May 17th 2021
Martin Kulldorff, one of the world's preeminent and most cited infectious disease epidemiologists from Harvard University's School of Medicine has experienced what many others in the field have experienced during this pandemic, censorship and ridicule. Kulldorff has been quite critical of the response to COVID by multiple governments, including the measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus. Sometimes it seems as if scientists and doctors who question these measures are actually in the majority, while the minority seem to get all of the attention and praise within the mainstream media. Who knows what these numbers actually look like.
Lockdown measures are a great example. A wealth of data has been published in peer-reviewed science and medical journals suggesting that not only have lockdowns been inadequate for stopping the spread of the virus, but they've also caused a great deal of damage in both the health and economic sector. Two renowned Swedish scientists, Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson, have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS and come to the conclusion that least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID.
Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID at the time of the estimate. These are a few of many examples.
"Lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 yrs. We will be counting the catastrophic health & psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation" -Dr Jay Bhattacharya, Stanford Professor of Medicine.
That being said, an argument can, and has also been been made for lockdowns halting or slowing the spread of the virus, and there are examples of that as well. You can read about that more here.
The point is that one side of the argument is censored, ridiculed, and ignored most of the time, while the other gets front and centre stage. Why?
In Canada, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario put out a note stating that physicians who are publicly contradicting public health orders and recommendations, and there are many of them, will be subjected to an investigation, especially if they are communicating "anti-vaccine, anti-masking and anti-lockdown statements."
How is science and data that calls into question government public health recommendations "anti" anything? Why are these labels always used? Why are physicians and scientists being bullied into silence and subjected to extreme amounts of censorship on their social media platforms? Kulldorff has been one many victims of this treatment, while scientists who agree with and promote the "accepted narrative" seem to receive interview requests from mainstream media outlets all the time. This isn't normal, and it's served as a catalyst for more people to ask, what's really going on here?
What Happened: Kulldorff's tweet in March suggesting that not everyone needed to be vaccinated, particularly those who have previously been infected, was labelled ‘misleading' by Twitter. Tweeters were rendered unable to interact with his tweet and were instructed that ‘health officials recommend a vaccine for most people'. Twitter did not provide any explanation, links, or reasoning as to why his tweet was "misleading."
Kulldorff's opinion is something that many experts in the field have suggested. For example, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, considered by many to be the world's preeminent infectious disease expert explained that the way COVID vaccines are being promoted and the idea that everybody needs to be vaccinated is unscientific and suspicious.
Why? For one, there is a wealth of data showing that previous infection to COVID can provide protection, and possibly even greater and longer lasting protection than any vaccine can or ever will. Dr. Suneel Dhand, an internal medicine doctor with a hefty following on YouTube explains:
I'm not aware of any vaccine out there which will ever give you more immunity than if you're naturally recovered from the illness itself...If you've naturally recovered from it, my understanding as a doctor level scientist is that those antibodies will always be better than a vaccine, and if you know any differently, please let me know. (source)
This statement was also recently echoed by Viral immunologist, Professor at the University of Guelph, and vaccine expert Dr. Bryan Bridle, who said in a recent interview that he would prefer natural immunity as opposed to the COVID vaccine and explains why.
An analysis of millions of coronavirus test results in Denmark found that people who had prior infection, were still protected 6 months after the initial infection.
Another study also found that individuals who recovered from the coronavirus developed "robust" levels of B cells and T cells (necessary for fighting off the virus) and "these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time."
Dr. Daniela Weiskopf, Dr. Alessandro Sette, and Dr. Shane Crotty from the La Jolla Institute for Immunology analyzed immune cells and antibodies from almost 200 people who had been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 and recovered. The researchers found durable immune responses in the majority of people studied. Antibodies against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, which the virus uses to get inside cells, were found in 98% of participants one month after symptom onset. As seen in previous studies, the number of antibodies ranged widely between individuals. But, promisingly, their levels remained fairly stable over time, declining only modestly at 6 to 8 months after infection.
Virus-specific B cells increased over time. People had more memory B cells six months after symptom onset than at one month afterwards. Although the number of these cells appeared to reach a plateau after a few months, levels didn't decline over the period studied.
Levels of T cells for the virus also remained high after infection. Six months after symptom onset, 92% of participants had CD4+ T cells that recognized the virus. These cells help coordinate the immune response. About half the participants had CD8+ T cells, which kill cells that are infected by the virus.
A recent study published in Clinical Microbiology and Infection explains:
Presence of cross-reactive SARSCoV2 specific Tcells in never exposed patients suggests cellular immunity induced by other coronaviruses. Tcell responses against SARSC0V2 also detected in recovered Covid patients with no detectable antibodies...Cellular immunity is of paramount importance in containing SARSCoV2 infection...and could be maintained independently of antibody responses. Previously infected people develop much stronger Tcell responses against spike protein peptides in comparison to infection-native people after mRNA vaccine.
The next question becomes, how many people have been infected? According to a meta-analysis by Dr John Ioannidis [Professor of Medicine at Stanford University] of every seroprevalence study conducted to date of publication with a supporting scientific paper (74 estimates from 61 studies and 51 different localities around the world), the median infection survival rate from COVID-19 infection is 99.77 per cent. For COVID-19 patients under 70, the meta-analysis finds an infection survival rate of 99.95 per cent.
The CDC's [Centres for Disease Control] and Prevention] best estimate of infection fatality rate for people ages 70 plus years is 5.4 per cent, meaning seniors have a 94.6 percent survivability rate. For children and people in their 20s/30s, it poses less risk of mortality than the flu. For people in their 60s and above, it is much more dangerous than the flu.
These estimates haven't really changed, and they are based off of the scientific consensus that more people are infected than what we have the capacity to test for. Imagine testing the entire population, how many people would have an infection? Imagine testing for antibodies, how many people would have antibodies? Some infectious viruses, like the Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) which was first identified in 2001 in Dutch children with bronchiolitis are quite infectious, just like COVID. The hMPV virus is an RNA and has been shown to have worldwide circulation with nearly universal infection by age 5. These types of viruses, including common coronaviruses, are responsible for the death of millions of children worldwide every single year.
The survival rate numbers above are largely based off the idea that many more people than what we can test for are infected. If you look at the actual data and compare the number of deaths to the number of cases, you won't get a survival rate of 99.95 percent. In an interview with Greek Reporter, Dr.Ioannidis estimated that about 150-300 million or more people have already been infected by COVID-19 around the world, far more than the 10 million documented cases, and this was in June of 2020, so just think about how many people have been infected today. 162,891,712 have been infected up to now, that number is most likely well over a billion based on the above reasoning.
Furthermore we must ask: how effective is the vaccine? We know how effective natural immunity is, that's well documented as illustrated above.
Prior to the rollout of these vaccines, the vaccine manufacturers claimed to have observed a 95 percent success rate. Dr. Peter Doshi, an associate editor at the British Medical Journal, published a paper titled "Pfizer and Moderna's "95% effective" vaccines-let's be cautious and first see the full data." Even today, there is still not enough data to tell how effective the vaccine is.
A paper recently published by Dr. Ronald B. Brown, School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, outlines how Pfizer and Moderna did not report absolute risk reduction numbers, and only reported relative risk reduction numbers.
Unreported absolute risk reduction measures of 0.7% and 1.1% for the Pfzier/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, respectively, are very much lower than the reported relative risk reduction measures. Reporting absolute risk reduction measures is essential to prevent outcome reporting bias in evaluation of COVID-19 vaccine efficacy.
Brown's paper also cites Doshi's paper which makes the same point,
"As was also noted in the BMJ Opinion, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna reported the relative risk reduction of their vaccines, but the manufacturers did not report a corresponding absolute risk reduction, which appears to be less than 1%."
Absolute risk reduction (ARR) - also called risk difference (RD) - is the most useful way of presenting research results to help your decision-making, so why wouldn't it be reported? (source)
Omitting absolute risk reduction findings in public health and clinical reports of vaccine efficacy is an example of outcome reporting bias. which ignores unfavorable outcomes and misleads the public's impression and scientific understanding of a treatment efficacy and benefits...Such examples of outcome reporting bias mislead and distort the public's interpretation of COVID-19 mRNA vaccine efficacy and violate the ethical and legal obligations of informed consent." - Brown
Fully vaccinated individuals are still testing positive for COVID.
How safe is the vaccine? Reports and examples of injuries and deaths seem to be quite prevalent on social media. For example, take a look at the post below. It's from a woman named Heidi Neckelmann. The post is from her Facebook Page, it went quite viral and her Facebook Page was eventually deleted.
This story is true, it was actually receiving so much attention that mainstream media picked up on it. She was the wife of Dr. Gregory Michael from California, and she claimed that in her mind, her 56-year-old husband's death was "100% linked" to the vaccine. Now, at least one doctor has come forward publicly to say he also believes the vaccine caused Michael to develop acute idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), the disorder that killed him. According to the New York Times:
"Dr. Jerry L. Spivak, an expert on blood disorders at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in Dr. Michael's care, said that based on Ms. Neckelmann's description, ‘I think it is a medical certainty that the vaccine was related.'"
This is one of what may be hundreds of examples that have been shared across social media, which would still make it an extremely rare event given the amount of people who have been vaccinated in the United States.
According to the most recent data from the CDC's Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, approximately 4000 people have died and more than 100,000 adverse reactions have been reported as a result of the vaccine. That being said, there is no way to determine or to verify wether any of these were actually a result of the vaccine, and therein lies the problem. Vaccine injury reporting systems are quite inadequate.
VAERS has come under fire multiple times, a critic familiar with VAERS' bluntly condemned VAERS in The BMJ as "nothing more than window dressing, and a part of U.S. authorities' systematic effort to reassure/deceive us about vaccine safety."
So, we don't really have a truly accurate number, when it comes to vaccine injuries in general, let alone the COVID vaccine.
An HHS pilot study conducted by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research estimates that only 1 percent of vaccine injuries are actually captured by VAERS, but who knows? The point is we don't have an accurate and reliable reporting system.
Why This Is Important: Information like this is important because the rights and freedoms of people who do not wish to take the COVID vaccine may be subjected to unfair treatment compared to those who are vaccinated. Unvaccinated individuals may be unable to travel internationally, and if they do, they may be required to quarantine. They may also be banned from certain public buildings, restaurants, sporting events and more. We have yet to see how this will all roll out. In the U.S., the CDC is allowing vaccinated individuals to take off their masks both inside and outside, while vaccinated ones are instructed to continue wearing them. That said, this doesn't apply to public indoor spaces yet.
Is all of this justified given the information shared above? We are talking about people who are not even sick.
The scientific evidence now strongly suggests that COVID-19 infected individuals who are asymptomatic are more than an order of magnitude less likely to spread the disease compared to symptomatic COVID-19 patients. A meta-analysis of 54 studies from around the world found that within households - where none of the safeguards that restaurants are required to apply are typically applied - symptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 18 percent of instances, while asymptomatic patients passed on the disease to household members in 0.7 per cent of instances. A separate, smaller meta-analysis similarly found that asymptomatic patients are much less likely to infect others than symptomatic patients.
Furthermore, outside spread among asymptomatic individuals is virtually 0 percent.
Why do we give governments the power to implement measures that, to a large portion of the population, simply don't make sense. How can we truly say that we live in a democracy when the will of the people, and science, is ignored and censored? Are vaccine passports and requirements to access other "amenities" we were used to prior to the pandemic truly justified? Why are governments pushing to vaccinate everybody so hard, using methods of coercion like passports and other incentives, when this type of push doesn't match up with the science?
The answer to this question warrants reflection, but I will offer a hypothesis. In 2021, there is clearly a small, but vocal minority of individuals opposed to nearly all vaccinations... In response, there is a group of individuals on the other extreme. To them, either one must embrace all vaccines for all indications for all ages, or one can be lumped with the other extreme. They favor universal child vaccination of SARS-CoV-2 via an EUA, even before they have the data for that claim. They were quick to embrace vaccination for pregnant woman prior to appropriate trials establishing safety. Suppressing critical thinking to extol vaccines is also wrong and may backfire, but I believe this explains why it occurs. It is, to some degree, a counter-movement against the anti-vaxxers, which can go too far....A small faction of people vigorously opposed to all vaccination have done damage ... As a reaction, many confuse [vaccine] cheerleading with science. A true scientist does not take reflexive extremes. Sadly, there are few scientists left." - Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH
Prasad is an associate professor at the University of California San Francisco, and has also been quite vocal about Facebook "fact-checkers", calling it scam and that what they are doing is nothing short of scientific censorship.
There is data showing the vaccines are indeed working. Even scientists who support COVID vaccinations and their efficacy, like Kulldorff, have been speaking up against taking away rights and freedoms of those who are not vaccinated. For example, 22 renowned scientists published an article titled "The vaccine worked, we can safely lift lockdown."
In the article, they explain,
It is time to recognize that, in our substantially vaccinated population, Covid-19 will take its place among the 30 or so respiratory viral diseases with which humans have historically co-existed. This has been explicitly accepted in a number of recent statements by the Chief Medical Officer. For most vaccinated and other low-risk people, Covid-19 is now a mild endemic infection, likely to recur in seasonal waves which renew immunity without significantly stressing the NHS.
Covid-19 no longer requires exceptional measures of control in everyday life, especially where there have been no evaluations and little credible evidence of benefit. Measures to reduce or discourage social interaction are extremely damaging to the mental health of citizens; to the education of children and young people; to people with disabilities; to new entrants to the workforce; and to the spontaneous personal connections from which innovation and enterprise emerge. The DfE recommendations on face covering and social distancing in schools should never have been extended beyond Easter and should cease no later than 17 May. Mandatory face coverings, physical distancing and mass community testing should cease no later than 21 June along with other controls and impositions. All consideration of immunity documentation should cease.
Kulldorff and Bhattacharya recently published a piece in the Wall Street Journal condemning the idea of vaccine passports, a measure that seems to be gaining traction in multiple countries.
The Takeaway: At the end of the day, what can we really do to combat governments that continue to implement measures that seem to benefit the few, the rich and the powerful, while leaving everybody else to suffer? When so many people disagree, is peaceful protesting and voicing our concerns enough? I would argue that this is something we need to continue to do, because at some point you can only push a large group of people who disagree with governments so far, especially if you continue to spark this feeling in the majority of people.
Governments cannot implement measures without justifying them in the eyes of a large group of people. Vaccines, and vaccine passports are justified in the eyes of the majority, which makes it easy for these measures to be implemented and justified. My question is, were people properly educated, or were they manipulated and coerced to support vaccine passports?
We've seen what propaganda can do it the past, are we any different today? Does equality really exist in a day and age where so many people are having their voice censored, and their rights, freedoms and privacy taken taken away?
Reprinted with permission from Collective Evolution.
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