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Groundbreaking: China Study Links Immune Activation By Vaccination & Autism

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*This article is a summary of a larger article put together by J.B. Handley at Healthcare in America. It is a conglomeration of a wide body of recent research pieced together by a growing group of concerned scientists. For more information, please visit the website, vaccinepapers.org.

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A study out of China is the first to test the effects of immune activation by vaccination (hep B/BCG) on brain development in rats. Results indicate vaccines containing an aluminum adjuvant (i.e., hep B) spike cytokine levels in the hippocampus region of the brain, in particular the cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), the key cytokine known for its dysregulating effect on neuronal circuitry and the key cytokine implicated in autism.

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History of research into immune activation and autism

Before we get into the China study, it’s important to understand all of the previous research leading up to it.

In 2006, late Caltech scientist Dr. Paul Patterson and his colleagues were among the first to discover the implications of maternal immune activation and brain development in offspring.

In an article published in the Engineering & Science journal, titled “Pregnancy, Immunity, Schizophrenia, and Autism,” Patterson wrote that “brain-immune conversation actually starts during the development of the embryo, where the state of the mother’s immune system can alter the growth of cells in the fetal brain.”

Patterson and his team built on the work led by Carlos Pardo at Johns Hopkins, which discovered “neural inflammation” in postmortem examination of brains of patients with autism. Strangely, these autistic patients did not die due to any infections that would have caused the inflammation.

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This research was the first to suggest “an ongoing, permanent immune-system activation in the brains of autistic people.” 

In 2007 Patterson took this research further, publishing a study that found the culprit of this chronic brain inflammation — cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6).

Cytokines are cell signalling molecules that aid cell to cell communication, stimulating the movement of cells toward sites of inflammation, infection, and trauma.

Cytokine interleukin-6

Patterson found that IL-6 was critical for mediating the behavioural and transcriptional changes in the neurology of the rat offspring.

This study was replicated by Patterson in 2012, which was more autism-specific, and reached the same conclusion“These results indicate that [maternal immune activation] MIA yields male offspring with deficient social and communicative behaviour, as well as high levels of repetitive behaviours, all of which are hallmarks of autism.”

In 2014, the M.I.N.D. Institute at UC-Davis replicated Dr. Patterson’s work in rhesus monkeys and found the same results.

Another 2012 study from Neuroscience agreed with Patterson — Brain IL-6 elevation causes neuronal circuitry imbalances and mediates autism-like behaviours .

The next question, then, was what causes immune activation that would lead to increased levels of IL-6 in the brain?

Aluminum bioaccumulates in the brain

Aluminum compounds (Al hydroxide and Al phospate) are currently used in the hepatitis A, hepatitis B, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTaP, Tdap), Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), human papillomavirus (HPV), and pneumococcus (PCV) vaccines.

Aluminum adjuvant “activates” the immune system, which induces long term immunity to antigens in the vaccine.

Dr. Chris Shaw at the University of British Columbia did extensive research on injected aluminum in 2007 and 2009, and found “the results reported mirror previous work that has clearly demonstrated that aluminum, in both oral and injected forms, can be neurotoxic. Potential toxic mechanisms of action for aluminum may include enhancement of inflammation.”

Concerns about the limited understanding of aluminum toxicity were further questioned by Dr. Lucija Tomljenovic in this 2012 paper.

It is somewhat surprising to find that in spite of over 80 years of use, the safety of Al adjuvants continues to rest on assumptions rather than scientific evidence. For example, nothing is known about the toxicology and pharmacokinetics of Al adjuvants in infants and children.9 On the other hand, in adult humans long-term persistence of Al vaccine adjuvants can lead to cognitive dysfunction and autoimmunity.6,10 Yet, in spite of these observations children continue regularly to be exposed to much higher levels of Al adjuvants than adults, via routine childhood vaccination programmes.

In 2013, French scientists demonstrated that aluminum adjuvant, when injected into the body of a mouse, ended up in the brain one year later.

In 2015, another study from Université Paris Est Créteil (UPEC) in France further supported this new view of aluminum adjuvant, showing that Al makes its way to the brain slowly, where it stays there, possibly forever.

Last fall, results published in the journal Toxicology sealed the deal on Al adjuvant, revealing that low, consistent doses of Al were most dangerous of all for neurotoxic effects. Larger doses produced granulomas at injection sites, which prevented the Al from spreading. Smaller doses did not produce this effect, causing changes in the brain and behaviour.

The study authors stated that “the present study may suggest that aluminium adjuvant toxicokinetics and safety require reevaluation.”

And just last year, a study out of the Middle East looking at Alzheimer’s in rats found that aluminum produced a four-fold increase in IL-6 in the brain.

So we know that Al adjuvant causes on-going, increased levels of IL-6 in the brain. So what argument do the CDC and FDA use to justify aluminum being safe?

The difference between ingested Al and injected Al adjuvant

Currently, the FDA and CDC state that aluminum in vaccines is safe, based on this 2011 study.

This study erroneously concluded that aluminum from vaccines likely ends up in the body’s skeletal system. However, as the plethora of research previously mentioned shows, Al nanoparticles are not safely excreted or stored, they accumulate in the brain.

Another point to make here is that there is a difference between the aluminum discussed in the 2011 study (linked above) and the aluminum injected in vaccines. The CDC base their conclusions about Al safety on ingested, water-soluble aluminum salts, not the nanoparticle aluminum-hydroxide.

As Vaccine Papers explains, the two couldn’t be any further from the same.

Most vaccines contain aluminum, and aluminum is a proven neurotoxin, in amounts received from vaccines. Vaccines in combination can result in toxic aluminum overload. Even the aluminum in a single vaccine can be harmful because the aluminum is in a form that is more dangerous than ingested aluminum. Specifically, vaccine aluminum is in nanoparticulate form, which is harder for the body to eliminate, and because it is transported around the body differently than ingested aluminum.

It is natural and normal to ingest small doses of aluminum from food and water. Its not good for you, but the body has adequate defenses. Absorption of ingested Al is low, about 0.3%, so about 99.7% is eliminated in feces. Ingested aluminum is in ionic form (individual charged atoms), which is readily removed by the kidneys. Also, ionic aluminum is blocked from entering the brain by the blood brain barrier. The low absorption, rapid elimination by the kidneys and barrier to brain entry adequately protects the brain from aluminum.

However, nanoparticulate aluminum from vaccines cannot be removed by the kidneys. The particles are far too large to be filtered out by the kidneys. The Al nanoparticles do dissolve slowly (converting to ionic aluminum). But long before they can dissolve completely, the Al nanoparticles are “eaten” by immune system cells called macrophages. In other words, the particles wind up inside the macrophages. Once loaded with the Al nanoparticles, the macrophages spread aluminum as they travel through the body. This is dangerous, because the Al-loaded macrophages carry Al nanoparticles to tissues (e.g. the brain) that are damaged by very small amounts of aluminum.

China study links aluminum, IL-6, and autism

In 2015, Li et al. out of Sun Yat-Sen University published a groundbreaking study that tied all of the latter research together.

Li et al. were the first to test the effects of immune activation by vaccination on brain development. All other studies of immune activation before this had used pathological conditions to mimic infection and induce fever, and therefore concerns about the transferability of the data had been in question until this study came out.

The study looked at the effects of bacillus calmette-guerin (BCG) vaccine (for tuberculosis) and hepatitis B vaccine on brain development in infant rats.

J.B. Handley sums up the results:

“There were three different groups of rats:

  1. Rats receiving the BCG vaccine (not given in the U.S.)
  2. Rats receiving the Hepatitis B vaccine (given on day 1 of life in the U.S.)
  3. A control group with no vaccine.

The BCG vaccine does NOT contain aluminum adjuvant and the impact on the rat’s brains from BCG was actually positive!

The Hep B vaccine rats, however, showed the kind of immune activation event we are seeing in autism (high IL-6). This is biological proof of the link between a vaccine — given to a post-natal animal — inducing an immune activation event, including the cytokine marker for autism, IL-6. A scientific first.”

Vaccine Papers further detailed the implications of this study:

An important finding in the Li et al study is that some of the effects of hep B vaccine did not appear until age 8 weeks. This finding undermines claims of vaccine safety, which are almost always based on short-term outcomes of a few days or weeks. 8 weeks is a long time in rat development. 8 week old rats are almost fully mature adults. This suggests that adverse effects of vaccines may take years or decades to appear in humans, or can be life-long. This is consistent with what is known about immune activation and schizophrenia. Immune activation in the fetus can cause schizophrenia 20-30 years later.

The accumulating scientific evidence and the Li et al study in particular strongly suggest that early-life vaccination may cause mental illness. The mental illnesses would emerge years or decades after vaccination of an infant. Vaccines are likely contributing the the rise of mental illnesses in the USA over the last 25 years. The rise in mental illnesses in the USA is coincident with the dramatic increase in vaccination that started in the 1980s.

Is this the proof we’ve been waiting for?

As you’ve just read, there is a growing body of research that paints an undeniable link between immune activation and autism.

Source: HealthcareinAmerica.us

Aluminum adjuvants, given early and continually, stimulate immune activation event after immune activation event, raising levels of IL-6 in pre- and post-natal brains, leading to chronic inflammation and dysregulation of neuronal circuitry and the symptoms associated with autism.

Source: HealthcareinAmerica.us

Chronic brain inflammation would also explain why many autistic children develop enlarged foreheads. It would perhaps explain why these children feel the need to bang their heads against walls, or why they become frustrated easily.

What about the gastrointestinal disorders autistic children frequently experience? If you guessed aluminum was the culprit, you are correct.

Here is a study from Nature that explains how aluminum causes inflammation in the gut and impairs gut function.

Auto-immune disorders? Here is a groundbreaking 2013 study that explains how aluminum adjuvant causes a wide-spectrum of immune disorders.

What about the MMR vaccine?

Since the MMR vaccine does not contain aluminum, why then do parents talk about the MMR vaccine being a trigger for their child’s autism?

J.B. Handley puts it simply:

The MMR vaccine is the first live virus vaccine children receive (it’s typically given between age 12–18 months, most children have received 15–20 vaccines by then), and it’s a triple (measles, mumps, rubella) live virus.

For an immune system bathed in aluminum adjuvant and possibly already simmering with activation events, this triple dose might push a child right over the edge. This might explain the seizures (an extreme immune activation event) that sometimes follow the MMR appointment.

Only one ingredient (thimerosal) in one vaccine (MMR) has been studied in relation to autism in humans.

This picture sums the point up perfectly:

Source: HealthcareinAmerica.us

So where does all of this data leave us? Groundbreaking as all of this is, it is undeniable that there are many more questions waiting to be answered and more research needed.

Certainly we are in for a wild ride these next few years as the body of research for vaccine safety grows and as more people wake up to the fact that they’ve been lied to (get your popcorn ready).

For now, though, our only ally is to find our public voice, to spread the information to our circles, to involve ourselves in the discussions taking place online and in public, to let go of the emotional attacks and let the science boldly speak for itself. That is our moral responsibility.

The rest, I say, we leave to the adage about truth. It may have taken centuries and millions of lives to get here, and somewhere along the way we probably lost hope that it would ever arrive, but in the end the adage held true, that no matter how deep the lie or how ruthless the coverup, the truth always prevails.

*For more information concerning the science around vaccine safety, please visit vaccinepapers.org

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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.

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!

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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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