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20 Million Americans Likely Infected With Retrovirus At The Root Of Multiple Chronic Diseases

20 million American’s are likely harbouring a retrovirus that can lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and parkinson’s disease.

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*The information in this article comes from Dr. Judy Mikovtis and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases. For study sources and references, please refer to the book for more detailed information.* 

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On July 22, 2009, a special meeting was held with twenty-four leading scientists at the National Institutes of Health to discuss early findings that a newly discovered retrovirus was linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), prostate cancer, lymphoma, and eventually neurodevelopmental disorders in children.  

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Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, was one of the presenters at the meeting. For thirty years, Mikovits had built a name for herself in cancer and chronic disease research — she had extensive knowledge of immunology, natural products chemistry, epigenetics, virology, and drug development, she was a long-time member of the National Cancer Institute, collaborating with one of the founding fathers of human retrovirology, Dr. Frank Ruscetti, and she was Research Director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), a chronic fatigue syndrome research organization and clinic in Reno, Nevada.

Mikovits’s passion for chronic disease research began early in life, after watching both her grandfather and stepfather succumb to the perils of cancer. This personal connection to chronic disease would later fuel her with a vigorous empathy to help others suffering from chronic disease.

She worked closely with patients suffering from the mysterious and debilitating symptoms of CFS, treating them like family in most cases and quickly earning herself a well-respected name within the chronic disease communities. She was their knight in shining armour, being one of the few scientists who cared enough to believe, contrary to what most doctors were saying, that their symptoms were not in fact psychosomatic.

Since its initial emergence in medical literature in the mid 20th century, CFS was for many years a conundrum, shrugged off as a “yuppie flu” or “hysterical type A women,” brought about by stress or other emotional factors. But the patients suffering from CFS did not agree with their diagnosis. They knew, from the extent of their excruciating pain and bedridden state, that something else was at play, a knowing that Mikovits was on to as well. 

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Dr. Judy Mikovits faced persecution from the science community after her discovery that millions of people around the world are infected with a retrovirus causing havoc on our health.

Dr. Judy Mikovits faced persecution from the science community after her discovery that millions of people around the world are infected with a retrovirus causing havoc on our health.

In her presentation at the 2009 meeting, Mikovits revealed her findings from an article published (and later retracted) in the journal Science, which showed that a recently discovered retrovirus, XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus related virus), had been found in 67% of CFS patients and at 3.75% in healthy patients.

Mikovits and her research team claimed that 6% of Americans were harbouring this retrovirus, which was appearing in a very high percentage of people with diseases such as prostate cancer, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, autism, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, treatment resistant Lyme’s Disease, and Parkinson’s Disease. 

If Mikovits’s findings held true, it would mean that a substantial portion of the population were harbouring a retrovirus that was secretly wrecking havoc on their bodies. It meant that the millions of people diagnosed with the “psychological” disease CFS were in fact suffering from a disease similar to HIV/AIDS. Even more troublesome, however, was the possibility that this widespread retrovirus was the culprit at the root of today’s most common chronic illnesses.

The next pressing question, then, was how did so many people become infected with this retrovirus? The answer, to Mikovtis’s dismay, would ignite a fire among the scientific community that would change the course of her career forever.

How Did XMRV Get Introduced To The Public?

In the early 20th century, many research labs were deep into cancer and HIV/AIDS research. Some of these facilities also seconded as vaccine manufacturing labs, using genetically engineered mice as their study subjects. The mice were engineered to have immune deficiencies, meaning that they were susceptible to certain diseases when exposed to specific pathogens and toxins.

When researchers injected the GE mice with human viruses in order to attenuate or weaken the virus strain, they did not know that mouse viruses posed a threat to humans.mouse

Scientists didn’t realize that the way they managed their mouse colonies and managed the production of their human cell lines created conditions in laboratories where viruses could unexpectedly mutate and recombine with one another. Even more troublesome was the fact that these retroviruses could easily reproduce and travel through the air.

Retroviruses that were in mice were being released into the air and travelling through their facilities to other labs where human cell lines were being cultivated. Once there, they were able to infect human cultures. They became part of the cells and part of the products that were made from the activity of the cell lines, such as the antigens used in vaccines.

This meant that for decades, vaccines contaminated with mutated viruses were being injected into the greater population, causing a whack load of life threatening ailments.

Retroviruses In Humans – Russian Roulette For Disease

Retroviruses are stealthy creatures, and their presence in the body does not always cause disease. Sometimes they can stay dormant for a person’s entire lifetime.

Other times, though, they are activated through a perfect storm of events, such as when there are co-infections, when there is severe shock or trauma, when hormones are dysregulated, when there are genetically modified organisms and glyphosate in the diet, when there are pesticides and other toxic substances in food and the environment, and when there are genetic susceptibilities.

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If some or all of these conditions occur together, then the immune system will be weakened to the point where the perfect storm occurs and chronic inflammation develops into chronic disease.

*See Dr. Mikovits’s personal powerpoint presentation on retroviruses and chronic disease HERE.*

Mikovits Drops Data Bombshells

At an international workshop on the XMRV retrovirus, held in September of 2010, Dr. Mikovits and a group of other scientists presented valuable research involving rhesus macaque monkeys that were exposed to XMRV. It showed that the XMRV retrovirus quickly disappeared from the bloodstream after exposure — presumably going into tissue.

The virus would reappear in the blood after the immune system was activated, showcasing how the XMRV virus mimicked the behaviour of HIV. The study Mikovits presented used bolus peptides that mimicked a vaccination, provoking the virus and causing it to replicate to detectable levels.

Source: Plague (book)

Source: Plague (book)

The next study Mikovits looked at involved analyzing the blood of 37 parents and 29 children across 11 different states. 17 children had autism, a pair of twins had Niemann-Pick Type C (a neurodegenerative disorder), and 10 children were healthy siblings. XMRV was detected in 55% of the people in the study. The age range of the infected children was 2 to 18 years. 17 of the children (including the twins) were positive for XMRV (58%) and 20 of the 37 parents (54%) were positive for XMRV. 14 of 17 autistic children were positive for XMRV (82%). They noted that autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ME/CFS, and childhood neuroimmune disorders share common clinical features.

The study revealed how children harbouring an undetected retrovirus in their immune cells could have had the virus activated by vaccination or even by a simple fever, causing inflammation of the brain and leading to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

Mikovits’s colleagues found that 6.8% of a healthy control population showed evidence of infection by a wider group of murine leukemia viruses, meaning that eleven to twenty-one million individuals in the United States were potentially infected by a group of related viruses that came from mice. America wasn’t alone either, as Dr. Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health, indicated that 5% of control samples taken from the London Blood Bank were positive for XMRV.

Mikovits’s findings were both groundbreaking and urgent, and after so many years of hard work, she was excited to finally have some answers for her friends and patients. What Mikovits did not foresee coming, however, was a crusade by the science establishment to take her down.

Science Community Refutes Mikovits’s Work

Following Mikovits’s presentation at the international workshop, the National Institutes of Health mandated a multi-center study that would be directed by Dr. Ian Lipkin, known among the science community as the “World’s Most Celebrated Virus Hunter.”

Dr. Ian Lipkin

Dr. Ian Lipkin

But the study contained a few significant flaws — it left out the patient population most likely infected with the retroviruses — patients with evidence of infection with HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, Treponema pallidium (syphilis), B burgdorferi (the Lyme disease spirochete), medical or psychiatric illnesses associated with fatigue, abnormal serum characteristics, and thyroid disease.

Due to the latter, the study found no association with chronic disease, but the Lipkin center did confirm that 6% of the U.S. population is carrying retrovirus infections. The study confirmed the findings from more than two decades of research, which consistently presented evidence of retroviruses in 4-6% of the population, 20 million Americans alone.

Of course, the study did not want to find an association between the virus and disease, as that would mean admitting that the system designed to protect the population did the opposite, creating millions of sick patients, so they omitted the appropriate patient population. “It would be like trying to detect HIV in the 80s and omitting gay men and IV drug users,” Mikovits told CE.

Mikovits’s Career Destroyed

Amid the backlash from the science community about Mikovits’s work, 2011 would become hurricane for the rogue scientist.

"Plague" by Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, and Kent Heckenlively.

The book Plague, by Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD, and Kent Heckenlively.

During the Fall of 2011, when it was realized that these MLV related retroviruses aerosolized and easily spread through laboratories, the head of the WPI institute that housed Mikovits’s research asked her to approve fraudulent expenditures of federal research monies from her grant to the diagnostic company RED Labs/VIDx, co-owned by the Whittemores and Vincent Lombardi. Mikovits took pride in her professional integrity, and the request by the WPI came as a shock.

This all happened at the same time Mikovits discovered that a retrovirus test created by Lombardi was producing inaccurate results. When Mikovits spoke out about the WPI’s deception, she was immediately fired for insolence and insubordination. “Apparently it was rude to refuse to misappropriate federal funds,” Mikovits said.

Six weeks later, Mikovits was falsely arrested and jailed for five days following her refusal to give up her private email notes to the WPI or sign a confession stating that her data on gammaretroviruses was false. In fact, Mikovits said that her freedom was ransomed for samples in the Lipkin study, an offer which Lipkin refused. Mikovits’s email contained her most recent retrovirus research, along with the names and addresses of all her research subjects. Her email contained proof of the existence of gammaretroviruses and their connection with ME/CFS that no one could deny, so Mikovits felt it was her ethical duty to withhold her private emails and would never sign such a confession.

Following her false arrest and imprisonment as a fugitive from justice, a fabricated mugshot was publicized in the journal Science right before the editors of the journal formally retracted her study. On top of the public humiliation, Mikovits was held under fabricated criminal charges dismissed without prejudice, rendering her silent under threat of incarceration. Mikovits says that her notes are still being held under a permanent injunction that prevents even her lawyers from seeing evidence. In what seemed like an instant, Mikovits’s thirty-five year career was shattered.

Since then, Mikovits has been unable to gather grant money to pursue further research. But while the crusade against her might have damaged her both professionally and financially, her drive to get the word out about her research is unruffled. After her gag order was lifted, Mikovits went straight to paper to tell her story. In 2014, Mikovits and colleague Kent Heckenlively released the book Plague: One Scientist’s Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseaseswhich would rightfully tell her story in detail from beginning to end. 

The book gives readers an in-depth look into the inner politics of high-level science, exposing the often violated ethics of truth and the self-serving egos of the science community’s most well-respected names. Beyond all of that, though, the book is a story of one woman’s compassionate heart and her refusal to cower down to a long-established system built around fear and intimidation:

I won’t ever give up. There are a lot of doctors around the world who are trusting us. They have seen the same things themselves and who are energized by our book and by the revelations [that have happened] since. We will keep on addressing the science.

Today, Mikovits is continuing to help those in need, working along side the Institute of Pure and Applied knowledge, a public charity research institute dedicated to the reduction of human pain & suffering through non-bias knowledge. Mikovits says she is just one of many scientists and doctors who are starting to speak out about fraudulent science and deception within the scientific institutions, something Mikovits says is needed more than ever if we want to see change.

For anyone interested in learning more about the role of retroviruses and chronic disease, be sure to check out Dr. Judy Mikovits and Kent Heckenlively’s book, Plague

Have you read Plague? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

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Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

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