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RFK Jr. then vs. RFK Jr. now: Still fiercely antivaccine after all these years

RFK Jr. has long been a leader in the antivaccine movement. Unfortunately, the pandemic has turbocharged his influence, and he’s cranked his antivax fear mongering to 11.

There are times when I feel as though I’m in some sort of endless loop, in which certain things keep happening and certain people keep popping up again and again. I’m going through just such a time now with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., or RFK Jr., as he’s most commonly called. Although he has repeatedly claimed to be “fiercely pro-vaccine,” in reality his activities over the last 16 years have definitively shown him to be fiercely antivaccine. The reason is that RFK Jr. has been popping up in the news lately and has a best selling conspiracy-mongering book about Anthony Fauci out that he’s promoting, as are his fellow antivaxxers, like Del Bigtree:

Unfortunately, this book is currently #1 on the Amazon.com charts, as this screenshot from this morning shows:

The Real Anthony Fauci by RFK Jr.
Depressingly, RFK Jr.’s conspiracy tome is #1 on the Amazon.com nonfiction book chart (and peaked at #5 on the New York Times Bestseller List). Of course, The Real Anthony Fauci is as much fiction as The Wheel of Time or The Lord of the Rings—hell, the existence of elves and hobbits is more believable—but that hasn’t stopped it from selling and becoming influential. If anyone has a free PDF of the book, I’d be willing to take a look, but I refuse to pay even $2.99 for it, as I can’t stand the thought of even a penny going to RFK Jr. to support his antivaccine fear mongering—not even for the purposes of debunking.

Sadly for the state of public health in the US and Europe, RFK Jr. is very difficult to ignore these days. Although he’s long been prominent in the antivaccine movement dating back at least 17 years, he had (mostly) disappeared from the public view, with a few exceptions. Perhaps the most hilarious one of these was when he teamed up with Robert De Niro (who is antivax as hell) to do a cringeworthy Jock Doubleday-like “challenge” to vaccine advocates. More recently, less than a year before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the US, RFK Jr. was in the news when his own family called him out publicly for his antivaccine grift and conspiracy mongering. Now he has a best selling conspiracy book and multiple news outlets are writing about him, for example the Associate Press’ Michelle Smith in How a Kennedy built an antivaccine juggernaut amid COVID-19. (Full disclosure: Someone with whom you might be familiar was quoted in this news story.) Meanwhile, he’s been appearing elsewhere, such as on what was characterized as a “very weird interview” with Tarpley Hitt at Gawker. Because I’ve been following RFK Jr.’s antivaccine trajectory closely since 2005, I thought it would be worth a look back to see how he’s “evolved” and “changed.” Spoiler alert: The answer is: Not much. He’s still using the same techniques he’s been using for 16 years, only turned up to 11.

RFK Jr. up to 11
RFK Jr. explains to a filmmaker how he turns his antivax conspiracy mongering up to 11.

RFK Jr. then and now

Before I delve into the newer stuff about RFK Jr., I can’t help but reminisce, all to briefly relate an answer to the question that Amber Ruffin asks in a regular segment: How did we get here? Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I will mention that the very first blog post that I wrote that ever went viral was about RFK Jr.’s antivax conspiracy mongering, way back in 2005, a year that now seems like ancient history to me. That year, RFK Jr. published his conspiracyfest article Deadly Immunity simultaneously in Salon.com and Rolling Stone (to the eternal shame of both publications, a shame I will never stop reminding them of as long as I blog and have a social media presence). His article popularized the Simpsonwood conspiracy theory, which posited that in 2000 the CDC met in an Atlanta suburb to “cover up” the evidence that the mercury-containing preservative thimerosal was the cause of the “autism epidemic.” It was nonsense, of course, based on a misrepresentation of how in epidemiological studies seemingly “positive” associations disappear when confounders are properly taken into account. It was also, as I have pointed out, the first variant of the central conspiracy theory of the antivaccine movement that I had ever encountered.

From there, it was off to the races, with RFK Jr. ultimately forming his antivaccine organization World Mercury Project, which was ultimately renamed Children’s Health Defense after it had become very clear nearly two decades after thimerosal was removed from vaccines that autism rates were not falling (quite the contrary, in fact), thus showing no association between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism (not that RFK Jr. ever admitted that he was wrong). Along the way, his claims to be “fiercely pro-vaccine” notwithstanding, RFK Jr. demonstrated himself to be “fiercely antivaccine,” whether he was likening vaccination to the Holocaust, trying to persuade Samoan officials that the MMR vaccine was dangerous (in the middle of a deadly measles outbreak!), claiming that today’s generation of children is the “sickest generation” (due to vaccines, of course!), or toadying up to President-Elect Donald Trump during the transition period to be chair of a “vaccine safety commission.” Indeed, last year his own family called him out for his antivaccine activism, while, predictably, RFK Jr. has, as so many antivaxxers have done, gone all-in on COVID-19 pseudoscience and conspiracy theories and become antimask, “anti-lockdown,” and pro-quack treatments.

Remember this little incident from 2016, when RFK Jr. met with then President-Elect Donald Trump and Vice President-Elect Mike Pence, supposedly about forming a “vaccine safety commission”?

RFK Jr. was most definitely never “fiercely pro-vaccine.” Rather, he has been (and continues to be) antivaccine to the core, with the added crankery in the age of COVID-19 of now being an antimask, anti-“lockdown” COVID-19 minimizer/denier. Amusingly, though, RFK Jr. really, reallyreally hates being called antivaccine—and still does.

And now, to 2021 as it nears its close, from the AP:

While many nonprofits and businesses have struggled during the pandemic, Kennedy’s anti-vaccine group has thrived. An investigation by The Associated Press finds that Children’s Health Defense has raked in funding and followers as Kennedy used his star power as a member of one of America’s most famous families to open doors, raise money and lend his group credibility. Filings with charity regulators show revenue more than doubled in 2020, to $6.8 million.

Since the pandemic started, Children’s Health Defense has expanded the reach of its newsletter, which uses slanted information, cherry-picked facts and conspiracy theories to spread distrust of the COVID-19 vaccines. The group has also launched an internet TV channel and started a movie studio. CHD has global ambitions. In addition to opening new U.S. branches, it now boasts outposts in Canada, Europe and, most recently, Australia. It’s translating articles into French, German, Italian and Spanish, and it’s on a hiring spree.

As I like to say, it’s about the ideology and conspiracy theories, but it’s also almost always also about the grift, and few COVID-19 conspiracy and antivax grifters have been as successful during the pandemic as RFK Jr. (Possible exceptions include Joe Mercola and Mike Adams.) Since the pandemic, RFK Jr.’s website Children’s Health Defense has gone from 150,000 visits/month to a peak of 4.7 million visits/month, an incredible growth rate.

Let’s look at RFK Jr. then and now (or, more properly, now and then). First, RFK Jr. now:

Dr. Richard Allen Williams, a cardiologist, professor of medicine at UCLA and founder of the Minority Health Institute, said Kennedy is leading “a propaganda movement,” and “absolutely a racist operation” that is particularly dangerous to the Black community. 

“He’s really the ringleader of the misinformation campaign,” said Williams, who has written several books about race and medicine. “So many people, even those in scientific circles, don’t realize what Kennedy is doing.”

And RFK Jr. “then” shows that this is nothing new at all. RFK Jr. has long been targeting Black communities and other communities of color to spread his antivaccine message. For example, during the “resistance” to California law SB 277 in 2015, RFK Jr. cozied up to the Nation of Islam, appearing with Minister Tony Muhammad as a number of events and demonstrations and sometimes even having the Fruit of Islam (the Nation of Islam’s security wing) providing personal security for him during these events.

RFK Jr. with Nation of Islam
The Fruit of Islam (the Nation of Islam’s security detail) provided security for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at an antivaccine rally at the CDC in 2015.
RFK Jr. and biochemical engineer turned incompetent antivax epidemiologist appeared with Nation of Islam Minister Tony Muhammad in 2015.

Not long after that, RFK Jr. showed up in Harlem. While it’s true that Harlem had gentrified considerably by then and there was a distinct—shall we say?—paucity of melanin in his audience, he was very clearly trying to appeal to Blacks and Hispanics, particularly given the role he provided a prominent Black antivaxxer who had been writing antivaccine books since the 1990s. Amusingly, RFK Jr. was kicked out of the space when the event, as antivaccine events almost always do, went way, way over the time for which the venue had been reserved. Naturally, he turned it into a persecution conspiracy theory.

Perhaps the most horrific example of RFK Jr.’s outreach to people of color came right before the pandemic hit, when he and other antivaccine groups actively spread misinformation in Samoa during the midst of a deadly measles outbreak that had killed over 60 children at the time. He even wrote a letter to the Prime Minister of Samoa that was full of antivax misinformation and tried to blame the deaths on the measles vaccine, rather than the disease. (Sound familiar? Let’s just say that blaming the vaccines instead of the disease for deaths is not a new thing for RFK Jr. and other antivaxxers.) Unfortunately, because of the cachet that the Kennedy name still holds, RFK Jr. often sees doors open for him that would normally slam shut in the face of anyone not from the Kennedy clan. As the AP article points out, he’s still doing it, using the Kennedy name to fundraise to support Children’s Health Defense and his antivaccine propaganda.

Today, RFK Jr. is still targeting minorities with his antivaccine misinformation, having released a movie this year designed explicitly to link antivaccine claims for vaccine harm to racism in medical history, in particular the Tuskegee syphilis experiment:

Children’s Health Defense’s new movie studio released a film earlier this year, called “Medical Racism.” Doctors and public health advocates said it was aimed at spreading misinformation and fear of vaccines within the Black community, which has been disproportionately hit by coronavirus.

The movie brings up racist abuses in medicine, such as the Tuskegee experiment, when hundreds of Black men in Alabama with syphilis were left untreated, to question whether the vaccine can be trusted or is necessary. Examples of racist medical practices have contributed to distrust and hesitation about vaccines among some members of the Black community.

Williams, of the Minority Health Institute, pointed out that in the Tuskegee study, people were denied medication to treat a disease. In the case of the COVID-19 vaccine, medication is available – but anti-vaccine activists are trying to persuade people not to take it. He said the film is “totally slanted.” 

“It is not only harmful, but it is deadly,” he said.

The article also mentions how RFK Jr. also crafts his messages to appeal to women, in particular mothers. This, too, has long been part of his appeal. Way back in 2007, I wrote about one message that RFK Jr. was promoting, namely that the critics of antivaxxers who pointed out the pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and bad science behind the claims that mercury in vaccines caused autism were misogynists who hate mothers.

Here’s a taste of RFK Jr. referring to combatting antivax pseudoscience as an “attack on mothers“:

The poisonous public attacks on Katie Wright this week–for revealing that her autistic son Christian (grandson of NBC Chair Bob Wright), has recovered significant function after chelation treatments to remove mercury — surprised many observers unfamiliar with the acrimonious debate over the mercury-based vaccine preservative Thimerosal. But the patronizing attacks on the mothers of autistic children who have organized to oppose this brain-killing poison is one of the most persistent tactics employed by those defending Thimerosal against the barrage of scientific evidence linking it to the epidemic of pediatric neurological disorders, including autism. Mothers of autistics are routinely dismissed as irrational, hysterical, or as a newspaper editor told me last week, “desperate to find the reason for their children’s illnesses,” and therefore, overwrought and disconnected.

But my experience with these women is inconsistent with those patronizing assessments. Over the past two years I’ve met or communicated with several hundred of these women. Instead of a desperate mob of irrational hysterics, I’ve found the anti-Thimerosal activists for the most part to be calm, grounded and extraordinarily patient. As a group, they are highly educated. Many of them are doctors, nurses, schoolteachers, pharmacists, psychologists, Ph.D.s and other professionals. Many of them approached the link skeptically and only through dispassionate and diligent investigation became convinced that Thimerosal-laced vaccines destroyed their children’s brains. As a group they have sat through hundreds of meetings and scientific conferences, and studied research papers and medical tests. They have networked with each other at meetings and on the Web. Along the way they have stoically endured the abuse routinely heaped upon them by the vaccine industry and public health authorities and casual dismissal by reporters and editors too lazy to do their jobs.

As I pointed out at the time, as much as I might sympathize with how difficult it is for parents to deal with severely autistic children, as much as I might admire their fortitude, such sympathy has never translated into tolerance when they try to weaponize that sympathy to advocate pseudoscience. Nor should it. Calmness and a dispassionate demeanor do not mean that a person didn’t come to completely incorrect conclusions about the origins of her child’s autism. He’s now doing exactly the same thing here, but adding to that a more general appeal that portrays antivaccine believers in general in a similar light, as a persecuted group who are the only ones who see the “real truth.”

RFK Jr. vs. journalists

Then, of course, there’s RFK Jr.’s rather odd history when he gives interviews to legitimate journalists. For example, he recently gave a very strange interview to Gawker writer Tarpley Hitt. I must admit, Hitt was right. The interview was very weird indeed. I also must admit that I approved of the editorial decision to insert editor’s notes debunking RFK Jr.’s false claims in his interview, although they screwed up in not debunking RFK Jr.’s claim that “none of the 72 mandated vaccine doses have ever been subject to pre-clinical, placebo-controlled trials,” which is a straight up lie (vaccine advocates regularly trot out example after example of just such studies when antivaxxers make this claim). I suspect that RFK Jr. know’s it’s false, making him a lying liar.

I’ll give you a little flavor of the interview:

So I read the entirety of the PDF that I was sent, but I got the sense that it was not the entire book — partly it’s that the file is titled “Introduction and Chapter One.” But that anecdote, for example, does not appear in the text that I have, which is about 120 pages long.

The book is 500 pages. Okay, so you didn’t read the book.

I read what was sent to me, but I have not been given the entire text.

All right. I’m happy. If you want to reschedule this, I’m happy to send you the book. I can messenger it over to you. Where are you?

I’m in Connecticut at the moment.

I can messenger it to you.

Well, let’s have a conversation based on this first section. So with this introductory chapter — where Fauci is sort of a background figure, not as central as I imagine he might be in later parts — his financial situation and potential conflicts of interest figure somewhat prominently. I’d love to spend a little time breaking that down. You mentioned that he has this annual salary of around $420,000 a year. In reporting the book, did you uncover other revenue streams that he took home over the past year?

Yeah. His salary is $434,000. He also has other avenues.. Within his agency — by their own rules, which are not regulations, they’re just adopted guidance, with no public oversight — each individual in the agency is allowed to keep $150,000 a year in royalties for every product they work on.

See what I mean? RFK Jr. seemed rather peeved that Hitt didn’t buy a copy of his book to read, rather than just reading the excerpt provided by his office. Normally, if you want a reporter to read your book, you send her a free copy, which, in the age of ebooks and PDF files, costs close to nothing. As for the part about Fauci’s salary, for someone who has run an NIH institute for 40 years, Fauci’s salary is actually not a lot compared to what he could make in the private sector, and federal law and regulations are quite explicit about outside income and the declaration of financial conflicts. Moreover, the information is almost all public. I was especially amused by his attacks on Fauci over salary later in the interview, when RFK Jr. bemoaned how he was being “censored” and how much less money he makes now than he did in the past!

See what I mean, as RFK goes off on a tangent, leading to more questions:

And we don’t make money. I mean, people ask me if I am making money. This has been a money-losing enterprise for me. I’ve lost probably 80 percent of my income.

Really? Like how much?

Well, I was doing 60 paid speeches a year, for 30 years, roughly on average. Now, I get none. And those were high-paid speeches.

How much does a speech cost?

Oh, generally a minimum for me was about $25,000. And they all disappeared, and there’s many business deals and my salary sources have also disappeared. I lost 80 percent of my income. Nobody’s making money on this and particularly not me.

I mean, your compensation on the 990 is $255,000. Seems like a lot.

Well, you know, when I was running Riverkeeper, I was making $400,000. Waterkeeper also — I was making $400,000. And our salaries are commensurate — if you look at our rating under Charity Navigator, we have, I think, a hundred-pointrating. Ours are exactly in line or below the industry standard. Typically, anyone who runs an organization like this would receive a salary of that size. I know relatives who run RFK Memorial Fund, who run Special Olympics, who run United Way. I have first cousins at all of those places, and I can tell you I know my salary is commensurate with all of theirs. We do a search of what organizations of our size — you can look up what organizations of our size typically pay — and my salary definitely is not a high salary in that regard. It’s not out of line. It’s pretty typical.

So what you’re doing, in other words, you’re doing yet another exposé by the mainstream press of us rather than an exposé of the pharmaceutical industry. What’s your name again?

RFK Jr.’s arrogance is certainly still there. Given how wealthy RFK Jr. is, though, his whining about how much less money he makes now is rather pointless. He could easily take zero salary and be just fine for the rest of his life. Still, I’m amused at how he bragged about making $25,000 a speech back in the day, even as I find it hard to believe that he can’t make at least $10,000 a speech for big antivax confabs if he wanted to.

Then there’s his victimhood fetish. Poor, poor, pitiful RFK Jr.! He’s sacrificing so much for the children, and some journalist whose name he didn’t know and can’t remember is “persecuting” him with an “exposé” of his organization.

In any event, do you see what Hitt meant when she described this interview as “weird”? It reminds me of 2013, when two other journalists, Keith Kloor and Laura Helmuth, got a taste of the strangeness that is RFK Jr. giving an interview. No, seriously, here’s Kloor’s account of his conversation with RFK Jr., and here’s Helmuth’s account. If you read them both, you’ll find a lot of similarities. In particular, RFK Jr. still liked Nazi and Holocaust analogies for vaccines and vaccine mandates. He still does, as you will see.

The “vaccine Holocaust”?

I’ve long written about how RFK Jr. really likes his Holocaust analogies with respect to vaccines, which is why this part of Helmuth’s 2013 article amused me:

Slate doesn’t give equal time to creationists, and given the overwhelming evidence, we would never publish a story claiming that vaccines cause autism. But it’s fascinating, in a horrified head-shaking sort of way, to hear how anti-vaxxers think. I requested a transcript or video of Kennedy’s speech to the 2013 AutismOne/Generation Rescue Conference, but neither the conference hosts nor Kennedy’s office provided them. I can tell you what he said to me instead.

I wrote about that talk at the time, because the editor of the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism (AoA), Dan Olmsted, had written a glowing review of it entitled RFK Jr., Nazi Death Camps and the Battle For Our Future. The link to the article is no longer there, but I did quote from it extensively, asking antivaccinationists if they could please knock it off with the autism-Holocaust analogies, already. Amusingly, sometime soon after, Olmsted’s article disappeared from AoA, and the site’s file apparently was apparently modified so that the almighty Wayback Machine at Archive.org could no longer keep the article archived after it had been deleted.

Fortunately, I kept some receipts, although I’ve long wished that I had saved the entire text and some screenshots:

Each of us will have our highlights from last weekend’s extraordinary Autism One gathering in Chicago, but for me it was Bobby Kennedy Jr. saying, “To my mind this is like the Nazi death camps.”

“This” is the imprisonment of so many of our children in the grip of autism. Talk about cutting through the neurodiverse claptrap! When Bobby Kennedy says something, it gives “cover,” in a sense, for others to use the same kind of language and frame the debate in the same kind of way. (Language that reminds me of David Kirby’s phrase, “the shuttered hell” of autism, in Evidence of Harm.)

Those who can advocate for themselves should do so. Move right along, please. Those who cannot have advocates like their parents and RFK Jr. who are sick of mincing words.

Nice! To RFK Jr., autism was like being imprisoned in a Nazi death camp! There was also this familiar-sounding trope:

The enablers may not belong in Nuremburg, but they do belong in jail, Bobby said. “I would do a lot to see Paul Offit and all these good people behind bars,” he said, after listing Offit’s litany of lies and profit. Just to make sure people got the point, he returned to it in his speech. “Is it hyperbole to say they should be in jail? They should be in jail and the key should be thrown away.”

As I have pointed out before, the invocation of the Nuremberg Trials and the Nuremberg Code, as you have so frequently seen since the pandemic hit, is nothing new. RFK Jr. and Dan Olmsted were doing it in 2013 and before, and antivaxxers continue the ugly tradition, which has unfortunately been as turbocharged by the pandemic as the antivaccine movement has.

There is a difference, though, between RFK Jr. then and now, at least with respect to Holocaust and Nazi analogies. Then, RFK Jr. clearly still had at least a little bit of a sense of shame over his use of such massively inappropriate and overblown analogies, to the point that (I strongly suspect) it was he who told Olmsted to take down that article. At the very least, he viewed such language as detrimental to his cause when seen by those not in the antivaccine cult. Indeed, as we have seen, he later refused to provide a transcript of his speech at the 2013 Autism One conference to Laura Helmuth, almost certainly because he had indeed compared autism’s effects on children and their parents to being imprisoned in a Nazi camp, as Olmsted had related in a place where he shouldn’t have. To this very day, I have been unable to find a full transcript of his speech, other than the description that I had originally quoted when I wrote my article about Olmsted’s excited praise of it. In fact, after “(oops) he did it again” in 2015, RFK Jr. actually apologized having used another Holocaust analogy about vaccines, saying:

“I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word ‘holocaust’ to describe the autism epidemic,” said Kennedy, the son of former U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

“I employed the term during an impromptu speech as I struggled to find an expression to convey the catastrophic tragedy of autism, which has now destroyed the lives of over 20 million children and shattered their families.

“I am acutely aware of the profound power attached to that word, and I will find other terms to describe the autism crisis in the future.”

Here’s what RFK Jr. had said:

But some parents fear information about the hazards of vaccines has been suppressed, largely because of what they call the pharmaceutical industry’s influence over health officials. Many parents believe their children have been damaged by vaccines. When Kennedy asked the crowd of a few hundred viewers how many parents had a child injured by vaccines, numerous hands went up.

“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,” Kennedy said. “This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”

Nice. I can’t help but note the self-own here. RFK Jr. claimed that he had struggled to find “an expression to convey the catastrophic tragedy of autism, which has now destroyed the lives of over 20 million children and shattered their families” and, in his struggle, had invoked the Holocaust as an appropriate comparison to autism, which, of course, he believes to be caused by vaccines. That tells you all you need to know right there about RFK Jr.’s true views about autism (that it’s a tragedy akin to the Holocaust) and vaccines (that mandating them is a tragedy akin to the Holocaust too)(. The only reason he apologized is because of all the criticism he got for having used that analogy, not because he didn’t believe what he said in his speech.

Fast forward to RFK Jr. now. In Hitt’s interview, right after the part in which he had hectored her about being an “apologist for the pharmaceutical industry,” Hitt, unfazed, asked RFK Jr:

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.

Right, but that’s a very potent phrase, “final solution,” in that it was used to mean eradicating the Jews.

I don’t think the vaccines have anything to do with eradicating the Jews.

Here’s the difference between RFK Jr. then and RFK Jr. now. RFK Jr. then did have a penchant for the flagrant misuse of Holocaust and Nazi analogies about vaccines, but he almost always only used those analogies on the down-low, when he was among his adoring antivax fans in what I like to refer to as antivax “safe spaces.” Then, RFK Jr. was still actually embarrassed enough to shut down an article by an overenthusiastic fan like Dan Olmsted that quoted his use of such analogies, seeming to know that such analogies were a form of Holocaust denial—or, at the very least, offensive to so many people not in his antivax cult. Then, RFK Jr. would even apologize if he slipped up and inadvertently said the quiet part out loud in a public venue where those not in the antivaccine cult could overhear his true beliefs. In contrast to then, now RFK Jr. not only uses analogies about the Holocaust to describe vaccines and vaccine mandates, but he no longer hides or makes even a pretense of apologizing for it. He just disingenuously tries to deny that using the term “final solution” has anything to do with a Holocaust analogy, even as he now openly consorts with fascists who share his hatred of “lockdowns,” masks, and vaccines.

I like to say that in the age of COVID-19, there is nothing truly new under the sun with respect to the antivaccine movement. Comparing RFK Jr. then to RFK Jr. now demonstrates that this statement is true and that he remains now, as then, fiercely antivaccine. There is one modifier, though. The pandemic has led antivaxxers like RFK Jr. to turn their antivax conspiracy mongering up to 11. Even that is probably no real change in him. It’s just that times have changed to the point where he now feels comfortable revealing his true self and his real beliefs about vaccines.

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]

851 replies on “RFK Jr. then vs. RFK Jr. now: Still fiercely antivaccine after all these years”

MJD says,

Orac has battled most who support RFK, Jr.’s stance on vaccines.

Book reviews:

“Dr. Joseph Goebbels wrote that ‘A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.’ Tragically for humanity, there are many, many untruths emanating from Fauci and his minions. RFK Jr exposes the decades of lies.”
—Luc Montagnier, Nobel laureate

“Bobby Kennedy is one of the bravest and most uncompromisingly honest people I’ve ever met. Someday he’ll get credit for it. In the meantime, read this book.”
—Tucker Carlson

“As a trial lawyer, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has taken on the world’s most powerful corporations and held them accountable for harming people and the environment. Those companies denied any wrongdoing—but time and again, judges and juries were persuaded that Kennedy’s position was the right one. Kennedy’s information should always be considered, and agree or disagree, we all learn from listening.”
—Tony Robbins, New York Times bestselling author

“Bobby Kennedy and I famously disagree about many aspects of the current debates surrounding Covid and vaccines. We also disagree about Dr Fauci. But I always learn when I read or hear Bobby’s take. So read this book and challenge its conclusions.”
—Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School; author of The Case for Vaccine Mandates

“If you have any interest in doing a deep dive into the more than 100-year history of what led up to the COVID-19 pandemic, then The Real Anthony Fauci is an absolute must-read. In addition to exposing Fauci, the book reveals the complex web of connections between Gates and Big Pharma and many of the most important players that were responsible for seeking to implement global tyranny and profit enormously from the propaganda behind the COVID injections, masks, and lockdowns.”
—Dr. Joseph Mercola, founder of Mercola.com

“Bobby Kennedy’s book on The Real Anthony Fauci speaks truth in times when health care becomes health harm, untruth rules through anti-science and fake news.”
—Dr. Vandana Shiva, director of Navdanya and author of Oneness vs. the 1%

“I thought I understood what was going on from an insider POV. But this is mind-blowing. Anthony Fauci is playing precisely the strategy that he developed and tested during the HIV days. Bobby is on fire in this manuscript. The depth of information and facts, all carefully cited, is mind-blowing. It is a must-read. I think it will really help clarify what has been going down here. Thanks to the consistently dysfunctional COVID-19 response by Fauci and USG/HHS (US Government Health and Human Services Department), we have all become familiar with the terms “regulatory capture” and “Noble Lie.” The personal opinion and bias of Dr. Fauci has been repeatedly substituted for evidence-based medicine, and we are all living with the consequences. But beyond this mundane incompetence, what this book clearly documents are the deeper forces and systemic, pervasive governmental corruption, which have led us to this point. Not since the reign of former FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, have we seen such empire building by a corrupt, longstanding federal employee who is long past retirement age. Dr. Fauci’s apparent need to bolster a fragile ego has led to the almost complete systemic corruption of not only US HHS, but the entire world public health system. The consequences will be lasting damage to the reputation of the United States of America, US FDA, and US CDC as honest, independent guardians of public health, which has been carefully nurtured over many decades. The world is now able to clearly see that the US HHS has been captured and compromised by commercial interests. One unintended consequence of allowing and enabling this tragedy will be further erosion in domestic trust in the Public Health System, and in particular, in the entire vaccine enterprise. Global impacts are likely to include accelerating loss of trust in US and western pharmaceutical companies and regulators, and more rapid rise of Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern pharmaceutical competitors.”
—Robert W. Malone, MD, virologist, immunologist, molecular biologist

“Standing as a pivotal work for the history of science and medicine, this book unveils the astonishing, twisted truth about a man (Fauci) and a corrupt institution (NIH) that have betrayed humanity at every turn in order to achieve profits and power. If the American people knew the truth that’s documented here, they would be marching by the millions, demanding criminal prosecutions of all those who are complicit in these outrageous betrayals of humanity. RFK Jr’s book closes the loop on one of the most disastrous and truly evil schemes in the history of medicine and science. If humanity does not now demand investigations and prosecutions across this vast landscape of science fraud and pathological ‘authority,’ we are truly beyond hope.”
—Mike Adams, a.k.a. the “Health Ranger,” founder of NaturalNews.com

“If you’ve ever wondered why so many good scientists and doctors have been silenced for discoveries that don’t fit the mainstream Big Pharma narrative, look no further than Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s tour de force exposé of Anthony Fauci. This book reads like a John Grisham legal thriller. Except that it is not fiction. Read it with your eyes wide open. It’s time the world woke up to the truth.”
—Christiane Northrup, MD, former assistant clinical professor of Ob/Gyn, University of Vermont College of Medicine; New York Times bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did a great job. I don’t agree with everything, but his case is well laid out and copiously documented. The most disturbing things are the unbelievable financial entanglements, the shoddy treatment of patients in clinical trials, and the culture of intimidation. Overall a very good book and a call to overhaul the CDC/NIH.”
—Dr. Thomas B. Hakes

“To give great responsibility and power to those with no accountability is a recipe for disaster.”
—K Paul Stoller, MD, FACHM, Hyperbaric & Integrative Medicine

“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
—Mahin Khatami, PhD

“Kennedy’s book proves beyond a shadow of doubt what many Americans have come to learn about Fauci: that he has stifled open debate to the point of utter stagnation of biomedical science. Fauci issues knowledge by decree. This most uninquisitive Fauci is far more concerned with being right and with making sure that the solutions adopted to problems come from his circle rather than in discovering fundamental truths, regardless of the completely externalized cost of his ‘solutions.’ The evidence shows plainly that Fauci has been wrong on matters of life and death far more than he has been right. Fauci’s resulting body count is such that he should have a statue erected with him posing and hanging his head in eternal shame. Thanks to this book, historians will mark Fauci down as the most dangerous threat to global public health in the 20th and 21st Centuries.”
—James Lyons-Weiler, biomedical research scientist

“RFK Jr.’s story of Fauci’s failure as the government’s AIDS coordinator is a highly disturbing prologue to his COVID mandate as head of NIAID. So, who is Dr. Fauci in the end? Has American medicine truly become a ‘racket,’ as corrupt as a mafia organization? Does everything in our country turn on the size of the money involved? How can we begin to solve this? The Real Anthony Fauci is a fascinating starting point. RFK Jr. has written a strong, strong book.”
—Oliver Stone, award-winning director, producer, and screenwriter

Well, there’s a fine collection of fools, knaves and grifters. Nice company Junior keeps.
As Mad Magazine would put it: The Usual Gang of Idiots

Book reviews

Doucheniak, jacket blurbs aren’t “reviews.”

And you left off Randy Jackson.

Geez, Stoller lost his medical license months ago (2/21) and Kennedy puts him on the jacket?

Beggars can’t be choosers?

The quote from Stoller it’s not an actual endowment, just a general quote about power.

I love the ‘resounding’ endorsement from Dershowitz, and we all know how much that’s worth these days.

And your point with all that lot is exactly what?

As pointed out, it is a collection of well-known disinformation spreaders and charlatans.

What do want us to take from that?

@ Murmur,

The first line in my response, “Orac has battled most who support RFK, Jr.’s stance on vaccines.” In simplification, Orac’s got it covered…

The other painful thing about his discussion above – which is less emphasized – is his obvious contempt for children with autism. “Their brains are gone”? They have no brain? Really?

Someone like that is not a suitable person to guide parents of children with autism in any way, shape or form.

He has quite the combination of dishonesty and defensiveness.

Ms. Smith did a very thorough, strong job showing the background of his organization and its finances.

It seems that RFK jr is still available on social media when other anti-vaxxers are banned. An American ‘aristocrat’ has power, I suppose.
Also:
— of course, he defends poor, set-upon Katie Wright. Sceptics should read her tweets ( @ katiewr31413491) and articles where she is most definitely NOT a shrinking violet in need of protection: as a matter of fact, her histrionics at CHD, AoA and SM work powerfully against women because she provides mis-information to worried mothers/ women that keeps them from seeking reasonable care options for children/ adults. That’s not empowering women.
— I’m glad to see actual new figures on CHD’s reach and funds . I read the AP article earlier today. Does not CHD earn RFK jr more than money because it may set his law firms up for new clients about various assaults by corporations on people he highlights? A fame engine?
— I won’t pay for his book either. I did hear him speak/ rant about it for free courtesy of Gary Null: there are videos and audios – the easiest is :
progressivecommentaryhour.podbean.com 112321 a full hour’s worth

Actually, that’s an interesting speculation, that RFK Jr. is still on social media while so many antivaxxers have been banned. I had never thought that this might be due to the Kennedy name, but it might.

Funny how our society — or perhaps our species? — has evolved to provide so much reward — financial and otherwise — to people with obvious personality disorders.

Anti-vaxxers think all vaccines are bad and should never be used; pro-vaxxers think all vaccines are good and should be used, the more the better.

Gorski only thinks in terms of these two extremes, and has no interest in shades of grey or subtleties. Gorski is a propagandist for the drug industry — maybe not intentionally, but that is the result.

Extremists can be influential, but they don’t appeal to those of us who want to hear carefully thought out arguments. It’s real easy to write a long article that picks on and distorts every little thing someone said. So JFK Jr. is a racist — interesting! Let’s bring race into every single debate, no matter how irrelevant. After all, it stirs up the emotions.

I am not defending JFK Jr., or any other extreme anti-vaxxer. I am defending careful thought that considers more than one side.

There IS another side to the COVID 19 vaccine story, and it is being strenuously suppressed and censored. Maybe partly because of good intentions — wanting to decrease the likelihood of deaths among the vulnerable. But I cannot see how anyone is unaware of what a tremendous marketing opportunity this is for drug companies. If the public accepts mRNA vaccines in this crisis, then mRNA vaccines will be the thing of the future.

These vaccines have NOT been proven safe, although that is the official story that is shouted all over the news and internet. In reality, the safety of mRNA vaccines is a complicated scientific debate that cannot be solved by extremists shouting insults at each other. There are people who really know what they are talking about who are very skeptical. Of course, all of you here will call them quacks, no matter how qualified they are.

Censoring and suppressing anyone who questions the safety of mRNA vaccines is NOT the way to build trust! Just the opposite. Trying to silence them with insults won’t work. Yes, the mainstream news media is mostly dominated by genetic vaccine advocates, but there is still a very strong dissenting movement. As Gorski explains in this article, JFK Jr. is doing great. All because his name is Kennedy? I doubt it.

Well I don’t like extremists like JFK Jr., but I am glad another point of view is being heard. I am glad there is still a healthy distrust of the drug industry. It is beyond my comprehension how anyone could have complete faith in such a politically powerful industry.

And, once again, everything old is new again in the age of COVID-19. What Indie Rebel is doing here is nothing new, but rather a very old antivax trope. What do I mean?

Antivaxxers have long invoked the fallacy of the golden mean to falsely claim that they somehow occupy a more “reasonable,” less “extreme” so-called “middle ground” between “extreme antivaxxers” and “extreme provaxxers,” and that’s what the very tiresome “Indie Rebel” is doing here. Here’s the thing. In science, often the correct position is not some “middle” position between two extremes, particularly when one extreme is as antiscience and full of conspiracy theories as the antivax “extreme” is. The other trope that IR is using is the claim that “they” are somehow “silencing” antivax voices as well as the mischaracterization of science communicators as having “complete faith” in pharma or even being paid by big pharma to promote vaccines. Truly, there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to antivax tropes, as IR demonstrates.

Next you’ll say you don’t think that the half-sphere theory is a reasonable compromise between the flat Earth society and mainstream alloastronomy.

RFK jr. Not JFK jr. JFK jr died a long time ago. JFK jr is the subject of a completely divorced from reality conspiracy theory.
RFK jr is very much alive.

As for your statement ” pro-vaxxers think all vaccines are good and should be used, the more the better.”

Yeah no. I’ve never seen Orac or anyone else here suggest getting the BCG for fun, or the yellow fever vaccine if you’re not traveling, or the smallpox vaccine.

Maybe you aren’t aware of just how many terrible, deadly diseases have vaccine now, because which vaccines you get is still very dependent on the physical environment where you live and what pathogens you are likely to be exposed to. But if you live in the US and don’t travel outside the country then there are dozens of vaccines no one would ever suggest or offer to you.

Gorski only thinks in terms of these two extremes, and has no interest in shades of grey or subtleties. Gorski is a propagandist for the drug industry — maybe not intentionally, but that is the result.

Sure thing, Polly. I must admit that I’m mildly impressed by the depth of your craving for attention. Does the Intelligent Universe not cut the mustard? Can it not manifest calming yet exciting hands?

Many vaccines have been rejected as unsafe and are never used. And others are replaced with better options.

What people like Gorski believe in is reality, as approximated by controlled trials.

@Orac

“Here’s the thing. In science, often the correct position is not some “middle” position between two extremes, particularly when one extreme is as antiscience and full of conspiracy theories as the antivax “extreme” is.”

I said extreme anti-vaxxers are wrong. But it’s also wrong to say any vaccine promoted by the drug industry must be safe. There are good reasons for people being skeptical. Your extreme “All vaccines are always good” position is not convincing to everyone.

Except it’s not his position. It’s something you made up.
As that, it speaks to you, not him.

Indie Rebel’s not been a slacker,
Science’s erstwhile attacker,
..The strawmen are burning,
..Firelight so alluring,
Please give Polly a cracker.

A lot of this is coming straight, unfiltered down the baloney chute from McCollough. I listened to his pathetic diatribe on Rogan in the car the other day. I really felt sorry for the man. To his “credit,” Joe tried to call him out and check some of the more extreme gems…if only marginally-successfully. Here’s my response to some of those:

1-Over 15k people have died after the vax!!!
We have to report ANY death after the vax. I saw one in there that stated the patient had died after internal decap in a car accident. The vax got that poor girl! Besides, weren’t these the same nuts I was arguing with last year about blaming deaths on covid the same way? You can’t have it both ways, folks.

2-The vax can hurt or kill people who had covid!!
BUUUUUUUULLLLLLLSHEEEEYAAAAAT. We regularly give a booster 90 days pos-covid. Thousands of times. No issues reported and we are looking. I have, personally, given probably two dozen and seen those patients months later in clinic. Nary an issue in the bunch.

3-Core antibodies from infection are much more powerful against covid than the vax!!!
maybe. I will let the more learned in infectious disease chime in.

4-This whole thing was planned! Something, something, an exercise that involved a SARS outbreak, something something RFK Jr’s BOOK!!!!!
Pathethic. Batshit-crazy nonsense. I remember a DHS exercise my old hospital took part in back in 2010 that involved a hypothetical SARS virus. Why you ask? Well…other than a swine flu thing in Mexico City, SARS was the most concerning for a respiratory pandemic to rear its ugy head around that time. It made for a good exercise.

5-Ivermectin works, HCQ works!!
Yawn.

6-There’s no outpatient treatment and anyone who tries is “Suppressed!!!!”
BULL. We have been desperate for a functional treatment that we could use a likelihood-of-hospitalization predictive score to administer. And, no-IVM and HCQ DO NOT WORK. Not before symptoms, not with symptoms, not after symptoms. Neither does remdesivir. We used steroids early on with a modicum of success.

7-MAB are way better than vaccine and we should get covid and use those!!!
I thought big pharma was evil? You know what those cost if you can get them? I’ve had two ICU patients die with monoclonals-they’re not a panacea. Isn’t this an apples-to-oranges comparison?

8-The vaccine only imparts 36% protection…no, wait-it’s 61%, no…I changed my mind; now it’s 45% protection!!!!!!!!!
Yeah. Enough said. Plus, what matters is-are you less likely to die, regardless of your baseline health, with the vaccine?

Also, if a person needs to keep stating how many studies he has published, the committees he is on, that he has “Testified under oath” OVER and OVER and OVER ad nauseum, said individual is likely FOXTROT OSCAR SIERRA. Again, pathetic.

@ Indie Rebel and some of my remarks directed to Michael J. Dochniak

So, with a claimed PhD in Cognitive Psychology and a “claimed” expertise on Evolution, including having checked every claim of evidence, now you are an expert on vaccines. Have you ever studied, even read an introductory book on immunology, microbiology, epidemiology? Ever read a book on history of some infective disease, e.g., smallpox, polio, etc. I’ve read a dozen books just on polio and probably 500 papers, similar smallpox, etc.

You write: “it’s also wrong to say any vaccine promoted by the drug industry must be safe.” And I agree; but I don’t rely on what the drug industry claims, NEVER; but do look at any studies, even ones sponsored by them, in peer-reviewed journals and then look for additional studies, papers, including on other nations’ websites. I am fluent at Swedish and, with help of dictionary, can read French and German and have their websites bookmarked.

I am just finishing reading RFK Jrs. book “The Real Anthony Fauci”. Lots of references, a minority from peer-reviewed journal articles and many from people with questionable backgrounds, e.g., promoters of belief “Sandy Hook massacre” was a hoax. I am considering writing a review of the book. Some of his claims are just plain dishonest, cherry picking early papers on specific topics, some show either intentional or a lack of understanding of the basics of science and the book is laced with hyperbole, repetition, etc.; but I’m sure you and Michael J. Dochniak will eat it up.

And RFK makes some DUMB mistake that many antivaxxers make, probably intentionally. By analogy, if I go to supermarket I can purchase potato chips, soft drinks, and candy OR fresh fruit, veggies, whole grain breads, Yoghurt, etc. Both sold for profit by producers and, in turn, by supermarkets. The first, at least in my opinion, unhealthy (of course, depends on amount); but the second group healthy. Everything is sold for a profit. Profit doesn’t say if valuable, harmful, or any combination in between. One can criticize pharmaceutical industry for obscene profits, e.g., insulin; but not insulin per se and if sold at a “reasonable profit” (Fault of our bought and paid for Congress). So, of course, no pharmaceutical company will begin producing something without hopes of making a profit and, of course, they will try to increase sales; but, again, doesn’t say whether beneficial, etc.

What you fail to understand is that all current vaccines, until Covid mRNA vaccines have been on the market for many years and have effectiveness and safety data from many sources, including other nations, etc. And there is ample data on the effectiveness and safety of the mRNA vaccines. However, few vaccines are 100% effective and given a population with a wide genetic diversity, epi-genetics, exposures to toxins, etc. impossible to have NO adverse events; but the serious adverse events that have been documented are few compared to the reduced risk of serious Covid, hospitalization, long Covid, and possibly death. I don’t live in a fantasy world of black and white. Having studied immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, and read numerous books, and articles on the history of vaccine-preventable diseases, the benefits vs risk ratio is exponential.\

I was a volunteer in the Moderna covid clinical trials; but before volunteering, I refreshed what I knew about mRNA, including PubMed, National Library of Medicine’s online database, read up on previous research on mRNA vaccines, and found dozen articles on coronavirus S-Spike protein. And I have been following reports on Covid and Covid vaccines since beginning of outbreak.

If you go to PubMed, type in “messenger RNA”, limit to 2018 and back, one gets today 422,860 papers. Not all original research; but tells you we know a hell of a lot about messenger RNA. If you then type in “messenger RNA vaccine”, again limit to 2018, you get 3,089. Quite a few papers! ! !

And I did a search on just “Moderna covid vaccine” and found 641 results, including excellent article in New England Journal of Medicine, Baden LR et al. (2021 Feb 4). Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine.

AND ONE MORE POINT. DESPITE WHAT ANTIVAXXERS BELIEVE, RISK OF LONG-TERM ADVERSE EVENTS FROM VACCINES EXTREMELY RARE, SO THREE-MONTH FOLLOW-UP EXCELLENT. I DON’T RULE OUT SOME RARE CASE OF LONG-TERM ADVERSE EVENT; BUT IF VACCINE SAVES 10S OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES AND 1 OR 2 SUFFER LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES, THAT IS, IF, VERY VERY SAD; BUT IN REAL WORLD 1 OR 2 VS 10S OF THOUSANDS IS A NO-BRAINER! ! !

As Orac explained above, no middle ground when strong science backs! ! !

If you really want to know how CDC checks vaccine safety, go to:

CDC Vaccine Safety website. Discusses numerous different programs. And an excellent article:

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

An excellent, actual text only 160 pages, intro to immunology:
Lauren Sompayrac (2019). How the Immune System Works (6th Edition). Wiley-Blackwell. $36.99 at amazon.com

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH writes,

“I’m sure you and Michael J. Dochniak will eat it up.”

MJD says,

Joel, how do you define “eat it up”? Seems like you’re a big bully. Geez, I’ve just published a medical paper describing the use of vaccines and hyper-allergenic skin creams to starve metastatic cancer through immune-metabolic interference.

https://wjarr.com/sites/default/files/WJARR-2021-0649.pdf

Please don’t tell me I’ve been a bad boy, Joel.

serial quack MJD says:
“I’ve just published a medical paper describing the use of vaccines and hyper-allergenic skin creams to starve metastatic cancer through immune-metabolic interference.”

From the end of his “work”
“This commentary contains a discussion of an unapproved/ investigative hyper-allergenic skin cream to promote cancer regression.”

How much did they charge you to publish this twaddle? Did you have to use a black crayon to write it or did they accept the original in blue?

Idw56old writes,

“Did you have to use a black crayon to write it or did they accept the original in blue?”

MJD says,

Great respectful insolence, keep it up. Now, show me your latest publication that supports vaccines.

@ Idw56old,

Do you publish your work with the comic book publisher IDW (a.k.a., Idw)?

https://www.idwpublishing.com/

Science denier mjd said:
“Great respectful insolence, keep it up. Now, show me your latest publication that supports vaccines.”

Sorry — statistician here, not a medical researcher. The difference is that I can understand the studies. You — well, if you read them and get past the long sentences you clearly don’t come away with any understanding. Since you’ve shown you don’t have any better feel for statistics than you do for science that’s not a surprise.

I’ve been thinking about my “twaddle” comment. I’ve decided it’s far too favorable a description of your unsupported drivel, but it is passable for public consumption.

Idw56old writes,

“I’ve decided it’s far too favorable a description of your unsupported drivel, but it is passable for public consumption.”

MJD says,

That’s fine, Idw56old. Please introduce us to some of your statistician bravery. References?

@Dorit Reiss

“Except it’s not his position. It’s something you made up.”

Orac said there is no middle ground regarding vaccines, there are only two extreme positions. That means he does not think some vaccines could possibly be harmful.

That does not mean the position that you made up.

In fact, a quick perusal of his articles would show that he does address vaccines risks. He just does it in an evidence-based manner. For example: https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/06/23/myocarditis-and-covid-19-vaccines/ (yes, this is early, and we learned more since).

The difference is that unlike anti-vaccine leaders, he does not make up things.

His point was that there is no middle ground between misinformation and facts, and the anti-vaccine position on vaccines is misinformation. That’s not “no vaccines have risks”. That’s, at best, a misunderstanding by you, at worst, an intentional misrepresentation of his position.

It’s pretty amusing to see Orac crying “Strawman!” when he routinely frames anti-mandate as anti-vax, and the bulk of every post consists of mocking anyone that dares to question the official narrative concerning the mRNA gene therapy products.

Orac, if you have weighed all of the risks and “benefits” for this product and have concluded that they are appropriate for YOU, you will find very few people standing in your way. As long as you support the right of every other individual to make their own decision, there’s no problem. If you advocate suppression of any evidence that amplifies the risk signal instead of open debate, you tacitly oppose informed consent. That’s a very tenuous position to defend. If you oppose censorship and mandates, I’d be hard-pressed to infer that from the insolence on display here.

@Chaos Infusion:
“support the right of every other individual to make their own decision,”

What about people too young to be vaccinated? Why do they have to support your decision to infect them?

Infectious diseases are infectious. That means that your decisions affect and impact other people in ways that they can not possibly control. It’s like drunk driving. Other people will pay the consequences of your decisions.

It is not possible for you to be unvaccinated and have no effect on the people you come into contact with.

Why do you think you have been asked to wash your hands after going to the toilet? It’s not an attempt to curb your freedoms. It’s to stop you spreading germs to everyone else after you take a dump.

Come up with a way for unvaccinated people to live through a pandemic without contributing to it. No one will care about your vaccinated status then. At least vaccinated people are doing their best to minimise the harm they cause and receive.

the bulk of every post consists of mocking anyone that dares to question the official narrative concerning the mRNA gene therapy products.

Correction:
The bulk of every post consists of mocking anyone that wrongly profess that mRNA vaccines are gene therapy products.

@ Indie Rebel,

Understand that Orac diminishes “vaccine safety advocate.”

Let me explain with an analogy:

A teeter totter having “provaxxer” and “antivaxxer” on the ends with a “vaccine safety advocate” in the middle is how Orac and his minions perceive forced immunity though vaccinations.

MJD says,

In this teeter totter analogy, most recognize that the “vaccine safety advocate” constantly leans towards the “antivaxxer”, lifting up the “provaxxer.”

Anti-vaccine activists are not “vaccine safety advocates”. They do not propose evidence-based ways to increase vaccine safety. They make up risks vaccines do not have and use those to cast fear on vaccines.

That does not improve vaccine safety. And it reduces overall safety by scaring people off vaccines – with misinformation.

@Dorit Reiss

“His point was that there is no middle ground between misinformation and facts, and the anti-vaccine position on vaccines is misinformation.”

So you’re saying the anti-vaxxers are always completely wrong, and there is never any value in anything they say? Nothing in JFK Jr.’s book (that Orac didn’t read) could possibly be valid or accurate?

I doubt there is anyone on the planet who is infallibly right, or infallibly wrong. That is why we need to hear more than one side of controversies.

Many people believe that vaccine safety problems are sometimes covered up, and that does not seem a terribly far-fetched idea. If we express skepticism, we should not be labeled anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists, and banned from social media. But that is exactly what is happening now.

My experience is that most or all of what Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says on vaccines is misinformation or disinformation. Disinformation means taking a grain of truth and using it to deceive – so no, not 100% would be wrong, but it would generally be misleading in presentation or content.

And yes. Assuming there are vaccines problems covered up with no evidence is buying into anti-vaccine misinformation and a conspiracy theory. It sounds like wanting to believe there’s a problem with vaccines based on no evidence. That’s classic anti-vaccine.

In reality, note that actual issues with COVID-19 vaccines were openly and publicly discussed. That’s J&J blood clots and myocarditis – and allergic reaction.

So not only is there no basis to thinking that there are problems being covered up, it goes against what actually happened.

I think you are doing a nice job validating Orac’s initial point – that you are an anti-vaccine activist trying to pretend to be a moderate.

I find the ‘cover up’ idea to be a great way to get out of any discussion of the science:
– If the results are ‘pro-vaccine’, then the response is ‘cover up’
– If the results are ‘anti-vaccine’, then the response is ‘truth’, often followed up by ‘brave scientist fighting the ‘system’

Most anti-vaxxers believe that ALL vaccines are somehow either harmful or useless. Very few will accept ANY vaccine. That’s a test of anti-vax.
SBM supporters recognise that there is risk with ANY medical procedure ( indeed, with any human action) and can even put a number on it. Drug A is riskier than drug B and why.

If IR believes that there is a middle ground, let him/her describe it / its range, either with words or numbers and/ or give examples of people who support that/ those position(s).

@Dorit Reiss

Dissent from the official narrative is labelled “dangerous misinformation” and banned from social media. That alone should make everyone suspicious. But there is blind faith in official medical agencies, especially among progressive Democrats. Not that politics should have anything to do with it, but it does.

And by the way, Gorski’s accusing JFK Jr. of racism is just silly. And that’s another hammer in the toolbox of progressive Democrats — find a way to accuse your opponents of racism, even if race has nothing to do with the controversy.

You’re very silly. RFK Jr. opened the door by making that dishonest movie designed to stoke fear of vaccines among Blacks by falsely linking them to the Tuskegee experiment.🙄🤦🏻‍♂️

As much as I hate to admit it-there may be something to this. Twitter is a private platform, not a government entity beholden to amendment 1.

That said, I’d rather they leave these bananas, unhinged, nutty-as-squirrel-shit posts and videos of bozos behind their steering wheel or in their pathetic, home “YouTube studio” up.

My favorite yet was the piece of performance art of the nurse getting walked out by security. Hair and makeup perfect. Obvious she just got Botox for the event. No nurse anywhere outside of a derm office looks like that. No way two security guards show up unless you’re code grey or a known nut job. My guess is the latter and everyone was happy to wash their hands of her.What a joke.

Keep that stuff up do we can see just how sick, deranged, and sad these people are. Sunshine is the best disinfectant. Let them continue to bare ass and place foot in mouth for all the world to see.

Why official narrative should automatically be wrong ? Like COVID kills people, vaccines are not gene therapy, vaccines are tested, etc. These lies andanger public health.

There is a middle ground. Not everyone who is skeptical of the Covid vaccine is an antivaxxer. This is not a straw man argument based on logical fallacies. There are many reasons some people do not fully trust the government, media, or pharmaceutical companies. But if you bring up other issues not directly related to the respective post, Orac will immediately denounce it as “whataboutism” and his devoted supporters will arrogantly make assumptions about you or just label you as another ignorant antivaxxer.

There may be people skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines that are not anti-vaccine.

But the people commenting here do not seem of that variety. And much of the skepticism seems to be driven by points – most of them untrue – fed to the public by anti-vaccine activists. Like the misuse of VAERs reports.

There are certainly groups with good reasons to mistrust government – but they don’t seem to be the ones commenting here or the ones making claims like the one above.

Dorit is absolutely right. Some individuals have doubts and reservations about vaccines in general but this does not make them anti vaccine.

One group who might attract a certain amount of empathy and understanding in this regard would surely be those who have experienced a vaccine induced injury either personally or in a member of their family.

Few if any give much thought to the legacy created for people who are vaccine injured in displaying fear or hesitancy in respect of vaccines thereafter. That does not mean they are anti-vaccine, merely very fearful and distrusting of something they once readily accepted without question.

The problem with these groups is the large number of people who blame vaccines for things they don’t cause – like parents of children with autism who blame vaccines or parents who lost children to SIDS, or more recently, the people who blame what looks like conversion disorder on COVID-19 vaccines.

These are much more numerous than (few) people who have actually and really been harmed from vaccines, and they’re tricky. We can sympathize with the suffering, for example, of parents struggling to navigate the special needs structure in the U.S. (which is sub-optimal) – but accepting those claims harms others.

In fact, these groups have been a big presence in the anti-vaccine movement, so we certainly have thought about and grappled with dealing with them.

The “problem” is that people often conflate the issue by amalgamating both those merely “blaming” vaccines for conditions currently with no acknowledged link with those who have proven cases of vaccine injury……..two entirely different groups!

Surely the latter are deserving of understanding as to vaccine hesitancy irrespective of how large an impact those blaming vaccines have on the anti-vaccine movement and how tricky they are!

Recognising and empathising with the “few” who “have actually and really been harmed from vaccines” and are subsequently vaccine hesitant, should not be avoided because accepting claims from groups “blaming” vaccines for injuries, harms others.

Like I say two very different groups.

Wendy, I purpose that the people most guilty of amalgamating the ‘two entirely different groups’ are those you characterize ‘merely “blaming” vaccines for conditions currently with no acknowledged link’. I don’t think that they see themselves the same way you do. People want someone (else) to blame, regardless of any proof.

Proven cases of vaccine injury have been acknowledged, both by the courts and by science (sometimes even when the ink was very weak). I am sure that they would be treated even better if the first group did not lack upon every case (regardless of the actual link) as a battle cry.

I can understand a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’. But this group is insignificant besides the larger group crying wolf…

David, those with proven vaccine induced injuries are powerless to either address or remedy the conduct of others and so it is insensitive to suggest that they would be “treated even better” were it not for their conduct.

The fact that some unscrupulous individuals attach themselves to acknowledged cases of vaccine injury or use them as material for a battle cry is not the fault of those suffering from vaccine induced injuries. Poor conduct on the part of some individuals should not dictate the way in which vaccine injured persons are regarded and treated by the rest of society.

I’m hoping that in describing those affected by “the once, bitten twice shy” scenario (in proven cases of vaccine injury) as “insignificant besides the larger group crying wolf” you are referring to the numbers involved.

@Wendy

Yes, I was referring to the difference in numbers.

And yes, I do see the problem we have. Is it realy ‘insensitive’ to point out that the treatment of vaccine injured is hurt by Kennedy and his friends? That they are being used?
How do you purpose that we separate the ‘unscrupulous individuals’, from those ‘powerless’ victims of the anti-vax ecosystem? What solution do you see?

You make a fair point about the media. They have a lot of problems. It’s hard to know who has actually researched and confirmed stories anymore. Bias is sometimes on display.

I, for one, wish Fauci would be quiet. He’s radioactive. Regardless of why, he is. He will never convince another soul beyond those he has already.

Shameless plug for primary care but I feel like that is the broken link here. Most of my hesitant patients just want questions answered by someone they trust. When they know I am the guy who saved their life in the hospital once and whom they now see in clinic, they know I would never recommend anything I even suspected to be dangerous. NEVER. That is my oath.

There are many reasons some people do not fully trust the government, media, or pharmaceutical companies.

And this excuse for a book tries to amplify each and every one of them. (I’ve just hit the 5G part. Before this, I would have said that any assertion of fact without a footnote should be discarded, but here things have devolved into having to check whether any given reference actually says what he says it says.)

Love the photo of Junior with Trump and Pence.

The Canadian Broadcast Corp. cbc.ca recently had an interview with the African American sheriff of the county where Tuskegee, Alabama is located. He is enduring long Covid and urges everyone to be vaccinated. Yes, Tuskegee experiment was real and needs to be remembered, but urging vulnerable populations to stay vulnerable is mean spirited, especially since Junior will be able to pay for expensive hospital care if he needs it.

I read the first chapter of his book – free, posted at Amazon. One lie after another to be polite. Promoting withdrawn studies supposedly proving ivermectin and therefore the vaccination efforts are all wrong. Promoting the John Birch Society’s AAPS group even though the JBS hated his dad and uncle and were not sad to see them killed. I also watched the video clips on Junior’s website having discussion with Tucker Carlson and disgraceful is an understatement.

I have highest respect for President Kennedy, his efforts to ensure nuclear war did not happen, signing the withdrawal effort for Vietnam, restarting negotiations to reopen relations with Cuba, etc. I agree these are reasons he was extrajudicially removed from office, which our society still has PTSD about. But I side with Junior’s siblings who think he’s lost his way. Moral of the story: don’t take medical advice from traumatized lawyers.

I read the first chapter of his book – free, posted at Amazon.

Did it include the Scylla and Charybdis line? “The desolate destination where democracy goes to die”? (I do not for one second believe that RFKJr came up with “pajandrum” all by his lonesome.)

The really odd thing, though, given that Skyhorse likely has little overhead other than warehouse space, it’s that it’s terribly typeset — the usual rule is no more than three line-ending hyphens, which is pretty silly,* but they wouldn’t turn them on at all for this low-rent mess. There are rivers of whitespace. This “design decision” pretty much hinges on not having too many polysyllabic words.

Gerrit Noordzij demonstrates this quite well in *Letterletter.

For example: There are many scientific articles claiming that thimerosal is neurotoxic and can cause developmental disorders. Here is one, but others are easy to find: https://www.nature.com/articles/4001529

Thimerosal was removed from some vaccines, but autism rates did not decrease. So, because of that, the official narrative declared that thimerosal must have nothing to do with autism. No further questioning was needed, and thimerosal is still used in flu vaccines.

This is just one example of something RFK Jr. may have been right about. No, I do NOT trust RFK Jr.’s opinions on vaccines, since he is an anti-vax activist. On the other hand, it does NOT follow that everything he has said about vaccines is wrong.

Oh man, a cdesign proponentist and a thimerosal advocate?

IR, you’re a delightful time warp.

“It’s just a jump to the Left,
Then a step to the right!
Put your hands on your hips,
bring you knees in tight!
Well it’ the pelvic thrust,
that’ll drive you insane!
Let’s do the Time Warp again!”

No, I do NOT trust RFK Jr.’s opinions on vaccines, since he is an anti-vax activist. On the other hand, it does NOT follow that everything he has said about vaccines is wrong.

So what? Junior is an unhinged fanatic. I haven’t read everything he has said about vaccination, but what I have read of his is wrong to the point of being deranged.I feel confident that I am better informed by assuming everything he says is a falsehood.

If, as you said, ‘Thimerosal was removed from some vaccines, but autism rates did not decrease’, what conclusions would you come to?
If you use logic, then ‘Thimerosal causes autism’ would not be one of them.

Anti-vaxxers scoff about the huge increases in ASD rates since the 1990s especially in the past twenty years. WAIT! Wasn’t thimerosal removed around 2000 and YET rates kept climbing!
I always speculate that perhaps thimerosal was protective and prevented ASDs**

** only joking : we know what “causes” autism as I’ve written many times.

If anyone has a free PDF of the book, I’d be willing to take a look

Both formats are already available at libgen; I wouldn’t be too surprised if WSU’s library had it.

@Dorit Reiss

“No, it’s not. This is a mouse study from 2004. Large human studies show the opposite.”

Many studies show thimerosal can be a neurotoxin that can cause developmental disorders is some susceptible children. You trust the ones you want to trust.

The fact that there has been so much research showing it can be a neurotoxin should not be ignored. Especially when infants are given more and more vaccines.

Most of the vaccine skeptics are now banned and censored. I am glad that at least some are still allowed, at least for now.

No, it does not work that way.

Large human studies show no link between the amounts of thimerosal in vaccines and neurological harms.

Mice or cell studies suggest some amounts of thimerosal can be an issue. These do not show the vaccines given to children have any issue, and cannot counter large human studies. A few junk-level studies by anti-vaccine activists – several discussed in this blog – claim they have human data suggesting harm from thimerosal containing vaccines. because their methods are unreliable, they are invalid.

These are not equivalent. If you look at this data and conclude that there’s anything to RFK Jr.’s point of misinformation on thimerosal, you are choosing to reject the data and follow a lie. That makes you wrong.

Choosing disinformation over facts is not choosing between equal things.

Note that your support for that bit of misinformation from RFK Jr. further undermines your attempt to pretend you’re a reasonable middle, rather than an anti-vaccine activist.

I am not a chemist and won’t pretend to be. I do remember, though, mercury problems with the reservoirs created by the massive James Bay dams about a third of a century ago (northern Quebec). As I recall the flooding of the boreal forests converted “natural” mercury in the soil into a more toxic form that was easily absorbed. The local native First Nations rely on fish and the fish got contaminated. Before the dams, the natural mercury in that environment wasn’t a big problem but now it is due to the chemical change from the rotting forest in the reservoirs. Methyl mercury if I recall correctly.

If RFK Jr. was really concerned about mercury he would not only notice that thimerosal has been mostly phased out, but also the contribution of the color-alkali industry, which uses mercury in the process and is a contributor to environmental mercury pollution. Chlorine feed stocks are one of the root causes of what we call “toxic waste” – PVC, bleaching of paper, most of the biocides, solvents, etc. Drinking water uses maybe one percent of the Cl production. Sewage, a couple percent. Dioxins and related compounds are carcinogenic among other problems. Perhaps there are a couple applications that would be difficult to find substitutes, but PVC and bleached paper have many alternatives.

On a political note, I’m glad to see Fox “news” in trouble over the messages some of the hosts sent during the January 6 attack on the Capitol. May it further lower their ratings and credibility …

In 2018, RFK Jr was part of a group of family members, aides and allies who called for Truth and Reconciliation for the assassinations of the 1960s, including his dad and uncle. I hope he can learn to extend that perspective to his own anti-health efforts. Maybe he could donate his salary toward helping ensure Covid vaccines are distributed to poor countries.

Hey IR, do you know what absolutely causes brain damage in children?

Prenatal exposure to rubella.

I’m sure we would all very much like to see your studies.

Know what else is a neurotoxin? Bilirubin. Your body is full of it. So is oxygen at sufficient levels. So is ammonia-you have some of that in your blood. So are about a dozen other things in your plasma right now. ALL exist at FAR higher blood levels than a dinky dose one time of thimerosol ever could.

“Especially when infants are given more and more vaccines.”

Name every childhood vaccine, on the schedule in your country, that contains thimerosal.

@ Indie Rebel

First, read my comment above! Just one more example of your NOT knowing what you are talking about!

As for autism, I guess you are unaware of the studies of brain autopsies on children diagnosed with autism who tragically died, e.g., car accident, etc. Findings that the changes in areas of brain and interconnectivity only could have happened in utero, so before received any vaccines. And i’m sure you’ve never heard of Paracelsus from the 15th Century who said “the dose makes the poison”. Thimerosal is less than half mercury and in trace amounts. Also there are two basic types of mercury, ethyl and methyl, the one used in thimerosal doesn’t usually cross the blood-brain barrier. Finally, our bodies have mechanisms for protecting against mercury and other potential toxins, as long as in minute doses. And autism is a behavioral diagnosis, not based on physical signs and the definition has changed. Not worth giving more info and including numerous references because as with evolution, you are the expert. Expert in intellectual dishonesty.

No discussion of RFK Jr.’s fascination with Holocaust imagery is complete without a mention of his “final solution”, which appears in a promo for his keynote address at the 2021 Autism One conclave:

“We are in the last battle. This is the apocalypse. We are fighting for the salvation of humanity. We all knew this was coming at some point. I never believed it would come in my lifetime, but here it is…”

“We have to fight, and we have to die with our boots on if necessary. Everybody here, I’m confident, knows what their duty is and is going to do that duty, and I’m going to be beside you when you do it.”

RFK Jr.

https://pheedloop.com/AutismOne2021Conference/site/home/

It ranks down there with Del Bigtree telling his followers that it’s time for them to use their Second Amendment rights i.e. guns to get what they want.

Antivax leaders have become increasingly unhinged in urging on their devotees. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a homicidal plot unfold like the one just foiled in Germany.

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “Many people believe that vaccine safety problems are sometimes covered up, and that does not seem a terribly far-fetched idea. If we express skepticism, we should not be labeled anti-vaxxers and conspiracy theorists, and banned from social media. But that is exactly what is happening now.”

Yep, antivaxxers have been silenced. Yikes! They have testified numerous times before Congress, State Legislatures, City Councils, School Boards, Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, etc. And they have a large number of websites, some extremely well-funded, millions of dollars, with large followings; e.g. National Vaccine Information Center, Safe Minds, Age of Autism, and RFK Jr’s Children’s Defense Fund. They have had OpEds in numerous newspapers. And they have had mass demonstrations. And some have resorted to violence, literally assaulting school board members, etc. And, just as with anything else, there are always “PhDs”, “MDs”, etc. who, for whatever reason, support their views, just as there are MDs who practice homeopathy, etc. And they do get articles published in medical journals, research, often poorly designed, editorials, etc. And, despite some efforts, they have had a lot of success with social media. And as I have already discussed, they are so stupid that they think focusing on profits proves anything.

Claiming antivax views are being suppressed is just BS; but, at the same time, at some point when claims made by them have been overwhelmingly shown to be wrong, it is absurd to continue to allow worthless repetition in all forums that could sway idiots like you!

I like how you linked to a study in Nature on mice. Well, I can link to studies showing how nuts are toxic to dogs; but healthy for humans. I do give my dog some peanut butter; but, in case you are unaware, peanuts are NOT nuts, they are legumes.

@MedicalYeti

“So are about a dozen other things in your plasma right now. ALL exist at FAR higher blood levels than a dinky dose one time of thimerosol ever could.”

It depends on how many thimerosal containing vaccines a child is given. And what may be a dinky does for an adult might not be so dinky for an infant.

There is all kinds of research on this topic, some of it showing thimerosal in vaccines can be harmful, some it showing it can’t. Typical of medical research. There is no reason to dismiss the possibility that thimerosal may have triggered some cases of autism in susceptible children.

Yes RFK Jr. may be an anti-vax fanatic. It does not follow that everything he says is wrong, or that he should be ignored.

Keep in mind how much political power the drug industry has now. When they tell us something is perfectly safe, we should at least be skeptical and do some of our own reading.

I don’t have kids, but if I did I would be damn careful about vaccines, and would learn as much as I could before deciding which ones they should get. The vaccine makers want us to believe that vaccines promote health, and that we should be vaccinated against as many infectious diseases as possible. But no, vaccines do not promote health and they are not harmless. Some may be necessary. As with most controversies, the truth is not found in either extreme, but depends on careful thought and balancing of risks.

“The vaccine makers want us to believe that vaccines promote health, and that we should be vaccinated against as many infectious diseases as possible”

It’s already been pointed out that there are loads of vaccines that no one will ever recommend you have, unless you are planning a trip to certain parts of the world.

Thimerosal was removed removed from vaccines, without any public health effect. So obviously, it is not dangerous.
Nobody believes that drugsare safe because Big Pharma says so. There are clinical trials and follow up studies (last ones not financed by pharmaceutical companies,if this is your problem). Alternative medicine has lots of political support, and whole Republican party is quite antivaccine now,
Curious thing is that lots of people believe that alternative medicine does miracles, just because practioners say so. And of course, any criticism would be Big Pharma plot, caused by atheistic materialistic religion.

Who do you think creates the vaccine schedule? Hint, it’s not the pharmaceutical companies.

“It depends on how many thimerosal containing vaccines a child is given. ”

None. You yourself said that thimerosal was removed from pediatric vaccines. Therefore, children get no thimerosal containing vaccines.

You know what does cause brain damage? Infectious diseases. You know what prevents infectious diseases? Vaccines.

If RFK doesnt want questioned about using the phrase “Final Solution”, its probably best not to use the phrase “Final Solution”.

Folks, I always joke that one of these days the Energizer Bunny is going to walk across one of Orac’s posts. ‘It goes on, and on, and on…’ It’ s always the same blathering. This one being the common iteration of how a high profile ‘antivaxxer’ is really an antivaxxer and even though he denies it.

The funny thing– or sad one if see it another way– the pandemic was set to end all this. The table was set so beautifully for vaccines to play the hero and vanquish all the antivaxx fiends for good, and sparing Orac from ever writing about them again.

True story: back in early spring I ran into T at our tennis club T and I had prior long discussions about vaccines and though he was inclined to believe in them, he was willing to listen to my ‘antivaxx’ spiels about their shortcomings.

So, there were T and I sitting on a bench overlooking the courts. T then asked me what I thought of the Covid mRNA vaccine. I did my best to be informative, educating him on the technology behind the vaccine, but concluding that I am skeptical of it as I am with all vaccines.

T politely listened and then he wrapped things up by saying he was hesitant to get the vaccine, but got it due to work travel. He added that the world was on the cusp of a decisive moment for vaccines. He stated, if within a year after people the world over took the vaccine and we were able to stop Covid, it would be the ultimate victory for vaccination.

I reflected on this, and ended up agreeing with T. Covid might just settle the vaccination stand-off. Would I ran into T again and find him gloating with him saying, ‘see Greg, the vaccine saved us all.’

Imagine if after a year highly vaxxed North America had no cases and deaths, and it was actually still unvaxxed India and Africa reeling in Covid cases and misery? Who would have argued then that the provaxxers won. Wouldn’t Orac be able to respond to RFKjr with just a ‘look’?!

Yet, a year in, we find again that you guys were exposed. The emperor truly has no clothes. All you guys have is a conned masses.

@ Greg

As usual you are full of it. The latest data show between 3 to 6 times number of hospitalized cases are unvaccinated compared to vaccinated. And, as I already showed, the actual number of cases in India far greater than officially reported.

You are NOT just wrong; but dishonest given I doubt you missed what I and others have written.

As usual you are full of it. The latest data show between 3 to 6 times number of hospitalized cases are unvaccinated compared to vaccinated

Misleading stat, Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH. Let’s consider a hypothetical country with a population of 100. Out of those 100, 80 are fully vaxxed and 20 are unvaxxed. After exposure to Covid, we find four hospitalized unvaxxed cases and only one vaxxed hospitalized case.

Wow! Is that not an impressive stat for Covid vaccination?! Where do we go from here? Do we not have every right to ostracize the foolish, dangerous ‘antivaxxers’, firing them from their jobs and barring them access to their community?

Yet, what are we missing in that stat. We are missing that the 79 ‘spared’ vaxxed individuals are only partially protected with a leaky vaccine, and are permanently at risk at contracting Covid down the road. They are only temporarily spared. As for the 17 unaffected unvaxxed cases, they have acquired superior natural immunity and are at an extremely reduced risk of contracting Covid down the road.

And, ignoring everything in the preceeding paragraph, this is how the vaccine pushers spin the lie that we are coming out ahead with the vaccines, and even if India, Africa and Eastern Europe are strongly pointing to the missing details.

And, I notice Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH did not respond to this from me…

Misleading stat, Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH. Let’s consider a hypothetical country with a population of 100. Out of those 100, 80 are fully vaxxed and 20 are unvaxxed. After exposure to Covid, we find four hospitalized unvaxxed cases and only one vaxxed hospitalized case.

Wow! Is that not an impressive stat for Covid vaccination?! Where do we go from here? Do we not have every right to ostracize the foolish, dangerous ‘antivaxxers’, firing them from their jobs and barring them access to their community?

Yet, what are we missing in that stat. We are missing that the 79 ‘spared’ vaxxed individuals are only partially protected with a leaky vaccine, and are permanently at risk at contracting Covid down the road. They are only temporarily spared. As for the 17 unaffected unvaxxed cases, they have acquired superior natural immunity and are at an extremely reduced risk of contracting Covid down the road.

Indeed, natural immunity is superior as the research suggest, and we should expect it to provide a better fix at halting the pandemic. News that Omicron is also breaking through natural immunity should be treated as the exception rather than the rule. Supporting this, as quickly as it started, Omicron is starting to recede in low vaxxed, high natural immunity South Africa.

Don’t expect such a miracle for the highly vaxxed regions of the world. Their huge vaxxed numbers and poor protection will provide ample dry wood for Omicron to burn through over a sustained period.

https://ca.news.yahoo.com/already-past-peak-south-africa-121247466.html

Addendum: Last I saw T, he agreed that the persecution of the unvaxxed was not right, and he said he has no intention of getting a booster

I’m sure that T was sincere when he “… agreed that the persecution of the unvaxxed was not right, and … has no intention of getting a booster”,
rather than saying what he had to to make a quick escape.

BTW, I am not T.

There is a 99.3% chance this is total, fabricated, bat guano. Thanks for sharing, however, as it made for an amusing read.

Look, jackwagon, you seem to still be conned by the McCollough baloney about India and Africa. Have you ever been to either place? I’ve been to both. Multiple times. Lots of people outside in the sunlight all day long. My money is on vitamin D being the lynchpin on this NOT VACCINES.

Multiple studies seem to hint at this. There is a signal there. I have seen it, myself, in clinical practice. Since we are in a northern location, I began checking vitamin D levels in folks admitted with covid. The sicker ones were dark-skinned individuals who get very little sunlight and had low vitamin d. We’re talking about ten or eleven cases for sure-so take it with a grain of salt (See how I’m not CERTAIN I’m right? You can learn from that.)

Again, is this a panacea? Heck no. It’s something we can continue to study. Here are a few studies:

Metaanalysis->PMID: 34894254
New one-> PMID: 34909131
PMID: 32474141
PMID: 32252338

There is a 99.3% chance this is total, fabricated, bat guano. Thanks for sharing, however, as it made for an amusing read.

Medical, I advise that you go with the .7%. Do you really think I would lie with such a mundane story?! Hell — I could’ve ham it up and say that T reported that moments after getting his shot, he ended up in the ICU with tubes coming out of every inch of his body. Actually, he said, all he had was a sore arm and things were pretty uneventful.

I brought up the story because T rightly anticipated that the pandemic and Covid vaccination would serve as a seminal moment in the vaccination war. T heard my ‘antivaxx’ spiels before, and, whether he believed they were reasonable arguments, it would take more to sway him. It would take actual results, and the pandemic offered that opportunity.

Consider, the ‘anti-vaxxers’ argue that epidemics in the past were well on their way out before vaccines, vaccines didn’t save us and at times made things worse, and natural immunity was what really saved us. Perhaps it was easy to contest these points because we were talking ancient history; with the current pandemic, however, these points are all taking central stage, and right now you are getting tko’d on every one of them.

So, maybe you guys are now hoping that cases will go down in the coming spring and maybe we will fumble our way out of the pandemic Actually, should that happen, I expect you guys will spin it that in the end our patience with the vaccines really paid off. Why wouldn’t you if the public is always so apt to swallow such BS.

Still, smart people are keeping score. They know, and you know, that you’re getting knocked square on your ass during this match.

Perusing SBM over my morning cereal and curses, but the mighty Nell had a couple of links far too good not to share regarding India and the fitting of “facts” to a predetermined conclusion:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/14/world/asia/india-modi-science-icmr.html?unlocked_article_code=AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACEIPuonUktbfqohkQVUaBybKWsIjolqPnvnGh706in73aS2SRTcH1O8UDo6L9gLMbq95Idsv2jDRDPlwDIgSft0ghOlOIx4qDACyvpqPnJlCLXg88NjrAG1zhMuWAPVlqma6KzmzJbs6lLCx70jcbTXpCKPbwmRhcFg-2eZtdl2g2HYPwK_XQKUiipQlg6BXVt0tTiwAZSKJo_HoFx17Xd6GZRvZ4QE3MPpLDXCRxZXPruJdL3gBTA7OX3h94m4j6NhDOttxP633LRAoeMCWkqzmx1qy6GHPaRijxrc4Wkbb&smid=url-share

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.04.21261604v2.full

And this is on top of public heath systems that are phenomenally inadequate for a 1.3Bn population, even in a good year. So West and the rest can go fark themselves: not only are India’s low COVID stats easily explained by massively inadequate intelligence but there is confirmation that they are also the product of calculated fraud at the highest levels of government, two more qualities the Disease Perverts are full of too. /out

@ has

India is way to crazily heavily politicised for science not be a casualty.

To me, that’s not an issue of science and facts against politics.

Given the environment over there, we shouldn’t expect anything to take precedence over politics. It’s simply unrealistic.

It’s an issue for the indians, as to whether their government follows science or not. But from afar, we cannot do anything else but watch.

But the environment over there leaves no fighting chance for science against the political stakes.

Indian politics are fascinatingly crazy. And the New York Times is doing a poor job at giving you a sense of how crazy it is.The society is so heavily polarised over there that I do not see how silencing scientific expertise could impact much the political landscape over there.

They just raised the mariage age to 21. I think people care about more about that over there for the moment.

>
Imagine if after a year highly vaxxed North America had no cases and deaths, and it was actually still unvaxxed India and Africa reeling in Covid cases and misery?
>

There’s no way even a highly vaccinated North America would have no cases or deaths within 12 months. That assertion betrays your lack of understanding.

India and Africa are indeed both reeling in COVID cases and misery. The US is struggling too, since the COVID vaccination rate has yet to reach the herd immunity threshold.

But look at the highly vaccinated populations of New Zealand, Australia, and Taiwan Some pretty impressive numbers there.

New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan are not really all that highly vaccinated on a whole-of-population basis. Australia is doing the best of the three, but it’s about 75%. Taiwan, at about 64%, is pretty unremarkable amongst countries that have good access to vaccines. Compare with the EU average of ~68%, USA 61%.

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations# (TABLE tab in the data display)

Australia currently has just under 90% of those eligible to be vaccinated (12+ years old) fully vaccinated (still defined here as 2 shots), and it will probably take the vaccination of the 5-11 age cohort before we get to actually have a very high whole population vaccination rate. That part of the vaccination program isn’t due to start until January.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-02/charting-australias-covid-vaccine-rollout/13197518#peopleaus

IMO, what has helped a lot in Australia and New Zealand (and possibly also Taiwan) have been border closures (both internal and external), mask wearing and lockdowns. At least until Delta arrived, though only two states (Victoria and New South Wales) were badly affected by Delta..

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “Most of the vaccine skeptics are now banned and censored. I am glad that at least some are still allowed, at least for now.Most of the vaccine skeptics are now banned and censored. I am glad that at least some are still allowed, at least for now.”

I’ve covered this above. It is a typical ploy/strategy of anyone who has lost a debate to claim foul play. Read my comment above! Some antivaccinationists only want people to “listen to them” but if one follows their history what they mean is similar to a parent who says to kid: “You didn’t listen to me, so no dessert tonight.” In other words, they are interested in an open civil rational dialogue; but in people accepting as true what they claim. Never happen!

You write: “The vaccine makers want us to believe that vaccines promote health, and that we should be vaccinated against as many infectious diseases as possible. But no, vaccines do not promote health and they are not harmless. Some may be necessary. As with most controversies, the truth is not found in either extreme, but depends on careful thought and balancing of risks.

And I’ve answered this. I don’t base decisions on what pharmaceutical companies claim; but on studies/reports from literally around the world. You and others keep focusing on vaccine manufacturers as if they are the literally only source of VALID information. And, yes, vaccines promote health. I had all the childhood diseases, measles, chicken pox, mumps, rotavirus, etc. and just suffered for a few days each; however, if I had passed any on to another child with a comorbidity or autoimmune disease, could have been catastrophic. We know, for instance, that during 1950s about 50,000 kids per year were hospitalized with measles, 450-500 died, and another 1,000 or so suffered hearing loss or blindness. Given our population has doubled and with advent of neonatal intensive care units, more kids with comorbidities, without the vaccine we could expect up to 100,000 hospitalized, 1,000 or more deaths, and many more deaf or blinded. Even if I were fairly certain my kids not in danger, since I have studied measles vaccine for decades and know it is safe, I would still get my kids vaccinated in order to protect other innocent children and, of course, so my kids would avoid an unpleasant week. I believe in community. I value the lives of ALL children, even those with comorbidies, etc. And, for instance, diphtheria treatable with antibiotics; but without the vaccine and with rise of antibiotic resistance potentially many could die. I can’t think of a single vaccine currently given to children that doesn’t reduce their risk of a week or so of suffering and reduce risk of worse to some other kids.

You write: “There is all kinds of research on this topic, some of it showing thimerosal in vaccines can be harmful, some it showing it can’t. Typical of medical research. There is no reason to dismiss the possibility that thimerosal may have triggered some cases of autism in susceptible children.”

The amount of ethyl mercury in vaccines is based on studies of the more toxic methyl mercury. Based on large amounts of data, a cut-off safety point was decided if even minimal signs the mercury affected anyone. Then they divided that quantity by 10 and then by 10 again, so the max allowed in any one shot was 1/100 any found indication of even minimal effect. So, even if a kid given 3 or 4 vaccines containing thimerosal at once, would be 0.03 or 0.04 of lowest risk.

And, NOPE, again, no valid evidence that thimerosal associated with autism.

Besides autopsies of brains, family films of kids later diagnosed with autism depicted early signs BEFORE they were given vaccines. Some of these films go back decades.

You just keep making a fool of yourself, pontificating on a subject you know NOTHING about. Doesn’t surprise me given your railing about atheists and materialists, that is, your dismissing out of hand anything written on evolution by someone you can attach a label to as if ones beliefs automatically nullify any evidence.

By the way, just one example of RFKs idiocy. Throughout most of book he discusses the case that HIV not responsible for AIDS and he literally condemns AZT and other retrovirals, claiming the drugs responsible for deaths, not disease; but then in a later chapter he writes that AIDS is killing lots of people in South Africa because the pharmaceutical industries patents keep the price of the drugs too high. He contradicts himself on other subjects as well.

@ EVERYONE

WHY THERE IS NO AUTISM EPIDEMIC

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

The late Autism researcher Lorna Wing (2005). wrote: “Nothing exists until it has a name.” As an example, in a 910 treatise, the Persian/Arab physician, Al-Razi, noticed that a disease, up to then considered one, actually was two separate diseases, smallpox and measles (Cliff, 1993, p.52). So, did smallpox or measles suddenly develop in the 10th Century?

Contributing Factors to Diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorders:

Leo Kanner’s 1943 article introduced the diagnosis of Autism and gave estimated statistics (based only on his own office practice); but in 1971, at a conference, he admitted that he rejected minorities and working class whites, believing it only a diagnosis for children of educated whites. A number of journal articles and other reports, going back to early 1900s, used mental retardation and childhood schizophrenia diagnostic categories; but if I gave the listed symptoms without the source, they would definitely be categorized as Autism Spectrum Disorders. A few described cases from various sources from the 19th Century and earlier would similarly be today diagnosed as ASD.

Psychiatry was a relatively new profession, only developing the last two decades of the 19th Century, so nearly impossible to know how people with problems would have been diagnosed earlier. Prior to World War II, there were few to no social services in the U.S., the age required for school attendance was lower and children with problems were either just kicked out, some finding menial jobs, some institutionalized.

After World War II, with the rise of America’s middle class and family politics, more attention was paid to children. After the 1957 Soviet launch of Sputnik, more funds and programs and emphasis on public education was developed and the minimal age for leaving school increased.
Psychology became a popular degree in American universities and we began churning out psychologists, school counselors, and more psychiatrists and, of course, this led to more work needed for them.

Originally ASD was diagnosed by psychiatrists using various techniques; but gradually standardized diagnostic instruments were developed, allowing for easier and quicker diagnoses by others.

In 1986 the Federal government passed legislation for grants to local schools for special education, dealing with children with problems. In the early 1990s this was extended to include ASD. Studies have found as the number of cases of ASD increases, the number of cases diagnosed as mentally retarded or childhood schizophrenia have decreased, at least, partially a response to availability of funds.

What was originally classical autism cases, became Autism Spectrum Disorders. Asberger’s wasn’t added until 1994 and there are cases of men in their 70s who have been diagnosed with Asberger’s. ASD includes kids with a variety of different signs and symptoms; but with some in common. As an example, in the 19th Century, high levels of white blood cells were originally thought to be signs of infectious disease; but then discovered to be cancer, so they were included in the category Cancer. Certainly doesn’t mean that cases of cancer were
increasing, just another group was added. Blood cancers differ in many respects from solid tumor cancers; also have signs and symptoms in common. Another example, imagine that medicine begins looking at respiratory diseases, first including just asthma and pneumonia, then later emphysema, chronic obstructive disease, cancer, etc. Imagine the government creates a separate institute with lots of funding and grants, both for research and education, ending up with more and more respiratory therapists, pulmonologists, and researchers and, of course, diagnosed cases. Increased awareness/screening/surveillance.

Childhood mortality has been decreasing over the past century. Children who would have died at birth or early on, e.g., low birthweight, especially very low birthweight, and genetic disorders, now can live long lives; but often have physical, cognitive, and emotional problems. A relationship has been found between ASD and children born to older parents, more mutations in eggs and sperm.

We live in the age of a therapeutic society. More and more people are being diagnosed with something. If this continues, no one will exist who doesn’t have some medical/psychiatric label (e.g., Brownless, 2007; Hadler, 2007; Payer, 1988, 1992; Welch, 2011).

Since World War II over 85,000 new chemicals have been introduced into our environment with little to no oversight. Before then, despite overwhelming medical science, lead was added to gasoline. A mass of studies has found that HIGH levels of lead in the blood of fetus and children results in lowered intelligence, behavioral problems, etc. And studies have found some post-war chemicals “cause” ASD when fetus exposed. High levels, not the minuscule levels of various additives in vaccines. So, yes, one can attribute some increase in ASD to the environment, either interaction with genes or by itself; but this doesn’t change that the overwhelming majority of cases can be explained by the above. And a number of well-done studies in different nations has found NO relationship between vaccines and ASD.

I believe in community and wish a society where all human beings are treated with dignity and resources provided for them to obtain whatever potential they have, so I support evermore funding for children and adults labeled with ASD; but also cerebral palsy, Down’s Syndrome, etc. All lives are precious. And we can “easily” afford this if our governments didn’t continuously lie to us about threats from abroad, while acting on behalf of corporations (access to raw materials and selling of weapons), resulting in CIA, MI6, and military spending trillions of dollars, risking our loyal military, and killing, crippling and impoverishing people in developing nations who were NEVER a threat to us. Of course, by killing them, we become the enlistment stimulus for terrorist groups, which we then claim the need to defend against, a vicious circle. Trillions of dollars that could have benefited us and used for real foreign aid (Blum. 2003; Butler, 1935; Gaffney, 2019; Schlessinger, 2005).

REFERENCES:

Blum W (2003). Killing Hope: US Military & CIA Interventions since World War II. Available at:
https://www.cia.gov/library/abbottabad-compound/13/130AEF1531746AAD6AC03EF59F91E1A1_Killing_Hope_Blum_William.pdf

Butler, Major General Smedley (1935). War Is A Racket. Available at: https://ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.pdf [Butler is the most decorated Marine in history]

Brownlee S (2007). Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer.

Cliff A, Haggett P, Smallman-Raynor M (1993). Measles: An Historical Geography of a Major Human Viral Disease. Blackwell.

Gaffney M (2018 Mar). Corporate Power and Expansive U.S. Military Policy. American Journal of Economics and Sociology; 77(2): 331-417. Available at: https://www.globalresearch.ca/corporate-power-and-expansive-u-s-military-policy/5653310

Hadler NM (2007). The Last Well Person: How to Stay Well Despite the Health-Care System.

Harrison JA (2018 Nov 9). Wrong About Polio: A Review of Suzanne Humphries, MD and Roman Bystrianyk’s “Dissolving Illusions” Part 1. Science-Based Medicine. Available at:
https://n1s1t23sxna2acyes3x4cz0h-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Part-1-Joel-A.-Harrison-2018-Oct-28.-Wrong-About-Polio-A-Review-of-Suzanne-Humphries-MD-and-Roman-Bystrianyk-“Dissolving-Illusions”-long-version.pdf [if link doesn’t work, cut & paste or just type title in Google]

Payer L (1988). Medicine & Culture: Varieties of Treatment in the United States, England, West Germany, and France.

Payer L (1992). Disease-Mongers: How Doctors, Drug Companies, and Insurers are Making You Feel Sick.

Schlesinger SC, Kinzer S (2005). Bitter Fruit: The Untold story of the American Coup in Guatemala (revised version). Harvard University Press.

Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S (2011). Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health.

Wing L (2005 Apr). Reflections on Opening Pandora’s Box. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders; 35(2): 197-203.

Great comments and links. An irony … ratical.org is a site that I used to really like but has promoted far right nonsense about the pandemic. The host is very concerned about scientific fraud regarding alleged safety claims for nuclear power (and I share this concern) but doesn’t seem to notice that John Bircher hoaxers are not exactly scientific heroes for spouting antifaxxer BS claiming masks don’t work … sigh. The host’s background is not science – he is a piano teacher and has been involved in conspiracy research for decades. On the latter, I agree with him on many of those claims but there’s no filtering of claims on the pandemic. Being suspicious of everything is not a way to do good research especially if one lacks training in the subject.

@Terrie

“Antivax sentiment is always based on ableism. Always.”

Haha, really? Having a normally functioning brain is not a big deal?

“Antivax sentiment is always based on ableism. Always.”

Haha, really? Having a normally functioning cosmic brain is not a big deal?

Q.E.D.

@Greg

Also consider that the vaccines’ effectiveness wears off in just a few months. Does that mean boosters will be required several times a year? Great news for the vaccine makers, if that’s how it turns out.

@ Indie Rebel

First, vaccine effectiveness doesn’t wear off in a few months. Yep, antibody titers lower; but still, together with T-cells, short-term plasma cells, long-term plasma cells, and memory B-cells, provide protection. Numerous studies have found significantly lower hospitalizations, long covid, and deaths in vaccinated.

And you continue with your dishonest focus on profits. First, while currently for many pharmaceuticals the profits are obscene and Congress has the legal/Constitutional authority to stop this, e.g., insulin, epi-pens, etc.; but getting a booster every 6 – 8 months is NOT a big deal, especially for those who understand the risks from the disease vs the minimal risk from the vaccine.

You just continue to display your ignorance. Difficult to believe you have a PhD? I’ve already mentioned that a search of just one of Covid vaccines, Moderna, found 641 papers on PubMed, some follow-ups of 6 months or more.

So, if “Rebel” refers to Confederate states, normally intelligent people know they LOST!

Yes. It would be good news for the vaccine manufacturers. Could be good news for people who might otherwise die as well. Not to mention breathing space to continue looking into better treatments.

@Indie

You are a true warrior, Indie. I agree that the real pandemic has been going on for decades now. Imagine, they throw kids under a bus, run over them, ‘celebrate’ their injuries, and then rail that others are ableist monsters for calling out the crime!

And what ‘real pandemic has been going on for decades now’? Please teach us, we must not be smart enough to know what you’re talking about…

Or is that a dog whistle for ‘autism’?

Autism is not caused by vaccines. You always repeat false statements, But people believing have actually chemically castrated their children, which is really monstrous.

@ EVERYONE

Orac mentioned RFK’s defense of Katie Wright, who claimed chelation therapy helped her autistic kid. First chelation doesn’t penetrate the blood-brain barrier; but if it did, already damaged brain cells would NOT immediately, if ever, revert to normal, so would only remove mercury after the fact; yet, parents who observed chelation therapy reported instantaneous changes in their children. People see what they wish to see. And chelation therapy actually killed at least a couple of children. Chelation doesn’t remove just mercury; but other essential metals and doctors who weren’t prepared to infuse these, death!

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

Vaccine effectiveness decreases within a few months, especially for variants. And there will always be variants. Boosters will be required AT LEAST every 6 months, probably every 3 months. And the cumulative effects of mRNA vaccines are not known.

And who is paying for hundreds of millions of vaccines every year? The middle class taxpayers of course.

@ Indie Rebel

Just how dense are you. Yep, effectiveness is less for some variants; but doesn’t mean lack of effectiveness. So far, original vaccines have still, on the whole, protected people from serious infections, hospitalizations, long covid, and deaths from the Delta variant. And if less protection from Omicron, it is one year since vaccine rolled out. I don’t think it all that problematic to get another vaccine.

And you continue to ignore what I wrote about profits. Ignoring your ignorance, for most of us the vaccines significantly reduce our risk from Covid-19. So, based on that, what would you have the pharmaceutical companies do, produce vaccines at a loss???

Just how STUPID are you???

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “And the cumulative effects of mRNA vaccines are not known.”

mRNA breaks down quickly in the cell cytoplasm, so, in essence, it only produces a limited number of proteins, with Covid vaccines, protein is S-Spike Protein. And there is absolutely no valid research by itself the S-spike protein can do any damage, especially given that the immune system almost immediately attacks it.

Imagine someone cut of the first joint of your finger. It couldn’t ring a doorbell, pulls a trigger, do anything, well, by analogy, applies to the S-Spike Protein.

As I have explained several times, over 650 papers on Moderna mRNA vaccine alone, including follow-ups approaching one year. Probably equal number of papers for Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, etc.

Keep on with your stupid hypotheses. Just digging yourself an ever bigger hole.

I am now convinced Indie Rebel is a sock puppet created by Big Pharma, because from the nym on down to the stuff about thimerosal IR hits EVERY spot on Orac’s bingo card of disingenuous-antivaxer-claiming-to-just-be-asking-reasonable-questions. It’s just soo on-the-nose, you have to wonder if it’s a false flag. ; – )

I’ve been beginning to wonder that myself.

I will note, however, that “Indie Rebel” has engaged in sockpuppeting in the past, as he’s appeared under two other ‘nyms (that I’m so far aware of), freetothink and Polly Chase. Despite the ban on sockpuppeting that I enforce, I haven’t acted because he/she/it has used “Indie Rebel” exclusively for nearly three months now. If I every find any examples of Indie Rebel sockpuppeting again, though, the ban hammer will come down with extreme prejudice. The only reason I didn’t do it three months ago was because I didn’t notice at the time.

If I every find any examples of Indie Rebel sockpuppeting again, though, the ban hammer will come down with extreme prejudice.

Perhaps it might be better to look for Gepetto. Sound familiar?

Isn’t the belief of life on other planets rooted in material/deterministic thinking? Matter and natural forces following rules to produce life on earth –albiet in the luckiest configuration– and it is assumed by sheer possibilities that luck is bound to have occurred on other planets in our universe.

Yet, science have repeatedly revealed the gap in materialistic explanations, and, if not God, phenomenon have been shown to require an outside interference that materialism cannot account for. For this reason, that materialistic explanations have often been found lacking, I am hesitant to discount that we are ‘special’ and life may not exist on other planets. I also don’t believe one necessarily has to accept God or free will to consider this ‘specialness’.

@Renate

“And what exactly is a ‘normally functioning brain’?”

I guess you want a simple, one line definition.

But I think we can agree that someone who has great difficulty with things most of us do easily — processing language, for example — has some kind of brain dysfunction. Or a schizophrenic hearing voices saying to kill his mother — maybe that person does not have a normally functioning brain. Or someone who never was able to learn to talk, or cannot learn simple arithmetic.

Do you really need more examples?

@ Indie Rebel

And you are a perfect example of someone whose brain doesn’t have a normally functioning brain as you ignore what I and others write and just regurgitate the same stupidity.

By the way, read my comment above about Why There is No Autism Epidemic. Maybe you will learn something; but based on your dysfunctional brain, I doubt it.

Do you really need more examples?

You’re an operational definition already. It’s cute that you had to turn the question upside-down though, which gives you a nearly inexhaustible supply of escape routes from your actual assertion: “Inferiors” à la carte.

And yet most of the bairns on the autistic spectrum I met (hint: lots, as that was my job) could talk, learn arithmetic, communicate pretty well or as well as most neuro-typicals manage if not better and – shock horror – some of them even went to university where at least one was taught by a lecturer who was also autistic…

Please check out what autism actually is. That would be really helpful.

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD

Calling your opponents stupid is a sure sign that a dogmatist feels threatened.

I’m just finding out about Peter Mccullough — he is a highly qualified cardiologist, who has been involved with this pandemic since the beginning. He says many good treatments have been suppressed, because of the focus on vaccination. He says, for example, one small under-powered study convinced the FDA that HCQ should not be used as a covid treatment.

Mccullough is confused by what he considers an incompetent approach to the pandemic. He had great success giving patients early treatment with drugs that are inexpensive and safe, such as HCQ and Ivermectin, and others. But all that was brushed aside so the focus could be entirely on genetic vaccines.

Of course the “fact checkers” that uphold the mainstream party line will say he’s all wrong about everything.

Calling your opponents stupid is a sure sign that a dogmatist feels threatened.

I CANNOT BE STUPID! I AM A GOLDEN GOD!

@ Indie Rebel

Yep, at one time Peter McCullough was a well-respected cardiologist; but he was fired from his tenured position. Linus Pauling was one of the most brilliant chemists of the 20th Century, a Nobel Prize winner, then in later life he became a fanatic about megadoses of vitamin C preventing and curing just about anything. Well, he was totally wrong. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, body can only absorb so much at a time, then rest in vitamin C enriched urine.

As for hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, you claim you have been following the blog for a long time, guess you missed that Orac has completely debunked either being of any use for Covid-19, not one but several articles; but, you will believe what you will, so don’t get the vaccine, don’t wear a mask, and if you get Covid-19, only use hydroxychloroquine and/or ivermectin. Nobody here will miss you.

And calling you stupid is an accurate description as you ignore almost everything I and others write and just keep throwing out garbage. And I don’t believe you have a PhD, maybe a mail-order one.

I remember what was probably your first comment, attacking Orac by claiming he was against healthy diets and exercise, which was typical dichotomous approach used by you. He and I both support healthy diets and exercise; but not enough to prevent various infections and no guarantee infections won’t be severe, just improves the odds.

As for hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, you claim you have been following the blog for a long time

Indeed, Polly did a pretty crappy job of pretending to be rational while spoiling for a fight. I don’t read SBM comments, but I don’t imagine that she was any more coherent.

Cardiologist. You’re hilarious. Every doctor I have met who has some whackadoodle ideas about the pandemic is, without execption, some specialist who has NEVER taken care of a single covid patient. No offense to Orac but a lot of them are surgeons. They are never a hospitalist, an internist, or general practitioner who also works the wards/unit.

I had a guy last year who was in bad shape in our ICU and the Urologist was too scared to come in when called. I can give you about three dozen more stories like this-many involving cardiologists.

Something else you should know before you get bamboozled by the likes of McCollough is that he matches the definition to a tee of “Loony doctor fired for being a loon, a creep, or for cause in some other was who comes out as an antiestablishment maverick.” These are more common than you’d expect.

I could even pick out likely future candidates when at med school-the people who really believed in the “CRI” during OMT training, etc. They all matched into undesirable, easy residencies and still had trouble. One failed boards over seven times. I have no idea who will license her.

Speaking of that, If they complete training, some desperate organization will eventually hire then because they are nothing more than a license to bill with to that organization and don’t require a visa.

Years later, they will be canned or ushered toward the door in disgrace. Some will become the next brave mavericks.

“He says, for example, one small under-powered study convinced the FDA that HCQ should not be used as a covid treatment”

Reeearly? The FDA? The organisation who’s very reason for existence since the early part of the last century is to check efficacy and safety! An organisation with that much experience used one underpowered study to totally reject a possible treatment?

Says a cardiologist.

Anti-vaxxers, big on research. Except when someone tells them what they want to hear. You can read all about the FDAs revocation of the EUA for HCQ on their website if you like.

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

“over 650 papers on Moderna mRNA vaccine alone, including follow-ups approaching one year. Probably equal number of papers for Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, etc.”

Most drug research is funded by drug companies. Easy to make research turn out the way you want. And to file drawer he ones that don’t.

@ Indie Rebel

You really are STUPID and DISHONEST.

You reject 650 papers without even checking them. I guarantee that some, enough, were NOT funded by pharmaceutical companies. Other nations have public health departments responsible for monitoring drugs, including vaccines, and they publish reports. Oh, oops, they are all in the pockets of Big Pharma. They don’t give a shit about the welfare of their own nations people, including kids. Really???

But since you believe pharmaceutical companies fund all or most research and their products are for-profit, regardless of how beneficial or harmful, then I suggest you NEVER use any product from a pharmaceutical company. Sooner or later we will be rid of you.

Actuallyfollow up studies are not funded by drug companies, check them, if you do not like clinical trials

Interested readers- especially newbies- might want to learn about various theories describing exactly how vaccines cause autism. A good article is Vaccines and Autism: A Tale of Shifting Hypotheses Clin Infect Dis 2009 Feb 15 Gerber and Offit which presents these theories and their lack of support. Orac has also written about them as well.

Pseudoscientists speculate about the BBB becoming permeable and allowing toxic substances injected in vaccines (or consumed amd then transported via a leaky gut) to slip in and damage the brain areas implicated in ASD. YET research well before Wakefield’s illustrates that the areas implicated in ASDs are formed differently PRENATALLY. There are MORE cells, that are immature, smaller and poorly interconnected in the PFC. Over the years, additional details have emerged about the process that renders ASD brains different from average brains before birth: they can even specify during which trimester particular events in the developmental sequence occur.
Evidence for prenatal origins comes from autopsies, abortions, comparative anatomy/ developmental patterns ( mammals), observation of traits, imagery and genetic studies.

@ Indie Rebel

I forgot to mention that Peter McCullough is one of the founders of a doctors group, only a few hundred members, who don’t believe HIV causes AIDS, The Association of American Physicians And Surgeons, which Orac has written about several times. And you can go to Google, type: peter mccullough debunked

A number of good websites.

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

“As for hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, you claim you have been following the blog for a long time, guess you missed that Orac has completely debunked either being of any use for Covid-19, not one but several articles”

Orac has “debunked” anything that goes against the drug industry narratives. I can always predict what Orac’s position will be on any medical controversy.

And every highly qualified MD or scientist who goes against an official narrative is suddenly no longer qualified.

@ Indie Rebel

Whether Orac’s papers support a drug or not is not relevant as to any bias. First, you have to choose one of his papers and refute, backed by studies point by point his main points. Just one more example of your dishonesty. Go on, choose one of his papers on, for instance, ivermectin, and refute point by point what he writes.

Just one more example of fact your comments on the whole are just empty biased opinions without substance.

I just told you WHY he isn’t qualified. He isn’t a doctor with any training, experience, or even access to covid patients. Seriously. This is getting tedious.

People like you seem to think just because he’s a doctor who is saying what you want to hear he knows something you don’t, other doctors don’t, and should be afforded special audience. He might know even LESS than you do about covid.

If I want to know about the latest and greatest ARNI drug I will call a cardiologist…just not him-he might ask me what that drug does.

Actually there is no evidence that HCQ and ivermectin works against COVID 19. Actually, Orac’s position is predictable.

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

“Peter McCullough is one of the founders of a doctors group, only a few hundred members, who don’t believe HIV causes AIDS”

The official standard story is that HIV is the ONLY cause of AIDS. There are now good reasons to doubt that. Another one of Fauci’s great victories for the drug industry — toxic drugs needed for life, that never cure.

The official standard story is that HIV is the ONLY cause of AIDS. There are now good reasons to doubt that.

Your conspicuous failure to note any is duly noted.

At this rate I’m going to have to dig out my Very Special troll bingo card. This isn’t just a time warp, it’s a best hits cassette!

I should be glad that at least you don’t deny that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS…

What do you think are the other causes of AIDS?

So what is your cure to AIDS ? HAART actually works, it prevents AIDS. It actually prevents infection,if taken as PrEP.
Actually activists of ACT-UP convinced NIH to develop AIDS treatments. They,of course, protested the price.

@MedicalYeti

“Every doctor I have met who has some whackadoodle ideas about the pandemic is, without execption, some specialist who has NEVER taken care of a single covid patient.”

Mccullough has been treating covid patients since the beginning of the pandemic. He knows a heck of a lot more about it than Orac.

PROVE IT. I bet I see more covid patients in one day than he’s ever seen in person. PROVE ME WRONG. Enough bullshit. Put up or shut up.

@JustaTech

“You yourself said that thimerosal was removed from pediatric vaccines.”

I never said that. It was not removed from flu vaccines.

“You know what does cause brain damage? Infectious diseases.”

Oh really? Any old infectious disease causes brain damage? That’s why we all need a flu vaccine every year? To prevent brain damage?

I have to stop expecting vax pushers to make sense.

A. Yes, influenza can, in some circumstances, cause brain damage, though it is more likely to damage other things.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC2082798/

B. Note that you are pretty much giving up on pretending you are not anti-vaccine.

C. “Vax pushers” – you promoters of preventing diseases, you! How dare you! Why do anti-vaccine activists think that accusing people of promoting vaccines that save lives and prevent harms is an insult?

@ Indie Rebel

As Dorit gave URL to, flu can cause encephalitis; but main risk is secondary bacterial pneumonia and sometimes viral pneumonia. And with rise of antibiotic resistant infections, especially bacteria responsible for secondary pneumonias, risk of death or serious permanent lung damage is real AND, of course, just being hospitalized and suffering and risk of nosocomial infections (exposure to infectious agents in hospital).

You just keep digging a deeper and deeper hole for yourself!

There is one vaccination on normal childhood vaccination schedules that’s primarily there to prevent brain injuries caused by the disease.

@Dorit Reiss

“Vax pushers” – you promoters of preventing diseases, you! How dare you! Why do anti-vaccine activists think that accusing people of promoting vaccines that save lives and prevent harms is an insult?”

As I said in my first comment, Gorski thinks there are only two extremes — everyone is either all for all vaccines, the more the better, or they are all against all vaccines.

You have the same problem. There is an inability to look at subtleties, to notice that things are seldom either all this or all that. You can’t see any motivation by the drug industry to push more vaccines than are necessary, or to deny that too many of certain vaccines might sometimes cause harm.

As I said in my first comment, Gorski thinks there are only two extremes — everyone is either all for all vaccines, the more the better, or they are all against all vaccines.

One more time, that is, quite clearly, untrue, and you know it’s untrue (given how many times it’s been pointed out to you that it’s untrue), which means you are lying. Portraying science communicators as viewing things as a false dichotomy like this, however, is a very old antivaccine trope. It’s useful to antivaxxers because it lets them portray themselves as the poor, put-upon “reasonable middle ground,” as opposed to pro-vaccine zealots. Seriously, it’s not as though I haven’t been dealing with this ridiculous trope since I started blogging in 2004. It bores me now, as does your lack of imagination in your attacks.

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “The official standard story is that HIV is the ONLY cause of AIDS. There are now good reasons to doubt that. Another one of Fauci’s great victories for the drug industry — toxic drugs needed for life, that never cure.”

NOPE! The overwhelming evidence, including electonmicrophotos of HIV entering cells, including genome sequencing finding latent HIV, including overwhelming evidence how HIV attaches to and destroy CD 4 cells, that is type of T-Cell, which ones below level in blood opens person up to multiple different illnesses.

Obviously you have proven you are a SHILL for RFK. The anti-retrovirals, most are nucleoside analogues, have prolonged lives, some more than 20 years, lives that without would have been lost long ago despite RFKs bullshit.

You write: “Mccullough has been treating covid patients since the beginning of the pandemic. He knows a heck of a lot more about it than Orac.”

And what do you base this on, Peter McCullough’s say so? Has he presented lab validated evidence that the patients had covid-19? Has he presented verifiable evidence of which stage in the disease they were at. And, maybe Orac hasn’t treated Covid patients; but he has done a thorough review of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin and he works at a major hospital where I’m sure they have treated tons of covid patients, so highly likely he knows doctors who are treating them, etc. Just as with claims that chelation therapy worked with Autism, etc. people can claim whatever they want. And you believe those who confirm your biases. As I already wrote, no indication you have any knowledge of immunology, microbiology, etc.

And I wonder. I assume you are much younger than me, so, don’t you have a job? How do you find so much time during the day to post comments?

Indie: “It (thimerosal) was not removed from flu vaccines.”

Wrong.

Commonly used formulations of flu vaccine are single dose, and don’t contain thimerosal. It’s only multidose vials of flu vaccine that still contain a minute amount of thimerosal preservative, because repeatedly introducing a needle into a vial, even with careful sterile technique, poses a risk of bacterial contamination which thimerosal prevents.
I can’t recall the last time I got a flu shot from a multidose vial.

No doubt Indie will blithely ignore this correction (as he has in other instances) and continue to spread misinformation.

@ Dangerous Bacon

I actually never thought about it, whether my annual flu vaccine had thimerosal or not, given the minuscule amount in multi-vial containers; but now you mention it, at least the past years when I line up for flu vaccine, separate syringes on table, so probably single dose. 😀

McCollough, Malone, Risch and a few others ( Rose) might indeed have reasonable credentials but like other mavericks ( Montagnier) stray from consensus science, going their own way. One telling characteristic of these contrarians is that they appear with well known alt med advocates who are even further away from SBM: I hear them at the despicable sinkholes of unreason that I frequent- rather intrepidly I might add, in order to spare readers the needless suffering of hearing interminable mindless ranting and railing to which I am curiously enough, quite immune. The aforementioned have appeared as guests of Null, Adams, Bigtree and spell out detailed but outre analyses of Covid detection, vaccination and treatment which is then regurgitated by the hosts to their followers.
If they really were concerned physicians/ scientists would they assist charlatans who misinform and disinform their audiences as a matter of course ? If they are so intelligent wouldn’t they be able to tell that they are being used by pseudoscientists in order to appear more mainstream and SB? Hiv/ aids denialism, right wing conspiracy mongering and crying “Nazi” at PH workers are not good looks.

Denice said, “I hear them at the despicable sinkholes of unreason that I frequent- rather intrepidly I might add, in order to spare readers the needless suffering of hearing interminable mindless ranting and railing to which I am curiously enough, quite immune.”
And I, for one, am most appreciative of your efforts and look forward to your posts giving a synopsis of the latest and greatest lunacy circulating in Kooksville.
Reading these loon’s droolings is very painful to me so your sacrifice is not in vain.
Thanks for your efforts, Denice.

@Denice Walter

“McCollough, Malone, Risch and a few others ( Rose) might indeed have reasonable credentials but like other mavericks ( Montagnier) stray from consensus science, going their own way.”

Your mistake is in thinking the mainstream consensus is always correct. Most people are basically followers and have no trouble marching in line, throughout their careers. They don’t even notice logical and scientific mistakes made by those they respect.

Then there are experts who are not natural followers, who notice when beliefs seem irrational or lacking evidence. I have been searching for, and gradually finding, these experts throughout the pandemic. And for decades before that, it has been one of my life quests.

These renegade experts get sidelined by the mainstream, and are only welcomed by what you consider the fringe. Then you label them wayward kooks who for some strange reason went off the rails.

But the reality is, these people are the true scientists, the creative thinkers, the ones who can’t be happy marching in line.

How many of your consensus upholders ever had an original thought? How many made important discoveries? The renegade experts you despise so much have all had brilliant careers and have made a difference. No they didn’t suddenly go nuts. They ran into a consensus that does not make sense, and they could not help noticing.

Those who march in line will always be the majority, will always fight viciously against any dissenters. Until or unless they are vindicated by evidence as, for example, Einstein was.

@ Indie Rebel

“Your mistake is in thinking the mainstream consensus is always correct. Most people are basically followers and have no trouble marching in line, throughout their careers. They don’t even notice logical and scientific mistakes made by those they respect.”

Like the logical and scientific mistakes scientists made on evolutionary theory, not realising that Darwin was wrong ??

“…these people are the true scientists, the creative thinkers, the ones who can’t be happy marching in line.”

“But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

-Carl Sagan

They laughed at Columbus
And they were right. He miscalculated the diameter of the Earth. He and his crew would have died if he had not accidentally run into an island he did not know existed.

They of course laugh people who try to build perpetuum mobile or square the circle. Not to mention Deutsche Physik, Trofim Lysenko or Welteis. These are of course less known than Bozo
There is a story about Groucho Marx and a seer:
Seer: I can tell you everything, just everything
Groucho: What is the capital of North Dakota
Perhaps using comedians this way is not fair

“Sometimes it better to be lucky than to be good”

It is said that you learn as much from failure as you do from success.

@Number
I don’t know, Oscar Wilde said that ‘Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes’ and George Bernard Shaw said, ‘We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.’

So I’m not optimistic.

Those who march in line will always be the majority, will always fight viciously against any dissenters. Until or unless they are vindicated by evidence as, for example, Einstein was.

Man, you’ve got to have to try hard to “be” this stupid.

How many of your consensus upholders ever had an original thought?

You’ve already lost this one en passant.

Why do you think that everyone disagreeing with mainstream is autoimatical right ? You should give some evidence, even in this case,

“How many of your consensus upholders ever had an original thought? How many made important discoveries?”

Rudolf Weigl – invented the first effective typhus vaccine while supporting and providing shelter for the Polish resistance during WWII.

Ludwik Fleck – developed a different typhus vaccine while interned at Auschwitz, where he and his assistants not only managed to vaccinated the other people of the camp, but also sabotaged the vaccine that was sent out to Nazi soldiers. After the war he became a noted philosopher of science.

There, two men working on a single disease at a single time in generally the same place. The upheld the consensus of things like germ theory and did great and innovative science. With a team.

I meant to say — vindicated by hard evidence that for whatever reason the mainstream consensus followers could not ignore. Much more likely in physics than in medicine.

This of course happens all the time. Key word is “hard evidence”. Conspiracy theories are not hard eveuidence.

@ Indie Rebel

NO, HE IS NOT! ! !

What do you base your belief about him on? What he claims???

@F68.10

“Like the logical and scientific mistakes scientists made on evolutionary theory, not realising that Darwin was wrong ??”

Darwin was not arrogant or dogmatic. That came later, when the Modern Synthesis was seized on as the last word on evolution.

@ Indie Rebel

“Darwin was not arrogant or dogmatic. That came later, when the Modern Synthesis was seized on as the last word on evolution.”

After whitewashing your denialism of evolutionary theory by paying lip service to Darwin, you’re now into AIDS denialism ?

BTW, are you aware that these “HIV is not the cause of AIDS” talking points were essentially used to keep on claiming that sodomy was the real problem ? That the virus was less of a problem than sodomy itself ?

Do you sometimes take the bother to contextualise denialism and understand what precisely makes it dangerous and not exactly a blame game where you can afford to get a kick out of vilifying atheists and “materialists” ?

I did a little reading around. Wondering if there was another big theory relating to HIV and AIDS but it seemed as you say.

It’s all, if you don’t take drugs and don’t have anal sex and don’t have Haemophilia, you’ll be fine. Especially if you take a lot of vitamins and supplements or garlic and African potato.

Maverick scientists have done a bang up job of proving their hypotheses so far.

Actually Darwin agreed with you. He did think that acquired characterics are inheritable. This was proven wrong, not natural selection.

@ Indie Rebel

History has shown that of the thousands of “dissenters” only a minuscule number actually were right. On the other hand, consensus scientists were usually right. You claim you have been searching for many years. First, what basic knowledge of science do you have to even decide who is “right” and who is “wrong?” Your beliefs???

So, from a PhD in cognitive psychology to devoting tons of time and energy to evolution to mastering the basics, e.g., immunology, microbiology, history and current status of infectious diseases, chemistry, i.e., understanding for instance the difference between methymercury and ethylmercury, understanding just everything. Wow! Are you a member of Mensa, club for geniuses? Or just a bullshitter who posts beliefs that you don’t even try to defend. Take just one of the people you mentioned and explain their positions and any experimental/research evidence that they base it on, including details of actual methodology used. And then if any replications have occurred.

Based on your BELIEF system, anyone who conforms to what you chose to believe must be right. Yikes! As I’ve said, you really are STUPID. STUPID because you can’t defend your position. STUPID because you either don’t understand what I and others write or ignore it without attempting to rationally address it. And on and on we go.

I’ll bet if you had lived over 100 years ago you would have defended Piltdown Man for ever!

@Dangerous Bacon

“But the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”

I never said, or implied, that all who are laughed at (or despised or cancelled) are geniuses. But I have seen enough examples in my life of how creative dissenters are mobbed.

I also saw the following instinct first hand as a graduate student. At the first lab meeting, my research advisor said “In this lab, we believe …”

And it didn’t happen to be what I believed. It didn’t feel like what I thought higher education is supposed to be about — adventurous wondering and questioning and debating. And this is a university with a high ranking. I think the following instinct can be even stronger in more prestigious environments. I had been through another graduate program in a small private college, where thinking was acceptable.

@ Indie Rebel

“I never said, or implied, that all who are laughed at (or despised or cancelled) are geniuses. But I have seen enough examples in my life of how creative dissenters are mobbed.”

Yeah. OK. I’ve got a clue or two as to how you can get punched into solitary confinement for disagreeing with an authority figure like a doctor.

I’m also not entirely fascinated by the kind of bullshitters who have official positions. In some humanities department, mostly. I also do not agree with quite a lot of things I see in my own domain.

And… so what ?

That doesn’t justify in any way to positions you promote.

In fact, the way to defend “persecuted geniuses” is to even more tighten the expectations in terms of rationality so as to get the less competent people that are in their way fired.

Which is why we should beat cranks much like we beat dead horses: with fanatical devotion. Till they ask for their teeth back.

Which will then pave the way for “persecuted geniuses” to take over.

Gee… I’m mighty fed up with these pile of mental dung atop other pile of mental dungs. You’ve got everything wrong and your moral compass is completely upside down.

It didn’t feel like what I thought higher education is supposed to be about — me

FTFY.

@F68.10

“BTW, are you aware that these “HIV is not the cause of AIDS” talking points were essentially used to keep on claiming that sodomy was the real problem ? That the virus was less of a problem than sodomy itself ?”

I NEVER said any of that. I said there are many who now believe HIV is NOT the ONLY cause of AIDS. AIDS is obviously a communicable disease.

Either/or thinking sure is popular at this blog.

@ Indie Rebel

“Either/or thinking sure is popular at this blog.”

Extremely popular. You may find a very interesting treatment of logical disjunction in part 2 of William of Ockham’s 1323 Summa Logicae, section 32 and 33. You can check out the latin to english translation by Freddoso and Schuurman published in 1980 at St. Augustine’s Press for details.

I’m a big fan of either / or thinking. Following in the footsteps of big Medieval Christian thinkers. Big big fan.

I’ll light a candle for them. Thank you for reminding me of my worshipping duties.

“I NEVER said any of that. I said there are many who now believe HIV is NOT the ONLY cause of AIDS. AIDS is obviously a communicable disease.”

It’s a communicable disease. But not by a virus. Only by penises or needles…

You indeed never said anything of that. For sure.

I’m just amazed at how well you’re buying into the BS of people who do tend to mask their obsessions behind pseudo-science.

You’re a genuine object of study.

And a genuine piece of work.

AIDS is obviously a communicable disease.

I imagine you thought that would fly under the radar.

@F68.10

“In fact, the way to defend “persecuted geniuses” is to even more tighten the expectations in terms of rationality so as to get the less competent people that are in their way fired.

Which is why we should beat cranks much like we beat dead horses: with fanatical devotion. Till they ask for their teeth back.”

Maybe you think that’s what you’re doing, but in reality you (Orac and followers) are fighting like mad to maintain the status quo. Yes there are quacks and fakes. But Orac’s target isn’t just quacks and fakes, it is ALL dissenters from the mainstream consensus, on any medical controversy. For him, you, ALL dissenters from the consensus are stupid and/or evil. That is typical political extremist thinking. Everyone on the “other” side is bad, wrong, idiotic. There is no attempt, ever, to understand the other side, to see if maybe some of what they say, even a little of it, could be true.

There is no attempt, ever, to understand the other side, to see if maybe some of what they say, even a little of it, could be true.

That is your task, which you haven’t even been failing at — your output is merely concentrated sniveling.

“There is no attempt, ever, to understand the other side, to see if maybe some of what they say, even a little of it, could be true”

I’m sure you tell yourself this every day to get those ruby slippers to work. In reality, your idea of an “attempt to understand the other side” is one that leads to a change of opinion. Any attempt to understand the other side, concluding that it is unmitigated rubbish, is obviously because they didn’t try hard enough. Funnily enough, this is the excuse a lot of alt med people have used when the latest crystal healing vibration machine doesn’t cure cancer.

For someone who claims a PhD in Cognitive Thinking, you have no awareness of your own methods of understanding and knowledge limitations at all.

“some of what they say, even a little of it, could be true”.

If they really wanted to advance scientific knowledge then they would pick the bits of any original research that they had good evidence for and publish that instead. They would get more respect, more influence and more chances of expanding the work in the direction that they want to go. Not a fast enough route to money and fame though. I can understand the money but I’d rather have the respect of my peer group than the respect of a bunch of people who have no understanding of what I do.

So. We’re “fighting for the status quo.”
.
In a sense you could be right:
.
Fighting for a system in which evidence outweighs assertion? Guilty
Fighting for statistical rigor in scientific studies? You got me.
Fighting for a system in which demonstrated educational background and competence are valued more than internet searches? I guess you caught us red-handed on that one.
Fighting for a system in which one searches for evidence which, when found, can either support or undermine our hypothesis, rather than cherry picking items to support our preconceptions? Guilty.
Fighting for a system in which arguments are addressed directly, rather than reframed in dishonest ways? Yep, we’re not too fond of your army of straw men.

I must retire to my fainting couch to contemplate the horror.
/s/

@ Indie Rebel

“Maybe you think that’s what you’re doing, but in reality you (Orac and followers) are fighting like mad to maintain the status quo.”

Nope. We merely need to guarantee that criticism is not toothless. If criticism is toothless, science is dead. So, yeah, we do need to make sure that bad actions have consequence. When a company is inefficient, it dies. If people like Raoult are so hard to topple, it’s because people like Orac are not nearly virulent enough.

This is not maintain a status quo. It’s guaranteeing that science does function. And does discriminate. Does take a stand. Does not take refuge in immature analogies like “I like vanilla, you like chocolate ? Fine, all truths are equally valid.” When lives are at stake, not taking a stand is even more criminal than being mistaken in good faith and adogmatically. So, yes, this is all about defending science, and defending the idea that science should not be toothless.

“Yes there are quacks and fakes. But Orac’s target isn’t just quacks and fakes, it is ALL dissenters from the mainstream consensus, on any medical controversy.”

I have witnessed Orac taking a stand on some medical issues where medical doctors mistake the authority that their privileged statues imbues themselves with for the scientific consensus. Inertia is not scientific consensus, and I at times have witnessed Orac making this point black on white towards medical doctors who do not fit the typical portrait of the crank.

So, no, I have to disagree. Orac hasn’t been a sheepish follower of consensus.

But with the pandemic, there is no need to discuss such subtle points anymore given the mass hysteria we are witnessing. Cranks are just everywhere nowadays, and there is no point wasting time engaging in an epistemological dissection of Nicholas of Cusa with the average antivaxxer on the street agressively demonstrating. Such as they do every saturday around here. Illegally.

We should first think of putting down all these people and all these cranks.

And then only we’ll have subtle and sophisticated discussion with science deniers of all kind.

We should not get confused about the tempo.

Alright, let’s assume that at least one of the contrarians is currently busy assembling data that will eventually overturn most of what consensus believes about Covid or about one important issue: would he or she then appear at websites/ broadcasts that are well known for pseudoscience and conspiracy mongering about health, politics and social issues? They could instead gather their evidence and submit it to multiple periodicals, including pay-to-play journals and internet self-publishing. They could find other avenues to publicise their findings, including news outlets. Shouldn’t they be correctly suspicious of the places I mention? If someone asked me to appear on a broadcast/ podcast or to write something for a website , you can be sure that I’d do a thorough search on the person inviting me: all of the places I mentioned signal very obvious warning signs of poor judgment, fear mongering and health misinformation as well as pretense, self aggrandisement and salesmanship. shouldn’t a scientist, physician or any well-educated person be able to spot those obvious signs?

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “Maybe you think that’s what you’re doing, but in reality you (Orac and followers) are fighting like mad to maintain the status quo. Yes there are quacks and fakes. But Orac’s target isn’t just quacks and fakes, it is ALL dissenters from the mainstream consensus, on any medical controversy. For him, you, ALL dissenters from the consensus are stupid and/or evil. That is typical political extremist thinking. Everyone on the “other” side is bad, wrong, idiotic. There is no attempt, ever, to understand the other side, to see if maybe some of what they say, even a little of it, could be true.”

I asked once before, do you know what the psychological defense mechanism of projection is? Basically, denying ones own flaws and projecting them on to others. Well, the above statement fits you perfectly. Neither I nor Orac reject out of hand research that goes against the grain; but we do look at its methodology carefully and if other research corroborates it. It is you who started by claiming Orac rejected advice for healthier diets and exercise. Nope, he simply, as have I, pointed out that such is good; but will NOT guarantee protections against some infections. No matter how healthy an individual is, if a microbe invades their bodies, and their immune system does NOT recognize, some microbes can kill or disable before ones immune system kicks in, that is, 10 – 14 days for the adaptive immune system, antibodies and T-cells, to reach strength. However, for some microbes that take longer to do their damage, then the healthier we are the better chance we have. Not what you wrote in your first post. It is you who sees things in dichotomies. It is you who leaps at anything dissenter, without including discussion of their methodology, who fits your SICK belief system, including believing RFK makes any valid points. Well, actually, as the old saying goes: Even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily and if I write a review of his book I will point out the few things he was right about; but outweighed by 95% of what he wrote that is just plain WRONG!

Hey remember when the vaxxers claimed South Korea was the way to handle the Covid.

“S. Korea to reduce private gathering size to 4, restore 9 p.m. business curfew: PM”

en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20211216001452315?section=national/politics

worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/

And Sweden was the dog to be kick to the curb, because they didn’t mask or lock down or close schools?

worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

Joel

Consensus science is usually right, “History has shown that of the thousands of “dissenters” only a minuscule number actually were right.”

Let see.

The earth is flat
the Earth is carried through space on the back of a giant turtle
The earth is the center of the universe.
Blood letting is a cure.
Mars has ‘canals”
Overpopulation would result in famine (when the earth population was only 4 billion people, when that consensus was reached)
We will run out of oil by 2000.
Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction
Plum pudding model
Rutherford planetary model
…..

the list could go on.
And we have to invent a thing called “dark matter” to make that consensus work.

or Alex Dessler who disproved consensus about electric currents

You may want to talk to Giordano Bruno about the earth centrism consensus.

“If its consensus its not science”

“No amount of experiments could ever prove a scientific theory, but a single experiment could disprove one”

Very dishonest of you, Kay. Scientists NEVER believed the Earth was flat. In fact, it was a scientist named Eratosthenes who confirmed the Earth was round over two millenia ago. As for the fictitious WMDs, it was the politicians who lied, not the scientists and intelligence officers.
You are making bad faith arguments.

Look who’s back. I’m beginning to think IR, Greg, and KW are all emanating from the fetid, dimly-lit basement. By the congratulatory baloney that goes on between them, it seems a fair to middling proposition.

Apart from mixing in politics, creation myths and projections based on complex systems, we should thank Kay.

Scientists keep being accused of refusing to accept new theories and oppressing minority views.

Kay, you’ve just demonstrated that science is always changing as new data and new understandings arrive. From the very earliest humans, trying to make sense of the world with whatever observations they could make with the human eye and primitive technology, to the advent of electron microscope and the James Webb space Telescope.

Thanks again Kay. You’ve just shown how science is the only valid way to learn more about the universe we live in.

Earth is flat or carried by turtle was religious claims,
Mars canals, overpopulation claims, resourse depletion, plum pudding model and Bohr atomic model were never consensus.
Saddam is too riduculous to cemment,
Of course the point is that if something is consensus, there must very good evidence for it. There were of course no evidence for blood letting, This was tradiotional faiuth based medicine,

@ Kaye West

“You may want to talk to Giordano Bruno about the earth centrism consensus.”

Why not ? We may indeed talk about the impact of religion on science.

In particular, we may talk about Georg von Peuerbach. Interesting dude, whose story shows the copernician system in the making. You know… computing sine tables the arab way and doing the real grunt work… But we may also talk about Nicolas of Cusa and his theory of Absolute Maximum and manifestation of reality as the unfolding of the coincidence of opposites, which had as a metaphysical consequence Bruno’s doctrine of a centerless universe, already in Nicolas of Cues’ texts. I’m sure you’re very much aware of all that history, and of how consensus was engineered at the time, given that Nicolas of Cusa was a cardinal… and all this mess with the hussites and the turks… but you know all that all too well, don’t you ?

Now, bottom line:

Bruno never advocated superstition. He was deep into the hermetic renaissance of his time, for sure, with neoplatonician World-Soul as the center of controversy among his sect and peers. But that was, in fact, a step away from dogmatism.
The genuine overturning of catholic dogmatism was achieved when the notion of scientific method started germing. With people like Descartes. Bruno had little to do with the advent of “method”.

What people like you promote, on the other hand, is superstition, lack of rigour and doing away with method, which is our only safeguard against going back to the good old days where Bruno was burnt at the stake.

Thank you very much, but, no, thank you.

You people are no heirs to Bruno. Far from it.

You’re paving the way for precisely what he opposed.

Hey remember when the vaxxers claimed South Korea was the way to handle the Covid.

“S. Korea to reduce private gathering size to 4, restore 9 p.m. business curfew: PM”

en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20211216001452315?section=national/politics

worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/south-korea/

And Sweden was the dog to be kick to the curb, because they didn’t mask or lock down or close schools?

worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/sweden/

OK, I’ll have a go. Which of the these two countries had better outcomes in managing COVID-19:
S. Korea: 10,744 cases/million, 89 deaths/million
Sweden: 122,743 cases/million, 1,491 deaths/million

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

You did know that comparing absolute numbers of cases or deaths between countries whose populations differ by a factor of about five was not a valid comparison, didn’t you?

Hi, Kay, now that you’re posting in this topic again, are you going to get back to how well Sweden is handling COVID infections as compared to South Korea?

or Alex Dessler who disproved consensus about electric currents

∗snort∗

You’re not good at bluffing, Kay, although just imagining you scurrying around to cipher up that list is good for a wholesome laugh. It’s straight-up Wile E. Kayote.

Speaking of Africa and COVID, here’s a news article from the Times Live website.
93% of recent Covid-19 deaths either unvaxxed or partly vaccinated: NICD
“Most Covid-19 patients who died in SA hospitals since mid-November were unvaccinated or partly vaccinated.

National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) public health specialist Dr Waasila Jassat said data on the 400 patients who died was incomplete, but about 93% were not fully vaccinated.”

Indie: “That is typical political extremist thinking. Everyone on the “other” side is bad, wrong, idiotic”

That’s rich, coming from a poster who insists that everyone here who disagrees with him is an atheist and/or “materialist”.

When do we get to hear the myriad causes of AIDS besides HIV?

@David

“What do you think are the other causes of AIDS?”

As far as I know, no one has figured that out. Something else in the blood, in addition to HIV. When they found that all, or most, AIDS patients had HIV in their blood, it was hastily decided HIV must be the only cause.

Then an aborted trial of AZT made them decide that killing HIV with a toxic drug would be the cure. After that, less toxic drugs were compared favorably to AZT.

In my opinion, the toxic drugs kill infections associated with AIDS, and that is why they have some benefit. But killing HIV will never cure AIDS. And we know that so far it hasn’t, the excuse being that HIV mutates. Well maybe it’s because something else is really causing the syndrome.

Montagnier was one of the discoverers of HIV, and he doesn’t think it explains AIDS. But he’s a dissenter from official medical narratives, so you will discount anything he says.

So you think that there is another cause or do you doubt HIV?

What AZT trial are you talking about?

It seems that there are so many things for us to thank Kary Mullis for.

@ Indie Rebel

Did you know that AZT is still used in combination with other drugs for AIDS? Almost all medicines can be toxic; but question is do they benefit greater than harm. Despite your shilling for RFK, AZT did do some good when it was the only drug available; but HIV mutates rapidly and . . .

You write: “n my opinion, the toxic drugs kill infections associated with AIDS, and that is why they have some benefit. But killing HIV will never cure AIDS.”

In your “opinion.” Well, most HIV drugs do one of the following:
1. Prevent or slow HIV replication
2. Prevent integrase enzyme, so HIV can’t enter cells
3. Prevent proteases, so HIV can’t reassemble, etc

But there are also drugs to treat specific disorders, e.g., Kaposi’s sarcoma.
So, wrong again, not one or the other. The antiretroviral drugs, despite what you choose to believe, have kept some people alive who would have died for decades.

There is overwhelming evidence that HIV causes AIDS. Doesn’t mean that a few, much smaller number, of people who have some of the AIDS like symptoms can’t be caused by something else. Pneumonia is caused by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and toxins. But your belief clearly indicates you believe that a large number of AIDS cases are not from HIV and the research, literally 100s of thousands of papers show you to be an idiot. We have the genome of HIV. We have sequencing of HIV that has entered the human genome. We have electron microscopic photos of HIV entering cells. We know how reverse transcriptase works. We have good science on how HIV destroys CD4 cells, which are t-cells that coordinate antibodies and killer t-cells, so that once they are gone, our bodies are open to just about anything.

You are either a shill for RFK or just some sick SOB who comments, knowing few to none will believe you; but just to irritate people. Or just plain STUPID!

As usual-you don’t understand. Montagnier is acknowledging that AIDS, the syndrome, is not due to HIV alone. HIV kills CD4+ cells. PERIOD. I watch in near real time as those cells return after I start HAART. I also watch as they aids-defining illnesses disappear. The first step is always to treat the actual virus because immunity will not recover until we do.

The actual HIV viral infection itself has never killed anyone. PJP pneumonia, various opportunistic meningitis bugs, and other things our immune system usually laughs at kill HIV patients. Not buttplay, not IV drugs, not whatever other baloney you come up with in your fever dreams. Some of those things spread the virus pretty efficiently. AGAIN: You can’t have it both ways.

“As far as I know, no one has figured that out. Something else in the blood, in addition to HIV. When they found that all, or most, AIDS patients had HIV in their blood, it was hastily decided HIV must be the only cause.”

I love the fact that Indies first statement was that there was GOOD reason to believe that HIV isn’t the sole cause of AIDS.

Flash in the pan. I is disappoint.

As someone who used to work on an HIV vaccine, this specific statement by IR gets my goat more than the rest.

As if going on 40 years of research by scientists all over the world wouldn’t have noticed if more than HIV was necessary for AIDS. Like, does IR really think that the process of science is that blinkered?

Ugh.

Trial had 1 deaths in AZT group, 19 in placebo. It would have been unethical to continue giving placebo. Do not trust Robert Kennedy Jr,he always lies,

@ Kay Wests

Welcome back. I always enjoy your stupid comments.

So, you write: Consensus science is usually right, “History has shown that of the thousands of “dissenters” only a minuscule number actually were right.”
Let see.
“The earth is flat
the Earth is carried through space on the back of a giant turtle
The earth is the center of the universe.
Blood letting is a cure.
Mars has ‘canals”
Overpopulation would result in famine (when the earth population was only 4 billion people, when that consensus was reached)
We will run out of oil by 2000.
Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction
Plum pudding model
Rutherford planetary model”

I guess you don’t understand that ““The earth is flat
the Earth is carried through space on the back of a giant turtle
The earth is the center of the universe.
Blood letting is a cure”
All, long before “science” as defined today even existed. The world was dominated by religious beliefs!
As for “Mars has ‘canal’, was a reasonable assumption based on what we could see with telescopes, etc; but show me where scientists fought tooth and nail against rejecting once new methods refuted?
As for “overpopulation” resulting in famine; the “consensus” didn’t reject new agricultural methods, simply stated the obvious that without new ways of obtaining foods would lead to a crisis and if you look at various TV documentaries on this, clear that from the gitgo there were visionary people trying to develop new agricultural technique. By the way, even if we solve the food problem, I personally would prefer a world with some nature left, not just megacities. And, by the way, probably one fourth of world’s population malnourished today. But consensus? Nope. In fact, if we were to all become vegetarians and distribute food equitably world would be healthier. We cut down rainforests to grow beef. We have huge numbers of pigs and chickens which increase risks of flu epidemics. It takes a lot more water and a lot more land to grow livestock than vegetables in order to get the same level of protein, etc.
I don’t remember a consensus claiming we will run out of oil; but, again, if there was a consensus, it didn’t fight against new methods of extracting oil, it was open to change.
As for Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, just how STUPID are you? Numerous sources criticized, including UN Weapons inspectors rejected this and newspaper columnists, etc. This wasn’t a scientific consensus; but a political by the Bush administration looking for an excuse to go to war. Really, just how STUPID are you?
As for “the Rutherford planetary model” of the atom, no consensus in any way, shape, or form tried to stop others. And part of the model still stands up today, namely that the nucleus is the dense, central portion of the atom. So, he discovered the nucleus. After Rutherford’s discovery, scientists started to realise that the atom is not ultimately a single particle, but is made up of far smaller subatomic particles. Subsequent research determined the exact atomic structure.” Rutherford’s model didn’t lead to a rigid scientific consensus; but actually stimulated new research.
As for Bruno, why don’t you go back to the ancient Greeks.

And you write: ““If its consensus its not science”
“No amount of experiments could ever prove a scientific theory, but a single experiment could disprove one”

No, consensus is not science; but science leads to consensus; but science doesn’t close the door. Science is always open to new research; however, not one single experiment. As I’ve explained and morons like you don’t understand, even the best methodologically sound research can result in errors because of uncontrolled factors, which is why when the research of some research goes against what has been found previously, other scientists double check the methodology and some try to replicate it. With vaccines, after well-done placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials, there will be further research on various subgroups, various nations following up with recording of possible adverse events, etc.

In fact, for medicine, including vaccines, only since World War II has an accepted method of science been established. Physics is different. They can literally control everything in labs and, yet, still problems. PBS Nova has an excellent program that gives an example, Particle Unknown.

As with Indie Rebel you see things in dichotomies, misinterpret things, etc. However, despite RFK Jrs book including reference to papers that refute the germ theory of disease and despite the stupid dichotomy, as brought up by Indie Rebel, that if someone supports science, including vaccines, then they reject healthy diets and exercise, the real world, outside your warped, unscientific, irrational, stupidity, doesn’t work that way. I know you reject climate change; but I’ve been following it since 1980s and, though nothing is written in stone, the overwhelming evidence supports it and the deniers get lots of their info either directly or indirectly from the fossil fuel industry. Golly gee, short term profit trumps all.

THANKS FOR BEGINNING MY DAY WITH A BIT OF STUPID AMUSEMENT. YEP, LETS GO BACK CENTURIES TO FIND CONSENSUS BASED ON ONLY A SMALL FEW AND BEFORE SCIENCE OF TODAY EVEN EXISTED. AND, GIVEN THE SCIENCE METHODOLOGY OF TODAY, THE NUMBER OF PEER-REVIEWED JOURNALS, THE LARGE NUMBER OF SCIENTISTS, IF SOMETHING LEADS TO MULTIPLE STUDIES THAT CONFIRM THEN CHANCES OF REJECTING MINUSCULE. BUT NEW RESEARCH QUESTIONED; BUT NOT REJECTED AUTOMATICALLY. AS I’VE WRITTEN, OVERWHELMING RESEARCH SHOWS BENEFIT OF COVID VACCINES, PAPERS PRODUCED NOT JUST BY PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY; BUT VARIOUS NATION’S DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH, ETC. AND NOPE, NOTHING IS WITHOUT SOME RISK, SO A MINUSCULE FEW HAVE BEEN HARMED BY THE VACCINES; BUT SEATBELTS ONLY REDUCE RISK OF DEATH AND SERIOUS INJURY BY ABOUT 50% AND HAVE RESULTED IN A COUPLE OF DEATHS WHEN BELT TWISTED AND SLICED INTO ABDOMEN AND A NUMBER OF CASES OF RUPTURED BLADDERS AND BRUISED KIDNEYS; BUT THE BENEFIT TO HARM RATIO IS EXPONENTIAL.

@David

“So you think that there is another cause or do you doubt HIV?”

I have no idea what the cause is, but I think HIV does not completely explain it. Reductionists like to grasp on to one cause, but with complex systems there can be multiple causes.

“What AZT trial are you talking about?”

The first HIV drug trial. It was cut short because they decided AZT worked.

“It seems that there are so many things for us to thank Kary Mullis for.”

He was a typical dissenter, and the status quo upholders probably discount everything he ever said, doesn’t matter that he was brilliant.

I don’t want to ‘grasp on to one cause’, so if you know something else, that share. And if you don’t, that fine.

Mullis was blinded by his ‘brilliance’. It’s a shame he wasn’t as ‘brilliant’ as he thought he was. His work on PCR was fantastic. His understanding of virology, not so much. He is a great example of a remarkable researcher who is less reliable in fields outside his expertise.

You know that AIDS must have some other cause, but cannot say what it is., You should really do better.
You actually can stop clinical trial if the drug tested is really good, It would be unethical to give placebo if this is the case.

@Aarno Syvänen

“Actually Darwin agreed with you. He did think that acquired characterics are inheritable. This was proven wrong, not natural selection.”

Darwin was much more open minded than devout neo-Darwinists today. But Lamarck was NEVER disproven! And now there is evidence of acquired traits being inherited, via epigenetics.

You want to know how they “disproved” Lamarck’s theory? Cut the tails off successive generations of mice. And they kept on being born with tails. That was it, the final “proof.”

You say that you have evidence that acquired characterics are inheritable, but you do not say what this evidence is. Epigenetics means that phenotype is not entirely caused by genotype, it says nothing about inheritability of acquired charasterics.
Do you Lysenko in Soviet Union ? He did try to prove Lamarck right, with very bad results,

@ Indie Rebel

“Darwin was much more open minded than devout neo-Darwinists today.”

Of course. He was still confused, and in the business of acquiring evidence for a hostile audience.

Copernic and Kepler also were very open-minded. But, now, we know. There is no reason to be more “open-minded” than necessary. That’s called denialism.

But of course, we may dissect the logico-epistemic backbone of Darwin if you like. Kind of a school exercise. Then I’ll rate your performance. A+ ? Or F- ?

“But Lamarck was NEVER disproven!”

Oh. Right. And, may I ask you, what was the killer experience that should have been performed to disprove Lamarck ?

If there is none, that means Lamarck is unfalsifiable. Hence pseudo-science. Like astrology. cf. demarcation problem.

If there is, and we haven’t performed it, we are then collectively guilty.

It’s now up to you to come up with the killer experience. For Einstein, it was light bending during an eclipse. What should it be for Lamarck ?? Please tell me, Logic Incarnate…

“And now there is evidence of acquired traits being inherited, via epigenetics.”

Doesn’t tip the balance off and away from evolution by natural selection. Except in your mind. But not in reality…

“You want to know how they “disproved” Lamarck’s theory? Cut the tails off successive generations of mice. And they kept on being born with tails. That was it, the final “proof.””

Reference needed. So that we may have all the required information to debate the issue constructively.

Now. If that experience was not good enough for you, whatever it was, please enlighten us: what would be the Killer Experience that would 1. prove that Lamarck is falsifiable 2. prove that we are guilty of not having undertaken.

Expose the cover-up. We’re counting on you.

@David

“He is a great example of a remarkable researcher who is less reliable in fields outside his expertise.”

No one knows everything, no matter how brilliant. On the other hand, we should not ignore what a brilliant person says just because it differs from the official consensus. The official consensus is often wrong also. And in any case, science DEPENDS on dissent and skepticism. It’s actually amusing to see the “skeptics” at SBM never being skeptical of any official consensus. They don’t seem to be the kind of original thinkers who can see beyond the current status quo.

They don’t seem to be the kind of original thinkers who can see beyond the current status quo.

Mirrors are your friends, Sockie McSockerson.

We should ignore things a brilliant person says, if he or she does not give any evidence,

So if I follow your ‘logic’, we should support and believe those who go against the ‘official consensus’? Don’t you think that some regard should be given to the quality of the arguments?

HIV/AIDS denialism is not a good look in 2021 ( or ever). Wikipedia has a long detailed article about its main points, chief proselytisers and effects on different populations around the world and those who oppose it. There were especially dire consequences in the RSA when governmental officials advocated a denialist policy which changed when a new government took over… Gay men, minorities and others were unfairly ostracised in many societies because of misinformation about how the virus manifests and how it is spread.

If the virus alone is not causal then we would not be able to find any people who have none of the alleged risk factors ( drug use, “risky sex”, poor nutrition, poverty) except contact with the virus. Yet we find exactly that: health care workers without any of the purported risks who suffered needle sticks or cuts during a surgical procedure have become positive for the virus. Over time, prophylactics have been utilised to counteract the virus ( ARVs basically) after needle sticks or cuts and infected pregnant mothers can protect their children from being born with hiv by taking the appropriate meds. None of this is new news. Hiv/aids denialism is a particularly malignant form of pseudoscience because it discouraged life saving medical care and showed disregard for thesuffering whilst benefiting vitamin salesmen and contrarian so-called journalists. ( Orac covers hiv/aids denialism/ see search function)

This could be a major scandal – if RFK Jr has been caught doing something reasonable, he could lose all his fans (remember how Trump backtracked after being booed for accidentally giving good advice)

@Aarno Syvänen

“You know that AIDS must have some other cause, but cannot say what it is”

I said there is a growing number of scientists who think HIV is not the only cause. That doesn’t mean they have found some other answer. Science doesn’t work like that — it is possible to doubt an existing hypothesis before you have found a better one.

“You actually can stop clinical trial if the drug tested is really good, It would be unethical to give placebo if this is the case.”

Yes of course, that’s what they did. But the advantage for the AZT group wasn’t that great, and it was short term. Now it is known that AZT is very toxic, and might have killed more than it helped, if the trial had continued.

Also, as I have already said, anti-HIV drugs can kill the infections associated with AIDS, giving the false impression that the patients are improving because the drugs kill HIV.

Ooooooh. They kill other stuff. Weird. I wonder why most of the people I diagnose with HIV are asymptomatic?

There is citation of clinical trial:
Fischl MA, Richman DD, Grieco MH, Gottlieb MS, Volberding PA, Laskin OL, Leedom JM, Groopman JE, Mildvan D, Schooley RT, et al. The efficacy of azidothymidine (AZT) in the treatment of patients with AIDS and AIDS-related complex. A double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. N Engl J Med. 1987 Jul 23;317(4):185-91. doi: 10.1056/NEJM198707233170401. PMID: 3299089.
It says that 19 died in placebo group, 1 in AZT group, That is why trial was terminated, it would have been unethical to give placebo anymore. I suggest that you check original data, and remember that Robert Kennedy Jr always lies.

@Aarno Syvänen

“Conspiracy theories are not hard eveuidence.”

Not always possible to get hard evidence in medical science. Very often it is not possible, so controversies continue for years, decades, centuries. How long did MDs think tobacco was ok before enough evidence was finally gathered? Hundreds of years. It’s kind of amazing to think about — smoking tobacco doesn’t feel good or taste good, makes you cough, makes everyone around you cough — and yet it was a fad for hundreds of years. Didn’t even dawn on modern scientists that it could be harmful until I think around the late1960s.

@ Indie Rebel

“Not always possible to get hard evidence in medical science.”

It’s always possible to make the soundest judgement on the flimsiest evidence you have.

That precisely is called “scientific method”.

That’s precisely the purpose of the “scientific method”.

The most outrageous attitude in medicine is taking cover of a controversy to back down from the scientific method and start delegitimising it.

That’s precisely why it’s important to dismantle pseudo-science and the mental attitude that foster it and protect it. Like yours.

Indie Rebel mindlessly babbled about smoking tobacco, “Didn’t even dawn on modern scientists that it could be harmful until I think around the late1960s.”
Bzzzt!
Do you ever get anything correct?
These took about a minute to debunk your laughable statement:
Cigarettes called “Coffin Nails” back in the 1800s because they were considered so healthy /sarc:
https://tobacco.harpweek.com/asp/ViewArticleText.asp?url=content%3A%2F%2Fharpweek%2Ftitle%5BHW%5D%2Fvolume%5B1896%5D%2Fissue%5B0411%5D%23%2FTEI%2E2%5B1%5D%2Ftext%5B1%5D%2Fback%5B1%5D%2Fdiv1%5B38%5D&pageIDs=%7CHW%2D1896%2D04%2D11%2D0368%7C&title=&returnUrl=http%3A%2F%2Ftobacco%2Eharpweek%2Ecom%2FHubPages%2FCommentaryPage%2Easp%3FCommentary%3DIntroduction&returnTitle=Introduction
“Harper’s Weekly 04/11/1896
COFFIN NAILS.”

and
https://tobacco.harpweek.com/hubpages/CommentaryPage.asp?Commentary=Introduction
“Harper’s Weekly was, in effect, the American “newspaper of record” from soon after its start in 1857 until 1912. As early as 1858, it criticized various aspects of tobacco use, as shown by a cartoon on secondhand smoke. This website’s title—“Coffin Nails”—comes from a nineteenth century slang term for cigarettes; it was featured on April 4, 1896 in a full-page advertisement for a tobacco-addiction “cure.”

Here are some significant findings from this compilation:

As early as 1862, tobacco addiction was a recognized problem, and various “cures” were offered to users.
In 1867, the editor of Harper’s Weekly, George William Curtis, identified the three major health dangers of tobacco use: cancer, heart disease, and lung disease.
It was the Spanish-American War of 1898, not America’s entry into World War I in 1917, that first made cigarette smoking “manly” and led to the addiction of a generation of young servicemen.
Over a century before the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General declared that smoking causes cancer, an anti-tobacco movement was already in existence, putting forward most of the arguments used today against tobacco products.”

etc., etc.
Looks like you missed it by about 100 years or more.
.
And:
http://www.dailyscript.com/scripts/citizenkane.html
It was common knowledge that tobacco smoking was detrimental to health as shown in this excerpt from the 1941 film Citizen Kane where Thompson is interviewing Mr. Leland (Kane’s closest friend) in the hospital/elderly care facility about Kane and Leland is begging Thompson to smuggle some cigars in to him because his doctor has forbidden them to him:
LELAND: On your way out, stop at a cigar store, will you, and send me up a couple of cigars?
THOMPSON: Sure, Mr. Leland. I’ll be glad to.

LELAND (to Thompson): You won’t forget, will you, about the cigars? And tell them to wrap them up to look like toothpaste, or something, or they’ll stop them at the desk. That young doctor I was telling you about, he’s got an idea he wants to keep me alive.
.
Yep… Doctors and people didn’t think tobacco smoking “could be harmful until the late 1960s”.
Oh, BTW – Welcome to alt-med, alt-facts Fantasy Island where everything stated is just made up BS and must be fact-checked… Everything.

Even in the 17th century:

A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse.

A Counterblaste to Tobacco, James 1 of England, 1604.

“I said there is a growing number of scientists who think HIV is not the only cause. That doesn’t mean they have found some other answer. Science doesn’t work like that — it is possible to doubt an existing hypothesis before you have found a better one.”

“I think it’s true, therefore it is, no evidence required” is as antithetical to science as it gets. Your laboratory director probably informed you of this early in whatever training you failed to absorb.

If antiretroviral drugs only seem to work in HIV-infected patients because they kill opportunistic pathogens, then it’s puzzling that clinicians must use an array of antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and other drugs against opportunistic infections in HIV+ patients. Must be due to their being on the take from Big Pharma.

Speaking of which, the death metal band Hypocrisy has emerged after eight years of silence to release a new album featuring the anti-Pharma song “Chemical Whore”. The compelling video includes a corpse being wheeled on a gurney through a forest and over a beach, mixed in with scenes of “dystopian drug trials” and the band performing among “futuristic stasis tubes” while the lead singer emotes lyrics in classical growly fashion. Groovy stuff.

https://loudwire.com/hypocrisy-chemical-whore-lyrics-video-worship-album/

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “But the advantage for the AZT group wasn’t that great, and it was short term. Now it is known that AZT is very toxic, and might have killed more than it helped, if the trial had continued.”

And yet AZT is still included with multi-drug treatments for HIV and overwhelming evidence prolonging life. As for toxicity, yes, and no, depends on dosage; but all drugs have some level of toxicity and one needs to balance benefit vs harms. I doubt you have taken the time to search, for instance, PubMed for up-to-date papers on AZT.

You write: “it is possible to doubt an existing hypothesis before you have found a better one.”

Yes and NO. If existing hypothesis based on limited research/data, yes; but the research on HIV as cause of AIDS is literally overwhelming.

You write: “Also, as I have already said, anti-HIV drugs can kill the infections associated with AIDS, giving the false impression that the patients are improving because the drugs kill HIV.”

WOW! Stupid on steroids. First, the anti-retrovirals don’t kill the infections association with AIDs, other drugs used for that. If the anti-retrovirals keep the HIV in check so it can’t kill CD 4 cells or, at least not as rapidly, and the body, as it always does, manufactures new CD 4 cells, then the patient certainly is improving because the higher level of CD 4 cells confers protection against many infections AND overwhelming research documents how antiretroviral treatment has prolonged lives.

And you write: “[Kary Mullis] was a typical dissenter, and the status quo upholders probably discount everything he ever said, doesn’t matter that he was brilliant.”

He was a biochemist who came up with PCR test, earned him a Nobel Prize. PCR is one of the major tests used for multiple purposes; but being “brilliant” doesn’t mean always right and again, without any explanation, you simply claim “status quo upholders . . . discount EVERYTHING he ever said”. Really “Everything?” Typical of you, extremes of black and white. However, below gives some of the problems with claims made by Kary Mullis. Note, I actually met Christine Maggiore twice when she presented her book, even gave me a free copy. And, as explained below, she denied HIV causes AIDS, refused anti-retrovirals for her infant and then herself and BOTH died. Note Mullis speaks positively about astrology on his website. Just as I explained above, Linus Pauling won Nobel Prize in inorganic chemistry; but in later life pushed mega-doses of vitamin C for just above anything and everything. And despite overwhelming info, he was a climate change denier. Note Mullis helped develop an HIV test. Wow!

From Wikipedia. Kary Mullis

Views on HIV/AIDS and climate change[edit]
Mullis wrote that he began to question the AIDS consensus while writing a NIH grant progress report and being unable to find a peer-reviewed reference that HIV was the cause of AIDS.[19][37][page needed] He published an alternative hypothesis for AIDS in 1994,[38] and questioned the scientific validity of the link between HIV and AIDS, leading some[who?] to label him an AIDS denialist.[39][40] Mullis has been criticized[by whom?] for his association with HIV skeptic Peter Duesberg,[41] claiming that AIDS is an arbitrary diagnosis used when HIV antibodies are found in a patient’s blood.[42] Seth Kalichman, AIDS researcher and author of Denying AIDS, lists Mullis “among the who’s who of AIDS pseudoscientists”.[43] In 2006, Mullis wrote the foreword to the book What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong? by Christine Maggiore,[37][third-party source needed] an HIV-positive AIDS denialist whose 3-year-old daughter died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 2005, and who died herself of an AIDS-related illness in 2008.[44][relevant?] A 2007 article in Skeptical Inquirer described Mullis as an “AIDS denialist with scientific credentials [who] has never done any scientific research on HIV or AIDS”.[45] However, he consulted for Specialty Labs in Santa Monica, developing a nucleic acid-based HIV test.[citation needed] According to California Magazine, Mullis’ HIV skepticism influenced Thabo Mbeki’s denialist policymaking throughout his tenure as president of South Africa from 1999 to 2008, contributing to as many as 330,000 unnecessary deaths.[14] In 2010, Mullis gave a talk at Google at which he was asked about his controversial views on AIDS and HIV. Mullis said “I’m come to the conclusion… that the thing that causes AIDS is not a species of the retroviridae, it’s the whole genus. The people who get sick have a whole lot of different versions…that’s my feeling.”[46]
A 2007 New York Times article listed Mullis as one of several scientists who, after success in their area of research, go on to make unfounded, sometimes bizarre statements in other areas.[47] In his 1998 autobiography, Mullis expressed disagreement with the scientific evidence supporting climate change and ozone depletion, the evidence that HIV causes AIDS, and asserted his belief in astrology.

AZT is toxic. That’s rich. It’s the only drug we use in preggos. But, please Rebel-tell us more.

@Dangerous Bacon

“‘I think it’s true, therefore it is, no evidence required’ is as antithetical to science as it gets. Your laboratory director probably informed you of this early in whatever training you failed to absorb.”

And it’s also antithetical to the way I think. I require evidence, and logic.

My “laboratory director” (research advisor) said “In this lab, we believe … ” followed by a quote from her former research advisor, describing his theory. She had never questioned it, although it had logical defects, which I was able to see. (Not bragging, I am just trying to describe the facts.) This was in a respected U, and her advisor was in a VERY respected U.

So, that’s how it goes, I am sure you don’t believe me. And my research advisor failed to get her dissertation published, which had been accepted by the VERY respected U., because it was not logical. And I had told her that to begin with (which did not make her love me very much).

Not saying I am ultra smart, I just notice when things don’t make sense. It might be a kind of disability. My fourth grade teacher hated me for it. The very smartest people are capable of not noticing things that are illogical, so it isn’t an intelligence thing.

@ Indie Rebel

“My “laboratory director” (research advisor) said “In this lab, we believe … ” followed by a quote from her former research advisor, describing his theory. She had never questioned it, although it had logical defects, which I was able to see. (Not bragging, I am just trying to describe the facts.)”

Yeah. Right. You’re a Saint.

“So, that’s how it goes, I am sure you don’t believe me.”

You’ve been peddling quite enough nonsense. So, yeah, not only do I not believe you, I do not even care about believing it or not as it has ZERO consequence and bearing on the issues at hand.

Because… arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all: it’s not about you…

“Not saying I am ultra smart, I just notice when things don’t make sense. It might be a kind of disability. My fourth grade teacher hated me for it. The very smartest people are capable of not noticing things that are illogical, so it isn’t an intelligence thing.”

Getting tired of this BS. There are rules for reason, logic and science. They have been discussed over the centuries for at least 2600 years.

And you’re violating these rules one by one.

It’s not a question of intelligence. It’s about knowing what the value of such rules really are before thinking you have the abilities that allow you to discern when they genuinely break down. You’re failing miserably at that task.

You have a massively inflated ego.

How on earth can you write such bollocks with a straight face?

You’ve just spent the last couple of blog entry comment sections talking about how you believe stuff with NO [email protected]#king evidence at all. You think it’s logical to assume that the universe is sentient and that humans can detect undetectable energy fields with their minds. Your idea of good evidence is an opinion, preferably your own, based on something you’ve read that you like the sound of.

No. It’s obvious that you do not require evidence and logic. I don’t know what kind of lab you were working in but the only labs you should be anywhere near are yellow or black, and I have my doubts about that.

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “And it’s also antithetical to the way I think. I require evidence, and logic.”

Yet, you don’t present evidence that supports your comments! ! !

You write: “Not saying I am ultra smart, I just notice when things don’t make sense. It might be a kind of disability. My fourth grade teacher hated me for it. The very smartest people are capable of not noticing things that are illogical, so it isn’t an intelligence thing.”

How amusing. Whether true or not, noticing something that doesn’t make sense in fourth grade is quite a leap from understanding science, which requires basic knowledge in several disciplines, depending on which science on claims to focus on and as I’ve stated, you give NO indication you understand the basics of immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, etc.

You just keeping posting comments without any credibility. Especially when I and others have posted comments with both evidence and logic and you either ignore and/or reject out of hand, not even bothering to check out the references.

@ Indie Rebel

The following is an example where I give evidence and, of course, you will ignore, evidence that you don’t supply in your comments.

You write: “Not always possible to get hard evidence in medical science. Very often it is not possible, so controversies continue for years, decades, centuries. How long did MDs think tobacco was ok before enough evidence was finally gathered? Hundreds of years. It’s kind of amazing to think about — smoking tobacco doesn’t feel good or taste good, makes you cough, makes everyone around you cough — and yet it was a fad for hundreds of years. Didn’t even dawn on modern scientists that it could be harmful until I think around the late1960s.”

So, you think it didn’t dawn of modern scientists smoking could be harmful until the late 1960s. Your stupidity just keeps growing. Let’s look at what was known about tobacco and its harms. As explained below, smoking only really took off in 20th Century, especially after World War II; but there were early positions in previous centuries and even studies going back to 1920s that linked smoking with harms. And the Surgeon General’s report from 1964 was based on 7,000 biomedical journal articles. And, if you really wanted to learn anything, which I doubt, the Tobacco industry began their own studies, which actually also found harms from tobacco, so they suppressed their findings, later revealed on discovery motions in civil trials. And even more interesting is that the same scientists who worked for the Tobacco Industry were the first to work for Fossil Fuel Industry, writing papers against global warming/climate change.

Here are a few or the books I own and read. Actually during the mid-1980s I worked on a research project whose goal was to develop programs for public schools to teach kids NOT to smoke:

Brandt AM (2007). The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product Defined America. Basic Books.

Kluger R (1996). Ashes to Ashes: America’s Hundred-Year Cigarette War, the Public Health, and the Unabashed Triumph of Philip Morris. Knopf.

Oreskes N & Conway EM (2010). Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Press.

AND A FEW ARTICLES ON HISTORY OF TOBACCO, KNOWLEDGE OF HARMS, ETC.

From Cancer Council NSW. A Brief History of Smoking:

In 1602 an anonymous English author published an essay titled Worke of Chimney Sweepers (sic) which stated that illnesses often seen in chimney sweepers were caused by soot and that tobacco may have similar effects. This was one of the earliest known instances of smoking being linked to ill health.

In 1795 Sammuel Thomas von Soemmering of Maine (Germany)
reported that he was becoming more aware of cancers of the lip in pipe smokers

In 1798 the US physician Benjamin Rush wrote on the medical dangers of tobacco

During the 1920s the first medical reports linking smoking to lung
cancer began to appear. Many newspaper editors refused to report
these findings as they did not want to offend tobacco companies who advertised heavily in the media

A series of major medical reports in the 1950s and 1960s confirmed
that tobacco caused a range of serious diseases.

From Elizabeth Mendes (2014 Jan 9). The Study That Helped Spur the U.S. Stop-Smoking Movement. American Cancer Society:

Actually, it wasn’t even until cigarettes were mass produced and popularized by manufacturers in the first part of the 20th century that there was cause for alarm. Prior to the 1900s, lung cancer was a rare disease. Turn-of-the-century changes though, gave way to an era of rapidly increasing lung cancer rates. New technology allowed cigarettes to be produced on a large scale, and advertising glamorized smoking. The military got in on it too – giving cigarettes out for free to soldiers during
World Wars I and II. Cigarette smoking increased rapidly through the 1950s, becoming much more widespread. Per capita cigarette consumption soared from 54 per year in 1900, to 4,345 per year in 1963. And, lung cancer went from rarity to more commonplace – by the early 1950s it became “the most common cancer diagnosed in American
men.”

The 1950 Turning Point

There were a few small-scale studies conducted from the late 1920s to late 1940s that suggested a possible link between smoking and lung cancer, but these studies had several limitations – and didn’t provide the evidence necessary to establish a clear connection between smoking and lung cancer.

This began to change in the 1950s. Five larger retrospective studies were published in the early 1950’s that again showed a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. Though important, these studies still didn’t make a convincing enough case as they relied on the self-reported smoking habits of people who already had lung cancer, and compared them to those who didn’t. One potential problem with this type

In January 1952, Hammond and Horn engaged 22,000 American Cancer Society volunteers to help recruit a large group of American men aged 50 to 69 across 10 U.S. states and ask these men about their smoking habits. The scientists ended up with a cohort of about 188,000 men, who they eventually followed through 1955.

After following the men for about 20 months, Hammond and Horn had enough information to publish what they called “preliminary” findings in an August 7, 1954 Journal of the American Medical Association article. Their conclusion was clear: “It was found that men with a history of regular cigarette smoking have a considerably higher death rate than men who have never smoked or men who have smoked only cigars or pipes,” the researchers wrote.”

And a superb paper, Robert N Proctor (2012). The history of the discovery of the cigarette—lung cancer link: evidentiary traditions, corporate denial, global toll. Tobacco Control; 21:87-91:

CONVERGING LINES OF EVIDENCE
Population studies
These were among the first and most convincing forms of evidence. Scholars started noting the parallel rise in cigarette consumption and lung
cancer, and by the 1930s had begun to investigate this relationship using the methods of case-control epidemiology. Franz Hermann Müller at Cologne Hospital in 1939 published the first such study
Animal experimentation studies
Cellular pathology studies
Cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette smoke
In 1960, in a poll organised by the American Cancer Society, only a third of all US doctors agreed that cigarette smoking should be considered ‘a major
cause of lung cancer’.

CDC (2006 Dec). History of the Surgeon General’s Reports on Smoking and Health:

“On January 11, 1964, Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the U.S.
Public Health Service, released the first report of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health.On the basis of more than 7,000 articles relating to smoking and disease already available at that time in the biomedical literature.”

And K. Michael Cummings (2002). Programs and policies to discourage the use of tobacco products. Oncogen; 21: 7349-7364:

“In the early 1600s King James I of England attempted to discourage the use of tobacco by taxing it, the czar of Russia exiled tobacco users to Siberia, and in China, those caught selling tobacco were executed. . . By the late nineteenth century, tobacco use was widespread, but most people used only small amounts and mainly in the form of pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco or a pinch of snuff”

Do you understand that small amounts, especially when life-expectancies were shorter, would NOT have raised alarm??? Nope, you don’t.

@MedicalYeti

“I wonder why most of the people I diagnose with HIV are asymptomatic?”

If they have no symptoms, then you are diagnosing based only on a positive HIV test. Which means they might not have AIDS. Maybe you prescribe drugs that supposedly prevent progression to AIDS, and when they don’t get AIDS you credit the drugs. Could be a big mistake.

Oh wow. WOW. That’s it. I give up. This must be an act. Did you not live through the Eighties??? To quote one of my favorite posters here: “You are SICK, SICK, SICK!”

But, please, enlighten me: What stopped all the deaths and is now allowing folks with HIV to die with it rather than of it?

@ MedicalYeti (@ Indie Rebel)

“Oh wow. WOW. That’s it. I give up. This must be an act.”

It sure does look like an act. It’s so consistently over the top and so consistently violating the most basic of argumentative rules that you do have to consider the possibility of such nonsense being an act.

Now, some people also do act while knowing they are acting and nonetheless believing in their act, while knowing it to be an act. Humans can be like that…

Interestingly enough, if you replace several words in Indies comment it makes more sense.

“If they have no symptoms, then you are diagnosing based only on a [made up human energy field device] test. Which means they might not have [whatever cancer the supplement is guaranteed to cure]. Maybe you [take supplements] that supposedly [cure] [cancer], and when they don’t get [cancer] you credit the [supplements]. Could be a big mistake”

Keep up the fight.

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “f they have no symptoms, then you are diagnosing based only on a positive HIV test. Which means they might not have AIDS. Maybe you prescribe drugs that supposedly prevent progression to AIDS, and when they don’t get AIDS you credit the drugs. Could be a big mistake.”

HIV can take time, especially while latent, to begin killing CD4 cells. The antiretrovirals prevent HIV from proliferating, so can prevent AIDS. Only a big mistake in the eyes of idiots like you. And since, so far, no drug rids the body of HIV, stop giving antiretrovirals and AIDS will eventually develop.

And I second what MedicalYeti wrote: YOU ARE SICK, SICK, SICK!

@MedicalYeti

If you diagnose someone with AIDS only on the basis of a positive HIV test, and you give them drugs to kill HIV, and they never get AIDS, you assume the drugs saved them.

Can you see the logical mistake in that?

After all this time, and having a (purported) science background, is it possible that you still don’t understand the difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS?

I think that’s clear. There are too many mistakes in the comments to believe Indie has even the basic knowledge that a non medical person like me can pick up, in an hour or so, by perusing the websites of health organisations and AIDS charities.

I also think that Indie is actually a full blown denialist or a really good troll. They start off with a slightly controversial view and get into a debate. Then they gradually get more extreme and illogical before finally the full truth is revealed.

@ Indie Rebel

“Can you see the logical mistake in that?”

Everyone on this blog sees the logical mistake that comes with this positive confirmation bias.

Not every practicing doctor does, on the other hand.

But everyone on this blog also sees through your AIDS denialism.

Everyone.

You’re trying to mask your AIDS denialism behind the criticism of positive confirmation bias. It’s an incredibly perverse attitude to revel in this kind of sophistry.

In a perfect world, bullshitting should be a limit to free speech.

And we’re not in a perfect world: you’re indeed doing your best efforts to make it worse. Congratulations for your anti-social behaviour.

@JustaTech

You misunderstood. By consensus upholders, I meant the organized “skeptics” whose mission is to squash dissent. That’s where their energy goes, into maintaining status quo, and defending the official experts.

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “You misunderstood. By consensus upholders, I meant the organized “skeptics” whose mission is to squash dissent. That’s where their energy goes, into maintaining status quo, and defending the official experts.”

“Organized?” Give evidence. As for maintaining the status quo and defending the official experts? Well, I’m sure some do this; but others look at the evidence and if it supports the “status quo” what should they do? Stay silent? Basically anyone who refutes those with alternative explanations, in your mind, do so only to defend the status quo, not because they actually understand the science, etc. In your mind, just not possible the consensus is correct, based on extensive science.

As usual, you label people based on whether they agree or disagree with whatever position you support or, at least, think possible. Bull Shit!

@ Indie Rebel

“You misunderstood. By consensus upholders, I meant the organized “skeptics” whose mission is to squash dissent.”

The “organized” skeptics are not squashing dissent. They’re squashing BS. They are squashing the very loud and exhuberant noise made by quacks so that real controversy and dissent may then occur among people who have basic respect for Truth.

What you are promoting is not schumpeterian creative destruction, but destructive creation of BS. “Organised” skeptics have the moral duty to stop your nonsense finding their way into the mind of gullible people.

“Organised” skeptics have, as a core mission, the duty to explain that Truth Matters, and that it matters because lives are at stake when these issues inform medical matters and public policies. Where Truth Indeed Precisely Matters more than elsewehere.

“That’s where their energy goes, into maintaining status quo, and defending the official experts.”

Not quite. I’m not defending experts who overplay their hands. In fact, in my own country, where experts tend to enjoy their privileged status not necessarily out genuine academic work but out of cooptation by our State through various mechanisms such as the Concours de la Fonction Publique, I’m relentlessly bashing them. I’m also relentlessly bashing people from my own alma mater, the Ecoles Normales Supérieures when they (rather systematically) overplay their hand and demand lay people to grovel in front of them because they are the Elite de la Nation.

I have no patience for quite a lot of people pretending to be experts, and rather official ones at that, in my own country.

But in the US, which is a somewhat freer world, it’s the business of freedom of expression and academic work to create experts that around here are more created by the state than they really do emerge out of the free play of reason.

I’ll endlessly defend the free play of reason. Which means defending academics who play by the rules of the free play of reason. Not the other ones… who distort and corrupt reason to the core.

So, no, I do not grovel in front of “experts”. When any expert overplays his hand, he should be put to the ground. Pitilessly

Just like you should be put to the ground, pitilessly, if you attempt to play the expert without the skill set.

@Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH

“Basically anyone who refutes those with alternative explanations, in your mind, do so only to defend the status quo, not because they actually understand the science, etc. In your mind, just not possible the consensus is correct, based on extensive science.”

No, you misunderstood, of course. There are “skeptics” who unfailingly support the status quo mainstream consensus, every single time. I have seen that over many years at SBM. I do NOT always oppose the status quo, only when I have reasons to think it’s wrong!

Not long ago, Harriet Hall wrote an article critical of the current mainstream consensus regarding puberty blocking drugs for children with gender dysphoria. I was surprised to see an SBMer stand up for common sense against the mob. Well Harriet got slammed for that, and her article was removed. Not surprisingly.

@ Indie Rebel

“Not long ago, Harriet Hall wrote an article critical of the current mainstream consensus regarding puberty blocking drugs for children with gender dysphoria. I was surprised to see an SBMer stand up for common sense against the mob. Well Harriet got slammed for that, and her article was removed. Not surprisingly.”

References needed. I’ve read Harriet Hall, and know she made articles on such matters. As to what precisely you are talking about, I’d need reference to comment upon.

“No, you misunderstood, of course. There are “skeptics” who unfailingly support the status quo mainstream consensus, every single time. I have seen that over many years at SBM.”

Well, given the amount of BS we are facing, I think, yes, that we should deal with it using napalm rather than with tweezers, if you see what I mean…

“I do NOT always oppose the status quo, only when I have reasons to think it’s wrong!”

Like evolution. Like AIDS/HIV.

Thanks for the laugh, pal…

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “There are “skeptics” who unfailingly support the status quo mainstream consensus, every single time. I have seen that over many years at SBM. I do NOT always oppose the status quo, only when I have reasons to think it’s wrong!”

When you have reasons for thinking it’s wrong??? I’ve already stated numerous times that you give your beliefs in comments without any attempt to back with science. Your beliefs are just that your subjective beliefs and I and others have refuted them; but you just ignore what we write. Continual proof of your intellectual dishonest. As for “unfailingly support . . . every time. Given how much is out there, it is not impossible that this blog has covered areas that have strong science, so, yep, supported. If you think otherwise, pick something and refute it, point by point, with science, including references and not just one per point. Otherwise, just your belief, just your opinion.

You write: “Not long ago, Harriet Hall wrote an article critical of the current mainstream consensus regarding puberty blocking drugs for children with gender dysphoria. I was surprised to see an SBMer stand up for common sense against the mob. Well Harriet got slammed for that, and her article was removed. Not surprisingly.”

I just found the following on Science-Based Medicine. Doesn’t seem her articles were removed! ! !

Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 18). Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence.

Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 11). Gender Dysphoria in Children.

@ Indie Rebel

“I just found the following on Science-Based Medicine. Doesn’t seem her articles were removed! ! ! Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 18). Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence. Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 11). Gender Dysphoria in Children.” — Joel

Indie Rebel, when I read such blatant lies, I sometimes believe that polite replies are not nearly enough.

I have very little tolerance for such lies.

Next time you claim proof of conspiracy to silence sensible “organised” skeptics, please double-check your claims.

“Please” was already overly polite.

If you do not want censorship laws to come back, do not give ammunition to those that want them back by spreading blatant lies and setting precedents that would justify them.

And that’s still overly polite.

Several prominent books have been written on the dangers, both clinical and psychological, of gender transition in younger patients. The dumbasses on twitter shouted some of them down. Who cares?

You are conflating things here because Fox Noise or whatever told you to. There is no huge conspiracy to block science if it doesn’t fit the “Woke agenda” or whatever else you believe. Turn off the box. Think for yourself. You’re doing a terrible job of being an “Independent rebel.”

For others reading-this is a radioactive topic for us in practice. Fortunately, it is also very RARE. I’ve never encountered a kid who wanted to transition but I don’t practice in a big city. Since I used to be a kid and can remember what a relative “Idiot” I was at that age, I would likely try to counsel caution.

Unlike what Indie and others of its ilk believe, we are not all out here revved up to prescribe Leuprolide or whatever. Not unlike someone who wants to undergo his/her fifteenth plastic surgery, I would recommend a psych consult first. I’m sure some jackaloon is reading this thinking: “He thinks trans people are mentally ill!” Read my words more carefully.

Also, the purpose of this diatribe is to bring some practical reality into the baloney we have been saddled with in this thread.

There was in fact one article removed there, earlier this year, involving a positive book review of someone who claims that gender dysphoria is largely a mass-hysteria fad among teenagers who, late last century, would supposedly have called themselves butch lesbians and been happier that way. This book also claimed that kids who get hormone or puberty blocker treatments often regret it and revert to their assigned-at-birth gender. Harriet Hall accepted the retraction on the basis that the argument in the book had lots of holes in it, and kept a modified version on her own site.
https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/irreversible-damage-the-transgender-craze-seducing-our-daughters/

I just found the following on Science-Based Medicine. Doesn’t seem her articles were removed! ! !

Her book review of Irreversible Damage was indeed retracted and republished elsewhere.

@ Indie Rebel

I thought while making dinner a bit more and a better response to your: ““No, you misunderstood, of course. There are “skeptics” who unfailingly support the status quo mainstream consensus, every single time. I have seen that over many years at Science-Based Medicine.”

Orac carefully chooses topics to write on that clearly are wrong, irrational, unscientific, etc., so, of course anyone following this blog who reads carefully what he writes, even checks out some of his linked references, and who understands the basics of science will agree with him. If it were a random selection of topics, things would be different. And your disagreeing says little to nothing since you have made it clear you don’t really understand the sciences that Orac basis his articles on.

Julian Frost

WMD was first put forth by British Intelligence.

So flat earth, I am quoting wikipedia

“Many ancient cultures subscribed to a flat Earth cosmography, including Greece until the classical period (323 BC), the Bronze Age and Iron Age civilizations of the Near East until the Hellenistic period (31 BC), and China until the 17th century.
The idea of a spherical Earth appeared in ancient Greek philosophy with Pythagoras (6th century BC), although most pre-Socratics (6th–5th century BC) retained the flat Earth model”.
JF you are doing no research.

Medical Yeti
Last in, First out, your tradition.

Number Wang
You are spot on, science does change. Except global warming/climate change those things have 98% consensus no mater what new facts are found.
Modern science suppresses new ideas all the time. Have you forgot the email that reveals the suppression of opposing science?
“Recently rejected two papers….. from people saying cru has it wrong over Siberia. went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully”
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow-even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”

98.6
You are supporting what he opposed.

Joel

You EGO needs to get a clue, nobody reads, much less looks up your citations, I did a test 4 days ago and went to the websites you used, after 2 days the only visits to the cites were mine. your relevance has passed you by.

@ Kaye West

“You are supporting what he [Giordano Bruno] opposed.”

Absolutely not. This is poor romanticisation of that figure on your part.

If, in the Ash Wednesday Supper / Cena de le Ceneri, where his cosmological system was defended, one of the protagonists, the servant / maid, is named Frulla, it is precisely because she mixes everything up. That’s what the name means…

It’s much more scathing, though in a rather joyful manner, than it is sexist. (This is the 16th century, after all…)

If in The Candlemaker / Il Candelaio, the question of superstition and grift pervades all through this theatrical work, it is precisely because Bruno was 100% opposed to anyone that spread and profited from bullshit.

Bruno would have been on Orac’s side.

N.B.: I’m not a Bruno scholar. My ex-wife was kind of Bruno proto-scholar. Some things just can’t get washed away even with time…

But I do believe I have now become one of the most knowledgeable persons outside of academia on Bruno and the social and philosophical context in which he grew.

Ancient cultures indeed believed in flat earth, but Ptolemy (of geocentic model) did not. Flat earth is in religious scripts.
Perhaps you and your friends could dig out that paper. Write to supposed writer and ask for it, for instance. You need see the paper to assess its value

@Kay

Do you believe that it is a bad idea to allow small children to stick forks into electrical sockets?

IF Answer = No THEN contact social services.

IF Answer = Yes THEN send the “welcome to the consensus view” letter.

That’s the way it works Kay. Just because some kids have probably stabbed an electrical socket with a fork and come to no harm doesn’t mean the consensus is wrong. The brave maverick parents who claim that ‘they’ve stabbed a hundred sockets and never come to any harm so consensus is just a big plot to stop people enjoying their freedom to play with forks and electricity’ are just fools.

There is nothing wrong with playing with electricity. I can remember once having put two metal rods in an extensioncord and connecting them with a third rod and then plugging the extensioncord in an electric socket. It blew a fuse and two of the rods melted together a bit. Lesson learned.

Later I had the habit of opening up of electric stuff, like my synthesizer. Once I got shocked, because I had turned of the power, but I didn’t unplug the the powerline. Another lesson learned.

Third lesson I learned was not opinging up a keyboard in the dead of night. Done that once and several keys jumped out, so it took quite some time to put them in place again.

So I don’t think it’s a great idea to let children try to put a fork in an electrical socket.

I blew the tips off a pair of pliers whilst manipulating a live wire in a loose terminal on an electric socket. Took about five minutes for the after-image of the flash to clear. Had to grind down the jaws of the pliers to make them usable.

At least you didn’t try your stick welding experiment live.

@ NumberWang
I didn’t want to get shocked, I was just curious what would happen if I created a short-circuit.

IF Answer = No THEN contact social services.

The copy I had of UNESCO’s 700 Science Experiments for Everyone would probably scare the bejeezus out of a lot of parents nowadays. Y’know, pull the rods out of two D cells, connect them to lamp cord with wooden clothespins, plug it in and enjoy making an arc. (OK, they did recommend viewing it through a sheet of mica.)

Accidentally leaning back and putting my hand in a salt-water rheostat, electrolyzing water of course, trying to fit a “My Pretty Pony” with size F model rocket motors (did not go as planned), purple chalk in 6 M HCl, etc. We all got lucky, I suppose, and some better safety gear would have been prudent, but it wasn’t like idioticallly whomping up a propane-driven rocket. Or football or scouting.

Well, I suppose I should feel “Insulted” or “Angry” at your petty taunt. Try again. I don’t need to boast about my military service you fatuous troglodyte. Grow tf up.

You clearly think you’re clever. Ever wonder why you are at the station you’re at in life? No one invites you to parties? Your family doesn’t speak to you? Give it some thought. It doesn’t have to be this way.

You don’t boast about you military service ??? I never mentioned your military service…….

As to my station in life, I receive a military pension, a state pension and social security pension plus a 401k. I can post on this site 24/7/365 just to annoy the arrogant people like you. As to the party, we just went to one Friday at the Frenchman cove with over 150 people all of whom were unmasked and un vaccinated. Most of my senior family are dead as to the rest of my family we text daily ( some of the time we talk about how stupid people like your are).Lata

Narad

Every website has a traffic/hit counter even this site.

Joel

Every religion has an end of times chapter.
for the past 5 years Greenland has been gaining ice, Antarctica has had the lowest temperatures since record keeping. and your still stuck in the global warming.climate change mantra
polarportal.dk/en/greenland/
cnn.com/2021/10/09/weather/weather-record-cold-antarctica-climate-change/index.html

and wasn’t Manhattan suppose to be under water by now
and
Peter Gunter, a North Texas State University professor, wrote in 1970, “Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions….By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.”
January 1970, Life reported, “Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
Paul Ehrlich warned in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons “may have substantially reduced the life expectancy of people born since 1945.” Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continued this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980, when it might level out.
“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say,I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’”
Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.
Sen. Gaylord Nelson wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all the species of living animals will be extinct.”
Kenneth Watt warned about a pending Ice Age in a speech. “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years,” he declared. “If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

but to your point the average human is made up of 5 to 20 pounds of shit but in your case its double that because of your super ego.

Narad

Every website has a traffic/hit counter even this site.

Where would that be on the page, Kay?

I did a test 4 days ago and went to the websites you used, after 2 days the only visits to the cites [sic] were mine

And you ascertained this how?

@ Kay West

You are literally full of shit. Yep, new facts keep coming on climate change and they keep finding their predictions were wrong, that is, wrong in that things are happening faster and faster. As for it being my ego for giving citations/references, nope, the exact opposite, rather than claim my opinion is all that matters, I back what I state with valid websites/papers, etc. Some of the papers I have written refuting antivaxxers, for instance, have had up to 150 references. Just as I gave several papers that clearly stated you were wrong about covid deaths in India, etc. and you ignore.

As for flat earth, just how really stupid are you? Long before science as we know it existed. Yep, one man Eratosthenes demonstrated it; but few paid attention. And you mentioned Bruno. Don’t you realize at the time it wasn’t scientists that had any power but the Catholic Church?

I have refuted time and time again every claim you have made and you simply ignore and keep demonstrating just how stupid, intellectually dishonest you are.

Climate change. Glaciers moving at ever increasing speeds and amount of precipitation behind them less than needed to replace. Ice cores drilled in Antarctica finding various isotopes of oxygen at different levels. And on and on it goes; but, of course, you are smarter than the 97% of scientists around the world who support that climate change is real. Yep, just as with vaccines and covid, etc. you have NEVER demonstrated even minimal understanding of immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, etc.; but you know better. Are you a Trump supporter. He didn’t need scientific advisors because he considers himself an intuitive genius, no need to understand the basics of science.

Yep, consensus before modern science could be based on flimsy points; but modern science with thousands of journals, 10s of thousands of researchers around the world, methodologies that have strong objective foundations, etc. so current consensus on a number of issues will stand the test of time; but a few will change and those part of the consensus will look at the changes, objectively evaluate them, and accept them; but not just jump at anything and everything that contradicts the consensus.

Well, I am 75, so not certain how many more years I will be here; but I’d be willing to bet that if I make it to 85 climate change will begin to make this world a living hell. In the arctic the jet stream may get totally screwed up causing mass ecological disasters, etc.

I’ve asked you over and over; but you refuse to answer, so one more time, what education do you have? And people can learn on their own without formal education, so name one book you’ve read on immunology, etc.

My relevance has passed? Really? I have over the past 10 years had articles published in several well-read magazines, blogs, and even one peer-reviewed medical journal. And I donate blood, actually now plasma and platelets every four weeks, so I do something to help my fellow man and I was volunteer in the Moderna Covid vaccine trials. What do you do, except make a fool of yourself with your comments, to be relevant???

@ Joel

“And you mentioned Bruno. Don’t you realize at the time it wasn’t scientists that had any power but the Catholic Church?”

It’s a bit of an oversimplification to claim that the church was anti-science. It’s mainly that the modern notion of science had not been unearthed. But the church was doing what is now called science. There’s indeed no clear cut historical demarcation on this matter. There’s however a growing conflict between science and dogma at that time that, yes, takes its roots in the copernician conflict. And in the rediscovery of ancient texts by de Medicis & co.

The picture is blurry, as proto-science at that time was mingled with what is now considered superstition. The way that Kepler was using regular polyhedra to model the spacing between orbits of planets is indeed rather hilarious. But it’s, as that instance shows, part of this whole history.

But these anti-science folks have no business trying to appropriate people like Bruno to their cause.

Not one “organised” skeptic wants to burn people at the stake or go squarely against free speech as the engine behind the free play of reason. The situation with Bruno is therefore absolutely not comparable.

Yes, there are vested interests in academia. Yes, not everything is honest. Yes, medicine is instrumentalised on every side, including people claiming to be pro-science. Yes, there still are quite a lot of taboos.

No, the situation is absolutely not comparable with Bruno’s. Because these anti-science folks live in a free country, and are free to make their case for their massive nonsense. And if they live in a free country, it’s indeed thanks to the kind of history that took its roots then, in the copernician question.

These people are their own best ennemies. And they do not know it.

@Dangerous Bacon

“After all this time, and having a (purported) science background, is it possible that you still don’t understand the difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS?”

He said he diagnoses AIDS patients who have no symptoms. So what does he base the diagnosis on, if not an HIV test?

@ Indie Rebel

““After all this time, and having a (purported) science background, is it possible that you still don’t understand the difference between being HIV+ and having AIDS?”” — Dangerous Bacon

“He said he diagnoses AIDS patients who have no symptoms. So what does he base the diagnosis on, if not an HIV test?”

A person can have HIV without developing AIDS, but it is not possible to have AIDS without first having HIV.

“Diagnostic criteria for AIDS established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To be diagnosed with AIDS, a person with HIV must have an AIDS-defining condition or have a CD4 count less than 200 cells/mm³ (regardless of whether the person has an AIDS-defining condition).”

http://clinicalinfo.hiv.gov/en/glossary/aids-case-definition

Knowledgeable, reputable physicians do not diagnose, much less treat AIDS solely on the basis of positive HIV testing.

Current recommendation is that all sexually-active adults get screened at least once. Others more frequently. Hence-we catch some who are asymptomatic before they can spread it around.

I guess I should have told the rape victim in the ER last month I didn’t need to screen her for HIV after she was assaulted repeatedly by a guy who just got out of prison?

“New recommendations pulled directly from foul rectum state you needn’t be screened. The drugs I would give you for post-exposure prevention would only kill the HIV virus. It’s a friendly virus, you’ll get used to it. Here’s a list of AAPS-approved doctors you can go see…” Imagine defending that in court?

He said he diagnoses AIDS patients who have no symptoms. So what does he base the diagnosis on, if not an HIV test?

No:

I wonder why most of the people I diagnose with HIV are asymptomatic?

If you want to spew horseshit, don’t try to put it in other people’s mouths.

Here is an interesting study, press release and all….

Reinfection rates
To assess the impact of Omicron on reinfection rates the researchers used genotype data, since even prior to Omicron, reinfection was correlated with negative S gene Target Failure data, likely due to random PCR target failure caused by the lower viral loads associated with reinfections.

Controlling for vaccine status, age, sex, ethnicity, asymptomatic status, region and specimen date, Omicron was associated with a 5.40 (95% CI: 4.38-6.63) fold higher risk of reinfection compared with Delta. To put this into context, in the pre-Omicron era, the UK “SIREN” study of COVID infection in healthcare workers estimated that prior infection afforded 85% protection against a second COVID infection over 6 months. The reinfection risk estimated in the current study suggests this protection has fallen to 19% (95%CI: 0-27%) against an Omicron infection.

So, the high reinfection rate is inconsistent with the finding that Omicron cases have already started to recede in South Africa. Explaining this and suggesting something quite worrying, it may be proving that indeed Covid vaccines, especially mRNA ones, are hampering natural immunity. If it’s the case, we are more likely to find the effect in high vaxxed UK but not so in low vaxxed South Africa.

Vaccine effectiveness against Omicron
The researchers found a significantly increased risk of developing a symptomatic Omicron case compared to Delta for those who were two or more weeks past their second vaccine dose, and two or more weeks past their booster dose (for AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines).

Depending on the estimates used for vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic infection from the Delta variant, this translates into vaccine effectiveness estimates against symptomatic Omicron infection of between 0% and 20% after two doses, and between 55% and 80% after a booster dose. Similar estimates were obtained using genotype data, albeit with greater uncertainty.

So, a Pfizer booster was a high of 85% in preventing infection and whereas just two Pfizer doses was only a high of 20% in stopping infection? Consider though that these findings don’t appear to be taking waning immunity in account. The UK just started rolling out their boosters less than two months ago, and, with Omicron just arriving, we would expect the boosted to be more freshly vaxxed over the just double vaxxed. Consistent with this, consider the vaccine effectiveness is in the high 90% immediately after being double vaxxed and it plummets in just a few months after.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/news/232698/omicron-largely-evades-immunity-from-past/

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19/report-49-Omicron/

“it may be proving that indeed Covid vaccines, especially mRNA ones, are hampering natural immunity.”

Did you somehow miss the paper’s conclusion that there were “relatively low remaining levels of immunity from prior infection” in countering the Omicron variant, while a third vaccine dose was far more effective?

From the paper:

“To put this into context, in the pre-Omicron era, the UK “SIREN” study of COVID infection in healthcare workers estimated that prior infection afforded 85% protection against a second COVID infection over 6 months. The reinfection risk estimated in the current study suggests this protection has fallen to 19% (95%CI: 0-27%) against an Omicron infection.”

So much for “natural immunity”.

Tsk, tsk, Greg, so dishonest of you. But par for the course.

@F68.10

“A person can have HIV without developing AIDS, but it is not possible to have AIDS without first having HIV.”

Because the definition of AIDS includes a positive HIV test! That doesn’t mean a positive HIV test means a person has AIDS!

That’s what you are being told. Repeatedly. Are you having trouble understanding? First you get HIV. HIV destroys your immune system over a period of years. Now you have AIDS.

@ NumberWang (@ Indie Rebel)

“A person can have HIV without developing AIDS, but it is not possible to have AIDS without first having HIV.” — me

“Because the definition of AIDS includes a positive HIV test! That doesn’t mean a positive HIV test means a person has AIDS!” — you

“That’s what you are being told. Repeatedly. Are you having trouble understanding? First you get HIV. HIV destroys your immune system over a period of years. Now you have AIDS.”

Does Indie Rebel have trouble understanding ? Well, first I wrote “A person can have HIV without developing AIDS”. Then Indie Rebel got outraged and gave the following rebuttal: “That doesnt mean a positive HIV test means a person has AIDS!”. Which, of course, is very different from my statement “A person can have HIV without developing AIDS”…

Spoiler: it’s not…

Conclusion: this is taking strawmaning to a whole new level. An unthought of dimension.

@Aarno Syvänen

“It says that 19 died in placebo group, 1 in AZT group”

I know that, and I have never read anything by RFK Jr.

19 is a small number, and it was over a relatively short time. AZT is now known to be very toxic, and if the trial had continued the AZT group might have done worse. That trial was NOT enough to base their conclusions on.

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “19 is a small number, and it was over a relatively short time. AZT is now known to be very toxic, and if the trial had continued the AZT group might have done worse. That trial was NOT enough to base their conclusions on.”

Yet, since then there have been numerous studies of AZT and it is still being used today in combination with other anti-retrovirals. Yep, if the trial had continued, those in AZT group would also have died. Why? Because HIV mutations and AZT didn’t work any longer. You do understand that retroviruses have extremely high mutation rates, which are now countered by using combination drug treatments. If you understood why using drugs that target different aspects of a virus can lower risk of mutations, then you would understand; but I doubt it.

Have you ever heard of penicillin? First person to get it was dying of severe infection. His infection subsided; but they had limited supply and it came back and killed him. So, in your mind, penicillin doesn’t work??? Just another example of something, in your infinite bias and stupidity, you could jump on as example of SBM’s “pushing drugs.”

Did you notice it was 19 deaths in placebo group, 1 in AZT group.Difference is very grear, There was substantial reduction of AIDS related complications,too. (Opportunistic infections developed in 45 subjects receiving placebo, as compared with 24 receiving AZT.) This is why trial was stopped, reason was not to a cover up, as you hinted . You certainly repeat Robert Kennedy Jr’s opinions,
Who noticed that AZT is “highly toxic” and how this happened ?

@MedicalYeti

“There is no huge conspiracy to block science if it doesn’t fit the ‘Woke agenda”'”

The number of F2M gender dysphoric children has dramatically increased, possibly because of social media. It used to be rare.

Harriet Hall wrote an article on SBM about the over-medicalization of this condition, and a woke MD rushed in to say how irresponsible it is to deny these children the standard treatment. Harriet’s article was removed from SBM.

There is a famous transgender surgeon (she does sex re-assignment surgery and she IS a transgender) and she is very critical of the over-use of gender blocking drugs.

Yet SBM takes the extreme pro-drug position. This is TYPICAL of SBM.

@ Indie Rebel

Don’t you read what others write or just too dishonest. So:

You write: “Not long ago, Harriet Hall wrote an article critical of the current mainstream consensus regarding puberty blocking drugs for children with gender dysphoria. I was surprised to see an SBMer stand up for common sense against the mob. Well Harriet got slammed for that, and her article was removed. Not surprisingly.”

I just found the following on Science-Based Medicine. Doesn’t seem her articles were removed! ! !

Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 18). Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence.

Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 11). Gender Dysphoria in Children.

Guess they weren’t removed! ! !

Attention, attention: I JUST TOLD YOU WE DON’T GO STRAIGHT TO DRUGS. Stop wallpapering us with your dopey talking points over and over and READ what people say when we reply!

Yet SBM takes the extreme pro-drug position. This is TYPICAL of SBM.

Do you “think” any of the RIgulars have the slightest bit of interest in your apparent resentment of SBM? Go vent you engorged spleen back there.

Unless there’s nothing left of you there but scorched earth, of course.

@ Greg

How typical of your dishonest approach to vaccines. Yep, Omicron mutations probably means higher risk of infection; but you didn’t include prior natural infection, not vaccination, same higher risk AND so far severity appears to be the same, which means both prior natural infection or vaccination may still confer enough immunity to reduce severity. And, as opposed to your position, I have absolutely NO problem getting another Covid booster, especially if tailored to Omicron and if need be, a booster for any subsequent variants, even twice yearly if needed. You ignore that natural infection has risk of hospitalizations, long covid, and death far greater than among vaccinated, so their study doesn’t mention if, among those who experienced natural infection, some suffered quite a bit.

From the paper you referred to:

“This suggests relatively low remaining levels of immunity from prior infection.”

“We find strong evidence of immune evasion, both from natural infection, where the risk of reinfection is 5.41 (95% CI: 4.87-6.00) fold higher for Omicron than for Delta, and from vaccine-induced protection.

We find no evidence (for both risk of hospitalisation attendance and symptom status) of Omicron having different severity from Delta, though data on hospitalisations are still very limited.”

Ferguson N et al. (2021 Dec 16).
Report 49: Growth, population distribution and immune escape of Omicron in England

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH and Dangerous One, you are not addressing the paradox that is being raised. Omicron is rapidly receding in low vaxxed South Africa and suggesting that previous infections and natural immunity is holding up well there; the study, however, is reporting that reinfections with Omicron is quite high In highly vaxxed UK. nterestingly, the study is just considering reinfections in general and it is not reporting a breakdown for the vaxxed and unvaxxed who were previously infected with Covid.

Again, the question stands, is vaccination in some way –or ways –hampering the gains of previous natural infections? More specifically, is vaccination interfering with natural immunity?

The finding of high Omicron reinfections in the UK is one of the most depressing finding by far. It’s suggesting that the hope that Omicron would blow through the world and provide blanket protection likely won’t materialize — and certainly not in highly vaxxed countries. You guys really screwed the pooch with the vaccines!

@Greg:

Omicron is rapidly receding in low vaxxed South Africa…

ORLY?
LATEST CONFIRMED CASES OF COVID-19 IN SOUTH AFRICA (19 DECEMBER 2021)

Today the institute reports 15,465 new COVID-19 cases that have been identified in South Africa, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 3,308,074. This increase represents a 30.7% positivity rate. As per the National Department of Health, a further 3 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported, bringing total fatalities to 90,348 to date.

“Rapidly receding” my South African arse.

@Greg There is a difference between COVID cases and omicron variant cases. Have you some data about omicron.

@space_upstairs

I don’t know if the arguments in the book had holes, and I did not read the book. But Hall’s article made sense to me, especially in light of many other things I read about transgender activism.

The extreme activist position has taken over the medical profession. The claim is that children with gender dysphoria are at risk for suicide if they do not “transition.” There is no concern about possible harms from the drugs, hormones and surgery. No acknowledgement that gender dysphoria could possibly be a result of other problems. The official story says a child can be born with the genetics of one sex and the brain of the other. There is no real evidence for that.

But I think the most important concern is about the hormone blocking drugs, which are given at an age when a child is not capable of making such a drastic decision. The official claim is that puberty blockers cannot cause any permanent damage. That is NOT true.

There is a famous transgender surgeon who says blockers, such as Lupron, can prevent a child from ever knowing what an orgasm is, and from ever having that experience. That is a big deal, in addition to all the possibly permanent physical damage caused by these drugs.

Hormone blockers are used on prostate cancer patients, to save their lives. The drugs have bad side effects and can make these patients feel miserable. Is that really what you want to give a gender dysphoric child? To make them feel even worse?

Transgender activists have taken control of this, and no one can oppose them. Let your child have puberty blockers, or they are in danger of suicide.

@ Indie Rebel: I think this issue is very complex and politically polarized, so most arguments on either side of it will probably have holes in them, at least for a while.

While I think medical treatments for gender dysphoria should be used with caution, the arguments in the book review had enough parallels to ADHD denialism that I had to take them with a grain of salt: “used to be something young assigned-male-at-birth kids grew out of and now it’s popping up in a more age- and sex-balanced population and claimed to be lifelong”; “they are overdrugging kids and surely that can’t be good” (which is also, interestingly, an argument used by antivaxers). And also the extra controversy-inducing factor of involving mental health issues, which are fuzzy diagnoses. Then add politics to the mix, inherent in anything involving sexuality and gender roles, and you get the perfect flame war fuel.

The follow-ups from the “woke agenda” position could not be dismissed in my mind, as there is indeed a long history of youth suicide associated with sexual minority status, and the science so far, young and politically charged as it may be, is looking favorable that the side effects of these drugs, when used carefully, are lesser than the feeling bad that comes with one’s sexual minority status continuing to be suppressed. However, I am open to changing my mind on the specific issue of protocols for drugs and surgery in these cases if the later science comes out on the “non-woke” or “Dark Web” side.

If my kid someday tells me she’s not a she, I will take my kid seriously on the matter rather than write it off as mass hysteria, then ask my kid to talk to a trusted professional and to my FTM cousin if I can get in touch with him, and look up all they can about their options. And if she turns out to have ADHD like I do (so far she shows a few possible signs, like it being hard to get her attention when her name is called even now that she’s almost 3 and has a normal vocabulary for her age after speech therapy, but she’s still over a year out from diagnosable age), I will tell her all about my experience with it and what behavioral techniques and meds have to offer and their downsides. No heroic Pharma shilling, but certainly no pediatric mental health denialism. Because I have seen firsthand what assuming a mental health issue that can be treated with the help of drugs not being properly addressed can do to a kid (my life before age 13). And so has her dad, who developed OCD in his late teens and denied it to himself for years.

“The extreme activist position has taken over the medical profession.” This is unadulterated BULLSHIT. I’m sitting here in a hospital full of medical professionals, not a one is an extreme activist. You really like saying whacked-out, hyperbolic, sensationalist crap don’t you?

What’s more – you reiterated MY POINT and took credit for it. Kids are too young for this stuff and we send them to counseling first. Orac is a surgeon. I’m certain he knows how to do mastectomies. I doubt he would just hook any 15 y/o girl who came in asking for one because she wants to transition without question.

The shit pinyata you keep whacking is getting tiresome.

Transgender activists have taken control of this, and no one can oppose them.

Yah, the next thing you know, everybody will have reversed their assigned sex at birth. Except you and Gerg, who will only be able to turn out mules.

@ space_upstairs AND Indie Rebel

space_upstairs writes: “There was in fact one article removed there, earlier this year, involving a positive book review of someone who claims that gender dysphoria is largely a mass-hysteria fad among teenagers who, late last century, would supposedly have called themselves butch lesbians and been happier that way. This book also claimed that kids who get hormone or puberty blocker treatments often regret it and revert to their assigned-at-birth gender. Harriet Hall accepted the retraction on the basis that the argument in the book had lots of holes in it, and kept a modified version on her own site.”

While one of Harriet Hall’s articles was retracted, it WAS NOT REMOVED as obviously space_upstairs found it. In addition, it gives links to why it was retracted and to a revised version. Did either of you even bother to read the reasons for its retraction? Many articles over the years have been retracted from peer-reviewed journals; but not removed, just RETRACTED typed across them.

And besides, as I listed twice in comments above, there are two articles by Harriet Hall on the subject as well:

Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 18). Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence.

Harriet Hall (2018 Sep 11). Gender Dysphoria in Children.

While one of Harriet Hall’s articles was retracted, it WAS NOT REMOVED as obviously space_upstairs found it. In addition, it gives links to why it was retracted and to a revised version.

Joel, this is silly. It was removed.

“In this case we felt there were too many issues with the treatment of the relevant science, and leaving the article up would not be appropriate given the standards of SBM.”

The fact that space_upstairs remembers the incident is only that.

@ Narad

NOPE! space-upstairs gave the link: https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/irreversible-damage-the-transgender-craze-seducing-our-daughters/

And, as opposed to several who comment, I checked it out and there it was and still is:

“Book Review: Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, by Abigail Shrier

This article has been retracted. See editors’ notice and link to a more detailed explanation. Comments have been closed. If you wish to continue to comment, go to the more recent article linked to at the beginning of this post.

Note added 6/30/2021: A more detailed description of the editors’ thought process that led to the decision to retract this book review has been posted here. Consequently, we are closing the comments on this post. If you still wish to comment on this issue, please go to the new article”

I would have thought by now that you would have known me better, that is, I don’t refer to things that aren’t there! ! !

Sorry for my imprecision. The content of the article was removed from the site as a result of its retraction (which was for reasons even the author acknowledged were not entirely unfair and political), but you’re right, the link and header remained along with the reasoning behind the retraction, as did all of Dr. Hall’s earlier non-“woke” posts on the topic.

I read the reasons and also have been rereading the later critical follow-up reviews. And it looks like the book itself goes way into political and anecdote-heavy territory and so was rightly worthy of more criticism than praise in a science-based setting. For instance, the book apparently uses the infamous term “gender ideology” which I see as nothing more than a conservative scare term to delegitimize the sociological phenomenon of greater recognition and acceptance of people who…well…defy the status quo regarding what you’re supposed to look like, act like, and want to be called according to what’s between your legs. (And I do wonder why Indie Rebel does not see this status quo as being as worth questioning as, say, germ theory or evolution.)

@ space_upstairs

You write: “Sorry for my imprecision. The content of the article was removed from the site as a result of its retraction (which was for reasons even the author acknowledged were not entirely unfair and political), but you’re right, the link and header remained along with the reasoning behind the retraction, as did all of Dr. Hall’s earlier non-“woke” posts on the topic.”

Perhaps you didn’t notice that on the page you linked to was:
:Further, the original article has already been republished in full on another website, and anyone interested can easily find it there. [Note added: The original review was published on Michael Shermer’s Skeptic website, while a revised version of the review was published on Dr. Hall’s Skepdoc website on July 13. While somewhat improved, it still has most of the same major problems.]”

So, while no longer on Science-Based Medicine, they don’t try to hide it; but link to the original! ! ! While it doesn’t show in this comment, the links are there. I checked them out! ! !

@ space_upstairs

“For instance, the book apparently uses the infamous term “gender ideology” which I see as nothing more than a conservative scare term to delegitimize the sociological phenomenon of greater recognition and acceptance of people who…well…defy the status quo regarding what you’re supposed to look like, act like, and want to be called according to what’s between your legs.”

I do not consider it a “scare”.

We still have plenty of hatred for homosexuals. Granted. I’m witnessing it every day on the far right blog I am following, and it makes my hair stand up on my head.

But we also see really crazy people that are pushing a completely unreasonable agenda.

I, for one, would be more than happy to see sex and gender data disappear entirely on identity cards. I’m also fine with a “male / female / other” distinction.

But I’m not fine with a lunatic like Alice Coffin in my country. Who is elected. And therefore should not be brushed aside as merely a “scare”. When an elected politician is elected, it cannot be dismissed as merely a “scare”.

“In 2020, she published Le Génie lesbien (The Lesbian Genius). In the book, she proposes to women to banish men and men culture from their life.” — wiki

Yeah. Right.

She also opposes marriage because she opposes murder. And, of course, marriage = murder.

That’s a crazy “gender ideology” that should fought to the death, whether or not you hate homosexuals.

This is not merely a scare. It is redefining victimhood. It is redefining male = agressor, female = victim. And I’ve had my fair share of blatant agression by psychiatry that did play on this trope “male = dangerous”. Mommy = psychiatrist made sure that this mental equation followed me wherever I go.

This kind of nonsense is not a game.

I’m happy we do not lock up homosexuals anymore in psychiatry (at least we do not do it officially, but there are always workarounds to achieve that if one really wants to lock up homosexuals). I’m not happy about the craze which you dismiss as a scare.

And, yes, my daughter swallowed the whole gender ideology when she was a toddler. When she started having her periods and realised she was more fond of penises than she initially imagined, she started understanding something was wrong in the way she had been brainwashed. The mental trigger for her was the rainbow flag on the back of books her state-run school gave her just this year. She started seeing that as an ideology that was pushed onto her. And rightly so.

I do recognize illiberalism as a problem, and think it should have stayed in obscure college classes as a debate topic and out of governments just like QAnon should have stayed on 8chan and out of governments. But I hear “gender ideology” and “critical race theory” thrown around very…well…liberally by conservatives opposing mainstream social justice causes. It stinks what happened to your kid, but historically the reverse – gay kids bending over backwards to be straight or at least pass for it – has been a much more common problem. Maybe some of today’s identity politics has illiberal roots, but it can be a noble cause if given a chance (and with the more extreme and functionally impossible positions like female separatism left out).

Perhaps you didn’t notice that on the page you linked to was

Were you just in the mood to denigrate people who corrected you over and over and over (! ! !) or something? You’ve been frankly insulting to people because you were confused. This is normally the point where someone gets it together and apologizes rather than entering a whittling contest. (And no, I’m not talking about myself.)