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R.I.P., Gayle DeLong

Gayle DeLong was an antivaxxer best known for blaming HPV vaccines for infertility and blaming her breast cancer on her children’s autism. Yesterday, I learned that her “autism-induced breast cancer” had recently claimed her life.

My last post of 2021 discussed how that had been the year that the old antivaccine tactic of “dumpster diving” in the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database had been mainstreamed by antivaxxers as part of their ongoing efforts to portray COVID-19 vaccines as deadly. I was reminded of this earlier this week, when I learned of the death of Gayle DeLong, PhD. One reason is that Dr. DeLong’s passing reminded me of a phenomenon that has come to dominate bad science about COVID-19, specifically an expert in one discipline unrelated to vaccines and infectious disease thinking herself an “expert” in COVID-19 vaccines.

Unsurprisingly, the antivaxxers at Age of Autism soon published a memorial and eulogy, noting:

After a seven-year struggle with cancer, Gayle DeLong passed away peacefully on January 5, 2022, at home and with her family. She proudly wore the badge of “Warrior Mom”. She worked relentlessly to lift the burdens of autism from her two daughters, Jennifer and Flora, and to help an entire generation of vaccine-injured children. She was not a physician, but she was an expert statistician, and she was able to calculate both the vested interests of pharmaceutical companies and the human toll their products were exacting.

Meanwhile, other antivaxxers were noting DeLong’s passing on Facebook:

Gayle DeLong R.I.P.

I would, of course, dispute these characterizations. DeLong was hardly an “expert statistician,” at least not in medicine, nor did she “deepen our understanding of widespread iatrogenic injury.” Quite the opposite, in fact, which makes me wonder what possible institution of higher learning would accept a thesis that quoted any of DeLong’s awful studies, as I’ve written about several examples dating back to 2011 of how she manipulated and misused statistics over the years to blame vaccines for autism and female infertility. Indeed, part of the reason I decided to write about her was because she was one of the antivaxxers who “pioneered” bad study designs that have proliferated during the pandemic and been used by COVID-19 antivaxxers to blame COVID-19 vaccines for death, infertility, and general destruction.

DeLong was a an associate professor of economics in the Bert W. Wasserman Department of Economics and Finance at the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College/City University of New York, where her areas of expertise were listed as international finance, financial institutions, and regulated industries. The most recent example of her assumption that her training in statistics for economics was translatable to epidemiology was in 2018, when she published an utterly execrable paper that falsely linked HPV vaccines to female infertility, a paper that was ultimately retracted, ironically right as CoVID-19 was making itself known in Wuhan. Of course, blaming vaccines for female infertility is a very old antivaccine trope that has found new life among antivaxxers in the age of COVID-19, with multiple claims that these vaccines cause either miscarriages, premature ovarian insufficiency, or damage to the ovaries leading to infertility. Same as it ever was, and DeLong was right up there “pioneering” this claim.

Antivax myths about vaccines and infertility summed up by David Byrne.

Another reason why news of DeLong’s death led me to write about her now is that she died of breast cancer. As a surgeon whose professional career has been dedicated to the surgical diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer as well as translational research to improve the care of breast cancer patients, it always saddens me to learn of someone dying of this disease. However, that sadness about DeLong as a human being dying of the disease to whose eradication I’ve devoted my life is tempered by how she had decided to announce that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer back in 2014, which was shocking at the time—even to me. What do I mean?

To boil it all down, Gayle DeLong blamed her having developed breast cancer on her daughters’ autism (which she of course blamed on vaccines), publishing an article on the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism entitled entitled The Lesser of Two Evils: Breast Cancer and Autism. (Hint: Guess which of the two DeLong considered to be the “lesser of two evils.” Further hint: It wasn’t breast cancer.”) She even coined a term for her breast cancer, “autism-induced breast cancer” (AIBC) to describe it. Unfortunately, her “AIBC” claimed her life early Wednesday morning after nearly eight years, as announced by her daughter on Twitter, who had first announced that her mother had been hospitalized in late December:

And then:

And:

Again, because I’m a breast cancer surgeon, I am never happy to see the disease claim someone, even when it is someone who has been as dedicated to spreading antivaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories as Ms. DeLong was. Still, DeLong’s claim that autism (more specifically, the stress of caring for her autistic daughters) caused her breast cancer implies that autism claimed her life, which, if you accept her belief that vaccines caused autism, further implies that vaccines ultimately claimed her life. With that in mind, I understand that the family is grieving, but among all the lionization of Ms. DeLong that we are seeing from antivaxxers, I couldn’t help but wonder how her daughters reconcile their mother’s oft-expressed belief that they were somehow “damaged” by vaccines (to the point that the stress of raising them had caused her to develop breast cancer) with their belief that she had “worked tirelessly for a great future” for her daughters with autism.” Maybe she changed during the eight years since she had blamed her cancer on her daughters’ autism.

To see what I mean, let’s go back and look at DeLong’s essay, The Lesser of Two Evils: Breast Cancer and Autism, in which she clearly stated that autism was not only evil, but not the lesser of two evils.

Don’t believe me? Take a look:

I have autism-induced breast cancer (AIBC). While I am not absolutely certain that the 1.9 centimeter lump that grew in my left breast is the result of the stress of raising two autistic children, all indications point in that direction. There is virtually no cancer in my family, I eat organically, I exercise, I’m a good weight. OK, so I live in the toxic dump known as New Jersey, but that is the only other major risk factor. No, the drop in cortisol levels whenever one kid’s school calls or the other kid has a public “flare up” is enough for the cancer to take root.

I took this opportunity nearly eight years ago to point out that DeLong’s conflation of the two shows that it’s not just autism and vaccines about which she labored under major delusions, but medicine and cancer as well. She was expressing two very common misconceptions about cancer. First, she was assuming that breast cancer must be familial and can’t hit someone with “no cancer” in her family. As I explained at the time, in the case of breast cancer, while it’s true that there is a familial component and that there are specific genes, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, that, when mutated, result in an enormously elevated lifetime risk of breast cancer compared to women without such mutations, the simple fact is that no more than 10% of breast cancer cases have an identifiable familial or genetic component. That means around 90% of breast cancer cases are what we call “sporadic”; i.e., “we can’t identify a specific cause.” While it is true that there are well-characterized other risk factors for breast cancer, such as age, early menarche, late menopause, nulliparity, and others, the magnitude of the breast cancer risk increase due to these factors is way less than a strong family history or an identified cancer-predisposing mutation in BRCA1.

DeLong’s second misconception, shared by many in the world of alternative medicine, was that “living right” is some sort of silver bullet that should prevent cancer, the implication being that, because she had “lived right” (and had no cancer in her family) it was unfair of the universe to have inflicted breast cancer on her, and there “must be a reason”—or at least another reason or cause for her cancer besides randomness and bad luck. This is also an alternative medicine concept that undergirds every antivaccine conspiracy theory about all the horrible things blamed on vaccines by antivaxxers. Just as breast cancer can’t “just happen” to me, autism, for example, can’t “just happen” to my child! There had to have been a cause, and that cause was vaccines! Yes, the very same thinking that led DeLong to blame “something” for her breast cancer is the same thinking that has sustained the false idea that vaccines cause autism. So if it wasn’t genetic or due to diet, then DeLong’s breast cancer must have been due to “stress” from raising two autistic girls. Never mind that the evidence linking stress as a cause to breast cancer was pretty weak then and isn’t really much better now.

Now here’s where DeLong got really bad:

So, I speak from experience when I say Stage 1 breast cancer has nothing on autism.  The differences are vast and significant.  Unlike autism, no one is telling me to “celebrate” my cancer.  No one is telling me that cancer is “just a different way for cells to grow.”  People have told me that we’ve always had cancer, but no one is using that is an excuse for not doing anything about it.  No one is blaming me (or my mother) for my cancer.  Unlike a person with autism, society does not say my cancer is my fault.  Another difference is that in three years, I’ll either be dead or cured.  Autism is not tangible, so it neither exists concretely nor definitely leaves the body.  Although cancer could do to me what autism did to Avonte Oquendo, the chances of dying from a tumor that I treat properly are small and growing smaller. 

I pointed out the fallacy behind DeLong’s claim that in three years she’d be either dead or cured; so I won’t belabor that point other than to give the CliffsNotes version. Certain kinds of breast cancer can recur up to decades later, unfortunately. Even the kinds of breast cancer prone to early recurrence can recur longer than three years after seemingly successful treatment.

Also note how DeLong claimed that “society” says that autism in her children was her fault. That, of course, is far from true; that is, if you look at what medicine says, namely that autism is primarily genetic. In fairness, it is true that there was a discredited hypothesis known as the “refrigerator mother” hypothesis that claimed that autism was caused by a cold and distant mother, but that hypothesis had long ago been discredited by 2014. That’s not what DeLong was likely referring to anyway. It is certainly true that antivaxxers who believe that vaccines cause autism blame themselves for having vaccinated their children, DeLong was clearly equating the antivaccine circles in which she had been traveling to “society” at large. Particularly offensive was her explicit likening of autism to cancer, in which she proclaimed that “no one is telling me that cancer is ‘just a different way for cells to grow.’” This suggested to me at the time that she viewed her autistic children as cancers, or at least their autism as bad as any cancer, hence her resentment at the neurodiversity movement that has sought to destigmatize autism. Even worse, was her referring to the case of Avonte Oquendo. This was a teenage boy with autism who had walked out of his school to go missing whose remains were found months later. In other words, DeLong made the connection between her view of cancer and her view of autism even more explicit: Both to her were killer diseases, but there was a difference. Her cancer is potentially curable.

Finally, DeLong suggested that she was going to treat her cancer with woo:

However, one major similarity exists between breast cancer and autism: the “wisdom” of the experts. The standard of care for cancer includes popping this sucker out of my breast, and I’m fine with that. However, I’m more than a bit uneasy about the radiation treatment that the surgeon has recommended post-op. Taking a sledge hammer to my breast may indeed kill the cancer, but what about the organ that lies directly under my breast, my heart? If 10 or 20 years from now I develop a heart condition – which is also unheard of in my family – would it be the result of the radiation or just bad stuff happening to good people? The cancer experts don’t care; after all, the cancer didn’t return! Except that sometimes (often?) cancer does return, perhaps because radiation can cause cancer? And don’t get me started about chemo! I didn’t question the established wisdom concerning vaccines, and my kids have autism. I won’t repeat that mistake. I’ll look for alternatives, weigh the options, and determine the best path for me. Amazing how a little pain in the breast can turn one into a huge pain in the derrière.

Again, as I pointed out at the time, radiation oncologists actually do care very much about toxicity to the heart from radiation therapy that catches part of the cardiac muscle and have long been working on ways to minimize that toxicity. More interesting to me is the common theme between her thinking about autism and cancer, namely that conventional medicine and science were wrong. To her medicine had been “wrong” about vaccines and autism, and as a result her daughters were autistic because she had vaccinated them. This distrust of medicine was threatening to carry over to her treatment of her breast cancer, leading me to speculate that I might have been witnessing the beginning of another alternative cancer treatment testimonial and to hope that she didn’t become this kind of “testimonial.”

I was curious how DeLong had treated her cancer, but was unable to find much about it. If I had to guess, I’d guess that she likely did undergo surgery, at least, but probably eschewed any sort of local or systemic adjuvant therapy, like radiation, chemotherapy, or estrogen-blocking therapy, but I really don’t know. It’s possible that she was persuaded to do everything that her doctors recommended and still relapsed. It happens. As I always tell my patients with stage I breast cancer, their odds of surviving their cancer are excellent, but not 100%. If the expected survival rate of a given cancer at a given stage is 95%, that still means that one out of twenty patients will ultimately succumb to their disease, and if you happen to be one of those unlucky patients it’s 100% to you. In any event, if you look at the comments after DeLong’s AoA article, you’ll see all sorts of believers in cancer quackery suggesting treatments to her, including laetrile, Burt Birkson’s LDN/ALA infusions, bleach (a.k.a. Miracle Mineral Solution), turpentine, orgonite, the “zapper,” and others.

I’ll conclude by going through DeLong’s history a bit, starting with the very first time that I encountered her, way back in 2011. At that time DeLong came to my attention through a very bad study that she published trying to link vaccines to autism. The key problem with that study was the ecological fallacy, in which she assumed that group-level correlations translated to correlations in individuals in the population groups studied, but she also ignored major potential confounders. From there, she moved on to another common theme among antivaxxers, the “pharma shill gambit,” in which she used deceptive arguments to suggest unreconcilable “conflicts of interest” in vaccine safety research. She then continued, publishing a truly incompetent study that blamed female infertility on HPV vaccines. It’s a very old idea that vaccines “sterilize our girls.” Unfortunately, this idea has been repeatedly resurrected in COVID-19-era claims that COVID vaccines cause miscarriages and infertility, claims that began as soon as the vaccines were distributed under an emergency use authorization (EUA) and continue to this day.

As I remember Gayle DeLong and say RIP, even as I rail against the disease that finally claimed her, I still can’t help but remember that she spent the last 10-15 years promoting antivaccine misinformation, in particular one flavor of misinformation blaming vaccines for infertility that has become prominent among antivaxxers over COVID-19 vaccines. She didn’t deserve breast cancer or deserve to die of it, but her death from it doesn’t erase her history of misinformation about vaccines, no matter how much antivaxxers try to portray her as a hero.

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]

78 replies on “R.I.P., Gayle DeLong”

I think these people read “it’s genetic” as “it’s your fault.” I think that’s the blaming the mother she had in mind.

Especially ironic – those statements – since her “I did everything right” statements, as you said elsewhere, are an implicit “for most cancer victims, it’s their fault because they were doing it wrong” – clearly blaming cancer victims for their own predicament.

I learned a new phrase at a subreddit (Herman Cain Awards, possibly) called Hero of your Own Story, or something like that. Basically it’s another term for narcissism. I also found a subreddit for people raised by narcissists.

It’s been a long time since something not Covid-related has made me this ragey. As if the tired old vaccines-causing-autism trope isn’t bad enough- Autism-Induced Breast Cancer? Her poor daughters. Not only did their mother hate a huge part of what makes them who they are, she placed the blame for her illness at their feet (or at their neurotype). How heartbreaking for them.

She blamed her daughters for her cancer.
She blamed her daughters for her cancer in print, in a place where they will likely find it (if they haven’t already, if she didn’t say it to their faces).

How can anyone be so cruel? To their own children?

So now, not only do these young women not have their mother anymore, but they will have to carry the guilt of thinking that they caused their mother’s illness, and also the knowledge that she chose to blame them. She could have blamed fate or bad lucky, but instead blamed her children.

Yes, but here’s what I predict. Antivaxxers will excoriate me for writing this only two days after DeLong’s death, calling me “insensitive,” “crass,” “nasty,” etc., even though I went out of my way to try to remain empathetic but “real” in recounting the misinformation that DeLong promoted while she was alive. They never criticized her that I can find for having blamed her daughters for her breast cancer nearly eight years ago, nor in the eight years since, even though that was a horrible thing to do. The reason is simple Antivaxxers are ableist and many of them really do view autism as worse than cancer. They agreed with her and sympathized with her, not her daughters.

Orac, you are perfectly justified in documenting Ms..DeLong’s public legacy. It’s bad enough when people liken autism to cancer; so much worse that anyone could attribute the one to the other. What an abomination. I wish her children, her husband and all of her loved ones comfort and peace.

even though I went out of my way to try to remain empathetic

In support of this, I will say the reading of your post resulted in utter sadness in me. For Mrs Delong, for her two poor daughters.
It is a tragedy. Not something I feel like gloating or being self-righteous about. Your article did not send me that way.

That being said, if I was to express some criticism toward the deceased, as said by JustaTech, there is the minor matter of publicly blaming her cancer on her daughters’ condition.

@ Orac,

If you cared so much about her daughters, you would take Jenny’s social media screenshots out of this post.

Jenny is a young autistic adult who interacts socially at about the level of a 12 year old child. She has been my friend for years & likes to try to engage my severely autistic teenager & I communicate with her similar to how I would a 6th grader. That is her current level of functioning.

Her posts, unlike those of the non developmentally disabled adults you enjoy writing about (RFK, Wakefield, et al) should NOT be considered fair game. She lacks the capacity to defend herself or to engage in a meaningful discussion.

Your featuring her posts will draw haters to her & they will attack & bully her & she is already extremely depressed about losing her mom. I can’t believe you would find this acceptable; it’s predatory. Please, PLEASE take them down?

She also called it “bad things happening to good people.” Sorry, but I don’t consider ableism and dehumanizing of people, especially one’s own children, a trait of good people. The reality is cancer is not a bad person’s disease (to paraphrase Golden Girls in honor of Betty White).

This is an emotionally eclectic post, Orac. (antivaxxer, autism, breast cancer, retraction, RIP, RI, motherhood, misinformation, family pictures, etc…)

MJD says,

I appreciate both Orac and Gayle for placing their thought-provoking ideas and opinions into the public domain. Thank you!

My oldest is autistic and had ten years of speech therapy, and my youngest is a speech/language pathologist. They both had hearing impaired friends because their school happened to be one where there were deaf/hard of hearing services (including an on site audiologist).

I was particularly offended when she assumed every child getting speech/language intervention in a school setting was autistic. Her understanding of the complexity speech/language issues was pretty much non-existent. She obviously never talked to any of the other parents in an SLP clinic waiting room, nor crack open a book on the subject.

Our youngest had speech therapy as a child. At the end of his schooling he was Dux of the school and scored in the top 5% of students in the state. His problem was entirely physical.

Like you, DeLong’s attitude to children with disabilities made my blood boil.

About deaf kids as an analogy….One of my elementary classmates in a tiny private school was deaf and had no access at all to special ed, which didn’t exist then, or any support whatsoever. She just kept failing and falling behind thanks to a rather unbalanced, unsympathetic, and untrained teacher. Jump ahead twenty years. In spite of also having CFS, she went on to earn two PhDs and was on the faculty of Gallaudet for almost her entire working life. Our impression as kids was that she was treated as though her deafness made her less intelligent. How 19th century….

Thankfully she had a mother who was the polar opposite of this woman. Her brother had also been born deaf, and their mother fought tooth and nail to emphasize that their disabilities made her own life stronger and better and never limited her life in any way even though she developed serious medical problems later herself. At that point her deaf children supported her. Their deafness was never an excuse for any of her own problems. This woman sounds like the ultimate passive-aggressive.

The education of the deaf has many controversies (including the suppression of ASL, and the horrible Signing Exact English). In the early 1990s the only information I could get on non-speaking children were books about deaf children. One I found very useful was “Train Go Sorry” by Leah Hager Cohen.

Finally in 1995 a speech therapist, Patricia McAleer Hamaguchi, wrote an actual useful book for parents who have kids with speech/language disorders (and there are many diagnoses). What was very useful was the lists where to get services at the end. There are not more resources for parents.

Heck, my completely NT hearing aunt had speech therapy as a child because she was late in learning to pronounce her R’s. (My mom once joked her sister was in “the Wed Wobin” club in kindergarten). My niece has mild CP and had speech therapy, among others, to address its impact.

Often sceptics cautiously tip toe around the issue because we do not wish to sound insensitive about people who have suffered adverse conditions ( illness, children with serious conditions, poverty, divorce etc) BUT to be truthful, there is an entire class of anti-vaxxers – mostly mothers- who spend incalculable amounts of time on the internet MISINFORMING parents about vaccines and other health concerns, cavalierly advising parents which can harm children and others by avoidance of vaccines and other reasonable professional medicine.

Because someone has suffered it does not give them carte blanche to spread misinformation or not be accountable for their own words and actions especially when their words / actions can cause harm to others. Suffering doesn’t make it alright to cause others to suffer.

Jennifer Rose seems like a pretty normal kid. Enters beauty contests, is articulate and writes well. There are so many ways a child can cause stress to a parent and getting a phone call from school seems pretty low on the list.

Seriously. If having a stressful childrearing experience was actually a cause of cancer then freaking every other woman in the would would have breast cancer.

But since having a child in the NICU or PICU is not a cause of cancer (it would be an easy population to study) then it’s just cruelty to suggest that these young women are some kind of super-carcinogen.

Did miss DeLong read some books on German New Medicine?

My mom got breastcancer when she was in her sixties. She got a breast taken away and lived cancerfree for the rest of her life.
What should I blame her cancer on?
Me being a problem-child, seeing people who should help me and my parents, psychologists and the like. It appeared I had some minor braindamage. Some people nowadays seem to think I have some form of autism. Not sure about that. I don’t even care.
Or me being transgendered?
I suppose it was just bad luck, just like her thyriod problems, her heart problems and the cerebral haemorhage that killed her.

Addendum to clarify my above personal response to this news:
Nice informative article, Orac.
Thanks for the facts.

These claims were all made in the US Supreme Court this week
– 99% of hospitalized are un-vaccinated
– over 100,000 children hospitalized
– 750 million positive cases yesterday
– vaccines stop transmission
– Omicron deadlier than Delta
– OSHA has broad police power

And everyone here is making a story about what a woman who died of cancer said, talk about misinformation.

WOW

This is your big opportunity! Start your own blog to discuss the important topics that others, like Orac, are overlooking. You have first mover advantage. Serve ads and the millions of page hits from people hungering for your important news will make you rich! What are you waiting for? Strike while the iron is hot.

You should really tell us how you know that these claims are false. and cite relevant Supreme Court papers. Your source could be unreliable, you know.

@ Charles

You write: “Charlessays:
January 8, 2022 at 4:21 pm
These claims were all made in the US Supreme Court this week
– 99% of hospitalized are un-vaccinated
– over 100,000 children hospitalized
– 750 million positive cases yesterday
– vaccines stop transmission
– Omicron deadlier than Delta
– OSHA has broad police power

And everyone here is making a story about what a woman who died of cancer said, talk about misinformation.

WOW”

Nope. What plaintiff says in front of the Supreme Court doesn’t necessarily reflect what science, CDC, WHO, etc. say. For instance, vaccines don’t always completely stop transmission; but they lower the number of viruses and often, as the immune system revs up, do stop transmission. Nope. Omicron not deadlier than Delta; but much more transmissible, so as more and more people infected then even a milder variant will cause severe illness in some. Just look at how our hospitals are being overwhelmed. By law, OSHA has limited police powers. Look it up.

Why focus on a woman who died of cancer. Maybe because she was a major player among the antivaccinationists and her blaming her cancer on her children, etc. just shows the lengths that antivaccinationists will go to blame vaccines. She believed vaccines caused her kids autism and the extra effort needed by her lead to her cancer. Well, there are tons of women who have kids with autism who didn’t receive a vaccine and, yep, these kids need more effort; but they didn’t get cancer and there is NO scientific evidence, NONE, that stress caused by problems with children cause any type of cancer.

So, cite plaintiffs, not scientists. You might as well just go to some antivax website and copy and paste their unscientific irresponsible BS.

Joel, you are an idiot.
Those claims were made by Justice Sotomayor not by some plaintiff.
Even the WP had to fact check those statements and called them false.
“Sotomayor’s false claim that ‘over 100,000’ children are in ‘serious condition’ with covid”.

Aarno you need to have the conversation with Joel.
“Your source could be unreliable, you know.”

“So, cite plaintiffs, not scientists. You might as well just go to some antivax website and copy and paste their unscientific irresponsible BS.”
Which proves, you just comment on anything and everything without facts or knowledge.

Sotomayor is not a scientist either
My argument was that you should cite actual numbers. How many procent of people in hospital for COVIDv are unvaccinated ? This is more important than Sotomayor’s statement

@ Charles

And Sotomayor is a ??? Epidemiologist??? Infectious Disease Expert???

So, whether it was plaintiffs or Supreme Court Justice, NO EVIDENCE IT WAS MORE THAT THEIR SUBJECTIVE OPINIONS. Did Sotomayo refer to any actual CDC documents?

You write: “Even the WP had to fact check those statements and called them false.”

So, you ignored this and just reposted in your comments what a Justice said.

And you write: ” Quoting me: “So, cite plaintiffs, not scientists. You might as well just go to some antivax website and copy and paste their unscientific irresponsible BS.”
Which proves, you just comment on anything and everything without facts or knowledge.”

Same difference. Even knowing what Sotomayor said was wrong, you still just repost it. Typical, since you keep posting antivax claims.

It is you who just “comment on anything and everything without facts or knowledge.”

Do you even understand that you comment with antivax info that has been refuted, this time by Washington Post, and, yet, in your intellectually dishonest stupid mind, you still continue???

joel

“Do you even understand that you comment with antivax info that has been refuted, this time by Washington Post,”

That ‘antivaxx info’ you refer to (that I posted)

“– 99% of hospitalized are un-vaccinated
– over 100,000 children hospitalized
– 750 million positive cases yesterday
– vaccines stop transmission
– Omicron deadlier than Delta
– OSHA has broad police power”

is MISINFORMATION stated in court, by members of the supreme court (sotomayor is a justice on the supreme court, if you didn’t know).

“Did Sotomayo refer to any actual CDC documents?”
And of course there would be no CDC documents to support the misinformation the justices put into the record.

WP was fact checking what the justices claimed/said in court and proved it was wrong (it gave them 4 pinocchios), The WP agreed with me, again to the list, I did not claim any of what was on that list as true, it came from the WP. Is your reading comprehension that bad?

You were making my case, with this paragraph.

“Nope. What plaintiff says in front of the Supreme Court doesn’t necessarily reflect what science, CDC, WHO, etc. say. For instance, vaccines don’t always completely stop transmission; but they lower the number of viruses and often, as the immune system revs up, do stop transmission. Nope. Omicron not deadlier than Delta; but much more transmissible, so as more and more people infected then even a milder variant will cause severe illness in some. Just look at how our hospitals are being overwhelmed. By law, OSHA has limited police powers. Look it up.”

then it all went to pieces on you and when you falsely claimed what I posted was from the plaintiffs or some anitvax webiste

“So, cite plaintiffs, not scientists. You might as well just go to some antivax website and copy and paste their unscientific irresponsible BS.”

So the bottom line is you’re still an IDIOT.

Charles seems to be drawing from this court transcript:
https://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/2021/21a244_kifl.pdf

Charles:

These claims were all made in the US Supreme Court this week
– 99% of hospitalized are un-vaccinated

I can’t find anything in the transcript that says that. Can anyone?

– over 100,000 children hospitalized

The transcript says: “We have hospitals that are almost at full capacity with people severely ill on ventilators. We have over 100,000 children, which we’ve never had before, in — in serious condition and many on ventilators.”

So perhaps that could be implied from the transcript, but the transcript doesn’t actually say what’s claimed.

While it’s almost certainly not true as the current number of cases, as the quote seems to suggest, it doesn’t seem to be too far off the mark as a total. The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker says that there were 84582 cases in the US in the age range 0-17years from 1 Aug 2020 to 7 Jan 2022.

– 750 million positive cases yesterday

That’s said by Sotomayor, but it’s clear from later discussion between the judges that the number of daily cases being discussed was 750000.

750000 is not a wild number: according to Worldometer, the numbers are jumping around a lot, but there were more than 800000 cases on Jan 6 and Jan 7, though the numbers were considerably lower on other recent days. The hearing was on 7 Jan.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/#graph-cases-daily

– vaccines stop transmission

I can’t find anything in the transcript where Sotomayor says that. The only thing I can find is where Benjamin Flowers (Ohio Solicitor General) speaks of Sotomayor saying pretty much the opposite: “MR FLOWERS: … as Justice Sotomayor suggests and as the amicus brief from the American Commitment Foundation shows, vaccines do not appear to be very effective in stopping the spread or transmission.”

– Omicron deadlier than Delta

Sotomayor appears to be referring to total numbers, rather than the case fatality rate. That’s may well turn out to be true in the USA, but the numbers there aren’t that bad yet.

In fact, the highest daily death rates in the USA weren’t in either the current Omicron outbreak, nor in the Delta outbreak, but back in Jan 2021.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/#graph-cases-daily

– OSHA has broad police power

There is discussion over whether the OHSA has police powers, and it ends:
“MR. FLOWERS: It allows them [OHSA] to address health in the context of the workplace.
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: Exactly.”

prl

Nice spin, does your washer have other cycles.

I have to issues two corrections.
Breyer is the one who said “750 million”
Kagan was the “99%”

Having corrected those two slight errors, I really don’t see how anyone could possibly misinterpret what Sotomayor actually said. “We have over 100,000 children,” she said, “which we’ve NEVER HAD BEFORE, in serious condition and many on ventilators.” the discussion was on Omicron.

By your own words their have only been 86,000 children hospitalized for covid SINCE the start, 2 years ago.

And to rebut your statement, I will use the CDC directors own words.
“In some hospitals that we’ve talked to, up to 40% of the patients who are coming in with COVID are coming in not because they’re sick with COVID but because they’re coming in with something else and have had COVID or the omicron variant detected,”
boston.com/news/coronavirus/2022/01/07/massachusetts-changing-covid-hospitalizations-data-reporting-with-because/

Walensky just confirmed what the conspiracy theorist have been saying since the Covid virus started, that they are over counting Covid hospitalization (and probably deaths). She also said something interesting.

“The overwhelming number of death, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities.”

And as to your statement about lethality of Omicron vs Delta vs regular Alpha/Delta Covid
When Omicron was found in the US the death toll from Covid was about 800,000 since Omicron was found the death toll is now at 834,077 so as you see Omicron has a long way to go to compare to Alpha Delta.

Charles:

Breyer is the one who said “750 million”
Kagan was the “99%”

You are correct that it was Breyer that mentioned 750 million. You ignored the fact that the rest of the discussion was about 750000 cases the previous day, which is the correct number, even a low estimate for the actual number for Jan 6, the day before the hearing.

I can’t find the number 99 anywhere in the transcript I linked to other than as a page number. I also searched for 98 in case you were rounding a more precise number up. It also only appeared as a page number.

Perhaps you could provide the context of where that “99% of hospitalized are un-vaccinated” claim came from.

The rest of your post really fails to answer anything else that I wrote.

Anybody guess why Massachusetts is changing the way hospitals are counting Covid cases ?

Because we have a democrat in the white house and the numbers are now higher then when a republican was president

Are they going to go back and revise the numbers when Trump was in office?

boston.com/news/coronavirus/2022/01/07/massachusetts-changing-covid-hospitalizations-data-reporting-with-because/

Read the article yourself. It seems a sensible decision.

They are not hiding cases, just dividing them into two groups.

Since the vaccines are so good at protecting from severe disease, not everyone who tests positive needs treatment for Covid-19.

You know, Charles, highjacking a thread about a woman death from cancer to gripe about your garbled view of US covid politics is very unpolite.

Go post your garbage under one of the covid posts. It’s not like there weren’t plenty of them.

In other news…. ( OT but hey, the post is a few days old)

Top men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, had the cancellation of his visa overturned in AUS allowing him to play in the Australian Open. He spent a few days in a hotel designated for this situation. He is unvaccinated but has tested positive for Covid in the past six months ( in December).
From all I can discern, he appears to be an anti-vaxxer and has a few other odd beliefs about health.

I get all of my medical advice from celebrities. It would help if they would all get together and resolve the conflicts and inconsistencies in what they advise.

I envision these film and sports celebrities getting together to deal with these issues. They can call it the Celebrity Health and Uniform Medical Practices forum (CHUMP).

Djokovic may still have his visa cancelled, since the relevant minister can simply cancel it by fiat. From the reports that I’ve seen, that would also mean that Djokovic would be unable to enter Australia for 3 years, regardless of his vaccination status.

With the Prime Minister having already publicly stated that Djokovic should not be allowed to stay, it looks like the Australian government will need to choose between being seen as weak or being seen as vindictive.

There have been some reports here that if Djokovic chooses to remain unvaccinated, he may also face similar difficulties playing at the French Open this year.

I’m disappointed that they caved to him. Rules are rules and they should apply to everyone equally, tennis star or no.

I wonder if any other tennis players are going to pull out of the Australian Open to avoid being around Mr Vector.

The grounds for the restoration of Djokovic’s visa were procedural. He was held by a Federal Circuit judge to have not been given his requested access to lawyers or Tennis Australia when he was asked to give grounds why his visa should not be revoked:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-11/novak-djokovic-tennis-australia-immigration-border-force/100748954#live-blog-post-1207516016

I was sure that page once had a link to the full transcript of the judgement, but it doesn’t seem to be there now.

There are now also reports that Djokovic may have made false statements (unrelated to his COVID infection or vaccination status) in his visa application:
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-11/questions-novak-djokovic-travel-entry-form-australia/100750334

JustaTech:

I wonder if any other tennis players are going to pull out of the Australian Open to avoid being around Mr Vector.

I haven’t seen any reports of that so far.

One Australian player, Nick Kyrgios, had to withdraw from one of the lead-up tournaments, the Sydney Tennis Classic, and it is uncertain whether he will play in the AO, because he tested positive for COVID.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-10/kyrgios-contracts-covid-19-may-miss-open/100748556

@ Charles

prl in his comment above makes clear that what you wrote wasn’t even accurate/honest account of what Justice Sotomayor said. So, it is you who are the IDIOT!

Or, worse.

I realize that people like you will twist, distort, or jump on anything or everything that promote your unscientific irrational antivax beliefs. Please, have you ever studied, even read a single book, on immunology, microbiology, history of vaccine-prevented infectious diseases, or epidemiology?

I doubt it; but I guess an ignorant biased close-minded person like you must get some sense of satisfaction calling an old man with over 40 years knowledge of the aforementioned an idiot. Delusions of grandeur! ! !

@ Charles

You write: “When Omicron was found in the US the death toll from Covid was about 800,000 since Omicron was found the death toll is now at 834,077 so as you see Omicron has a long way to go to compare to Alpha Delta.”

First, Omicron has only been around a short time. Second, new findings are that infection with any variant of Covid leads often to autoimmune responses, that is, long covid. Third, even if Omicron isn’t killing many, it is still causing many severe cases, overburdening hospitals where staff already worn out from treating covid. Fourth, if it kills people but not near as many, that is OK with you. Your contempt for your fellow human being is sickening.

@ Charles

You write: “And to rebut your statement, I will use the CDC directors own words.
“In some hospitals that we’ve talked to, up to 40% of the patients who are coming in with COVID are coming in not because they’re sick with COVID but because they’re coming in with something else and have had COVID or the omicron variant detected,”
boston.com/news/coronavirus/2022/01/07/massachusetts-changing-covid-hospitalizations-data-reporting-with-because/
Walensky just confirmed what the conspiracy theorist have been saying since the Covid virus started, that they are over counting Covid hospitalization (and probably deaths).”

Ok, up to, probably less; but for sake of argument, lets accept that figure. That means over 400,000 have died from covid and, yep, the more comorbidities, the higher percentage. But even people with four comorbidies who follow doctors orders, etc. and live longer, some much longer. Obviously, 400,000 premature deaths mean nothing to you. And that is assuming up to 40%, probably less and, the fewer, the more actual deaths from covid.

My grandmother died just before her 91st birthday, 25 years ago, and I would have given anything to have had her even one more year. My dad died at 82, same thing. I have numerous friends who lost loved one, some quite old, some younger, and ALL of them would have loved to have them longer. However, I’m sure you could care less about your friends and I doubt you have any loved ones???

Keep letting the world know your contempt for the value of human life! ! !

The Boston News article that Charles linked to alongside that quote doesn’t contain those words, or anything at all attributed to anyone cited as being from the CDC.

prl-joel
do you people even read the news.
yes CDC walensky was not mentioned in the Boston number, I probably gave you too much credit to actually look up what walensky publicly stated.

realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/01/09/cdc_director_walensky_estimates_40_of_hospitalizations_with_covid_are_not_because_of_covid.html

and in another program

“The overwhelming number of deaths, over 75%, occurred in people who had at least four comorbidities.
So really these are people who were unwell to begin with.”

realclearpolitics.com/video/2022/01/10/cdc_director_rochelle_walensky_75_of_covid_deaths_had_at_least_4_comorbidities.html

So your 400,000 is really 626,250.

“So really these are people who were unwell to begin with”
but I have contempt for value of human life?
“Keep letting the world know your contempt for the value of human life! ! !”

to Joel your still trying to do damage control because you made a fool out of yourself, by accusing me of using a antivax site for the post of what the actual supreme court justices said.

I do read the news, just mostly not from US sources.

So if the link to boston.com was irrelevant to the quote, why was it associated with the quote?

You do not understand what comorbidity is. It is still COVID, even if a comorbity makes it worse. I do not like the argument that people with comorbidities actually reserve.

@ Charles

You write: “to Joel your still trying to do damage control because you made a fool out of yourself, by accusing me of using a antivax site for the post of what the actual supreme court justices said.”

You really are either STUPID or DISHONEST. I did make a mistake. I thought it was plaintiffs that made the statements you put in your comment; but, you were right, it was a Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. I didn’t refer to you using an antivax site. However, you knew what you posted was wrong, that the Washington Post had written so; yet, you still posted because you wanted to discredit those supporting vaccines.

I repeat, you are either STUPID or DISHONEST. Actually, probably BOTH

@ Charles

You write: “to Joel your still trying to do damage control because you made a fool out of yourself, by accusing me of using a antivax site for the post of what the actual supreme court justices said.”

But you also wrote: “Joel, you are an idiot.
Those claims were made by Justice Sotomayor not by some plaintiff.
Even the WP had to fact check those statements and called them false.”

So, you knew that I referred to plaintiffs, not antivax websites; but, yes, I did write: “And you write: ” Quoting me: “So, cite plaintiffs, not scientists. You might as well just go to some antivax website and copy and paste their unscientific irresponsible BS.”

So, I didn’t say you got your quote from antivax websites; but might as well, given you clearly are an antivaxxer and an extremely dishonest one at that.

So, once more, please explain what expertise you have that makes you an antivaxxer????

And, despite what you choose to believe, even if majority of deaths from covid among those with multiple comorbidiies, many have few, even none and nobody knows if they have a genetic predisposition AND credible research has found that majority of those infected with covid, even asymptomatic, have developed various autoimmune diseases. The world isn’t ALL OR NONE. Even if someone doesn’t die, risk from suffering, hospitalizations, long covid, autoimmune disease even among asymptomatics means covid isn’t just a minor disease. Except in the callous mind of people like you

Oh I so hope Jenny doesn’t see this! How dare you troll a disabled young adults social media to post on your blog!

Jenny is my friend. She invites my son to participate in her drawing challenges & I’ve shared his art before with her. In fact, they shared art over Christmas. My son is much more impaired than she is so sweet & but always tries to include him.

Shame on you for using her social media, which is basically the only interaction with society that she is capable of, something she works VERY hard at; to disparage her mother. The mother she needed so badly & whose loss has devastated her. You must be so proud.

Take. Jenny’s. Posts. Down.

Was typing so fast I flubbed that whole sentence up. It’s supposed to say:

“My son is much more impaired than she is but she is so sweet & always tries to include him.”

Friends don’t say disparaging things about friends in public. I expect you could have made this request without putting her down. You don’t seem particularly worried about her seeing your comments.

You’re no more a friend to her than the rest of the anti vaccine community.

@ coschristi

Wow! You missed the entire point of Orac’s article, namely that Gayle DeLong blamed her kids for her breast cancer. Yep, kids need their mothers; but I wouldn’t call someone a good mother who blames her children. And I doubt they were unaware of it.

You really don’t know when to stop.

Oh just stop, Joel. Gayle never blamed her daughters; she blamed autism. Yes; family caregivers of children with severe autism face such an overwhelming lack of appropriate support that we frequently delay obtaining medical care for ourselves.

I’ve spent nights in the ER with my autistic child sleeping on my gurney, while I sat slumped in a chair during a blood transfusion. I’ve put off routine check-ups so many times, because I got those emergency phone calls from the school & had to fly across town to de-escalate him during mostorous meltdowns & bring him home.

There are so many times I delayed care, that something “treatable because it was caught early”; wouldn’t have been.

So just stop. And Orac can write about Gayle all he wants, what I’m asking, is that he takes the links to Jenny’s posts down, or it will direct traffic to her social media & since she functions at about the level of a 12 year old child, she will be unable to navigate negative comments. She is extremely depressed right now & I’m afraid she will start to self harm.

Understand?

Gayle never blamed her daughters; she blamed autism.

She’s implicitly blaming her daughters for something they couldn’t control.

@ coschristi

The fact that Jenny is sweet is beside the point. I think it great she is sweet despite having a mother who blamed her for her breast cancer. There are a lot of kids who are decent despite having parents who mistreated them and, yep, blaming a kid for cancer is certainly mistreating them. You really don’t get it, do you?

As problematic as it is to trust Christine, who has a history of saying incorrect things, since we do not have direct information about Prof. DeLong’s daughter, I think it might make sense to remove her tweet – it’s not as if the post and its points can’t stand without it. If there’s a chance that it could hurt Ms. DeLong, who is not at any fault here, I think we should avoid that.

Orac, would you consider removing those tweets? I really think you made all the important points without them.

@ Joel,

Shut up about all that already. Orac just posted links to the social media account of a severely depressed person with autism who functions socially as a 12 year old child.

Jenny can NOT navigate a pro/antivax argument online. She will start getting disparaging remarks about her mom, who she is grieving for & she has a history of self-harm.

Her mom used to facilitate & monitor her online communication for this reason. The consequences for Orac linking to her could be disastrous.

Her mom used to facilitate & monitor her online communication for this reason.

Control? Are you sure you’re not projecting? The mind reading does seem to suggest it.

The consequences for Orac linking to her could be disastrous.

Great, Quinn Martin mode. How about an (admittedly dated) profile in which the family isn’t portrayed by you, Christine?

@ coschristi

OK, I’ll go along with Dorit’s suggestion; however, are you really Christine Kincaid? Christine Kincaid was or is the person who had twins that were extremely low birthweight and extremely premature. Studies find both high probability of serious defects and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; but despite this Christine Kincaid blamed it on a vaccine. Oh, and she also mentioned she had genetic problems, which she could have passed on. How convenient to blame a vaccine. And, while Dorit’s suggestion may be OK, doesn’t change that DeLong was disgusting person to blame her breast cancer on her kids. Do you defend that? After all, you like to blame anything and everything, despite going against science.

@ Joel,

Sigh. Yes I’m Christine Kincaid. About the same time the little “like” star appeared as an option on the comments here, WordPress just started signing me in as “coschristi” automatically. Since the avatar is the same, I didn’t think it’d be a huge mystery.

Gayle didn’t blame her kids; she blamed autism.

When you are familiar with the well documented evidence of cortisol levels in parent caregivers of the severely autistic & when you understand that elevated cortisol suppresses the function of the NK cells, allowing cancer causing viruses to take hold; we can discuss the validity of Gayle’s claim that being an autism caregiver contributed to her cancer diagnosis.

But we can’t ever discuss Gayle’s blaming her daughter’s for her cancer, because she never did.

An autistic person is not “THE AUTISM”, any more than a cancer patient is “A CANCER”. Understand? Defining a person’s entire existence & identity by their diagnosis; is what’s disgusting.

She called her cancer Autism Induced Breast Cancer. Was she being ironic?

She could claim that the stress of caring for autistic children gave her cancer but she didn’t. Even if she did, Cancer Research UK says that there is no good link between stress itself and cancer. Just that being stressed can lead to poor lifestyle choices like smoking or a bad diet. So your cortisol induced cancer theory doesn’t seem to be born out by a big cancer charities research.

@ coschristi

So, you talk about the strain on parents with autistic kids, what about their siblings. My brother was born in 1950, he wasn’t diagnosed with autism, few were in those days; but diagnosed as emotionally disturbed, so my parents, lower middle class, spent everything they had trying to help him. However, this was the age of psychoanalysis and they just screwed him up worse. They believed in the refrigerator mother of Bruno Bettelheim, found later to have fabricated it; but my brother picked up on it. My mother was the exact opposite, extremely loving and affectionate. But my brother hated her and would not listen to explanations that the psychoanalysts were WRONG. How do I know all this? Both memory and I have read most of his medical records. When he was in his early teens someone suggested my parents see a neurologist. An EEG found he had abnormal brain waves. My parents got hold of my mother’s pregnancy files and she had toxemia during the first trimester. So, his brain damage and what today would have been a diagnosis of autism wasn’t caused by vaccines. I was a bit over 3 years older than him, so my entire childhood experienced tantrums, biting, kicking, my mother crying, etc and my parents were so poor that I received what was called a “needs scholarship” that helped pay my first two years of college. If you think an autistic child is hard on parents, imagine how a young child experiences it? Which is the reason I became a Psych major; but even though I took all the courses, did the practicums, even a one-year internship at a major psychiatric clinic, it just wasn’t my main interest. I did a separate doctorate in educational/social psychology and then a NIH post-doctoral three year fellowship in epidemiology. And most of my life I have loved reading history, read one book by William H. McNeil “Plagues and People” who made a strong case that human history has been mainly determined by infectious diseases and since then I was hooked, read a dozen books and hundreds or more papers on almost every major infectious disease from smallpox, polio, malaria, yellow fever to measles.

So, I do understand autism. I tried my entire life to help my brother; but he hated my family, blamed them. Whenever I was in town visiting my family I would phone him, offer to take him to dinner, etc. H refused. Then six years ago they found him dead on the floor of his apartment. He was on social security disability. I repeat, he was autistic and no vaccines were even given, not even to my mother within years of her pregnancy. She did get smallpox when much younger and diptheria. And, though there is absolutely nothing I could have done, I still feel guilty that my brother died alone. He did have two friends who lived in the same complex, one, nice guy, a medicated schizophrenic. Interestingly, after his death, they contacted me and told me how all he did was brag about his brother, the doctor; but rejected any help I offered.

So, you aren’t the only one who has suffered because of autism! ! !

I’m old and probably don’t have much longer, so I don’t care what people know about me; but if you are Christine Kincaid, based on our previous exchanges, I find it difficult to believe anything you say; but, I still trust Dorit’s judgment and suggestion.

The story of your brother has some simularities with mine. My parents had problems with me as a child, been to psychologists or something likewise. Don’t know the English translation of the term “Medisch Opvoedkundig Bureau”. They gave my parents a booklet which was more or less about my condition. I’ve also had an EEG, and they found some minor braindamage. I had (and have) problems making friends and had temper problems, reacting agressive when things didn’t go my way, throwing magazines around and when I failed for my drivers-exam I throw with a chair, which broke a leg. Don’t know my mothers héalth status. I remember her having a miscarriage, several years after I was born.

@ Renate

I’m really sorry to hear what you have gone through.

As a child, I spent a lot of time in my room with a book and my dog and now as an old man, since YMCA lockdown, spend a lot of time reading with my dog. My dad was loving; but spent little time with me because he worked overtime to pay for my brother. I NEVER blamed him; but the psychoanalysts not only took advantage of my parents, charging a fortune; but by pushing the refrigerator mother concept did permanent irrevocable damage to my brother and family. Literally he would show up when they had guests and berate them. I was visiting with a girlfriend one time when he showed up and said: “you think your visiting makes them happy; but I will make them doubly miserable when you leave.” On another occasion, he said: “they brought me into this world and I am going to make them pay to the day they die.” So, though I loved my parents, I tried not to visit too often. My grandparents told me they understood completely, though they missed me. For some reason my brother did love my grandparents. He also would show up when my parents had guests and berate them. Finally, they stopped having guests, went to their houses instead. He was very angry. But my parents never stopped loving him and trying to be supportive. I NEVER blamed my brother, tried to be helpful, even phoned long distance; but, at the same time, I also tried to avoid him, it was just too painful. I guess part of who I am, someone who has worked in public health, been involved in political campaigns to better fund families with disabled kids, etc. and a blood donor is my way of compensating.

A dozen years ago I received a phone call from a local hospital that my brother was there, so I immediately drove there. Turns out he had a defective mitral valve, diagnosed several years earlier and he was scheduled for surgery to repair it; but he didn’t show up. Finally, he collapsed and they were able to repair it; but because of the leakage over several years he had congestive heart failure. I asked him why he didn’t go through with surgery first time, why he didn’t talk with me. He actually went to car mechanics course at local high school and loved working on cars. His answer was that I wasn’t the only smart one. My reply was that if I ever had a problem with my car I would ask him because he had trained as a mechanic. I said I wasn’t smarter than him; but he studied mechanics and I medicine, etc. Didn’t do any good. Actually, his IQ was 85, he read and did arithmetic at 5th grade level. I still have his evaluations; but I was trying to get him to listen to me.

Anyway, I sincerely hope you are doing OK.

To be fair, I had a happy childhood. Not many friends, but I liked being on my own, reading books and playing with construction kits. I didn’t really like school, partly because I was bullied, partly because I felt it was boring. I feld best, when I was in primary school (if that’s the right word) and I was put in another class, a level higher, for a week, as a form of punishment. The teacher in that class was supposed to be more strict, but I liked it there. I didn’t have any problems with the lessons.

I think your brother has had a lot more troubles.

@ Narad, re:

“Great, Quinn Martin mode. How about an (admittedly dated) profile in which the family isn’t portrayed by you, Christine?”

Wrong, Narad. I made no statement regarding academic level; only social functioning level & you can’t assume how an autistic person functions socially, based on any other parameter (behavioral, verbal, motor skills, etc …).

There are minimally verbal 12th graders who perform at grade level but function socially as 13 year olds. There are fully verbal young adults in their 20’s, who perform at a 1st grade level & function socially as a 6 year old.

She can’t be considered fair game for the kind of traffic that sharing her social media accounts would bring. It’s not right.

Just in time for M.L.K. day, brave protesters in NYC demand their right to be served bad restaurant food. From Fox News:

“Several protesters demonstrating against coronavirus vaccine mandates at New York City’s restaurants were arrested Friday evening after they refused to leave an Olive Garden location in Times Square, according to videos posted to social media.”

“This is the Civil Rights movement again!” one man shouted while being handcuffed, a video from independent journalist @ScooterCasterNY showed.”

“In another video posted by the journalist, protesters were heard chanting “U-S-A!” and singing the national anthem before their arrests.”

No doubt the city will be deploying water cannons and vicious police dogs against these oppressed people, deprived of their right to pseudo-Italian food, endless rolls and salad refills.

In other news, DeLong’s daughter has annnounced on Twitter that she’s come down with Covid-19. Here’s hoping she gets well soon.*

*while staying out of the Olive Garden.

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