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Are public health responses to COVID-19 like the Cultural Revolution?

Over at the “spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration,” an anonymous graduate student likens COVID-19 responses to the Cultural Revolution. Wait, I thought COVID mitigations were the Holocaust! I’m so confused!

If there’s one historical event to which antivaxxers and COVID-19 cranks and contrarians love to compare public health interventions to mitigate the harms of the current pandemic, it’s the Holocaust, which, of course, makes public health officials, governments, and the medial professionals Nazis promoting incipient fascism. Conveniently, such analogies also allow cranks to falsely don the mantle of oppressed people, like Jews during the Holocaust, Blacks during slavery and Jim Crow, and all manner of other oppressed people, even other victims of genocide, letting them believe themselves in their minds to be heroic freedom fighters standing up for the oppressed people who are required to mask up indoors or show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to go to a restaurant, and only then in vanishing small parts of the country. Given the far rightward shift of the antivaccine movement politically, which facilitated its merger it with the always right wing contingent of COVID-19 antimaskers and “anti-lockdown” protesters, I had always wondered why one particular incident of oppression from history had been left out, particularly given that the same group has likened COVID-19 science to a cult, a classic antiscience crank move! Well, I wonder no more. Now antivaxxers are co-opting the Communist Chinese Cultural Revolution, because of course they are!

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how the “spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration,” the Brownstone Institute, has fully embraced its inner antivaxxer and is now happily spreading antivaccine misinformation in Africa and all over the world. I notice these things, because a while back I added the RSS feed for the Brownstone Institute website to my Feedly, which means that I at least see what’s being published every day by Jeffrey Tucker, Martin Kulldorff, and their merry band of COVID freedom fighters propagandists, which led me to a howler of an article yesterday by an anonymous graduate student at Brown University and entitled The Covid Response Brought the Cultural Revolution to the West. Now we’re talking! I wondered why the right wing flacks there hadn’t tried to demonize COVID-19 public health responses with an analogy to the crimes of Communism before! As far as I can remember, only the Association of American Physicians and Scientists (AAPS, or, as I like to call them, the John Birch Society of medicine) has already gone there, comparing the Federation of State Medical Boards to the NKVD, the precursor to the Soviet KGB.

So who is this graduate student? The Brownstone Institute says simply:

The author is a PhD student at Brown University who, regrettably, must remain anonymous for now.

“Must remain anonymous”? Or: “chooses to remain anonymous”? Far be it from me to criticize someone for remaining anonymous, given my history of using a pseudonym early in my blogging career (which I continue to use now as a nom de blog of sorts, a pen name, because I like it, even though everyone who takes a few seconds to look can find my real name). However, reading this student’s ahistorical and unscientific takes tells me that there’s probably a very good reason for remaining anonymous, and it’s not fear of “persecution” or “being canceled,” but of very justified criticism and even outright mockery for spewing nonsense.

The Great Barrington Declaration’s eugenicist herd immunity approach

I could tell immediately from this article that this “anonymous Brown University graduate student” must not be studying infectious disease or epidemiology, given assertions like this:

Herd immunity is probably the most misunderstood word during the pandemic. Here, I am going to restate what Professor Sunetra Gupta, an Oxford epidemiology professor, has said [17,18,21]. When a new disease emerges, it ravages through the whole population because there is no immunity. But infection and vaccination will build herd immunity and eventually the pandemic will become endemic. An endemic state is not the same as a zero-case state. It simply means the rate of immunity (from vaccination or infection) loss equals the rate of infection. A zero-case state will never happen, at least in our lifetime. Herd immunity has been misinterpreted as a “let-it-rip strategy” by many people. 

It was suggested that this student might be an economics major. That would certainly track, but I also thought that political science was a possibility. I certainly hope it isn’t history! Certainly, there is much projection here, given how bad the misunderstanding of basic epidemiological concepts like herd immunity on display is!

Whatever this student’s area of study, you might think from this statement that he or she is not antivaccine. You’d be wrong, as I will show before moving on to the spurious analogies to the Cultural Revolution. First, however, while this is is a simplistic statement of the definition of herd immunity and endemicity, let me just point out something about the term “endemic.” In brief, contrary to the assumption frequently made by those claiming that COVID-19 is nearly endemic now and use that as an excuse to do nothing, “endemic” does not equal harmless. As epidemiologist Aris Katzourakis put it:

Stating that an infection will become endemic says nothing about how long it might take to reach stasis, what the case rates, morbidity levels or death rates will be or, crucially, how much of a population — and which sectors — will be susceptible. Nor does it suggest guaranteed stability: there can still be disruptive waves from endemic infections, as seen with the US measles outbreak in 2019. Health policies and individual behaviour will determine what form — out of many possibilities — endemic COVID-19 takes.

In Brownstone-speak (and COVID-19 contrarian-speak), “endemic” means, “shrug our shoulders and do nothing and, yes, let ‘er rip,” no matter how much Brownstone denies it while comparing public health to the Cultural Revolution, even as they deny that it’s a “let ‘er rip” strategy.” After all, if you, like Jeffrey Tucker and everyone at the Brownstone Institute including Great Barrington Declaration signatory Martin Kulldorff, oppose mask mandates, vaccine mandates, and any other public health interventions to slow the spread of an infectious disease while advocating a “natural herd immunity” approach to the pandemic, even going so far as to portray masking and vaccines as basically useless, what is that other than a “let ‘er rip strategy”? You can deny that as much as you like by claiming that you advocate “focused protection” for those most vulnerable to severe disease and death, but your resistance to vaccine and mask mandates, as well as pretty much every other public health intervention, tells me that you’re all about letting COVID-19 rip through the population to reach herd immunity, damn the death toll.

Now here’s the “tell” about where this graduate student is really coming from:

The reality is, herd immunity is something that exists and will be reached no matter what we do. This is a scientific fact. The question is, how do we get there safely and ethically? The most ideal way is to build immunity via effective vaccination. By effective, I mean vaccination that can stop the transmission in the long term. Unfortunately, we do not have such a vaccine. Even before the Omicron variant, the best vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) were known to be effective at blocking the virus for less than 6 months [1,6]. Their effectiveness in preventing serious illnesses lasts longer, but this has nothing to do with herd immunity. Eventually, a certain amount of people will be infected no matter what we do. We also knew that natural immunity is stronger and lasts longer than vaccine-induced immunity since July 2021 [39]. Unfortunately, the CDC demonized natural immunity and refused to acknowledge its durability until January 2022. And when it did acknowledge that, enormous confusion was caused among the American people.

As has been noted from time to time, any time someone so confidently declares a prediction like to be a “scientific fact” in this manner, they’re probably full of…well, you know what. (Ah, the unbridled and unjustified confidence of youth!) Next, notice the comment about vaccination. This student quite consciously restricts the definition of a vaccine that can result in herd immunity to only a vaccine that “can stop transmission in the long term,” citing the Omicron variant. Never mind that nothing in medicine is 100% and that few vaccines block transmission even close to 100%, a characteristic known as producing sterilizing immunity, which is immunity that stops the virus cold so that it can’t infect the vaccinated or be passed on by them. (Examples of long-used vaccines that don’t produce sterilizing immunity include the pertussis and hepatitis B vaccines.) Indeed, it was recognized very early on that vaccines need not completely stop transmission to curb the pandemic. Moreover, current evidence strongly suggests that hybrid immunity (from prior infection and having been vaccinated) is the most robust and that, at least as of now, boosters can restore much of the immunity evaded by the Omicron variant.

Also conveniently left out is the observation that “natural immunity” hasn’t done so well against COVID-19 either, given the rate of reinfection observed for the Omicron variant in people infected with the original COVID-19 strain or the Delta variant. What this graduate student neglects to consider is that, in the absence of long-lived immunity, whether that immunity is due to infection or vaccines, herd immunity can never be reached. If continued widespread circulation of the virus results in a situation in which new variants that can evade the immune responses to prior infection or vaccines, keep popping up, herd immunity can never be reached. Unfortunately, this is exactly the situation that we still have right now, in no small part thanks to “natural herd immunity” advocates who claim not to be antivaccine but parrot antivaccine talking points. In such a situation, as we see with influenza, to keep the disease under control could well require regular boosters, which, apparently, Brownstone Institute views as either incipient fascism or Communism, depending on the day and the particular author.

In any case, there is a huge difference between achieving herd immunity (if that’s even possible) through vaccination compared to letting a disease rip through the population that this student overlooks. Vaccination doesn’t require that huge numbers of the population get the disease and suffer the complications up to and including death from it to reach herd immunity. Or, as it was put here:

This sums up the policy advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration, the Brownstone Institute, and this deluded graduate student to bring the pandemic under control.

After trotting out the standard Great Barrington Declaration eugenicist talking points emphasizing how low the risk of serious disease and death from COVID-19 is in children and young adults—or, as I like to characterize them, “screw the elderly and those with chronic health conditions that predispose them to serious disease and death from the disease”—and how “lockdowns” and vaccine mandates won’t prevent us eventually reaching herd immunity from widespread infection, this foolish student argues:

From January 2020 to January 2022, only around 6,000 people aged 0-29 in the United States have died from Covid-19. It is lower than that of homicide in normal years. For people aged 0-17, only 700 have died of the disease in the past two years. In addition, studies have shown that children COVID hospitalizations are significantly overestimated [44]. If more young people get infected, less old people will be infected. According to experts, this will result in less deaths [21]. You may or may not support a policy that encourages young people to get infected. But you definitely should not prefer a policy that encourages young people to stay at home (unless you think older people should be used as shields because they have lived longer). Unfortunately, such a policy is exactly what the U.S. government imposed in 2020. Schools were closed. Vulnerable people were not protected. Cases and deaths soared to the sky right after the lockdowns were lifted. 

“Only.” How many deaths of children are too many? For example, according to the CDC, before the measles vaccine around 400-500 people died of measles every year; 48,000 were hospitalized; and 1,000 suffered encephalitis from measles. Interestingly, that death toll is right around the pediatric toll per year so far from COVID-19 (which, is incorrect, by the way). One wonders if this student thinks we should stop requiring MMR vaccines for children, which, by the way, require at least two(!) doses! On second thought, I wonder if I should have written that. It might give the Brownstone Institute ideas.

Then the student says:

What about vaccine mandates? I have mentioned that the protection against infection only lasts for a short amount of time. Furthermore, most people in this world will eventually get infected. Is it still meaningful to have vaccine mandates to reduce hospital capacity?

Why do anything for anyone, right? I mean, every single one of us who is alive now is going to die someday anyway, no matter what we do. So what’s the point, given that everything medicine does only serves to delay the inevitable? Also, who cares if a few hundred children die every year from COVID-19, right? No, that’s exactly what this fool is arguing, whether he realizes it or not, whether he admits it or not:

Thinking a 12-year-old kid should be vaccinated in order to take the subway or go to restaurants is an insult to human intelligence. Recall that the risk of dying to Covid-19 for a young kid is almost zero. Therefore, we do not even need to consider personal preferences, freedom and philosophy, because there is almost zero benefit for them to take the vaccine. Not to mention that there are risks. Just like we should not prescribe feces or human flesh to cure diseases [11], this argument does not involve freedom of choice. It can’t even survive the test of basic logic.

Vaccines do not stop transmission in the long run. You may or may not agree that vaccines should be mandatory for vulnerable people. I can understand both sides. Other than that, no further discussion is meaningful.

Likening vaccinating children against COVID-19 to traditional Chinese medicine (which, obviously, I agree is quackery) that involves the use of feces or human flesh (e.g., human placenta) to cure diseases sure sounds antivaccine to me! It’s also rather clever how the student got a dig in at the Chinese just with a link. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve long criticized TCM as quackery and pointed out how Chairman Mao promoted this quackery first to his people and then to the world, a legacy that the current Chinese government has continued, but to compare vaccinating children with such pre-scientific quackery gives away the game. This student is antivaccine, period. Those who are provaccine do not compare vaccines to quackery..

Enter the Cultural Revolution.

Criticism of the Great Barrington Declaration is just like the Cultural Revolution?

I started by showing how little this student knows about the science of COVID-19, infectious disease, epidemiology, and vaccines, but the article actually started with the comparison:

However, in the United States, serious scientists who are opposed to those mandates are often labeled as “Trump supporters,” “anti-vaccine,” “reckless” and “conservative.” They were silenced and maliciously attacked by the government [7]. Their Wikipedia pages were falsely edited to mislead readers [12]. 

This level of hysteria reminds me of China’s Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. During the Cultural Revolution, factory workers, farmers and even middle school students had a common hobby: criticizing general relativity [38]. General relativity was considered capitalism and “counterrevolutionary” (I know you are confused, but this word “反革命” does not make any sense in Chinese, either). Of course, none of them knew what relativity is. Universities were effectively shut down for ten years. Many scientists were beaten to death by Red Guards. Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony was considered “determinism.” A “red book” was carried by everyone to show loyalty to the government [36,37]. You don’t have a red book? I am sorry, you are a counterrevolutionist. Even in recent days, Chinese people are still haunted by this madness. In 2001, quantum mechanics was used to prove the correctness of the Communist Party’s ideology [16].

So apparently criticizing antivaxxers and advocates of a “let ‘er rip” approach to herd immunity—and, make no mistake, that’s exactly what the Great Barrington Declaration advocated before there were even vaccines—is the same as the persecution of scientists during the Cultural Revolution. Also, emails among high ranking public health officials expressing alarm at the eugenicist “herd immunity” approach to the pandemic advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration and seeking to counter its dangerous message (even more dangerous in October 2020, when it was published, than now) are also apparently like, well:

The NIH director Francis Collins wrote an email to NIAID director Anthony Fauci and said, “This proposal from the three fringe epidemiologists . . . seems to be getting a lot of attention – and even a co-signature from Nobel Prize winner Mike Leavitt at Stanford. There needs to be a quick and devastating published take down (sic) of its premises. Is it underway?” [7

In a December 2021 TV interview, Collins admitted that the email is real [27]. Not surprisingly, the declaration immediately drew criticism and was given a nickname: “let-it-rip.” The New York Timesoften puts quote marks on the term herd immunity and falsely claims that those scientists “rely on” herd immunity [9]. Herd immunity suddenly went the same way general relativity did during the Cultural Revolution [42]. American people started to criticize a strategy that does not even exist: “herd immunity strategy.” The facts are, the three scientists are not “fringe scientists,” they don’t rely on herd immunity; herd immunity is an inevitable equilibrium state and the real name of their strategy is focused protection, which aims to minimize death. Countless experts have signed on the Declaration [14]. Many governments have since adopted what the Declaration proposed. 

Again, did this fool of a student even ready the Great Barrington Declaration? It mentions herd immunity five times in a short document. True, it says that we “know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity,” and claims to want to minimize suffering and death until herd immunity is reached, but then it proposes a strategy that would produce the exact opposite result. Worse, herd immunity, as we are seeing, is clearly not an “inevitable equilibrium state” if the virus keeps circulating widely enough to pick up mutations periodically that produce new variants that can evade immunity from infection by previous variants of itself given that long-lived immunity due to infection and/or vaccines is a prerequisite for herd immunity. Even back in October 2020 an argument that herd immunity was inevitable regardless 0f what we do was not defensible. After the experience of the last year, with the Delta and Omicron variants showing that “natural immunity” is not necessarily long lasting, proclaiming herd immunity as inevitable is as delusional as the Chinese denying general relativity during the Cultural Revolution.

Indeed, I sense…projection:

During the Cultural Revolution, scientists were officially ranked “inferior” (臭老九). Everyone in China thought he/she was smart enough to judge scientific issues. I saw the same in the U.S. during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. I have talked to many people. But for most of them, when I mentioned professor Sunetra Gupta or Martin Kulldorff or other real epidemiologists, they often immediately argue that those professors don’t know what they are talking about. They often feel angry and offended when hearing the term herd immunity or natural immunity. They accused those professors as Trump’s loyal supporters without carefully reading anything. 

This student owes me a new irony meter, because my current one is a molten pile of wires pathetically sparking. After all, who thinks they’re smart enough to judge scientific issues better than actual scientists and experts more than antivaxxers, antimaskers, and anti-“lockdown” advocates? I have a hard time thinking of anyone more guilty of this charge. Similarly, I can’t help but note that Martin Kulldorff, by resigning a cushy tenured professorship at Harvard University to join the Brownstone Institute as its scientific advisor, did rather effectively demonstrate quite conclusively how the Great Barrington Declaration is more about politics than science, particularly given the sorts of articles his institute is publishing these days—articles like this one.

Also, criticizing fringe scientists promoting bad epidemiological science like Great Barrington Declaration signatories Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya, and Sunetra Gupta were, as the student puts it, “exactly what happened in the Cultural Revolution, you know, just like revolutionary committees holding violent denunciation rallies against “counterrevolutionaries,” persecuting scientists, and marching young urban intellectuals down to the countryside. Seriously, if you view the belief by so many that they can judge science better than the experts and the criticism of bad science as being “exactly what happened during the Cultural Revolution,” you only have a point if the understanding of the Cultural Revolution that exists in your mind is so open that your brain falls out.

Here’s the closest this article comes to “nuance”:

The Cultural Revolution was initiated by Mao Zedong as an attempt to regain political power. It ended when Mao died in 1976. The American one has a much more complicated background. You may or may not agree that the Democratic Party initiated this to gain power and Trump’s historical anti-science actions fueled it. But I think it is unfair to attribute everything to them. News agencies like CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and Fox News are also part of the problem. Those agencies have a large audience base and have turned news reporting to video games, in which people feel the need to play it every day and feel good about themselves. 

How nice. According to our intrepid Brown University graduate student, wasn’t just the Democratic Party at fault for “persecuting” Brownstone’s brave maverick scientists. The Democrats had help from the mainstream media. The “nuance” we see here amounts to, “It was just left’s fault. It had the help of the lügenpresse mainstream media.”

Too bad the student couldn’t resist:

When will the American cultural revolution end? I hope it will not take too long. China learned an important lesson from the Cultural Revolution: respect and listen to experts, not politicians. It seems the American people have yet to learn that. But one thing is true: China just won an important war. They have successfully shown that cultural revolution can happen in the “best” country in the world. And more importantly, having freedom of the press doesn’t mean people are going to read real news. If we truly believe in freedom and democracy, rationality must be restored.

Funny, but that respect doesn’t appear to include listening to experts who criticize TCM as quackery. The Chinese government has a distressing tendency to prosecute and jail critics of this quackery, rather than listen to them. As for “restoring rationality,” I would agree, but “rationality” and science don’t mean what this fool—yes, fool—apparently thinks that they do. (Nor does the Cultural Revolution, apparently.)

The Cultural Revolution? Why not also Lysenkoism?

In the end, I must admit a grudging gratefulness that this Brown University graduate student flack for the Brownstone Institute resisted the temptation to invoke Trofim Lysenko, the Soviet scientist who rejected Mendelian genetics in favor of his own ideas. After he became director of the Institute of Genetics within the USSR‘s Academy of Sciences, Lysenko used his political power to suppress dissent, discrediting, marginalizing, and imprisoning his critics while elevating his anti-Mendelian theories to state-sanctioned doctrine. The analogy is custom-made for cranks like this, given that the Soviet embrace of Lysenkoism greatly exacerbated and prolonged the famine and mass starvation in the USSR that resulted from Stalin’s policies in the 1930s. An attractive false historical analogy for right wing cranks like those at the Brownstone Institute, complete with mass death, is right there, waiting to be weaponized. I’m surprised that it wasn’t included in this article.

Maybe we’ll see a followup article. After all, thus far Brownstone propagandists have only briefly likened COVID-19 public health responses to Lysenkoism. A much fuller exploration of this false historical and scientific analogy is just begging for someone like this ignoramus of a graduate student to make it. I can hardly wait.

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]

202 replies on “Are public health responses to COVID-19 like the Cultural Revolution?”

When will the American cultural revolution end?
Oh dear another US “intelluuctual” who does not seem to know that here is a world outside the USA.

Does this writer assume that China is in its second “Cultural Revolution”, that New Zealand and Australia are having their first ‘Cultural Revolution, and so on? Some provinces and territories here in Canada sealed their borders with other parts of the country. Oops, I missed the “revolution!

Perhaps I should not be too unkind to economists but your guess makes sense.

From the types of grammatical errors in the quotes Orac’s pulled from the essay, I surmise that the anonymous author may not be a native speaker of English. The inclusion of Chinese characters, and comment on translation, may indicate the author is of Chinese origin or descent. That might explain the somewhat odd comparison to the Cultural Revolution. It’s also fairly common for immigrants from communist countries to embrace right-wing ideologies here in the US.

Could be. However, I still think this guy is likely to be an economics major. I really hope he isn’t in any discipline related to biology or medicine or, as bad, to history.

As for immigrants from communist countries embracing right-wing viewpoints… see also Falun Gong, whose newspaper (The Epoch Times) went all in for Trump a few years back.

Given it’s a pretty significant movement with a good deal of support outside of China and a lot of insistence on being the ‘real’ heirs of Chinese culture, someone sympathetic to them would certainly hit all the talking points.

I know a few languages without being from countries where they are spoken. It’s not that difficult and grad students are usually capable of learning something.

And, I’m from a post-Communist country. I know a bit about how the regime worked. As far as I’m aware, nobody opposing the public health measures has been sentenced to death or 20 years in uranium mines in a show trial, nor have they been deprived of their jobs and property and banished to Podunk where they were forced to live in a rotten cottage and their only job opportunities were shovelling dung or some such. A handful of them were fined for fighting with the police or some such.

I hate these mishappen, to put it politely, analogies, especially from some goddamn Westerner who most likely doesn’t have a clue.

I think the student is Chinese. The writing doesn’t quite read like English as a first language and the use of Chinese characters seems authentic as in native speaker. (S)he has a (perhaps justified) axe to grind with the Chinese government and has lost his or her way by swallowing the Barrington crowd’s nonsense.

If more young people get infected, less old people will be infected.

How would that work? I think if more young people get infected, they may infect more older people, because they might come in contact with eachother.

@ Renate:

Right.
So many Covid denialists/ minimisers I hear- both altie health and political- advocate for protecting the vulnerable and letting everyone else contract the illness.
As if that is easy to accomplish and there is no interaction betwixt groups at all.

@Denise Walter –
As if you using the word ‘betwixt’ confirms how desperately you crave intellectual prowess and how thoroughly devoid of anything remotely approaching such you are, among the rest of your dizzy prattle.

That’s because I’ve addressed it basically every time that I write about the Great Barrington Declaration, when I mention how it’s impossible to protect the vulnerable if a virus is ripping through the “healthy” population.

How would that work?

Simple, really. There’s only so much virus to go around, so that if the young people hog it all, there will be none left to infect the old people.

That kind of reasoning was in my mind as well. Alas I don’t think it works that way.

Indeed, a virus is not really a lottery, with a fixed amount of prices.

It might be seen as some kind of lottery, because not everyone will get infected and not everyone will suffer the same consequences, but that is all. The virus will keep making more virusses and thus infecting more people.

And locking in vunerable people, in order to protect them, would mean one should also lock in the younger and less vunerable caregivers and I don’t think that will work out great.

But… But… But, Mommy teaches “Sharing Is Caring” so teh chillrun are expected to share their SARS-CoV-2 wit Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie Em and asthmatic cousin Jay and…
This is in keeping with the GBD’s libertarian individualism which embodies the “I don’t give a sh1t about anyone but me!” philosophy.
.
The level of stupidity I see in all these defenses of the GBD’s eugenics by moronic “academics” is frightening.

My guess is that they’re using a flawed over-simplistic epidemiological model wherein everyone has an equal amount of contact with everyone else – under this model “herd immunity” (R < 1) is reached when a threshold percentage of the population has been infected, so if young people are infected first fewer older people end up infected.

Even if this model was correct, if you let a pandemic rip, a lot of people would be infected during the declining phase as cases decline from their peak; the total number of cases depends on how you get to the threshold. The higher the number of cases at the peak (which is when R dips below 1) the greater the total number of cases.

However, because contact between people is not universal and uniform herd immunity as a simple threshold is incorrect; I suspect if the GBD idea of “protecting the vulnerable” from an otherwise unimpeded pandemic has been feasible what would have happened is that the virus would have burnt through the vulnerable after herd immunity had been declared, and the protection relaxed.

None of these people address why we shouldn’t just vaccinate people 0-29 as opposed to making them sick. As pointed out, they will inevitably infect the people they live with, who will frequently be over 29. And only a sadist would dream of deliberately making a child sick because the symptoms are usually mild.

only a sadist would dream of deliberately making a child sick because the symptoms are usually mild.

Measles parties? I wish you were correct but some people are really stupid.

IKR? Before the COVID-19 minimizers saying that children don’t need to be vaccinated because COVID is so “mild” for them and they get “natural immunity” from it, there were parents advocating measles and chickenpox parties because the diseases were “mild” in children and they get “natural immunity” from them.

Thanks for the link. I used it on SBM and thought I would copy a bit of that for here.
He cites his own article which then links to a near unreadable pdf of this study.

https://www.medrxiv.org/con..
.
And that study actually says

While the overall hospitalization rate associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection was 35.9 per 10,000 children, ICU admission rate was 1.7 per 10,000 and case fatality was 0.09 per 10,000. Children without comorbidities were found to be significantly less likely to suffer from a severe or fatal disease course. The lowest risk was observed in children aged 5-11 without comorbidities. In this group, the ICU admission rate was 0.2 per 10,000 and case fatality could not be calculated, due to an absence of cases. The overall PIMS-TS rate was 1 per 4,000 SARS-CoV-2 infections, the majority being children without comorbidities.

So a CFR of 0.09 per 10,000 becomes “none died” ???

What you’re missing is that he qualifies it to “healthy” children. I.e. without comorbidities.

Which is a recurring thing. These people dismiss deaths of children with asthma, diabetes or who are obese or developmentally disabled. I guess in their world, those children don’t count. I know that sounds un-generous, but how else do you translate the continuous use of “healthy” to dismiss the children who did die?

Totally.

It’s been a recurring theme on Twitter in The Thread from Hell (TTFH). “No healthy children have died” to argue the dead kids away. It’s painful. And that Dr. Prasad – an oncologist – go there is, well, I don’t have words.

@Mrs. Rubinstein,
It’s quite the matter of public record and inarguable that you are paid handsomely to represent various well-defined commercial and political interests and agendas.

So would you kindly evaluate the following which was presented on July 14, 2014 by various professional scientific persons credentialed and skilled in the relevant arts?

At the very least you can secure even more funding and notoriety for pretending to bring them low, as is your wont.

Thanks in advance, lackey:

http://www.cambridgeworkinggroup.org/

@squirrelelite

Child, you are woefully arithmetically challenged, therefore your false programming fails upon the shallowest observation.

Let us break down your bombastic-looking statement:
“So a CFR of 0.09 per 10,000 becomes “none died” ???

CFR, definition, from:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/case%20fatality%20rate

“Definition of case fatality rate:

the ratio between deaths and confirmed or reported cases of a specific disease or medical condition within a given time period:

Among the immunocompetent patients who had invasive pneumococcal infections caused by serotypes represented in the vaccine, the case fatality rate was 33 percent (23 of 70) among those who had been vaccinated and 25 percent (186 of 738) among those who had not.— Eugene D. Shapiro et al.

—abbreviation CFR”

(Interesting how the example given shows vaccinated CFR 132% higher for the vaccinated, but I digress)

So, therefore, in your baffled and confused question, 0.09 per 10,000 infected dying, is indeed probably “none dead”, because, arithmetically:

0.09 [deaths] PER [aka, in] 10,000 [cases] which in words is:

“Out of ten thousand cases, nine one-hundredths of a person died”.

Continuing, it follows that out of 100 x 10,000 = 1,000,000 cases, 9 will die.

Now we look at real numbers, as presented in this paper:
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33227520/

Which states:
“Severe COVID-19 was present in 5.1% of [COVID-19 infected] children with comorbidities, and in 0.2% without comorbidities.”

Crossing the street in accordance with the proper traffic signal has a higher incidence of death than COVID-19 , as in 2020, the pedestrian fatality rate soared to 21 percent [from: https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/mind-boggling-pedestrian-deaths-surged-2020-despite-fewer-cars-road-n1267910 ]

I leave it as an exercise for the astute reader to determine the nature of this “public health emergency”.

Now, please tell us how lovely it is that a baby is more likely to be murdered by inconsiderate, irresponsible adults with the collusion of eugenicist medical persons – “According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions.” , while at the same time, 5.1% of defective children and 0.2% of healthy children have 0.09 deaths per 10,000 cases of COVID-19, which is, practically, none.

I’m not paid to correct anti-vaccine misinformation. I am happy to do it for free.

I’ve no idea what you think the link you posted supports, in terms of your anti-vaccine beliefs.

I’ve no idea what you think the link you posted supports, in terms of your anti-vaccine beliefs.

I am going to guess it is to do with the claim that COVID-19 is an engineered virus leaked from a laboratory.

But then anti-vaxxer logic can be a mystery in itself.

@Chris Preston

The Cambridge Working Group page that Quasimodo linked to is about regulation of recombinant DNA research, and it doesn’t seem entirely unreasonable to me (but I know little of the subject). It dates from 2014, so naturally it doesn’t mention COVID, but I think that you’re right that it is supposed to be a sideways reference to the COVID lab leak hypothesis.

@Dorit Reiss

Did you actually write this steaming pile of totalitarian excreta, or did someone fund someone else to do it for you?
“The Benefits of Capture”, written August 2, 2011, can be studied at:
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1904023

Wherein the Dorit Reiss, aptly depicted as the main character in the Frank Zappa song “Dumb all over and a little ugly on the side”‘, abstracts the enriching article she wrote thusly:

“Observers of the administrative state warn against “capture” of administrative agencies and lament its disastrous effects.

This article suggests that the term “capture”, applied to a close relationship between industry and regulator, is not useful – by stigmatizing that relationship, judging it as problematic from the start, it hides its potential benefits.

The literature on “capture” highlights its negative results – lax enforcement of regulation; weak regulations; illicit benefits going to industry. However, this picture is incomplete and in substantial tension with another current strand of literature which encourages collaboration between industry and regulator. The collaboration literature draws on the fact that industry input into the regulatory process has important benefits for the regulatory state. Industry usually has information no one else has, and has more incentive to give that information to a friendly regulator.

Furthermore, working with industry can substantially improve the impact of regulation; voluntary compliance is cheaper and can be more effective than enforced compliance, and industry can help regulators minimize negative unintended consequences.

This paper suggests that instead of engaging in name-calling, we should focus on identifying when a close industry-regulator relationship will work in the public interest, and when it is likely to undermine it. That is an empirical question.”

Let the reader compare and consider the similarities of the above to the similar but somewhat broader doctrine espoused and elucidated upon by another great thinker (and doer, until the bitter end) of early the last century:

“Granted that the 19th century was the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy, this does not mean that the 20th century must also be the century of socialism, liberalism, democracy. Political doctrines pass; nations remain. We are free to believe that this is the century of authority, a century tending to the ‘right’, a Fascist century. If the 19th century were the century of the individual (liberalism implies individualism) we are free to believe that this is the ‘collective’ century, and therefore the century of the State.

The Fascist conception of the State is all-embracing; outside of it no human or spiritual values can exist, much less have value. Thus understood, Fascism is totalitarian, and the Fascist State – a synthesis and a unit inclusive of all values – interprets, develops, and potentiates the whole life of a people.

Fascism is a religious conception in which man is seen in his immanent relationship with a superior law and with an objective Will that transcends the particular individual and raises him to conscious membership of a spiritual society. Whoever has seen in the religious politics of the Fascist regime nothing but mere opportunism has not understood that Fascism besides being a system of government is also, and above all, a system of thought." - <i>Mussolini, The Doctrine of Fascism</i>

Ironically, the description of fascism by Marxists seems to most accurately synthesize the common thread of Dorit Reiss’ Doctrine excreted onto the paper referenced above and Mussolini’s Doctrine:

“Marxists argue that fascism represents the last attempt of a ruling class (specifically, the capitalist bourgeoisie) to preserve its grip on power in the face of an imminent proletarian revolution. Fascist movements are not necessarily created by the ruling class, but they can only gain political power with the help of that class and with funding from big business. Once in power, the fascists serve the interests of their benefactors.”

[Mussolini quote and the Marxist’s argument and more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Definitions_of_fascism%5D

The reader can consider this carefully in light of current events, as an empirical question, of course, and come to conclusions.

@Quasimodo,

I’ll leave it to others to judge whether my sentence that you quoted or your first sentence was more bombastic.

But you certainly illustrated the blurring of an important distinction I was trying to point out.

As for your little exercise in whataboutism, we do many things to reduce the number of children who die in crossing streets. When I picked my grandson up at school this afternoon, the entire street was under a reduced speed limit and I drove through two crossings watched over by crossing guards. There is a major bypass road in the east part of our city that has several foot bridges to allow pedestrians including children to cross it safely. And many neighborhood streets have speed bumps to discourage drivers from going through at high speed.

I think it is similarly prudent to take action to minimize the number of children who die each year from what must inevitably be an endemic virus. And that is true even if that number is only as low as the 500 or so who died of measles when I was growing up or even the 50 or so who died of chickenpox.

And if you wish to be truly numerate, you need to account for medium and long-term averse effects of Covid-19 in your calculus of benefits and harms.

@Christine Rose, you wrote: “None of these people address why we shouldn’t just vaccinate people 0-29 as opposed to making them sick.”

Your logic fails when the fact is that injecting people with mRNAIDS infections and the like makes them sick or sicker.

Your logic fails in the face of reality in Israel, where now, the heads of the covID departments in the three largest hospitals in Israel (Rambam, Ichilov and Sirrocca) have stated publicly that ~80% of the hospitalised seriously ill covID patients are “triple-jabbed” (received three doses of Pfizer mRNAIDS infections).

Your logic fails when one notes from official Israeli Central Bureau of Data shows that the only excess mortality at all from the years 2019-2021 has been in 2021, in persons aged 60 and older who have been injected with Pfizer mRNAIDS infections.

These are facts that only a sadistic, lying totalitarian or kapo thereof could attempt to obfuscate or deny.

“mRNAIDS ”

quasi shows in one swoop that he doesn’t understand the vaccine, doesn’t care about facts, and thinks he’s clever for trying to associate the vaccine with AIDS.

Of course previous posts shows quasi is a big a liar as the other anti-vacc people, so there is no surprise here.

@little dean w56old:

Dean quotes: “mRNAIDS”

Dean says, “quasi shows in one swoop that he doesn’t understand the vaccine, doesn’t care about facts, and thinks he’s clever for trying to associate the vaccine with AIDS.”

Dean displays numskullery and clearly demonstrates that he doesn’t understand that AIDS is an acronym for “Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome”. Dean forgets, or never knew, that his “AIDS” was originally called, colloquially, “the Gay Cancer”, updated by Dr. Fauci and friends some time later to “GRIDS” (Gay [aka promiscuous homosexual male anal intercourse] Related Immune Deficiency Syndrome), finally politically corrected to “AIDS”, wiping out any other context of aquired immune deficiency except the aforementioned style of promiscuity such as intervenous drug abuse with shared needles, tainted blood supplies, toxic chemical exposure including pharmaceuticals, etc.

So, the term I am using is merely descriptive, describing an entirely different type of fuckery than the promiscuous sodomy indicated above – “mRNA Immune Deficiency Syndrome”, which describes exactly the Immunity Deficiency that universally occurs in victims who have submitted to injections of these products, according to the manufacturers of these mRNA products themselves, hence the need for “boosters” (their term) in this case according to the manufacturers, regardless of and separately from the issue of “variants”. The fact, as clearly stated by the product’s own manufacturer (in this context, Pfizer) as well as health authorities worldwide is now: Injecting Pfizer’s mRNAIDS infections will not prevent infection, will not prevent contagion, will not prevent illness, etc., and it is highly recommended by Pfizer to periodically inject more Pfizer mRNAIDS infections, perhaps every year or so (according to Pfizer Veterinarian Bourla himself).

Finally, Dean ad-hominems: “Of course previous posts shows quasi is a big a liar as the other anti-vacc people, so there is no surprise here.”, and little dean-double-yoo doesn’t and can’t refute any verifiable fact that was listed in my previous posts – which in this thread are entirely and literally quoted from publicly available, accessible official data and statements from Israeli health authorities including the Israeli Ministry of Health itself and the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, statements and data which speak for themselves.

Delusional little dean-double-yoo imagines that the Israeli government didn’t publicly cancel the Israeli covID passport (aka “Green Pass”) and restrictions almost entirely, and can only try other means to coerce or encourage citizens to continue consuming they and their manufacturing partner Pfizer’s products according to contractual obligations between them.

Poor little dean, you pincushions may still have a chance, there is some speculation in pharmaceutical circles that compounds such as Ivermectin, HCQ or the like show promise for offsetting injected mRNAIDS infection effects, but unfortunately, rumor has it that the FDA will ban these for such off-label uses.

“Likening vaccinating children against COVID-19 to traditional Chinese medicine (which, obviously, I agree is quackery) that involves the use of feces or human flesh (e.g., human placenta) to cure diseases sure sounds antivaccine to me!”

Mr./Ms. Anonymous didn’t mention urine-drinking for Covid-19, so that remedy may still be on the table.

http://forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2022/01/10/vaccine-police-founder-claims-drinking-your-own-urine-is-covid-19-antidote/?sh=16029ce03735

The Cultural Revolution, that was asking people to voice their criticisms to then target them and kill them.

We’re clearly not there yet.

And the ones who would love to kill or prosecute their opponents are the people who are against masks, lockdowns, vaccinations and anything else that could be done to contain the pandemic.

Indeed. They’re the ones who are fantasizing about “Nuremberg 2.0” to try and punish public health scientists and physicians and vaccine advocates.

Wasn’t that the Hundred Flowers Campaign (1956/57) which was followed by the Anti-Rightist Campaign as subsequent purge? The Cultural Revolution came later (from 1966).

Pretty sure you’re correct. Let A Hundred Flowers Bloom made all the ‘rightists’ break cover so that they could be purged later.

So we won’t die from Covid this year, but we and all the animals will die from the plastic pollution in the next few years.

“Too many masks: WHO cites glut of waste from COVID response”

apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-environment-united-nations-world-health-organization-ffea9000b4a559ccc7c268126a4c0699

Did we just burn our village to save it ?

Hello, sock. I suppose a play doe figure is much like a puppet. Expect Sluggo to pay you a visit.

“Oh no!”

You forgot to mention oceans choked with plastic syringes.

In just a couple years we’ll be able to walk from Los Angeles to Hawaii atop a solid mass of them.

@ Mr Bill

Yep, millions of masks made of various types of plastic have been dumped in oceans, etc. And governments should have been aware of this possibility and/or as soon as became aware instituted policies to significantly reduced; but as i wrote in a previous comment and you ignored, pharmacies have illegally dumped expired antibiotics and people flush down toilets, so this has contributed to development of antibiotic resistance infections. So, I asked you should be stop manufacturing antibiotics? You didn’t reply.

And though the dumping of plastic masks in oceans horrible, the amount of plastic dumped in oceans every year is about 8 million tons, the amount from COVID masks, etc. about 25,000 tons. You do understand the difference between 8 million and 25,000? And while European governments have significantly reduced, not U.S.

And as I and others have written, masks save lives, reduce rate of transmission, reduce hospitalizations, etc. So, again, should we eliminate antibiotics because some companies and individuals haven’t disposed of properly. Masks work, we need our government and others to reduce dumping; but not just masks; but most plastics.

Any comment???

@Joel A. Harrison:

“So, again, should we eliminate antibiotics because some companies and individuals haven’t disposed of properly?”

LOL

Bubby always said you were the smartest one, what a shanda you turned out to be, shmeckle.

“Herd immunity is probably the most misunderstood word during the pandemic.”

That would be two words. It’s all downhill from there.

That grated on me as well. The theory that the student is not a native speaker of English has been floated and is certainly possible. I’m almost inclined to think that error indicates they are an English speaker but a bad writer. I would think a non-native speaker would be more likely to pay attention to the number of words. But, who knows.

Nope. That’s just a metaphor. Word goes instead of phrase, figure of speech, concept… been using it and seen it used in more languages for brevity. After all, saying herd imunity is a word of the year is more economic, has better rhythm and says the same as herd immunity is a figure of speech of the year.

Orac quoted the essay:

China learned an important lesson from the Cultural Revolution: respect and listen to experts, not politicians. It seems the American people have yet to learn that. But one thing is true: China just won an important war. They have successfully shown that cultural revolution can happen in the “best” country in the world.

Orac responded to the first sentence:

Funny, but that respect doesn’t appear to include listening to experts who criticize TCM as quackery. The Chinese government has a distressing tendency to prosecute and jail critics of this quackery, rather than listen to them.

But here i think he misses the thrust of the rhetoric, which is to elevate the whole evil-empire status on the “Chi-Coms”, a subtle dog-whistle to the whole ‘China virus’ CT crowd. You see, the Chi-Coms are so clever, so devious, they have won “an important war” against America (the ‘best’ country) by exporting the Cultural Revolution here, while moving past it themselves. Exactly how agents of the Chinese Government caused all those COVID restrictions and “silencing” of brave maverick scientists isn’t clear, but then, they’re Chinese so it wouldn’t be clear, would it? /s

Oh my, I just became aware of the major antivax activities of one Sarah Palin, who has not just declared she and her kids will only be vaxxed “over my dead body”, but has repeatedly flouted mask requirements at an NYC restaurant, with that being celebrated by (wait for it…) Michelle Bachmann on Jesse Waters new Fox TV show. I feel like i should have some snappy snarky comment about that, but I’m just at a loss for words.

Allow me to offer a sarky comment in your stead: if it takes her funeral for her kids to realise they should get vaccinated then, well, that’s sad but it’s what she wanted and they should carry out her final wish.

Why? It was entirely expected that, if she wasn’t antivax before, Palin would definitely go antivax now. It was so utterly predictable that I yawned when read stories about it.

I’m not surprised Palin’s a COVID antivaxer. (I am, after all, sentient.) I just continue to be disgusted that someone intentionally flouting pandemic mitigation measures is being celebrated by a major media outlet, that this kind of thing is defining a huge political movement. I wish I could yawn, and get a good night’s sleep, but this sh!t tends to keep me awake nights.

I’ll be honest. Even as I was watching the antivax train accelerate rightward politically over the last several years, even I failed to anticipate that it would go so far so fast or become so big, and I say that even after having pointed out how far right wing militia members had started showing up to support antivax rallies the year before the pandemic hit.

“This student owes me a new irony meter, because my current one is a molten pile of wires pathetically sparking.”

I hope you didn’t acquire a new irony meter before hearing about Tucker Carlson’s attack on Dr. Peter Hotez last night.

“He’s a misinformation machine constantly spewing insanity…he’s totally ignorant.”

I think Tucker was looking in the mirror when he came up with that brilliant riposte.

Unfortunately, that rant by Tucker Carlson about Peter Hotez resulted in a stream of invective, harassment on social media, hate mail, and hate phone calls to his office. This is a feature, not a bug, of Carlson’s rants. He knows that targeting someone will result in his online army of trolls and fascists in turn to target whomever Carlson chooses to attack.

Very much an exercise in projection. He has the nerve to blame Dr Hotez for the general public’s loss of faith in doctors !?!?!?

And as far as I can tell, Dr Hotez had been keeping a fairly low profile for the last six months or so.

Orac,

I have been reading your blog for about 8 weeks, and confess I remain unsure of your motivation behind your writing. I am increasingly convinced you are a run of the mill propagandist, given the ridiculously shallow straw man tactics you employ to discredit all resistance to vaccine mandates, masks, and other self evident failures of public policy. In your world, all thinking in opposition to public policy is, ultimately, “anti vaccination” thinking, which is an utterly absurd assertion—and so bereft of logic, it is an attitude that is thankfully fueling global opposition to such nonsensical, magical thinking, as evidenced right now in Canada.

If you are not a propagandist, doing the work of unseen patrons, I wonder if in fact you take pleasure in the irony that your assertions are actually embraced by your band of commentators, who leap to your defense after posts like this one, oblivious that the joke is on them for falling for your simplistic, and ultimately irrelevant, straw man rationales.

For the record, since your followers are trained to attack opposing thoughts, as “anti vax”–I am fully vaccinated, as is my family, and by vaccinated, I mean all vaccines, childhood, covid, etc. So, sorry, I am not anti vaccination—nor are most of the people you take issue with, labeling them as “anti-vaxers” and other hyperbolic names, aka “cancel culture”.

It is a rich irony that, in this post, you are critical of the grad student likening health policies to the Cultural Revolution. I agree, the comparison is rather “over the top”. But, then you do exactly the same thing by labeling adherents of the Great Barrington Declaration as “eugenicists”.

“Eugenicists”? Really? Talk about hyperbolic and ridiculous assertions. You, Orac, are practicing the very rhetorical techniques to discredit opponents that your opponents use to characterize the incompetent, illogical, anti-science, and corrupt public policy response to the pandemic. So, I assume you agree you are as misguided in your hyperbolic, over the top characterizations of people with a differing view, as those you criticize for using the same techniques to make their point?

It escapes me how any thinking person, who actually read the Barrington declaration, could possibly follow Orac’s logic—that the Barrington declaration has anything to do with vaccines, or vaccine mandates. Even Orac notes, the declaration was written before the vaccine was introduced. The declaration had zero to do with criticizing vaccines. It was critical of, and wholly about, lock-downs. Nothing to do with vaccines–in fact, it was written during the time the messaging was not clear on when, exactly, a vaccine would be widely available, and hence the caution advised over the harm of long term long downs. That is what the declaration said.

And yet, of course, Orac requires differing thoughts to be about vaccines, and thus, enter the straw man….make the declaration about vaccines, and then blow it down as another example of bad, evil, anti-vaxers.

The declaration in fact notes that, in terms of herd immunity, “… [herd immunity] can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine.”

So, it is self evident the declaration recognizes the role vaccines can play—a fact Orac of course ignores, since it destroys his straw man assumptions, and thus his entire anti-vax premise. If the declaration was “anti-vax”, why then, does it recognize that vaccines have a legitimate role to play?

But ignoring the facts about the declaration aren’t enough. Orac literally invents false information. Orac falsely asserts: “ [ the declaration emphasizes how…] ‘lock-downs’ and vaccine mandates won’t prevent us eventually reaching herd immunity from widespread infection”

Really Orac? Want to point out a quote from the declaration that says one word about vaccine mandates? You are asserting demonstrably false information about the declaration—the definitive staw-man tactic, used to conflate irrelevant information with other information.

The entire declaration was about arguing that lock downs were bad policy—a fact that only a fool would now argue to be false, given the history of the pandemic. Regardless–if one wants to argue lockdowns are good–go for it. But the point here is how Orac conflates things to prove a point, that is ultimately based on false premise, thanks to the conflating.

All of your adherents in the comments speak with the hubris of an implied sense of “assumed moral high ground”, but, when it comes to the choices people make regarding not getting vaccinated, none of you, in fact, have access to a universal truth or understanding, of anything. It is precisely such hubris–to completely cancel and invalidate people’s legitimate concerns–particularly given the proof of the now self evident failure of lock-downs, masking, and distancing,to say nothing of the highly dubious benefit of the covid vaccine as a one size fits all strategy to deal with the virus, that is driving the awakening being seen across the Western countries.

Keep up the good work, as this sort of hubris is what’s fueling the cause of freedom across the globe. “Anti vax” attitudes have nothing to do with why people the world over are calling out the powers that be, and directly challenging the “science” behind the vaccine mandates. It is abundantly obvious now that the powers that be are lying, misleading, corrupt, and/or incompetent–take your pick. But, whatever the cause, people are sick of the BS, and willing to put their money where their mouth is when it comes to living. That is what is fueling opinion…not an “anti-vax” boogeyman.

“I am fully vaccinated, as is my family, and by vaccinated, I mean all vaccines, childhood, covid, etc. So, sorry, I am not anti vaccination”

What vaccines do you support and recommend that people get for themselves and their children? Please list them.

I was a main signatoy and I fully endorse getting the vaccine. Especially since I got older.

An aside about Obiden masks: Where are they? I have been demanding my elderly father wear them as he is the one facing the public and buying stuff these days (I got phobias out of control and don’t go out anymore) and my elderly mother is bedstuck. He is the only vector.

He bought a box of 50 chinese knockoffs that absolutely don’t work (they almost do (pass the vape puff test) if worn upside down) and refuses to wear one of my HEPAs.

He went to five listed outlets yesterday. Nota. His theory is that they are witholding them until they sell out of their crappy knockoffs*.

*since nonexistent here, I can’t yet say if the Obiden’s are also crappy knockoffs. What was I hoping for? 3M?

I’m sick of people wearing insufficient masks and then saying how they don’t work.

“Anti vax” attitudes have nothing to do with why people the world over are calling out the powers that be, and directly challenging the “science” behind the vaccine mandates. It is abundantly obvious now that the powers that be are lying, misleading, corrupt, and/or incompetent–take your pick.”

You can’t claim to be pro-vaccine and aware of the science and then make a statement like that.

So many words for a reading comprehension failure (I’m being generous). Orac didn’t call the GBD document antivax. He called the Brownstone Institute antivax, based on its activities and publications subsequent to the GBD.

The Canadian antivax caravan truckers are now running around Ottawa with Confederate flags and Swastikas. So tell me again about this “cause of freedom”. (No. Don’t really. I know already.)

Indeed. When the GBD was written, it was over two months before the Pfizer vaccine began limited distribution under an EUA, something that didn’t happen until December 2020. As a result, the GBD says little about vaccines other than claiming that keeping non-vaccine public health measures in place until there is a vaccine will cause “immeasurable harm” (I don’t think anyone was proposing that) and that reaching herd immunity can be “assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine.” That’s it.

That’s also what makes the activities of the GBD signatories, AIER (which brought them all together), and the “spiritual child of the GBD,” the Brownstone Institute, all the more odd to me. If your strategy is natural herd immunity and you claim to want to protect the vulnerable, I can’t think of a better “focused protection” strategy than vaccines. After all, if everyone is vaccinated, far fewer restrictions are needed, even if the vaccines are imperfect. You’d think these people would all strongly advocate vaccinating as many people as possible, starting with the vulnerable populations, something that might have made a GBD-like strategy feasible.

You’d be wrong, though. All these people and groups strongly oppose vaccine mandates and, worse, now parrot what can only be described as antivaccine talking points about the COVID vaccines, starting with the claim that the vaccines don’t prevent transmission. They do, just partially, though, reducing the chances of infection and transmission, just like several vaccines against other diseases that have long been used, such as pertussis and hepatitis B. Yet, like antivaxxers, Brownstone flacks portray partial prevention of transmission as “not preventing transmission” at all and imperfect but effective vaccines as useless and even dangerous.

Just like antivaxxers.

What, I suspect, happened is that the GBD signatories and their astroturf promoters saw that vaccines would be a threat to their true goal of zero restrictions or mandates.

Wow, a whole 8 weeks?
Have you read the archive? Maybe that would tell you more about the author.

As for “eugenics”: yes it is eugenics to say that society should not take actions to protect the sick and elderly. I know what you’re going to say, ‘but they said protect the elderly by not letting anyone in or out of nursing homes’. Yes, they did say that.

But if anyone gives that a moment of thought they’d realize that it is a very simple proposal that is completely unfeasible. When would staff rest? Where would staff sleep? How long would you force the staff to stay?

And of course that does nothing for all the people at high risk of death from COVID who don’t live in nursing homes.

Espousing policies to “get back to normal” while not letting people with medical conditions that put them at increased risk protect themselves is eugenics. It’s killing off the “weak” and it is disgusting.

Not to mention incredibly stupid. More infections mean more mutations, which increases the risk to everyone.

But no, dinner and a movies are more important. Making money for the stock market is more important than preventing the next mutation. Or protecting a cancer patient so that they can recover. Or a person with MS, or diabetes, or any of a thousand chronic conditions that people live with.

I know it’s too much to expect most people to know anything about the history of infectious disease in humans. I didn’t realize until these past two years that it is too much to expect some people to possess the most basic and minimal compassion for their neighbors.

There’s ample economic damage in not letting the sick (in this case many conditions that have minimal effect on day to day life) and the elderly work and go about their business. It’s discrimination, and yes, eugenics.

I would like to stress that nursing homes are not prisons. Banning the residents from leaving and banning visitors for longer than absolutely necessary is simply awful – when grandma has issues, it doesn’t mean that she’s unable to move and doesn’t know whether grandkids came to see her or not.

@JustaTech wrote:
“I know it’s too much to expect most people to know anything about the history of infectious disease in humans.”

What a rare treat, JustaTech for once accurately describes part of the reality of knobheads like himself.

Read this from 2016 for some actual recent history of infectious disease in humans:
https://www.businessinsider.com/military-government-secret-experiments-biological-chemical-weapons-2016-9#so-whats-happening-now-7

JustaTech, you might want to paste the article into app on your iPhone that shortens, simplifies and defines all the big, hard words and even turns some into simple pictures and have that big, ugly identifies-as-a-lady with the razor-stubble and size 13 platform pumps and who’s male sexual organ is orders of magnitude larger than yours go over it with you at your local public library kiddy reading hour, and maybe she’ll even take you for a walk on the wild side afterwards if you’re a really good boy.

@Quasidomo Because you of course speaking about COVID 19, how would this bioweapon delivered to the enemy ? Do you envision sneezing corps ?

I explained in detail the eugenicist bent of the Great Barrington Declaration when I first wrote about it not long after it was published. It’s also magnified minority, astroturf, and propaganda, which is why your claim that I’m a propagandist amuses me.

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2020/10/19/the-great-barrington-declaration-covid-19-magnified-minority-and-eugenics/

As for the GBD not mentioning vaccine mandates, to make a statement like that requires an utter ignorance of the GBD. It was written BEFORE there were any approved vaccines. So you have to look at what the signatories and the think tank behind the GBD (AIER), as well as the “spiritual child” of the GBD, the Brownstone Institute, are doing NOW, and NOW they are spreading antivaccine misinformation, just like the antivax talking points being parroted by this anonymous graduate student. Also:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2022/01/31/brownstone-institute-promoting-antivaccine-misinformation-in-africa/

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2022/01/12/the-brownstone-institute-embraces-its-inner-antivaxxer/

As for why I write. I do it because I have a passion for combatting medical misinformation and also enjoy it. It’s my hobby. No one’s forcing you to read, and there are plenty of people who have learned how to recognize misinformation. Sadly, you appear not to be one of them.

Finally, being vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t be antivaccine. Lots of obviously antivax parents claim that they vaccinated their children. RFK Jr, even declares himself “fiercely pro-vaccine,” one of the best examples of “the lady doth protest too much” that I’ve ever seen. Similarly, lots of people spewing misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines say they are vaccinated, like Robert Malone.

This is the most brilliant critique of this blog. I copy and paste your comments In my daily journal. My only criticism of you is is why you waste your time here? It would require an eternity to reply to the inane and discursive comments on this blog. Just once I would like to read a point by point dialectic In response to your arguments . I feel that this is impossible. Rational discourse always breaks down into partisanship. It!s actually Oracs job to see that that doesn’t happen.

“the now self evident failure of lock-downs, masking, and distancing”

…are because people didn’t lock down, mask up, or keep their distance. At least that’s my impression in the UK.

Portnoy Complaint. Thank you for your well worded response to Orac. I agree whole hardheartedly.
It seems that this site has been set up purely to deride, obfuscate and denounce genuine concerns and views that dare to question the COVID agenda.
Querying any of the assertions made by Orac over the efficacy and safety of the COVID vaccine’s is met with being branded as an antivaxxer.
Such condescension and disingenuous ridicule has led me to think this is in fact his full time job and not the hobby of a person concerned with understanding differing viewpoints and entering into genuine dialogue.

Kathy: Querying any of the assertions made by Orac over the efficacy and safety of the COVID vaccine’s is met with being branded as an antivaxxer.

Given the lack of quality and honesty of the “queries” the only reasonable conclusions are that the person doing the “querying” is dishonest and/or scientifically ignorant. Portnoy is a perfect example of someone who is strongly in the intersection of those groups.

There are people genuinely concerned that there are microchips hidden in vaccines and that 5g somehow exacerbates Covid.

Just because someone is genuinely concerned, doesn’t mean it should be given respect and attention and it doesn’t mean it’s a genuine concern.

Kathy, I’ll say the same to you as I said to PC – have you read the archives? The archives that go back decades? Long, long, long before COVID? Lots of topics have been discussed here over the years.

As for the “COVID agenda” – as much as a not-exactly-alive thing can be said to have an “agenda” it is this: reproduce, which means infecting. That’s it. The whole “agenda”.

Gonna spread the word of science and vaccination every chance I get as an adherent. You arrogant turd.

That was probably a good idea overall to not distract from the main points you were hitting on. The grad student’s article was quite the hot mess, and you were frying bigger fish.

On the first read-through of Orac’s article, my first thoughts at the mention of feces and human flesh was fecal and organ transplants, and I wondered why there would be any objection.
As far as the persecutions of the Cultural Revolution, actions by the far right, particularly threats to kill and jail their opponents, make them far more similar to the Chinese government of that era than those they wish to destroy. It’s an analogy that can go either way, and seems more apt to describe their own behavior.

I notice these things, because a while back I added the RSS feed for the Brownstone Institute website to my Feedly,

My God, Orac! Think of your sanity!

IKR? But a skeptic’s gotta do what a skeptic’s gotta do. I also have the RSS feeds of Natural News, etc. in my Feedly. It’s how I keep track of what the latest antivax and quack claims are, by at least skimming the titles of what they are publishing on their websites. So Brownstone is coming up in the world. It’s in my list of antivax RSS feeds.

Oh, I have no worries about Orac’s sanity. Only that he may be unable to survey all of the dreck because it is increasing at such an alarming rate and he has other work.

For myself, I can only say that although the garbage I survey often makes me disgusted or amazed that anyone could take it seriously as a life plan or as a valid education, it doesn’t harm me, it only strengthens my resolve to
counter its influence and spread.

For sceptics new to this effort: gradually increase the amount of time you spend reading or listening to altie BS. It gets easier, especially when you realise that you’ve already seen similar stuff before thus you are inoculated against its most deleterious effects.

Lately, I appreciate that lots of what we are concerned about makes the news. Of course, alties take this as a sign that the media are corrupt and not to be trusted. But average people, ( I hope anyway) may envision it as a warning of the drift towards anti-intellectualism and anti-science that is becoming more prevalent.

@ Portnoy Complaint

As to Great Barrington Declaration, a right-wing document that ignores the immense suffering caused by the current pandemic. If you go to the previous article by Orac you will see I posted a huge reference list that clearly shows that COVID deaths way undercounted and LONG COVID as well.

As for antivaxxers. As I have written there are over 200,000 articles since 1960 on mRNA since its discovery, so we know a hell of a lot about it. Prior to 2019, around 400 papers on mRNA vaccine research, a couple dozen on S-Spike Protein, and, even if people in beginning thought it an experimental vaccine, now literally thousands of papers from around the world and government websites showing millions of lives saved, hospitalizations prevented, long covid prevented, etc. And these papers and websites have explained how vaccines and masks, etc. protect both the person and others. At some point continuing to refuse either displays not questioning; but stubborn ignorance and as we live in communities, people have both rights and responsibilities.

So, your attack on Orac displays either your IGNORANCE or you being a lowlife sock puppet??? Since your comment is quite long; yet, really says NADA, do you suffer from verbal diarrhea???

And I read Portnoy’s Complaint probably 60 years ago, loved it and I resent your using it as your identity! ! !

One of my physics professors in college suffered terribly in the Cultural Revolution. Not that she ever told us. No, to us she was just kind of scary and had no patience with stupid or lazy behavior, but really, really smart and, if you didn’t raise her ire, a very good teacher.

That some grad student at Brown is comparing criticism on social media and in the press to being imprisoned, having your hands broken and being forced to work the fields by hand in all weather for years, being torn from your family, or having your family home, that was in your family for more generations than this country is old, taken away, is just the absolute height of arrogance. These things are not on the same scale, not even if that scale were logarithmic.

What coddled, privileged, blinkered know-nothing wrote this? Brown should be ashamed of their failure to teach even the basics of research or formulating an argument.

Yep. Those of us who have seen what human frailty can lead to or who have seen graphic displays of human depravity of all kinds are wont to become annoyed with this sort of silliness. I know I am.

Yep. As I wanted to say, criticism of COVID-19 contrarian scientists on social media is just like holding violent denunciation rallies (in which academics were denounced, beaten, and sometimes killed), marching scientists out of the universities and out to the fields to work on the farms in order to “correct” their thinking, or throwing them in prison under horrific conditions for long periods of time.

Did you know that they executed accountants, because each financial report had to show that the communist economy was more productive than the capitalist economy, plus that it grew every year. It was a fantasy mandated by law. Which sounds a lot like what’s happening in states like Florida.

Brown’s a good school, generally free of the kind of self-inflated poo-bags so prominent at Yale, and to some extent Harvard. But any school has it’s share of whacky students. You also likely can’t blame Brown for this person’s failings in “basics”, as these would be the province of undergrad studies, which Anon most probably did elsewhere.

Sure. I went to the University of Michigan during the Reagan era. The young Republicans contingent there was quite…something.

I should have noted that the proper source of the WTF to be outraged about is not this grad student, who’s just a lackey, but the Brownstone Institute, the AEIR, and the right-wing billionaires that fund them. I would guess that this essay was recruited, if not ‘commissioned’ by the Brownstones, via some personal connection to the student, perhaps via whatever circle of conservative/libertarian faculty and/or grad students exists at Brown. That is, I’d put the odds that the student just came up with this on their own and sent it in to Brownstone over the transom to be next to nil.

You are probably correct. Even so, by the time a student reaches university level, he is an adult; so I do not absolve this student of responsibility for having written this, even if it was at the behest of Brownstone or a Brownstone-friendly faculty member at Brown University.

It’s a long post, but it’s low on specifics and you don’t have much to say except that you’re sure there’s a conspiracy.

No matter where we are, not matter how inadequate the vaccines are against omicron, no matter if you’ve had it or not, you are better off vaccinated. There’s a very small rate of side effects, but the numbers still leave you much better off vaccinated. More people vaccinated means slower spread, fewer serious cases, fewer new variants.

Likewise if you look only at the virus, social distancing is better. Slower spread. That has to be balanced against shutting everything down, but masks are a no-brainer. They have no real downside.

Even if you take the extreme view that any social distancing at all is terrible for the economy, we’re still better off all vaccinated.

The only remaining question is how to get people vaccinated. So far as I know, no one is talking about strapping people down and injecting them. I personally support businesses’ right to refuse to serve the unvaccinated, schools’ rights to require students to be vaccinated, and employers’ rights to fire people for being unvaccinated.

Idw56old: ““Anti vax” attitudes have nothing to do with why people the world over are calling out the powers that be, and directly challenging the “science” behind the vaccine mandates.”

Since you’re evidently trying to argue that you’re not antivaccine, I extend you the same invitation I did to Portnoy: please reveal which (if any) vaccines you support and recommend that people get for themselves and their children.

Not “I was vaccinated”. Maybe you were once upon a time, willingly or because it was a job requirement. It’s what you believe now that’s relevant.

Antivaxers who “aren’t antivaxers” typically duck this question* even if posting anonymously, afraid that they’ll tarnish their their online persona by praising a vaccine.

*”Main signatories” of the GBD tend to be the opposite of publicity shy and proud to use their real names.

Dangerous Bacon: I think you misread my post. The first portion, in quotes, was a repeat from portnoy’s post.

The final part was my comment. I was not then and have never spoken against the benefit of these or any other vaccines.

Sorry about that (to be picky, an extra ” should have preceded the quote).

Still waiting to hear back from Portnoy.

As I said before you’ve done it to yourselves.

psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/is-america/202202/how-reliable-are-articles-in-peer-review-medical-journals

Unfortunately, this doesn’t elevate your ramblings to any detectable level of importance or relevance.

So tell us, Clint…how would YOU fix it? Tell us how you would replace the current academy. What is your solution?

Instead of mouthing generalities, to vaccine research. Pick a paper and tell why ir is unreliable-

Some more musing from the frontlines…

It’s annual wellness and sports physical season in clinic and I am seeing more and more COVID vaccine hesitant parents. We had a kiddo yesterday who needed five vaccines and the only one his mom balked at was COVID. You have fifteen minutes in a visit, if you’re lucky; they have been reading and hearing crap on social media or in a friend group for MONTHS. Interestingly, it is not the usual suspects this time. The only demographic I am seeing this in is Latinos. I asked around and my colleagues who do clinic have seen the exact same. I was on the horn with one of our organization’s peds docs at one of our larger centers and she is seeing the same.

It makes me wonder what is going around on Spanish-speaking social media? I’m also concerned that this is a targeted campaign. They all seem to have the exact same talking points and are all very afraid of the vaccine. One of the things I heard more than once is that it will “Make young men impotent” or “Sterilize” them. This was a new one by me. It is also a really cunning way to attack a traditionally-masculine culture. Seems too clever to be left to chance. I wonder if St. Petersburg is at it again?

@MedicalYeti: I guess you could counter with “well, COVID can cause ED”, since that does seem to be supported with data. Interesting new variant on the “they’re coming for our womenfolk” anti-vax thing.

A while back there was a program in several majority-Latino communities in WA to have respected elder women of the community do home visits to encourage vaccination (because you listen to your grandmother). I don’t know how successful those programs were, and if they stopped them for omicron.

OT:
At the taping for the first episode of the upcoming season of The Masked Singer, the first contestant voted down and unmasked turned out to be… Rudy Giuliani. Judges Robin Thicke and Ken Jeong got up and walked out. The other judges, Nicole Scherzinger and Jenny McCarthy, stayed and did the celebrity chat thing with Rudy. Just remember that the next time someone cites McCarthy as an example of ‘left’ or ‘liberal’ antivaxers. ; -)

Sure. I never said that her politics were actually left-wing. However, I do think that 10-15 years ago, all the prominent Hollywood celebrity antivaxxers like Jenny McCarthy and her then-boyfriend Jim Carrey, Rob Schneider (I do realize I’m stretching the definition of “celebrity” a bit), plus RFK Jr., and the like were probably at least in a pretty large part responsible for the public perception that the antivaccine movement was a bunch of crunchy lefties.

@ Orac: I didn’t mean YOU were using Jenny-as-liberal. Some people / trolls still spew that. It’s certainly true that old school celeb antivaxers weren’t (at least by reputation) “conservatives”, and there’s a general stereotype that all Hollywood/media folk are “liberal”. But I do think the stereotype of old school antivaxers as crunchy-hippy-dippy types was rooted in reality, though hyperbolically distorted. After all, I live in the Bay Area, and my sister-in-law lives in Sonoma County, which is indeed very crunchy-hippy-dippy, and which has been home to any number of pediatric antivaxers (though, happily, COVID vac uptake there is quite good). My complaints about the stereotype have always been these two things:

1) These people are not “the left”. You may consider this a ‘No true Scotsman’ move, but I have a history of involvement in actual lefty (vaguely democratic socialist-ish) circles and they’re much more down to Earth and devoid of the kind of selfish, privileged ‘wine-snobby’ ethos that is so prevalent in NoCal antivax land.

2) That old stereotype never acknowledged how much antivax there was in very Republican areas, like the OC stomping grounds of Dr. Bob Sears.

Looking back, I wonder if the stereotype was fueled in part by the fact that the rank-and-file antivaxers various pro-vac chroniclers were most likely to encounter were the former more crunchy type than later more country club type, just by coincidence of geography or intersecting social circles.

All academic, anyway, as it’s Tucker’s game now. (Remember the ‘good ol’ days’ when the Russians were aiding the spread of antivax social media on the down low, like the authoritarianism had to be hidden?)

Also, re: It’s Tucker’s game.

I notice that Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham are targeting Dr. Peter Hotez now and that as a result Dr. Hotez is receiving all manner of harassment, online, email, and phone calls to his office, along with death threats. This is a feature, not a bug, of Carlson’s whole schtick, to try to intimidate the most famous and effective provaccine voices into silence by provoking harassment and even threats of violence from his fans.

If I surmise correctly, it seems that several of Orac’s latest posts focus upon rank amateurs speculating about public health and vaccines: what could be a better barometer of times exemplified by quasi-celebriies like Joe Rogan holding sway over a sizable chunk of the adult public or an RFK jr attempting to educate the masses and lead a movement.

Like the altie loons I survey, each of these opportunists tries to elevate their perceived status by calling for debates with the Establishment / Orthodoxy, pontifcating upon the subtleties of PH measures or by showcasing their own set of experts ( who are usually actually outliers) to reveal the truth. It’s an easy way to inflate their own credentials much as altie health experts pad their CVs shamelessly to gain attention. I just realised that most of the people we discuss here regularly do not have as much bio, physio or medically related background as I do and that’s not my primary area of expertise. They also provide a role model for followers- and Orac’s scoffing commenters- for how to gab. Psychologists studying personality traits of anti-vaxxers and CT believers have discovered that they often do not differentiate hierarchies of expertise and thus, any angry mom or distracted student can trump** a Fauci, a Hotez or an Orac. And we get them here all of the time!

** and I deliberately chose that particular verb

While the thesis of this essay is ridiculous, let’s not overlook the terrible, terrible writing. Is it really that easy to get into an Ivy League university these days? This essay could have been penned by a bright if misguided high school junior, but any student at Brown should be well beyond that skill level.

As I wrote earlier, I suspect the grad student is not a native speaker of English. That said… I was an arts/humanities professor at a “highly selective” liberal arts college, not too far from Brown as it happens. I was constantly shocked and dismayed by the writing flaws I found in the work of many students. Even very good students, undoubtedly smart, honors thesis, Phi Beta Kappa summa cum laude kids just had this tortured awkward prose. I wound up only requiring papers in my advanced theory seminar, using essay exams and oral presentations in the earlier classes instead because I just couldn’t handle trying to correct and improve the writing for papers. Alas, most faculty that do require term papers don’t care about the quality of writing at all. Virtually every time I did speak to a student about their writing issues, suggesting they visit the writing lab, they’d give the stink eye and say ‘hmmf, none of my other professors complain about my writing.’

As far as admissions go at Brown or anywhere else, for undergrad anyway the only writing samples involved will be a letter and maybe a “statement of purpose” essay, which will be judged primarily on content and which may be polished by advisors to the prospective student. In general, more written work is required to accompany a grad school application, but again the focus in on content, especially for foreign students who are required to pass the TOEFL, but that’s about it.

You also have to consider how awful much academic prose is across all sorts of disciplines. It hurts me to say it, but clear writing just isn’t a value in most of academia.

If you want to rip someone for the writing flaws of the grad’s essay, aim at the Brownstone Institute for failing to run the piece by a competent editor.

@ Clint

So, you cite one paper that reviews one book. Well, I actually own and have read Abramson’s 2004 book. Obviously, you are trying to make a case against the COVID vaccines. First, Abramson’s book discusses changes in funding of research, more and more from Pharmaceutical Companies. Well, prior to 2019 I found in a search of PubMed, National Library of Medicine’s online database, way over 200,000 papers on mRNA going back to 1960s when mRNA discovered and many of these papers precede years Abramson says Pharmaceutical Industry began funding more and more research. Second, I have belonged to Public Citizen, a non-profit consumer watchdog started 40 years ago by Ralph Nader. One division, Health Research Group, has suggested NOT using any new drug, etc until on market for 5 years, unless severe life-threatening condition with no other approved treatment. They have since upped time to 7 years. Why? Because gives ample time for additional published research and reports from various nations national health departments. And, though Pharmaceutical Industry does pay for most of the original clinical trials of drugs, later studies are often funded by government grants and private non-profit foundations. As for COVID vaccines, we now have literally 1,000s of published studies and numerous reports from various nation’s health departments and support that the vaccines have saved millions of lives and have only rare serious adverse events; but even these have seen mostly total recuperation. Third, even Abramson’s book doesn’t claim that only or even vast majority of published articles are those funded by Pharmaceutical Industry.

One of my oldest closest friends of over 40 years runs clinical trials for Pharmaceutical Companies. Rather than work for any company, she is an independent contractor, pays far more and she can pick which companies/clinical trials she will work on. She is so good that companies approach her. She asks how independent she will be; i.e., not hiding any data, etc. And she has told me over the years that some companies retain right to hide data, etc. and others don’t. In other words, a number of Pharmaceutical Companies are reasonably honest. I say “reasonably” because even if clinical trials perfectly carried out and published, their PR departments may market as more effective and/or for conditions that were NOT researched. We don’t live in a perfect world. So, I follow Public Citizen’s advice.

I personally would love it if once some drug and/or vaccine completed animal, phase 1, and phase 2 studies that our government stepped in and either directly funded and ran phase 3 clinical trials or allowed industry to fund; but put trustworthy government chosen people as trial investigators AND required ALL data be available.

As MedicalYeti writes: “So tell us, Clint…how would YOU fix it? Tell us how you would replace the current academy. What is your solution?

If you don’t trust research does that mean you don’t go to a doctor when ill and/or refuse any prescribed medication? Abramson’s book is quite good, well-documented and only one of several similar books and several articles, peer-reviewed in medical journals, that I have; but even Abramson’s book is clear that Pharmaceutical Industry plays a strong major role in publications; but quality publications NOT funded by them often get published.

Of course, as several others who post on this website, I doubt anything will change your mind.

People are being suspiciously selective in their suspicions during this pandemic. It’s almost as if science isn’t their primary concern.

Medical Yeti

“So tell us, Clint…how would YOU fix it? Tell us how you would replace the current academy. What is your solution?”

If you don’t think there is anything wrong with the current state of research fine, I don’t distrust science but the more I worked with scientist the less sure of the results I am, do you believe everything that is published is right/correct? so to your point, what would make the science better.

Publisher demand that ALL materials use in writing the paper be available.

Remember James Hunton who had over 37 papers retracted because the publishers didn’t ask for the supporting data and even the co-authors didn’t have the actual research data. It was determined that he had just made up the data. He was exposed not by fellow researchers or experts in the field but a regular retired accountant code name Harry Markopolos v2.0 who had read the paper and did the math.

.
Or Diederick Stapel …… How much of Stapels ‘research” lead to the misdirection of government funds or policies ?
Even fellow scientist don’t believe other scientist. Some research around 2015 or so showed about 60-70% tried and failed to reproduce experiments and half couldn’t reproduce their own work.

How many more Hunton’s, Stapels, Fuji, Boldt, Maxim or Liakopoulas are out there that for what ever reason haven’t or won’t be discovered. How much more research money will be misdirected because of people like these who haven’t been discovered.

What is the issues with withholding of the actual research, discovery is allowed in court cases why the secrecy in research papers are researchers afraid that someone will find flaws in their numbers or methodology?

Pay reviewers.

Publishers are multi BILLION dollar companies, they can afford it. It like the old saying you get what you paid for, or if you want high quality oats you will have to pay the price, if you want free oats just follow the horse.

Research has shown that most peer reviewers spend under 30 hours reviewing papers and usual within the last week.

Quit allowing the authors to suggest reviewers.

Or its just PAL review.
Quit using anonymous reviewers.

We know the names of jurors why not reviewers, transparency is the best policy. I
This one I have qualms about.
Publishers should do quality control on the research.

Randomly select papers to replicate and pay researchers to replicate the research. Again publishers make billions, spend some of that money to replicate the research. If other research papers do not find the same results or conflicting information publish that information as well. Surveys suggest that over 60% of the experiments were not reproducible. That doesn’t mean fraud or bad science but something is amiss.
Quit using the 2 categories, “expression of concern” or “retraction” add two or three other categories of doubt about the paper, not all the questionable research rises to the level of those two items. As publishers are very hesitant to place just those two labels on papers. Papers could be rated on several steps.

If anyone has changes to this list I am open to suggestions.

“What do James Hunton’s and Dimitris Liakopoulos’s misdeeds have to do with the state of science publishing?”
Then you cite retraction watch, which lists Hunton as number 14 on its leader board and Liakopoulas at number 20 or are you claiming that Sociology, Psychology, Law and Business are not science.

prl

nice try at deflection, what this has to do with Yeti’s question….. but it was scientific published research.

Hunton was a professor of accountancy (which colleges lists as a science, you get a degree in the “science” of accounting). Hunton had papers in psychology, computer science and business journals.

As for Law I believe it a social science …..

But Dorit who is a law professor can answer that better.

@prl

There are theories of accounting, and they are testable. It’s the validity of the outcomes that are subjective. For example: maximize stock price vs. maximize profit.

I’d never heard of accounting being described as a “science” before Clint’s post. I googled “accounting science”, and indeed, there are both US and South African institutions that offer both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Accounting Science. But there weren’t very many. Many of them seemed to be offered by business schools, or the business school in the institution.

I wonder what an undergraduate student of Accounting Science might learn that differs from what undergraduate students who study for a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) or a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) might learn?

However, in the United States, serious scientists who are opposed to those mandates are often labeled as “Trump supporters,” “anti-vaccine,” “reckless” and “conservative.”

How funny, then, that almost every COVID minimizer, even those that claim to be liberal, is right-wing. I can count the number of people coming at this from the left on one hand.

Reaction against brave Covid contrarians is worse than the Cultural Revolution – it’s the Taliban!

That today from the guru of popular rationalism, James Lyons-Weiler. He posted on Twitter about “threats and intimidation” affecting “Doctors, Health Care Workers and Scientists” which cannot be tolerated, noting that medical boards in the age of Covid are proving to be the “Taliban of allopathy” and “tools of (sic) Pharma police state.

In addition, L-W has a new blast up on his Substack* expanding on intimidation and general meanness meant to silence Truth-tellers, like, well, himself. He remains outraged by a “personal attack” on him by a vaccine court Special Master, who in 2020 found against a claimant arguing that a flu vaccine gave him Guillain-Barre syndrome and ALS. It probably didn’t help that L-W initially argued that the man’s clinical picture was consistent with both ailments, but later “walked back” that conclusion to argue that the petitioner only had ALS. From an unsuccessful appeal of the initial ruling:

“With respect to Dr. Lyons-Weiler, the court similarly finds that the Special Master’s conclusion that he was not qualified to diagnosis Mr. Bailey with GBS was not arbitrary or capricious. The Special Master emphasized that she could not rely on Dr. Lyons-Weiler’s GBS diagnosis of Mr. Bailey because Dr. Lyons-Weiler is not a medical doctor and his “background in biology and genetic sequences does not qualify him to opine, as an expert or otherwise, on the topic of medical diagnoses.” April 24, 2020 Decision at 21. While Petitioner notes that Dr. Lyons-Weiler has “extensive experience with vaccine related issues and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on matters concerning vaccines and adverse reactions,” Pet’r’s Mot. for Review at 5, n.5, that observation does not undermine the Special Master’s conclusion that Dr. Lyons-Weiler, a non-medical doctor, is “inherently less qualified to opine on Mr. Bailey’s correct neurologic diagnosis than a neurologist.”

Oooh, the burn.

*Anyone wanting to read the full Substack Monty should turn off all irony meters in a 20-block radius, as it contains some real doozies.

He remains outraged by a “personal attack” on him by a vaccine court Special Master, who in 2020 found against a claimant arguing that a flu vaccine gave him Guillain-Barre syndrome and ALS.

Part and parcel of Lyons-Weiler’s failed personality cult. His spectacular brilliance was unappreciated by the scientific community, so he left and joined the anti-vaxxers, where he gets the plaudits he deserves. Until some Special Master sticks a pin in his overblown ego.

A new study ( Pandemic preparedness and COVID-19: an exploratory analysis of infection and fatality rates in 177 countries…” ; The Lancet, 1 Feb 2022) addresses many variables’ effects but especially illustrates how trust in the governrnent and interpersonal trust affect outcomes. In brief: not every place is Denmark.

To me, it seems that much of what RI considers rests upon how much people trust information from government sources and experts: where distrust reigns, alties, provocateurs and entrepreneurs take advantage of the uncertainty of subjects to develop their own brand of information. The writers discussed here merely see an opportunity because dissent has already been sown. Of course, personality variables probably influence which subjects accept misinformation/ disinformation.

@ Clint

First, you give 30 hours for reviews of articles. For a 10 page article, it takes 2 hours or less. However, for anyone trained in science, we look carefully at any published article, especially the methods sections; e.g., sampling, measures used, etc. and which statistics used. Then we look at results section and conclusions. Over the years a few articles have been well-done; but the conclusions either did NOT follow from the actual methodology and/or results or were grossly exaggerated. Second, you want pharmaceutical industry to pay for replications. Replications of studies almost always follow, not exactly perfectly the same; but, for instance, with vaccines, the original clinical trials did not include people with multiple comorbidities, so such studies were later carried out. Studies were carried out on different age groups, different ethnic groups, in different nations, etc. And for medical/pharmaceutical interventions, almost every nation has some national institute that keeps track of, for instance, serious adverse events. In addition, even poorly done studies can be of some worth. For instance, pharmaceutical companies running clinical trials can offer the investigated drug to those outside the clinical trial, called compassionate use, if their doctors agree to supply results. If individual does well, pharmaceutical companies add this to results of clinical trials. There are some things that placebo-controlled double-blinded randomized clinical trials simply can’t be done. A simple example is closing some schools, leaving other open. Impossible to blind, so what I and trained people look for then is a number of less that perfect studies. Quite simply, I live in the real world, not exaggerated absolutes of black and white. At some points decisions often have to be made.

As for retracted articles, even if retracted shortly after published there will always be some who continue to cite them. And you list fraudulent studies. Unfortunately, almost impossible for publishers to know if fraudulent; e.g., even actually did the study, exaggerated size of sample, etc. What I would like to see is once discovered, the author(s), depending on how fraudulent, should be banned from publishing, either, for instance, 5 years or even lifetime, lose their jobs, even if tenured, and if the study or studies resulted in treatments that actually harmed people either directly or indirectly by them not obtaining a better valid treatment, the authors should face criminal penalties, including prison time. But it is important to keep in mind that the vast majority of studies are NOT fraudulent; but often poorly carried out or, sometimes withholding some data; but that is why we have replications and national institutes that monitor. And that is why I follow Public Citizen’s advice to NOT use a new drug until has been on market seven years, enough time for replications and reports from various nations health departments. Except if life-threatening and no other valid treatment available, then Public Citizen says individual should decide. Even a life-threatening condition could possibly resolve and a new medication make it worse. Of course in a pandemic, can’t wait seven years, etc; but anyone who has minimal knowledge of immunology, history of vaccine-prevented diseases, takes time to learn about mRNA, and the almost 400 studies done on mRNA vaccines prior to current pandemic, and finally the literally thousands of papers since that overwhelmingly have found that the vaccines significantly reduce risk of hospitalization and death should be enough. And people should understand that finding COVID in a vaccinated person means little to nothing. We are surrounded by potentially pathogenic microbes 24 hours a day; but our immune systems stop from entry or block before they can do any harm, all that one can ask of a vaccine.

So, your comments say NADA, which continues your unscientific comments..

@Joel:

“What I would like to see is once discovered, the author(s), depending on how fraudulent, should be banned from publishing, either, for instance, 5 years or even lifetime, lose their jobs, even if tenured, and if the study or studies resulted in treatments that actually harmed people either directly or indirectly by them not obtaining a better valid treatment, the authors should face criminal penalties, including prison time.”

But the biggest, most corrupt, amoral, fraudulent, convicted and heavily fined criminal pharmaceutical company since IG Farben, Pfizer, gets a pass?

Conflicted much, or just confused, Joel, you’re evidencing regression, in any case, your loved ones would be relieved if you would please ask your doctor or pharmacist if Aricept® (Donepezil) might be right for you!

In other news…

I had the distinct pleasure of watching part of Bill Maher’s Real TIme last night ( see: you tube Real Time with Bill Maher 2/4/22 full show) and thought that the final segment ( after 51.00- end) would intrigue RI readers. In brief, it’s time, he opines, that we ” go back to normal life” while we help the vulnerable and protect kids from the damages of lockdowns etc. ‘Medicine has been wrong before’: we can’t trust its proclamations after Vioxx, hiv, diet, early recommendationsa bout COVID etc. yet we are constantly being warned about mis-information by them: how about the misinformation that SBM itself provides? He makes these statements in a jokey manner as if that changes their meaning.

My contempt for Maher only grows. The alt-ie “logic” there is just so pathetic. But that’s the song he’s been singing for a long time. There was even the old episode where Marianne Williamson, no less, tried to explain to him that even though, yes, pharma company’s have done some sketchy things, if you look at ALL the evidence you have to conclude vaccinations are a good thing. But he just interrupted her and cut her off before she could finish her point. There was just too much nuance there in the idea that no institution is perfect, so you have to look at issues in their specificity, for Maher’s gross generalizations and narcissistic arrogance therein. Not that I’m any fan of Williamson — but that’s kind of the point, that someone as generally wiggy as she is is still better than Maher on this stuff.

Also yet more evidence that being an atheist is not a reliable indicator of critical thinking skills, nor inoculation against being a dickhead.

Yeah. It’s getting harder for me to watch him, even to “hate watch”.
SRSLY. If Tucker Carlson, Mike Adams and Gary Null all replay your musings with admiration you should not be proud of that distinction.

“Medicine wuz wrong before; therefore you must accept my crazy-ass ravings.”

paraphrasing Maher and a zillion other alt-loons

I am still waiting for you to answer the question about 2 million kids in the US who did not go to college or did not return to school/college because you wanted to be safe. Did you think that was good for future generations?

bbc.com/news/education-60197150

or wonder why people have lost faith in their government. look what the “Nazi’s” at fivethrityeight wrote.

fivethirtyeight.com/features/back-alley-covid-advice-is-making-the-pandemic-worse/

or turning over peer review to people who actual read the studies.

“Why citizen review might beat peer review at identifying pursuitworthy scientific research”

sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0039368122000127

And now the vaccines are widely in use the DOJ is launching clinical trial investigation for fraud.

ropesgray.com/en/newsroom/alerts/2022/February/DOJ-Increases-Focus-on-Clinical-Trial-Fraud

and for all your, shelter in place , it isn’t going to help, you’ll have to stay home for the rest of your life.

Why lock downs and isolation don’t work.

time.com/6143260/covid-19-pacific-islands-kiribati/

or how we should follow the science.

realclearmarkets.com/articles/2022/02/04/how_a_war_on_misinformation_led_to_a_coronavirus_tragedy_815161.html

KW: “…look what the “Nazi’s” at (sic) fivethrityeight wrote.”

No, that’s not what FiveThirtyEight wrote. It’s an opinion piece by one writer, who while bashing the CDC overlooks much of the work health experts, evidence-based physicians and painstaking media fact-checkers have put in to counter bogus memes and the deceptions of fringe scientists and quacks.

One of these days, Kay will cease pretending that an op-ed on an organization’s website is proof that the entire organization shares that opinion.

Or more likely, she’ll go right on lying.

“And now the vaccines are widely in use the DOJ is launching clinical trial investigation for fraud”

Your phrasing indicates that the DOJ is launching an investigation into clinical trial fraud relating to Covid 19. However, your link says nothing of the sort. It does mention two cases in Florida and that there will be future investigations but gives no indication that they are linked to covid. These are only mentioned as examples of why the DOJ will be taking clinical fraud seriously.

Perhaps you will someday will learn not to cite more reliable source than a journo. Millions not getting education.
I can imagine what public review of scientific papers would be, It is better that people who knows things do review, not political hacks,
You have been told multiple times that public hrealth measures do not work, if people do not follow then, Why this is difficult to understand ?

To be fair, I could imagine a place in science for public decisions on funding. The idea of public review of scientific papers is ridiculous but giving the public a list of possible research topics to choose funding for might make sense. You could get the public to suggest things to study and then get them to vote on which top ten suggestions get money.

Well Israel with over 90% vaccinated and 40% got their 4th shot.

Nope, Israel has 65.69% “fully vaccinated” (two shots), and 72.22% with some level of vaccination protection. When I checked a week or so ago, about 500000 Israelis had had a 4th shot, that’s a little over 5%.

Where are you getting that “over 90%” number from? And the “40% 4th shot” number?

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations#

The second booster/4th shot vaccination campaign in Israel isn’t aimed at the general population: it’s aimed at specific high-risk groups.

@prl

My sympathies to those near and far from you, you ignorant imbecile.

Every hard number and ‘fact’ you allege are wrong, as usual.

You claim, “Nope, Israel has 65.69% “fully vaccinated” (two shots)”

Nope, “fully vaccinated” in Israel according to latest regulations, means injected with at least three doses of Pfizer mRNAIDS infection – and there are less ignorant Israeli pincushions who did so than you claim, 47.83% as of 4 Feb 2022, according to Israel MOH (look it up on yourself, like you should have before commenting)

You further claim, “and 72.22% with some level of vaccination protection. When I checked a week or so ago, about 500000 Israelis had had a 4th shot, that’s a little over 5%.”.

Nope. Also according to Israel MOH data as of 4 Feb 2022, 71.97% received one injection of Pfizer mRNAIDS infection, 65.63% received two injections, and 7.11% received 4 injections.

Your final claim, “The second booster/4th shot vaccination campaign in Israel isn’t aimed at the general population: it’s aimed at specific high-risk groups.”

Nope, the fourth dose is now aimed at and authorized for any and all adults stupid enough to want it.

The “over 90%” nonsense argument is obviously is for morons, so I’ll leave that to you and your little playmates, cupcake.

Final facts, pinheaded pincushion:

Israel dropped almost all covID passport (aka “Green Pass”) requirements, I wonder if it has anything to do with the heads of the covID departments at Israel’s three largest hospitals (Ichilov, Sirrocca and Rambam) stating clearly and publicly that ~80% of seriously ill hospitalised covID patients are fully injected with at least three Pfizer mRNAIDS infections, in addition to the fact that victims injected with Pfizer mRNAIDS infections are at least as infected and contagious as the uninjected.,,

prl – “Nope, Israel has 65.69% “fully vaccinated” (two shots), and 72.22% with some level of vaccination protection. When I checked a week or so ago, about 500000 Israelis had had a 4th shot, that’s a little over 5%.”

quasimodo – “Nope. Also according to Israel MOH data as of 4 Feb 2022, 71.97% received one injection of Pfizer mRNAIDS infection, 65.63% received two injections, and 7.11% received 4 injections”

Are you quibbling about a 2% difference quasimodo?

Also mRNAIDS? Snigger. Just makes you look like you might need L and R on your heelys.

@NumberWang, asks:

“Are you quibbling about a 2% difference quasimodo?”

No, you moron, I was pointing out the usual lack of precision and sloppy attempt at argument of one of your especially unableist peers, obviously.

“Also mRNAIDS?”

There are other kinds of fuckery that lead to AIDS (look up the acronym, bonehead), but that is explained extensively in another comment on this thread, put some more hours on the clock and look it up.

Your self-humiliating failed attempt at repartee demonstrates your mental inferiority relative to the type of fool who gives money to televangelists.

Nah. I read it. Still immature bollocks. You know, like putting dollar signs in words or writing pHarmaceutical etc. It’s a sign of someone without a valid argument.

Even if mRNA vaccines did cause an immune deficiency disease, you wouldn’t be injecting the disease, you’d be injecting the cause. A person with your admirable desire for precision shouldn’t be making such a mistake.

Denice and others.

So did Bill Maher say anything that wasn’t true ?

Dr. Fauci said things that weren’t true.

The CDC said things that weren’t true.

Rochelle Walensky said things that weren’t true.

Joe Biden said things that weren’t true.

I could go on…..

And yet you still have faith in them, this is sounding more like a millerism than science.

@ Charles

Fauci did at first downplay need for masks because of shortage. If he hadn’t, hospital staff would have been without and all hell would have broken out. But, his and the others statements were mostly inaccurate based on inadequate data at the time; however, what one hears from them is fairly accurate; but we are still learning about COVID.

The difference between you and me and several others who follow this blog is you have NEVER shown any basis for your positions/opinions; i.e., understanding of infectious diseases, immunology, epidemiology, etc. You are just one more person who cherry-picks what confirms your unscientific ignorance.

Bill Maher said lots of things that weren’t true.

The real test is: does he correct himself when there’s new evidence?

Changing what you say is a virtue, not a sign of incompetence.

I’m going to push back, here. We hold the other side to a standard of honesty. We should do the same for ourselves.

What, specifically, did Maher say that wasn’t true. Maybe in the past and he’s been out there a long time so I’ll limit my question: What has he said about the COVID pandemic that isn’t true? He cites studies. He cites the NYT and the CDC, etc. This is a genuine question not an exercise in trolling; I am genuinely curious what is untrue.

Full disclosure: I have fact checked everything he’s said, especially in his monologues, since the beginning of the year. I have a few friends who watch him so I wanted to be prepared to dispute misinformation.

@ Charles:

Although Joel does such a great job, a few remarks.

Maher can say anything he likes because he doesn’t have to back it up with data and the history of how events have transpired in their entirety. Public health people- including scientists like Orac- have to account for all of the data, across the board, globally., over decades.

Believe me, I could show you studies that “prove” that vitamins “cure* serious mental illness or stage 4 cancer. Or that vaccines “cause” autism. It doesn’t mean that they reflect reality. They are outliers, examples of poor research or possibly, outright fraud. Widespread cherry picking doesn’t only happen in Washington or Michigan.

Altie health experts, or supporters like Maher, don’t have dig through volumes that encapsulate hundreds of studies over decades . They can make alarming statements as the case might be to cater to audience sentiment thus getting applause. I could complain unendingly about how terrible airline service is or why planes are so dangerous but that doesn’t mean that flying carpets work.

Maher also exudes the grandiose idea that non-experts like him know better than experts. “Science has been wrong before” and so has he. If you focus upon unsavoury business practises or failure to produce desired results, every business in the world- and probably every person for the latter- will fail that test as well.

Public health measure like masks or decreasing capacity of business that been shown to effectively curtail spread of infection through usage in other pandemics. Places like Japan have incorporated them during pandemics or yearly flu outbreaks. Science is self corrective: early in the pandemic, it was feared that most surfaces transmitted the virus and many people cleaned each item they bought and washed each article of clothing each time they left the house- but we learned that that was not a big factor. So they relaxed those recommendations. Similarly about how long vaccines would protect.

Alties who want to gather followers often leave out large parts of what research currenttly shows: if we know that vaccines greatly reduce transmission , doubters may say they don’t STOP transmission . You can lie by omission or through misdirection easily.

@ RI readers. I’m sure you can elaborate, I’m done.

Yeti & Denise

So Maher is a tv personality who gives opinion. If you are going to hold him to exact standards as scientist I am all for it. So lets hold everyone who is a TV personality and expresses an opinion to the same standards, Joy Behar, Whoopie Goldberg, Rachael Madow, the list could go on.

“Dr. Fauci said things that weren’t true.

The CDC said things that weren’t true.

Rochelle Walensky said things that weren’t true.

Joe Biden said things that weren’t true.”

Yet nobody on this site has said squat about their scientific untruths.

And Denise, just like a cat, you tried to cover-up for them, if the science keeps changing I am ok with that, but doesn’t that mean ALL science changes and you must allow for others to have a different opinion.

One example, we knew in March of 2020 that the virus was an airborne virus and was not transmissible via surface contact (Chinese study) yet those same scientist told us to Lysol everything.

Walensky based locking down schools based on ONE study that was wrong and since retracted.

That list could go on…….

Back to my point

“So did Bill Maher say anything that wasn’t true ?”

He said things that people here didn’t like or don’t agree with, but what did he say that wasn’t truthful?

DB
So the BBC was lying and the DOJ was lying and Time Magazine was lying as was RealClearMarkets was lying.

“One of these days, Kay will cease pretending that an op-ed on an organization’s website is proof that the entire organization shares that opinion.”

Obviously the writer of the editorial, you threw and air ball at…. is just a SENIOR SCIENCE writer for FiveThirtyEight.

As opposed to you, a cartoon character with big hands and a tiny head.

Do you automatically post nonsense without actually doing research, I know it was hard to read to the bottom of the story and see exactly who Maggie Koerth is?
She was named Nieman-Berkman Fellow in journalism at Harvard
and won American Meteorological Society’s Award for Distinguished Science Journalism.

But you know I am probably lying about all that.

You should just try to cite a scientific paper. If an article is based on one, try find it. There could be selective citations.

DB
So the BBC was lying and the DOJ was lying and Time Magazine was lying as was RealClearMarkets .

“One of these days, Kay will cease pretending that an op-ed on an organization’s website is proof that the entire organization shares that opinion.”

Obviously the writer of the editorial, you threw and air ball at…. is just a SENIOR SCIENCE writer for FiveThirtyEight.

As opposed to you, a cartoon character with big hands and a tiny head.

Do you automatically post nonsense without actually doing research, I know it was hard to read to the bottom of the story and see exactly who Maggie Koerth is?
She was named Nieman-Berkman Fellow in journalism at Harvard
and won American Meteorological Society’s Award for Distinguished Science Journalism.

But you know I am probably lying about all that.

@ Kay West

You write: “And now the vaccines are widely in use the DOJ is launching clinical trial investigation for fraud.”

The article you refer to: “ The COVID-19 pandemic will likely intensify such enforcement efforts. The Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) and other agencies (including the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) and the Office for Human Research Protections) have published guidance on the conduct of clinical trials during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist sponsors in assuring the safety of trial participants, maintaining compliance with good clinical practice (“GCP”), and minimizing risks to trial integrity. The extensive government funding of clinical trials and basic science research during the pandemic will only increase regulators’ interest in investigating allegations of potential data integrity issues.” [Ropes & Gray (2022 Feb 1). DOJ Increases Focus on Clinical Trial Fraud ]

NOTE. “The extensive government funding of clinical trials and basic science research during the pandemic will only increase regulators’ interest in investigating allegations of potential data integrity issues.”

Nowhere does the article say they are currently investigating, just that they are looking into it. So, they might not find anything to look into and/or when they do, nothing problematic. However, even if they were to find some minor problems, the vaccines have now been followed for a long time with numerous peer-reviewed articles, reports from various nation’s health department, etc. and the overwhelming evidence is that they are safe and have saved millions of lives. Not 100% safe, nor 100% effective. And you ignore that I posted a large reference list that clearly showed that deaths and cases of long covid have been grossly undercounted.

So, once more you find an article that you think confirms your rigid unscientific bias when, in essence, it doesn’t even do that.

You write: “or how we should follow the science.”

The article does mention how one Supreme Court Justices “asserted that 100,000 children were hospitalized with Covid-19 “in serious condition, and many on ventilators” which was a gross overstatement; but as I wrote above, the number of deaths and long covid have been grossly undercounted and hospitalization of children is increasing, though not so high and studies have found that though deaths among children still low, they are increasing and cases of long covid actually fairly high among children and no one knows how long will last.

The article states: “On January 31, 2020, some of the world’s top virologists told Dr. Anthony Fauci they believed the SARS-CoV-2 virus was probably “engineered” and they “can’t think of a plausible natural scenario.”

Absolutely wrong about “can’t think about a plausible natural scenario”. They have found around the world several variants of corona virus that are extremely close to COVID-19. I could list references; but I’m sure you could care less.

The article claims hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin reduce hospitalization and mortality. Orac has already dealt with this extensively. The studies that claimed such were small, poorly designed, etc.

Scott Atlas is a radiologist with NO experience with infectious diseases, even his colleagues at Stanford have been critical of his positions. Peter McCollough is a world-class expert in cardiology; but his position on COVID and vaccine has been torn to shreds, again by Orac and others.

The article says: “Well, in recent weeks, uber-boosted Israel led the world in positive tests per capita and is suffering a new record-high wave of hospitalization and death.”

I already dealt with this in an earlier comment. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Israel has one of the lowest deaths rates from COVID in the world. I am NOT going to go through ever single lie/distortion in the article; but point out that the author is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative, pro-business think tank. [Swanson (2022 Feb 4). How a War on ‘Misinformation’ Led To a Coronavirus Tragedy. RealClearMarkets.]

The title includes “Misinformation” which the entire paper is guilty of.

As for Carlos Santana’s (2022 Apr). Why citizen review might beat peer review at identifying pursuitworthy scientific research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science; 92: 20-26. I couldn’t find the full paper, only the ABSTRACT which is all you referred to. However, as I wrote earlier, the peer-review system basically, despite what people claim, works. And if articles get published that are of poor design, then people like me who actually carefully read them will write OpEds and/or letter published in the various journals critiquing them. And as I wrote, various types of replications will happen; e.g., different age groups, different ethnic/nations, with multiple comorbidities. I realize that you are focusing on COVID vaccines and, again, there have been literally thousands of papers/reports, etc. And, though I can’t read the article (will see if friend at university library can scan in and send pdf to me), there are committees with “citizens” that work with various Federal funding agencies and if you were to really search the published literature you would find studies on a wide range of topics, including over $2 billion Federal funding of studies of alternative medicines.

You write: “I am still waiting for you to answer the question about 2 million kids in the US who did not go to college or did not return to school/college because you wanted to be safe. Did you think that was good for future generations?”

I have given an answer several times. Quite simply our government and others did a poor job of handling the pandemic. Not extremes of black and white. We didn’t have testing kits and labs to early on see where pandemic was, we didn’t invest in improving ventilation in schools, staggering hours so fewer students at a time with physical distancing, good masks, etc. We could have closed schools temporarily where high incidence of covid and do all the aforementioned. However, if we had NOT closed schools before vaccine, few kids would have died, many would have suffered long covid, and put others at risk; e.g., parents with comorbidities, etc. It wasn’t handled correctly; but doing nothing was also not appropriate. You keep asking the same question which shows just how FRIGGIN DISHONEST you are. A good explanation of all the mistakes made and what should have been done: Scott Gottlieb (2021). Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic.

You write: “So the BBC was lying and the DOJ was lying and Time Magazine was lying as was RealClearMarkets was lying.”

RealClearMarkets was LYING, see above. DOJ wasn’t lying; but read what i wrote above. And I won’t bother with BBC and Time Magazine because I’ve already pointed out above and in multiple comments just how STUPID, DISHONEST, and DELUSIONAL YOU ARE.

So, just to summarize, you refer to an article that does NOT say fraud has been found in covid studies and you ignore that even if found in a study or two we now have 1,000s of studies. You refer to an article with lie after lie after lie. You don’t understand peer-review or why even if poor papers make it through, real scientists will critique and follow-up studies will either replicate or find it wrong. As for fraud, it rarely happens, and as I wrote, impossible for journal publishers to be aware of it; but when discovered the authors should be severely punished.

So, I realize that nothing will stop you. I have shown over and over just how wrong you are, finding one or two cherry-picked papers, that I refute, that you don’t understand even the basics of the sciences underlying infectious diseases, etc.

WHEN WILL YOU STOP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF???

“I already dealt with this in an earlier comment. NOT EVEN CLOSE. Israel has one of the lowest deaths rates from COVID in the world.

Well Israel with over 90% vaccinated and 40% got their 4th shot.
Just reported 120 deaths in one day (that number has been going up for the past two weeks). Given the population I Israel of about 8.5 million, the US recorded 3,100 deaths for a population of 340,000,000. and the US has a 65% vaccine rate with 2 shots.
Do the math.

worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/israel/

“As for fraud, it rarely happens, and as I wrote, impossible for journal publishers to be aware of it; but when discovered the authors should be severely punished.”

science.org/content/article/landmark-research-integrity-survey-finds-questionable-practices-are-surprisingly-common

scientificamerican.com/article/sometimes-science-is-wrong/

journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0005738

For most co authors associated with fraudulent papers go on to enhanced jobs, and several of them have gone on to be editors/co-editors or senior staff members of top publications.
When ORI finds ‘misdeeds’ 1 to 3 years suspension from government funding then they get back in line.

@ Kay West

Once more, you cite: “Carlos Santana’s (2022 Apr). Why citizen review might beat peer review at identifying pursuitworthy scientific research.

I wrote above extensively on review process:

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
February 5, 2022 at 1:10 pm

However, one more point: How can a “citizen” review the methods section of a paper? Years ago, an antivaccinationist got published an article based on matched groups; but he used Chi-Square, a statistic for independent analyses. Do you even understand the difference? The paper was eventually retracted. Do you know the difference between normal regression analysis and logistic regression? I could go on and on. So, if a “citizen” doesn’t understand statistics and/or research designs, how in hell can they review a paper? On the other hand, if a “citizen” does understand these, then they must have studied subjects and call them “citizens” but they are scientists! ! !

As for the BBC paper, I actually have discussed this over and over. They are both right and wrong. Right that we and others screwed up; but wrong in that they just give the current results in black and white without looking at how we could have better reacted to pandemic; e.g., temporary lockdowns, improved ventilation in schools, etc. If we had had NO lockdowns, as I wrote above, a few kids would have died, more suffered from long covid; but before vaccine, they could have infected parents and others with comorbidities or unknown genetic predisposition. In other words, the hospitalizations, long covid, and deaths could have been much much higher. So, typical of you to find a critique; but post it as black and white.
[Branwen Jeffreys (2022 Feb 4). Children’s mental health/ Huge rise in severe cases, BBC analysis reveals. BBC News]

You write: “Why lock downs and isolation don’t work.”

Did you actually read the article? TheY allowed a passenger plane to land, that is, ended lockdown/isolation and pandemic hit island. If they had NOT ended lockdown/isolation, waited for vaccine, then tested passengers on flights before taking off and practiced reasonable mitigation measures outcome would have been different. Even the title agrees: Amie Gunia (2022 Feb 2). A COVID-Free Pacific Nation Opened Its Border a Crack. The Virus Came Rushing In. TIME magazine.

You write: “Do you automatically post nonsense without actually doing research, I know it was hard to read to the bottom of the story and see exactly who Maggie Koerth is?
She was named Nieman-Berkman Fellow in journalism at Harvard
and won American Meteorological Society’s Award for Distinguished Science Journalism.”

And to some extent her article is valid. Yep, in the beginning, as I’ve written over and over we screwed up badly, partly because of inadequate understanding of covid, thinking similar to flu, not even close, because of underfunding of CDC, FDA, etc and understaffing, because of turf wars because who responsible for what not clearly defined, and because Trump interfered; but her paper is from January 12, 2022.

She writes: “Just look at the confusion around post-infection immunity. Basic biology taught us there are two ways your body can build immune resistance to a virus: You can get a vaccine, or you can catch the virus and recover. It’s less risky to get your immunity from a vaccine, but if you do catch COVID-19 and recover, should you assume you have the same level of immunity as the person who got the shot?”

Obviously she hasn’t done her homework because there are credible published studies that answer the above. I won’t bother citing them. And her degree is in anthropology, not biology, immunology, medicine, etc. Doesn’t mean she couldn’t do the homework; but she didn’t. Yep, she cites a few studies; but not even close to a review of the topic or any indication she understands it.

She writes: “How was the average person supposed to understand
what choices to make when a Harvard epidemiologist was encouraging the widespread use of rapid at-home tests to reduce the risk of COVID transmission but the FDA was still saying asymptomatic people shouldn’t use them?”

We didn’t have accurate at-home tests for quite some time; but, again, she is focusing on the past. We now not only have at-home tests; but the government is sending four free kits to everyone who requests them; but she doesn’t mention that if at-home kit gives positive result one should then get more accurate pcr.

She writes: “Even your own doctor, whom you may trust more than anybody else, could be one of the many M.D.s who don’t actually know a ton about virology, epidemiology or the latest research on a new COVID strain — and maybe “

Absolutely true; but true about many medical subjects. My primary care physician devotes one morning, usually Friday, to reading latest papers on COVID. However, he hasn’t always been able to do this because of current workload. Prior to pandemic, he almost always devoted Friday mornings to keeping up with latest medical findings. Not all doctors can do this. He works for Kaiser Permanente, so doesn’t run a private practice where he has to both see patients and devote time to administrative responsibilities. So, the article is neither right nor wrong; but focuses only on the negatives, not improvements in how we are handling covid, doesn’t indicate she really did the homework, etc. And, again, her training is in anthropology and her award was from Meterological Association in Atmospheric and Related Sciences. Not even close to infectious diseases, etc. Do you even understand just how different “atmospheric and related sciences” are to pandemics, immunology, etc???

Of course you don’t. So, once more you display your incredible STUPIDITY, DISHONESTY, AND DELUSIONAL SELF.

Do you even understand just how different “atmospheric and related sciences” are to pandemics, immunology, etc???
Undoubtedly she trained with Sir Fred Hoyle. Sorry.

Or Linus Pauling.

Anyway, if you choose to believe cranks about Covid-19 while ignoring evidence-based mainstream sources, it’s gotta be the CDC’s fault.

Hey, get this: they’re saying over at the New York Times that the American Left is fundamentally undemocratic, defying the wishes of the people on matters ranging from public school curriculum to health and military policy, instead putting power in the hands of unelected elites and experts.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/opinion/liberals-conservatives-democracy.html

Reprinted here in case you run into a paywall:

http://sltrib.com/opinion/commentary/2022/02/05/ross-douthat-does/

So even the N.Y. Times admits that progressives are thwarting the popular will!

/kaywestlogic

Hmm, so now physicians and health policy experts are both fascist and communist? I thought they exploded when put together. Waiting with interest for the inclusion of Genghis Khan and Darth Vader in the narratives.

Seriously, the Cultural Revolution is not something the (US) public has much comprehension for and as a rallying cry for freedom, I expect will fall flat here. Now, perhaps as a spear point on China it may resonate – not a clue. I expect China will be infected soon with this rhetorical nonsense soon. What an infection — have you injected sunshine and flowers into your body to stop COVID? I’ve heard that very important people believe it helps.

I thank you for the evaluations and such.

Mr. Harrison
“Of course you don’t. So, once more you display your incredible STUPIDITY, DISHONESTY, AND DELUSIONAL SELF.”

“You can tell someone is smarting from an inferiority complex when he insists on being addressed as “Dr.” on the basis of holding an academic doctorate rather than being a physician. Ph.D. holders who have genuine accomplishments don’t make you call them “Doctor,” which is why you never hear about “Dr. Paul Krugman” and “Dr. George Will.”
Yahoo News

You are correct I was wrong the average reading time for a research paper is 1 to 3 hours, but I will stand by the idea that peer review isn’t what it is touted, and even by your own statement it may take years to correct science.

vox.com/science-and-health/2016/11/23/13713324/why-peer-review-in-science-often-fails

“Lefties Planted the Anti-Science Seed Fueling Vaccine Skepticism”

“In this pandemic anti-vaxxers didn’t need to discredit 200 years of vaccine efficacy, or explain away scientific consensus. They just needed to sow doubt about emerging biotechnologies, a job that had already been largely done for them by the press and politicians. Biotechnophobia was already endemic.

A 2020 Pew survey showed 48 percent of adults globally, and about the same share of Americans, believed GMOs were unsafe to ingest. Half of the global population had been conditioned to think emerging biotechnology products are a threat to health—with no evidence. It is hard to imagine this popular prejudice has not played a meaningful role in vaccine hesitancy.”

thedailybeast.com/lefties-planted-the-anti-science-seed-fueling-vaccine-skepticism?ref=scroll

DB and rs

Interesting that you would use an article in the NYT’s and attribute it to me, so you have to make up stuff to criticize me, I believe that is called a straw-man argument.

“You can tell someone is smarting from an inferiority complex when he insists on being addressed as “Dr.” on the basis of holding an academic doctorate rather than being a physician. Ph.D. holders who have genuine accomplishments don’t make you call them “Doctor,” which is why you never hear about “Dr. Paul Krugman” and “Dr. George Will.”
Yahoo News

You are trolling us now, Kay.

In fact this episode neatly encapsulates your thought processes. You go looking for articles that support your existing positions. If you could do research even half-way effectively, you would not be citing from an article written by a right wing movie critic who is taking a cheap shot at Jill Biden.

As to the substance of the article, it is nonsense. A Ph.D. comes with the honorific Dr. It is my professional title and I use it in professional activities. When I am being introduced at meetings, when I am in the media, when I am fronting Senate Committees. It is on my business cards, my letterhead and my email signature.

@ Kay West

As usual you find one or two papers, a poll, anything to post. You have made it absolutely clear you don’t understand science, logic, and are incapable of. You can call me whatever you like as I don’t recognize you as having any value on this blog except as an example of much that is wrong in this nation.

So, just to repeat: YOU ARE STUPID, DISHONEST, AND DELUSIONAL.

@ Kay West

You write: ““You can tell someone is smarting from an inferiority complex when he insists on being addressed as “Dr.” on the basis of holding an academic doctorate rather than being a physician. Ph.D. holders who have genuine accomplishments don’t make you call them “Doctor,”

Actually, without asking, at various meetings I attended when I either presented or raised my hand to ask a question I was addressed as Dr. In many European nations, a PhD automatically confers title Dr. In fact, in some nations Dr. is officially only for those who earned a PhD. One also calls MDs Dr; but because of what they do, not their degree. In fact, in some nations medical doctors are NOT awarded an MD. As for inferiority complex, yep, I feel inferior having earned a competitive doctoral fellowship and then a PhD in another language, in another nation. I feel inferior having won a highly competitive NIH 3-year Post-Doctoral fellowship. I feel inferior having been faculty at a medical school. I feel inferior having 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and 50 OpEds on respected websites, magazines, and newspapers. And I especially feel inferior when well-established researchers, some heads of large research centers have solicited my advice. And I feel inferior when authors of one of the best undergraduate Microbiology texts used my editorial suggestions in previous edition and are using mine again in upcoming edition. And I don’t know how today’s culture addresses PhDs, being retired; but for most of my career, addressing a PhD as Dr. was standard. Just one more example of your IMMENSE STUPIDITY and SICK ATTEMPTS TO ATTACK ME PERSONALLY.

You write: “You are correct I was wrong the average reading time for a research paper is 1 to 3 hours, but I will stand by the idea that peer review isn’t what it is touted, and even by your own statement it may take years to correct science.”

Yep, it takes sometimes years; but what is the alternative, anecdotes, personal opinions, or civilian reviewers who, as I wrote, don’t understand statistics, research design, etc.? I did make some suggestions; but basically whether a peer-reviewed article maintains its credibility or not, science, replications, OpEds, etc. will work. However, as I made absolutely clear the science behind mRNA vaccines is extremely strong and the thousands of papers following introduction of COVID vaccines, effectiveness and safety confirm this. And, as usual, you don’t admit the DOJ article didn’t claim any actual ongoing investigations or future planned ones, etc.

You write: ““Lefties Planted the Anti-Science Seed Fueling Vaccine Skepticism”

Actually the modern anti vaccination movement began with “Barbara Loe Fischer’s The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), founded under the name Dissatisfied Parents Together (DPT) in 1982, is an American 501(c)(3)[1] organization that has been widely criticized as a leading source of fearmongering and misinformation about vaccines” Note. 1982. But actually she was advisor to a so-called documentary that was widely watched, DPT: Vaccine Roulette, which wasn’t a documentary. Several researchers later said they were asked the same question several times and their replies were edited, etc.

But it actually took off in 1998 with a paper in The Lancet by Andrew Wakefield. And despite overwhelming evidence it was fraudulent, etc. anti-vaxxers, with mentalities like you, once they believe something, nothing can change their minds.

“When a handful of parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) founded SafeMinds in 2000, their goal was to raise awareness and support research regarding the associations of environmental toxins and the development of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. . .The founders first deliverable was a definitive work on the link between mercury and ASD, which showed that autism symptoms mirrored those of mercury poisoning.”

The paper was a joke, anyone with half a brain could tear it apart. First and foremost it included injuries from mercury spills where individuals actually had in their bodies more than 1,000 times level of mercury in any vaccine. I repeat, more than 1,000 times. Well, if I gave you 1,000 times normal dosage of aspirin, ibuprofen, iron, etc. you would die!

“From 2005 to July 2007, Olmsted wrote about his investigative findings concerning the apparent global epidemic of autism in a series of columns titled The Age of Autism. . . He owned and edited the Age of Autism website, a site he described as the “Daily Web Newspaper of the Autism Epidemic”, where writers question the safety of vaccines.

“In June 2005, Kennedy wrote an article in Rolling Stone and Salon called “Deadly Immunity”, alleging a government conspiracy to conceal a connection between thimerosal and the epidemic of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism. The article contained five factual errors, leading Salon to issue corrections. Six years later Salon retracted the article completely. According to Salon, the retraction was motivated by accumulating evidence of alleged errors and scientific fraud underlying the vaccine-autism claim.”

So, again you find one paper that automatically if it says what you choose to believe must be true. The paper doesn’t mention, for instance, Barbara Loe Fischer, founder of National Vaccine Information Center, Andrew Wakefield, SafeMinds, Age of Autism, Robert Kennedy Jr and numerous other well-known anti-vax organisations/websites, most started early 21st Century.

As for GMOs, pros and cons as I wrote. On the whole safe to eat; but some evidence that those with Bacillus thuringiensis toxin gene can cause allergies; but more important as I wrote and you in YOUR CONTINUED IMMENSE IGNORANCE ignore, kills a few generations of insects who then mutate and, thus, no longer affected by it, but kills many beneficial insects as well, some that don’t recover, and creates monoculture crops. Historically if some insect manages to target one species of, say, potatoes, it could destroy much of world’s crop, whereas if multiple species, usually several not affected or less so. And finally, do you really want one or two corporations to control much of world’s food supply? Their lawyers have sued small farmers and won. They require poor farmers in nations; e.g., India, to buy new seeds every year. And the evidence is that they do NOT grow better than traditional crops. So, I personally do my best to avoid GMOs, not for personal health; but because of many other reasons. Of course, in your typical black and white approach, either one accepts GMOs or doesn’t.

So, you just continue to show how STUPID, INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST, AND DELUSIONAL YOU ARE.

By the way, early this morning I visited “Count Dracula’s Headquarters” and donated one unit plasma and one unit platelets and am scheduled to return exactly in four weeks. I also phoned earlier this week several food banks to see if they needed volunteers. They didn’t; but promised to call if/when they need somebody. So, what have you done for your fellow human beings during pandemic? I used to give blood 3 – 4 times yearly; but when paper said during pandemic shortage of blood donors, I started giving every four weeks. Yep, more proof of my inferiority complex. And I do have regrets that I haven’t done more to help others; but compared to vast majority, I’ve done OK. Years ago volunteered at soup kitchens and helped with food drives, etc.

So once again Kay West, GO TO HELL

@Joel:

Ask your doctor if yoga is indicated to moderate your anger and frustration, or, if you are too physically unfit to attempt yoga, ask if Pfizer Diazepam® might be right for your condition.

For you, wider reading is indicated. Read something else tha just party media. You will becone wiser that way,

@ Kay West

I could care less about you; but over the years my anger and frustration at a world destroying itself, ruining the future for coming generations, voting against own best interests by heeding lies of corporations and superwealthy, among lies, racism, divide and conquer when both whites and blacks victims should be uniting, etc. so your comments just represent a huge swatch of Americans, those who can’t reason, can’t enter into civil dialogues, those who don’t necessarily have to agree with me; but at least indicate an openness to considering what I write and what many others have written.

Here is a partial list of books I own and have read about just how scientifically illiterate many Americans are, you, of course, included. NOTE. Toumey’s book documents history of scientific illiteracy in America, including periods when Americans more positive towards science, though really didn’t understand it and Mackay’s book fro 1841 is just a fun read and while Social Media, Fox News, etc. exacerbates scientific illiteracy, didn’t create it:

Unscientific America
Reference List

Christopher P. Toumey (1996). Conjuring Science: Scientific Symbols and Cultural Meanings.

Charles Mackay (1841). Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

Robert Park (2000). Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud.

Chris Mooney & Sheril Kirshcenbaum (2009). Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future.

@ Kay West

CALLING A PHD DR

When people go to a clinical psychologist with a PhD, most address them as Dr. When people go to a school psychologist with a PhD, most address them as Dr. When PhDs testify in courts, before legislatures, school board meetings, before Congress, they are addressed as Dr. Doesn’t matter if psychologist, physicist, historian, etc. And doesn’t matter if recently received degree or long career.Of course, the exception proves the rule and as usual you will find one or two. Bottom line where did you get your idea that PhDs are not called Dr? Did you pull it out of your ass? Oh, of course, because that is where your brains are.

KEEP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF

KW: “Interesting that you would use an article in the NYT’s and attribute it to me, so you have to make up stuff to criticize me, I believe that is called a straw-man argument.”

I believe that is called “being devoid of reading comprehension”.

The Times column was not “attributed” to you. Citing such a column as evidence of the Times denouncing progressives for being anti-democratic (instead of representing one columnist’s opinion) was done to lampoon your transparently deceptive style. Or
can it be that you really are that clueless?

And oo, it gets worse! The New York Times said today that the Left is corrupting the legal system through judges catering to libertine sexual mores!!!*

*actually that gem came from a Sunday Times op-ed by a Harvard constitutional law professor. Omigod, Harvard University has condemned the Left too!

your limp attempt to link me to an article I didn’t post

“was done to lampoon your transparently deceptive style.”

“So even the N.Y. Times admits that progressives are thwarting the popular will!

/kaywestlogic”

My style is to post research and articles which disprove your position or support my position, to attribute articles I do not post and then attribute them to me is disingenuous.

and then your “pocket puppet”

rs
says:
February 6, 2022 at 9:36 am

HTML error 999: “/kaywestlogic” tag not recognized.

That straw man was further away then the wizard of oz

If you wish to ‘lampoon” something I posted, feel free.

As to your book list I read this book in college and that liberal Ann Coulter recommends it and has written many columns about it

Charles Mackay (1841). Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

It describes exactly what is occurring now. with all the mask, close everything, 6 foot, disinfect everything and hide in your house crowd.
It describes what happened after 911, WWI, stock market crash, DOTCOM bust ……..

but I digress.

‘I could care less about you;’

“FRIGGIN DISHONEST
STUPID, DISHONEST, and DELUSIONAL YOU ARE.
WHEN WILL YOU STOP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF???STUPIDITY, DISHONESTY, AND DELUSIONAL SELF.YOU ARE STUPID, DISHONEST, AND DELUSIONAL.
IMMENSE STUPIDITY and SICK ATTEMPTS TO ATTACK ME PERSONALLY.
YOUR CONTINUED IMMENSE IGNORANCE
STUPID, INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST, AND DELUSIONAL YOU ARE
GO TO HELL”

How self unaware can you be, to claim victim hood by making the statement “SICK ATTEMPTS TO ATTACK ME PERSONALLY.” when you post those statements about me.

The difference between you and me is that I care about you and your health and more importantly you mental health, you lash out at people on this and other sites and it seems to be getting worse because of your self imposed social isolation.

Ann Coulter once referred to Donald Trump as an “emperor god”, so there’s a touch of irony in her accusing others of being delusional.

@Dangerously Bacvon [sic] ak Dangerously Stupid

Oh, you rare species of brain-injured jackass, no cite to the quote from exquisitely equine Ann Coulter?

She wasn’t saying what you wish she was, dolt, as the first result of a search on the quote you posted shows:

“Ann Coulter Says She’s Out of Patience With ‘Emperor God’ Trump

”He does have flaws. And one of them is his vast, yawning narcissism,“ conservative commentator says of the president”

From:
https://www.thewrap.com/ann-coulter-emperor-god-trump/

@ Kay West

You write: “The difference between you and me is that I care about you and your health and more importantly you mental health, you lash out at people on this and other sites and it seems to be getting worse because of your self imposed social isolation.”

My “self imposed social isolation???” As i wrote, until the pandemic I went to local YMCA six days a week, often drank coffee afterwards with people from around the world, and sometimes went to lunch with them. “Self imposed social isolation???” The Y closed starting with the pandemic. I have spoken from time to time with some from Y and kept in touch with e-mail. Talk on phone with friends in U.S. and keep in touch with Swedish friends by e-mail. I’ve explained this before, just one more example of you being a LIAR. As for your caring about me and my mental health, WOW, at no time have you ever given the slightest hint of this. YOU ARE DELUSIONAL AND FULL OF SHIT.

You write: “As to your book list I read this book in college and that liberal Ann Coulter recommends it and has written many columns about itCharles Mackay (1841). Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It describes exactly what is occurring now. with all the mask, close everything, 6 foot, disinfect everything and hide in your house crowd.
It describes what happened after 911, WWI, stock market crash, DOTCOM bust ……..”

Wikipedia. Ann Coulter: “Ann Hart Coulter is an American conservative media pundit, author, syndicated columnist, and lawyer. . . In June 2018, during the controversy caused by the Trump administration family separation policy, Coulter dismissed immigrant children as “child actors weeping and crying” and urged Trump not to “fall for it” . . Coulter opposes hate crime laws . . Coulter opposes same-sex marriage . . . Coulter is an advocate of the white genocide conspiracy theory. . . Time magazine’s John Cloud once observed that Coulter “likes to shock reporters by wondering aloud whether America might be better off if women lost the right to vote”.[57] This was in reference to her statement that “it would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact. In fact, in every presidential election since 1950—except Goldwater in ’64—the Republican would have won, if only the men had voted . . .Coulter was accused of anti-semitism in an October 8, 2007, interview with Donny Deutsch on The Big Idea. During the interview, Coulter stated that the United States is a Christian nation, and said that she wants “Jews to be perfected, as they say” (referring to them being converted to Christianity”

Wow and you call her a “liberal.” Yep, book describes stock market crash, DOTCOM bust; but NOT masks. As I’ve written over and over overwhelming science has shown use of masks reduce the transmission of COVID and, thus, the number of severe cases, hospitalization, and deaths. Stock markets, DOTCOM, aren’t the same as infectious microbes, not even close. An infectious microbe is infectious whatever an IDIOT like you chooses to believe. However, being deluded into investing in stocks, etc. is psychological. Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to understand the difference.

You write: “Well Israel with over 90% vaccinated and 40% got their 4th shot. Just reported 120 deaths in one day (that number has been going up for the past two weeks). Given the population I Israel of about 8.5 million, the US recorded 3,100 deaths for a population of 340,000,000. and the US has a 65% vaccine rate with 2 shots.
Do the math.

According to Our World in Data as of February 5, 2022: Israel, 70% of population one shot, 65% fully vaccinated. So, where did you get your numbers as I got mine from URL you gave??? The World Odometer gives 9,180 deaths, while the US has over 900,000. That is 100 times as many; yet our population is only about 32 times as large as Israel’s. If you look at deaths in Israel, goes up and down, so picking one point in time says nothing. See World Health Organization. Global. Israel. And the second booster/4th shot vaccination campaign in Israel isn’t aimed at the general population: it’s aimed at specific high-risk groups. I couldn’t find the exact number, will look again tomorrow; but certainly NOT on Our World in Data page.

So, now we know you have at least one grandchild and went to college. Did you actually graduate? If so, what was your degree in? But claiming you care about my health, BULLSHIT. Calling sheltering-in-place self imposed social isolation. BULL SHIT. Calling someone as vile and right-wing as Ann Coulter a liberal, are you completely INSANE? And mixing psychological actions of people with infectious microbes, just really STUPID.

You write: “How self unaware can you be, to claim victim hood by making the statement “SICK ATTEMPTS TO ATTACK ME PERSONALLY.” when you post those statements about me.”

So, yep, I describe you OBJECTIVELY for what you are, a STUPID, DISHONEST, AND DELUSIONAL PERSON. You are the one who is extremely SICK.

@ Kay West
You have several times written: “my self imposed social isolation”
As I have written several times I went to local YMCA six days a week prior to lockdown. I became friendly with a number of members who I often drank coffee with and even went to lunch with. I became friends with one of the assistant managers, went to lunch, etc.; but since pandemic several members of her family have become severely sick from COVID, etc. And the Y had around six times a year evening events; e.g., Halloween parties, Christmas Parties, folk music festivals, etc. families came and I always attended. Just this past week I received e-mail that YMCA is re-opening; however, NO requirement for being vaccinated and NO requirement to wear masks when working out; but when working out people breath heavier than usual. I am a healthy 75 year old, recent labs show my immune system quite good; but as opposed to you, I understand that my immune system at my age while good will NOT respond as well as someone younger. And even if I wear a mask, especially with OMICRON, which is far more transmissible, I could become infected. I also checked out another gym five minutes walk from me; but same, NO vaccine requirement and NO mask. So, I spoke with my Primary Care Physician and we agreed that I shouldn’t rejoin until a booster for Omicron is available. Pfizer and Moderna both claim will have one sometime in March; however, one preliminary study found not very protective. So, I didn’t “self impose social isolation” but YMCA lockdown occurred and I would like to start again; but as oppose to you I understand immunology and infectious diseases and at 75 I would be at risk. I also phoned several times different food banks and offered to volunteer and, of course, I go to Blood Bank every four weeks where I sit in recliner chair with needle in my arm for over an hour in a room with dozen other people, thus, posing a slight risk.

So, just one more example of how you lie, twist things. I do like being home alone and reading; but prior to pandemic I did also enjoy socializing. So, YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT. And that is an accurate description of you.

I donate blood every four weeks and have tried to volunteer at food banks, so what have you done to help total strangers during the pandemic???

Are you that short of a person that when I called Ann Coulter a “liberal”, the sarcasm went right over your head ? I was making the point that you had a book that she had promoted and wrote several columns about. Of course you in your usually style had to research a very well know writer/personality and of course cherry picked what you deemed to be the most offensive, not realizing she was being sarcastic, the real world and you are so very far apart. I do forget that liberals don’t understand much about humor,wit, sarcasm nor irony.

As for Israel, their new cases and new death are now rising faster then the US.

“As i wrote, until the pandemic I went to local YMCA six days a week, often drank coffee afterwards with people from around the world, and sometimes went to lunch with them. ”

and now you don’t have that outlet.

“so what have you done to help total strangers during the pandemic???”

I run over them with my car, shot a couple, walked around unmasked, coughed without covering my mouth and stood less then 6 feet away from people.

@ Kay West

You write: “As for Israel, their new cases and new death are now rising faster then the US.”

First, doesn’t say anything about effectiveness of vaccines. Literally, one could reach 90% of population receiving vaccines plus booster; but, just as in U.S. could be enclaves, areas with low vaccine rates responsible for surges. In fact, we are seeing surges in various parts of U.S., mainly among unvaccinated. Second, as I wrote, brief spurts say very little. I gave reference to chart that clearly showed ups and downs of deaths in Israel. As usual, you jump at anything that confirms what you choose to believe.which is that vaccines don’t work. And where did you find 40% received fourth shot? Finally, rising “cases” says NADA. Israel does much more testing, so they find people with COVID in nasopharyngeal swabs or inner cheek swabs. As I’ve written over and over, which you ignore, doesn’t mean anything. We are inundated daily with literally thousands of potentially pathogenic microbes; but our immune systems either totally block entry or stop them from doing any harm. So, finding COVID in someone vaccinated says nothing.

You write: “Are you that short of a person that when I called Ann Coulter a “liberal”, the sarcasm went right over your head ? I was making the point that you had a book that she had promoted and wrote several columns about. . . Of course you in your usually style had to research a very well know writer/personality and of course cherry picked what you deemed to be the most offensive, not realizing she was being sarcastic, the real world and you are so very far apart.”

First, it is almost impossible to tell when you are being sarcastic or . . . Second, I gave modern up-to-date books, just added it for historical reference. Really, all the points I made about her positions were just her being “sarcastic”, in reality not what she believes? And, pray tell, how do you know this?

You write: ““As i wrote, until the pandemic I went to local YMCA six days a week, often drank coffee afterwards with people from around the world, and sometimes went to lunch with them. ”
and now you don’t have that outlet.

The point is you claimed that I chose to isolate myself and I didn’t. Just one more thing that shows how STUPIDand CRUEL you are. However, I used to have a fairly large circle of friends, some going back 40 to 50 to 63 years. The vast majority have died, not from COVID but prior to. One, my oldest and one of best friends died 63 years from month we met in 5th grade. He had myasthenia gravis for over three years and I was over at his place often, helping with various things, and did some shopping and banking for him. Unfortunately, the immunosuppressants that allowed him to live also made him vulnerable to bacterial infections, which killed him. I grieve his loss almost everyday and though it was over 2 1/2 years ago haven’t removed his phone number from my telephone. Another friend of almost 50 years died. I used to babysit his kids and was basically adopted into their family. And on and on it goes. So, the YMCA and people I interacted there eventually became my main place for social interactions. Quite simply, I do have a few good friends left; but most not within 100 miles of me, so we talk on phone or those in Sweden by e-mail. As for “you don’t have that outlet.” No, I don’t; but the lockdown and pandemic wasn’t my choice. And my younger brother, who if he had been born much later would have been diagnosed on Autism Spectrum died six years ago and I feel guilty, though I phoned him often and offered to take him to lunch, movie, to help with things, he refused. Just how STUPID AND CRUEL are you to claim I chose to isolate myself. Of course, if I went out without mask, etc. and got COVID, a serious case of, I’m sure you could care less. And, as I wrote, I continue to go out to donate blood and just last week again offered to help at food bank. Quite simply, I am willing to take some risk if it helps other people; but not otherwise. I am 75 years old. Do you understand that??? And, quite frankly living in world with people like you and knowing with high degree of probability that things will get worse; e.g., climate change, etc. I wouldn’t mind dying as long as not painful or prolonged. I’ve already arranged that some people will take care of my dog if I precede him. In the meantime I try to continue to make myself useful by also editing new edition of colleagues undergraduate Microbiology text. A subject you don’t understand; but is key to understanding pandemics, etc.

You write: ““so what have you done to help total strangers during the pandemic???”
I run over them with my car, shot a couple, walked around unmasked, coughed without covering my mouth and stood less then 6 feet away from people.”

Given your attitude towards COVID, etc. I can’t be sure if you are being sarcastic or just writing what you actually fantasize doing; but you still didn’t answer the question. Have you done anything during the pandemic to help others, especially strangers?

@ Kay West

Oops! Forgot one additional reason can’t compare surges in U.S. with Israel. Quite simply, CDC’s data is delayed, dependent on State, County, Municipal health departments, and individual hospitals. Read Scott Gottlieb’s “Uncontrolled Spread.” On the other hand Israel’s data collection is quicker more complete. Quite simply, we may see in a few weeks that U.S. actually had more deaths per capita. Only time will tell; but I’m sure if turns out I’m right, you won’t admit you were wrong by, as usual, jumping on one piece of data.

@ Kay West

Just found Johns Hopkins Covid Dashboard, as of Feb 7, 2022, number of deaths during last 28 days:
Israel: 911
US : 62, 292

As I wrote, focusing on one or two days says little to nothing. Quite clear, US with about 32 times population of Israel had 68 times number of deaths. Do the math, twice as many per capita.

@ Kay West

As I discussed above you mixed apples with oranges when conflating stock market bubbles with using of masks, that is, with responses to infectious diseases. In 1999 and 2008 we had stock market crashes. Among subjects I have read on are several histories of stock market, which, of course, included bubbles, etc. I had a small 401k and divided it among a few very conservative broad stock and bond funds. My goal was simply that history shows that stocks do better than other investments over 20 year periods, usually gaining 1 1/2 to 2% over inflation. That is all I desired. So, during the two crashes I lost around 10% of total value; but within a few years had regained it. Several people I know invested in junk bond stocks, etc. anything gaining 10 or more percent yearly. I warned them; but they ignored me and literally lost everything. So people have a choice with markets/stocks, etc. But what choice do we have with an infectious disease? Ignore it as you and others do or take reasonable precautions? Despite your continuous belief you know more than me, masses of research on masks have found they significantly reduce transmission of viruses, including COVID-19, so if anything my gamble is a conservative one, not same as jumping onto bubbles. Wearing a mask is a mild inconvenience, nothing more, nothing less.

You write that you were just being sarcastic. First, I listed a number of books that document just how many Americans lack basic understanding of science, obviously you included. You ignored that. However, as I wrote above, as I’ve grown older I’ve lost many loved ones and good friends. Life is short and no matter how long we have them, never enough; but if time cut short by an infectious disease that could have possibly been controlled that is unacceptable. And I’ve more or less devoted my life to some aspect of public health and it distresses me horribly to think how others are feeling about loss of their loved ones and friends and even current articles clearly find that even senior citizens with multiple comorbidities could have lived longer, some even 5 to 10 years longer. And, of course, even some kids dying and many others developing long covid. So, whether you agree with me or not, I take the subject very seriously and find your sarcasm/humor totally inappropriate, just one more example of why I have a very negative opinion of you.

You write: ““Why citizen review might beat peer review at identifying pursuitworthy scientific research”

Finally, I got copy of: Carlos Santana (2022 Apr). Why citizen review might beat peer review at identifying pursuitworthy scientific research. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science; 92: 20-26.

The article has NOTHING to do with reviews of papers for publication and you didn’t say it did. It focuses on reviews of grant applications; i.e., funding. And I don’t totally disagree with him; but I won’t get into it here because just wanted to point out just one more example of you, in this case, not being wrong; but also not giving a clearer explanation of exactly what his article was focusing on. I learned a long time ago that abstracts often leave out key points, etc. You just found something that seemed to support your biased unscientific position and jumped on it. As I wrote, I won’t get into the article’s details; but point out that actually citizens do sit on some related committees and can always petition various branches of NIH, etc. to do research in a certain area; but citizens are subject to focusing on things from social media, etc. And if one really looks at range of published research and national department reports, actually in most cases already covered, including alternative medicine’s where National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has already spent over $2 billion.

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