I’ll start this post by saying that I’d like to thank Steve Kirsch, whose antivaccine stylings I inaugurated 2022 writing about. Why, you ask, would I be thanking such an utter COVID-19 crank and purveyor of antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience? Simple. He led me to another topic that I don’t recall having touched upon since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a topic that back in the day, which now seems like ancient history, I used to address a lot, naturopathy, in particular that horrible pseudospecialty that naturopaths have dubbed “naturopathic oncology.” Mr. Kirsch did this by drawing my attention to a previous topic of this blog, a “naturopathic oncologist” named Colleen Huber, to whose Substack he pointed me. The Substack is entitled, ridiculously given that it’s a naturopath’s blog, The Defeat of COVID, and it is everything you would expect from a Substack by a naturopath—more, even.
Before I address not-a-Dr. Huber’s ramblings on her Substack, I can’t help but note that Substack has become quite the new wretched hive of scum and antivaccine quackery. I realize that I mentioned this last time, but just for yucks I searched the main Substack page for “COVID-19,” and guess what came up first? While it’s true that a good COVID-19 blog, John Skylar’s COVID Transmissions, showed up on the first page of results, it was only the seventh search result. At the top of the list? Justin Hart’s Rational Ground, which has featured on this blog before because it is a veritable cornucopia of COVID misinformation, conspiracy theories, and antivaccine pseudoscience, and one of Rational Ground’s main drivers, Josh Stevenson, had contributed to a particularly awful bit of VAERS dumpster diving over the summer.
To be fair, I have to concede that it’s not all horrible. For instance, second on the list is Amber Schmidtke’s blog The COVID Digest, which seems quite reasonable on first perusal, and at number four is a French COVID blog that seems fairly reasonable. However, at number three is Kanekoa’s Newsletter, complete with an avatar with eyes with that red Bitcoin maven glow and conspiracy-laden posts about, for instance, “inventor of mRNA vaccines” Dr. Robert Malone, while number five has a title that is a dead giveaway for conspiracy theories and pseudoscience, Prometheus Shrugged. (Let’s just say that its content matches its title.) Number eight is RESCUE with Michael Capuzzo, another blog with lots and lots of COVID-19 pseudoscience and conspiracy theories. If you search Substack for “vaccines,” the results are even worse, with Steve Kirsch’s newsletter coming up number one, Robert Malone’s number two, and Joe Mercola’s new “censored library” number three, and barely a science-based Substack newsletter to be seen on the first page. I could go on and on, showing just how much COVID-19 crankery is mixed with a number of more science-based blogs, but I’d rather move on to discuss Not-a-Dr. Huber.
Before discussing what Not-a-Dr. Huber is up to now about COVID-19 and vaccines, let’s take a trip down memory lane. The first time that I recall ever mentioning her was nearly six years ago in a post about the sorts of incredibly quacky things naturopaths say in their private discussion forums, where they think no one with a science-based outlook is watching. At the time Not-a-Dr. Huber was the President of the Naturopathic Cancer Society—a truly scary concept!—where she laid down some seriously antivaccine nonsense. I’ll quote it again, as a precursor to the sorts of things she’s writing now:
Abundant evidence exists that the CDC schedule, and that most vaccines used in the United States, are both dangerous and ineffective.
Over 400 studies in fact, that have been published in the medical literature, including in journals such as: Pediatrics, Lancet, BMJ, JAMA, Infection, Neurodegeneration, showing the risks and failures of vaccines. Many of these studies are referenced in Neil Z. Miller, Critical Vaccine Studies. This book would be a good place for you to start.
If you are interested in learning about the history of vaccines, the most comprehensive and objective book that I have read is Suzanne Humphries, MD, Dissolving Illusions.
It is impossible for you to read either of these and be willing to give even one more vaccine, having learned of the damage already done, the evidence that the vaccinated suffer so much more than the unvaccinated, both from infectious diseases and vaccine side effects. First Do No Harm requires that naturopathic physicians not administer vaccines, at least not in their present form. If a much safer, more effective vaccine is developed in the future, I will keep an open mind, but will not administer it until proven safe and effective in credible, uncorrupted double-blind studies. Those studies have not happened with current vaccines.
Longtime readers might remember Neil Z. Miller, someone with zero expertise in any discipline relevant to evaluating vaccine safety who nonetheless has seemed to manage occasionally to get bad epidemiology studies published in the occasional peer-reviewed journal. Suzanne Humphries might also tweak your memory. As long as a decade ago, she was declaring vaccines “disease matter.” So, obviously, it’s no surprise to see what Not-a-Dr. Huber is saying about COVID-19 vaccines now. For instance, in November, she went full “toxins gambit” with What is in a vaccine?:
Tromethamine (or “Tris”) reduces acid levels in the body following heart surgery or cardiac arrest. Now why would such a substance need to be added to the COVID vaccine? Could it be that a new epidemic of heart disease is being caused by these vaccines in the older age groups? Indeed, we are seeing increased hospitalization around the world, only partially but not mostly attributed to COVID, since widespread COVID vaccine distribution.
Tromethamine’s adverse events, as listed by Drugs.com, include respiratory depression, tissue inflammation and liver damage (hepatocellular necrosis), which are definitely some outcomes that sane people would never risk in order to “protect” a child, or adult for that matter, from a variant of the common cold.
Tris is a commonly used buffer in molecular biology labs, and Not-a-Dr. Huber includes this table from Oxford Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS):
Not-a-Dr. Huber seems to think that being injected with a tiny amount of a solution containing Tris buffer is the same as inhaling powdered Tris into her lungs, ingesting powdered Tris, or getting it into her eyes. (I love to point out that, sure, something like Tris is very irritating to the eyes, but so is lemon juice if you drip it into your eyes.) In any event, Tris wasn’t even in the adult formulation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine; it was added to the children’s version and the adult’s version in November in order to allow the formulation to stay stable at refrigerator temperatures longer. Given that Tris is a buffer that has long been commonly used in a number of FDA-approved products to keep the pH stable, there’s nothing nefarious at all.
Note how not-a-Dr. Huber even repeats a common conspiracy theory about Tris that it was added to the vaccines to decrease the rate of myocarditis and heart problems after vaccination, never mind that this claim is nonsense.
In the same article, not-a-Dr. Huber launches into some very familiar antivax tropes:
Then there is the matter of the history of informed consent, the massively costly lesson of the Holocaust. Informed consent is our era’s strongest defense against fascism; it is the bulwark stipulation ensuring that medical procedures must never be forced on individuals, now enshrined in the Nuremberg Code, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Medical Declaration as well as United States law. Have the vaccinators in your midst ensured that your “refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled, and the subject may discontinue participation at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which the subject is otherwise entitled?” (Code of Federal Regulations)  Have the vaccinators in your midst acknowledged the experimental nature of the COVID vaccines, and that as the public participates in the Phase 3 trials of the COVID vaccines without being so informed, also contrary to informed consent law, the COVID vaccinated people are de facto research subjects? Have the vaccinators in your midst made you aware of any of the above risk mitigation recommendations in the Oxford Materials Safety Data Sheets for the adjuvants they propose to inject into you and your child?
I get tired of repeating this, but I’ll do it again. First, what not-a-Dr. Huber is describing is not “informed consent,” but rather what I like to refer to as “misinformed refusal,” in which risks of the vaccines are vastly exaggerated (or made up or lied about), while the benefits are downplayed or even denied completely. If a person believes the false narrative about vaccines promoted by quacks like not-a-Dr. Huber, then of course they’ll refuse vaccination! Who wouldn’t? That’s the idea: To use false information and fear mongering about the vaccines to frighten people into refusing them, hence my term “misinformed refusal.”
I’m similarly simultaneously amused and annoyed by not-a-Dr. Huber’s misunderstanding of clinical trials and clinical trial ethics. The phase 3 clinical trials of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines involved between them over 70,000 patients and were completed late in 2020. Soon after, the FDA granted emergency use authorizations, first to Pfizer and then to M0derna, for their mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. In other words, the public is not participating “in the Phase 3 trials of the COVID vaccines without being so informed.” What is going on now is post-marketing approval surveillance, not a “phase 3 trial.” Given not-a-Dr. Huber’s utter lack of understanding of human subjects research, no wonder Brit Hermes found evidence of serious ethical lapses (as in failure to get IRB approval) in Huber’s risible attempts to do “naturopathic research” years ago. And don’t get me started on not-a-Dr. Huber’s invocation of the “Nuremberg Code gambit,” which rests on a complete misunderstanding of the Nuremberg Code and is nothing more than a very obvious Godwin. Also, spurious Nazi and Holocaust comparisons that quacks like Huber love to use to describe their critics are arguably a form of Holocaust denial. No wonder she tried to sue ex-naturopath turned skeptic and fierce critic of naturopathy Britt Hermes. Also, it’s no wonder that you can find the same sort of utter bullshit about “experimental vaccines,” the Nuremberg Code, and “toxins” in the vaccines in several other of not-a-Dr. Huber’s Substack articles (for example, in Biden, stop trying to poison us).
Not-a-Dr. Huber’s attempts to silence Britt Hermes lead me to come back to examine the irony of how Huber is now, like so many COVID-19 cranks, quacks, antivaxxers, and conspiracy theorists, a Free Speech Warrior against “medical tyranny”:
However, in this world, my daily blasphemy against Pharma has led to a 3-year targeted harassment campaign against me by the Arizona Naturopathic Physicians Medical Board. Board members could not overtly attack me for speaking out against COVID-pretext tyranny, masks and vaccines, so they chose to attack my patients’ chart notes. I wrote the chart notes, but they belong to the patients, and my patients know that, and have expressed their disapproval of the Board’s actions in the following Petition.
A “three year targeted harassment campaign”? Because they “could not overtly attack me for speaking out against COVID-pretext tyranny, masks and vaccines, so they chose to attack my patients’ chart notes”? Not-a-Dr. Huber, COVID-19 has only been around a little more than two years, and your article is from July! The severe pneumonia first attributed to a novel coronavirus was only first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019. One wonders if the Board had psychic abilities and knew a pandemic was coming a year and a half in advance and that not-a-Dr. Huber would be spreading misinformation about it.
I was initially actually surprisingly heartened by this observation. A board designed to regulate the quackery of naturopathy is actually acting against a naturopath who promotes COVID-19 misinformation? I did not see that coming. I guessed, though, that there is a bit more to this story, and should have realized that not-a-Dr. Huber’s simultaneous claims that the Board was after her for what she had been saying about COVID-19 and that it had been “harassing” her since mid-2018 were a huge red flag that she was just invoking the usual quack persecution complex. So I did some Googling. One thing that I found was minutes from a January 14, 2021 meeting, which included the initial review of a case brought against Huber (Case no. 20-160). Another thing that I found is that the minutes of these meetings stink. I had a hard time figuring out just what the complaint was against Huber, but it appeared to have something to do with an IV infusion:
Dr. Huber was present telephonically. Dr. Huber stated that on the first day, the clinic provides a list of IV ingredients to the patients, but the ingredients and amounts can change day to day.
Dr. Sadilek commented that if you infuse or inject something into somebody, they do have the right to know what it was, and it needs to be documented in the patient chart.
Dr. Popiel stated the chart notes do not indicate what was infused into this patient, and the notes should document that. Dr. Popiel commented the chart notes lack what was actually done with the patient and not what would be considered a proper chart note. Dr. Popiel further commented he saw chart notes that look like they are on spiral note book paper.
Dr. Spat stated he agreed with Dr. Popiel and commented the chart needs to reflect what is in the IV. Dr. Spat commented if he were to take over patient care, he would not know what to do next based on the lack of charting, and that he would need to know what worked and what had not.
Dr. Hubert stated that if a doctor were to take over care, they should not rely on a recipe from the prior doctor.
Dr. Sadilek commented the charts need to be adequate, especially if you are providing care to oncology patients.
Dr. Popiel stated that the chart notes are absolutely inadequate.
The Board made a motion to table the matter for 90 days, request five additional charts from not-a-Dr. Huber for review, and require her to take CME (continuing medical education) in charting. (Characteristically, not-a-Dr. Huber was quoted as not being happy about having to provide her apparently ever-changing “recipe” to another naturopath.) After that, I had a hard time finding anything else about this case. I found an agenda from a July meeting that mentions “review, consideration, and possible action regarding correspondence received from Dr. Colleen Huber and her decision not to sign the consent agreement offered regarding case no. 20-160,” but nothing about what the Board actually discussed or did. Then I found the draft minutes:
Ms. Anthony summarized the new information the Board received by Dr. Huber.
Dr. Spat read an email into the record that he had sent to the board earlier in the day.
Based on the additional information provided the Board, in addition to Dr. Huber’s refusal to sign the consent agreement offered by the Board, Dr. Popiel made a motion to remand the matter to Formal Hearing in front of the Office of Administrative Hearings, to include the additional violations resulting from the additional information sent to the Board by Dr. Huber. Seconded by Dr. Spat.
Roll Call Vote: Motion Carried 6 Ayes, 1 Absent.
There hasn’t been any action that I can find since this July meeting, at least none discussed at a Board meeting. Still, let’s look at a bit of the persecution complex-filled ranting of not-a-Dr. Huber about whatever action is being taken:
If you wanted to maliciously attack a person, and had subpoena power to look at the daily work reports that your prey must produce as part of their job, you could, if you had nothing better to do, argue back and forth to move this word here, and substitute a synonym there, and then spend hours critiquing the charts in general on such frivolous grounds. You could keep up this game, this blatant violation of the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, ad infinitum – provided you don’t get caught – over multiple multi-hour sessions, while at the same time dismissing in one sitting genuine cases in which other naturopathic physicians actually assaulted or recklessly harmed a patient. That is, if your goal were to cause harm to pharma-skeptic doctors and to our patients. It so happens that such activity has been the hobby of the Arizona Naturopathic Physicians Medical Board meetings for at least four of their monthly meetings in 2021 so far. This shouldn’t be surprising. Each of America’s Frontline Doctors have come under harassment by their respective medical boards after beginning to speak out against Team Regime’s predatory behavior, and for publicizing safe, effective, low-cost treatments for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID (and of course SARS-CoV-2’s nearly identical variants).
I laughed out loud reading this. The “whataboutism” over other naturopaths who accused of assaulting patients was particularly rich. Naturopaths like to claim that they are physicians, like, well, us real physicians, only a different variety. They’ve been fighting for licensure in as many states in which they can persuade gullible legislators to pass legislation granting them licensure and setting up formal naturopathic licensing boards. They’ve been doing this all out of a delusion that they are not quacks but real doctors, plus, arguably even more so, out of a motivation to be seen as legitimate medical doctors on par with us “allopathic physicians.”
Here’s the thing. State medical boards can demand to see our charts as part of an investigation. Facing the possibility that your charts could be audited is part of being a real doctor under the regulation of a real state medical board that can investigate complaints against you, and go so far as demanding to audit your charts to look for patterns of problems. If naturopaths have a problem with that, they really shouldn’t have sought licensure. Similarly, for real doctors, charting matters, and substandard charting is indeed an issue that a state medical board can discipline a real doctor over. As much as I hate to include him as an example of a “real doctor,” Dr. Bob Sears does have an MD and is regulated by the California Board of Medicine. Guess what? He was disciplined for inadequate charting, among other things! In any event, as much as I chuckle imagining what a naturopath’s patient chart notes might contain (homeopathy, anyone, perhaps using the saliva of a rabid dog?), I also can’t help but love the irony of a naturopath who was all for being considered a real doctor railing against a fake medical board demanding better documentation of her quackery.
That’s why I couldn’t stop laughing as I read her letter, included in her post and can’t resist quoting a lot of it to you, too, given that it’s public record as part of the proceedings of the Arizona board:
As you also know, Board members are in violation of the US Constitution, particularly as Board members imagine that the Board’s jurisdiction can somehow overrule the First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution, by attempting to install medical tyranny, a centralized authoritarian regime, and/or Board editing of my chart notes. The US Constitution specifically guarantees the right of free speech to all persons. No exception to this right exists in the US Constitution or in US law for medical professionals. Nor do we medical professionals allow such infringement.
In short, all that you and other Board members need to know on that topic is this: The Board and Board members have and will always have ZERO editorial authority over my chart notes. I alone decide what I write every day in patient consult, primarily because of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, but also for the following reasons: 1) because the chart notes are written to serve the patients, not to serve you, and 2) the chart notes are legally the patients’ property, not yours, and 3) because the chart notes are written up to the standards of my clinic, not lowered to the demands of the Board, and 4) because of two people actually present in the consult, I am the one who takes notes documenting the events of the visit. No outside party, including the Board or Board members, can or may exert editorial authority over such documentation, and that determination is final. Furthermore, my rights, as protected by the US Constitution are irrevocable, and no one may infringe on them. That is made very clear by the law, as well as in the Best Practices Manual on Medical Charting that I authored for our clinic. No one on the Board will ever violate my First Amendment rights in the authoring of my chart notes, and that is a fact that each of you will have to live with permanently, or until the end of the United States as a Constitutional Republic, whichever comes last.
The policy of this Clinic is to uphold the US Constitution. Our Clinic’s Medical Charting Policy specifically prohibits any interference by any party (in or out of government) with the writing of chart notes as the doctor sees fit. This Policy is an unshakeable, irreversible, line-in-the-sand bulwark against medical tyranny, and our clinic will not abandon it under any circumstances at any time, for any party, in or out of government, under any pretext. Those of you on the Board who failed to read the US Constitution, federal and state laws, and failed to grasp basic ethics need to get very clear on that, or a judge will soon explain it to you. Yes, this memo contains the threat of a lawsuit. In the attached Petition, my patients explain these basic legal principles to you, because they understand the proper role of the Board quite a bit better than do the members of the Board.
I’m sure any lawyers out there will chuckle heartily, as nothing in the First Amendment prevents states from regulating the professional conduct of doctors, including the level of detail required in the charting. In fact, the entire vibe I get from this incident is that not-a-Dr. Huber doesn’t want to disclose what’s in her intravenous quackery that she administers to her patients. What’s she hiding? What is in those solutions? Or is it more a matter of trade secrets in which she doesn’t want her fellow naturopaths to copy her quackery? In any event, even if patients’ charts “belong to the patient,” that doesn’t mean a medical board can’t demand to audit them as part of an investigation.
In any event, it’s very clear that complaints started before the pandemic; so whatever the Arizona Naturopathic Physicians Medical Board is investigating seems unlikely to have much to do with not-a-Dr. Huber’s COVID-19 misinformation (I bet a lot of naturopaths probably spread the same kind of misinformation.) Even though the case appears to have been brought to the Board’s attention in 2020, it doesn’t appear to be about COVID-19, but rather “oncology patients,” as noted in the minutes quoted above.
Of course, claiming “persecution” and appealing to “free speech” are what cranks always do when criticized. I also find it funny how a “free speech warrior” crying “persecution” was, just six years ago, actively trying to “cancel” a critic. When it comes to COVID-19 quacks (and cranks and quacks of all variety), it seems that those who most complain about being “canceled” have no problem using legal thuggery to try to “cancel” their critics.
Given that naturopathy is quackery, it’s also no surprise that naturopaths would become major COVID-19 quacks as well.
I just saw that the audio to all the meetings of the Arizona Naturopathic Physicians Medical Board are available online. Can I stand to subject myself to the audio of the January 14 and July 8 meetings from last year? I just don’t know.