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The Guardian: “Explaining” vaccine hesitancy by amplifying antivax disinformation

Writing in The Guardian, Musa al-Gharbi tries to explain vaccine hesitancy to “the left.” Unfortunately, he parrots antivax conspiracy theories to do it.

Ever since it became clear to even those who used to cling the most tightly to the myth that the antivaccine movement is a phenomenon of hippie-dippy crunchy lefties that, not only had the politics of antivaxxers shifted sharply to the right over the last 5-10 years, but that the antivaccine movement and fascists have found a mutually beneficial alliance based on commonalities in the magical thinking at the hear of their respective world views, there’s been an effort to “explain” vaccine hesitancy to liberals and progressives. This sort of narrative is not new and generally comes from people who are eager to seem “reasonable” as they engage in bothsidesism, or, as I like to call them, “reasonable” apologists for the antivaccine movement. I came across just such an episode published in The Guardian by Musa al-Gharbi yesterday:

Reading this Tweet, I had no idea that what al-Gharbi’s Guardian article was peddling was a credulous recounting of typical antivaccine conspiracy theories, this time framed as an “explanation” aimed at those arrogant lefties who look down on the right wingers buying into these conspiracy theories. For instance, a passage early in the Guardian op-ed, after a recounting of how the Omicron variant has led to high levels of death and hospitalizations primarily among the unvaccinated, shows al-Gharbi in high dudgeon:

Explanations for persistent vaccine hesitancy abound. An increasingly dominant narrative, especially among progressives, is that failure to comply with the directives of public health officials is absurd and must be driven by some pathology or deficit. Among those who subscribe to this worldview, debates turn around identifying the primary malfunction of “those people”: Are they ignorant? Brainwashed? Stupid? Selfish and apathetic? All of the above? Left off the menu is the possibility that hesitancy and non-compliance may actually be reasonable responses to how experts and other elites have conducted themselves, both before and during the pandemic.

I note that the article linked to by al-Gharbi in the above Guardian quote is one long exercise in similar rhetoric. (al-Gharbi does do a fair amount of self-citation to his own blog, which, while acceptable in a blog, is rather odd in The Guardian. Where were the editors?) In particular, I like how al-Gharbi quotes Matt Yglesias in downplaying the role of conspiracy theories in vaccine refusal by claiming that the “misinformation problem” to him “seems like misinformation” and conflating the vaccine hesitant with die-hard antivaxxers. In actuality, as I have repeatedly argued at length, not only is antivaccinationism basically a conspiracy theory at its heart, but so is all science denial, of which the antivaccine movement is a subset. While it is possible that, at the level of individuals and their refusal of vaccines, conspiracy theories might not be at the heart of it, there is little doubt that conspiracy theories are the dominant narrative among the antivaccine “elite” who create and promulgate false claims about vaccines that fuel vaccine hesitancy. That is why many who combat antivaccine misinformation and disinformation repeatedly argue for “inoculating” the susceptible against the techniques of misinformation and disinformation, as well as the conspiracy theories at their heart, using techniques like “prebunking.”

There is, of course, a case to be made that the vaccine hesitant are different from die-hard antivax conspiracy theorists (because they are) and that the vaccine hesitant aren’t “brainwashed” (because, by and large, they are not), but al-Gharbi’s Guardian article seems to delight in attacking straw men, all while regurgitating common antivax conspiracy theories as though they were reasonable in the service of “explaining” antivax hesitancy. In doing so, he lumps together a few reasonable and semi-reasonable concerns about the vaccine that could fuel hesitancy with a whole lot of utterly bonkers typical antivax conspiracy theories that I’ve been writing about longer than I can remember as though they were equally reasonable concerns, which makes me think The Guardian is turning into The Daily Mail in terms of its dedication to science. (That’s not a compliment.) Worse, the Tweets after al-Gharbi’s Tweet linking to his op-ed are almost all nauseatingly laudatory.

I’ll start with the most egregious example of utter antivax disinformation repeated by al-Ghardi, in which he parrots misinformation about COVID-19 vaccine complications referencing the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database. The misuse of VAERS, as I’ve documented more times than I can remember, is a technique that’s been a favorite of antivaxxers going back at least two decades. Indeed, vaccine advocates warned before COVID-19 vaccines were even approved for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) that antivaxxers would immediately mine VAERS to try to portray the vaccines as deadly, for example:

Note the dates of these Tweets.

No one listened. A year later, al-Gharbi apparently didn’t listen either:

According to the VAERS (vaccine adverse event reporting system) database, nearly 12,000 Americans have died shortly after receiving Covid vaccines, possibly as a result of side-effects or allergic reactions from the vaccines. On the one hand, these casualties represent a miniscule share (0.0022%) of all doses given out, and are radically offset by the immense number of lives saved by vaccination. But at the same time, 12,000 lives are not nothing. There are many, many towns in the US with populations smaller than that. Nonetheless, people expressing concerns about vaccine-related deaths are often mocked or derided.

This is a paragraph that should be out of place in The Guardian because it would not be out of place on the websites of prominent antivaxxers like Mike Adams, Alex Berenson, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Joe Mercola, or Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Come to think of it, RFK Jr. has maintained a weekly feature on VAERS since early last year, in which his minions have featured the most sensational reports of death and destruction attributed to the vaccine.

I have to ask why al-Gharbi apparently didn’t bother to ask people who actually know how VAERS works before publishing that credulous amplification of common antivax misinformation? After all, the reason that the vaccine-hesitant cite VAERS is because there is a whole right wing antivax social media (and old media like Fox News) ecosystem that keeps repeating the claim that VAERS shows that the vaccines have killed tens of thousands. Indeed, people like Steve Kirsch and Joe Mercola go further, trying to push the innumerate claim that, in actuality, hundreds of thousands have died due to COVID-19 vaccines because of undercounting in VAERS by a factor of 41, a nonsensical claim.

So egregious is al-Gharbi’s credulous recounting of VAERS misinformation that, instead of just linking to one of my posts that have explained VAERS over the years, I feel the need to include a brief explanation here. The main problem with using VAERS to estimate the frequency of adverse events (AEs) after vaccination is that, in essence, anyone with access to the Internet, mail, or the telephone can report anything to VAERS, as was demonstrated by bloggers years and years ago when one autism advocate filed a report claiming that the flu vaccine had turned him into The Incredible Hulk and another claimed a vaccine had turned his daughter into Wonder Woman. Both reports were accepted. In fairness, ultimately someone from VAERS did contact these people to ask about the reports, and the reports were removed. However, had they refused, reports that vaccines might turn one into the Hulk or Wonder Woman might still be in the database.

I hasten to add that no one is arguing that VAERS is unreliable primarily because lots of people are reporting fake AEs. Rather, we point out these examples merely as part of the overall discussion of how VAERS reports represent raw, unadjudicated data, with no ability to demonstrate causation. Antivaxxers leap to the assumption that any AE entered into VAERS must have been caused by the vaccine, but that is simply not the case. As I’ve discussed time and time again, raw VAERS data cannot establish causation, as, by its very nature, it cannot establish reliable estimates for the incidence of a given AE.

In addition, VAERS has been gamed several times in its 30 year history. For instance, one of the earliest times I wrote about VAERS was in 2006, when I discussed a study that examined how vaccine litigation could influence VAERS reports. Using VAERS reports from 1990 to 2003, the study found “most case reports to VAERS that were related to overdose, neuropathy, and thimerosal were related to litigation”, as were “many cases” that were related to “autism and mental retardation”. Since we now know with a great degree of certainty that vaccination is unrelated to autism, neuropathy, and mental retardation, we know with a great deal of confidence that these reports represented, if not overreporting, misreporting of AEs not related to vaccination as though they were. The study concluded, “This review shows a previously undisclosed rise in the number of reports to the VAERS related to pending litigation for vaccine injury.” In other words, this is not a new problem with VAERS.

Finally, antivax misuse of VAERS ignores is an exercise in the baseline rate fallacy, in that it ignores baseline rates of the AEs reported. In brief, in looking at the number of deaths after COVID-19 vaccination, one has to determine if it is greater than what one would expect by random chance alone in a given time period after vaccination; i.e., the baseline rate of death. (There are over three million deaths in the US every year.) I discussed this once in July, but will update the discussion. Our World In Data estimates that in the US as yesterday, 213 million people having been received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or 64% of the US population. The estimate for the baseline death rate that I used back then was roughly 2.4/100,000 per day, which means that for a population of 213 million we’d expect to see an average of ~5,112 deaths per day by random chance alone. Using one year as a rough number, we’d therefore expect to have seen around ~1.87 million deaths in this time period by random chance alone, and that doesn’t even count the increase in the baseline death rate due to deaths from actual COVID-19 that has occurred. In actuality, 12,000 deaths in over a year is a tiny number in comparison to the number of deaths we’d expect to see soon after vaccination just by random chance alone, particularly early on, when, in addition to healthcare and frontline workers, the elderly (who, on average, have a much higher chance of dying in any given month than the young) were prioritized for vaccination.

Seriously, does al-Gharbi even science? Does The Guardian? Apparently he does not, at least not any better than the antivaxxers who misuse VAERS.

If I were to address each and every nugget of misinformation and conspiracy theory credulously parroted in this Guardian article by al-Gharbi, this article would rapidly swell to several times the length of al-Gharbi’s article itself. So you’ll excuse me if I just pick some “greatest hits.” Unsurprisingly, al-Gharbi believes the “lab leak” hypothesis for the origin of SARS-CoV-2:

While Trump was in office, insinuations that Covid-19 may have originated from a lab leak were widely derided as a racist conspiracy theory and media content exploring the possibility of a lab leak was actively censored by Facebook. Nonetheless, significant evidence has continued to build in support of the “lab leak hypothesis,” to the point where senior Biden administration officials now view the lab leak theory as roughly as credible as the natural origins theory – raising questions for many about why some public officials so aggressively (and prematurely) sought to suppress and discredit this hypothesis.

I rather laugh at al-Gharbi touting the the Biden administration views the lab leak hypothesis as being as credible as a natural origin. Seriously, politics couldn’t have had anything to do with this, and al-Gharbi cited a CNN article about the review that the Biden administration ordered last spring that is a spectacular exercise in bothsidesism itself in that it basically takes both possibilities as equally credible and then throws up its hands saying, “We may never know.”

In actuality, every epidemic and pandemic has produced conspiracy theories that the causative agent “escaped from a lab” or was “engineered in a lab,” and the COVID-19 “lab leak” hypothesis has always been a conspiracy theory. Indeed, it’s one of the oldest—if not the oldest—of conspiracy theories about the origin of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Indeed, the recently deceased Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier was one of the first to claim that SARS-CoV-2 must have been “engineered” because there were short peptide sequences resembling those of an HIV protein in the spike protein of the virus, but he was far from alone in coming up with various features of the virus that must have been “engineered.”

As time went on and it became clear that there were no features in SARS-CoV-2 that couldn’t be explained by natural origins, the “lab leak” conspiracy theory shifted (as such conspiracy theories always do) to claiming that the the “leak” was of a naturally occurring coronavirus that had been collected and stored for study by scientists at the Wuhan Virology Institute. Again, as has been true since January 2020, it is not impossible that the origin of the pandemic was a “lab leak,” but it is a far less plausible explanation than a natural origin given how common zoonotic origins for human coronavirus pathogens are. Indeed, the “plausibility” of a “lab leak” origin for SARS-CoV-2 seems to correlate rather directly with the volume of right wing propaganda proclaiming it to be plausible. It’s odd that al-Gharbi didn’t even consider that possibility. Of course, considering the possibility that he might be wrong seems not to be what al-Gharbi is about.

In fairness, let’s look at one of the reasonable/semi-reasonable concerns al-Gharbi cites:

These rapidly produced vaccines also pioneered the use of “artificial proteins never seen in the natural world”. Again, a miracle of modern science, but one that left many wondering if there was sufficient research on possible long-term problems and side-effects, given that the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine was the first mRNA vaccine ever to achieve full FDA approval in the US and was a developed and approved on a radically accelerated timetable.

This is bit of a misdirection. It is, of course, true that the mRNA sequence that lets the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines coax human muscle cells to produce SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to serve as an antigen to provoke an immune response is slightly modified from that of the natural mRNA sequence, but the alterations are small and designed to stabilize the protein to serve as a better antigen. The misdirection comes in citing the the linked article, which is not about the current mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines but rather about investigators seeking to develop the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines by using a small key portion of the spike protein known as the receptor-binding domain (RBD), the part of the spike protein that binds to the ACE receptor and allows the virus to enter a cell. That is the “protein not found in nature” far more than the slightly modified spike proteins used in current vaccines, and the rationale for such a strategy is even spelled out in the article:

The first-generation COVID vaccines, including the mRNA vaccines that have been such lifesavers, work by introducing the virus’s spike into the body, without a functional coronavirus attached, so the immune system can learn to recognize the RBD and rally its troops. But the RBD is periodically hidden by other parts of the spike protein, shielding the domain from antibodies looking to bind to it. This blunts the immune response. In addition, a free-floating spike protein does not resemble a natural virus and does not always trigger a strong reaction unless a large dose of vaccine is used. That big dose increases costs and can trigger strong side effects.

Such new vaccines could be expected to go through the full regulatory approval process given that they would be intended to supplement or replace current vaccines. I’ll also mention part of the article that really impressed me was its account of how much progress has been made in predicting from its primary amino acid sequence how a protein will fold into its final 3D configuration. I also can’t help but note that another large section of the article was about engineering novel antibodies not found in nature.

As for “long-term” adverse events from vaccines, as I’ve said before, that’s a longstanding antivaccine canard that was easily weaponized against mRNA vaccines. Before the pandemic, among the “long term” side effects antivaxxers proclaimed were autism, autoimmune diseases, chronic neurologic diseases, and cancer, none of which has ever been shown to be linked linked to vaccines. Moreover, AEs due to vaccines generally show up soon after vaccination; vaccines have not been shown to produce AEs years after vaccination and even the ones that show up 6-12 months later are very special circumstances. So while it is not entirely unreasonable for people to be concerned about “long-term” problems, when one discusses this concern, the responsible thing to do is to put such concerns into context, also noting that the technology for mRNA vaccines has been under development for nearly two decades. Five years ago, it is highly unlikely that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines could have been ready to go a year after a novel coronavirus first hit Wuhan because the technology was insufficiently mature. We were fortunate that by 2020 it had matured to the point that allowed such rapid creation of COVID-19 vaccines.

al-Gharbi even spins another somewhat reasonable concern about the vaccines in the most antivaccine manner possible:

In the wake of Omicron, even people who have been “boosted” with a third shot are regularly experiencing breakthrough infections. And so, over time, the justification for getting vaccinated has shifted. Rather than being sold as a means of preventing infection altogether, it is now argued that people should take the shots in order to reduce hospitalizations and deaths (the vaccines remain very effective at this). That is, the main benefit of vaccination has been revised down dramatically – from outright preventing infections to reducing severe infections – even as people are encouraged to get more and more shots in order to achieve that benefit.

And:

It was initially reported that a single shot provided great protection, although a booster could conceivably be suggested down the line. Then two shots became the standard to be “fully vaccinated.” Now, according to Fauci, three shots will soon become a requirement for being considered “fully vaccinated” – and the CDC is urging some Americans to pursue a fourth shot. There does not seem to be a clear end in sight for how many shots may ultimately be suggested.

It’s also long been recommended that we all receive the influenza vaccine every year. Dammit, why isn’t one dose of influenza vaccine enough for my lifetime?

Seriously, though, is al-Gharbi unaware that this is how many vaccines work and that many, if not most, vaccines don’t provide life-long immunity and do need periodic boosters, the time between boosters varying depending on the disease? Is he not aware that it was long expected that a coronavirus vaccine would not provide sterilizing immunity (complete prevention of infection and transmission) but that 100% effectiveness in preventing transmission and infection is not a requirement for vaccines to make a huge contribution to ending the pandemic? Scientists have long been warning that it is unreasonable to expect a vaccine against a coronavirus to produce sterilizing immunity, and even over a year ago were pointing out that, not only do most vaccines not produce sterilizing immunity, but that sterilizing immunity is not necessary to end the pandemic. Moreover, it’s not as though scientists haven’t been warning about the possibility the appearance of new, more transmissible variants that could evade postinfection and vaccine-induced immunity. Omicron is just such a variant, and such variants have the reason why vaccinating as large a proportion of the population as possible was always important and why many have warned against the very inequity in vaccine distribution that al-Gharbi himself expresses concern about.

The reason to be vaccinated was always primarily to prevent severe disease and death, and the vaccines remain very good at that, as the figures cited by al-Gharbi at the beginning of his Guardian article attest. Sure, there was some overenthusiastic selling of the vaccine when it was first rolled out, but that was rather understandable given the death toll up to that point and the hope that the vaccines presented. I’ll also give people the point that we in the US are guilty on overreliance on vaccination to get us out of the pandemic and have been far too quick to drop other nonpharmacologic interventions (NPIs), like masking, as soon as case counts start falling and even if the daily death toll is still high. We’re doing it now.

Unfortunately, a lot of that is fueled by the very sorts of narratives that al-Gharbi frames as factual or at least reasonable. Several of the other bullet points he includes are just restatements of common right wing conspiracy theories, such as “Fauci lied,” claims that pharma profits fuel vaccine mandates, and risible arguments that the numbers of hospitalizations from COVID-19 are “exaggerated.” Indeed, al-Gharbi even cites David Zweig, a journalist that he should know to be very friendly to right-wing “anti-lockdown” propaganda. Indeed Zweig even attended the weekend conference in October 2020 hosted by the libertarian think tank American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) that birthed the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). The GBD advocated, in essence, a “let ‘er rip” strategy for the pandemic, while handwaving about “focused protection” of those most vulnerable to severe disease and death from the virus. In doing so, al-Gharbi inadvertently proves my point about how antivaccine, antimask, and anti-“lockdown” propaganda and conspiracy theories originate mainly from right wing dark money-fueled sources.

al-Gharbi concludes his Guardian “analysis,” with a mix of the reasonable and unreasonable:

Likewise, most of the Covid-related “resistance” movements have not been oriented around opposition to vaccines per se, but rather to vaccine mandates and passports and to Covid-19 related lockdowns, closures and masking requirements. That is, they are typically opposed to coercive (and often quite costly, dubiously effective and legally questionable) state policies intended to contain the pandemic. Irrespective of whether one agrees or disagrees with these campaigns, it is misleading and unhelpful to conflate these dissenters with “anti-vaxxers,” as many have done.

All said, despite all the significant problems described above, the Covid-19 campaign has actually been one of the most ambitious and successful rapid vaccination drives in US history. Pockets of skepticism remain. From a public health perspective, this is unfortunate. From a humanitarian perspective, it is often tragic. Yet, it is important to bear in mind that many have legitimate reasons to be apprehensive towards authorities and skeptical of their advice – and it is possible to effectively mitigate their concerns. Most holdouts are persuadable. Indeed, they are being persuaded every day.

Note how al-Gharbi misses the fact that these “anti-mandate” movements and protests are all very thinly disguised antivaccine movements and protests. I could go into detail, but, really, if you are featuring a bevy of antivaccine heavy hitters as the featured speakers at your protest and RFK Jr. is using your protest to liken vaccine mandates to the Holocaust, you are not “anti-mandate”; you are antivaccine, and it is not “conflating” resistance to “mandates” with the antivaccine movement. The two are the same, and both are being amplified by same usual suspects behind right wing antiscience disinformation. Let’s just put it this way. There’s a reason (actually a number of reasons) why such an affinity between the antivaccine “anti-mandate” movement and outright fascists has become increasingly evident. al-Gharbi can, in his eagerness to “bothsides” the issue deny the conspiracy theories and current right wing tilt to the antivaccine movement, but he’s just denying what is obvious.

I’ll conclude by noting that al-Gharbi is correct that most “vaccine refuseniks” or holdouts are persuadable. I always say that that’s because they have not fallen completely down the rabbit hole of antivaccine conspiracy theories—yet. The problem is that, even as he tries to point out that the vaccine hesitant are indeed reachable, al-Gharbi unskeptically parrots a lot of the very misinformation and conspiracy theories that fuel vaccine hesitancy, framing them as a false (or at least misguided) view among the “left” to conflate the vaccine hesitant with right wing antivaxxers, making his Guardian article more propaganda than sober analysis. In doing so, he uncritically accepts outright conspiracy theories as “reasonable” and fails to recognize them as conspiracy theories and pseudoscience and thereby does exactly the opposite of his stated purpose. He amplifies antivaccine disinformation, framing it as “reasonable, making him yet another in a long line of seemingly “reasonable” apologists for antivaxxers, and The Guardian let him do it.

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]

230 replies on “The Guardian: “Explaining” vaccine hesitancy by amplifying antivax disinformation”

Guardian’s article is a masterful explainer to brainwashed members of the public why some people invoke valid scientific and ethical reasons to refuse vaccination and resist vaccine mandates.

It doesn’t matter if team “Science” has all the facts correct, because they have all the principles wrong. They have told us that replicability is not necessary. They have told us that dissent is dangerous. They have resorted to pious fraud (ie, lies) in order to convince people to do their bidding. They think they are so correct and so superior that it is acceptable to lie about the truth as long it helps achieve their goals. They have forsaken both scientific and governmental ethics; the twin pillars of Western thought. They want to be just as unaccountable as the bishops of yore. They want to be just as richly rewarded.

Give up the totalitarian pandemic bullshit. Give it up or it will be stripped from you. You are losing the infowar.

They aren’t losing yet, but I’m seeing a turn as their kind becomes more and more totalitarian and actual-fascist. See Trudeau invoking emergency powers to quell peaceful protests. Imagine if Trump had done that when BLM protestors were rioting and looting…how much rioting and looting have the Canadian Truckers been doing? This whole thing has been a transparent power play from the get go. Nothing to do with science. Nothing at all.

Give me a break. The asshole “truckers” have tortured residents of downtown Ottawa for weeks.They have harassed and interfered with hospital workers and support for the homeless. They have thrown thousands of people out of work.
I don’t know how that stacks up against BLM protests, but the BLM protests involved far more people.

The “truckers” were protesting a requirement to be vaccinated when re-entering Canada (which matched the US requirement for entry to the USA). What tyranny.

The BLM protestors, on the other hand, didn’t want to be killed by cops. What nerve.

The Freedom Convoy is not peaceful, if you lived up here you would know that. There is a lot of harassment but they are good at presenting a fig leaf of mandate opposition and faux reasonableness. This is a recruiting and fund-raising exercise for far right in Canada. The organizers are white supremacists, separatists, islamaphobes, anti-semites, you know, good people…

Interesting turn of events.
As someone who has been surveying this site for well over a decade…
Saw it coming

I’d like to coin a new term
“Histrionic elitism”

Orac does not mention in this article one of the big reasons for vaccine skepticism — we KNOW that the authorities have felt justified in lying to us. So of course we don’t trust them.

(I don’t trust the outright anti-vaxxers either, by the way, since they also feel free to distort reality.)

Perhaps you can form your own opinion, withoutn nthinking that authorities are automatically right or wrong just a little thinking,

He mentions it, but dismisses it immediately: “Several of the other bullet points he includes are just restatements of common right wing conspiracy theories, such as “Fauci lied,” claims that pharma profits fuel vaccine mandates,…”

As if calling something a conspiracy theory means it is not true or at least, not a reason to hesitate about getting the vaccine. While I decided to get the vaccine despite those things being true, not everyone I know was willing to do so. Some concluded that because they cannot trust the experts in this matter, they would not get the vaccine.

Pfizer’s Covid Vaccine for Young Kids Is a Mess. Here’s How They Screwed Up

realclearscience.com/articles/2022/02/16/making_sense_of_pfizers_covid_vaccine_mess_for_young_kids_816907.html

I read your link, what exactly did he post that was political?
He questioned the reducing of the 10 day rule to the 5 days rule, just as others on this site did, he questioned the reason behind the Covid test 5 day time frame, those things that are common sense.
The states are lifting mandates (like the mask mandate at the super bowl) and vaccine passports and covid tests, I believe all this is NOT, because anyone is following the science but in fact reading/following the polls.

FDA does automatically approve drugs, for aure. Article just says it want to evaluate data. Let us see the results.

I think you may have misread the purpose of those two lists, Orac. Al-Gharbi lists them as what various people give for their reasons, not to claim that those reasons are true. This should hardly be a surprise given he’s a sociologist interested in how vaccine hesitancy has become such an emotive and divisive issue, and in fact it gives us some idea of how to avoid or ameliorate these problems in future.

The Guardian has a long history of inviting opinion pieces from across the aisle (so to speak); it’s usually a giveaway when they do so because they open up comments and leave it to their readership to tear the arguments to shreds. But that’s not the case here because al-Gharbi is one of their regular US columnists, and I think the editorial team hasn’t cut out any of the things you complain about because they understand what his purpose is.

And now I see from the above that Sue Dunham is back and has also misread it, but then she started out with those beliefs anyway and is now claiming vindication. Well, well.

Al-Gharbi lists them as what various people give for their reasons, not to claim that those reasons are true.

And yet he links to sources that support the antivax sentiments that he’s made and nowhere concedes that any of them are, in fact, conspiracy theories.

If, in fact, it was al-Gharbi’s purpose simply to dispassionately list the reasons people give for refusing the vaccine, there’s nothing that says he has to repeat the reasons without any critical commentary about whether they are reasonable or not. The way he did it inadvertently amplified antivaccine disinformation as though it were true. If he were, in fact, doing doing a sociological analysis, then there would be nothing stopping him from dispassionately mentioning in each bullet point whether the information is true, untrue, or somewhere in between, rather than citing himself and sources that basically back up the conspiracy theories as though the were fact.

I mean, hell. The VAERS bullet point alone is egregious enough. Almost as bad was the way he linked to a SciAm article on the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines as though the “proteins not found in nature” part of it were about CURRENT COVID-19 vaccines, which was deceptive. Moreover, the very reason I even took this article on was because several readers were appalled at the antivax misinformation being listed as reasonable. If al-Gharbi’s purpose was what you say, then he’s failed miserably, because a lot of people are interpreting this as an antivaccine article, including Sue above (who is antivaccine herself)—all the more reason for me to take it on.

While the first set of bullet points could be interpreted as nothing more than a dispassionate reading of reasons that people cite for refusing the vaccine (although I don’t quite buy that explanation), the second set is clearly al-Gharbi, and in them he even parrots the lab leak conspiracy theory and a dubious claim that hospitalization numbers are being exaggerated. Moreover, one point I forgot to hit on. His part about the “left” dismissing COVID-19 as not that serious at first ignores the fact that, as the evidence came in that COVID-19 was serious, these same people—unlike the right—changed their minds (and narrative) with the evidence.

Seriously, al-Gharbi’s article was a massive misfire that cited some dubious sources, and he clearly indicates his

You’re consistently full of it, but to give just one example, you claim: “His part about the “left” dismissing COVID-19 as not that serious at first ignores the fact that, as the evidence came in that COVID-19 was serious, these same people—unlike the right—changed their minds (and narrative) with the evidence.”

This is not true. The statistics and the information coming out of China in late January and early February: high R0, long incubation, asymptomatic transmission, 15% intensive care, 3% mortality. They built overflow hospitals overnight in preparation for mass morbidity. All this was known very early on. The alt right was screaming GLOBAL EMERGENCY. Yet Nancy Pelosi was in Chinatown at the end of February saying “come on down” and saying anyone who was more cautious of the virus was racist.

COVID has actually turned out to be remarkably less serious than the initial news out of China depicted. As it became obvious it was not actually an emergency (ie, once Covid had been circulating in the us for weeks), only then did the liberal media begin to treat it as a threat. Meanwhile through its variants, COVID has become, what, two orders of magnitude less deadly per IFR? Your argument is completely fallacious and backwards.

You really don’t understand exponential growth, do you, how, after a few cases make it to a new location there’s a delay as it spreads before taking off?🙄🤦🏻‍♂️

Exponential growth cuts both ways. When the virus is less severe and has very low risk (current variant), it can be used to minimize impact rather than prolong it.

@Sue Dunham You do niot understand either that at the start of the pandemic, most serious cases get noticed, They are not youraverage cases.

I don’t know al-Gharbi’s work, but it’s common in some schools of Sociology to describe things from ‘inside’ the perspective of the group being studied — which can certainly lead readers to confuse the beliefs being expressed with those of the author.

The Guardian op-ed has a link at the bottom to a “preview” by al-Gharbi of his forthcoming book.
https://musaalgharbi.com/2021/05/05/book-announcement-we-have-never-been-woke/
My quick skim of this suggests his position on vax hesitancy is merely an extention or expression of the much broader thesis of the book, which seems kind of idiosyncratic, or rather off on a different axis from typical spectra of opinion on political stuff, from which the author surveys those distinctions and says “you’re all wrong!” He has a rather low opinion of experts, authorities, and what he calls ‘symbolic analysts.’

He has a rather low opinion of experts, authorities, and what he calls ‘symbolic analysts.’

Strikes me as more of a Golden Mean type thinker.

The Guardian does politics (meekly). I would not rely on them to discuss anything beyond surface level on this or any other topic. I look at them to see what the consensus trance is on the liberal side, that’s it.

As one of the regulars on This Week in Virology said, when politics and science are mixed you get politics.

Here’s a nicer story:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91NUQBV4TYI
Anti-Vaccine Leader REPENTS, “We Have Deaths on Our Consciences”
47,160 viewsFeb 14, 2022
David Pakman Show

–Anti-vaccine leaders Pasquale Bacco repents, admitting that his movement has deaths on its conscience

https://www.newsweek.com/anti-vaccine-speaker-pasquale-bacco-repents-fan-dies-covid-italy-1678504

Anti-Vaccine Speaker Pasquale Bacco Repents After Fan Dies of COVID
BY ARISTOS GEORGIOU ON 2/11/22 AT 12:49 PM EST

An Italian anti-vaccine speaker has expressed remorse about his actions after he discovered that a follower of his, who died of COVID-19, had videos on his cellphone of speeches that he had made.

Pasquale Bacco is a doctor who was a prominent anti-vaccine activist in Italy, taking part in numerous rallies and speaking events.

But now, Bacco, who has more than 7,000 followers on Facebook, said he was a believer in the effectiveness of vaccines in an interview with Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

READ MORE
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When asked by the interviewer what changed his mind, Bacco talked about an incident in which he saw a 29-year-old man die from COVID.

“He had on his mobile the videos of my rallies at the demonstrations of the unvaccinated. The family told me that he was a fan of mine,” Bacco said.

“They didn’t tell me with anger, on the contrary, and this hurt me even more. I feel like that death was my fault. And the thing still bothers me today. For me it was not a creed. When I saw the reality with my own eyes, I realized that I was wrong.”

The interviewer then asked Bacco whether he felt guilty about his actions.

“I think that those of us who went up on those stages have some deaths on our conscience. All of us anti-vaccine activists have been great cowards. We went to the squares and when we spoke we knew that people wanted to hear shocking things. So, you provoke more and more.”

“We were really big bastards, I don’t hide it, that’s the truth. For this I have asked for forgiveness from everyone, but that forgiveness is useless.”

Bacco said he spoke at around 300 anti-vaccine protests and was the only young doctor with experience among the speakers.

“What I said was pure gold for people who are afraid and looking for certainty. You don’t realize [you are losing your rationality.] You lose your mind while being a rational person. At that moment a dangerous process takes place. That anti-vax is a faith and you become a god.”

“You enter absolute madness. The anti-vaxxers are people who are very afraid and find security in you.”

Bacco said he is now trying to “remedy” his mistakes.

“I speak, I reveal the background. I try to make people open their eyes. I got vaccinated, I am suspended from the medical order for six months and I have not appealed because I feel I was wrong and I accept it. Being an anti-vaxxer can be a business and opportunity turns a man into a thief.”

As one of the regulars on This Week in Virology said, when politics and science are mixed you get politics.

I hate to say it (actually, I don’t), but the sentiment expressed above is bullshit, pure and simple—and I will happily say so to whoever said the above quote.

So much science has political implications that they cannot be avoided. The concept that science, particularly public health science, can exist in some plane devoid of human interactions and anything resembling politics is, quite simply, magical thinking and always used as an excuse to downplay or ignore public policy implications of scientific findings; e.g., climate, COVID-19, vaccines, public health, etc.

I think the actual TWiV statement was about Public Health and Science. Scientific evidence doesn’t depend on which political party is in power whereas public health decisions often do. But certainly science isn’t locked up in some ivory tower.

Yes, science has plenty of political implications. My favorite is the nuclear program (from the Manhattan Project to Fukushima). And parts of science have been very corruptible. Dr. John Gofman, MD, PhD, co-discovered U-233, helped isolate the first visible quantity of Pu-239 and later co-founded the biomedical division at Livermore lab. But when he said nuclear reactors threaten life he was sacked – and he said the Livermore lab was a “scientific whorehouse.” Parts of science are awesome, part should be outlawed. Most of my anti-fax friends mix the two together without differentiation and are resistant to discernment.

Some of the anti-vax mood is a reaction, wrongly, to how parts of the scientific establishment have not been very scientific. I think it’s foolish and paranoid, but there’s a kernel of legitimate suspicion that motivates some of them. Just seeing how billions of Covid vaccines have been administered with minimal side effects, or that the peak hospitalization in the USA from covid happened during Omicron – and almost entirely among the unvaxxed – should persuade anyone.

A friend of many years who is approaching 70 told me this week he will NOT be vaccinated and if he gets sick he absolutely won’t go to the hospital. http://www.reddit.com/r/HermanCainAward/ has profiled lots of people who had similar bravado but when they became hypoxic rushed to the emergency room. Not being able to breathe properly induces a panic response, and the hospitals are full of them. Preventable tragedy. My condolences to the medical staff enduring all of this.

So much science has political implications that they cannot be avoided. The concept that science, particularly public health science, can exist in some plane devoid of human interactions and anything resembling politics is, quite simply, magical thinking and always used as an excuse to downplay or ignore public policy implications of scientific findings; e.g., climate, COVID-19, vaccines, public health, etc.

People love to say that they support science and that they understand science right up until it puts something they truly believe under the magnifying glass. Then, not so much. Science is harmless to those beliefs as long as it can be relegated to a vacuum where it never asks hard, immediate, non-esoteric questions. Immediate questions tend to have political repercussions because it usually comes down to “this is how we ought to live our lives” when people really never want to hear that and never want to be told that they have basically no idea how anything actually works. Science is unavoidably political when it gets to immediate questions –which is exactly why the government employs so many scientists at so many big institutes– too bad both the politicians and the majority of constituents mainly don’t understand that science.

“Antivaxxers leap to the assumption that any AE entered into VAERS must have been caused by the vaccine, but that is simply not the case. As I’ve discussed time and time again, raw VAERS data cannot establish causation, as, by its very nature, it cannot establish reliable estimates for the incidence of a given AE.”

I don’t know what Antivaxxers means anymore. But as for this anti-covid-vax-for-now-never-mandate fella, an order of magnitude more serious AEs in VAERs after covid vaccine without any other coherent explanation and investigation is presumed to be caused by the vax. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is that the entire Pharmaceutical, educational and governmental health authorities are completely captured and conflicted. (As has been demonstrated repeatedly by Pharmaceutical companies and the FDA even by some of the very manufacturers of these vaccines.) This presumption is rebuttable, but merely repeating ‘we said so’ or ‘safe and effective’ is insufficient to convince me. In any case, the Omicron variant, which I’ve presumably already had (had covid; didn’t lose taste or smell) is simply not severe enough to warrant experimental (claimed non-experimental) treatments that we are still learning about. The only thing perpetuating this at this point is Pharmaceutical company profit motive to parlay this pandemic into a yearly subscription service. And this is what the mask theater is about as well – keep this going to create demand for more jabs. BTW how’s that production of safety data by the FDA going ya know the one they originally wanted 75 years to complete but the judge said no?

You’re new here, aren’t you? It’s not as though I haven’t explained this very thing many, many times, including in this post, complete with links to prior explanations.🙄

Are you aware of other, much better vaccine safety monitoring databases? VAERS is NOT the be-all and end-all of vaccine safety monitoring. It is hypothesis-generating, not hypothesis-testing. Can you tell me the other, active monitoring, databases that are much better than VAERS?

I bet you can’t.

The Vaccine Safety Datalink is a much better system for following up on VAERS reports to see if there are any problems. It allows searching for any condition in the medical records, the medical records are already verified, and the researchers can do a real statistical correlation not dependent on whether people choose to submit a report.
Pubmed lists 11 studies now. I think the best so far is this one.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34477808/

Results: A total of 11 845 128 doses of mRNA vaccines (57% BNT162b2; 6 175 813 first doses and 5 669 315 second doses) were administered to 6.2 million individuals (mean age, 49 years; 54% female individuals). The incidence of events per 1 000 000 person-years during the risk vs comparison intervals for ischemic stroke was 1612 vs 1781 (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.87-1.08); for appendicitis, 1179 vs 1345 (RR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.73-0.93); and for acute myocardial infarction, 935 vs 1030 (RR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.89-1.18). No vaccine-outcome association met the prespecified requirement for a signal. Incidence of confirmed anaphylaxis was 4.8 (95% CI, 3.2-6.9) per million doses of BNT162b2 and 5.1 (95% CI, 3.3-7.6) per million doses of mRNA-1273.

Conclusions and relevance: In interim analyses of surveillance of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, incidence of selected serious outcomes was not significantly higher 1 to 21 days postvaccination compared with 22 to 42 days postvaccination. While CIs were wide for many outcomes, surveillance is ongoing.

As for the Pfizer FOIA, over half the pages requested were not from Pfizer. At least the first batch of documents have been released. Has anyone found any real gotcha’s in them?

So the data you outline highlighted specific conditions. What about groups of conditions? – like heart or vascular. How have the health authority interventions affected all cause mortality?

@jon labarge Antivaxers believe a big conspiracy, as you do
Lots of things can happen after vaccinations, this does not mean it happens because of them. One reason for more reports is that they are noe really asked for.

Some conspiracies are true. Like the effort to block ivermectin. A clear conspiracy that folks were in on – including the FDA which published false propaganda. A better word than conspiracy is ‘corruption’. It seems clear to most people who take a look that this was conspiracy by authorities to block a treatment widely available in other parts of the world.

The CDC is a money printing machine for pharmaceutical companies who make vaccines. Add another booster to the recommended schedule states adopt it and the sheep take it no questions asked. Of course it’s no surprise that this industry supports strong mandates an more boosters and keeping folks in masks and in fear.

Ok, here we go again for anyone reading that isn’t insane…

IVERMECTIN DOESN’T WORK for COVID

If it did? I would hand it out like candy. There is NO conspiracy. It just doesn’t work. Read my past comments or just simply note I have seen dozens of patients, now, who were given ivermectin and got sick as snot despite it.

Some conspiracies are true. Like the effort to block ivermectin. A clear conspiracy that folks were in on – including the FDA which published false propaganda. A better word than conspiracy is ‘corruption’.

Ivermectin has been demonstrated to be ineffective as a treatment for COVID-19. All the studies showing efficacy in people turned out to be fake. The conspiracy is that ivermectin is a treatment for COVID-19.

@jiohn labarge Have you considered that vaccines prevent diseases ? Prevention is cheaper than a cure, and less profitable to pharmaceutical industry.

If we are so sure that IVERMECTIN DOESN’T WORK FOR COVID why is it still being studied (and regarding corruption/conspiracy why did it take so much more time to study than the vaccines?)?

@ bargy

Antivaxx to me is:

Claiming vaccines cause bodily harm in many ways without providing evidence or study to professional high standard literatures.

Pretending to know more about the science of bodily function based on personal research without the skill, experience, credential, or relevant bibliography to support such claimed knowledge.

Claiming not to be Antivaxx when challenged on position points, yet speaking Antivaxx touch points in response to a challenge.

Being hysterical and doomsaying-negative about vaccination.

Claiming vaccination causes societal harm in many ways without providing evidence or study to professional high standard literatures.

An unsubstantiated position against better health for any nation based more frequently on political opportunism

Just my first cast.

Thank you for putting this on the board.

“Antivaxx” is used by people in favor of vaccine mandates similarly to how the left-wing uses the term racist- continually redefined to capture as much of their opposition as possible and shout down those that question your authority. It is not an ‘honest’ term; rather it is dishonest – a lie to be sure.

Not at all, at least among those of us familiar with antivax disinformation. We are careful to distinguish between antivaxxers and the merely vaccine hesitant. The first are producers of misinformation, and the latter are victims of disinformation.

>
an order of magnitude more serious AEs in VAERs after covid vaccine without any other coherent explanation and investigation is presumed to be caused by the vax.
>

That’s because too many people don’t understand the difference between correlation and causation. Additionally, the overwhelming majority of these COVID vaccine VAERS reports are not serious at all; they are trivial. People are pretending that headaches and sore arms are ‘serious.’ Hilarious nonsense.

Finally, it seems that two thirds of apparent reactions to the vaccine are in fact caused by the nocebo effect, and not by the vaccine at all: https://photos.smugmug.com/The-Vaccination-Station/Infographics/i-rPjM4GC/2/8f404a0c/X5/study-finds-most-covid-vaccine-side-effects-not-caused-by-the-vaccine-X5.png

I said presumed, not proof. I have a full grasp of the difference between correlation and causation – a great reason to question the narrative surrounding number of covid deaths by the way . But just as causation can be inferred too liberally; it can also be dismissed too liberally. And of course the confirmation bias at play here amongst the pro vaxxers is every covid positive patient who dies died because of covid and that no condition that manifested proximate to vaccination was caused by the vaccine. The Antivaxxers will assert the opposite with a similarly faulty connection to the pro vaxxers. The only difference I see is that the pro-vaxxers have authorities, governments that give some the illusion of credibility.

What I’m saying is that the pro-vaxxers are pushing an intervention where the raw trial data has not been shared and all conclusions are based on Pharmaceutical company representations. That deserves a presumption of causation due to the cautionary principle. A presumption of causation is not proof of causation. It’s a burden shifting to the Pharmaceutical companies to disprove causation.

The regulatory and government bodies have an interest in pushing fear, some of that interest is noble – make people be careful – and some of it may be related to pharmaceutical company interests (regulatory capture) hence their guidance of counting deaths is also subject to significant scrutiny in my opinion. The number of deaths oft quoted is not a clean enough number wrt causation to be used for risk benefit calculations.

@jiohn labarge You are claiming that provaxxers falsify death certificates ? Death certificate is a legal document, medical workers are legally bound to report every serious aderse effect.

What, precisely does ‘falsify’ mean? It means writing something that isn’t true on the certificate (this has happened – see the motorcycle accident in Florida since retracted). But even in the absence of ignoring the primary cause it maybe hard to determine or a gray enough area that they give a strong benefit of the doubt to covid which while in many cases is potentially accurate – without more analysis can make the data skew one way or another. Birx said at the beginning that they were taking a ‘very liberal’ approach to counting covid-19 deaths. And indeed the CDC guidance at that time did so. If those counted using said approach are still the number everyone is citing then my argument is that it’s the wrong number to base a risk/benefit analysis on because it skews the risk of the disease upward – where even that case for most age groups the disease isn’t very high risk and hence the vaccine has to have even less risk of serious side effects. With 3 jabs in less than a year – each subsequent jab should be considered as risk as well. As for whether that’s a vast conspiracy I certainly don’t know. My opinion is that it’s probably just group think of people who’s job is articulated as keeping people safe and managing outbreaks. It could be more like a noble lie to influence behavior. The problem with noble lies though is that each one spends credibility and goodwill.

I asked do yoi think that Big Pharma is falsifying death certificates . Do you think that government issues thne out of hat ?

I’ll give my own response to the Guardian article and try to hit a few points you skipped. Let’s start with the initial question.

Left-leaning people wonder ‘what’s wrong’ with the unvaccinated. But what if their non-compliance isn’t that surprising?

Given the Republican Party’s increasing hostility to science going all the way back to Reagan, it’s not so surprising that he would equate support for science-based public health interventions with being “left-leaning”. But it’s still a misnomer. And I think a certain amount of resistance to vaccination was expected by public figures like Paul Offit and Peter Hotez who have been publicly advocating for years in the face of the growing hostility fueled by the anti-vax leaders. But what is a surprise is how much that resistance has grown in the last few years.
Initial hesitancy about the vaccines ran about 50% and much of that was not strongly anti-vaccine, but just concerned about the new technology and how quickly they seemed to be developed. But we are left with a core of about 20% of adults who are in the Sarah Palin camp (“I’d rather die than get vaccinated”). And those are the people who have been filling our hospitals and morgues for the last couple months.

Then he launches into a laundry list of anti-vax talking point complaints before complaining about the messaging being the problem. And none of this has a tone of being satirical.
He mentions the campaign concerns about “Trump vaccines” (this was September 2020 when Donald Trump was pushing for something, anything to tout as a success before the election date) and then says

The Biden administration is now depicting hesitancy around these same vaccines as irrational and immoral.

But his reference for that is Daily Mail article that quotes Josh Hawley !?!?! And that article doesn’t use either of those words. It did cite Ron Klain’s statement in mid-December 2021.

White House chief of staff Ron Klain doubled down on the White House’s doomsday warning for the unvaccinated on Monday.
‘We are intent on not letting Omicron disrupt work and school for the vaccinated. You’ve done the right thing, and we will get through this,’ said White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients in a press briefing.
‘For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.’

And then it complains that this phrasing was unlikely to persuade the unvaccinated. But by that time practically nothing would have persuaded most adults who hadn’t been vaccinated yet.
He notes.

In a recent interview, Anthony Fauci outright acknowledged that he has engaged in “noble lies” with respect to herd immunity vaccination targets in order to encourage more people to take the shots.

But that article from Dec 25, 2020 when the vaccines had just launched doesn’t use the link phrase and is really about adjustments in the predicted level of vaccination that would be needed to achieve herd immunity. I do think a strategic mistake in the messaging leading up to and during the first months of the vaccination campaign was the emphasis on herd immunity. It was always unlikely that we would achieve long-term community protection against a respiratory coronavirus and certainly not to the extend we have achieved even with pertussis. A better and more nuanced message might have been on the lines of

We are testing the vaccines to see how well they protect from symptomatic disease.
That will also help prevent you from spreading the disease to others.
But the real goal is to protect you from severe disease, hospitalization and death. And we will be watching those closely during the vaccine trials and after we start widespread vaccination.
And we want to make sure the vaccines are not just effective but also safe. So any safety problems will be investigated fully and carefully.

But it’s hard to keep that messaging going when the official and unofficial media are obsessed with headlines and sound bites.

I’ll skip over all the pharma shill claims and how donations to a CDC related foundation have somehow bought out all these civilian employees in GS scale jobs.

Then he goes on to gripe about the early mask messaging and cites a NY Times article from March 17, 2020. Dr Fauci’s original advice that masks weren’t needed was on March 8 when several U.S. states hadn’t seen a documented case yet. Covid-19 wasn’t declared a pandemic until March 11. And the CDC updated its guidance on April 3. But somehow, Dr Fauci and the CDC lost all their credibility in those few days.

He ignores Donald Trumps wishy-washy messaging on mask wearing (“It’s Ok for you to wear a mask if you want, but I probably won’t”} and focuses instead on travel restrictions and immigration policies.

And later he notes

Put another way, there is no need to appeal to Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, Donald Trump or internet “fake news” to explain why so many have been skeptical of, or resistant to, recommendation by state officials, experts, journalists, et al.

I wonder if anything happened between March 2020 when Joe Rogan did a generally pro-vaccine interview with Peter Hotez and last fall when he was giving an open forum to the GBD attacks on public health measures.

But to pretend that Trump’s hostility to public health measures and Carlson’s JAQing off questions about NPI’s and vaccines for the last two years had nothing to do with fueling this hesitancy is truly disingenuous.

And of course he tosses in this tidbit

Likewise, most of the Covid-related “resistance” movements have not been oriented around opposition to vaccines per se, but rather to vaccine mandates and passports and to Covid-19 related lockdowns, closures and masking requirements. That is, they are typically opposed to coercive (and often quite costly, dubiously effective and legally questionable) state policies intended to contain the pandemic.

I’d really like to find out who those people are that are strongly in favor of the vaccines but ONLY object to mandates and passports. They certainly haven’t been speaking up at the “anti-mandate” protests.
So, while he devotes a lot of space to whining about problems with the pro-public health messaging, I saw very little about what could have been done differently or what we should try to work on doing now.

You really need to read the preview of his book to see where he’s coming from. (linked under the Graun vax hesitancy piece) He’s trying to stuff COVID antivax into a broader thesis. Which seems to be, more or less, ‘the masses are well-justified in their mistrust of authorities.’ Thus is, indeed the money quote for him:

Put another way, there is no need to appeal to Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, Donald Trump or internet “fake news” to explain why so many have been skeptical of, or resistant to, recommendation by state officials, experts, journalists, et al.

For, al-Gharbi, it seems, the common folk must be seen as essentially good, and so they cannot be mere dupes of demagogues.

He just seems to be dead wrong on the facts here. The bulk of the unvaxed adults are in the audience of the (Trumpy) (alt) right-wing media-sphere — Fox, Newsmax, et al., weren’t part of the antivax movement prior to the pandemic, and followed various alt-right opinion leaders and politicos — Carlson, DeSantis etc. — into opposition to vaccines and mandates. (It’s just BD, for instance, to imagine all the anti-mandate stuff isn’t rooted in some level of resistance to the vaccines themselves…). The new antivax is — first and foremost — a badge of fealty to the far-right in an aggressive expression of the culture wars.

I suspect the larger thesis he’s trying to support with the vaccine stuff is extremely dubious as well. But I can’t really fully wrap my head around it on a quick read, so that would remain to be explicated.

johnlabarge: “I don’t know what Antivaxxers means anymore. But as for this anti-covid-vax-for-now-never-mandate fella…the entire Pharmaceutical, educational and governmental health authorities are completely captured and conflicted.”

So, you’re only “anti-covid-vax-for-now”?

Please cite what other vaccines you support and recommend that people get for themselves and their children? Influenza? Shingles? Measles? Anything?

We wouldn’t want to get a mistaken impression that you’re an antivaxer hiding behind opposition to Covid vaccination and mandates.

It’s complicated. I base everything on risk benefit. I don’t see any reason to go beyond the 1980s schedule for child hood vaccines that I received as a kid. I delayed my kids’ vaccines accordingly. I’m against HPV, not sure on Chickenpox and against current vax schedule (because it’s based on compromised CDC adding unneeded jabs to the schedule that gets to the states and they adopt for school admission – it’s a scam.). I got vaccines before going to Africa 7 years ago (after I’d studied vax schedule and determined the CDC and FDA to be captured and CDC schedule to be a scam). I’m neither opposed nor supportive of vaccines. But I certainly don’t trust the people pushing them and I err on the side of unsupportive. Burden is on the pusher, but hepatitis is bad.

Well that’s just nonsense. If we stop vaccine progress in the 80’s, we condemn every generation after you and me to the same risks of chickenpox (and then shingles) and HPV (and then all sorts of unpleasant cancers) as we have. I want better for my children, and giving them chances at health that I didn’t have is part of it. The burden is on the person arguing that a vaccine shown to be as harmless as possible is worse than recto-anal cancer from HPV.

The revolving doors, approval process for vaccines and mandates are also nonsense. It’s a complicated world. Dealing with a corrupt system that still produces some value is not an exact science. But we did not have massive measles outbreaks in the 80s and 90s, nor pertussis nor Rubella nor polio.. So that schedule is at least as good as I had it. Indeed I have trouble with the justifications for the additional boosters that have been added to the schedule since then.

“I base everything on risk benefit.”

You haven’t demonstrated you have the ability to understand those words.

“I don’t see any reason to go beyond the 1980s schedule for child hood vaccines that I received as a kid. I delayed my kids’ vaccines accordingly.”

Willingly ignoring advances in science — no surprise.

I’m against HPV, not sure on Chickenpox”

Because of your ignorance, the notion that HPV vaccines are only for “dirty people who like sex”? These choices seem equally likely given your comment history.

“and against current vax schedule (because it’s based on compromised CDC adding unneeded jabs to the schedule that gets to the states and they adopt for school admission – it’s a scam.).”

And you’re back to your baseless conspiracy mongering. You people are truly 1/2 trick ponies.

Hepatitis is WAY worse with HepB, which can be prevented with…you guessed it…a vaccine.

@john labarge Do you know ahything about vaccine approval process. If you do, perhaos you can go into details =?aa

For someone who said ““I don’t know what Antivaxxers means anymore” you’ve revealed yourself to be a prime example of one.

Someone who can’t name a single vaccine they support and would recommend others get, obviously qualfies as an antivaxer.

Skip the dishonest protestations* next time.

*it’s a game many antivaxers play, including James Lyons-Weiler, the “objective, pro-vaccine rational scientist” and RFK Jr., who is vehemently for “safe vaccines”. Admitting that one is virulently opposed to a proven life-saving public health intervention is seen as a losing strategy when appealing to the masses. Much better to peck and dodge around the edges, sowing mistrust, though many times the crazy seeps through anyway.

Does it? How exactly? How exactly is my opinion on risk a lie? The rest of your post proves this is a lie. People sling about this term ‘lie’; I fear without actually knowing its definition. Nothing about my post is dishonest. I do include uncertainty about safety into every pharmaceutical intervention and concern with the data on the ground (e.g. whether there is a rampant pertussis outbreak or not – sometimes there is)

@DangerousBacon Fella, I don’t know what comments you are reading, but above I indeed indicated support for several vaccines.

Alright, I’ll bite. Which vaccines do you recommend for everyone (for whom the CDC in the US and other health agencies in other countries recommends them) without a real medical contraindication? Let’s get specific here.

I skimmed this article a few days (from a link posted on SBM or another pro-science blog) and thought exactly the same thing – it seemed like an unintentional gift to anti-vaxxers. Reminds me of Don’t Think of an Elephant.

@orac: “AEs due to vaccines generally show up soon after vaccination; vaccines have not been shown to produce AEs years after vaccination”

Typical vax pusher misdirection. Pretending that what was true of previous vaccines must also be true of the Covid genetic vaccines.

@orac: “it is not entirely unreasonable for people to be concerned about “long-term” problems, when one discusses this concern, the responsible thing to do is to put such concerns into context, also noting that the technology for mRNA vaccines has been under development for nearly two decades.”

Yes mRNA vaccine technology has been under development for a while. But they have NOT been given to large numbers of healthy people until recently.

If, let’s say, these genetic vaccines cause cancer in some people, that would probably not show up for years or decades. What the longterm effects might be of these vaccines, especially if repeated 2 or 3 times every year, is completely unknown.

And studies are showing that spike is in the lymph nodes at least 60 days after the jab. That’s cause for concern given that it’s the main agent of vascular destruction.

Nasal spray vaccines were always a more palatable option for me, at least. Not doing mRNA.

Lymph node are where germinal centres for production of B cells form. Somatic hypermutation takes a long time and germinal centres can persist for months. Samples of antigens are retained in the germinal centres for reference for selection in the rapid evolutionary process of affinity maturation. It is no big surprise that spike protein or peptides therefrom might be found in lymph nodes for a couple of months. It isn’t clear whether they would remain for the entire time that a germinal centre persists.

>
And studies are showing that spike is in the lymph nodes at least 60 days after the jab.
>

Yes, a tiny trace of the spike protein can be found in the immune system (of which the lymph nodes are a part). Which is no surprise at all, and exactly what we would expect if the vaccine was functioning as intended.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the mRNA-generated spike protein itself is a harmless copy, with no capacity to cause harm.

>
That’s cause for concern
>

Wrong.

But if I recall most folks when they talk about vaccines say that reactions more than a couple weeks after the vaccine cannot be caused by the vaccine because the vaccine is no longer in the system. Here the mRNA vaccine is used to cause the cells to manufacture an antigen that is staying in the body 60 days later.

To layman like myself it looks like the medical community lied about what’s possible regarding reactions. Indeed the vaccine would be useless without a permanent change so the whole notion that no longer term effects can happen or no reactions can happen outside of some window seems highly suspect.

From your sophisticated perch in your ivory tower you think you should just have the authority to force people to do what you say, because you know what’s best. That’s a recipe for tyranny, in my opinion. Rather the medical/pharmaceutical actors ought incur the burden of proving that what they are selling is safe and effective even if that means they have to communicate hard concepts and not lie. It’s the dishonesty and lack of transparency that creates the hesitancy and frankly I’m surprised that thinking people aren’t more hesitant.

@jon labarge You can read immunology yourself. Antigens in the lymph nodes are not a side effect.they are part of building immune response.

@Indie Rebel They are not genetic vaccines, of course You did not give any for long time effects,
@john labarge I really want to read that lymph node paper, Care to give a citation ?

@john labarge As Doug explained before, it is lymph nodes joib to store antigens. The paper explains that COVID vaccines are doing their jobs, including in germinal centers

@orac: “I’ll also give people the point that we in the US are guilty on overreliance on vaccination to get us out of the pandemic and have been far too quick to drop other nonpharmacologic interventions (NPIs), like masking …”

I started reading this sentence and I thought Orac was going to say “other nonpharmacologic interventions, like improving health with better nutrition and exercise.” Thought he was going to surprise me with some sanity. But no.

Covid is overwhelmingly a disease of the unhealthy, and now Americans have had 2 years to work on their health. If only the authorities had pushed healthy lifestyle half as hard as they pushed the vaccines.

(Yes I know, being very old is not something you can change with lifestyle. But many things can be improved).

“like improving health with better nutrition and exercise”

Are you saying that Americans don’t already know that a healthy lifestyle and diet can give better outcomes when seriously ill? Are you suggesting the the US government mandate regular exercise and force people to eat smaller portions and eat less meat? I mean, some people already object to a few ccs of vaccine, a bit more lettuce might be a problem.

I can see the alt right rioting in the streets if you try to make them eat less pizza. It’s a matter of freedom don’t you know? It’s nice how people who live an unhealthy lifestyle can relax in the knowledge that it’s the government’s fault for not sending the president round, door to door, with leaflets about jogging and the best ways to use asparagus.

Orac said:

“The main problem with using VAERS to estimate the frequency of adverse events (AEs) after vaccination is that, in essence, anyone with access to the Internet, mail, or the telephone can report anything to VAERS” — This has been the case throughout VAERS 31 year history, and therefore does not explain the massive increase in deaths and serious injuries reported to VAERS from the covid shots.

“In addition, VAERS has been gamed several times in its 30 year history.” A claim that the massive increase in VAERS reports was caused by ‘gaming’ calls for evidence, not wishful thinking.  

“Finally, antivax misuse of VAERS ignores is an exercise in the baseline rate fallacy, in that it ignores baseline rates of the AEs reported.” Once again, this does not explain the massive increase in deaths and serious injuries reported to VAERS from the covid shots.

More than twice as many deaths have been reported to VAERS from the covid shots, than from all other vaccines combined for the last 31 years. You’re going to have to come up with better explanations, because it’s looking more and more like the COVID19 vaccines are the most dangerous vaccines in history. https://www.virginiastoner.com/cvax-risk

You don’t need to, Orac. The folks on her blog already ripped her analysis to shreds in the comments.

I love how the looniness posted on the nwo reporter website is labeled “satire”.

It’s not batshit insanity, it’s humor! Sort of like if the staff of The Onion was bitten by rabid raccoons.

HAHAHAHA she took them down!!!
At around 1000MST today there was a long thread of comments, mostly about what a load of tripe her “Work” was.

The notion that anti-vaxxers are working en masse to submit fake reports to VAERs is….wait for it…a conspiracy theory.

You should still compare VAERS reported deaths to expected background, Are there suplus ones ? Numbers of reports is numbers of reports, depending on reporting activity.

“Virginia “Ginny” Stoner is a writer, artist and attorney based in the Austin, Texas area.”

Wow — nothing resembling any ability to analyze good data there. Her “report” is simply a bunch of guesses:

“We know not all injuries [deaths] are reported to VAERS—the only uncertainty is how many.”

She then says

“The following chart estimates how many deaths from covid vaccination there actually were, based on the percentage of vaccine injuries reported to VAERS. No allowances are made here for coincidental deaths and injuries that may have been reported. To adjust for coincidence, select a higher percentage, which will estimate fewer deaths. ”

Wild-ass guesses based on bad interpretations of unreliable data. We all know that’s the only things you clowns have NWO, but thanks for one of the most blatant demonstrations yet.

Idw56old said: “Her “report” is simply a bunch of guesses.”

I don’t know what page you’re looking at, but the link I posted is actually one of the few placed on the internet where you can find indisputably accurate and objective data about COVID19, with absolutely no claims or opinions about what the numbers “mean” or how much they matter. https://www.virginiastoner.com/cvax-risk

@NWO Reporter Meaning of numbers is very important. VAERS reports certain numbers of deaths ? But there is duty to report every every death,however inplausible it is. Obviously, further analysis is needed.

For a document that has ‘absolutely no claims or opinions about what the numbers “mean” ‘, it uses “means” a lot of times…

Prl said, “For a document that has ‘absolutely no claims or opinions about what the numbers “mean” ‘, it uses “means” a lot of times…”

I count 5 times–but what does it mean, Your Cleverness?

“Means” five times, and “mean” three times.

All in contexts about interpretation of numbers, which you say isn’t done in the document.

prl said, “All in contexts about interpretation of numbers, which you say isn’t done in the document.”

Total BS–which is why you couldn’t copy and paste a single example to support your BS claim.

“I don’t know what page you’re looking at, but the link I posted is actually one of the few placed on the internet where you can find indisputably accurate and objective data about COVID19, ”

Now you’re not even pretending to say you’re telling the truth.

NWO Reported:

Total BS–which is why you couldn’t copy and paste a single example to support your BS claim.

I didn’t copy/paste because anyone can follow he posted link and look for themselves. But since you insist:

VAERS underreporting means the number of vaccine-related injuries is likely 10-times to 100-times higher.

[twice]

“Death involving COVID19” means the death occurred “with confirmed or presumed COVID19”. It doesn’t mean COVID19 was established as a cause of death—it simply means COVID19 was believed to be present at the time of death.

[twice]

The CDC tells us in its risk statement that the FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all or even most vaccine deaths are reported.

[twice]

Note that “involving COVID-19” doesn’t mean the death was caused by Covid-19 or a virus SARS-CoV-2.

“Involving COVID-19” means the person who died either tested positive for COVID-19, or was presumed to have COVID19, although no test indicated it (see Note 1 in the CDC screenshot below). In other words, it means the death occurred with COVID-19 believed to be present—not from COVID-19.

All of those seem to me to be ‘claims or opinions about what the numbers “mean” or how much they matter’. The first one seems to me to be not only opinion, but entirely unsubstantiated.

Some more places where I think that there are ‘claims or opinions about what the numbers “mean” or how much they matter’:

The CDC’s risk calculation is misleadingly low, because it assumes an impossible situation where 100% of vaccine injuries were reported.

The numbers indicate that if 1% of vaccine-induced deaths were reported to VAERS, then there are more estimated deaths from vaccination than deaths involving COVID19.

It’s also likely many deaths from vaccination are included in the CDC’s tally of deaths involving COVID19.

The CDC tells us in its risk statement that the FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all or even most vaccine deaths are reported.

If that’s not enough, I can post more 🙂

@NWO

Your comments are nothing more than hysterics to me. It’s been perfectly explain why VAERS exists and what is it’s purpose and ability. So explained, if you can’t comprehend — too bad for you. It’s a good marker of intelligence.

It’s not worth trying to refute any of the now-emboldened anti-vax posters here, who clearly have no understanding of science and no desire to listen. This pandemic has widened the gap between the science literate and illiterate (of which America has far too many). As a whole, journalism regarding the science of this pandemic has worsened, not improved. Vaccination rates for all diseases have dropped precipitously. I fear they aren’t coming up anytime soon if at all. I’m not even sure kids dying of vaccine-preventable pertussis, measles and meningitis in the next few years (as is going to happen) will reverse the trend. When the anti-vaxxers can convince millions that no one is dying from COVID/testing doesn’t work/vaccines don’t save lives/public health is tyranny, well, I don’t know what to do, especially why those who do have to legal power to stop this refuse to do anything.

“It’s not worth trying to refute any of the now-emboldened anti-vax posters here, who clearly have no understanding of science and no desire to listen. This pandemic has widened the gap between the science literate and illiterate”

It’s compounded by the fact that their posts make it clear that labarge, indie, dunham, mjd, and others of their ilk are completely lacking in honesty or morality. Toss in labarge’s repeated racist comments about BLM and the only conclusion is that these are simply vile people.

If you don’t think BLM (who weren’t behind as much of the trouble as you continue to claim) were treated differently from the truckers you are more of an idiot than I originally imagined — and I already knew you to be a massive idiot. Where were the massive uses of force against the truckers?

What worried me most was a graphic ( courtesy Chris Hayes, MSNBC) that divided vaccine acceptance/ hesitancy/ rejection in industrialised nations with the amount of strong opposition at 20% in both the US and Russia. The other countries had strong rejection at 3-8%.
One of five is certainly significant for controlling the virus: there are maps of rates of vaccination ( COVID Tracking the Trends, Mayo Clinic) that illustrate where rates are lower. And it’s exactly where you suspect.

After scanning rightist media, alt med prevaricators and Orac’s newest cast of trolls, I sometimes feel that I’m fortunate to live right outside of [Redacted] where trucks only clog roadways because of traffic and anti-vaxxers are merely a minority we read about at SBM and RI.
I know it’s worse where you live and you have my sympathies.

I believe Dr. Hickie is a peds doc so he might be able to weigh in further.

I’m seeing MASSIVE vaccine hesitance in youth visits but rare hesitance in adults. Parents of kids who used to get their kiddo the flu vaccine every year are now declining that one, too. I’m sure certain sick trolls who post here are rubbing their nether regions in delight at this but I wanted to see if others who have clinic are seeing the same?

RE: Anger/distrust at experts
I’m having a good deal of luck overcoming this on a daily basis by my relationship with patients. They don’t need to trust Fauci or the NIH. I don’t give a damn about either, either. They need to know that Dr. Yeti would never give them something he knew-no, scratch that, even thought might harm them. They do and it works.

I think this is our only path forward. Forget DC or your governor, what does your trusted family doctor think?

People need a PCP. One they trust. That relationship takes time. As PCPs, we have a lot of hard work to do. The entire paradigm has broken down and the vacuum was filled by alties, trolls, 50-year-old-adolescents, cranks, and other myriad bozos.

I swear, anyone quoting VAERS as their “proof” has clearly never looked at the criteria for the system. From the VAERS webite (https://vaers.hhs.gov/faq.html) for COVID vaccination, health care workers are required, by law, to report “Serious AEs regardless of causality.” Fall down the stairs on the way out the door and break you neck? Technically, they need to report it.

“presumption”

You mean like guilty until proven innocent? Pretty sure that not how it works at all. Maybe more like a motion sensitive security light. It lights up for passing cats, bats and birds and sometimes, seemingly, for nothing at all. It also lights up for burglars and peeping Toms. After a while you expect a lot of false alarms but still pay attention if it goes on/off several times in a row or you simultaneously hear a noise.

Maybe you assume it was a home invader by default but it doesn’t make it true.

I mean like presumed unsafe due to the order of magnitude of reports that are largely unanalyzed and unaccounted for. We’re dealing with now a 99.8% survival rate. And a very low hospitalization rate.

Nope. It’s a data set. It’s a data set designed for high levels of recall, but it does at the expense of precision. That you think it’s any sort of “presumption” proves the point that people relying on VAERS don’t understand what it is.

So you conveniently ignore the amplification effect of publicity, mass, condensed, vaccination campaigns and the fact the doctors were required to report any deaths after vaccination, on VAERS reporting?

@john labarge We are dealing about million deaths, you keep forgetting that.
Actually number of VAERS reported deaths are not higher than background. So presumption is no causation.

They’ve obviously never read any of the VAERS entries they try to quote either.

My personal favorite is:

“Respondent reported that someone died of a vaccine at some point in the last twenty years, but did not provide a name, date or location…nor did they provide the type of vaccine.”

This one is still my favorite: “Information has been received from from a physician concerning a 12 year old school going girl of class eight of a village. On 20-JUL-2009, the patient received first dose of GARDASIL in the school. During the process of community mobilization for second dose of GARDASIL, the female health worker was informed that on 06-SEP-2009, the patient accidentally fell in open well (granite quarry filled with water), drowned and expired. This event occurred 49 days of receiving first dose of GARDASIL. The female health worker informed the Medical Officer in-charge, which was then communicated to District Immunization Officer. The medical officer in-charge investigated the death and completed first information report and determined that death was not related to the vaccine.”

But there it remains, in the VAERS database – note which organization posted it here:

http://medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php?IDNUMBER=379570

@ Dangerous Bacon

I really wish VAERS had existed much earlier. I was in the first cohort to get the Salk polio vaccine in 1955. A few weeks later while coming home from day camp, a nurse ran through a stop sign, and the car I was in, according to bystanders, did three rolls. I was almost killed. Obviously, something in the vaccine affected the nurse. Indie Rebel, when he was posting about evolution, made clear that there is a spiritual dimension and an energy field we haven’t been able to measure yet, so, obviously it was this currently unmeasured energy field that influenced the nurses driving?

Do you agree that had VAERS existed my parents and doctors should have reported what happened to me???

I mean, under the rules, yeah, it probably had to be reported, but it’s also a good illustration as to why anyone who quotes VAERS numbers doesn’t understand what the system is for.

“Over 145 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through March 29, 2021. During this time, VAERS received 2,509 reports of death (0.0017%) among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine. CDC and FDA physicians review each case report of death as soon as notified and CDC requests medical records to further assess reports. A review of available clinical information including death certificates, autopsy, and medical records revealed no evidence that vaccination contributed to patient deaths. CDC and FDA will continue to investigate reports of adverse events, including deaths, reported to VAERS.”

I suppose labarge is an expert physiologist and pathologist now, too. He knows better that it was that pesky “Jab” that killed these poor souls!!

Oh, this is fun! I hadn’t looked at VAERS in a long time but you gotta love searching for COVID vaccine and “Death” and everything that comes up in the first ten pages (Practically) is folks on HOSPICE before the vaccine or with really serious terminal conditions otherwise. Almost all of the entries are from senior living homes.

Here’s my favorite so far:

“coughing up blood, significant hemoptysis — $g cardiac arrest. started day after vaccine but likely related to ongoing progression of lung cancer”

This one is great, too:

“death by suicide Narrative: death by suicide; 12/26/20, self inflicted gun shot wound; found deceased by family member”

https://medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php?IDNUMBER=958443

Huge SIGNAL there, for sure!! We better keep an eye on that database, the vaccine is killing THOUSANDS!!

As for people putting BS reports in, here’s a likely candidate:

“Patient died, I have a copy of his vaccination card”

https://medalerts.org/vaersdb/findfield.php?IDNUMBER=933090

@MedicalYeti, yeah, the lung cancer example is one I’ve used a lot to show what’s actually in there. VAERS is great at what it does, but what it does is try to ensure it will capture relevant reports by pulling in large numbers of reports.

Like trying to ensure you don’t miss any dogs in your data set by flagging every mammal, just in case something that doesn’t immediately look like a dog turns out to be one.

On a more general point, as a long-standing Guardian reader, their science and medical coverage is frequently pish: they don’t employ folk with any relevant background, who clearly cannot read a scientific paper; they frequently don’t link to or cite anything close to primary sources, falling victim to the “report someone else’s summary of the PR summary of the abstract” if you are lucky; they refuse to correct mistakes (I have several times engaged in long arguments with particular journalists and the Readers’ Editor about inaccuracies which would be obvious if the primary source had been read).

This piece was little more than an anti-vax apologist blurb, showing little knowledge of the long-standing anti-vax movement and presenting those ideas as new, rather than old and well debunked nonsense.

Not The Graun’s finest piece of attempted journalism.

I read this piece and also wondered why they enlisted a sociologist to attempt this inadequate “analysis.” The Guardian seems to be relying more and more on commentary at three removes from the primary literature by people who lack the background to say anything even remotely insightful. It’s been using these types more and more.

I doubt the Guardian “enlisted” this particular piece. Al-Gharbi is identified as a regular columnist, so presumably he picks his own topics. I don’t know how long he’s had that gig, why he might have been hired to begin with, what else he’s written about for them…

Whilst I don’t disagree with your comment in general, and the article critiqued by Orac was indeed utter pish, the Graun sometimes produces fairly solid coverage of science & medicine. It was the Graun that provided a platform for Ben Goldacre’s “Bad Science” column. That was my gateway to a lot of critical thinking & scepticism.

It’s a sad reflection on much of the media that the Guardian’s science/medicine coverage is better than most.

Ben Goldacre’s excellent column is long gone though and hasn’t been replaced by anything close to its quality. Even when it was running it was often the sole beacon of sanity there.

I cannot help but agree that most of the rest of the UK media is even worse.

@ Orac

CONGRATULATIONS. You have managed with this article to draw out from under their rocks a substantial number of delusional paranoids, illogical, unscientific types. Quite amusing, especially when each and every one has had their previous comments refuted by you, me, Diane Walters, MedicalYeti, Aarno Syvänen, squirrelelite, and several others. Of course, as with all similar types, if you refute them with logic, science, and references, you are just a shill, part of the conspiracy. Quite simply, NOTHING WILL CHANGE THEIR MINDS.

I have already wasted too much time posting refutations; but just one more for fun:

John Labarge writes: “And studies are showing that spike is in the lymph nodes at least 60 days after the jab. That’s cause for concern given that it’s the main agent of vascular destruction.”

As I’ve written before, the Spike protein isn’t the agent of vascular destruction, it is simply the part of the agent that attaches it to the endothelial of the vascular system. However, alone from the mRNA vaccines, the S-Spike protein can’t do anything. It is just another piece of protein coursing through ones vascular system, that is, if it breaks off from the MHC1 and MHC2 molecules that hold it outside the cell for the immune system to see. And if it breaks off, most will still be finished off by the immune system. However, one can develop lymphadenopathy following the vaccines, because cells in the lymph nodes can receive some of the vaccine, and begin churning out antibodies:

“What are lymph nodes, anyway? Lymph nodes or lymph glands are (usually) small bean-shaped lumps of tissue found throughout your body and connected in a network by lymph vessels. They help your body fight off infections, but also play a vital role in generating immunity via vaccines. When a COVID vaccine is injected into your arm muscle, your body starts building SARS-CoV-2 virus spike proteins. Special cells grab those spike proteins and ferry them into your lymph nodes. The closest set of lymph nodes is usually in your armpit on the same side of your body. Like other lymph nodes, they house a suite of white blood cells, which help defend our body against specific pathogens, says Joanna Groom, an immunology researcher at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI). When presented with the spike protein, some white blood cells become activated. [Belinda Smith (2021 Jan 31). Why are my lymph nodes swollen and sore after a Pfizer or Moderna COVID booster vaccine?.ABC News]

“In this era of COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide vaccination, medical staff should be aware that ipsilateral lymphadenopathy to the vaccine injection site may be a common side effect. COVID-19 vaccine related lymphadenopathy is associated with various clinical and sonographic features, but fortunately it shows spontaneous gradual recovery.” [Nurith Hiller et al. (2021 Feb 23). Lymphadenopathy Associated With the COVID-19 Vaccine. Cureus 13(2): e13524]

“How long mRNA lasts in the body The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines work by introducing mRNA (messenger RNA) into your muscle cells. The cells make copies of the spike protein and the mRNA is quickly degraded (within a few days). The cell breaks the mRNA up into small harmless pieces. mRNA is very fragile; that’s one reason why mRNA vaccines must be so carefully preserved at very low temperatures. How long spike proteins last in the body The Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) estimates that the spike proteins that were generated by COVID-19 vaccines last up to a few weeks, like other proteins made by the body. The immune system quickly identifies, attacks and destroys the spike proteins because it recognizes them as not part of you. This “learning the enemy” process is how the immune system figures out how to defeat the real coronavirus. It remembers what it saw and when you are exposed to coronavirus in the future it can rapidly mount an effective immune response. .intramuscular vaccines (which all three of the COVID-19 vaccines are) travel in macaques (a type of monkey). Vaccines mostly remain near the site of injection (the arm muscle) and local lymph nodes. This makes sense: Lymph nodes produce white blood cells and antibodies to protect us from disease. A key part of the lymphatic system, lymph nodes also clean up fluids and remove waste materials. Finding pieces of spike protein in the lymph nodes is completely normal, because lymph nodes act as the trash removal service for the body. That means the vaccine did its job (made spike proteins, which caused the creation of antibodies) and will be cleared from the body.” [Nebraska Medicine (2021 Jul 2). How long do mRNA and spike proteins last in the body?]

Keep in mind that the Salk study did find the Spike protein involved in both lung damage and endothelial damage, that is, when part of the COVID-19 virus; however, Facebook posts, etc. ignore that the vaccine protected against this, which I explained in the Salk article and previous comments.

“Our studies demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 mRNA-based vaccination of humans induces a persistent germinal centre B cell response, which enables the generation of robust humoral immunity.” [Jackson S. Turner et al. (2021 Aug 5). SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines induce persistent human germinal centre responses. Nature; 596: 109-113.]

To summarize: mRNA and S-Spike Proteins are found in lymph nodes. In the case of vaccines, lymph nodes near the injection site. The mRNA disintegrates within a day or two, the S-Spike Proteins last a few weeks. However, they do no damage; but the lymph nodes can temporarily swell because they are churning out antibodies, etc. And, yep, if one is infected with the live COVID-19 virus, then one will find system-wide mRNA being continuously produced by the viruses that have entered the cells nucleus, and, of course, more viruses with their attached S-Spike Proteins.

Of course, I realize that johnlabarge, Sue Dunham, Indie Rebel, NWO Reporter, and the others, based on their immense knowledge of immunology, microbiology, virology, mRNA, etc. and their continuous keeping up-to-date with the latest published research will reject and/or just ignore the above. What I don’t understand is why none of the above are willing to verify their credentials; e.g. education, training, occupation, publications, etc.

But, its obvious, their comments/positions are based on RFKs book, which they accept as valid, social media, etc. and their comments/positions reject logic, science, etc. and display a religious, faith-based position, which, as we know is not subject to empirical contradictions. While different groups focus on different aspects of reality; e.g., racism, antisemitism, QAnon, etc, the psychological/psychiatric aspect of their minds are quite similar. None of the aforementioned can be influenced by science, etc. to rethink their positions.

So, Orac, why did you waste so much time and effort earning a PhD in immunology, publishing 60 articles, etc. when you could have just read RFKs book, checked out social media, or hired one or more of the experts above as your science advisor? And why am I going through a new edition of an undergraduate Immunology textbook. Obviously, written by Shills of the pharmaceutical industry???

The Salk study proved that the spike protein causes vascular damage independent of the rest of the coronavirus. Therefore, the spike protein is potentially pathogenic. Right?

The mRNA vaccines have known side effects that are identical to potential COVID symptoms, including myocarditis. Therefore something in the vaccine is capable of generating the same disease as the SARS 2 virus itself. Right?

All cause mortality was almost 25% higher in Pfizer’s vaccine group than the control group, right? And governments around the world have been tracking a substantial rise in excess mortality that is not associated with COVID 19.

The only question is whether the the risk of infection outweighs the risk of vaccination. The risk of spike vaccination is real and documented and we have probable cause. You keep posturing as if these vaccines are incapable of causing harm. You’re flat out wrong.

That’s our case. Your case depends on the word of a pharmaceutical corporation vying to approve their own highly lucrative product. It just so happens that this corp has a history of pushing deadly drugs on the market in spite of clinical data. This presents a huge conflict of interest and a fertile environment for confirmation bias. Pfizer knew exactly what statistics they needed to show in order to gain emergency authorization.

An analogy can also be made with Boeing, who was allowed to certify the safety of their jury rigged new 737 MAX only to have two fully populated airliners crash hard into the ground.

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “An analogy can also be made with Boeing, who was allowed to certify the safety of their jury rigged new 737 MAX only to have two fully populated airliners crash hard into the ground.”

NOPE. Why? Because the vaccine has now been used for over a year in numerous nations around the world, followed by numerous reports/journal articles, etc. Given you appear to suffer from paranoid delusions, I guess you must believe that medical researchers, public health researchers, etc in all these nations are just part of one big conspiracy, literally don’t care about their own people. NOPE, the huge number of studies find the vaccines highly, not perfectly, effective, with minuscule risk for serious adverse events. And statistics around the world also have found that the number of deaths and long covid have been significantly undercounted, and the overwhelming majority were among the unvaccinated.

Boeing NOT an analogy simply because one can’t compare two instances, based on one application with an entire world of studies and statistics.

YOU ARE EXTREMELY STUPID AND DELUSIONALLY PARANOID

@Sue
Since your diatribe about “photos” shows what a semantics nazi you are, I figured you might want to know that the spike protein cannot be “Pathogenic” since it cannot replicate. It can be a “Toxin.”

Thanks MedicalTroll! I’m not a Nazi, but I would love to correct you on this one. Pathogenic means disease causing. Of course toxins can be pathogenic! Go back to high school. And don’t forget an elective in photography.

Since your diatribe about “photos” shows what a semantics nazi you are, I figured you might want to know that the spike protein cannot be “Pathogenic” since it cannot replicate. It can be a “Toxin.”

Ooh, burn!

More seriously, this is one of those times when being colloquial with language misleads.

@Sue Dunham Actually read post Orac linked.Essentially, Salk used spike protein concentrations about million times higher. He has a link to a paper about actual spike protein concentration in the blood.
Again: why do you think that spike protein is dangerous and COVID is very benign diesease ? SARS CoV 2 (cause of the disease) has multiple copies of the spike protein.

Sorry Sue. You are wrong as the day is long on this one. Nice bit of projection calling me a troll, though. Did you learn your work in St Petersburg or do you just admire their style?

The very currency of drug companies is to manipulate data to show benefit where there is none. That’s why it’s so important that he raw data be made available – outside of captured government agencies – to the public to independently review. Multiply the risks of the vax by two orders of magnitude at least until that’s the case.

Yeti, did I say a toxin is a pathogen? No, I said a toxin can be pathogenic. The definition of pathogenic is: “of or relating to pathogenesis”. Do I need to define pathogenesis for you too? Check out this paper, for example: “Multiple roles of oxidants in the pathogenesis of asbestos-induced diseases” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12706492/ or “Asbestosis: clinical spectrum and pathogenic mechanisms” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9012357/ Is asbestos capable of replication?

I understand it’s confusing when two words look so much like each other. But words have meanings; make sure you look at every part of the word; those little squiggly things are called letters. If I ever referred to the spike protein as a “pathogen” then I apologize. But I am totally correct to refer to it as “pathogenic”.

Mr. Bacon, “pathogen” and “pathogenic” have distinct meanings; Godzilla face palm for you.

DUMB DUMB DUMB
To say something is “pathogenic” is not the same thing as “pathogenesis.” Pathogenic mechanisms implies “Pathogenesis.” You’d know these things had you been forced to hear them over and over again, like many of us did, in…ummm…I dunno…MEDICAL SCHOOL.
DUMB DUMB DUMB

Dear MedicalTroll, here are some more citations for you:

Pathogenic protein seeding in alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.22615

Propagation and spread of pathogenic protein assemblies in neurodegenerative diseases, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30258241/

Or check out the abstract of this paper, which refers to “pathogenic fibers” with regard to mesothelioma. Again, it is correct to refer to asbestos and other inorganic fibers as pathogenic. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3657618/

So do you still want to claim that the term pathogenic can only refer to disease caused by micro organisms and viruses?

@john labarge What data manipulation you are speaking about ? Faldifying death certificates? Clinical trials ? Follow up studies not done by them ? Newspaper articles ?

The informative bits here are appreciated. I can only tell you this. I’m not a vaccine maker or a biologist or a doctor. I’m fully aware that most of us have to rely on the representations of such folks. This is not about science it’s about trust of those who represent the science to others. They have refused to disclose the raw data for independent review, have been wrong before (with deadly repercussions) and want us to trust them in record time. From my perspective – and I am aware that I’m in the minority – that’s too much to ask. But making everything more and more transparent and accessible to those of us that aren’t (rather than relying on sophistry) that’s the way to persuade. Or time without serious incident (so far appears not to be the case).

Actually court denied their request. After a few months we will know the TRUTH, I am afraid it is very mundane one, but let us se.

“From my perspective – and I am aware that I’m in the minority – that’s too much to ask.”

Not sure why you think that you are in the minority. I firmly believe that drug company trial data should be available to any governmental body with the responsibility for public health.

Part of me wants to say the data should be open source but I’m fully aware that this will bring out the armchair analysts in their thousands. Incompetently analysing the data, looking for something they can shout about. This either has to be ignored (WHY WON’T THEY ANSWER MY QUESTION? IS IT BECAUSE THEY’RE HIDING SOMETHING!!!!!) or someone has to be taken off other duties to spend their days in the thankless task of debunking rubbish when they know full well it won’t make a difference.

You can’t convince these people using science because they have a high opinion of their own intelligence, no comprehension of how little detail they actually know and a low opinion of the intelligence and training of others.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eH56UOjDQ4A

Since you don’t have any experience in clinical trials (that’s fine, most people don’t) please be aware that before anyone can do anything with clinical trial data it has to be checked for obvious mis-entry errors and then all the patient information must be de-identified. Then everything has to be checked again.

It would be in violation of medical ethics to not de-identify the data before releasing it to anyone. So yeah, you’re just going to have to wait a bit so that all the people who volunteered for the studies don’t get their identities stolen.

@Justatech, I’m starting to feel like anyone demanding the “raw” data should be required to post their own information online. In the name of transparency. So we know who’s asking.

“The very currency of drug companies is to manipulate data to show benefit where there is none. ”

Given your displays of dishonesty and ignorance about so many things I think I already know the answer to this question, but: What are you basing that on?

“What are you basing that on?”

I think Ben Goldacre had a whole part of his book Bad Pharma based on this. Making drugs look more effective than they were, or better in comparison to a competitors drug by using wrong dosage etc.

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “The Salk study proved that the spike protein causes vascular damage independent of the rest of the coronavirus. Therefore, the spike protein is potentially pathogenic. Right?
The mRNA vaccines have known side effects that are identical to potential COVID symptoms, including myocarditis. Therefore something in the vaccine is capable of generating the same disease as the SARS 2 virus itself. Right?”

Conclusion, last sentence of the Salk study: “This conclusion suggests that vaccination-generated antibody and/or exogenous antibody against S protein not only protects the host from SARS-CoV-2 infectivity but also inhibits S protein-imposed endothelial injury.” [Yuyang Lei (2021 Mar 31). SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Impairs Endothelial Function via Downregulation of ACE 2. Circulation Research; 128:1323–1326]

So MORON, once more you didn’t bother to actually read the study, free, easy access online or you read it, which I doubt, and are TOO STUPID to understand simple English.

As for the ALL CAUSE mortality, I and others refuted you last round of exchanges:

“There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo . . Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. . . Adverse event data through approximately 14 weeks after the second dose are included in this report . . .Two BNT162b2 recipients died (one from arteriosclerosis, one from cardiac arrest), as did four placebo recipients (two from unknown causes, one from hemorrhagic stroke, and one from myocardial infarction). No deaths were considered by the investigators to be related to the vaccine or placebo.” [Fernando P. Polack et al. (2020 Dec 31). Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine; 383(27): 2603-2615]

Note. there were 43,548 participants, including significant number of seniors. So, six deaths out of 43,548 certainly not unexpected and only two received the vaccine.

YOU ARE AN EXTREMELY SICK MENTALLY DISTURBED INDIVIDUAL.

Joel, you’re the one who can’t understand simple English. The Salk study proved that the spike protein causes vascular injury independent of the SARS 2 virus. It proved this protein causes damage independent of any cellular infection.

Of course antibodies mitigate this damage. The point is that in order to generate the antibody response in the first place, you must be exposed to the spike proteins. Do you deny that the vaccines cause some of the same side effects as SARS 2? What is the etiology of this pathogenesis, if not spike protein exposure? You should be arguing that it is OK to harm yourself with spike protein in order to prevent further harm from the spike protein. If the benefit outweighs the cost. But you’re not even arguing cost/benefit, you are simply unwilling to acknowledge that the vaccines cause harm.

Finally, please keep in mind that according to FDA documents released last December, Pfizer’s clinical study featured 21 deaths in the jab group and 17 in the control at its six month end point.

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “Joel, you’re the one who can’t understand simple English. The Salk study proved that the spike protein causes vascular injury independent of the SARS 2 virus. It proved this protein causes damage independent of any cellular infection.”

“Scientists have known for a while that SARS-CoV-2’s distinctive “spike” proteins help the virus infect its host by latching on to healthy cells. Now, a major new study shows that the virus spike proteins (which behave very differently than those safely encoded by vaccines) also play a key role in the disease itself.” [Salk News (2021 Apr 30). The novel coronavirus’ spike protein plays additional key role in illness]

If you weren’t so closed-minded, you would know that the mRNA vaccine did NOT use the exact Spike protein of the virus; but made several modifications. So, NOPE, again, in addition, the study DID NOT just inject isolated Spike protein, it was attached to a virus, so, independent of the SARS 2 virus; but NOT AN INDEPENDENT PIECE OF PROTEIN.

Once more MORON, the Spike protein produced by the mRNA vaccine is modified and the Spike protein in the study was attached to a virus.

You write: “Finally, please keep in mind that according to FDA documents released last December, Pfizer’s clinical study featured 21 deaths in the jab group and 17 in the control at its six month end point.”

JUST HOW STUPID ARE YOU?

I and others have made it absolutely clear that in a study of 43,000 people, especially when a proportion were older is NADA. According to data prior to COVID, YEARLY DEATHS For All ages 911.7 per 100,000 males 829 per 100,000 females. This is per year, so cut in half for six months and voila, lets say 400, so 38 far below.

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

Myself, Orac, and half dozen other commenters have over and over shown just how wrong your are, yet you persist. So I repeat, you are SICK SICK SICK

But you still think that COVID is very mild disease ? SARS CoV 2, which causes the disease, has multile copies of spike protein,
Read Orac’s post about spikr protein, Salk used concentrations about million tines higher, and spike protein is cleared very fastly from the blood,
If you actaully read FDA assesment, it says no deaths are attributable to vaccinations.

You are so tiresome Joel. Everything you argue against is a straw man. Your every conclusion is ad hominem.

First you quote the paper’s introduction regarding spike proteins: “[they] behave very differently than those safely encoded by vaccines”.

Did I say they did not behave differently? No, I said they are both inherently pathogenic. Do you disagree? Are you aware that this rhetorical disclaimer was only added to the paper’s introduction after publication, after it caused a scandal?

Once again, the spike protein jabs are known to cause side effects identical to symptoms that are caused by SARS 2 spike protein itself. What do you propose causes these side effects?

Your only valid argument is that the mRNA spike protein is slightly modified from the coronavirus protein. Can you explain the original purpose of these modifications? Should we expect these modifications to reduce the pathogenicity of the protein?

You also note that in the Salk study, the spike protein was attached to a “virus” and not floating freely. Again, you are not negating what I said. I said that the spike protein caused injury independent of cellular infection. Which is true, because the spike protein was attached to an inert pseudovirus. That was the whole point of the research.

Finally, I am relieved to see you have finally caught up with Pfizers six month clinical data after relying on their two month data only. Actually, it seems like you were not familiar with Pfizer’s data at all until I brought it up. I already posted the link to Berenson’s article about the FDA document which revealed there were actually 21 deaths in jab group and 17 in control after six months. If that’s not statistically significant, then neither is the efficacy supposedly demonstrated by the jabs.

Once again, you have not even begun to account for Pfizer’s bias and conflict of interest. And you never will, because you’re an intellectually dishonest, mendacious troll shill and I can only hypothesize that you are paid to discredit your own perspective. Because that is what you constantly achieve. This is why you don’t argue with conspiracy theorists, Joel. Because we rely on logic and information, whereas you rely on moralization and spin.

I mean, to call someone who is wrong in good faith “SICK” over and over and over again is no way to win yourself support. This is a public forum. It actually doesn’t matter if you’re actually right; as long as you come off as a deranged asshole, you will lose. Of course, you’re not right either. You are a fraud. All you can do is pathologize your opponents.

Yeah. Omicron is so “mild” I’m in the process of admitting two patients from the ED because I’m bored.

It’s shocking how little grip on reality a couple of the people who post here truly have.

Yeah, never mind the death toll. These fools seem not to realize that even an IFR of less than 0.5% still means huge numbers of deaths when tens of millions of people are being infected. They don’t care.

What on Earth are you talking about, Orac? An IFR of less than %0.5? The IFR of the original strain was half that, %0.26. The IFR of the Delta variant was some ten times lower than the original strain. The IFR of Omicron is some ten times lower than Delta. You are off by at least one order of magnitude. Ridiculous comment.

The IFR of the Delta variant was some ten times lower than the original strain

Citations(s) required. From the peer-reviewed biomedical literature, not from Mike Adams.

And vax pushers don’t care about people dying of adverse reactions. Prejudicial line of argument that cuts both ways and accomplishes nothing.

@johnlabarge, you have yet to show us hard evidence of deaths caused by vaccination.
You say you are not antivaxx, but you exaggerate the risks of vaccination based on evidence that is, to put it politely, little more than circumstantial and hearsay.

Interesting that you mention hearsay. What exactly would you call the trial results showing ~95% efficacy, produced by the Pfizer and Moderna re mRNA vaccines?

Also this is reliable hearsay – present recollection recorded. Also circumstantial evidence is evidence. We are not talking about 10% more reported reactions we are talking about more reactions than 30 years of vaccines combined. Frankly, to allege that has nothing to do with the vaccine requires more conspiracy theorizing than the antivax position.

If you read our captured agency, no deaths are attributed to vaccinations. Well of course not. That’s what regulatory capture is. And yes it’s 100% corruption.

If the vaccine is safe and effective as Joel advocates then the all cause mortality for 2021 should be down from 2020 since over half of people are vaccinated. Correct?

“We are not talking about 10% more reported reactions we are talking about more reactions than 30 years of vaccines combined”

I’ll repeat what I said further up the thread.

“So you conveniently ignore the amplification effect of publicity, mass, condensed, vaccination campaigns and the fact the doctors were required to report any deaths after vaccination, on VAERS reporting?”

If you can remember any situation in the last 30 years that comes close to the controversy playing out in the media about Covid, covid health measures and covid vaccines then please provide detail. The US has over 200 million people fully vaccinated. There are no comparable vaccination rates that even come close to that number in that timescale with that publicity. It makes perfect sense that there would be a lot of VAERS reports.

@Sue Dunham You are tiresome, too. What about answering a simple question: If you think COVID is very mild disease, why do you think that spike protein is dangerous ? Every SARS CoV 2 particle (cause of the disease) has multiple spike proteins. Actually, if everyone should have COVID, everyone should have spike protein, ttoo.
Same thing apply to these 21 deaths. Remember that none of them were caused by vaccination.

@Sue Dunham IFR depends on vaccination status:
Chapman LAC, Barnard RC, Russell TW, Abbott S, van Zandvoort K, Davies NG, Kucharski AJ. Unexposed populations and potential COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in European countries as per data up to 21 November 2021. Euro Surveill. 2022 Jan;27(1):2101038. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.1.2101038. PMID: 34991776; PMCID: PMC8739340.
Omicron is more infectious and escapes natural immunity. You should remember these facts, too.

NumberWang said, “”So you conveniently ignore the amplification effect of publicity, mass, condensed, vaccination campaigns and the fact the doctors were required to report any deaths after vaccination, on VAERS reporting?”

How about you provide some actual evidence that the “amplification effect,” or “requirements” with no penalty for non-compliance, are responsible for the massive increase in VAERS reports?

@joe labarge IFR is reported here
Chapman LAC, Barnard RC, Russell TW, Abbott S, van Zandvoort K, Davies NG, Kucharski AJ. Unexposed populations and potential COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in European countries as per data up to 21 November 2021. Euro Surveill. 2022 Jan;27(1):2101038. doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2022.27.1.2101038. PMID: 34991776; PMCID: PMC8739340.
IFR is indeed down, depending on vaccination status.

“How about you provide some actual evidence that the “amplification effect,” or “requirements” with no penalty for non-compliance, are responsible for the massive increase in VAERS reports?”

I’ve said that people like you are ignoring the amplification effect when you cite VAERS. Not that it accounts for the entire increase.

Maybe you’ve got some evidence to support your implication that doctors aren’t following the reporting guidelines?

NWO Reporter Some commenters have cited some VAERS reports. Only reason they are there is obviously that reporting is mandatory. For some people “legal duty” means something.

“Maybe you’ve got some evidence to support your implication that doctors aren’t following the reporting guidelines?”

From the link I posted:

“The CDC tells us in its risk statement that the FDA requires healthcare providers to report any death after COVID-19 vaccination to VAERS. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean all or even most vaccine deaths are reported.

“First, the only deaths vaccine providers will likely know about are the very few that occur during the 15-30 minute monitoring period after the shot. Second, there is no penalty for not reporting. Third, there is no system in place for compensating medical providers for the time required to make VAERS reports. Fourth, there are no indications of improvement in the rate of VAERS reporting, while there are indications it’s as low as ever—such as this recent law firm letter written on behalf of a Physician Assistant at a regional New York hospital.”

@NWO Reporter Why do you think vaccine providers are only doctora around ? Or perhaps the patient will go to vaccine provider when serious adverse effects appear ? Even a suicide has been reported to VAERS. Only explanation to this is that doctors follow their legal duty, even if there is no penalty.

@NWO

It’s nice to see that you have such a low bar as to what constitutes evidence.

Your physicians assistant letter (assuming it’s the same one I’ve already seen) is from half way through last year. Frankly, that law firm did her no favours since the letter makes her look like she was a rabid anti-vaxxer, behaving unethically (how much patient info is she allowed to access if she isn’t treating them?) while making claims she cannot prove.

As a question for the medical people, how long after vaccination is it reasonable to class something as an AE? Collapsing immediately is obviously an AE. A heart attack a year later isn’t. I couldn’t see a time scale on the VAERs info page.

Also, since it was the law that AEs were reported after covid vaccines, what would the penalties be?

johnlabarge:

Nasal spray vaccines were always a more palatable option for me, at least. Not doing mRNA.

Which one do you have in mind?

The University of Oxford intranasal version of the genetically engineered chimp adenovirus AstraZeneca vaccine?
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2784523

The Stanford intranasal DNA vaccine?
https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2021/11/effort-to-develop-covid-vaccine-nasal-spray.html

The Mount Sinai intranasal spike protein vaccine that is intended as a booster after a normal series of conventional COVID vaccines?
https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/easier-produce-covid-vaccine-shows-promise-trials-nasal-spray-vaccine-booster-2022-01-28/

The HHMI mRNA intranasal vaccine?
https://www.hhmi.org/news/nasal-spray-booster-keeps-covid-19-bay

Some other one that I didn’t find? As far as I can tell, none of those potential intranasal vaccines that I listed have got beyond animal trials.

Correct. And I had Omicron already so I have no intention of getting a covid vaccine for the time being. And had I known how mild Omicron would be I would have considered the whole notion ridiculous.

@ johnlabarge

There is a new variant of Omicron that is more transmissible and apparently more virulent. And numerous studies have found that antibodies diminish after a time and boosters bring them up to sometimes five times previous level. However, we don’t know what level necessary to protect against severe disease, especially given antibodies alone don’t tell the entire story because once exposed by vaccines and/or actual infection, plasma cells develop with specificity for microbe and they can produce in super fast time antibodies. However, I realize that like several others who post on this website, others like yourself who have indicated no real understanding of immunology, etc and have been refuted by many, nothing will change your mind.

I guess IGNORANCE IS BLISS

To be more transmissible than the original Omicron variant would be quite something, given how transmissible Omicron is, but I haven’t seen any convincing evidence that it’s more virulent.

Aren’t to worried about the spike protein and its peptides in your lymph nodes? The MUST be there or you won’t be developing a good B cell response to your infection.

Why do you think that Omicron is always as mild as in your case ? It ia very different in different people. Some actually die.

@ Sue Dunham

You wrote in previous exchange: “I only worry about the doxxing, because you literally threatened to beat the shit out of me before, when I posted to this misinformation rag under a pseudonym. So don’t tell me you don’t have it in you. I mean, what, you only get violent in discussions about the Bible?”

So, you posted previously as Scott Allen. As he was the only person I have ever really become angry. I don’t remember threatening with physical violence; but not impossible. Based on one article written by a right-wing long-time lawyer for the NRA, an article mainly based on articles written in Nazi German papers, he displayed a despicable contempt for the victims of the Nazis. Having grown up knowing numerous survivors of the Concentration Camps, having read tons of literature on the Holocaust and Nazi Germany, having seen numerous documentaries, he pushed me over the line. However, if I did threaten him, or was it you, I know I did NOT say I would track him down, simply if he were to make his horrible claims standing in front of me . . .

In any case, now we know who you are, not only a STUPID, DISHONEST, DELUSIONAL PERSON WHEN IT COMES TO THE CURREN PANDEMIC AND VACCINES; BUT AN EVIL NAZIS SYMPATHIZER.

And ASSHOLE, I didn’t get angry over discussions about the Bible? Once more, I got angry about a Nazis sympathizer displaying contempt for the victims of the Nazis. Yep, you are an ASSHOLE

“So, you posted previously as Scott Allen. As he was the only person I have ever really become angry.”

Wrong. Two guesses left. At least you admit that you are capable of threatening other people with physical violence. Baby steps!

It’s odd that the people calling everyone stupid and incapable of interpreting science or analyzing info are the ones resorting to name calling. Shouldn’t your analysis skills etc. stand on their own without resorting to name calling?

They resort to a preschool level style of argument, which indicates, to me, that their beliefs are more emotional than rational. So I decided to ignore whatever the name-callers have to say. I won’t even read it, and I would recommend that others ignore them also.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Shouldn’t your analysis skills etc. stand on their own without resorting to name calling?”

You ignore that my first responses were simple analytical ones; but it gets tiresome when people like you ignore and keep on making invalid claims. So, my name calling is just another excuse for you to continue making bogus, unscientific claims. In other words, really doesn’t matter whether I use name calling or not because if I NEVER used name calling you and others like you would still ignore what I write and continue making fools of yourselves.

Cows make milk. DUMBASS.

See? The inclusion of the insult doesn’t make it any less true. Your issue is you keep ignoring the factual information presented and incessantly post the same, tired, nonsensical bs over and over.

You’re doing it on purpose or you are DUMB DUMB DUMB. Not sure which, at this point.

@ Sue Duham

I am NOT the only one who has refuted time and time again your comments, many have. You obviously missed the point that the Salk study did NOT just inject spike protein, had to be attached to a virus. In addition, two other possible problems. One, not done on humans. We know that studies on numerous other microbes when conducted on different species have had different outcomes. And the Salk study included in vitro; but anyone who understands research understands that in vitro studies cannot be more than possible evidence. I’ll give just one example. Gerhard Domagk, a German chemist found that a dye, Prontosil Red, could kill some bacteria; however, he didn’t test it in vitro, just on laboratory animals. Had he done so, he would not developed the first used antimicrobial. Why? Because the French discovered that as Prontosil Red it didn’t work. Once in the body, the liver converted it to sulfanilamide. Just one example of how an in vitro study can be misleading. And also, despite the Salk Researchers being excellent, it was only one study and even the best studies can have results caused by uncontrolled unmeasured factors.

You write: “Did I say they did not behave differently? No, I said they are both inherently pathogenic. Do you disagree? Are you aware that this rhetorical disclaimer was only added to the paper’s introduction after publication, after it caused a scandal? . . .I said that the spike protein caused injury independent of cellular infection. Which is true, because the spike protein was attached to an inert pseudovirus”

They are NOT both inherently pathogenic. Spike protein alone is just a piece of protein.First, the overwhelming majority of mRNA vaccine produced spike proteins were attached to MHC molecules extending from the cell membrane, so the immune system neutralized them immediately. The few that broke loose were dealt with also by the immune system. The study introduced the spike protein attached to a virus to a naive immune system. However, before any of the mRNA vaccine spike proteins could begin circulating, the immune system had been alerted. The paper itself says: “Although the use of a noninfectious pseudovirus is a limitation to this study”. We have lots of pieces of protein coursing through our veins. Could it cause an allergic reaction. Possibly; but not because it invaded cells and not because it damaged tissues; but because our immune system, at least for some people, have immune cells that cross-react to other cells. And it doesn’t matter if the “rhetorical disclaimer” was after the publication. If anyone did the homework, they would know of the modifications to the spike protein. And the disclaimer may have been after the study; but the study concluded with: “This conclusion suggests that vaccination-generated antibody and/or exogenous antibody against S protein not only protects the host from SARS-CoV-2 infectivity but also inhibits S protein imposed endothelial injury.” So, why would they think that? Maybe because they knew about the modification to the spike protein. However, the paper focused on what they did, so they didn’t go into details of the vaccine. You automatically assume the negative because you are against the vaccine.

For sake of argument, let’s assume, though highly unlikely, that a few spike proteins that had broken off from the MHCs managed to avoid the immune system, so what? Maybe, a few endothelial cells may have been affected; but our bodies have 70 trillion cells. Everyday we have cells being damaged in one way or another, so a few cells would be nothing; but again, the news item simply clarified the conclusion of the study.

You write: “Actually, it seems like you were not familiar with Pfizer’s data at all until I brought it up. I already posted the link to Berenson’s article about the FDA document which revealed there were actually 21 deaths in jab group and 17 in control after six months. If that’s not statistically significant, then neither is the efficacy supposedly demonstrated by the jabs.”

Actually I had downloaded and read the paper months ago; but just misfiled it, so I referred to the Dec 31 study. And MORON, you ignore that the number of deaths in the Pfizer study were, given the size of the study groups, far below what would be expected. Do you really believe that a study with over 43,000 people followed for six months would NOT have any deaths? Just how STUPID are you??? Don ‘t bothering answering since it is obvious. The study found: in the vaccinated group: 158 cases, in the placebo group: 1700 and this was statistically significant. And again, see Appendix, Table 4, among deaths in vaccine group causes: ateriosclerosis, metastatic lung cancer, Shigella sepsis, etc. Really, you want to blame metastatic lung cancer on the vaccine? Do you really believe that 1700 vs 158 doesn’t indicate the vaccine works?

You write: “I mean, to call someone who is wrong in good faith “SICK” over and over and over again is no way to win yourself support. This is a public forum. It actually doesn’t matter if you’re actually right; as long as you come off as a deranged asshole, you will lose. Of course, you’re not right either. You are a fraud. All you can do is pathologize your opponents.”

It would be “good faith” if you actually indicated you had devoted time and effort into learning about mRNA, mRNA vaccines, etc. or if once I and others had pointed out the flaws in your comments, you did the research; but you have made it clear you don’t want to nor need to. So, not “good faith”.

You write: “Once again, you have not even begun to account for Pfizer’s bias and conflict of interest.” Of course anyone producing any product will be biased; but, as I’ve written and others, besides, the Pfizer sponsored studies we have umpteen studies that have been carried out by researchers around the world. But, just as you want to believe I am a paid shil, do you believe all of them are also? Actually, I wish Pfizer, Moderna, someone would pay me for defending the vaccines. I have devoted 40 years to learning about infectious diseases, vaccines, immunology, and epidemiology and have been following closely the pandemic and vaccine studies, including reading up on mRNA, etc. Having lived in five different nations, my main source of income is a very modest social security, I drive a 25 year old car, so I would love to be paid to do what I am doing based on a lifetime of study, education, and experience. But, as opposed to some, I would rather lead a spartan life than prostitute myself. If Pfizer or Moderna offered to pay me, I would make sure the contract specifically said that I get paid regardless of what I write.

@ Sue Dunham

Just want to make one thing clear. I have NEVER been in an actual fight in my life. A couple times short shoving matches; but never using fists, etc. I did train AiKIDO many years ago in Sweden. I have poor hand/eye coordination and reflexes; but it was fun and a great group of people from all walks of life, dock workers, store clerks, a barber, students, police, etc. and we usually went out together for lunch after Saturday morning training and had get-togethers at different houses. AIKIDO basically teaches NO attack techniques. Actually, not really even self-defense. The philosophy is to bring someone back to harmony with the universe, which is what AIKIDO means (AI- harmony, KI – energy of universe, DO – way).

However, as a Jew, I have often wondered whether I would have been willing to kill someone during World War II. I would like to think “yes”, killing members of einsatsgrupps who went into villages, raped, and murdered totally defenseless people. Guards at the Concentration Camps. However, if I had been a medic and came across two wounded soldiers, one German and one American, it would have been my ethical duty to treat the one most seriously injured. Maybe if I knew the German was member of SS I would have ignored my ethical responsibility.

So, on only one set of exchanges, with a Nazi sympathizer, did I probably make a threat; but even then, certainly would not have tracked that person down, left my dog at dog nursery, boarded a plane, etc. Only an absolute fool would do that. What good would it do? Even if I were capable of inflicting damage, I would end up in prison and given the literally thousands of neo-nazis in the country, have accomplished nothing.

Given you now claim to be Scott Allen, just escalates my contempt for you; but given you are a Nazis sympathizer, and it is Nazis who eagerly like harming others, I can only surmise that your claim that I would track you down and try to harm you physically is a projection of your own degenerate self.

By the way, I have been against the death penalty since my pre-teen years and disagree that Israel executed Eichmann. I’ve actually written an OpEd explaining why I am against the death penalty. Interesting how many Americans support the Death Penalty, given they claim to be Christians, yet Jesus clearly rejects and the U.S. is the only “Christian” nation with the death penalty. I’m sure you are for it.

Joel, you demanded to know my real name and threatened to beat the shit out of me if not kill me altogether. All because I pointed out that the Jewish Bible codifies Jewish supremacism, and promises a world where those faithful to YHWH will achieve violent dominion over all the other peoples of Earth. I suggested that maybe this was the root of Christian ethnocentrism, and fascism, and systemic inequality in America, instead of blaming it all on skin color. Then Orac banned me and not you. Siriusly!

@ Sue Dunham

Give the exact quote from me with date and URL. And the Jewish Bible says, among other things, don’t remember exactly where: The Righteous of all nations shall inherit the world to come. And both the Bible and the Talmud have extensive sections on how to treat non-Jews, compassionately with justice. The problem with the Bible, both Old and New Testament, is that one can find sections that contradict other sections, and the negative sections are far outweighed by the positive. Neither Old or New were written at one time or by one person. And ASSHOLES like you who have NOT actually studied Jewish teachings can just accept what anyone says that suits your biases. I’m sure historically there have been Jews who felt superior; but one can say that about any group of people. I am currently rewatching the PBS series Eyes on the Prize and am sickened by the White Racists and their statements of superiority and they claimed to be Christians and historically Christianity has had both extremely good people and extremely brutal people, not just the slave trade. Read Karen Armstrongs “Holy Wars” about the extreme brutality of the Crusaders. Read about the 30 years war, 1618-1648 where Protestants fought Catholics and both sides literally slaughtered defenseless peasants. Read about the incredible brutality of the English against the Irish and on and on it goes.

Here is an excellent summary of Jewish teachings, both Old Testament and Talmud in how to view and treat non-Jews: Rabbi Reuven Hammer (2016 Apr 21). The Status of Non-Jews in Jewish Law and Lore Today.

Easily found on the internet. Read it.

GO TO HELL YOU LOW-LIFE SACK OF SHIT.

@ Joel,

Mark Twain made a funny comment about fighting. He wrote something to the effect – I stopped fighting because I was tired of hitting the guys fist with my face. He was so clever!

@ Sue Dunham

COVID-19 Vaccines Modified S-Spike Protein.

“We found we could detect extremely low concentrations of S1 (a subunit of spike) in 11 of 13 healthy vaccinated individuals and the full spike in 3 of 13,” he said in an email, noting that the technology they used is 1,000 times more sensitive than a typical antigen test, “so we are really detecting minute quantities of the spike and S1 proteins.” (Emphasis is his). . . “We found that within a few days of the antigen appearing, the individuals developed antibodies that removed the antigen from the bloodstream,” he added . . there is “one key difference,” in that the spikes encoded by the vaccines “contain 2 amino acid changes that help stabilize the spike in its initial conformation and help prevent the spike from undergoing a conformational change that is required to facilitate membrane fusion.” . . That’s because the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is a shape-shifter. To fuse its viral membrane with the host cell membrane it substantially changes its shape from an unstable pre-fusion state to a stable post-fusion state . . vaccine-generated spike proteins can’t do that fusion because they are locked in the pre-fusion shape.” [Catalina Jaramillo (2021 Jul 1). COVID-19 Vaccine-Generated Spike Protein is Safe, Contrary to Viral Claims. FactCheck.org]

I know you won’t; but I suggest you read the entire above referenced paper. However, here is a couple more that go into the actual details of the COVID-19 Vaccine S-Spike Proteins development:

Heinz FX and Stiasny K (2021 Aug 16). Distinguishing features of current COVID-19 vaccines:knowns and unknowns of antigen presentation and modes of action. Nature Partner Journals Vaccines; 6(1): 104

Vzorov AN et al. (2021 Jul). Modification of the Spike Protein for Vaccines against Enveloped RNA Viruses. Molecular Biology; Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 538–547.

I have more papers; but the above are all available for free online.

So, there is substantial evidence that the S-Spike Protein used for the COVID-19 vaccines was modified so it could NOT by itself attach to cells. The Salk Study used the complete unmodified S-Spike Protein. And studies have found that if the mRNA vaccine S-Spike Proteins, a few, enter the blood stream that the immune system makes short shrift of them.

So, once more, you don’t know what you are talking about and, as opposed to me having found, downloaded, and read two dozen or more papers on the S-Spike Protein, you didn’t.

@ johnlabarge7

The Spike protein designed not to be able to attach to cells was actually developed for the MERS virus in 2015 and tests were done on it then, so it was already tested; but given nothing will change your mind, it is a waste of time to respond to you, so I won’t bother giving a further list of studies. And studies on the Spike protein go back much further.

You are just one more ignorant closed-minded person who no matter how many of your questions are answered will just keep finding more. Basically, nothing, no amount of science will have any influence on you. YOU ARE PATHETIC

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “I pointed out that the Jewish Bible codifies Jewish supremacism, and promises a world where those faithful to YHWH will achieve violent dominion over all the other peoples of Earth. I suggested that maybe this was the root of Christian ethnocentrism, and fascism, and systemic inequality in America, instead of blaming it all on skin color”

Yep, Jews invented the concept of brutal supremacy. Please give the exact quotes and exact verses in the Old Testament; but as I wrote, I can find many more versus of compassion and justice towards non-Jews. And, yep, the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babyonians are just fictional nations. Of course they didn’t kill and enslave others. They were all based on universal love. And for the first three centuries Christians really were loving non-violent. They didn’t proselytize soldiers; but would accept one if he approached them. They went as martyrs to their deaths; but then something happened. Several Roman generals were fighting it out to become the next Emperor. General Constantine had a Christian advisor who suggested “with this sign shall you conquer”. The sign was the Cross which Constantine ordered all his troops put on their tunics. Constantine was victorious at the Battle of the Milveen Bridge, around 309 AD, it was a slaughter, no prisoners taken. Constantine then adopted Christianity, at first allowing other religions; but gradually Christianity became the official and only religion tolerated by the State. Then began enclaves debating exactly what Christianity was, resulting in persecution, etc of anyone who deviated. So, Christianity didn’t become cruel because of developing from Judaism; but because of its becoming a State religion based on a slaughter to determine the next emperor, and, thus any challenge to it was also a challenge to the State.

Just one more example of what a STUPID ASSHOLE YOU ARE.

Mr. Joel, I have no desire to get banned again, so I will keep my comments on Judaism and Christianity to a minimum. However, you are wrong to state that Christianity become cruel after it became a state religion. In fact, as can be read in the recent book by Catherine Nixey, the Christian cult was unspeakably violent and iconoclastic from its very beginning.

The life of Jesus is a fiction, pure and simple. So is the myth of early Christianity. Paul was written around 50 CE, Mark as early as 80. Mark and Matthew were not in the literary record until 130 CE, and Luke and Acts and John by 180. Christians were killing infidels and pursuing state power for centuries before they achieved it. And of course they accomplished this by ignoring the teachings of Jesus and practicing the teachings of Moses.

Most of the Christian Bible is Jewish, and Jesus is ironically recognized as the Jewish king. Yet every teaching of Jesus’ criticizes Jewish beliefs and customs. No teaching of Jesus, if followed, would allow its followers to maintain or gain state power. Jesus does not even recommend maintaining family bonds. There is no way to justify ethnonationalism through the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Christianity is the vine grafted onto the root. And it is the root from which flows all the misogyny, homophobia, cultural intolerance, insane jealousy and greed, racism, and bloodlust. Keep in mind that I don’t think Jesus was a real person. I think he was a religious figure invented by Paul (as Paul himself claims) and later adapted into an allegorical biography that spawned a whole genre of imitators. It is my belief that Paul, Mark, Matthew and later authors all had very different intentions for the meaning of their compositions. So don’t misinterpret me to mean that Christianity was ever pure. It was created by a Jew, and adapted by Roman interests. Like the Old Testament, it contains glimpses of wisdom and beauty, but also like the Old Testament, these qualities are subservient to its pseudo historical and political claims.

@ Sue Dunham

Have you actually read the Bible. Nope, Jesus did NOT criticize Judaism, just the Sadducees and much of what he taught was just reiterations of the Old Testament. If you understood the Old Testament and Judaism you would understand that Jews had a Covenant with G-d, at least that was their belief. The Covenant made them the Chosen People; but while being chosen was an honor it was also a burden because they were supposed to be a “light unto the nations,” that is, by following the 10 Commandments, etc. they would be a role model for all nations to emulate. However, over and over the Jews deviated from their role, G-d punished them, Prophets came, the returned to their role, then deviated, more Prophets, and Jesus, from a Jewish point of view was just another Prophet calling them back to their role. Have you ever heard: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you? Well, Rabbi Hillel said years before Jesus birth: Don’t do unto others what you would not want them to do unto you. Basically the same message. Encyclopedia Brittanica online has an interesting article: The Chosen People
And I gave you the title to a paper that summarizes Jewish law on how to treat non-Jews. Read it you FUCKIN ASSHOLE

You write: “Most of the Christian Bible is Jewish, and Jesus is ironically recognized as the Jewish king. Yet every teaching of Jesus’ criticizes Jewish beliefs and customs.”

Nope, he was NOT recognized as the King of the Jews except by a small group of people. In fact, historically there were several people around that time claiming to be King of the Jews and/or the Messiah. And MORON, Messiah doesn’t mean in Judaism some deity. Messiah simply means anointed with oil. All kings of Israel and ALL high priests of the Temple were anointed with oil.

You write: ‘Christians were killing infidels and pursuing state power for centuries before they achieved it. And of course they accomplished this by ignoring the teachings of Jesus and practicing the teachings of Moses.”

Give references! ! !

And it is debatable exactly when the parts of the New Testament were written; but, of course, you know for certain.

You write: “However, you are wrong to state that Christianity become cruel after it became a state religion. In fact, as can be read in the recent book by Catherine Nixey, the Christian cult was unspeakably violent and iconoclastic from its very beginning.”

According to Wikipedia. The Darkening Age. by Catherine Nixey:

“After expressing the opinion that traditional historical narratives tend to depict pre-Christian Rome in an unfavorable light (chilly and nihilistic), Nixey proceeds to describe what she sees as an attack by Christians against classical heritage during Late Antiquity , which is a period generally encompassing the Later Roman Empire and the Early Middle Ages . The assault she alleges is both physical and cultural, taking the reader from the murder of Hypatia in 415 and the destruction of pagan statues, to the closing of temples and destruction of books.”

You do understand that “the murder of Hypatia in 415” was 100 years after Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire??? Did you actually read the book?

You write: “because I pointed out that the Jewish Bible codifies Jewish supremacism, and promises a world where those faithful to YHWH will achieve violent dominion over all the other peoples of Earth.”

Give the actual verses from the Old Testament or quotes and references from where you got this.

You write: “Joel, you demanded to know my real name and threatened to beat the shit out of me if not kill me altogether.”

Cut and paste the my exact comment, including date and URL. Otherwise, just another example of your deranged paranoid mind. Yep, I might have said something; but I doubt it cam close to what you claim.

So, once again you make claims without any references, claims, for instance, regarding Catherine Nixey’s book, Jesus being recognized as the King of the Jews, and you are literally WRONG and FULL of SHIT in claiming Jesus criticized Judaism.

Besides having read Old and New Testaments and, as non-Catholic student at Jesuit Loyola University, required to take two courses in Comparative Religions and since then have read a fascinating book: Isaac Asimov’s Guide to the Bible. He goes through it verse by verse, discusses who and when written, with extensive notes, and shows contradictions, both Old and New Testament.

And YOU FUCKING MORONIC ASSHOLE, it is Dr. Harrison to you.

“And YOU FUCKING MORONIC ASSHOLE, it is Dr. Harrison to you”

Respect is earned, Mr. Joel, and you have not shown any more merit than a dirty sockpuppet.

@ Sue Dunham

I hope Orac doesn’t ban you since among all the STUPID, INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST, MENTALLY DISTURBED PARANOIDS WHO COMMENT ON THIS BLOG, YOU ARE THE BEST EXAMPLE.

By the way, you state you don’t believe Jesus was a real person; but then claim his teachings said this and that and that he was proclaimed King of the Jews. Wow! Talk about STUPID, literally contradicting yourself.

@ Sue Dunham

From http://www.britannica.com The relation of Jesus’ teaching to the Jewish law

“Jewish law is the focus of many passages in the Gospels. According to one set, especially prominent in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), Jesus admonished his followers to observe the law unwaveringly (Matthew 5:17–48). . . He probably did, however, have legal disputes in which he defended himself by quoting scriptural precedent, which implies that he did not set himself against the law (Mark 2:23–28). . . . A prophet and teacher of ethics, Jesus was also a healer and miracle worker. In the 1st century, healers and miracle workers were fairly well known, though not precisely common, and were not considered to be superhuman beings. Jesus himself granted that others were capable of performing miracles, such as exorcisms, regardless of whether they followed him (Matthew 12:27; Mark 9:38–41; 6:7) . . . He did not strike at the heart of the Jewish religion as such: he did not deny the election of Abraham and the requirement of circumcision; nor did he denounce Moses and the law.”

As the article makes clear there were some thing Jesus disagreed with; but such disagreements were what Judaism was all about.

And as for Nixey’s book, not only were you wrong about the time, also typical you found one book, paper, etc. and used it. And guess what? I found a bunch of reviews, all more or less criticizing the author for cherry-picking and inaccuracies. Something you can identify with. Following are sample of the reviews I found and I’m sure you will attack based on who the authors were and ignore what they write:

Alvarea (2020 Apr 8). Book Review – The Darkening Age – Karwansaray Publishers Blog.
Herring (2017 Dec 22). Book review, ‘The Darkening Age/ The Christian Destruction of the Classical World’ by Catherine Nixey | Acton Institute.
Hughs (2018 Jun 8). How Christians Destroyed the Ancient World – The New York Times.
Whitmarsh (2017 Dec 28). The Darkening Age – The Christian Destruction of the Classical World by Catherine Nixey | History books | The Guardian.

You just NEVER get anything right; but ignore this and just keep on.

YOU ARE A FRIGGIN STUPID, INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST, MENTALLY DERANGED PARANOID

You quote Britannica describing Matthew as saying “Jesus admonished his followers to observe the law unwaveringly.” That is one of the dumbest things I have ever read, and exactly the kind of interpretation that leads some Christians to run around acting like classical Jews. In Matthew, Jesus rejects the law of Moses over and over again. He rejects dietary law. He rejects sabbath law. He rejects divorce law. He rejects criminal justice law, and later, capital punishment. He asks the Jews to tolerate queers. He tells the Jews not to honor their family or ethnic bonds; then he tells them to get rid of all their money and live like wild animals in the wilderness. This is the book of Matthew! Jesus even calls the Jews the children of Satan. He is against Jewish law, plain and simple.

That’s why it’s ironic that he is known as the Jewish Messiah. Instead of claiming triumph for the Jews, Jesus heralded their destruction by Rome. I know it must be very confusing for you when I talk about a fictional person this way. But it’s not wrong – Jesus is fictional and everything we know about his “life” derives from the Gospel of Mark. Understand that I am citing fictional biographies when I talk about his life.

As for the requirement of circumcision? Forgoing circumcision is literally the foundation of the Christian religion. It is how Paul advertised Judaism to Gentiles, by offering to circumcise their hearts instead of their penises. As long as he gets some new donors for the Temple, he’ll let you keep your foreskin.

Christianity is schizophrenic, invented by the Jew Paul and based on the Jewish Bible, then later adapted into a series of fictional biographies that serve to assert the priority of Roman values over Judea.

You say if Jews: “They were supposed to be a “light unto the nations,” that is, by following the 10 Commandments, etc. they would be a role model for all nations to emulate.”

Oh Joel. Another incredibly stupid misinterpretation of scripture. This light unto the nations stuff is bunk. It is your way of re phrasing and marketing Zionism to the West. Instead of explaining that the covenant with Yahweh requires the Jews to gain control of the world by force, and that the Ten Commandments only apply to Jews in relation to each other, you act like it’s merely about setting an example of your virtue. Question, was Joshua a light unto Canaan when he subverted and crushed those nations? Did the Jews follow the Ten Commandments with respect to the Canaanites? Was Yahweh pleased?

I could cite thirty bloodthirsty passages from the book of Isaiah that clearly show what it actually means to be a “light unto to goyim”. It means you crush every unveiled woman, every homosexual, every infidel, every idol, everyone who disagrees with Yahweh’s imperative to own all the gold and silver from his roost in Zion. You are running with all these liberal interpretations of scripture. Why don’t you try reading Isaiah, eg, as it was actually written, and understanding its actual intent? Here’s the thing, according to YHWH, if you don’t support YHWH and his rules, you should be killed. It’s not about setting an example, for Christ’s sake. It’s about demanding conformity in service of world domination.

Good luck in your journey, Joel. May I suggest finding Krishna.

Hi Joel, just wanted to let you know that I made a solid effort to find your violent threat against me, and if this site was actually functional I could have pinpointed it in the archives. All I know is that it was in June 2021 around the same time Orac wrote about the then newly valid lab leak hypothesis. But why even search it out, if we can merely continue this conversation, and replicate the outcome?

Joel. Christianity did not begin until around 170 CE. Again, Paul’s genuine letters had existed since the year 40 or 50, and Mark could have been written as early as 80. But no one was reading or citing these texts. And no one was citing a historical life of Jesus Christ either. The few testimonies that do exist, in Josephus and Tacitus, are evident forgeries and interpolations carried out by later Christian scribes.

So the earliest we have people writing about the biography of Christ (ie, people who have read Mark and Paul) is 130 CE. And the traditions of Luke and Acts and John did not appear until decades later, so that the four witnesses to the life of Christ did not all come together until 170 CE (note that Paul did not witness any life of Christ, he only witnessed the resurrected Christ. Because Paul made him up in the first place).

So as I said, early Christianity is a myth. The meek Christians, the persecutions, the martyrs. If we are talking about Christianity from its beginnings as a cult to its official establishment as the Roman religion, we are only talking about the time period from 170 to 380 (Constantine converted in 312). So what were Christians doing during this period? As Nixey writes: “Augustine later marveled at the fact that the pagans were able to worship many different god without discord while the Christians, who worshipped just the one, splintered into countless warring factions. Indeed, many pagans like Celsus seemed to actively praise plurality”. But the Christians were unforgiving iconoclasts.

We also know relatively little about the time period in question precisely because the Christians were so keen on iconoclastm. Perhaps Porphyry had something to say about the behavior of Christians in his era. But we’ll never know because his work was eradicated by the church. The fact is that Christians abused power just as soon as they gained it, and they felt justified in doing so based on the teachings of Moses and their understanding of the covenant with YHWH. The New Testament as a whole may support your and Britannica’s interpretation of Christianity, but I am talking about the actual teachings of Christ. Christ only teaches his followers tolerance, submission, and dissolution.

Nixey argues that real Christians begged to made martyrs in accordance with their fictional early history, and the Romans were not much interested to oblige. As Tertullian (155 AD – c. 220 AD) said, “so far from dreading, we spontaneously call for tortures!” Many Christians mutilated, mortified, and killed themselves in a bid for piety. It is little wonder that they turned their violence on others just as soon as they were able. Because they thought they were acting in accordance with the laws and covenants.

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “In Matthew, Jesus rejects the law of Moses over and over again

8:4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you do not speak to anyone, but go, show yourself to a priest, and bring the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them

3:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 23:2 “The experts in the law and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. 23:3 Therefore pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they teach.

So, STUPID or DISHONEST as usual. He is telling them to observe the law of Moses; but critizing those who preach it and hypocritically don’t follow it. So, he is NOT rejecting the law of Moses.

You write: “He rejects divorce law.”

“Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?”18 19:8 Jesus19 said to them, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of your hard hearts,20 but from the beginning it was not this way. 19:9 Now I say to you that whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another commits adultery.”

So, Jesus doesn’t completely reject divorce, immorality and adultery still grounds for it.

You write: “He tells the Jews not to honor their family”

5:3 He answered them, “And why do you disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition? 15:4 For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’10 15:5 But you say, ‘If someone tells his father or mother, “Whatever help you would have received from me is given to God,”11 15:6 he does not need to honor his father.’12 You have nullified the word of God on account of your tradition”

So, Jesus is criticizing those who DON’T honor their fathers and mothers. Don’t you understand plain ENGLISH???

You write: “He rejects sabbath law”

Lord of the Sabbath
Matthew 12:1

I won’t cut and paste the entire section; but simply point out, as I did in an earlier comment, that Jewish law allows one to break the Sabbath if life, limb, or sight are at risk and that is exactly what Jesus says. Quite simply, if someone is sick, then go out and gather herbs, etc, which is exactly what Jesus says in the above section. Read the section you MORON.

You write: “Instead of explaining that the covenant with Yahweh requires the Jews to gain control of the world by force”

Once more YOU LOWLIFE SACK OF SHIT, give the actual verses in the Bible! !

You write: “Question, was Joshua a light unto Canaan when he subverted and crushed those nations? Did the Jews follow the Ten Commandments with respect to the Canaanites?”

You apparently missed contradictions in the Bible about the level of destruction, etc and in you immense anti-Semitism ignore that historically almost every tribe at sometime in their history committed brutal acts. Joshua is right after they received the 10 Commandments and before they were a nation.

There is an interesting article by the Bible Project: “Judgment or Cruelty? Conquering the Promised Land Conquest and Controversy in the Promised Land”

Easy to find online; but, just as you didn’t read the paper I gave on Biblical and Talmudical laws on treatment of non-Jews, you won’t read this one.

You write: “I could cite thirty bloodthirsty passages from the book of Isaiah that clearly show what it actually means to be a “light unto to goyim. . .Why don’t you try reading Isaiah, eg, as it was actually written, and understanding its actual intent?”

So cite some of them! The Book of Isaiah is quite long. One can probably take out of context anything to prove a point, which is what you do. As for “understanding its intent”, thanks, proof that your sick mind reads into things the intent you want.
And, as I’ve written before, the Old Testament was written by different people at different times and contains numerous books, so one can pick and choose.

No comment on your being WRONG about first three centuries of Christianity?

And I gave the reference to a paper which liberally quotes from the Bible and Talmud on how Jew should treat non-Jews; but I know you won’t read it: Rabbi Reuven Hammer (2016 Apr 21). The Status of Non-Jews in Jewish Law and Lore Today. Easily found on the internet

If you originally posted as Steve, the following was my comment when Orac banned you:

https://respectfulinsolence.com/2021/06/02/holocaust-misappropriation-by-antivaxxers/
Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH
says:
June 3, 2021 at 9:49 am
@ Orac
I’m not sure, as a Jew, I agree with your reasoning to ban Steve. Yep, Jews were targeted by the Nazis in a way no other group was; but he is absolutely right that the Nazis slaughtered many other groups. In fact, as a percentage of total population more Roma (gypsies) were killed in the Concentration Camps.
You can use the link to read the rest.

And I went through ALL of June comments, especially two on lab leaks and found nothing where I threatened anyone. Maybe you aren’t Steve; but Greg? Find it or just one more example that you are a LYING SACK OF SHIT. It is so obvious that besides being STUPID, INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST, MENTALLY DISTURBED THAT YOU ARE A NAZI SYMPATHIZER AND ANTI-SEMITE BLAMING THE JEWS FOR ALL OR AT LEAST MOST ILLS OF THE WORLD.

As I wrote, it would be crazy of me to track anyone down, leave my dog at an overnight place, travel to where ever that person lives, find them, and attack them. Result would be prison for me and what good would it do, given that you are just one STUPID EXAMPLE OF ALL TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS NATION. There are many good Americans; but the EVIL ones are the most active, most violent, etc

“So, Jesus is criticizing those who DON’T honor their fathers and mothers. Don’t you understand plain ENGLISH???”

I will quote myself: “Yet in numerous other instances Jesus Christ insists that his followers must be willing to repudiate their families. He says a man’s foes will be of his own household (Matthew 10:35-36). He says you must love Christ more than family (Matt 10:37) and in fact articulates a new family in God (Matt 12:50) [Note also that Paul articulated a new family in Christ]. Jesus promises “every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold (Matthew 19:29). He forbids a follower to say goodbye to his family (Luke 9:61-62). Contradicting himself, he says “Forgive every brother his trespasses” (Luke 18:35) right after “let your brother be unto thee as a heathen” (Luke 18:17).” As in every other aspect of his instructions to the Jews in Matthew, Christ is a total hypocrite.

What you are actually observing is that Jesus Christ pays lip service to Mosaic law while deeply undermining it at every turn. Why does he do this? Because Mark is an “anti Semitic” parable based on the letters of Paul. And Matthew, which leads the NT, is a full blown satire based on the parable of Mark. In the Gospels, Christ is actually a trickster; he is Coyote. He doesn’t always mean what says to the Jews. His advice is for how a wicked people should set about destroying themselves. This is why he recommends getting rid of all your wealth, forsaking your family, and living like a wild animal in the wilderness (if not taking up your cross today). Mark was written to justify the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome, which occurred in the year 70. Mark was written in order to lend a moral and religious significance to this event. Matthew is pure black humor.

Think about it: the very first page of the NT supposedly proves that Joseph is of the royal Jewish/Israeli/Hebrew bloodline, meaning that he and his prospective sons are “eligible” to be the Mashiach. But then Matthew lets his audience in on a major SECRET: Mary was actually knocked up by the holy wind, and she remains a virgin! This another dramatic irony that underlines the biography of Christ. Jesus only appears to be the Jewish king, when in fact he is a stealthy advocate of pagan and Roman values.

You can read more at my blog if you want some scriptural citations. https://gaytroll.substack.com/p/the-bad-news-about-jesus-christ

And no, I was not commenting as “Steve” when you threatened to assault me.

“And, as I’ve written before, the Old Testament was written by different people at different times and contains numerous books, so one can pick and choose.”

Not exactly, the Old Testament was redacted by Jews sometime between the sixth and third centuries BCE. It is largely plagiarized and adapted from the myths of others. It overwrites the Baalim and Elohim of the Middle East with a singular deity known as YHWH. YHWH has specific goals as divulged in the covenants: own all the foreskins, own all the gold and silver of the Earth. He claims your foreskin as a symbol of your service to his will. If you do not serve his will, if you worship a false god or image, if you have an affair or if you are gay, if you’re not paranoid about what you’re allowed to eat and what you’re allowed to do and when, then you’re an infidel who should be put to death. According to the Bible, YHWH hands out death directly when he feels his rules are being ignored. He also praises and rewards his chosen people when they kill on his behalf. Most perversely of all, when Jews fail YHWH, their suffering is seen as his retribution. That is one of the foundations of the vision of Isaiah: the idea that the Jews lost Jerusalem to Babylon because they were not following YHWH’s rules. Isaiah envisions the son of a virgin who will be the foundation of Zion and the stumbling stone of the wayward Israelites. Isaiah envisions the day when the son of a virgin will restore the laws of YHWH by crushing the goyim utterly and punishing their terrible sin. This is what you call being a “light unto the nations”. This is what Paul picked up on when he got tired of waiting for an Earthly mashiach, and invented a heavenly one. Paul’s attitude is very consistent with the Old Testament. But then Rome destroyed Jerusalem, and proved the prophets false. The rest, as they say, is history…

@ Sue Dunham

I won’t bother wasting any more time on you. I will just point out that it is controversial exactly when each of the Gospels were written. And even if they were written by four Jews, so what? I can find books and articles written by American racists, what does that say about Americans in general? It is clear that you are a Nazi sympathizer and an Anti-Semite. Of course, as you wrote, without the Jews, women, going back to ancient civilizations, would have been treated as equals with respect, there would have been no culture biases, no blood lusts (yep, tribes that massacred rival tribes, would not have), no greed, etc.

YOU ARE A STUPID, INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST, MENTALLY DISTURBED, NAZI-SYMPATHISIZINE, ANTI-SEMITIC ASSHOLE

“It is clear that you are a Nazi sympathizer and an Anti-Semite.”

How is it clear that I am a Nazi sympathizer? I am neither racist, nor nationalist, nor socialist. I completely condemn Adolf Hitler. I do not judge anybody for the way they were born. I only judge people for what they believe, and how they act. In fact I have very pointedly denounced fascism which is currently characterized by pharmaceutical/government/media collusion and the creeping totalitarianism it justifies.

Am I an “Anti-Semite”? I’m not sure, what does that word mean? I thought Semitic was a linguistic category and not a racial one? Or do you mean I am literally against the descendants of Shem? What if I don’t believe that Shem ever existed? Isn’t the term “Anti-Semite” precisely about you claiming your racial identity in accordance with the racist Old Testament? Aren’t most modern Jews descended from Europeans and Russians anyway?

Keep claiming your racial peculiarity, and keep claiming that I am biased against it, and keep using your libelous weasel words to evade serious debate, and I will keep proving you wrong.

You do realize, don’t you, that your response to the charge of being an antisemite is full of the very sort of responses antisemites make to dodge the charge, right? I’ve been dealing with antisemites online since the 1990s, and I recognize all the dodges.

What have I said that is anti Semitic? Aren’t you supposed to ban anti Semites? Am I banned?

“And MORON, Messiah doesn’t mean in Judaism some deity. Messiah simply means anointed with oil. All kings of Israel and ALL high priests of the Temple were anointed with oil.”

Joel, I wanted to pick up on this remark because it illustrates both your dishonesty and your ignorance. First your dishonesty: I never said that messiah means deity, I only said it means king. Second your ignorance: no, messiah does not simply mean anointed. Christ does, but not messiah. Were the high priests of the Temple known as messiah? Were all the kings of Israel known as messiah? No, it is a title reserved exclusively for YHWH’s chosen king.

Only in Greek does “Christ” have the more general meaning of being simply anointed. But the etymology is clear, and deification is not far from hand: the Egyptians called their mummified king a KRST in expectation of his resurrection, and Hindus call Kristna one of the incarnations of the divine.

Well Joel, your three guesses are up. I was not posting under the name Scott, or Steve, or Greg. Perhaps you do not realize that in your frenzied demand and search for the evidence of your threat, you have already proven that you know you are perfectly capable of making such a threat. But if you really want to track it down, I was posting as Sirius, or possibly Sothis after I was banned. I believe the last thing I wrote to you was “thanks for threatening me with death or debility, clown”.

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “Christianity is the vine grafted onto the root. And it is the root from which flows all the misogyny, homophobia, cultural intolerance, insane jealousy and greed, racism, and bloodlust.”

So, you blame ALL of the above on Jews and you are not an anti-Semite? Wow!

Joel, quite simply, there is no Christianity without Judaism. I am a staunch critic of Christianity too. Many denounce me as anti Christian. Am I also anti Jewish? Well, yes, in the same sense that I am a critic of the religion itself. Racism has nothing to do with it. Yet the word “anti Semite” denotes racism, does it not? You called me a racist against your race, instead of a critic of the Bible. Why? Why not call me anti Jewish instead, and be accurate about it? Do we agree that there is no Jewish race, or any other race besides?

The fact is, people who are actually racist against Jews usually call me a Jew because of the way I talk about Christianity! Of course Quakers and evangelicals can interpret Christianity very differently; as I said before, Christianity is inherently schizophrenic. But only the Quakers were in accordance with the teachings of Christ according to the Bible. In the Bible, slavery can only be justified by Mosaic law, not the actual teachings of Christ.

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “In fact I have very pointedly denounced fascism which is currently characterized by pharmaceutical/government/media collusion and the creeping totalitarianism it justifies.”

The above has been refuted by me and numerous others, just more of your STUPIDITY, INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY, AND SEEING WORLD IN BLACK AND WHITE.

One other important point that, as all others, you will ignore. Audrey Smedley’s, a later professor of cultural anthropology, book: Racism in North American: The Origins and Evolution of a Worldview (4th Edition) makes a compelling case that American racism is qualitatively different from other forms. For instance, in France, Spain, Italy, etc. they also captured and enslaved Africans. However, if an African woman became impregnated by her owner or someone else, the child was usually considered free and even could inherit. And often, for appreciated service, the slaves were freed and became citizens and could vote. Of course, not always; but the respective societies accepted this. However, starting in Virginia in latter part of 17th Century, laws were passed that free blacks could not vote, hold office, even testify in courts. Eventually such laws more or less were passed in all the American colonies. She gives much much more as reasons and then explains how American racism starting in 19th Century began spreading thru world. Actually, she explains how it was England where the beginnings of this extreme form of slavery began. But you want to blame Jews and Christianity. Please explain why Quakers were first abolitionists and even today, strongest racist in America among Evangelical Christians. Don’t they read the same book?

I gave you reference to a paper that goes through Old Testament and Talmud on how Jews should treat non-Jews; but a close-minded ASSHOLE like you won’t read it. And I gave you a number of reviews of the Darkening Age which tear it apart; but you won’t read them.

I could also give numerous references to early Christianity, starting with there wasn’t one homogeneous Christianity; but there were numerous groups starting long before Constantine; but you wouldn’t read them.

And I could give numerous references to when the four Gospels were written; but again, you wouldn’t read them.

Why are you commenting on this blog? It is a science-based blog. I give often detailed references, once in a blue moon you give one. In other words, your positions give no evidence other than your SICK WARPED MIND.

Why don’t you just crawl back under your rock!

“And I could give numerous references to when the four Gospels were written; but again, you wouldn’t read them.”

There is debate about when they were written; there is no debate about when they entered the literary and historical record, which is no earlier than 130 CE. And Luke and John and Acts (which is critical to the contrived retro continuity between Paul and the Gospels) did not appear until 170. They are all obvious works of fiction.

What is your evidence that Christianity existed at all before 130 CE? (Not coincidentally, Christianity arises after the fall of Masada).

@ Sue Dunham

You write: “Isn’t the term “Anti-Semite” precisely about you claiming your racial identity in accordance with the racist Old Testament? Aren’t most modern Jews descended from Europeans and Russians anyway?”

Only anti-Semites refer to Jews as a race. Do we call Arabs a race? Do we call Palestinians a race? However, though I won’t claim absolute proof, there have been some studies that found at least some modern Jews have a Y-chromosome found in Middle Eastern remains from several thousand years ago. I won’t bother giving the references. And Judaism has for the most part always welcomed converts. Yep, started as tribes; but then based on those who accept the Covenant (converts even in the Old Testament) and since there are many different Jewish groups’ e.g., Ultra Orthodox, Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Sephardic, etc. each defines the Covenant differently. By the way, you do know that Martin Luther King’s first lawyer was a Jew and that among the three civil rights workers killed in Mississippi, Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney, the first two were Jews and many Jews early on supported Civil Rights.

In any case, your referring to Jews as a race just more proof you are an Anti-Semitic Asshole.

p.s. modern science says “race” doesn’t actually exist.

“And Judaism has for the most part always welcomed converts”

You learn something new every day. I always thought that you couldn’t convert to Judaism. You could only be Jewish if you were born to Jewish parents. Or was it a Jewish mother? I thought that Hinduism was the same but apparently that ain’t really true too.

@ NumberWang

Yep, one is automatically Jewish if born to a Jewish mother; but anyone can convert to Judaism; however, Israel, for instance, only accepts, or at least when I lived there, as immigrants those who converted in Orthodox Jewish congregations. Thanks to your comment, I did a web search and found a couple of interesting articles, one on how others became Jews in ancient times, not through conversion; but simple assimilation and the other that explains conversion, etc. And the first is based on a book: The Theory and Practice of Welcoming Converts to Judaism. By the way, I’m an agnostic; but born Jewish. I agree with many of the Jewish ethical precepts; but also, if I had lived in Palestine at time of Jesus, if he really existed, would have been a follower, not because of belief in his divinity (Isaac Asimov’s Guide to the Bible discusses how it was really what others said in New Testament, not Jesus himself); but because the ethics, treatment of others he taught and was a role model for, teachings that basically were just another Rabbi or Prophet calling on the Jewish people to not ignore what they had been taught. But, having read the Quran and Life of Mohammed, if I had lived in Arabia at time of Mohammed, I would have followed him, again, not because of his teachings on the afterlife; but his teachings on how to treat ones fellow man and him as a role model. One interesting point that most people don’t know. In the End Times, in the Quran, if will be Jesus who ushers them in. Yep, Mohammed didn’t see Jesus as divine; but as a major prophet of G-d. In any case:

Lawrence J. Epstein Conversion History: Ancient Period: The evolution of Israel as a nation into Judaism as a religion was paralleled by a move from assimilation of strangers to a more formal idea of conversion. My Jewish Learning.

Wikipedia. Conversion to Judaism

ps. when I lived in Israel I was part of group of Jews who met with Palestinians in hopes of transforming Israel into a secular nation with equal rights for all, with a separation of church and state, something the US is hypocritical about. Basically, I, unfortunately, view Israel not as a Jewish state; but as a betrayal of Judaism. Just because one practices various rituals doesn’t isn’t Judaism, it is what it teaches about ones fellow man. Doesn’t mean I like Hamas; but Hamas, as ISIS, etc. are betrayers of Mohammed who taught in the Quran “The shall be NO compulsion in religion”, who taught that Jews and Christians are dhimmi (protected class) and ahl al kitab (people of the book), and that, believe it or not, women were given far more protections and respect that either classical Judaism or Christianity gave them. ISIS has as part of its doctrine that killing Jews and Christians a good thing. In Quaran, women can refuse marriage, divorce, retain property, etc. And modesty, yes; but not total coverings. Amish women, Chassidic women, American women years ago, dressed modestly, scarves. What one sees in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, etc. is not Islam; but tribal. Historically, all religions have been “bent” at some time to fit tribal customs. If Muhammed came back today, ISIS, the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Saudi Arabia would behead him, just as I don’t think if Jesus came back, the KKK would be kind to him.

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