the same stage and suggested to the audience they should drink their urine as an alternative to getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Another speaker, Carrie Madej, said the vaccines contained microscopic technology designed to put “another kind of nervous system inside you.” The true purpose of the vaccines, she claimed, was to turn humans into cyborgs.

It’s the sort of fringe views that kept political figures away from this conference in the past. But as America heads into midterm elections next year, the political right and the anti-vaccine movement are drawing ever-closer together. It’s an alliance that promises to give both sides more power, but the cost is potentially thousands of American lives.

Has Brumfiel been paying attention? Invocations of “freedom” have long been a key part of the rhetoric of the antivaccine movement going back to when I first started paying attention a couple of decades ago and far before that and have existed side-by-side with the pseudoscience, quackery, and conspiracy theories like the ones promoted by the Bollinger’s and Dr. Madej, who started portraying COVID-19 vaccines as “trans humanism” before there were even approved COVID-19 vaccines. The two go together. Again, come for the freedom, stay for the pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. (Yes, I will repeat this as often as I deem appropriate.) While it’s true that there are a disturbing number of antivaxxers on the left, right here, right now, as 2021 comes to a close, the loudest and most influential antivaxxers tend to be on the right and/or use primarily right-wing arguments.

Then comes the sort of spin that irritates the crap out of me. I see it whenever a reporter discovers that Republicans and conservatives embrace antivaccine views and is amazed:

To understand what’s going on, it’s important to understand where the parties are coming from. The anti-vaccine movement was not always especially political. Some of the movement’s leaders, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Democratic Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, have championed other liberal causes in the past.

“Not always especially political”? Wait, what? The antivaccine movement has been political going back to the very beginnings of antivaccine resistance, as have its invocations of “freedom.” Certainly during my lifetime it’s been very political. Does anyone remember the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986? That came about because lawsuits over the DPT vaccine were threatening to drive vaccine manufacturers out of the US market over liability costs, and one of the longtime leaders of the antivaccine movement, Barbara Loe Fisher, had a major role in crafting it with legislators. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, the antivaccine movement relentlessly attacked the Vaccine Court, which was created by the NCVIA of 1986 because it recognized that science doesn’t support the claim that autism is “vaccine injury.” By 2008, Jenny McCarthy was leading marches on Washington to demand that regulators “Green Our Vaccines.” (I’ll give Brumfiel that one, as that was a clever appeal to environmentalism. But it was political.)

I’ve documented many other political activities of antivaxxers over the years, as well, including the rise of antivaccine groups like Texans for Vaccine Choice and Michigan for Vaccine Choice, lobbying groups designed to push for the elimination of school vaccine mandates and the destruction of the Vaccine Court. Then, in 2015 the alliance between the right and antivaxxers was turbocharged when California passed SB 277, a law that eliminated nonmedical “personal belief exemptions” to school vaccine mandates, a process that, I would argue, “primed the pump” for what we are seeing today. I could go on and on and on about the very political “not especially political” activities of the antivaccine movement over the last 17 years, but will spare you the details.

The rest of the article seeks to portray the alliance between the Republican Party as an “unlikely alliance,” which, given that I was documenting how antivaxxers had teamed up with Tea Party groups in 2012, led me to scoff. Two frames are used. First, the article describes how the audience for liberal antivaxxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Del Bigtree is now primarily right wing, which leads to passages like this:

“The truth is, I’m still a registered Democrat,” says Del Bigtree, a well-known anti-vaccine activist. Even before COVID-19, he wrote and produced a documentary that falsely claimed childhood vaccines were linked to autism. But the message never caught on with the liberal audience he was targeting.

And:

Bigtree has been banned from social media platforms like YouTube for making false claims about the dangers of COVID-19 vaccines. But as the pandemic has dragged on, his conservative audience keeps growing. Often he speaks at conferences alongside people who claim the election was rigged and promoters of QAnon conspiracy theories.

“Unless there’s going to be a white supremacist on the stage or I find out that there’s something that I truly find distasteful, then I just see that stage as simply an audience that I want to hear this message,” says Bigtree.

It’s a numbers game. He wants to grow his movement, and he’ll talk to anyone who will listen.

How nice. Grifters gonna grift, of course, but even as big a grifter as Bigtree says that he won’t get on the same stage with a white supremacist. (He has such low standards, doesn’t he?) One wonders, though, what he defines as a “white supremacist,” because certainly people like Roger Stone, who was also a speaker at the same conference, has promoted white supremacist ideas and has had close ties with the fascist Proud Boys. (I can’t help but note that I described how before the pandemic right wing militia groups were marching with antivaxxers in Sacramento. Again, links between the far right and antivaxxers are nothing new.)

As I said at the beginning, though, the NPR story isn’t all bad, and I didn’t want to leave with that impression. Some of it is quite good. For instance, Brumfiel correctly observes:

Stone, who spoke at the conference, says he’s quite open to some of the ideas presented there about vaccines. But he also sees the shot as a powerful wedge issue that Republicans can use to motivate conservative voters during next year’s midterm elections. Citing public polls,Stone says that in particular, vaccine mandates are “highly likely” to be a campaign issue.

Vaccine mandates have many features that make them a good issue to motivate conservative voters. It invokes a fight about the government regulation and personal liberty. But add in the apocalyptic views of anti-vaccine activists and the political power of arguments against vaccine mandates gets punched up to a whole new level.

“Anti-mandate,” it turns out, frequently serves as a gateway to hardcore antivaccine beliefs, as I’ve been saying for a very long time now. I’ll also add here that there’s a reason why the right wing has united with not just antivaxxers, but with “antimaskers,” a catch-all term that describes those who reject public health mitigations for the pandemic, such as mask mandates and “lockdowns.” I’ve postulated that the reason that antivaxxers and antimaskers so quickly made common cause is due to their shared antipathy to public health interventions. Of course, I’ve long been describing how antivaxxers cleverly cloaked their antivaccine views in the rhetoric of opposition to government regulations and mandates. Come for the freedom, stay for the antivaccine pseudoscience.

Brumfiel also describes some of the data suggesting that this alliance between antivaxxers and the Republican Party is having a dire effect on the party’s supporters, such as data showing lower vaccine uptake and higher death rates in pro-Trump counties. That is, of course, just an association, but it’s a very suggestive one given how strong it is. When various Republicans are asked about the association between supporting the Republican Party and not being vaccinated against COVID-19, as antivaxxers have long done, they frame it as an issue of “freedom” and “personal choice” as well, often coupled with disinformation:

When asked about Republicans’ low vaccination rates, Stone was nonplussed. “Each person must make their own choice, God bless them.” He went on to falsely claim that getting the vaccine actually enhances a person’s chance of getting the disease. “So I guess I’d be more concerned if I were a Democrat,” he says.

No, that is not true at all.

There is also bad logic:

Burns, who is running for Congress in South Carolina, likened the choice about vaccination to smoking: “Cigarettes kill people every day, but yet you can go to the supermarket right now and buy it with no issue, that’s their choice. If they want to go put cancer into their lungs, they have a right to do so.”

Can anyone tell me what the difference is between cigarette smoking and an infectious disease like COVID-19? Cigarettes certainly do lead to huge levels of preventable disability and death, but guess what? Although it is definitely true that secondhand smoke can cause harm, it’s not the sort of contagion that will land you in the hospital and on a ventilator within days or weeks, and guess what else? There are laws designed to limit people’s exposure to secondhand smoke! We as a society try to mitigate the damage that smokers can cause to the health of people who don’t smoke through laws restricting where smoking is allowed, as imperfect as those laws are. (Of course, one wonders how many of these Republicans also oppose indoor smoking bans.)

Finally:

But for many Republicans who are concerned about public health, the willingness to parlay a lifesaving vaccine into political capital is disturbing.

“They just care about winning,” says Annette Meeks, a lifelong Republican who heads the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota conservative think tank. “It’s the worst element in American politics today.”

Meeks has seen the data on vaccines, and she’s watched people she knows get sick. “To see people reject those vaccines based on pseudoscience or worse — lies — and to see lives lost is a tragedy beyond words,” Meeks says.

In addition to the moral failings, Meeks says embracing the anti-vaccine movement carries huge political risks for the GOP. That’s because elections in states like Minnesota are won and lost in the suburbs. And those suburban voters tend to be vaccinated.

How many Republicans like Meeks are left, much less pro-vaccine Republicans willing to speak out and buck their party? Reason and science are being driven out of the Republican Party in a pretty systematic fashion. It’s good of Meeks to try to change what the Republican Party has become in terms of its antivaccine stance, which was once fringe but is now pretty close to being firmly ensconced as a core principle of the party. All I can say is: Good luck. I don’t know if anyone can unring this particular pseudoscience bell or put the antivax genie back in the bottle now that it’s escaped, particularly given the very significant grifting potential in antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories.

Don’t think that antivaxxers don’t see the grift potential, either:

The risks for the Republican Party in lives and votes may be real, but the there is little downside for the other party in this alliance — the anti-vaccine movement.

Del Bigtree says he’s seeing more people at speaking engagements and getting millions of visitors to his website each week.

“We are growing in size, in numbers, in confidence and in finances,” he says. And for now, his audience is clear: conservative America.

Of course there isn’t a downside for antivax grifters like Del Bigtree! They got a huge new audience, and Republican politicians now listen to them, opening huge new vistas of grift for them to exploit as huge numbers of easy marks treat them like rock stars. In the meantime, such huge swaths of the Republican Party have fallen prey to what one of my favorite journalists Charles Pierce likes to call the prion disease consisting of ever more outrageous conspiracy theories like QAnon, of which antivax conspiracy theories are not even the most bizarre. Thanks to the cravenness of Republican politicians and the susceptibility of the Republican base to conspiracy theories, the antivaccine movement is clearly in ascendance and the Republican Party is the antivaccine party.

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]

103 replies on “One more time: The Republican Party is the antivaccine party”

Also I’m shocked by the homeopath’s recommendation to drink urine. I thought that would be too concentrated for an effective remedy. Should one dilute the urine first to 10x or 30x before drinking?

“Homeopathic doctor” would be like an astronomer believing in astrology?

How does one pay a bill from a homeopath?
With an envelope that used to have money in it.

I lay much of the blame on Trump. Personally, meaning him in particular. Consider: what would it be like if, at the beginning of the pandemic, he told his cult followers, “You know, it would be a good idea to wear masks until this pandemic blows over…” instead of playing politics with it (remember the ventilator supply crap), embracing snake oil and frauds, and outright defying basic safety precautions (his limo ride while recovering from his own COVID-19 infection). The fact that we’re nearly two years into this, a vaccine has been available for a year, and we’re still seeing people dying by the thousands every day, is a large part of Trump’s legacy.

Indeed there has always been anti-vaxxers among Republicans. Rep Dan Burton held committee after committee trying to prove vaccines caused autism. What is different now is that the right has become the main segment of the anti-vaccine movement. This is not only in the US, but also in other countries. We have just had one of our far right politicians rage against vaccines and COVID-19 public health activities on Infowars, likening them (you guessed it) to the Holocaust.

Del Bigtree might claim to draw the line at appearing with white supremacists, but RFK, Jr is quite happy to share a stage with neo-NAZIs in Berlin.

Yup. A decade or two ago, there was an element of truth (highly exaggerated) that antivaxxers were primarily hippy-dippy crunchy lefties, but right here, right now, in 2021, the loudest voices and most politically influential actors in the antivaccine movement are all either right wing or, like Del Bigtree or RFK Jr., claim to be “progressive Democrats” but pander to the far right.

In my state, we have five or six people jockeying for Republican nomination for senator. Every single one of them has opposed any kind of public or private vaccine requirement and a few are full on “I am not vaxxed and not getting vaxxed.”

I’m becoming a bit annoyed by this far right / anti-science trope.

We had the following (out of memory) pass in the media.

Journalist: “Do you believe in climate change ?”

Eric Zemmour (far right candidate): “I am not a scientist, and therefore ignorant. I therefore listen to scientists on the matter.”

Journalist: “OK. But do you believe in climate change ?”

(sigh…)

And this has been going on and on and on for decades now.

If I were far right and if I had been treated in such a way, I would tell people to fuck off. And I’d pander to the anti-science crowd. Shamelessly.

Because Science is not supposed to be a Religion, and no one is supposed to recite a Creed upon demand by a journalist. And this journalistic attitude is not defending science. It is imposing a creed.

Not one of these f*cking journalists would be able to make a decent case for the Earth being round. I’m not taking anymore of this infantile behaviour to which we are supposed to gently nod when summoned.

@Orac: “Republican Party”

Sorry, no. American Fascist Party.

Because much as I hate being “that person”, you’re not merely missing the woods for the trees; you’re missing the whole goddamned forest moon of Endor! And there’s a bloody huge Death Star that’s dropping right on it.

The majority of US citizens need to wake up to this hideously unwelcome reality, and now. The 167 year-old Republican Party has already gone Full Fascist, and it is this close to converting the USA into a functional one-party state for all practical purposes. The opportunist Trump may have momentarily embarrassed them by jumping in and shouting the silent part out loud, but this is a calculated plan that far smarter, more patient monsters have been steadily progressing for close to 60 years now, ever since the launch of Barry Goldwater’s Southern Strategy, and they will not stop now.

Gerrymandering, voter suppression, 24/7/365 gaslighting propaganda across every media channel normalizing yesterday’s extreme as today’s New Normal. Your Overton window is pushed so far over it would give Adolph Hitler a tan. And nearly a hundred million Americans also sunning themselves under it, ecstatic that their day is at hand.

In pursuit of this absolute power, the American Fascist Party (aka GQP; previously Party of Nixon, née Party of Lincoln) has willingly converted itself into a filthy cesspit of oligarchs, kleptocrats, theocrats, Orangists, abusers, and enablers; and if you think it is suddenly going to halt its final-stage powergrab on a last-minute influx of shame and regret, you are fooling yourselves. Because it can’t stop now: it has already shed its mainstream support while ensuring the lock-in of loyal extremists. To reverse direction would betray this base, leaving the Party no support at all. The GQP has no choice but to shut shop or press forward efforts redoubled. And Hobson says how that choice works.

Antivax hate is merely one of a multitude of munitions now being harnessed to secure the final victory in the USA. Don’t mistake it for anything personal. It is only one minor facet of a vastly larger crusade. As the fascists grow close to seizing that absolute power, everything is turned into weapons, and everyone either the hands that wield them or the flesh beneath. There is nothing and no-one they will not use to achieve it; and once they secure it they will never (willingly) let go.

Remember: the Nazis didn’t rise to absolute power on majority vote. They achieved it by leveraging a highly motivated extremist minority while the apathetic majority of Good Germans stood back and permitted it to happen, until it was already far too late to do anything else.

Bombastic expansionists such as Hitler who make the strategic error of targeting their immediate neighbors may rapidly fall, but only after millions fought and died to put them back in their hole. It is the Francos and Pinochets and Stalins and Maos you really must watch: because those are the ones who birth stable fascist societies; blank-faced rocks which stand unbroken for decades, even as they silently and effectively crush tens of millions more lives than even warmongers ever did. A guilty state recognizes no innocents; no non-combatants. Everything and everyone is expendable; indeed the fascist credo might as well be Whatever Works.

Framed in that absolute perspective, a million dead Americans is no more than a noble, justified casualty of war. You think the Republican death cult will feel bad about killing all those people? No, they’ll celebrate them! Then kill a million more. So it goes.

As an obligatory reminder: here is Umberto Eco’s list of 14 Common Features of Fascism:

The cult of tradition. “One has only to look at the syllabus of every fascist movement to find the major traditionalist thinkers. The Nazi gnosis was nourished by traditionalist, syncretistic, occult elements.”

The rejection of modernism. “The Enlightenment, the Age of Reason, is seen as the beginning of modern depravity. In this sense Ur-Fascism can be defined as irrationalism.”

The cult of action for action’s sake. “Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, any previous reflection. Thinking is a form of emasculation.”

Disagreement is treason. “The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.”

Fear of difference. “The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”

Appeal to social frustration. “One of the most typical features of the historical fascism was the appeal to a frustrated middle class, a class suffering from an economic crisis or feelings of political humiliation, and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups.”

The obsession with a plot. “Thus at the root of the Ur-Fascist psychology there is the obsession with a plot, possibly an international one. The followers must feel besieged.”

The enemy is both strong and weak. “By a continuous shifting of rhetorical focus, the enemies are at the same time too strong and too weak.”

Pacifism is trafficking with the enemy. “For Ur-Fascism there is no struggle for life but, rather, life is lived for struggle.”

Contempt for the weak. “Elitism is a typical aspect of any reactionary ideology.”

Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”

Machismo and weaponry. “Machismo implies both disdain for women and intolerance and condemnation of nonstandard sexual habits, from chastity to homosexuality.”

Selective populism. “There is in our future a TV or Internet populism, in which the emotional response of a selected group of citizens can be presented and accepted as the Voice of the People.”

Ur-Fascism speaks Newspeak. “All the Nazi or Fascist schoolbooks made use of an impoverished vocabulary, and an elementary syntax, in order to limit the instruments for complex and critical reasoning.”

I defy anyone here to leave even a single one of those points unchecked. That’s how bad y’all have let it become. I sympathize; I really do. It is only human nature. But no-one else can or is going to fix it for you either. And if you fail to halt it now, and push it back into that hellish kitchen from which it spawns, then you’ll own everything that follows it too.

Global Fascism Tally (2021):

China – 100%

Russia – 100%

India – 50%

USA – 49%

EU – pending

K. Now I’m done. /lurk

I wondered when Eco created his list. so i checked the Web. The cite is:

Umberto Eco: Eternal Fascism, The New York Review of Books, June 22, 1995

And yep, we’re hitting all 14 now.

I believe that this was mentioned several times on this website, as to the long term effects of lock downs, mask wearing, food supply issues, world wide starvation. In the US we complain because 200 ships are back logged in LA port, while people in 3rd world countries are starving to death because there are no ships to move the food supplies they have become dependent on.
Of course the usual poster here dismissed that as rants of anti-science and anti-vaxxers and republicans and Trump supporters

PROTECTING YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH

hhs.gov/sites/default/files/surgeon-general-youth-mental-health-advisory.pdf

Africa doesn’t import much food from US.?
they get almost half of their wheat from the US and about 20% of their maize (corn) and rice from the us.
if 200 ships are backlogged at us ports they can’t be used to ship other goods to other countries

fao.org/faostat/en/#compare

Oh, and could you arse yourself to say where in the sprawling FAO site your tidbits are to be found? Someone to whom it doesn’t occur that grain exports aren’t likely to be transported in 20 foot shipping containers may fairly be suspected of not just getting that wrong.

Africa doesn’t import much food from US.?
they get almost half of their wheat from the US and about 20% of their maize (corn) and rice from the us.

@Charles B Do you think that that wheat is a staple in Africa ? Even bananas (of cooking variety) is more important. Grains are maize(white, not yellow), rice and sorghum. Many others could be mentioned, but are less important.
WFP actually would purchase from Africa. Idea is to promote self reliance. which is
obviously important.

In the US we complain because 200 ships are back logged in LA port, while people in 3rd world countries are starving to death because there are no ships to move the food supplies they have become dependent on.

Different routes, different boats.

How about this for protecting the mental health of young people:
140,000 American children have lost a primary or secondary caregiver to COVID. (As of Oct 7 2021.) (https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/more-140000-us-children-lost-primary-or-secondary-caregiver-due-covid-19-pandemic)

How do you think the death of an immediate family member has impacted those children’s mental health? Physical health? Basic safety and security?

But I get it, it’s more important for you to be able to … well, do what, really? Bars, restaurants, theaters are all open again. Sporting events. Malls. Schools. Concerts.

What can’t you do that you’re willing to ask people to die for?

(Oh, and the backup at the ports? That has a lot to do with labor shortages, because people who did those jobs died, so they can’t work, and their coworkers decided the job wasn’t worth their lives. Isn’t that freedom? To quit a dangerous job?)

So being anti-mandate and pro-evidence-based decision-making (a.k.a. risk/benefit analysis) is now far-right? Whatever dude. Keep attacking those strawmen.

As I said, scratch an “anti-mandate” activist, and at least nine times out of ten you’ll find an antivaxxer, and the other one time you’ll almost certainly find someone on their way to being antivax.

It’s been said a “risk benefit” analysis is like a captured spy … torture it enough and it will say anything. I assume the anti-vaccine approach to this is to downplay severity and numbers and then assume that is a factual basis for (bad) decisions. Tobacco science.

Are you really pro-evidence based? Evidence please to show what promotion be good health policy.

All I hear from propagandists like you (and others) is don’t take the vaccine. Nothing (your type says) shows COVID vaccination does harm via evidence.

No one here accepts that the death peddlers have evidence to prove their claims that more deaths are good — even for economics. We understand your rhetoric.

You are not pro-evidence. We know that from your speech patterns and arguments — and lack of evidence.

Thanks.

Yep. Just for once I’d like to hear: “Get the vaccine so we can stop issuing mandates, wearing masks, and locking down.” No. It’s always those concepts placed at contretemps with unrelated baloney slathered atop.

@MedicalYeti

We could have prevented most of this if people had just been willing to wear those dumb ass masks. We all hate them but we all hate going to the dentist just as much.

It’s rather entertaining to watch former liberals ( quasi-liberals?) who are anti-vax sidle up to Republicans especially a few who pride themselves for advocating for women ( Kim Rossi, Katie Wright). Alties like Del or Null are either tying themselves into knots to manage the shift or else might be showing their true inclinations such as when so-called progressives play audio of Tucker Carlson. Of course, RFK jr is the most glaring example.
Whilst we discuss Rand Paul, I think that his questionings of Dr Fauci should open his colleagues’/ supporters’ eyes to his support for CTs, misinformation and fear mongering.

RFK Jr. just got mentioned on Lawyers, Guns, and Money under the tagline When Mental Faculties Skip a Generation, which in turn links to a rather heavily-annotated Gawker article A Very Weird Interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

In particular, as the LGM article pointed out, at one point after RFKjr had been making a big deal about the Gates Foundation’s ties to drug manufacturers, the interviewer asked RFKjr where CHD got most of its funding from, and the prevarication started…

Do you think it’s important for all of these institutions to disclose exactly where they’re getting their funding from?

Of course.

Where does Children’s Health Defense get most of its funding?

We got probably most — I mean, we got funding from independent funders, from people whose children have been injured by medications, from people who want medical freedom. You don’t get any money from pharma at all. We don’t get money from people who are making money on pharmaceutical products.

Right. I was looking at your guys’ 990 from 2019, and there was about $3 million in contributions, but the list of contributors was restricted. Do you know roughly who they are?

I wouldn’t be able to tell you. But because of the capacity, of the willingness of the press to censor any kind of dissent toward the government and official narratives and the pharmaceutical paradigm, it’s hazardous a lot of times for people who give to our organization, which is a very hard line defender of children’s health, to expose themselves that that kind of vitriol and punishment.

Not long after the interviewer starts asking how much RFKjr is making and then points out the actual citations of what CHD said he was paid, RFKjr started basically calling the interviewer a pharma shill, complaining that the interviewer was doing an exposé on CHD when they should have been doing an exposé on the pharmaceutical industry instead.

The full interview is quite interesting. It shows just how much RFKjr has grown so used to being inside his own bubble that he doesn’t seem to know anymore how to deal with an interview that didn’t softball all the questions.

Oh, wow. That’s quite the interview.

“You have a section in this first chunk —

By the way do you consider yourself a journalist or just a pharmaceutical rep? Because that’s what you sound like. You don’t sound like a journalist. You sound like you’re an apologist for the pharmaceutical industry, and for the government agencies that are aligned with them.

Yeah I put that on my business cards. So you have a section in the book called “Final Solution: Vaccines or Bust.”

Excuse me?

You have a section — a sub header — in the book called “Final Solution: Vaccines or Bust.”

Yeah.

That’s a pretty pointed choice of words. Did you mean to invoke the Holocaust?

It says what it says.

Can you elaborate?

It says what it says.”

I suppose it is all about being against the establishment. In old times, that establishment would be conservative. Now it is perhaps progressive. Besides I think it has always been about freedom.
I still remember reading in some hippy dippy magazine, a long, long time ago, that children which were born in an abusive environment had choosen to do so, because they had to learn something from it. So much for compassion with the weak.

Nail on the head. It’s counter-culture now to be someone with who is conservative or family values-oriented. I’m both of those things, to some degree, but not to the level of many around me who are absolutely convinced they are losing some culture war and America is becoming Gomorrah.

It also fits with the low regulation philosophy of many on the right. Or maybe it just ‘don’t regulate me’.

“In 2005, a Stanford physician named John Ioannidis published a now-famous essay called “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,” laying out the incentives that lead researchers to publish only positive results and even sometimes juke their statistics—enough, even within the bounds of research ethics, to bias articles to “yay” instead of “nope.” (Ioannidis has since become something of an iconoclast about anti-Covid measures.) That led, over the next decade, to a “reproducibility crisis,” with researchers like Errington and Nosek finding failures to replicate in fields like psychology and economics, and hints that the problems were rife in every specialty from astrophysics to zoology.”

“But drug researchers acknowledge, quietly, that most approved drugs don’t work all that well at all—especially cancer drugs.”

wired.com/story/some-cancer-studies-fail-to-replicate-that-might-be-ok/

So it ok if the science doesn’t work we are to believe in it anyway or be labeled deniers.

Go into septic shock. I’ll show you five or six approved drugs that work VERY well.

“In 2005, a Stanford physician named John Ioannidis published a now-famous essay called “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,”

Ioannidis’ work is often used by anti-vaxxers in a Nirvana Fallacy fashion. Just because some published scientific research is wrong, does not mean that you can believe whatever you want. Extremely rarely does a single scientific research paper become the be all and end all of a topic. Science works by discarding ideas that are found wrong and accepting those that cannot be proved to be wrong.

Ioannidis’ criticisms were mostly about sample size and statistical methods, often focused on small studies published by public sector researchers. It is an axiom in science that often the first paper on a topic will show a bigger effect size than subsequent work. This is due to a combination of chance and the fact that papers from only one side of the effect will get published.

If that was where science stopped it would be a problem. What happens is other people test the ideas and if they don’t work they get discarded.

For all their other issues, studies by industry do tend to be larger and better conducted, because there is no value for industry to expend the hundreds of millions of dollars on investing in things that do not work.

“But drug researchers acknowledge, quietly, that most approved drugs don’t work all that well at all—especially cancer drugs.”

That is not in fact what that quote was about. The real claim was that most approved drugs don’t work for everyone, due to person to person variations in response and metabolism and some may work on as few as 30% of people. Not that most approved drugs do not work.

Of course it is not necessary for a drug to work on 100% of patients to get it approved.

Also, in my career I’ve watched expert opinion become “consensus” become “Evidence states…”

Gone are the days where the almighty specialist holds court on the ward to issue edicts. We are doing better with single source guidance not worse.

Sen. Rand Paul is accusing Dr. Fauci of promoting “hysteria and fear” about the omicron variant. According to Paul, the government should’ve waited a couple of weeks after the omicron variant emerged to see if it would be a serious problem, before instituting any economically harmful travel bans.

Paul, who scoffs at “hysteria and fear” recently warned of his home state of Kentucky losing 700,000 jobs due to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for larger businesses. He also says that Fauci is not the kind of person you want leading a national public health effort.

The irony is so thick, you could stand up a barbecue fork in it.

What irony?

Fauci promotes irrational fear. Mandates are harmful, especially to the economy (demonstrable fact), whereas the [variant # whatever] has an unknown (and likely less dangerous) impact.

Paul is correct.

Vaccine mandates harmful? How? All you’ve got to do is get a few injections. I think you’ll find that RESISTING a vaccine mandate is harmful to the economy. Some serious wife beater style gumption though. “I was provoked your honour, she was asking for it”.

It is promoting irrational fear to say that a disease can kill you ? It is quite obvious thing.

my forefathers, those from Jefferson all the way to Martin Luther King

I wonder whether Bigbooté used ancestry.com or 23andMe.

Funny, he usually cites his Native Mohawk ancestry, thus the surname ( which was his maternal grandfather’s not his father’s who is a WASP).

Shazam, that Covid is some powerful stuff, it wiped out pediatric flu deaths, for 2 years now.

gis.cdc.gov/GRASP/Fluview/PedFluDeath.html

Amazing what lockdowns, social distancing & masks do to prevent disease….plus since the new flu strains come from Asia & those countries have done the most of lock themselves down and travel is restricted, there isn’t as much circulating.

Try again.

lawrence

Are you daft or a racist or just ignorant
.
Some strains of flu come from asia but other strains come from other parts of the world.
And social distance in some south asia countries is almost impossible. and people in Asia wore face mask long before covid and the west popularized it and they/we still got the flu.

businessinsider.com/map-of-where-in-the-world-flu-comes-from-2015-6?op=1

@William You made two contradictory statements: “Social distancing is inpossible to Asia” and “everyone had faces mask in Asia”. First one helps to spread the flu, second one prevents it. Net result is zero effect.

Are you daft or a racist or just ignorant

people in Asia wore face mask long before covid

Where do you think Asia starts?

William: Asia is not a country. Not everyone wore face masks pre-pandemic.

Something to think about if you’re trying not to be ignorant.

Shazam, that Covid is some powerful stuff, it wiped out pediatric flu deaths, for 2 years now.

So, you can’t figure out what “insufficient data” means. Fuck off.

The Republican party accepts all the downtrodden, such as, reality deniers and make believers, racists, anti-democracists, anti-governmentists, vigilantes, book burners, and of course elitist billionaires. They have the representation to prove it. Plenty of room in the tent for the anti-vaccine crowd (it’s small and getting smaller).

Aarno

as to this link doesn’t work, copy the whole link and paste it in your heading, if you copy the whole header and put the whole https:// the akismet slows the process down. Posts from joel (who provides more that 3-4 links doesn’t get thru akismet sometimes for up to 24-36 hours. your computer should be smart enough to auto fill the http etc.

gis.cdc.gov/GRASP/Fluview/PedFluDeath.html

The link showed a disclaimer on the top of it, so I could not read the content.

When I go to the link, and then click OK on the disclaimer, I can see the page unobstructed.

I’m not sure why the OP is making a big thing of it: it’s been noted in a lot of places that public health precautions to help control the spread of COVID also help reduce the incidence of influenza. Who’d have thought that PH measures to control one disease would also help control another disease with pretty much the same method of transmission?

Here’s an example of it from Australia:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-13/flu-cases-drop-amid-coronavirus-restrictions-statistics-show/12332204

Two main reasons are given for the fall in infections: the public health measures to help control COVID and a higher than normal level of influenza vaccination in the Australian mid-2020 influenza season, partly as a response to a government advertising campaign to increase the level of influenza vaccination.

ABC News/ MSN, today: ” A Tale of two New Yorks”
Rates of hospitalisation for Covid are contrasted in the city vs more rural areas with the latter being much worse. Map included. The governor says that it is ” ..a conscious decision to not be vaccinated..”. Rural areas have less hospitals and less accessible medical care meaning that residents may have to wait for longer periods of time if they are ill and thus become much sicker as a result of the delay.
In addition, New York City requires proof of vaccination for indoor activities like movie theatres and restaurants. Upstate, less masks are employed and people become less cautious according to a physician being interviewed. Surgeries will most likely have to be postponed in 32 hospitals being affected.

For anyone unfamiliar with NY, population density, type of housing/ commercial buildings and modes of transportation in the two areas are strikingly different: imagine if you will, a cityscape of skyscrapers and highrise apartment buildings served by subways with farms, small towns and single family houses interconnected by private vehicles. The rate should be much lower in the latter but it ISN’T because of how people behave. No interviewees said it explicitly but politics in the two areas also differ as you might expect.

Tompkins County, NY, is an exception, because we have a pretty high vaccination level compared to our surrounding counties. Our case count is going up, but not the number of people in the hospital with Covid. We also have one of the highest levels of testing in the state, due to the presence of Cornell (which is analyzing some of the tests to find out which strains of the virus are here).

About NY:
PRN’s woo-meister supreme advises followers to leave NY immediately because it is a hellish place that makes you get vaccinated. He left and refuses to return because of the indoor pass policy: you can’t eat in restaurants or see films, concerts or plays without showing your papers PLUS you may need to get vaccinated to work there. So head to the greener pastures of Florida, Texas or South Dakota as well as 19 other states that will never impose such draconian restrictions upon personal freedom.

At some point in your modern life this epiphany will come to you as well.

“When I saw the left give up everything I believe in, I changed politically. You can, too.”

“You are living through The Turn if you have questions about public health policies—including the effects of lockdowns and school closures on the poor and most vulnerable in our society—but can’t ask them out loud because you know you’ll be labeled an anti-vaxxer.”

“You are not “a supporter of free speech” if you oppose free speech for people who disagree with you”

“You are not “for science” if you refuse to consider hypotheses that don’t conform to your political convictions and then try to ban critical thought and inquiry from the internet.”

tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/the-turn-liel-leibovitz

Hmmmm…then square banning athletes from exercising their first amendment rights to kneel during the National Anthem?

1) Schools are open. (Except when they’re closed because too many teachers and students are sick.) It’s easy to tell schools are open: the regular drumbeat of school shootings has started up again.

2) What about the effect of a very serious novel disease on “the poor and most vulnerable in our society”?

3) If people would just get vaccinated already then this could be over!

4) What lockdown? There’s no “lockdown” anywhere in the US. (An no, being asked to show a vaccine card or wear a mask inside a store is not a “lockdown”. A lockdown is when you can’t leave your home. When all but the most essential businesses are closed. That’s not happening in the US now.)

5) Who’s “ban[ning] critical thought and inquiry from the internet.”? You’re still posting. Lots of different opinions are being expressed here and everywhere else online and IRL. Just because people disagree with you, or might choose to not interact with you because they disagree with your positions, that’s not being banned. That’s a consequence. It happens with all kinds of topics from politics to religion to sports to economic theory.

I suspect Kay West was just doing the “searching for things that confirm my prejudices” thing. I fail to see why the perspective of an Israeli journalist who is a fan of the Great Barrington Declaration should guide us in our thinking.

People who whinge that freedom should come without responsibilities should be listened to less, not more. Freedom of speech comes with the responsibility of not using that speech to harm others.

Oh of course — Kay says so (great evidence). Us sheeple, we just don’t understand, but Kay says some crap. Yea Kay. Good for you. How elitist are you again? Is this as good as Kay gets (Yup)? Waiting for decent evidence and not your screwy propaganda — but know you ain’t about honest dialogue.

Will Kay change or admit how wrong are the arguments she promotes?
Not holding my breath.

Kay loves killing Americans (and anyone else who listens to that sh!t) by spreading ignorance.

Pretend some please. This is gold. Thanks.

@Kay West I do consider your hypotheses. You should provide some supporting evidence, and evidence that is good enough to prove your claims. You have not provided any.

Lawrence
Name one athlete that was prevented from playing because they knelt.
Justa
1. Actually schools have only been open for this year.
unicef.org/press-releases/schools-more-168-million-children-globally-have-been-completely-closed
2. The poor actually had to go to work, so that the rich could work from home.
3. Pfizer is already talking about a 4th vaccination. As most people who get the new version of the virus have had 2 or 3 vaccinations.
4. Lockdowns
ballotpedia.org/States_that_issued_lockdown_and_stay-at-home_orders_in_response_to_the_coronavirus_(COVID-19)_pandemic,_2020
5. Banning
Banning of opposing points of view, have you forgot about this blog post from an organization that celebrates getting points, of view banned?
respectfulinsolence.com/2021/03/26/disinformation-dozen-vs-public-health/
“It is well past time they were deplatformed.”
nypost.com/2021/09/29/youtube-bans-all-anti-vax-content-not-just-covid-19-related/
mashable.com/article/facebook-anti-vaccine
news.yahoo.com/anti-vaccine-influencer-permanently-suspended-010100429.html

Name one athlete that was prevented from playing because they knelt.

Well, well, Kay Gumby with another sterling entry.

It’s OK to sound it out with your mouth open: Collin Kaepernick, by chance?

Vaccoination would prevent all this, so why you would oppose it ?
Schools are actually open, so what is your problem.
Grocery stores are essential services, and restaurants could offer home delivery. This is mostly history, though,
Pfizer is talking about 4th vaccination sure, Wait until authorities are talking about it.
I do not like claims like COVID does not exist; COVID is mild flu; vaccines have no effect.
It is about bannibg obvious lies.

Kind of Off topic, but here is a business opportunity for someone with less scruples than me.One of the current new words in China is “Chicken Babies*”, which relates back to the practice of injecting chicken blood into your self which was popular during the Cultural Revolution. Given that all things TCM are wonderful, why not re-introduce the practice?

https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=52978

Narad

“Collin Kaepernick”

Was not fired, he opted out of the last year of his contract with the 49ners. (AKA; he quit) he had a 126 million contract if he played/stayed the last year.

espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/18796373/colin-kaepernick-san-francisco-49ers-opts-contract

that fact that no other team wanted him was because at the end he ‘sucked’ as a quarterback in his final season.

“In the 2016-17 NFL season, Colin Kaepernick was in the bottom half of production for quarterbacks. His 2,241 yards passing ranked 29th in the league. His quarterback rating was also near the bottom of the league. He ranked 23rd in the NFL with a 49.2 QBR.”

“Accuracy was Kaepernick’s biggest issue since the Super Bowl season. He was 26th in the league in completion percentage (59.2) in 2016-17. He threw just four interceptions all year, but he was also near the bottom of the league with just 16 touchdown passes.

The closest QB to Kaepernick’s numbers in his final season was Brock Osweiler, who is now out of the NFL too. Kaepernick simply didn’t play well enough to warrant a starting job after 2017.”

sportscasting.com/how-good-was-colin-kaepernick-when-he-left-the-nfl-in-2017/

that fact that no other team wanted him was because at the end he ‘sucked’ as a quarterback in his final season.

That’s barefoot teleology, and also a crock of shit despite your trying to worm your way out the question that you actually posed. He was blacklisted, crunchy cracker honey. This leaves out Nate Boyer and so forth.

I guess the whole fucking team at Bluefield College ‘sucks’ in Dogpatch. It’s disturbing that there might be something even more rotten under the slimy carapace that you present with pride.

Aarno

“Vaccoination would prevent all this, so why you would oppose it ?”

Actually the vaccinations don’t prevent you from getting Covid,they don’t keep you from spreading it (that information is from this web blog) it may lessen your symptoms but it will not keep you from having to go to the hospital or admitted to the ICU

“Pfizer is talking about 4th vaccination sure, Wait until authorities are talking about it.”

Your post is misinformation and should be banned, as it is misleading and out of date (see item 5.).

“Immunocompromised may need a fourth Covid-19 shot, CDC says”

cnn.com/2021/10/26/health/covid-19-fourth-dose-for-the-immunocompromised/index.html

@Kay West:

Actually the vaccinations don’t prevent you from getting Covid

Again with the dishonesty. They lower your odds of getting it by 90%.

…they don’t keep you from spreading it (that information is from this web blog)

As has been confirmed, you are FAR LESS CONTAGIOUS IF VACCINATED.

it may lessen your symptoms but it will not keep you from having to go to the hospital or admitted to the ICU

The overwhelming majority of people in ICU are the unvaccinated.

You are being specious and disingenuous.

^You are being specious and disingenuous.

Speciousness requires a certain talent. Kay’s dog’s dinner doesn’t get there.

Vaccination will prevent all that, totally, if enough people are vaccinated. This is called herd immunity.

@ Kay West

One paper by one “respected” scientist and you are convinced. First, did you read what Orac wrote on April 5, 2021 “WTF happened to John Ioannidis”?

As someone well-trained in science, I have read most, if not all of Ioannidis papers. I have also been a member of Public Citizen for almost 35 years, a public watchdog group founded by Ralph Nader, Within Public Citizen is a section called the Health Research Group. During this time they have either criticized drugs prior to being approved by FDA or afterwards. They have been right every time. Over 25 drugs that they were first to criticize have been withdrawn from the market. For years they recommended that people NOT use a newly approved drug for FIVE years unless there is NO other current drug for a serious condition. They now recommend SEVEN years. Why? Because this allows time for follow-up studies, for various nations health agencies to report adverse events and/or lack of effectiveness. And we have many drugs that have been on the market for many years that have been shown to confer significant benefits with low risks of serious adverse events and, yep, there are still some drugs that probably shouldn’t be on the market. The problem is your continuously stupid ALL OR NONE approach.

You should also read carefully above what Chris Preston wrote
December 9, 2021 at 3:29 am

I actually first read Ioannidis paper when it first came out. And I understand to look at choice of measures, sample size and sampling procedure, statistics used, and how well conclusions follow the aforementioned. I really doubt you even consider such. Chris Preston obviously does.

But, to be repetitive, seeing things in nuanced ways, actually thinking about what others write, not something you do. By the way, given your rigid belief in your interpretation of Ioannidis article, if you are ever seriously ill, will you forgo medications, after all, chances are . . .?

@ Kay West

So, you write: “Actually the vaccinations don’t prevent you from getting Covid,they don’t keep you from spreading it (that information is from this web blog) it may lessen your symptoms but it will not keep you from having to go to the hospital or admitted to the ICU.”

I’ve rebutted this and so have many others. First, I don’t live in a world of dichotomies, black and white. Nope, vaccines usually aren’t 100% effective nor come with zero risk. However, I was a volunteer in the Moderna Covid Vaccine trials; but, as I’ve already written, first I read up/reviewed mRNA, then search PubMed for any studies/papers on mRNA vaccines, etc. For previous mRNA vaccine I used 2018 and back in order to avoid current COVID-19 research. Found 61 going back to 2005. Used Google Scholar to go back further than 2005, found quite a few more. But as for the effectiveness and risk, just type in “mRNA Covid-19 vaccine” and one comes up today with 2,019 papers. So, there is lots of info out there, not from antivax blogs, not from social media. And I’ve also gone online to read reports on various government websites, e.g., Sweden (I’m fluent at Swedish), Canada, France (not fluent; but adequate) etc.

First, our bodies contain multitudes of potentially pathological microbes which our immune systems usually keep in check. Second, we are exposed on average to several thousand potentially pathological microbes on a daily basis. And some actually do enter our bodies and a nasal pharyngeal swab, for instance, could detect. In such cases, most don’t gain a permanent foothold; but others do; but our kept in check. An extreme example is tuberculosis that many people years ago had in their bodies; but the mycobacteria was encased by our immune system and only in rare instances did it break loose.

Back to the published studies and government website reports on COVID-19. Even with the Delta variant, the overall effectiveness is 80% or better. This doesn’t mean than 20% get it and 80% don’t; but that it reduces the risk of serious disease, of hospitalization, long Covid, and death significantly. I have written before; but you ignore, seatbelts only reduce risk of death and serious injury by about 50% and there have been one or two people who the belt twisted, sliced into them, and killed them, and many dozens who have had bruised ribs and kidneys, and even ruptured bladders. And I’ve also pointed out, as has Orac, and others, that VAERS reports are “suspicions”. Given Trump’s handling of COVID, i.e., not so dangerous, the surge in anti-vac websites, etc. there has been a surge in reports to VAERS; but follow-ups on serious adverse events have NOT supported the large number reported. And again, I don’t just rely on U.S. reports, including CDC Vaccine Safety Datalink and other programs; but check out Swedish, Canadian, and, though my French isn’t all that good, have bookmarked their websites as well. An excellent paper that explains how VAERS is investigated:

Shimabukuro TT et al. (2015 Aug 26). Safety monitoring in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Vaccine; 33(36): 4398-4405.
[Just cut and paste title to find] I realize you won’t read it; but for others following this dialogue, they will find it of worth.

And ALL CDC studies, VAERS, etc. and other nations have NOT found deaths from vaccine, etc. But obviously you want to believe it, so, if you believe it, it must be true???

I am 75 and after getting the COVID vaccine, even if I still got mild flu-like symptoms, still a lot better than what reports of current cases indicate, which includes not just deaths; but hospitalizations, long Covid, etc. However, besides also getting booster, I always wear a N95 mask when I go shopping. A minor inconvenience.

Given how you use VAERS and social media, I would bet if there was a crime and cops brought in 20 or so “suspects” for questioning, you would consider them all guilty. Or if on a jury, you would decide in advance defendant guilty and ignore the defense. You really are super STUPID, rigid, locked into ALL OR NONE anti-science, anti-vax, anti-seriousness of Covid.

And studies have found that those vaccinated can, usually for short periods of time, have COVID viruses released in air; but usually fewer than from those suffering COVID and often only for short periods of time. As I wrote above, we all get infected from time to time with potentially pathogenic microbes and until our immune systems eliminate, usually within less than couple of weeks, we could spread. But, if everyone, vast majority, were vaccinated, then so what??? Will there be a few cases, hospitalizations, even deaths, maybe; but compared to unvaccinated, not even close.

Chris Preston

“I fail to see why the perspective of an Israeli journalist…”

Who went to Tel Aviv University, earned a Ph.d from Columbia and has written for the “Nation” and “The New Republic” (hardly hot beds of anti vaxxers)

I would bet that the posting of Dorit Reiss sends you into a cognitive dissonance state or if any poster were to replace ‘Israeli” with any other, race, nationality, sex etc. …. they would be labeled racists, sexists etc.

and I am still waiting for the women who post on this site to condemn the poster who said ‘twunts”, so I am guessing that is an acceptable argument.

@ Kay West

And as usual you focus on one or, maybe, two opinions. Of course, if they confirm your irrational unscientific beliefs, sufficient; but if dozens don’t confirm, you focus on one or two.

And nothing will change your mind. I would be if some new variant of Covid were to kills a million or more people and valid research found that almost all were unvaccinated and/or didn’t wear masks. It wouldn’t change your mind. Oop! “Mind”, probably doesn’t fit you.

And you ignore what I wrote above refuting your claims about Covid vaccine, because you can’t! ! !

[ …briefly unsubmerging while I have time to kill… ]

@Kay West:

and I am still waiting for the women who post on this site to condemn the poster who said ‘twunts”, so I am guessing that is an acceptable argument.

Oh, honey; I’ve already apologized to all the lovely useful vaginas of the world for wrongly comparing them to you.

You are a Flying Lying Spunking Jizz Monkey now.

No-one else will apologize for the mean names I called you, for you’ve proven yourself that my gross monikers are 110% earned. You are a grotesque person who, upon being repeatedly extended an empathetic hand and asked politely to debate on logic and evidence by everyone here, has gleefully intentionally shat in our hand. Every. Single. Time.

We all know it. It’s just that the other have too much class to express it out loud.

.

The only person here who now needs to apologize is you. And no-one here expects it either, as all the evidence you’ve handed us is unanimous.

You are a malicious mendacious calculating abuser.
You know exactly what you are doing, why you are doing it, and who you are doing it to.
Your “Woe is me, I’m the real victim here!” narrative is the textbook reply of the covert narcissist engaged in gaslighting, sealioning, button-pressing, and DARVO, upon being called on it.

Thank you.

You’ve fooled nobody here but yourself.

So either woman up and apologize to all the decent and generous people here for your abuse of them, and start engaging honestly with their reasoned, evidenced, arguments and rebuttals.

Or carry on being you, just one more malignant Disease Pervert that’s not worth gobbing on. You make our case for us, and I thank you for it too.

[ /out ]

KAY:

Exhibit A for me was when you automatically crapped on my service record with NO IDEA who I was or what I did. I’ll just say this-I wasn’t a doctor back then. Then talked about what a big war hero your hubby is. Disgusting conduct. If your hubby really is a combat veteran, you would know better than to trash the service of others. But, yeah…get hung up on one thing someone said and ignore all of the abuse you have dispensed. Shame on you.

“I fail to see why the perspective of an Israeli journalist…”

Who went to Tel Aviv University, earned a Ph.d from Columbia and has written for the “Nation” and “The New Republic” (hardly hot beds of anti vaxxers)

Leibovitz is a crank about more things than this.* Have an informal responsum.

*Maybe he’s merely trying to hew to his matrilineal descent from Anatolian Neanderthals.

“So, there is lots of info out there, not from antivax blogs, not from social media.”

So all your information originates from one side. You would be a horrible juror and you claim to evaluate ALL the evidence.

“Why 100? If I were wrong, one would have been enough. [In response to the book, Hundred Authors Against Einstein]”

spectator.com.au/2021/08/most-covid-patients-at-israeli-hospital-fully-vaccinated-what-does-this-mean-for-australia/

Are you or have you ever been in Israel, I have seen on this site that is all it take to refute an argument or if you are a ‘twunt”, I guess that one works as well.

Having read your two recent post not one word of what you claimed as fact was sourced, “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” and I can’t stress this enough, I have grown tired of your endless ego trips on your history/life.

besides I am still waiting for narad to tell us how great Collin kaepernick was his last year as a pro and explain how he quit, oh got fired. And yes he got black listed (that is racist) like all the other players who beat their wives, committed criminal acts or were just bad for PR. The NFL is not about football, its about the MONEY and Collin was bad for the money, besides collin has made more money after he quit then he was making before as a football player.

Here’s an AFP factcheck on some of the claims in that Spectator article, though the factcheck refers to social media posts, though they appear to have been quoted in the Spectator article:
https://factcheck.afp.com/http%253A%252F%252Fdoc.afp.com%252F9NF42C-1

For example:

The posts claim that Haviv says, “95% of the severe patients are vaccinated.” However, he does not utter these words in either the full or edited video.

He actually said, “Most of the elderly are vaccinated, most of the population is vaccinated, and that’s why around 90 percent, 85-90 percent of the patients hospitalised here [Herzog Hospital] are patients that were fully vaccinated.”

In a similar way, the posts misquote Haviv as saying, “We are opening more and more COVID wards,” although he does not utter these words.

You forget the divisor. Remember that in Israel, most people are vaccinated.
There is data from another high vaccinated country:
https://www.moh.gov.sg/
You will notice most people in ICU are still unvaccinated. This is not a single hospital, either.

@ Kay West

You write: “spectator.com.au/2021/08/most-covid-patients-at-israeli-hospital-fully-vaccinated-what-does-this-mean-for-australia/”

Israel has the highest vaccination rate of any nation. If almost all people are vaccinated and the vaccine is only, say, 80 – 90% effective, then most hospitalized people will have been vaccinated; but what you miss in your ongoing immense stupidity, based on literally hundreds of studies, without the vaccine, the number of severely sick people would have been exponentially greater and the hospitals would have been overwhelmed, meaning even those who could have been saved, would not have received the necessary care. Of course, since you don’t believe in vaccines, the numerous studies don’t matter, just your stupid beliefs and cherry-picking of info.

As for the book of 100 disagreeing with Einstein, I may try to get a copy; but you could also write in a comment about the number of people who write not believing in Jesus as Son of God or people who write that a heavy meat diet is good for you. I have one such book, Nina Teicholz (2014). The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat, and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet. In a world of 7 billion people, with millions of “scientists”, etc. one can always find those with opinions that differ. We have medical doctors who believe in homeopathy, which Orac has torn to shred numerous times.

Not sure who directed to; but you write: “Having read your two recent post not one word of what you claimed as fact was sourced, “what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” and I can’t stress this enough, I have grown tired of your endless ego trips on your history/life.”

Yet, in many of my posted comments directed in response to yours I have included numerous references. When I gave half dozen that refuted your belief Covid deaths in India low; but I also included one paper that “SPECULATED” on other possible explanations which, of course, was the only one you jumped at.

And I’ll ask for the umpteenth time, since you pointed out my living alone with lots of time on my hands, why do you have so much time for posting comments, actually for just making a fool of yourself?

@Joel:

Israel has the highest vaccination rate of any nation.

Do you have a source for that?

Our World in Data figures suggest otherwise: that Israel has about 62% of its population fully vaccinated, more than the USA (60%), but less than the UK, or the EU average (both 68%). The top countries are > 80%.

Israel’s vaccination rate is high, but not remarkably so.

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations#
Click on the TABLE tab at the bottom of the graph that appears, and then sort on the “fully vaccinated” column.

@ prl

Yep, your right. However, it is among the highest and the point I made is still valid. If 62% fully vaccinated and the current vaccines only about 80% effective against Delta strain, then would explain more vaccinated than unvaccinated among hospitalized. However, very few if any deaths among those vaccinated. Having studied vaccines for decades, they improve ones odds considerably. Even if I ended up hospitalized at 75 my chances of survival much better having been vaccinated.

I was tired and do remember a while back that Israel had and still has one of the most active programs for vaccinating their entire population.

p.s. Thanks! I should have checked the latest data rather than rely on memory. Valid corrections always welcome

@ prl

I should have also mentioned that the 62% not random for population; but seniors and those with comorbidities, that is, those at higher risks. So majority of unvaccinated at much lower risk which is why, given vaccine for delta variant only 80% effective results in hospitalized vaccinated; but still, even they experience less severity on the whole that if they had NOT been vaccinated.

@ Kay West

You write: ““Why 100? If I were wrong, one would have been enough. [In response to the book, Hundred Authors Against Einstein]””
I did find a reference to book and Einstein’s quote; but, as usual you jump at anything that confirms what you choose to believe. Unfortunately, couldn’t find actual book online. First, just because Einstein stated “one would have been enough” doesn’t make it so. Yep, he was a genius; but even genius aren’t always right. There is a fascinating book that documents this, even includes Einstein: Mario Livio (2013). Brilliant Blunders: From Darwin to Einstein: Colossal Mistakes by Great Scientists That Changed Our Understanding of the World.

And what did Einstein even mean by what he said? Certainly not someone, regardless of how brilliant, just claiming he was wrong. Nope, that someone would have to back up claim with studies, not just one or twos, and not cherry-picked, And even a couple of studies, well-done, excellent methodology not necessarily enough. Physics, yep; but they can control almost everything in a lab; but not with people. Even a study with correct methodology not acceptable alone. Why? Because despite how well-done, even good randomization, can, by chance, end up with some unmeasured variable/factor that influenced the results. Statistical significance doesn’t mean important; but, for instance, a p=0.01 means that if one ran the study, the randomization over and over, that one average only 1 in 100 times would one of two groups have some factor that influenced outcome. Now, if more and more related studies are conducted, cumulatively the odds of something else influencing the outcome becomes smaller and smaller; but NEVER reaches zero. However, at some point decisions have to be made.

For COVID-19 vaccines, I just did a search of PubMed, National Library of Medicine’s online database, “Covid 19 vaccine clinical trials” and result was 1,687, “Covid vaccine follow-up studies, result 226. Not all original, some reviews, some editorials; but the overwhelming majority clearly find the vaccines reduced rates of hospitalizations, long Covid, and deaths; but, of course, you disagree. After all, you understand immunology, microbiology, vaccinology, and epidemiology much better than me???

And the book about 100 against Einstein, including Nobel prize winners was commissioned by the Nazi party. I wonder if they somehow intimidated the authors??? 😀

I just got home from Blood Center. Donated both plasma and platelets, took 1 1/2 hours; but counts as two donations with possibility of helping up to 6 people. Scheduled for next visit in four weeks. My goal is to become 20 gallon donor before my 80th birthday; but if I continue every four weeks to give as above, might even make it to 25 gallons. We do get free t-shirts once in a while and also awards, drawings. Next winner gets $500; but can either receive it as Amazon gift card or . . .; but I opted for it to go to Doctors Without Borders. I don’t donate blood for anything other than feeling some minimal contribution to others.

Now, I am behind in a stack of books I’d like to read before I croak and time is running out, so I realize you will ignore what I write and just keep on making a fool of yourself. Oh well.

“Of course, one wonders how many of these Republicans also oppose indoor smoking bans.”

I once had a conversation with a libertarian about public indoor smoking bans. He was, of course, adamantly opposed because “freedom.” Unfortunately, he was in med school at the time…

Actually, a lot of the libertarian-leaning Republicans do oppose indoor smoking bans. They fought them when they were being considered and still don’t like them.

I was initially surprised. But then I remembered that libertarians are only about their rights. Never mind the rights of those who don’t want to be subjected to smelly tobacco smoke and having their clothes reek.

We had a CRNA program on campus way back when. One of the students was this older, heavy, salty RN who smoked like raging tire fire.

Sensible Republicans like Annette Meeks are truly in the minority here in Minnesota. Republicans in the House of Representatives sent this letter full of antivaxx nonsense to the Mayo Clinic, demanding that it drop vaccine mandates.Of note is the veiled threat to withhold future funding for Mayo’s Destination Medical Center as well as the direct threat to refuse to fund programs addressing the shortage of health care workers in the state. https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/goppdf/KjjzzR9JvE2GyqQV2Nc_eA.pdf

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