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No License for Disinformation: Why are doctors so threatened?

It’s not “cancel culture” to take away the medical licenses of physicians promoting dangerous COVID-19 disinformation. It’s quality control. Why do so many doctors seem to think otherwise and react as though the concept threatens them?

I’ve long lamented how physicians can practice quackery and promote pseudoscience and spread medical conspiracy theories while state medical boards only rarely do anything concrete to stop them. Indeed, so uncommon is it for a state medical board to suspend or revoke the license of even the worst quacks that, when a quack does suffer sanctions from his state medical board, we tend to write about it here. Examples include when Florida revoked the license of a “Lyme literate” doctor and New York sanctioned other promoters of the fake diagnosis that is “chronic Lyme disease“. Surprisingly to me, even pediatricians and other doctors who are leaders of the antivaccine movement have largely escaped discipline from their state medical boards, to the point that it is noteworthy when they are actually disciplined, with the example of Dr. Bob Sears and Dr. Paul Thomas coming to mind.

Counterexamples also come to mind, such as Dr. Rashid Buttar, who treated autistic children and cancer patients with chelation therapy and referred to the North Carolina Medical Board as a “rabid dog“. Two years later, he was free to practice again (mostly) unencumbered, having signed a consent decree with the Board that reprimanded him and ordered him (1) to provide informed consent to his patients as dictated by the Board; (2) to obey all laws, as well as rules and regulations governing the practice of medicine in North Carolina; (3) to notify the Board if he changes his address; and (4) to meet with the board periodically. And don’t even get me started on cancer quack Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski, who has been treating patients with his ineffective “antineoplastons” for 45 years now, with at least three attempts by the Texas Medical Board failing to stop the harm, the most recent attempt ending with a consent decree in 2017 after four years. Meanwhile, doctors peddling COVID-19 misinformation, such as Dr. Lee Merritt, COVID-19 quack Dr. Simone Gold, and long-time antivax “leader” Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, are easily renewing their medical licenses. (Tenpenny has long referred to vaccines as a method of “mass destruction” and “depopulation” and more recently actually claimed that COVID-19 vaccines make you magnetic, if you remember that gem from last year.) Worse, COVID-19 denying and quackery-friendly legislators are trying to hamstring state medical boards.

In the months after the pandemic first hit in 2020, many of my colleagues were shocked to see the number of physicians promoting outright misinformation and even antivaccine quackery about COVID-19. They shouldn’t have been. This was completely foreseeable if only they had been paying attention. So was the shock expressed by colleagues that, for example, America’s Frontline Doctors (the ones pushing hydroxychloroquine in 2020 and ivermectin last year whose number included the infamous “demon sperm” doctor) didn’t suffer any consequences. Quite the opposite, in fact. One of them, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, was nominated to take charge of the public health bureaucracy in Florida, where he is now implementing all manner of unscientific and dangerous COVID-19 policies. That’s why I was heartened to see colleagues wake up to the threat of misinformation and the promotion of quackery, as manifested by the formation of No License for Disinformation, founded by Dr. Nick Sawyer and colleagues, whose goal is to change the current situation, in which doctors promoting COVID-19-related disinformation have faced virtually no consequences so far. Of course, I have argued that NLFD doesn’t go far enough and that this effort shouldn’t be primarily restricted to just COVID-19 misinformation and quackery, but do welcome the baby steps towards a more general effort to hold quacks accountable.

You’d think that the vast majority of doctors would approve of a renewed effort to purge our profession of dangerous doctors practicing COVID-19 quackery and promoting harmful misinformation. I like to hope that you’d be right, but lately I’ve been seeing a number of doctors who are very disturbed by NLFD and have been expressing their unease in op-eds and on social media. I’ve been seeing more and more of this after a Maine physician named Dr. Meryl Nass had her license suspended earlier this month for promoting COVID-19 disinformation, although certainly there are doctors who agree with me:

There were others who were—shall we say?—much less enthusiastic about this development. Why is this? Why are some doctors so uncomfortable over the idea of state medical boards sanctioning doctors who promote COVID-19 disinformation? (Can they seriously argue, for instance, that the collection of COVID-19 quacks and antivax physicians appearing yesterday at the antivaccine “Defeat the Mandates” rally yesterday alongside Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Del Bigtree, and testifying at Sen. Ron Johnson’s COVID-19 quackfest today deserve to keep their medical licenses?) Doctors, after all, hold a special high status in society. Because of our medical expertise, physicians’ medical credentials lend credence to their pronouncements and, when physicians promote pseudoscience and quackery, their assumed expertise is trusted by much of the public.

Medical license: “Cancel culture” vs. quality control

So what do I mean by doctors who come across as threatened by an effort to hold COVID-19 disinformation-promoting doctors accountable? A couple of weeks ago I found a discussion on Twitter in which there were predictable responses like this from non-physicians, which were easy to dismiss:

I do so love how conspiracy theorists love to claim that every conspiracy was a “conspiracy theory” that was later shown to be correct. One key difference between conspiracies and conspiracy theories is that conspiracies have strong evidence to support that there was an actual conspiracy.

There were, however, reactions like this from doctors:

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what Dr. Jha’s point about this was. Moral arguments can be just as misleading if they use pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and quackery to support them. In any event, Dr. Jonathan Howard and I responded:

Doctors who promote misinformation have long hidden behind the First Amendment and “free speech” dating back to long before the pandemic. One prominent example includes the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), which is, in essence, a medical John Birch Society camouflaged as a legitimate medical professional society. I’ve written about the AAPS a number of times, relating how it’s promoted antivaccine pseudoscience blaming vaccines for autism, including a view that is extreme even among antivaccine activists, namely that the “shaken baby syndrome” is a “misdiagnosis” for vaccine injury. It’s worse than that, though. AAPS has promoted HIV/AIDS denialism, blamed immigrants for crime and disease, promoted the pseudoscience claiming that abortion causes breast cancer using some of the most execrable “science” ever, and not only rejected evidence-based guidelines as an unacceptable affront on the godlike autonomy of physicians; the very concept of a scientific consensus about anything. Indeed, in August an AAPS member likened the recent statement by the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) endorsing disciplining doctors for spreading COVID-19 misinformation to the Soviet NKVD, which led me to quip that at least he didn’t invoke Nazis.

 mention the AAPS for two reasons, first to contrast it with the doctors expressing extreme reserve about NLFD and second to disabuse readers of the concept that there aren’t a lot of crank MDs and DOs. It’s easy to make fun of the AAPS, because it is truly a home for little but medical conspiracy theorist “brave maverick doctors” who “don’t follow the herd” even when the herd is actually correct, hence the antivax and HIV/AIDS denial that has flowed from it. However, the doctors expressing reservations most assuredly are not cranks. (Although I didn’t recall ever having interacted with Dr. Daly before, I actually rather like Dr. Jha.)

What is interesting is why doctors who practice science-based medicine would react negatively, to the point of unironically echoing the whole “cancel culture” talking point, leading to a continuation of the conversation:

Actually, “Mr. Bond” makes an excellent point that echoes what I have been saying for a long time.

Then there was this:

A flippant response would be to ask: If state medical boards can’t be tasked at determining what is quackery and misinformation, then who can? The response, though, isn’t so flippant if you think about it, particularly in the context of my periodic laments over the last two decades over how state medical boards so rarely ever actually discipline outright quacks like Dr. Buttar or Burzynski. And if state medical boards can’t enforce even a minimal standard of professional behavior, both in terms of treating patients and public health messaging by licensed doctors, then what good are they? Sure, getting rid of doctors who are impaired due to substance abuse disorders, who assault patients, or who defraud third party payers and patients is good and necessary, but it’s not sufficient, nor is it “cancel culture” for state medical boards to sanction misinformation-spewing physicians.

Let’s take a look at the common concerns expressed by non-quack physicians about NFLD.

Should germ theory denying doctors have a medical license?

In considering the whole issue of “cancel culture” and physicians’ reactions to Dr. Nass’ suspension by Maine, let’s start with the article that Dr. Jha cited, “Physicians React: Should Docs Lose Their Licenses for Spreading False COVID Information?” The article breaks down physician responses on social media into two categories, Yes, Those Doctors Are Doing Wrong and No, Those Physicians Have a Right to Speak Their Beliefs. Since I am arguing the first point, I’ll be focusing more on the arguments for the second, most of which boil down to a fear that “science and controversial thought” were being “muzzled.” Interestingly, these sorts of arguments came from perspectives that could be considered both right and left wing. For example, here’s one who based opposition on distrust of big pharma:

Another clinician claimed the “truth is very difficult to discern from less-than-truth in a country running on a profit-oriented economic ideology.”

While, from the other side:

“Who can determine exactly what is truth?” asked another clinician. “For sure, the ‘Federal Government,’ who ‘is here to help you,’ is not qualified to make such determinations, and who are you to make such a suggestion as to remove someone’s license because they disagree with you. Give me a break!”

“What is truth?” How, very, very deep! (Really, most doctors are pretty crappy at philosophy.)

While it is true that big pharma doesn’t have the greatest track record in terms of its messaging, it does not follow from that history that it is impossible to discern good science from bad or quackery from science-based medical care, nor do past errors by the federal government imply the same thing. Similarly, it is the stategovernments who set up state medical boards, which are made up of physicians and stakeholders from the public, and no one—no one—is saying that the federal government (or a state government) should take away a physician license.

This is where my “easy example” comes in, specifically naming physicians who deny germ theory. This, of course, is an “easy example” if you don’t overthink it. I’m not talking about, for instance, the relative contribution of host susceptibility versus the microbe to the development and severity of disease. I’m talking about the very basic concept of whether “germs” cause disease at all, the denial of which is a longstanding belief in large swaths of alternative medicine (and persists even now) and the antivaccine pseudoscience spawned by it. I’m talking about people like Dr. Kelly Brogan:

I’ve written about Dr. Brogan before number of times. Recall that she was denying germ theory years before the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, she continues to deny germ theory when it comes to COVID-19. As I’ve said many times before, if there’s one thing that those of us who have been struggling to counter medical misinformation, quackery, and antivaccine pseudoscience frequently encounter, it’s medical professionals and scientists who have a hard time believing us when we describe just how unscientific, pseudoscientific, and just plain conspiracy-addled various beliefs underlying alternative medicine and antivaccine pseudoscience are. Surely, they seem to think, there’s no way anyone could actually believe that in 2022! How wrong they are, and among the alternative medicine beliefs that provoke the most disbelief among my colleagues (and among educated lay people) is germ theory denial. Few doctors believe me when I say there are people (and doctors) who deny basic germ theory. I have to show them the evidence.

Generally, most physicians expressing discomfort over medical board sanctions for spreading health misinformation will agree that a physician like Kelly Brogan, who denies basic germ theory, should face sanctions from her state medical board. Certainly Dr. Daly did. Therein lies the trap. By conceding that promoting one very obvious sort of medical misinformation should be sanctionable by a state medical board, the naysayers concede my main point, that state medical boards should have the power to sanction physicians who promote misinformation. The rest is just “haggling over the price” (to echo a famous joke); i.e., determining what specific sorts of misinformation should be sanctionable. 

That’s when these doctors usually retreat into complaining that “dogma will prevail” if sanctioning doctors on the basis of their spreading misinformation becomes widespread. Then, even as they concede that misinformation coming from doctors can be dangerous, they won’t take a stand on where to draw the line, leading to exchanges like this:

Notably, it’s been nine days since that exchange, and, as far as I can tell, Dr. Ryan has not answered Mr. Bedell’s very reasonable question about real world examples. Presumably he does not support sanctioning speech promoting conspiracy theories like that, but maybe I’m wrong. He never answered the question. Those of us who are trying to fight disinformation do not have the privilege and liberty of not taking stands on these questions. No one is saying that these questions are easy in general, but sometimes they are. Kelly Brogan and physicians who deny germ theory are not difficult cases, at least conceptually. I concede that implementing standards for misinformation that rises to the level of being dangerous is not easy.

Again, though, there is no such difficulty when it comes to disinformation spreaders like Dr. Robert Malone:

Nor are we talking about, for instance, the wretched collection of antivaccine doctors who spoke yesterday at the “Defeat the Mandates” antivaccine rally in Washington. The disinformation they spread is not subtle or debatable.

“Settled science,” Or “What about scientific debate?”

Another common complaint by physicians over the move to sanction doctors promoting misinformation is that no science is “settled” and that such sanctioning will somehow inhibit “scientific debate”. For instance, here’s an example from the Medscape article:

However, many physicians worried that science and controversial thought were being muzzled.

“Absolutely no,” a doctor stated. “Who judges what is misinformation in this age where debate is canceled? Science advances with challenge and it’s not about an authority dictating the allowable opinion.”

Again, I also quote Dr. Daly, who asks the questions:

And appeals to the “art” of medicine:

This is, of course, a very common straw man fallacy frequently invoked whenever professional and scientific sanctions against physicians spreading misinformation are advocated. Here are a couple of more examples from the Medscape article:

One specialist warned that if disinformation doctors are held responsible, then “that means a lot of doctors” will be “gone” because “almost anything that is written or said about COVID can be contested.”

Another physician warned his colleagues about suppressing new ideas: “To condemn what we didn’t try, or purposefully ignore a different approach because [it] doesn’t agree with our opinion is suppression of information.”

Here we go again with “What is truth?”

My response is simple. No one is suggesting, much less arguing, that “all science is settled” or that state medical boards should strip doctors of their medical licenses for taking medical or scientific positions that are reasonably debatable from a scientific standpoint. Certainly, I’ve never made that claim, nor have I argued anything like this. I do, however, argue that there are certain scientific conclusions in medicine that are as close to being “settled” as one can imagine, to the point that not accepting them is unscientific quackery. Basic germ theory is one. That homeopathy is physically impossible is another. As I like to say about homeopathy, for homeopathy even to have a chance of working would require not just that huge swaths of very well-established theory in physics and chemistry be wrong, but that they be spectacularly wrong. Another way of putting it is that to provide sufficient evidence to make homeopathy physically plausible would require a level of evidence that can topple major theories undergirding our current understanding of chemistry and physics. I generally conclude by saying that all theories are “challengeable”, but that simply denying them based on no evidence (or on highly dubious “evidence” and conspiracy theories) is not a “challenge” that professional societies and medical boards are obligated to take seriously as “scientific debate”.

Similarly, just because the science of COVID1-19 is rapidly evolving, having started out with us knowing little about the coronavirus, its mechanism of activity, its transmissibility, and the like, contrary to the claim that “almost anything that is written or said about COVID can be contested”, it’s not as though we know nothing about it. Even in the early days of the pandemic we knew a lot about coronaviruses, of which SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, was a novel example. For example, as early as January 2020, I could say with a great deal of confidence that SARS-CoV-2 was not a result of a vaccination campaign in China against the flu vaccine.

To sum it up, rapidly evolving science and a lack of knowledge do not mean no knowledge or that we cannot with a high degree of certainty know what is not true or recognized science denial and conspiracy theories when we see them. It doesn’t mean we can’t know quackery when we see it. Moreover, it’s now nearly two years since the pandemic hit the US. The “fog of war” argument about the lack of scientific knowledge regarding COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 is much less compelling now than it might have been in March 2020.

Aside from that, doctors also often express fears that such sanctions will shut down “nuance”:

Here’s the problem. We are not dealing with “nuance,” and the fallacy that we are talking about here is not anything resembling “scientific debate”. It’s denialism. On a conceptual level, it’s no different than the denial of, for example, climate science, evolution, or that HIV causes AIDS. Indeed, germ theory denial is a form of denialism, as is antivaccinationism. Physicians who express concern that holding physicians who are promoting denialism to account will somehow shut down scientific debate are doing exactly what brothers Mark and Chris Hoofnagle warned about years ago, mistaking denialism for debate. It’s exactly the trap that disinformation peddlers want you to fall into. Denialism generally involves at least more than one of five things: conspiracy theories, fake experts, cherry picked evidence, impossible expectations (and moving goalposts), and, of course, logical fallacies.

Speaking of logical fallacies…

“It’s a slippery slope”

Another oft-expressed concern is that if state medical boards start sanctioning doctors promoting COVID-19 misinformation, it’ll be a slippery slope to their sanctioning all sorts of other things. In other words, they express fear that “gray areas” will end up being sanctioned. Examples include (and I don’t mean to keep picking on Dr. Daly, who seems sincere and dedicated to evidence-based medicine, but he sums up the common arguments rather succinctly). Here’s another invocation of the “slippery slope”:

And:

Again, no one claims that this is an all-or-none argument. I’ll also point out that, contrary to what some argue, a slippery slope argument is not always a logical fallacy, conceding that there can be occasional valid uses of it. The are, however rare, and I agree that is it almost always a logical fallacy that avoids the specific question at hand and instead distracts with extreme hypotheticals, all without any evidence that the action proposed will lead to the chain reaction suggested, ultimately resulting in the undesirable consequences proposed, which become increasingly improbable the farther along the chain reaction of consequences one drifts. It’s an appeal to fear, not reason.

At its essence, the slippery slope argument, whether the person deploying it realizes it or not, is always an argument to do nothing, based on invoking the fear of some inevitable awful consequence somewhere down the line if a first step is taken.

This wasn’t a doctor who said this, but it is a more extreme example of what I’m talking about:

And:

None of the doctors that I encountered went as far as putting Nazi Germany or the Gulags at the end of their slippery slope, but at their core their arguments were not far removed from this.

Whataboutism

The final sort of argument that I’ve seen involves something known as “whataboutism” or “whataboutery”. In brief, whataboutism is a logical fallacy and rhetorical technique of distraction in which a person responds to a criticism with a counter-accusation in order to divert attention to a different topic. The origin of the term goes back to the Cold War, where it was coined to describe the oft-used technique by the Soviet Union to counter various charges made against it. The following is a classic example:

One clinician suggested enforcement against health food, drug company commercials, and talk shows: “What about all the [misinformation] at the health food stores and the like. Doctors of natural-whatever? Those info-commercials on tv. How many faxes do I get to ‘approve’ because ‘patients request’ braces and pain-treating expensive compounds advertised on TV? We tolerate those…. What about Dr Oz and the docs on talk shows claiming BS?”

This bit of whataboutism is not nearly the “gotcha” that physicians (and others) making this argument think it is, at least not to me. I’ve been arguing to do something about all of these things for a very long time.. Need I remind you how often I have written about the licensure of quacksDr. Oz, and quackery in pharmacies? And that’s just a small sample. I say: Yes, please! Go after their licenses too!

State medical boards vs. COVID-19 (and other) misinformation

State medical boards are in a difficult situation that has only become more so with the rise of quacks promoting COVID-19 misinformation. I’ve long lamented how reluctant they are to discipline doctors practicing quackery and promoting antivaccine conspiracy theories and other dangerous misinformation, even before the pandemic. It was a problem that few seemed to appreciate or have much desire to do anything about. Worse, whenever state medical boards actually did something about it, it became obvious that quacks had considerable political pull in some states. The example that I like to cite the most often is that of Dr. Rashid Buttar, whom I mentioned earlier. Buttar led a successful effort by the North Carolina Integrative Medical Society to get legislators to change state law to make it friendlier to practitioners of alternative medicine.

Then the pandemic hit, and finally the severity of the problem of doctors using their professional status and medical license to spread misinformation is being appreciated, perhaps for the first time. Unfortunately, we as a profession have a lot of members who either can’t or don’t want to see it as a problem. I suspect that the reason now is similar to the reasons then, involving our dislike of “being told what to do” and an attitude that any of us could fall victim to a bogus complaint to a state medical board. (Ironically, I myself have experienced exactly that, when several years ago a patient of Stanislaw Burzynski reported me to my state medical board for my blog posts about her case; she was trying to get my license yanked.) I get it. I also get that a lot of my colleagues and I have to make medical decisions based on less than ideal evidence bases all the time (the “art” of medicine). Unfortunately, too many of us extrapolate that to justify what quacks do.

That needs to change, and we need to work to clean up our own profession, starting with medical licensure. Before the pandemic, I wouldn’t have cared so much where we started, with quacks like Stanislaw Burzynski or with antivaxxers like Paul Thomas. Given that we are still in the middle of a pandemic that’s killed northward of 800K in just the US alone, starting with doctors promoting COVID-19 misinformation makes a lot of sense. As imperfect as it is and even if it doesn’t go far enough for my tastes, NLFD is as good a strategy to start with as any. Again, this is professional quality control, not “cancel culture”, and, even if it were, not all “cancel culture” is a bad thing.

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]

65 replies on “No License for Disinformation: Why are doctors so threatened?”

If your application to med school is rejected because of low grades, etc., is that cancel culture? No, it’s having high standards.

I wonder how many of the doctors featured at RFK jr’s quackfest yesterday ( pictured on Orac’s previous post) are in danger of being struck off? There are so many Covid/ PH denialists now it’s hard for me to keep them all straight, but possibly one or two lost their jobs or had to quit.

A commenter on SBM summed up these situations nicely: ( paraphrase) sociopaths get their way.

Good question. Probably not many. That said, note that losing a job is not the same as being struck off. I don’t know how many of them still have a job working for someone else. I don’t think Kori or McCullough do – McCullough is no longer affiliated with Baylor after their lawsuit, and has his own cardio practice, I think. I don’t know enough about all of them.

Orac is so confused. He thinks there are only two possibilities for medical information — “True, and science-based,” or “False pseudoscience and dangerous misinformation.

He thinks that all the “science-based” MDs are on one side of every medical controversy, and the “quacks” are on the opposite side.

Every medical controversy has an obvious solution. Was it found safe and effective by big drug industry funded research? If not, it is dangerous misinformation.

A medical doctor’s job is not to think. It is to follow whatever the corrupt health agencies and the drug industry have decreed.

“Medical Journals Are an Extension of the Marketing Arm of Pharmaceutical Companies”
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC1140949/

If there is actual evidence of a physician conning or killing patients with obviously harmful or useless treatments, that’s very different. But that is not what Orac is talking about. No matter how many doctors or how many patients claim that a treatment is effective, Orac won’t believe them without drug industry approval.

“If there is actual evidence of a physician conning or killing patients with obviously harmful or useless treatments”

Yet you and the pathological liars you associate with, have no problem misrepresenting the studies that show vaccines and other treatments are not the dangers you claim they are. You support things that have no basis in fact at all.

It isn’t clear to me how you and the rest of the anti-vacc anti-science folks came to fail so completely at being decent, honest people. Maybe you’re upset that you couldn’t hack the training to learn about medicine, or statistics,etc., and so you want to appear to be rebels on the side of the “little guy”. Perhaps you are among the folks who believe people who do put in the hard work in different areas shouldn’t be trusted.

Or perhaps you’re just sad little jerk-offs who want to be noticed. You’re succeeding at getting noticed, not for anything good, but for working hard to put people at risk.

ldw56old: “Yet you and the pathological liars you associate with, have no problem misrepresenting the studies”

Which studies are those? And in what way are they “misrepresented”? Is this another case of create-a-distraction-by-accusing-our-opponents-of-doing-what-we-are-doing?

“While Pfizer in July released partial data on the outcomes from the six-month assessment ending March 13th, the new FDA report includes more comprehensive data, and shows a significantly higher number of all-cause fatalities among the vaccinated cohort.” https://www.israelnationalnews.com/news/317091?s=09

In the FDA report, all-cause mortality is 23% higher in the “vaccine” cohort (21 vs 17 placebo). The previously released data already showed a higher risk of cardiac arrest.

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.28.21261159v1.supplementary-material (Table S3: 4 deaths from cardiac arrest in the vaccine cohort vs 1 in the placebo)

This is consistent with known side-effects of the vaccine listed in the CDC’s “fact sheet”.

Someone is definitely lying about the data. I don’t see why anyone would be surprised by this. https://violationtracker.goodjobsfirst.org/parent/pfizer

I note that in your unsupported accusation of Indie Rebel, you also avoided providing any “actual evidence of doctors conning or killing patients.”

@Chaos Infusion

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7043e2.htm

“After standardizing mortality rates by age and sex, this study found that COVID-19 vaccine recipients had lower non–COVID-19 mortality than did unvaccinated persons.”

Your newspaper article doesn’t link to any studies so I can’t figure out why that study had higher death rates, or even if it did.

This is a superb example of someone misrepresenting a study, citing one number that the rest of the study explains to mean the exact opposite.

So I decided to click through to the links Chaos Infusion supplied. It seems he omitted some info. Quelle surprise.
First one:

The FDA report also said that during its initial assessment of the vaccine, no notable patterns linking the vaccine in a ‘causal relationship’ to specific adverse outcomes were found.

Second one:

This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.

Dishonest of you, Chaos Infusion.

@ Chaos: I’m not seeing 21 vs 17 deaths. Here’s the quote from the paper:

“During the blinded, controlled period, 15 BNT162b2 and 14 placebo recipients died; during the open-label period, 3 BNT162b2 and 2 original placebo recipients who received BNT162b2 after unblinding died. None of these deaths were considered related to BNT162b2 by investigators. Causes of death were balanced between BNT162b2 and placebo groups (Table S4).”

And you are correct that there were 4 people in the test arm who died of cardiac arrest vs one in the placebo arm, but two people in the placebo arm died of myocardial infarction (heart attack), so the cardiac story isn’t really there either.

And it’s very interesting that not only did you get the number of people who died wrong, but you also failed to say how many people were in each group: 21,926 vaccinated, 21921 placebo.

As for your claim that “someone” is lying, well, this data is publicly available, so whoever that “somebody” is, they’re not doing a very good job.

chaos the liar infusion:

Nothing about my assessment of you (or mjd, or the other science ignorant morality lacking anti-vacc people) has changed. You can’t even represent the items you link to without lying about what’s in them.

We get it: you’re not committed to facts or actually trying to help people: you and others of your ilk simply want to appear to be rebels fighting for something, and you don’t care that your “advice” is not only completely false but harmful. It is impossible to over emphasize how dishonest you folks are. If you’re upset for having what you are being pointed out — change your ways.

“If there is actual evidence of a physician conning or killing patients”

Haven’t been reading very carefully, huh?

As for the linked opinion piece suggesting all published research on NSAIDS is favorable to drug companies, try doing a PubMed search on NSAIDS and risks. You’ll find many thousands of articles dealing with the subject. I guess Big Pharma failed miserably in trying to buy off all those physicians and scientists.

Have you heard that NIH funds lots of medical research ?
https://www.nih.gov/about-nih/what-we-do/budget
41.7 billion dollars to be exact.Some of the money goes to CAM,woithout results,of course.
Drug companies actually do not like to fund basic research, because results are avaiable to competitors. Thus ended Basel Institute of Immunology,Nobels or no Nobels,
Many NSAIDs are actually out of patent. Big pharma cannot stop interest to generic drugs either,

Ah dear Aarno ä look up cambia vimovo duexis. See how much they cost. Also Voltaren and my favorite flector. Never underestimate big pharmas shameless behavior.

Diclofenac (Voltaren, Flector and Cambia) is available as a generic.

So is Naproxen/esomeprazole (Vimovo).

The pharmacy that I use sells generic diclofenac for AUD0.50/tablet (in packs of 30), and Voltaren-branded diclofenac at AUD0.60/tablet (in packs of 30). That’s roughly USD0.35 and USD0.42/tablet respectively.

The Voltaren is only distinguished by its brand name, the claim that it’s a rapid action formulation and that the generic is the sodium salt and the Voltaren is the potassium salt.

“The idea of arbitrators who select what is correct and dismiss what is incorrect is the most alien possible concept to science.”

tabletmag.com/sections/science/articles/saving-democracy-from-pandemic

The astoundingly stupid quote Kay posted is from a new piece by John Ioanides. To be fair, in context it’s not as outrageous as it appears buck naked (um, I get that JI might be down on peer review these days, but really…). Nevertheless, the piece has major GBD vibes, and would seem to be begging for insolence from somebody.

You have to give credit for the benefit the KW uber-sock provides. Scrape all of its and its socks’ comments for URLs and deposit them in a database. Allow public access to the database. Social networks and others now have a pretty good list of web pages to be flagged as disinformation until proven otherwise.

The internet immune system thereby has a reliable antigen to target. At least until the uber-sock morphs new variants.

Tablet has really gone off the deep end regarding Covid vaccinations. They’re in deep GBP territory.

Pity.

Yes, all information is equally valuable.

We must never discriminate on the basis of quality.

Gee, Kay, you seem a little choleric. Time for leeches! You clearly have an excess of blood.

Because if we’re not going to dismiss what is obviously incorrect and totally unsupported by data, then we have to keep all the stupid and dangerous crap like bleeding and purgatives.

“So was the shock expressed by colleagues that, for example, America’s Frontline Doctors (the ones pushing hydroxychloroquine in 2020 and ivermectin last year …) didn’t suffer any consequences.”

I find it fascinating that the Nebraska Attorney General’s office is capable of performing more a more thorough investigation of peer-reviewed medical literature (not to mention logical reasoning) than the author of this blog.

https://ago.nebraska.gov/sites/ago.nebraska.gov/files/docs/opinions/21-017_0.pdf

Courtesy of Steve Kirsch’s newsletter. Kirsch is another non-expert who seems more interested in facts than the ostensibly trained Orac, who simply assumes his conclusion and proceeds directly to strawmen and guilt-by-association. I presume that by including a section on germ theory denial, the takeaway is supposed to be that physicians who are aware of the research on ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are in the same category? This strategy will work only if readers are already misinformed and are unmotivated to be responsible for their own fact-checking.

Color me shocked that the Republican-controlled attorney general’s office in Nebraska would cherry-pick research to support the desired but erroneous conclusion that ivermectin is effective against Covid-19 and therefore docs should be free to prescribe it without hindrance.

They played the “you can’t trust research” card by singling out a retracted study that had been used to discourage hydroxychloroquine use, while ignoring the multiple pro-ivermectin papers that have been withdrawn or retracted.

I gave up on their position statement after seeing that they rejected the conclusions of federal agencies and major medical groups in favor of the opinions of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons and America’s Frontline Doctors. If you want to embrace quackery and fringe beliefs, the AAPS and AFLD are your go-to sources.

Here’s the problem-IT DOESN’T WORK. PERIOD. I don’t care what papers or anecdotes you dig up. I’ve seen it used in the wild many, many times by people who didn’t know better and regretted the decision.

One correction: it was the FLCCC, not AFLD that the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office cited as if it was a leading medical organization. The FLCCC is a fringe outfit that includes such luminaries as Pierre Kory, Mary Bowden (suspended from Houston’s Methodist Hospital medical staff for spreading Covid-19 misinformation; she also said she’d refuse to treat vaccinated patients) and Elizabeth Mumper, an antivaxer and functional medicine proponent who’s appeared as an “expert” witness to proclaim her belief that vaccination causes autism, and naturally is a revered figure at RFK Jr’s Children’s Health Defense.

A nice bunch to cite, rather than the CDC, FDA, AMA, American Pharmacists Association, Infectious Diseases Society of America etc.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fringe-doctors-groups-promote-ivermectin-for-covid-despite-a-lack-of-evidence/

@ Kay West

You linked to a paper by John Ioannidis that states: ““The idea of arbitrators who select what is correct and dismiss what is incorrect is the most alien possible concept to science.”

It states: “A Freedom House report found that democracy grew weaker in 80 countries during COVID-19, and that in 2020 the number of free countries reached the lowest level in 15 years. Countries that regressed included ones you’d expect like China and Belarus, but also democratic bulwarks like the United States, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands.”

I lived in Sweden for almost 10 years, had friends in Denmark and visited often, both Copenhagen and Aarhus. Since returning to U.S. I have kept in touch and followed happenings. Starting with U.S. criminal war against Iraq that led to rise of ISIS and the terror imposed throughout the Middle East and the longest prolonged drought in Syria, wars and terror, masses of refugees have been pouring into Europe. Add to this Boko Haram and Al Shabab, related to ISIS in Africa and other problems, refugees from Africa also pouring into Europe. Sweden, for instance, a nation of approximately 8 1/2 million people has taken in a wopping 900,000 refugees, a truly humane gesture; but far more than they could accommodate. Result has been a surge of right-wing groups. When I lived in Sweden, neo-Nazis composed maybe 5% of population; but now have their own political party with 23% of Swedish Riksdag (Parliament). Yes, they are neo-Nazis. Their founder has large photos of Adolph Hitler and Swastica flags in his home, reported by local newspapers, etc. So, though other parties refuse to cooperate with them, Sweden has moved to the right. And has had demonstrations to halt and turn back refugees. Basically same in Denmark and other European nations. Hungary, for instance, has a right-wing party headed by Victor Orban. All of the above preceded the pandemic by years.

As for the U.S. being a democracy, what a joke. Electoral college (4 times candidate with most votes lost), Gerrymandering, Huge Funding (Supreme Court Citizens United 2010 Corporations are people and can spend unlimited funds in elections, etc.), voter suppression (for instance, we are only nation who several states deny voting to ex-cons. Florida voted overwhelmingly to give back votes to them; but the Republican legislature said only after they paid any fines; but complicated process to even find out what fines are and we don’t deny vote to people with outstanding parking tickets, etc. Why? Because we have mass incarceration of blacks and other minorities, so most would vote democrat. All the above and more preceded pandemic.

Article states: “In the end, half of the world’s working population suffered financially under lockdowns, creating massive ripple effects. Most people thrive when they can make their own decisions within the boundaries of the law, even during a crisis. But the loss of these basic freedoms was celebrated as a victory for public health, even as the loss of basic freedoms probably made public health outcomes worse in several countries.”

Totally ignores international data where nations that early on implemented testing, tracing, isolation, masking, physical distancing, closing for instance bars, needed fewer lockdowns, etc.; but their publics complied and they had far fewer hospitalizations and deaths. Check out, for instance, South Korea that had first cases after China.

Article states: “The worst way to address such circumstances is to double down on trying to replace concrete values like freedom and equality with goals like safety and health under the guise of “science” and the greater good. No reasonable person would question that all of these values and goals are worthy of our efforts. But when they clash (or are portrayed as clashing), democratic societies must make decisions on . Once individual freedom has been downgraded as a priority, it is difficult to ever get back.”

Numerous studies, both in U.S. and many other nations clearly have found that vaccines and various mitigation efforts, when followed by public, have resulted in far fewer deaths. Despite what this paper claims, strong science, including understanding virology, the corona virus in particular, understanding immunology, epidemiology, etc. Dead people and people with long covid certainly will find it difficult to get their freedom back. And their loved ones will also suffer.

Have you heard of World War II? A number of measures were implemented, including food and gasoline rationing, on the coasts lights out, and some restriction of movements; but once war ended, back to normal. Maybe the pandemic will end soon or maybe not; but many have adjusted; e.g., working from home and as more and more get vaccinated, while masks may be still required, with also improved ventilation, schools are re-opening; but if we just re-open without the aforementioned, we may experience a surge in hospitalizations, long covid, and deaths.
Though I don’t like anecdotes, there was an article in paper on one young apparently healthy man who was dying of covid and wished he had gotten vaccine.

Article states: “This is especially important in the realm of scientific debate.
Anyone who believes that it’s possible to cleanse “science” of error through brute force censorship has no understanding of how science works or how accurate, unbiased evidence is accumulated in the first place. The idea of arbitrators who select what is correct and dismiss what is incorrect is the most “

Yep, censorship, so why is this article so easily posted on internet? Tons of other articles. Multiple blogs, social media, testifying before various government bodies, letters-to-the-editor, mass demonstrations, etc. So, seems, given how many American who really don’t understand pandemics nor vaccines seem to be finding antivax, anti mitigation proponents everywhere. As for “arbitrators”, absurd, actions based on cumulative science.

Article states: “Most people thrive when they can make their own decisions within the boundaries of the law, even during a crisis.”

“Most”, well polls still show majority of Americans believe in pandemic, got vaccinated, and practice various mitigation measures; but when others don’t it puts everyone at risk. We have laws against drinking and driving; but people still do this, so should we abandon laws and just trust that most people will not drink and drive? We have laws against indoor smoking; e.g., effects of second-hand smoke, should we abandon these laws. It is not arbitrary to understand that we live in communities where we have rights and responsibilities, the latter is what PUBLIC HEALTH is all about. If more Americans had followed CDC recommendations, etc. good chance we could have dealt better with pandemic, fewer deaths, hospitalizations, deaths, and less problem with economy.

Article states: “Many billionaires enjoyed a big expansion of not only their
wealth but their influence over public decision-making during the pandemic.”

The first CARE package, including monies given to corporations and businesses in order to continue paying employees was used instead to purchase stocks. The fewer the stocks on the market, the more valuable they become. Not all did this, some did use for keeping employees; but this was HORRIBLY WRONG; but Trump did nothing about it. I’m not a lawyer; but I think our government should sue those who used for stock buy backs, not just exact monies given; but increased value of stocks; but this will never happen. So, one part of paper that has some validity.

Typical of you to find some paper that confirms your rigid irrational unscientific bias and use it. Oh well, like others, you just keep digging and ever deeper hole for yourself.

@ Indie Rebel

You write: “Orac is so confused. He thinks there are only two possibilities for medical information — “True, and science-based,” or “False pseudoscience and dangerous misinformation.”

Yep, either based on papers based on following scientific method or not. If not, a rare occasion something not well-researched has later been found to be valid; but for every such occurrence literally thousands of other unscientific claims have been wrong and have sometimes led to unnecessary suffering and even deaths.

You write: “Every medical controversy has an obvious solution. Was it found safe and effective by big drug industry funded research? If not, it is dangerous misinformation.
A medical doctor’s job is not to think. It is to follow whatever the corrupt health agencies and the drug industry have decreed.”

I have refuted this numerous times; but you just keep repeating it, so one more time. Yep, drug industry does fund studies and in some cases they only publish studies that are to their benefit; but then numerous studies follow, studies funded by various governments, conducted in other nations, etc. Maybe, you are too STUPID to look for studies done by non-drug companies funding and too STUPID to even look at those funded, their methodology, etc.

For someone who awhile back discussed needing to add “spiritual aspects” and other energy systems not currently measured, you get really tiresome. You mentioned REIKI as example of alternative medicine and claimed no government or other funded studies. I named the National Center for Complementary and Integral Medicine which has funded more than $2 billion dollars of studies on alternative medicines, including Reiki and I listed several dozen peer-reviewed studies of Reiki. No reply from you.

You are like a broken record, a very stupid broken record.
You just keeping making an ASS of yourself.

In the news: “Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin has selected Dr. Marty Makary to head his medical advisory team.” Fun fact I didn’t know, reported by WaPo, “Makary is chief of islet transplant surgery at Johns Hopkins and a professor at the Hopkins School of Medicine and in the business school.” But I’m guessing his key credential for being a key pandemic advisor is that he’s on Fox a lot. Another Youngkin appointment in a similar vein, “Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who was President Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief, as his secretary of natural resources.”

Orac is almost certainly more informed about this topic than I and can weigh in but I’ve watched the islet cell transplant thing go from “Crazy, fringe stuff being done in South America,” to “Let’s get those surgeons here, they’re brilliant mavericks,” to “Oops, looks like this doesn’t really work,” and nowadays “It only works for 18-24 months and costs sixty times what standard DM therapy costs for those months.” Not to mention it is not without side effects and generally involves immunosuppressive therapy.

They day may soon come that we can “grow” new islet cells for patients but it’s pretty useless for a disease where the body has autoantibodies to them or the person is so insulin resistant that it doesn’t matter how many of them you stick in his/her arm. I’m guessing this doc was one of those folks who saw it as the next gold rush and had his fifteen minutes in the spotlight at grand rounds…now he’s desperate to reclaim both by any means necessary.

I may be way off the mark, though.

Do the poster here really think that doctors who give wrong or against majority opinion advise, should lose their medical licenses? why bother with a second opinion? How about a medical professional who writes a paper that is later debunked or proven wrong, should they too lose their medical license, because that would eliminate over half of the people who write scholarly papers.
And how Stalin like, that people who question the current opinion/science (which can evolve according to Dr. Fauci), should be sent to mental institution or evaluated for mental health be a correct way to handle a situation. psychopathological mechanisms of dissent and psychiatry was used to disable and remove from society opponents who openly expressed beliefs that contradicted the official dogma,they established a framework within which non-standard beliefs could easily be defined as a criminal offense and the basis for a psychiatric diagnosis (from wikipedia). does this sound familiar to what this doctor is going thru? Orac do you really think that if the prevailing winds shift that you might have to undergo mental health evaluation?
“The doctor, who recently participated in a briefing with state lawmakers on COVID, will also have to undergo a psychological examination at the request of the licensing board.”
Most of the proceeding of the board occurred in secret.

KW-For once, I don’t completely disagree. If someone wants to go see a doctor who believes in healing prayer…why should I care? If that doctor is telling that person to pray rather than get chemo? Now I do care. You should too. The pray-away-the-cancer doctor should lose his/her license and become a pastor or whatever. If people want to use their position as a practitioner to force their opinions or beliefs on others? Those people should not be in practice.

Not every one lives in a big city where they can simply go to another doctor. Also, medical pros command substantial respect and deference in our society. With those things comes tremendous responsibility. By way of example-I own firearms. I know damn-well the data say that people are more likely to die from self-inflicted or other violence if firearms are in their homes. If I chose to ignore that fact and tell patients that there was zero risk from having a gun at home? I should be censured. If I knew a patient was armed and suicidal and did nothing about it? Maybe harsher consequences are in order. Especially if my defense was “I don’t believe what the data say about guns.”

Which brings me to my next point…

A lot of the BS coming out against mainstream covid therapy has all the marks of “Religion.” Take ivermectin. It has been disproven over and over and over and over as a valuable therapy. Doesn’t stop true believers. Some even go forth and “proselytize” about it to anyone who will listen and many who simply can’t get out of earshot quickly enough. Any doctor or person with a PhD in soil science or some other damned thing calling himself “Doctor” who says ivermectin is good is now…you guessed it…a “Saint!” Anyone else who boldly stands up to make a fool out of him/herself saying it works is “Speaking the good word.”

The ivermectin proselytizer is now a member of a cult. He or she can claim persecution on behalf of that cult. Sounds awfully like a lot of religious cults. When, in reality, just like every other religious cult before it-99.9% of us wish the ivermectin worshipper would just shut up and go away. He/she is free to believe whatever they want but we would rather not be bothered with it anymore than we want them putting leaflets under our windshield wipers telling of the end times and demanding we repent. It is just that person’s strongly-held belief. Don’t expect us to treat it as fact and give it the same hearing as actual clinical evidence gets.

The most demoralizing part of all of this for me has been how quickly, just like other religious bs, the ivermectin-good-vaccines-bad religion has entered politics. Leave your beliefs to yourself and we needn’t worry about “Persecuting” one another at medical board meetings. We can stick to delicensing idiots who molest patients and who do blow before surgery.

As to Nass’s mental state: she reportedly said she wouldn’t comply with any mask or vaccine mandates, alleging that the government was vaccinating children without parental consent. The board’s suspension order noted that Nass claimed the vaccine effort was “nefarious” and connected it to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. She’s called the CDC “a criminal agency” and claimed that “there may be things in these vaccines that the government wants to inject in us.” She lied to a pharmacist to get a prescription of a drug ineffective for treating Covid-19.

Sounds pretty loopy.

State medical boards could be doing Covidiot M.D.s a favor by calling for psych evaluations in cases where serious misbehavior detrimental to patient health is demonstrated. If their actions are found to be due to genuine mental disease, they potentially can be treated and safely return to practice.

And meantime America’s daily deaths now higher than at the delta peak. Being reported that the unvaxxed are 100 yes 100x more likely to die of covid. Omicron maybe milder but half the number of deaths per infection and 3x the number of infections ends up with more deaths.

@ Fergus Glencross:

I’m glad you put actual numbers out.
Anti-vaxxers/ contrarians make statements like, ” vaccines don’t stop transmission” or ” they don’t prevent death” which obfuscates the issue. They often see situations in black and white terms or follow the Nirvana fallacy- 100% or nothing.
Sceptics should be specific to counter their folly/ false information. Vaccines reduce transmission or serious illness or hospitalisation or death by whatever percent. We have figures.

@ Kay West

You write: “Do the poster here really think that doctors who give wrong or against majority opinion advise, should lose their medical licenses? why bother with a second opinion? How about a medical professional who writes a paper that is later debunked or proven wrong, should they too lose their medical license, because that would eliminate over half of the people who write scholarly papers.”

“Wrong or against majority opinion”. It depends. You have made it absolutely clear that you have no understanding of how science works. If some published studies show one intervention works against some condition and others find it doesn’t, doctors are free to decide; but if initial studies show something works, either anecdotal or small poorly designed studies; but later large placebo-controlled double-blinded randomized clinical trials show clearly doesn’t work and actually harms, even kills people and this is made clear by FDA, CDC, WHO, Medical Societies, etc. what should we do with doctors who actually are potentially killing patients? One primary example is Hydroxychloroquine. A number of well-done studies have found it not only doesn’t help covid; but actually kills and/or seriously injures people who may have survived otherwise. And by using it, a doctor often doesn’t use something that may have benefited the patients. The evidence is overwhelming and FDA, CDC, WHO, Medical Societies, etc. all have notified doctors. Have you ever heard of chelation therapy used for autism? Not only NO research showed it worked; but even elementary knowledge of, among other things, blood brain barrier, should have been known by anyone who went through medical school. So, OK that doctors literally went against basic physiological knowledge, no research to the contrary, and killed kids. And a small group of doctors advertised I believe in North Carolina that they had a cure for some childhood cancers for a fee of $300,000. A desperate family in the UK got the funds from a site similar to GOFUNDME. Flew with the kid to U.S. He died. Investigation found they were using ingredients one could purchase for a few dollars, ingredients with absolutely NO evidence would help anything.

You write: “And how Stalin like, that people who question the current opinion/science (which can evolve according to Dr. Fauci), should be sent to mental institution”
No, moron, not because they question; but how they question, etc. If I question some application by pointing out flaws in the methodology or other studies that indicate works, OK. Completely acceptable. If I start talking about voices, instincts, etc. Is that OK by you? Dangerous Bacon clearly explains what is going on with Meryl Naas. She is irrational.

You write: “Orac do you really think that if the prevailing winds shift that you might have to undergo mental health evaluation?”

YOU ARE A MORON! ! ! Nope, because Orac simply bases his position on currently valid science, not myth, not personal bias, not religion; but science, that is, research and published and reproduced science. And not as ASSES like you contend, science only funded by pharmaceutical industry. If later research, that is, well-done research, research that is replicated find anything Orac has said wrong, since he bases his positions on science, I am confident he will change his position; but, for instance, with regards to viral infections such as COVID-19 and mRNA vaccines, Orac is NOT only a medical doctor; but a PhD in immunology and the research, despite what you continue to choose to believe is overwhelmingly strong that COVID-19 is killing many, creating long COVID, etc. and, yep, questionable just how many; but even if one chooses to believe half of deaths were not caused by COVID-19, something I doubt, that would mean over 400,000 people had their lives cut short. Maybe you don’t have anyone who you care about; but most of us have loved ones who we cherish and shortening their lives, even by months if, for instance, they have cancer/congestive heart failure or by much more not something we want for ourselves or others. And what we know about vaccines going back more than century and what we know about mRNA, several hundred thousand research papers since 1960s, etc. Highly unlikely, extremely highly unlikely that future research will prove Orac, my, and vast majority who support vaccines, etc.

KEEP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF with stupid statements bringing in Stalin, etc.

However, if a doctor honestly tells a patient that current medical opinion based on up-to-date science, for instance, says hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work and could be harmful, then tells the patient that he disagrees, gives his reasons, and also explains not covered by insurance, if patient decides wants treatment, well, sad; but OK. But if the doctor lies about its successes, etc. Not OK!

There are those advocating not admitting to hospitals covid patients who refused vaccines. I disagree. Human life is sacred and hospitals should treat them as well as they can. However, I wouldn’t mind if insurance companies subsequently refused payment. Exception for those with valid religious convictions or, of course, for various reasons, e.g., autoimmune disease, couldn’t be vaccinated.

I agree-we need to stop the fools saying “Don’t treat the unvaccinated.” Reminds me of a particularly odorous episode of ER where the doc chooses to try to save a doomed, wounded cop instead of a less-seriously wounded suspect. No excuse for this nonsense.

What’s more, many patients who have come out on the other side have done a total 180 and become our biggest vaccine advocates.

@ Kay West

You asked if someone published studies that later studies refuted would they lose their medical licenses. Andrew Wakefield lost his medical license when it was found his 1998 study was completely fraudulent and that he had invested in treatments, etc. So, he can’t practice medicine; but keeps pushing his fraudulent ideas. Read Brian Deer’s “The Doctor Who Fooled the World” or his articles in BMJ or in London Times. I’m sure you can find 4them if you want to.

I don’t remember his name, probably could find it; but a medical researcher published half dozen papers on treatment for some childhood disorder. Only problem, investigation found he lied about almost everything, including number of patients, etc. and the treatment didn’t work. Do you think he should have kept his medical license??? I don’t remember if he even lost it; but do remember he was banned from receiving future research funds.

And our hospitals are still being overwhelmed with covid patients, the vast majority unvaccinated. The pandemic is over 2 years old and hospital medical staff are burned out. While hospitals still take other emergencies, e.g., car crashes, heart attacks, etc. they don’t have personnel for treatment a lot of other patients. So, the unvaccinated are not only burdening already overworked hospital personnel; but reducing their ability to help others. And that is all right with you, isn’t it???

You write: “The most demoralizing part of all of this for me has been how quickly, just like other religious bs, the ivermectin-good-vaccines-bad religion has entered politics. Leave your beliefs to yourself and we needn’t worry about “Persecuting” one another at medical board meetings. We can stick to delicensing idiots who molest patients and who do blow before surgery.”

Yep, has entered politics and politicians, even those who got vaccinated and made sure family members were vaccinated and wear masks are prostituting themselves to get re-elected by pandering to antivaxxers, etc.

As for “persecuting” one another at medical board meetings. It is mainly, almost exclusively antivaxxers, who demonstrate at various board meetings, who have actually assaulted and/or threatened people. Maybe the exception proves the rule; but I doubt the vast majority of medical board meetings involve any type of persecution. I’m sure you’ve heard of one or two, ignoring the context. If some doctor, for instance, tries to dominate a board meeting, pushing some intervention that science says doesn’t work, maybe. Just an example of how you see the world in extremes of black and white.

But I forget, you have expertise in immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, history and current status of vaccine-preventable diseases, and especially an expertise in coronaviruses. Or, at least your delusions of grandeur have you believing such.

I have noticed that your more recent comments, stupid as usual; but appear disoriented. Perhaps you are decompensating???

Joel
you posted this in your attack on me.

“I have noticed that your more recent comments, stupid as usual; but appear disoriented. Perhaps you are decompensating???”

and you attributed this quote to me.

“You write: “The most demoralizing part of all of this for me has been how quickly, just like other religious bs, the ivermectin-good-vaccines-bad religion has entered politics. Leave your beliefs to yourself and we needn’t worry about “Persecuting” one another at medical board meetings. We can stick to delicensing idiots who molest patients and who do blow before surgery.”

No where in my 2 posts, of a total of 4 paragraphs did I ever mention the paragraph you attributed to me, now you may find your mistake and issue a correction, but as in all things the damage has been done and the misinformation is now part of the record, it the same thing that happens in research publications.

YOU are the disoriented one.

I believe that science evolves/changes (just like Dr. Fauci said) some more slowly than others and takes time to correct itself, you have a static believe in science. Just look at the Higgs boson, the theory was some what controversial and taken lightly in 1964 but now is an accepted fact. Do doctors have different treatments then they did 5-10-15-20 years ago. Were some of those treatments considered radical ideas years ago ?

My post was to point out that sending someone by force to a mental institution or psychiatrist is what happened in the Soviet Union under Stalin.
My original post was ““The idea of arbitrators who select what is correct and dismiss what is incorrect is the most alien possible concept to science.” How can that be controversial on a SBM website.

What was accepted and cited science yesterday may not be accepted science today. It took the Lancet 12 years to finally retract the Wakefield study, how many lives were lost due to that paper, how much money was lost and research dollars misspent because it took 12 years to retract.

Continued Use of Retracted Publications: Implications for Information Systems and Scientific Publishing

trace.tennessee.edu/utk_infosciepubs/462/

Science cannot discard an established fact. Both relativity and Quantum Mechanics has classical limit, In the case of quantum mechanics, it agrees with classical physics if value of Planck constant is zero. You should explain new facts,but you cannot unexplain old ones,
Medical science cannot discard all known facts aboiut vaccines either

Kind of a random comment not recommended by the rules, but i am looking for responses to the claims of ” three whistleblowers from the Department of Defense (DoD)—Lt. Col. Theresa Long, Dr. Samuel Sigoloff and Lt. Colonel Peter Chambers” of very high incidences of vaccine related problems in the military in the first 10 months of 2021. The numbers they report for percent increases in cancer diagnoses (nearly 300%), female infertility (400%), etc are so high as to suggest nearly every other report is the result of a vast conspiracy. But I haven’t seen any analyses of their claims. [Search does not find any of their names on this website.] Thanks.

@ Kay West

Oops! You got something right. The quote on Ivermectin was MedicalYeti’s response to you. As I’ve written, even a broken clock gets the time right twice daily. And notice, I checked and found you are right and had NO problem admitting it. Something you might learn from; but won’t.

You write: “Just look at the Higgs boson,”

YIKES! Particle physics??? The type/approach of research is so completely different. First and foremost, doesn’t affect you and me, our health, etc. in any manner. Just another example of your illogic, irrationality, clutching at straws approach

You write: “Do doctors have different treatments then they did 5-10-15-20 years ago. Were some of those treatments considered radical ideas years ago ?”

Yep, they had different treatments; but the vast majority did work; but newer ones work better and/or have fewer side-effects. Or maybe, for example, with infectious diseases due to mutations the previous treatments ceased to work. As for treatments originally considered radical ideas years ago. Depends on how far back you go; but nowadays, yep; but rare. But as usual, you ignore that years ago we did far less research, far fewer peer-reviewed journals, far less international studies easily accessed; e.g.; Swedish National Health, Canadian, etc.

But you are against vaccines and don’t understand the immune system, thus how they work. Vaccinology and supporting studies go back at least 70 years, literally 100s of thousands of published studies. And, though mRNA vaccines new, research on mRNA goes back to 1960s when discovered and includes over 200,000 papers. And research on mRNA vaccines goes back three decades with close to 400 published studies prior to 2019. You don’t like vaccines, especially COVID mRNA ones, so, despite all we know about vaccines, and now, all the many studies around the world on the current mRNA vaccines, studies done in multiple nations, you want to believe in some rare radical idea. In the meantime, without the vaccines, based on numerous studies, we would have had far more deaths in this nation.
This is a prime example of why I consider you STUPID and INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST. Higg’s boson? Rare radical ideas? Yep, let’s ignore all the science and use inappropriate analogies and hoped for rare radical ideas.

You write: “My post was to point out that sending someone by force to a mental institution or psychiatrist is what happened in the Soviet Union under Stalin.
My original post was ““The idea of arbitrators who select what is correct and dismiss what is incorrect is the most alien possible concept to science.” How can that be controversial on a SBM website.

You are really tiresome. Not “arbitrators”, but teams of high quality scientists who review carefully ALL the studies done and make decisions. Are the decisions 100% certain. Nope. Scientists, myself included and Orac, are not deities, but mere mortals; but at some point when the probability of being correct approaches 100%, decisions have to be made. If we waited, for instance, for 100% certainty that lead in gasoline caused birth defects, it may have been decades or never that it was removed. Only MORONS like you want absolute proof. And if we came up with it, you would still deny because you would claim it falsified, just part of a global conspiracy.

What is “controversial” on an Science-Based Medicine website is people who keep pushing medical interventions/ideaa that overwhelming studies have dismissed. However, you are free to do whatever, so if you become infected with covid, develop severe illness, you can choose to use hydroxychloroquine, ivermectin, homeopathy, whatever; but don’t expect Orac to accept this without pointing out just how stupid you are and wrong that people still push the aforementioned.

You write: “My post was to point out that sending someone by force to a mental institution or psychiatrist is what happened in the Soviet Union under Stalin”

Nope, we don’t forcefully send people to mental institutions or a gulag for believing in stupid ideas, unless they also exhibit clearly behaviors that fit DSM categories, behavior not dependent alone on their stupid medical positions. So, instead of playing the Nazi card, you play the Stalin card, both extreme examples of actions, EXTREME. Yep, you love seeing world in extremes of black and white.

You write: “What was accepted and cited science yesterday may not be accepted science today. It took the Lancet 12 years to finally retract the Wakefield study, how many lives were lost due to that paper, how much money was lost and research dollars misspent because it took 12 years to retract.”

Just proof you are an ASSHOLE because I already dealt with this; but once again, his study was almost immediately criticized in OpEds in both medical journals and newspapers. A 2004 series in the London Times by Brian Deer uncovered just how fraudulent it was. Subsequent additional research did not support it and Deer also uncovered how Wakefield planned to cash in by offering diagnostic kits and treatments. One doesn’t have to retract an article to overwhelmingly show it wrong; but Wakefield’s was not only wrong; but fraudulent. As I wrote above, you are good at finding things on the internet, so find Brian Deer’s 2004 series in London Times, or series in 2020 in BMJ or even better read his book: The Doctor Who Fooled the World.

If research later shown to be wrong, newer research usually mentions in introduction and if previous paper retracted would be sometimes difficult to follow/study how science develops. However, I do believe enough was known about Wakefield’s 1998 article, at least by 2004, that it was fraudulent that Lancet Editor Richard Horton should have retracted it. But thought it was retracted, it is still online with a big stamp through it RETRACTED. How many lives were lost? Don’t know; but the same mentality among those who ignore proof of how fraudulent the paper was; and still see Wakefield as a hero, check out website, for instance, Age of Autism, perfect example of how you think or better don’t think. Some of them too will claim persecution of Wakefield, etc. and ignore the science.

I promise you that if Wakefield’s article had been RETRACTED following Brian Deer’s article, 2004, the majority of those choosing to believe Wakefield would NOT have changed

@ Kay West

You asked how many lives lost because of Wakefield’s paper. Well, his paper was main impetus in antivax movement, though probably began almost 20 years earlier with Barbara Loe Fisher. So, Kay, how many lives have been lost, how many people, adults and children, have suffered from vaccine-preventable diseases, how many hospitalized, etc.?

How amazing that all this military billing code data is already available for 2021, and that we haven’t seen enormous spikes in these ailments in the civilian population. Or maybe they’ve occurred but have been covered up better than the military could.

Theresa Long, one of the “whistleblowers” is a real piece of work. In addition to suing over military vaccine mandates, she’s called for grounding of all vaccinated military pilots and railed against “antifreeze” in Covid vaccines. Her “whistleblower” cohorts have been involved in spreading similar antivax garbage.

As for JustTheNews, Media Bias/Fact Check rates them as a questionable source.

“We also rate them Mixed for factual reporting due to numerous failed fact checks and the promotion of conspiracy theories and right-wing propaganda.”

*by the way, Theresa Long says _everyone_ vaccinated against Covid-19 has suffered “irreparable” cardiovascular damage.

Have a nice weekend. 🙂

Thanks, i thought data (although supposed only for first 10 months) was available quickly. But with computers if it is entered on time. no reason it shouldn’t be. The 10 fold increase in serious diseases whereas most examples given are only 3 or 4 times also seems a bit odd.

I mean, every database has to be checked for bad entries (think someone typo’s a date of birth as 1893 rather than 1983), validated in some way and then analyzed. So that’s why even computerized databases aren’t available instantly.
(Not everyone is used to working with large complex datasets, which I why I thought it would be useful to explain.)

There is a saying about accusing others of what you’re guilty of. Food for thought.

Every approach to “fighting the pandemic” from the establishment has been counterintuitive to science in every possible way and has been little more than psychodrama.

If you are right about the quackery then you should openly debate not just the most prominent scapegoats but ENGAGE WITH people’s theories, studies, etc if you really want to solve it…but we all know the powers that be do not, therefore they censor via proxy out of sheer desperation. You frauds damaged the entire medical industry, pharmaceutical industry, local and federal government reputation reputation and trust and will NEVER get it back.

It’s in your best interest to be honest because people who you damaged are going to take other venues to make their points and the censorship FEEDS THEIR LIVIDNESS. You can memory hole the harm caused to them but they are not going to forgive or forget any individual who abused them, blog writers not excluded.
Think about that.

You really think doubling-down on scripted talking points to defend government and corporate fascism because you have corporativist manufactured consensus on your side is going to be worth a damn when the dam is about to burst?
People may be stupid and easily fooled some of the time but not all the time- especially when they can see what happens in any other nation, or what respectively has not happened in contrast to “the science” you helped mass-market. People have eyes in their head. They aren’t going to suddenly forget about the footballer collapsing on the field, about their own sudden PoTS, watching their mother’s face tremors, or their teenager’s mysterous ischemic condition when they just had clean bills of health before a medical treatment from Pfizer & friends just because you said so and facebook deleted their grievences. BS’ing them with “you’re never too young for a heart attack” and laughable “broken heart syndrome” isn’t going to cut it.

You really think doubling-down on scripted talking points to defend government and corporate fascism because you have corporativist manufactured consensus on your side is going to be worth a damn when the dam is about to burst?

One wonders where you got your scripted talking points.

“People may be stupid and easily fooled some of the time but not all the time”

I keep hoping they’ll wake up.

And yet they keep right on falling for irrational conspiracy theories, without ever realizing how badly they’re being exploited by con artists profiting off their fears.

How preventing spreas of the virus is counterintuitive ? Thia what have been done.
Quacks are selling snake oil, and no engagemenbt can help that, Interesting thing is tha you believe their ads without question.

Prove any of those hyperbolic claims. PROVE THEM OR SHUT UP.

Also, no one is being censored. Just ask Spotify.

Finally, I don’t have to engage with your whackadoodle theories. Talk about fascism? I’m REQUIRED to give your whacked-out bs a hearing? REQUIRED? What’s that sound like?

That’s what people like you are really mad about-no one wants to listen to your nonsense. Had you done something constructive with your life more folks might want to engage with you.

@ Kay West

First, you obviously are quite good at searching the web; however, given how much is on the internet, anyone can find blogs, papers, even journal articles that by cherry-picking can confirm ones bias. I can find QAnon, racism (even posting peer-reviewed articles), etc. Nope, early peer-reviewed journal articles that showed blacks inferior have NOT been retracted; however, later, articles, books, etc have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that the studies were poorly done, methodology, measures, sampling, and/or the interpretations/conclusions were not really based on the data. But not retracted.

If you noticed; but I doubt, I give direct quotes from you, then explain scientifically and logically why you are wrong. Earlier I used to cite numerous sources; but nothing will change your mind anyway, so why bother. And, yep, late last night, MedicalYetis came directly after one of your comments and I cut an pasted from him. Typical that you NEVER actually try to refute anything I write; but if you find one mistake, that is what you focus on. As I’ve written before, if you or others like you were on a jury and thought someone guilty, even if defense proved DNA lab incompetent, 9 of 10 witnesses wrong, etc. if one witness, regardless of how reliable testified against defendant, you would base your vote on him/her. Or if you thought defendant innocent and DNA chain of custody to both police and defense labs, 12 point finger prints, 9 credible witnesses, if one said saw elsewhere, you would base your vote on him/her.

You bring in extreme examples, Stalin. Wow! Yep, if Stalin or Hitler did something terrible, well, it could happen here. Well, if we reach that level, neither you nor I will be not at risk because Stalin and HItler were both paranoid and anything and everything that they thought opposed them, if only in their warped minds, ended with people suffering. Maybe you suffer from a more minor paranoia???

And stupid as you are you criticize that Wakefield’s 1998 paper wasn’t retracted sooner because of the harm it caused. Missing that the harm was basically beginning of modern anti-vaccination movement, which you obviously support.

You believe you are right, that you understand, that I, Orac, and several others who post here or on Science-Based Medicine are wrong. So I have 40 years and PhD, Orac is MD with PhD in Immunology, etc. yet you refuse to explain what basis you know or believe you are right and we are wrong. I really think you should look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

“Not “arbitrators”, but teams of high quality scientists who review carefully ALL the studies done and make decisions.”

I wasn’t aware that facebook/twitter/google/utube/NYT/WAPO etc. all employed teams of high quality scientists. Even the head of the CDC doesn’t conduct business in this fashion, please explain this cognitive dissonance or maybe you should be running the CDC.

cnn.com/2022/01/07/politics/rochelle-walensky-cdc-communications-covid-19/index.html

” Walensky largely crafted the new guidance with the help of a small circle of top advisers, eschewing the traditional process of rigorous scientific vetting by experts at the CDC who would in turn also consult with outside public health partners and experts.”

and since you are into reading try this

“Everything is Obvious Once you Know the Answer”
Phillip Tetlock

or

Talent is Overrated: What Really separates World-class Performers from Everybody Else.
Geoff Colvin

or short version.

newyorker.com/magazine/2005/12/05/everybodys-an-expert

“Tetlock found that knowing a lot can actually make a person less reliable”
“Tetlock found that his experts used a double standard: they were much tougher in assessing the validity of information that undercut their theory than they were in crediting information that supported it”
“The expert also suffers from knowing too much: the more facts an expert has, the more information is available to be enlisted in support of his or her pet theories, and the more chains of causation he or she can find beguiling. This helps explain why specialists fail to outguess non-specialists. The odds tend to be with the obvious.”

Isn’t it a little humbling knowing that a rat can outperform you or me. I find that amusing, you take offense.

“Why Experts are Almost Always Wrong”
smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-experts-are-almost-always-wrong-9997024/

“When they’re wrong, they’re rarely held accountable, and they rarely admit it, either. They insist that they were just off on timing, or blindsided by an improbable event, or almost right, or wrong for the right reasons. They have the same repertoire of self-justifications that everyone has, and are no more inclined than anyone else to revise their beliefs about the way the world works, or ought to work, just because they made a mistake.”

“A 2004 series in the London Times”. that was a full 6 years AFTER the paper was peer reviewed and published. 6 years to realize something was wrong, Since covid started there are over 100,000 papers published that were peer reviewed. given your 6 year time frame that’s a lot of time for bad science to spread misinformation.

“Typical that you NEVER actually try to refute anything I write; but if you find one mistake, that is what you focus on.”

You are really too funny to think that this was your only mistake on this blog, and people refute what you claim and you end up name calling or as a last resort to standing behind the human shield of Orac and others. As far as dunning-kruger effect, I believe that someone said that about you ,over a year ago “They tend to overrate themselves because they do not see the qualitative difference between their performances and the performances of others. The systematic error concerns their tendency to greatly overestimate their competence or to see themselves as more skilled than they are the incompetent people over estimated theirs,” but you are the expert.

You have chosen self isolation and as you have admitted no family and few friends to offer you feedback and use this blog and other media as your outlet for you frustrations. As you have repeatedly posted of your extortionary skills but in reality you really haven’t done much in life, and that which you did do has been passed over as science has evolved.

Facebook et al use external talent, let us put this way.
So you think that experts to not know nothing ? Do you think antivaxxers do ? Try to defend them,then, instead of making general statements.

Facebook does not employ scientist, as Facebook admitted in their lawsuit that their fact checker are just opinion writers.
Interesting that Facebook used EcoHealth alliance as the source for fact checking a story about the Wuhan lab leak. Of course leaving out the face that EcoHealth had funded the Wuhan lab.

@Kay West Where Facebook fact checkers get their facts ? Perhaps scientists are involved
Actually full sentence is Labels themselves are not false or defamatory, they constitute protected opinion.
Again a rather selective quatation.

@ Kay West

You write: “I wasn’t aware that facebook/twitter/google/utube/NYT/WAPO etc. all employed teams of high quality scientists. Even the head of the CDC doesn’t conduct business in this fashion, please explain this cognitive dissonance or maybe you should be running the CDC.”

I don’t care about facebook, etc. I read information syntheses/meta-analysis, decisions made by scientists reviewing areas of research. As for head of CDC, actually they do have teams that do the same; however, Rochel Walensky is caught between a rock and a hard place, especially given short press conferences. She sometimes misspeaks, as do we all; but the actual CDC website, on the whole, follows the science. It was under Trump that his team tried to censor CDC, etc.

You write: “” Walensky largely crafted the new guidance with the help of a small circle of top advisers, eschewing the traditional process of rigorous scientific vetting by experts at the CDC who would in turn also consult with outside public health partners and experts.””

The top advisers, among them are some of the top career CDC scientists And the CNN report stated: “Scientists within the CDC have also grown increasingly frustrated with Walensky’s handling of public health guidance, a CDC scientist told CNN. According to the scientist, Walensky largely crafted the new guidance with the help of a small circle of top advisers, eschewing the traditional process of rigorous scientific vetting by experts at the CDC who would in turn also consult with outside public health partners and experts.”

One CDC scientist gave one opinion. Typical of news that they report it without any further investigation. He could simply be a disgruntled employee or he could be telling the truth. You, of course, without any additional information choose the latter; but, again, you ignore that her “small circle of top advisers” are “top” experts with long experience, so it isn’t black and white, the way you look at the world. Would not be the first time a disgruntled employee has made claims that later investigation proved false. I could give you references; but why bother, you want to believe what you want to believe.

So Experts never admit when they are wrong; but I don’t base my decisions, my opinion, on one or two experts. But, since you NEVER admit you are wrong, I guess that is because you aren’t an expert.

You quote: “talent is overrated.” So, studying for an MD and PhD in immunology means what? Overrated? So, we should give your positions validity because you lack talent, lack education, expertise??? You love to find quotes; but what validity do they have except that you chose to believe them?

You quote: ““The expert also suffers from knowing too much: the more facts an expert has, the more information is available to be enlisted in support of his or her pet theories, and the more chains of causation he or she can find beguiling. This helps explain why specialists fail to outguess non-specialists. The odds tend to be with the obvious.”

Problem is that not only specialists; but non-specialists; e.g., infectious disease doctors vs general practitioners, public health workers, nurses, epidemiologists, etc. all support, for instance, vaccines. And you find quotes from someone which, if they state what you want to hear, must be true.

You write: ““A 2004 series in the London Times”. that was a full 6 years AFTER the paper was peer reviewed and published. 6 years to realize something was wrong, Since covid started there are over 100,000 papers published that were peer reviewed. given your 6 year time frame that’s a lot of time for bad science to spread misinformation.”

As I said, there were already papers that refuted Wakefield’s claims, his findings. Deer’s report found that not only was Wakefield wrong; but a fraud. However, you want to believe that the 100,000 papers done by different researchers in many different nations, etc. were all wrong or fraudulent. So, once paper by one person, Wakefield, so 100,000 also wrong and, perhaps, fraudulent. YOU ARE SICK. And once again, the antivax movement mainly began following Wakefield’s paper, so now you know it was a fraud, so what do you base your antivax opinion on?

And once again you write: “You have chosen self isolation and as you have admitted no family and few friends to offer you feedback and use this blog and other media as your outlet for you frustrations. As you have repeatedly posted of your extortionary skills but in reality you really haven’t done much in life, and that which you did do has been passed over as science has evolved.”

First, hypocrite, why do you post on this blog? Are you projecting your own psychological problems, are you using this blog as an outlet for your frustrations?

I do have a telephone and e-mail. Until the pandemic I met various colleagues for lunch. Yep, many of my friends have died; but I am still in touch with a few, one who just retired after over $500 million dollars in research grants, leading a research center with his name on over 500 publications and I know he would disagree with you about my level of knowledge. I keep up. One of the nice things about being retired and living alone is that I can keep up with lots of things. On average I devote an hour a day, starting in January 2020, reading reports and peer-reviewed articles on current pandemic and am also reading new edition of undergraduate Immunology textbook and editing for a colleague new edition of undergraduate microbiology textbook. My collegue seems to really appreciate my editing, including rewriting short sections, correcting/updating some things, etc. So, you are literally FULL OF SHIT claiming science has passed me over. And you continue to attack my level of science, my life-style; but never explain what you base your position on, what skills you have, etc. As for Dunning-Kruger, it fits you perfectly.

You write: “You are really too funny to think that this was your only mistake on this blog, and people refute what you claim and you end up name calling or as a last resort to standing behind the human shield of Orac and others”

How in hell am I using Orac and others as a human shield. All I wrote is that my positions, based on science, agrees with theirs. So, I am wrong about supporting vaccines, about supporting mitigation policies for covid; but now you are saying Orac is right. Well, great because you STUPID ASSHOLE, he has demonstrated over and over the same opinions. You use quotes to back your positions; but I can’t back my position by pointing to Orac’s and others. JUST HOW STUPID AND HYPOCRITICAL ARE YOU???

Kay West, again you find quotes by a few people and they must be true because they say what you choose to believe. Well, I have known a number of good scientists in my life who have changed positions on various subjects when new studies, well-done studies have been published. And I know scientists who NEVER change their positions. It is typical of an ASSHOLE like you who sees the world in black and white to choose to believe that scientists fit one mold, that is, if they disagree with you it is because they refuse to change because you know better than them.

And, again, you have several times attacked me because I am retired, live alone, so how is it you have so much time on your hands, time to search the internet, time to write comments attacking me? Why do you, such a genius, devote so much time and effort aimed at one old man living alone???

YOU ARE SICK SICK SICK

However, I am quite sad often to think of all the friends who have now passed. I just recently finished a new book on the history of the discovery of DNA. It devotes some pages to x-ray crystallography. When I first move to Sweden in 1970 one of the first friends I made was working on his doctorate in physical chemistry, specializing in X-ray crystallography. Last time I visited Sweden in 1995 stayed with him and his wife for a couple of days. He told me then and earlier how at international meetings he knew all the paritipants by first name since there wasn’t that many x-ray crystolographers in world. Reading book I would be willing to be he knew a number of those mentioned. I would love for him to read the book and discuss it over e-mail; but he died in 2014. He was a good friend and much smarter than me, expert in higher mathematics, built his own home computer in 1970s, expert in physical chemistry and a really nice guy, good friend. I have had friends who were way more intelligent/knowledgable in certain subjects than me, friends who were police, firemen, etc. I trained Aikido, had choice between student group and regular group. I chose to train with regular group, had Swedes and some Finns from all classes, even someone who was a barber. After training Saturday mornings we would all go to lunch and often someone would have party at their home. Bottom line is that I have had friends from all walks of life, many now gone; but a few still alive. And I keep in touch with them.

So, ASSHOLE, again, you attack me for being retired, living alone, not keeping up, etc. so what do you base your positions on? How come you have so much time to search the internet and to write your comments?

@ Kay West

You write: “You have chosen self isolation and as you have admitted no family and few friends to offer you feedback and use this blog and other media as your outlet for you frustrations. As you have repeatedly posted of your extortionary skills but in reality you really haven’t done much in life, and that which you did do has been passed over as science has evolved.”

So, where do you get you “knowledge” from? The internet? Well, as I’ve written umpteen times, I often do searches on PubMed, National Library of Medicine’s online database, includes almost ALL medical and related journals and many reports, and Google Scholar. If some of articles I find can’t be downloaded I e-mail still living friends at various universities and they or their students go to library, scan in article, and e-mail me pdf (not immediately but usually within a few days). I also have read several books on pandemic, and many reports and articles. The difference between me and people like you is that I have the skills to understand the articles; e.g., methodology, statistics, etc. and I don’t cherry-pick them and don’t rely on empty quotes. In addition, I have watched press conferences, seminars, etc. on YouTube. In fact, I have bookmarked several online courses and had intended to start them; but between what I am currently doing and wasting time with MORONS like you, have delayed. Mainly subjects I already know; but always like to update and refresh my knowledge; e.g., course on virology.

As I wrote, I am currently reading a new edition of an undergraduate textbook on Immunology, probably the 6th or 7th immunology text I’ve read and editing a colleagues next edition of an undergraduate text in microbiology. So, MORON, how has science evolved and passed me by?

And, yep, many friends have passed, one of the negatives of being healthy and being alive; but I still have a few who I maintain regular contact with, one in fact a PhD well-published virologist. Any questions I have about the SARS-2-Coronavirus I direct to him. As for choosing self isolation, only since pandemic lockdown. I used to go almost every day to local YMCA, alternating swimming with weight-lifting and stationary bike. People from all over the world were members, including an Iraqi Jew, Iraqi Chaldean Christian, and several Iraqi Moslems and an exchange student studying for PhD in Physics from People’s Republic of China, and every ethnicity and “race”. We would spot each other on weights and sometimes drink coffee afterwards and even go out to lunch. So, yep, self isolation, not voluntary but because of pandemic. I guess, knowing how STUPID you are, during the pandemic you socialized often, even in settings with large numbers of people, don’t wear masks, of course, didn’t get vaccine, etc.

So, explain sources of knowledge you have that I don’t. And again, what skills, basic knowledge allows you to evaluate/decide validity of various reports/papers, etc.???

By the way, I am aware of mistakes made during pandemic by NIH, CDC, etc. Some due to underfunding, shortage of staff, some due to White House interference, some do to turf battles; but, given the pandemic, first major in many years with so many hospitalizations, deaths, etc. quite simply, we were unprepared. Unprepared: Not having capacity to rapidly churn out testing kits, not having personnel (both federal, state, municipal) to do tracking, not having a decent electronic reporting system; i.e., different hospitals different databases, different degree of up-to-date data entry, etc. American politics, Federal, State, Municipal making it highly difficult to coordinate even data collection, etc. And I just downloaded a few minutes ago a new Government Accounting Office Report highly critical of HHS, CDC, etc. response to pandemic: GAO (2022 Jan). COVID-19: Significant Improvements Are Needed for Overseeing Relief Funds and Leading Responses to Public Health Emergencies. I will skip sections on relief funds and read responses to public health emergencies.

So, you continue to make a fool of yourself by focusing on my home situation, as if that actually said anything about whether I keep up-to-date or not. Typical of you.

Now, I’ve got to work on editing colleagues next edition of undergraduate test in Microbiology, a subject directly relevant to current pandemic, a subject I sincerely doubt you have any knowledge of at all.

Below is list of books, reports, articles I’ve read or skimmed. I didn’t include ALL the journal articles, CDC, WHO, Swedish, etc on current pandemic.

Pandemic Preparedness & Failure
Reference List

Books

Burleigh, Nina (2021 May). Virus: Vaccinations, the CDC, and the Hijacking of Americas Response to the Pandemic.

Christakis, Nicholas A (2020 Oct 27). Apollos Arrow – The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.

Gottlieb, Scott (2021). Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic.

Horton, Richard (2020 Jun). The COVID-19 Catastrophe – What’s Gone Wrong and How To Stop It Happening Again.

Lewis, Michael (2021 May). The Premonition: A Pandemic Story.

MacKenzie, Debora (2020 Jul). COVID-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One.

Taylor, Steven (2019). The Psychology of Pandemics: Preparing for the Next Global Outbreak of Infectious Disease.

Reports

Annas GJ et al. (2008 Jan). Pandemic Preparedness: The Need for a Public Health—Not a Law Enforcement/National Security-Approach. American Civil Liberties Union.

Institute of Medicine (2007). Ethical and Legal Considerations in Mitigating Pandemic Disease: Workshop Summary. National Academies Press.

Institute of Medicine (2015). Emerging Viral Diseases: The One Health Connection: Workshop Summary.

Johns Hopkins (2019). Global Health Security Index: Building Collective Action and Accountability.

John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2021). Technologies to Address Global Catastrophic Biological Risks.

National Academy of Medicine (2016). The Neglected Dimension of Global Security – A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises. National Academies Press.

Trust for America’s Health (2013). Outbreaks: Protecting Americans Infectious Diseases.

Trust for America’s Health (2016). Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism.

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness & Response (2021 May). COVID-19: Make it the Last Pandemic.

Wenham C et al. (2021 May 21). Preparing for the next pandemic: The recommendations of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response do not go far enough. BMJ.

WHO (2005). International Health Regulations (Third Edition).

WHO (Global Preparedness Monitoring Board) (2019). A World At Risk: Annual report on global preparedness for health emergencies.

Papers

Branswell H (2020 Apr 20). The months of magical thinking: As the coronavirus swept over China, some experts were in denial. STAT.

Bruni F (2020 May 2). She Predicted the Coronavirus. What Does She Foresee Next? Laurie Garrett, the prophet of this pandemic, expects years of death and “collective rage.” The New York Times.

CDC (2014 Jan 29). 2013-2014 National Snapshot of Public Health Preparedness.

Darzi A & Afeyan N (2020 May 11). A global pathogen shield/ the health security step to ‘never again’. STAT.

Duncan DE (2020 Mar 27). “Prepare, Prepare, Prepare”: Why Didn’t the World Listen to the Coronavirus Cassandras? Vanity Fair.

Florko N (2020 Apr 6). Is BARDA ready to respond to a crisis like coronavirus? STAT.

Foote MMK et al. (2017 Sep 15). Assessment of Hospital Emergency Department Response to Potentially Infectious Diseases Using Unannounced Mystery Patient Drills — New York City, 2016. MMWR; 66(36): 945-949.

Frieden TR et al. (2021 Jul 6). 7-1-7: an organising principle, target, and accountability metric to make the world safer from pandemics. The Lancet.

Friedman U (2020 Mar 18). We Were Warned: When the inevitable inquiry into the government’s response to COVID-19 happens, it will conclude that signs of a coming crisis were everywhere. The Atlantic.

GAO (2018 May). INFECTIOUS DISEASE THREATS: Funding and Performance of Key Preparedness and Capacity-Building Programs.

GAO (2020 Feb 19). NATIONAL BIODEFENSE STRATEGY: Additional Efforts Would Enhance Likelihood of Effective Implementation.

Garrett L (2019 Sep 20). The World Knows an Apocalyptic Pandemic Is Coming – Foreign Policy.

Khazan O (2021 Jun 25). We’re Not Ready for Another Pandemic: The next big plague is coming, and despite making progress on pandemic preparedness, the U.S. might still suffer mass casualties. The Atlantic.

Kirchhoff C (2020 Mar 28). Ebola Should Have Immunized the United States to the Coronavirus: What Washington Filed to Learn From the National Security Council’s Ebola Report. Foreign Affairs.

Marston HD, Paules CI, Fauci AS (2017 Oct 4). The Critical Role of Biomedical Research in Pandemic Preparedness. JAMA

McLeary J & Medish M (2020 Apr 7). Paradigm Shift by Pandemic. CounterPunch.

Morens DM, Taubenberger JK, Fauci AS (2009 Jan). An Historical Antecedent of Modern Guidelines for Community Pandemic Influenza Mitigation.

Morrison JS et al. (2019 Nov). Ending the Cycle of Crisis and Complacency in U.S. Global Health Security. A Report of the Center for Strategic & International Studies Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security.

Nigosian H & Kickbusch I (2021 Feb 25). The case for an international pandemic treaty: A treaty would protect lives, livelihoods, security, and human rights. BMJ

@ Kay West

As I mentioned, one of main problems was and is turf wars between NIH, FDA, CDC, Feds, States, Counties, Municipalities. A number of causes. Lack of a clear plan for dealing with pandemics; e.g. who responsible for what, who in supportive role, etc. There was a plan but not for pandemics in general; but for already experience microbes; e.g., flu; but they spread, infect, etc. quite differently. And even that plan did not give clearcut instructions. But even if we had had a really good plan, it would have needed strong focused leadership and we certainly didn’t have that under Trump and now trying to get things together after mistakes, etc. makes things even more difficult. Among other things because of mistakes, etc. under Trump, together with IDIOTS in public like you who are good at cherry-picking not actually understanding the public is also split. And a very recent report highlights the flaws in American politics, namely Republican States have over twice the per capita deaths as Democratic States on average.

So, yep, we screwed up; but the pandemic is REAL and deadly and other nations have dealt with it in ways that have resulted in far fewer deaths; e.g., Israel, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, etc. Partly because their publics have a stronger sense of community, not the belief in many Americans that they have rights; but not responsibilities.

@ Kay West

You write: “” Walensky largely crafted the new guidance with the help of a small circle of top advisers, eschewing the traditional process of rigorous scientific vetting by experts at the CDC who would in turn also consult with outside public health partners and experts.”

What you don’t understand is that CDC guidelines/reports are mainly “after-the-fact”, that is, when enough data is collected, then a long tedious, yep, rigorous scientific vetting by experts, is carried out. Unfortunately, this process takes often 6 months or more. And if it had been carried out for the initial COVID outbreak, would then require waiting for enough data from Delta, again a long vetting process, etc. In other words, after millions had died, then a final report/guidelines would be made available from the CDC. So, though the news report may just have been a disgruntled whistleblower, not telling truth, if true, not a negative. Yep, without all the data guidelines may have mistakes; but in your typical STUPIDITY risk from doing nothing outweighs reasonable attempts at actions.

You write: “Facebook does not employ scientist, as Facebook admitted in their lawsuit that their fact checker are just opinion writers.
Interesting that Facebook used EcoHealth alliance as the source for fact checking a story about the Wuhan lab leak. Of course leaving out the face that EcoHealth had funded the Wuhan lab.”

So what? If the COVID leaked from Wuhan lab which most evidence says no; but if it did, we have had numerous leaks from American labs, not just of dangerous microbes; but our own gain-of-function experiments. Since many viruses have originated from China, especially Horseshoe Bats, funding a top quality lab was and is a smart move. Despite what you want to believe, EcoHealth Alliance is a top quality organization; but as I’ve pointed out, I don’t rely on one or even two sources. And I would NEVER rely on Facebook, Social Media, Twitter, etc. for anything. Nor would I even believe anything from Alex Jones, Fox News, etc. I’m sure you are close to absolutely certain that EcoAlliance, because of their position which contradicts your “expert” knowledge, etc. should be criticized.

Oh, you mention “vetting by EXPERTS”, so you are criticizing Walensky for not waiting for experts; but then, again, you posted quotes such as ““Why Experts are Almost Always Wrong”

You really are STUPID, contradicting yourself.

@ Kay West EXPERTS???

You cited or referenced a number of papers and books criticizing experts.
Perhaps, you didn’t notice that ALL were about political experts, not scientific experts:

“political experts’ predicitons are only slightly better than a random guess, and way worse than a statistical model. . . Barker points to a study from the 1980′s, when Philip Tetlock had 284 political “experts” make about a hundred predictions. The study is summarized in the book Everything Is Obvious* Once You Know the Answer” [Rose Eveleth (2012 Jul 31). Why Experts are Almost Always Wrong | Smart News | Smithsonian Magazine]

Scientific predictions often, including the current pandemic, include statistical models and as more and more data collected, the models change. That is science; but scientific analyses is far different from political predictions as, for instance, should we or shouldn’t we send troops against Iraq. Political pundits, even academics, base their judgements on far weaker criteria. In other words, in your IMMENSE STUPIDITY, you completely ignored the above and mixed apples with oranges.

One of your references was to Calvin’s book: Talent is Overrated. It isn’t “talent” it is education/training/rigorous scientific methodology that is involved in evaluating infectious diseases.

In any case, just one more example of how you continuously MAKE A FOOL OF YOURSELF! 1 !

OOPS! I am getting old, instead of just pointing out how you find quotes and assume they are correct and apply, I should have actually checked them out. Well, now I did. All of them.

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