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On The Crime of Heresy Against the Vaccine Religion

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To question public vaccine policy is to commit the crime of heresy against the vaccine religion, as illustrated by how any dissent is met by its defenders.

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There is something wrong when you are not allowed to question public vaccine policy without automatically being labeled as “anti-science”, a believer in “pseudoscience”, or even a “conspiracy theorist”. The subject of vaccines is a serious one, and deserves to be taken seriously. Concerned parents are asking legitimate questions, and they deserve serious answers rather than dismissals. The public discussion about vaccines is essentially non-existent. Instead, the message we are told is that there is nothing to discuss.

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The mainstream media, for its part, has utterly failed to properly inform the public about the subject of vaccines, and rather than engaging in respectful debate, there is a tendency to try to bully people into silence and compliance. In this endeavor, the mainstream media has useful partners in the blogosphere.

As someone who is openly critical of vaccine policy, I expect to be attacked and have such labels mindlessly flung at me. So I wasn’t surprised to discover that one of the more notorious apologists for public vaccine policy, an anonymous blogger who goes by the moniker “Skeptical Raptor“, set his sights on me recently for an article I wrote in response to a Washington Post op-ed by Dr. Daniel Summers. Dr. Summers took the usual dogmatic approach to the subject, insisting there is nothing to debate, just get your damned shots. The purpose of my rejoinder to his op-ed was to illustrate why this insistence is wrong. There is a discussion to be had about vaccines, and it’s past time we started having it.

Raptor’s response to that article of mine provides me with the opportunity to reiterate that same point, as well as to illuminate the kinds of tactics employed by those who try to intimidate into silence anyone who dares to question public vaccine policy — rather than seriously addressing the legitimate concerns being raised.

Naturally, Raptor’s post about my article is filled with such mindless attacks as:

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  • “Jeremy R. Hammond … attacked Dr. Summers with … tropes, myths, and conspiracy theories.”
  • “Hammond uses pseudoscience….”
  • “Hammond’s criticisms of Dr. Simmons [consist of] tropes, myths, conspiracy theories, cherry picking and, need I mention this, outright misinformation.”
  • “But if you want to believe the ramblings of a right wing science denier, go right ahead.”

It’s instructive, given such vitriolic rhetoric, that Raptor fails to point to even a single error in fact or logic in anything I wrote in my rejoinder to Dr. Summers. (Which might explain why Raptor didn’t link to my article so readers could check to see for themselves what I’d actually written, as opposed to his misportrayal.)

On Doctors’ Confirmation Bias

In my article, I quoted Dr. Summers saying that if vaccines can cause autism, then pediatricians like him must either be “too incompetent to discern the relationship between the two” or “too monstrous to care”.

I observed that this gives us a useful insight into why doctors might easily succumb to confirmation bias, accepting of science that confirms their belief that they are competent and good while dismissing any evidence contradicting that belief. After all, how many doctors would be honest enough to admit that they are either incompetent or evil?

So how does Raptor respond to this observation? He writes:

First of all, Hammond does not quite understand confirmation bias. In fact, most of us who support vaccines use the scientific method – the evidence leads us to a conclusion. Hammond uses pseudoscience – establish a conclusion, like vaccines cause autism, and ignore all evidence that does not support his beliefs…. Frankly, Hammond is projecting the problems with his own arguments onto Dr. Simmons.

In other words, Raptor is saying that I’m the one guilty of confirmation bias, and that I don’t understand what confirmation bias is. So what is confirmation bias? Here’s how Raptor defines it:

[C]onfirmation bias is simply the tendency for individuals to favor information or data that support their beliefs. It is also the tendency for people to only seek out information that supports their a priori, or pre-existing, conclusions, and subsequently ignores evidence that might refute that pre-existing conclusion.

I’m perfectly content to use that definition to reiterate the point I made in my response to Summers: that doctors will tend to have a confirmation bias because it would be difficult for them to accept that something they did to a child with the intention of helping that child might have ended up harming that child.

Note that Raptor does not actually address this point. He simply asserts that I don’t understand confirmation bias without bothering to demonstrate in what way I don’t understand it and meaninglessly declares that doctors “use the scientific method” — as though having a medical degree meant that a person couldn’t possibly have such a psychological conflict.

Compare this with Dr. Joseph Mercola of the leading health information website Mercola.com, a physician who once vaccinated his patients and had to overcome this very inner conflict himself; Dr. Mercola in a recent article on his website quoted my observation about this natural tendency toward confirmation bias among doctors, then added:

As a doctor, I can empathize with this psychological conundrum. It’s a terrible feeling to realize that, at some point in your life, you didn’t have the knowledge you should have had and you led your patients the wrong way.

In conclusion, Raptor, rather than actually addressing my valid point, resorts to obfuscation.

As for his charge that I’m guilty of confirmation bias, here Raptor is simply resorting to strawman argumentation, attributing to me logic that I did not use in my response to Summers’ op-ed. His protest against what I did say in my article on the subject of vaccines and autism is instructive.

The Autism Question

In my article, I criticized Dr. Summers for repeating the trope that the hypothesis that vaccines can cause autism has been “thoroughly debunked”. I pointed out that the government has in fact acknowledged that vaccines can cause brain damage in genetically susceptible individuals, and that this brain damage can lead to developmental regression, i.e., autism. I quoted then Director of the CDC Julie Gerberding in 2008 admitting:

Now, we all know that vaccines can occasionally cause fevers in kids. So if a child was immunized, got a fever, had other complications from the vaccines. And if you’re predisposed with a mitochondrial disorder, it can certainly set off some damage. Some of the symptoms can be symptoms that have characteristics of autism.

Then I commented: “So seems to me there’s some room for debate there. (Gerberding, incidentally, left her government job to become head of Merck’s vaccine division.)”

So how does Raptor respond to this point? Raptor simply asserts that “there are hundreds of studies that have debunked Hammond’s belief.”

But what “belief” of mine is Raptor referring to, exactly? Are there hundreds of studies that have “debunked” that the head of the CDC acknowledged vaccines can cause brain damage leading to developmental regression? Or does Raptor mean hundreds of studies have “debunked” what Gerberding said?

Is this former CDC director and president of Merck’s vaccine division into “pseudoscience”?

We see once again all Raptor is doing is attempting to obfuscate the point. Raptor continues this effort by writing:

Next, Hammond claims that the “government has actually acknowledged that vaccines can cause brain damage, and that this vaccine-caused brain damage can result in developmental regression in genetically susceptible individuals.”

The “Next” here is puzzling, since this point about the head of the CDC acknowledging vaccines can cause brain damage was the one and only point I made in response to Dr. Summer’s repetition of the usual dogmatic mantra about any association having been “debunked”.

Setting that aside, note how Raptor uses the verb “claims” — as though it wasn’t a fact that the CDC director acknowledged that vaccines can cause brain damage leading to developmental regression. This verb choice is puzzling, given how Raptor then proceeds to share the statement of Gerberding’s that I quoted.

So how does Raptor address my point about that acknowledgment from the CDC director? Raptor writes:

Sure, that’s an admission that vaccines can cause brain damage – in a child with an extremely rare disorder.

Note that Raptor acknowledges that vaccines can cause brain damage in genetically susceptible individuals.

Raptor nevertheless continues:

Hammond, in the purest sense of pseudoscience, grasps onto a very rare adverse effect, and uses it to “prove” vaccines cause autism. It most certainly does not.

Now, this is also quite a puzzling argument, given the actual context of the quote from Gerberding.

See, when she spoke those words, the CDC director was referring to the case of Hannah Poling, who developmentally regressed and was diagnosed with autism after receiving five vaccines at once at 19 months of age.

The Poling Case and Genetic Susceptibility

One of the legitimate concerns parents have about vaccines is how the government constantly reassures them that vaccines are safe and effective while granting legal immunity to the vaccine manufacturers, which was upheld by the Supreme Court on the grounds that injuries from vaccines are “unavoidable”. Under the 1986 law granting this legal immunity, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was set up to shift the cost burden from vaccine injuries away from the pharmaceutical industry and onto the taxpayers.

Naturally, parents are confused by this, and it certainly raises some legitimate questions.

The Poling family is among those who have been awarded compensation under the VICP. In the case of Hannah Poling, the government acknowledged that:

The facts of this case meet the statutory criteria for demonstrating that the vaccinations CHILD received on July 19, 2000, significantly aggravated an underlying mitochondrial disorder, which predisposed her to deficits in cellular energy metabolism, and manifested as a regressive encephalopathy with features of autism spectrum disorder.

Now given the context of Gerberding’s admission, note what Raptor is effectively arguing: the fact that vaccines can cause brain damage resulting in autism doesn’t prove that vaccines can cause autism!

One could also argue that the fact you ran over a nail with your bicycle doesn’t prove that the nail caused your flat tire — technically, it was the hole in the tire that did it.

Scientific American has commented on the Poling case by saying that “Theoretically, that makes sense” (that the vaccines triggered the cascade of events resulting in her autism). In Hannah’s case, her mitochondria, the “power plants of the cell”, were “already underperforming, so when she developed a fever from her vaccine, the increased energy requirements likely pushed them past their thresholds”, triggering her autism symptoms.

Evidently, Scientific American is into “pseudoscience”, too.

Another propagator of “pseudoscience” was Bernadine Healy, M.D., former director of the National Institutes of Health and president and CEO of the American Red Cross. Before her death, she had come to challenge the official dogma, writing that as a trigger of autism, “vaccines carry a ring of both historical and biological plausibility”.

But what about all those studies Raptor mentions that supposedly have proven there is no possible causal association between vaccines and autism?

As Healy also said in an interview, “I think that the public health officials have been too quick to dismiss the hypothesis as irrational.”

When her interviewer pointed out that public health officials had been saying that “there’s enough evidence and they know its not causal”, Healy’s response was, “I think you can’t say that. You can’t say that.”

Healy then offered another explanation for how confirmation bias can become institutionalized:

There is a completely expressed concern that they don’t want to pursue a hypothesis because that hypothesis could be damaging to the public health community at large by scaring people.

Healy also noted the lack of studies into — and lack of interest in studying — the possibility of some individuals having a genetic susceptibility to vaccine injury:

If you turn your back on the notion that there is a susceptible group… what can I say?

Hannah Poling’s father, Jon Poling, who happens to be a neurologist, has made the same observation about both the institutional confirmation bias and the lack of studies examining the question of whether vaccines can cause autism in genetically susceptible children:

With regard to the science of Autism, I have no argument with the assertion that a single case does not prove causation of a generalized autism-vaccine link. What the case does illustrate though is a more subtle point that many physicians cannot or do not want to comprehend (ostensibly because vaccines are too important to even question). Autism is a heterogeneous disorder defined by behavioral criteria and having multiple causes. Epidemiological studies which have not found a link between autism and aspects of vaccination do not consider the concept of autism subgroups. Indeed, in a heterogeneous disorder like Autism, subgroups may indeed be ‘vaccine-injured’ but the effect is diluted out in the larger population (improperly powered study due to inability to calculate effect size with unknown susceptible subpopulation). I think former NIH Director, Dr. Bernadine Healey explained it best in that population epidemiology studies are not “granular” enough to rule-out a susceptible subgroup.

Then there’s Dr. Frank DeStefano, who has acknowledged that “it’s a possibility” that vaccines could trigger autism in genetically susceptible individuals.

Evidently, this CDC Director of Immunization Safety, who has coauthored several of the CDC’s studies finding no link between vaccines and autism, is into “pseudoscience”, as well.

The trouble is, DeStefano added, “It’s hard to predict who those children might be”, and trying to determine what underling conditions put children at risk of vaccine injury is “very difficult to do”.

Acknowledging the lack of studies in this area, he added that, “if we ever get to that point, then that kind of research might be fruitful.”

And here’s the CDC’s website, current as of this writing, on the lack of such studies: “More research is needed to determine if there are rare cases where underlying mitochondrial disorders are triggered by anything related to vaccines.”

When I contacted the industry-funded American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently to request them to provide studies that considered the existence of genetically susceptible subpopulations to support their claim that any association between vaccines and autism had been “disproven”, the AAP provided me with a list of studies. Not one of the studies provided by the AAP considered the possibility of a genetically susceptible subpopulation.

I pointed this out to the AAP, and I also pointed out that it isn’t logically possible to say — as they had in their press release — that a hypothesis has been “disproven” when it hasn’t even been studied. I therefore then once more asked whether they could produce any studies that considered the existence of genetically susceptible individuals. The AAP’s response was that they had already provided all that they were going to provide.

When I asked whether the authors of the press release would like to comment, I was told by the AAP representative that she was going to hang up on me, which she promptly did.

Now, for good measure, let’s turn to the medical literature on this question and look at a couple of papers written by individuals who can by no means be labelled “anti-vaxxers” to see what they have to say about the hypothesis that vaccines can cause autism in children who are genetically susceptible to vaccine injury.

Dr. Paul Offit and ‘Poor Reasoning’

In a September 2008 paper in the journal Paediatrics & Child Health, Asif Doja argues against a causal relationship between vaccines and autism, yet acknowledges that “Mitochondrial disorders represent a rare cause of autism” — as well as the possibility that vaccines could cause fevers that in turn could cause encephalopathy (brain damage) and regression in individuals with mitochondrial dysfunction.

Doja is careful to emphasize that it is the fever that causes the encephalopathy, “not the vaccine itself”. (It was the hole in the tire that caused it to go flat, not the nail, remember.)

Doja also argues that “it is unlikely that those with mitochondrial disease simply require a vaccine ‘trigger’ to set off the disease process because most patients with mitochondrial disease do not have an onset of symptoms associated with vaccination.”

But this argument is a logical fallacy. It’s a non sequitur; the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premise. It may be true that most patients with mitochondrial disease do not have an onset of symptoms associated with vaccination, but it does not follow that it is therefore “unlikely” that vaccines could be the necessary “trigger” in some children.

The title of Doja’s article, “Genetics and the myth of vaccine encephalopathy”, is a curious one, given how, despite his fallacious conclusion that it’s “unlikely”, Doja ultimately acknowledges the possibility that “fever associated with the vaccine” could provoke “the initial seizure” ultimately resulting in brain damage in genetically susceptible individuals.

Doja also cites another article, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, by Dr. Paul Offit. So let’s look at that one, as well.

Paul Offit is someone whose credentials as a defender of public vaccine policy are impeccable.

He was sitting on an advisory board for the vaccine manufacturer Merck at the time he wrote that article.

Offit is also a former member of the CDC’s vaccine advisory committee, a body that helps determine public vaccine policy. As a member of that committee, Offit advocated that the CDC recommend use of the rotavirus vaccine. He later profited handsomely from the sale of a patent for a rotavirus vaccine.

Offit has made insane claims and is unafraid to brazenly lie knowing that, given the current climate surrounding the vaccine issue, his colleagues in the medical establishment will not hold him accountable for it. For instance, he is famous for once claiming that children could safely handle 10,000 vaccines at once. Another time, he declared that “Aluminum is considered to be an essential metal with quantities fluctuating naturally during normal cellular activity. It is found in all tissues and is also believed to play an important role in the development of a healthy fetus.”

Offit is the director of the so-called “Vaccine Education Center” at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he also holds the Maurice R. Hilleman Chair in Vaccinology, created in honor of the former senior vice president of Merck, which provided a $1.5 million endowment to “accelerate the pace of vaccine research”.

Offit also happens to be the mainstream media’s go-to guy when a comment is needed on anything related to vaccine safety. When you read an article in the mainstream media about vaccines, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find a quote from Offit in it (which says a lot about mainstream journalism). He’s been appropriately dubbed by Philadelphia magazine as “Mr. Vaccine”.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, Offit describes what happened to Hannah Poling:

When she was 19 months old, Hannah, the daughter of Jon and Terry Poling, received five vaccines — diphtheria–tetanus–acellular pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), measles–mumps–rubella (MMR), varicella, and inactivated polio. At the time, Hannah was interactive, playful, and communicative. Two days later, she was lethargic, irritable, and febrile. Ten days after vaccination, she developed a rash consistent with vaccine-induced varicella.

Months later, with delays in neurologic and psychological development, Hannah was diagnosed with encephalopathy caused by a mitochondrial enzyme deficit. Hannah’s signs included problems with language, communication, and behavior — all features of autism spectrum disorder….

For years, federal health agencies and professional organizations had reassured the public that vaccines didn’t cause autism. Now, with DHHS making this concession in a federal claims court, the government appeared to be saying exactly the opposite.

Offit goes on to argue that the government’s decision was “poorly reasoned”.

His first argument is that, while “it is clear that natural infections can exacerbate symptoms of encephalopathy in patients with mitochondrial enzyme deficiencies, no clear evidence exists that vaccines cause similar exacerbations.”

Compare this denial of Offit’s to Doja’s acknowledgment in his Paediatrics & Child Health article that “indeed febrile seizures have been shown to occur at an increased rate after vaccination”.

Seizures are a recognized symptom of encephalopathy.

In fact, Offit himself just two paragraphs later acknowledges that “experts testifying on behalf of the Polings could reasonably argue that development of fever and a varicella-vaccine rash after the administration of nine vaccines was enough to stress a child with mitochondrial enzyme deficiency” (emphasis added).

Offit’s second argument is that due to technological advancements, the combined schedule of fourteen vaccines children received in 2008 (the time of his writing) exposed children to fewer “immunologic components” than just the one smallpox vaccine from a century ago, “which contained about 200 structural and nonstructural viral proteins”.

This argument, however, overlooks, among other things, that the immunologic components of the target antigen (i.e, the virus or bacteria the vaccine is designed to prevent the disease of) are not the only antigens contained in vaccines.

The smallpox vaccine did not contain aluminum or mercury, for example, both known neurotoxins contained in CDC-recommended vaccines today. (Aluminum is used as an adjuvant in some vaccines to cause a stronger immune response than the target antigen would alone, and influenza vaccines that come in multi-dose vials still contain the preservative Thimerosal, which is 50 percent ethylmercury by weight. Other vaccines may contain “trace amounts” of mercury from the manufacturing process.)

As another example, vaccines can also contain contaminants, such as retroviruses. This is not theoretical; numerous vaccines have been found to be contaminated with other viruses or viral fragments. Polio vaccines used in the late 1950s and early 1960s, for example, were contaminated with a monkey virus (simian virus 40, or SV40) that’s been associated with an increased risk of some cancers.

In fact, the vaccine Offit himself helped develop, Merck’s Rotateq, was found to be contaminated with pig virus DNA. GlaxoSmithKline’s rotavirus vaccine, Rotarix, was suspended from the market in 2010 because it was found to be contaminated with a pig virus.

Offit’s third argument is that “Hannah had other immunologic challenges that were not related to vaccines”; namely fevers and ear infections. “Children typically have four to six febrile illnesses each year during their first few years of life; vaccines are a minuscule contributor to this antigenic challenge.”

Offit’s logic here rests essentially on the same fallacy as Doja’s: it does not follow from the fact that most fevers in children are not caused by vaccinations that therefore it can’t be that, in some cases, vaccines are the trigger that sets off the cascade of events leading to developmental regression.

Offit further argues that Hannah’s autism was caused by her mitochondrial disorder, not the vaccines she received.

This is like arguing that celiac disease is caused by a patient’s HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8 genes, not by gluten consumption. Just as having the genetic predisposition “is necessary for disease development but is not sufficient for [celiac] disease development” (Genomic Medicine), so it is that having a mitochondrial disorder does not necessarily mean that the child will develop autism; one or more environmental triggers are also required.

Amidst his protests against the conclusion that the vaccines Hannah received caused her autism, Offit nevertheless acknowledges the “theoretical risk” of “exacerbations” from vaccines in children with mitochondrial disorders andthe absence of “data that clearly exonerates vaccines” in this respect.

As Hannah’s father, Jon Poling, and three co-authors wrote in a case study published in the Journal of Child Neurology,

It is unclear whether mitochondrial dysfunction results from a primary genetic abnormality, atypical development of essential metabolic pathways, or secondary inhibition of oxidative phosphorylation by other factors. If such dysfunction is present at the time of infections and immunizations in young children, the added oxidative stresses from immune activation on cellular energy metabolism are likely to be especially critical for the central nervous system, which is highly dependent on mitochondrial function. Young children who have dysfunctional cellular energy metabolism therefore might be more prone to undergo autistic regression between 18 and 30 months of age if they also have infections or immunizations at the same time.

Now recall Raptor’s admission “that vaccines can cause brain damage – in a child with an extremely rare disorder”. In other words, despite his best efforts to obfuscate my point, Raptor tacitly acknowledges that what I wrote is true.

On ‘the cancer-preventing HPV vaccine’

Another statement I quoted from Dr. Summers’ Washington Post op-ed was:

Despite ample evidence of its safety and efficacy, many parents choose not to give their children the vaccination against the carcinogenic human papillomavirus, leaving their sons and daughters at increased risk of several different cancers.

In response, I wrote:

Can Dr. Summers point to any studies in the medical literature that have shown that the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of developing cervical cancer (or anal or mouth/throat cancers in men)? When the FDA approved its use allowing the vaccine manufacturers to advertise it on the grounds that it can prevent cancer, had this been proven in clinical trials?

The answer to both questions is “No”. Dr. Summers’ assertion is an assumption, not a demonstrated fact. Room for debate on that one, too, then.

Raptor writes that here I am “relying upon all of the tenets of pseudoscience and science denialism” to “trash Gardasil” (Merck’s HPV vaccine).

Raptor then declares that he “can point to several” studies in the medical literature that have shown that the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of cervical cancer. In an attempt to support this claim, Raptor then provides five links. Turning to Raptor’s very first source cited, we find a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Does this study show that the HPV vaccine reduces the risk of cervical cancer, as Raptor claims?

No, it does not.

The FDA and ‘Surrogate Endpoints’

On the contrary, Raptor’s source confirms what I wrote originally: the FDA approved Gardasil for licensure on the grounds it could prevent cancer despite no clinical studies having demonstrated the truth of this claim. As Raptor’s source observes (emphasis added):

Both vaccines have been shown to be highly effective against HPV16/18–associated cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2 and 3 (CIN2/3) and adenocarcinoma in situ, endpoints accepted in trials for vaccine efficacy against cervical cancer.

That is to say, the FDA used what is called a “surrogate endpoint”, defined as “a biomarker that is intended to substitute for a clinical endpoint”.

As Thomas Fleming explains in the journal Health Affairs (full text here; bold emphasis added),

Establishing that an experimental drug can provide quality-of-life or survival benefit in a newly diagnosed patient with prostate or breast cancer, or that a vaccine can reduce the spread of HIV, or that a device can reduce risk of serious illness or death from cardiovascular disease could require trials that are large, long term, and financially costly.

In many instances, sponsors have proposed alternative endpoints (that is, “surrogates”) for these clinical endpoints, to reduce the duration and size of the trials….

Unfortunately, demonstrating treatment effects on these biological “surrogate” endpoints, while clearly establishing biological activity, may not provide reliable evidence about effects of the intervention in clinical efficacy measures.

Fleming provides the remarkable example of the drugs encainide and flecainide. Since these drugs were shown to be “very effective in suppressing” ventricular arrhythmias, which are “a known risk factor for sudden cardiac death”, the medical establishment assumed that patients who took these drugs would have a lower risk of that outcome.

Fleming continues (emphasis added):

In fact, they were so persuaded that between a quarter-million and a half-million patients each year in the United States alone were receiving these drugs for this purpose. Many were so confident that the drugs provided important therapeutic benefits that they thought it would not be ethical to withhold these drugs from patients in the control group of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) designed to reliably evaluate their effects on overall mortality. (Similar arguments are made today by advocates for continued widespread use of antibiotics in children with acute otitis media, even though we lack scientific evidence to establish that antibiotics meaningfully decrease complications or reduce the time to resolution of symptoms.)

Fortunately, a controlled trial of encainide and flecainide was conducted. The Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial provided results that astounded cardiologists. These two anti-arrhythmia agents, while suppressing arrhytmias effecively, not only did not provide an improvement in survival, but actually tripled the death rate. Encainide and flecainide may have produced some benefit though [sic, “through”] suppression of arrhythmias, yet they also had unintended and previously unrecognized mechanisms that ultimately led to an adverse effect on overall survival, mechanisms that would not have been detected if there had not been a trial to directly assess the effects on the clinical-efficacy endpoint of overall survival.

This raises an important point I overlooked when writing my rejoinder to Dr. Summers’ Washington Post op-ed: just as important as the question of whether the HPV vaccine actually reduces the risk of cervical cancer is the question of whether the vaccine reduces mortality.

After all, if the vaccine, say, reduces the risk of cervical cancer while increasing the risk of death due to some other cause, then, obviously, it does not follow from the fact that it reduces the risk of cervical cancer that therefore it is a good idea to get the vaccine.

Also, while Fleming cites the example of pediatricians routinely resorting to antibiotics for ear infections, he might just as well have cited the argument given by the medical establishment and public policy defenders for why it would be unethical to do a study comparing autism rates (or other health outcomes, for that matter, such as autoimmune disease) for children vaccinated according to the CDC’s schedule with children who remained completely unvaccinated.

No such study has been done because to withhold the vaccines from children, the argument goes, would be unethical since it would deprive children of the vaccines’ benefits.

Just as those who believed that encainide and flecainide must be effective at lowering mortality based on a surrogate endpoint, so does this argument against doing vaccinated versus unvaccinated studies beg the question. It assumes in the premise the very proposition to be proven (the petitio principii fallacy) — namely, that vaccines given according to the CDC’s schedule are safe and effective.

The DTP Vaccine and Mortality

A stark example of this fallacy is found in the case of the DTP vaccine (which has been replaced in the US with the acellular pertussis vaccine, DTaP, but is still widely used elsewhere around the globe). Since receipt of the vaccine has been shown to reduce the incidence of diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, the assumption has been that therefore mass vaccination with DTP will reduce mortality.

In fact, however, what studies show is that the DTP vaccine increases mortality.

The most recent of these, a study published in February of this year in the journal EBioMedicine, stated researchers’ findings bluntly (emphasis added):

DTP was associated with 5-fold higher mortality than being unvaccinated [with DTP]. No prospective study has shown beneficial survival effects of DTP. Unfortunately, DTP is the most widely used vaccine, and the proportion who receives DTP3 is used globally as an indicator of the performance of national vaccination programs.

It should be of concern that the effect of routine vaccinations on all-cause mortality was not tested in randomized trials. All currently available evidence suggests that DTP vaccine may kill more children from other causes than it saves from diphtheria, tetanus or pertussis. Though a vaccine protects children against the target disease it may simultaneously increase susceptibility to unrelated infection.

To return to Raptor’s claim that the Journal of the National Cancer Institute study showed that the HPV vaccine prevents cancer, recall that it in fact confirmed what I had written about the FDA, which relied on a surrogate endpoint in its licensure of Gardasil.

Furthermore, this study in fact confirms what I wrote about why Dr. Summers would be unable to point to any such studies: because none exist.

As Raptor’s own source states, “it may be many years before the effect on HPV vaccination on the incidence of cervical cancer can be assessed.”

Hence we can see that Raptor’s claim that this study showed that the HPV vaccine reduced the incidence of cervical cancer is a bald-faced lie.

It would be superfluous to examine the remainder of the Raptor’s links.

On the Measles Vaccine

“I’m rapidly becoming impatient with Hammond’s arguments”, Raptor informs readers as we come to the next matter I raised in my rejoinder to Dr. Summers: the measles vaccine.

Summers had pointed out that one rare complication of measles is encephalitis, or brain inflammation, and then asked why any parent would risk their child becoming brain damaged by measles “when there’s a safe way of of protecting their children” (referring, of course, to the measles vaccine).

I pointed out that Summers’ statement wrongly implied that encephalitis is not a possible adverse effect of vaccination. I cited a couple of studies in the medical literature that have indicated that encephalitis is a rare outcome of measles vaccination, and I also pointed out that it’s included on the list of possible adverse events on the product insert for Merck’s MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

Raptor’s response to my observation is to assert that I’m guilty of creating “a false dichotomy – either a vaccine is 100% safe or it’s unsafe”.

It’s Raptor, however, who is here guilty of the fallacy of strawman argumentation. Of course, I neither said nor suggested any such ridiculous thing. I merely observed — accurately — that Dr. Summers was characterizing the vaccine as though it was 100% safe.

Next, Raptor asserts that I think “that package inserts are some sort of infallible document” — another ludicrous strawman. Raptor notes that “a package insert is never evidence of correlation or causality”. That is true, and of course I hadn’t suggested otherwise. I simply observed the fact that encephalitis is listed under the section listing possible adverse events on Merck’s product insert.

So we can see how the very act of stating a fact in a context of questioning public vaccine policy automatically renders the person stating the fact a believer in “pseudoscience”. It’s through such tactics that defenders of public policy attempt to stifle any form of dissent.

Raptor’s next point is a valid one: assuming the three cases of encephalitis reported for every three million doses of MMR given were actually caused by the vaccine, “the risk of encephalitis from measles is still substantially higher than the vaccine”. That is true.

It’s also true that adverse reactions to vaccines are for numerous reasons widely underreported in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which was also established under the 1986 law granting vaccine manufacturers legal immunity (The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act).

But both of these facts are beside the point I was making, which is that it is dishonest to characterize vaccination as though it was a medical intervention that entails no risk of any serious harm.

Raptor rightly frames it as a question of weighing benefits versus risks. But this just bolsters my whole point, which is that the public ought to be properly informed of what those risks are rather than told they don’t exist.

In Raptor’s calculation, the benefits of the measles vaccine far outweighs any risks. But that’s a decision that every parent should make for every child with every vaccine. And there are countless other variables to consider to be able to make an informed choice that the public just isn’t being informed about.

For example, parents aren’t being informed that, just as studies show that the DTP vaccine has “non-specific effects” (that is, consequences that are unintended or unexpected) resulting in increased mortality, so have studies long found that natural infection with measles has non-specific effects that are beneficial. Natural infection with the measles virus not only confers lifelong immunity against measles, but also seems to be an important childhood disease that primes the immune system to help protect against other diseases, as well.

Benefits of Getting Measles

“In the 1970s,” as Science Daily notes, “measles infections were observed to cause regression of pre-existing cancer tumors in children.” This observation has led Mayo Clinic to experiment with using measles virus to treat brain cancer.

A study published in The Lancet in 1985 found a negative history of measles to be associated with an increased risk of developing “immunocreactive diseases, sebaceious skin diseases, degenerative diseases of bone and cartilage, and certain tumours.”

A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology the same year found that infection with measles is associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, suggesting “a truly protective effect of measles”.

More recently, a study published in the International Journal of Cancer in 2013 found “a protective role of childhood infectious diseases” — namely measles — “on the risk of CLL [chronic lymphoid leukaemia] in adults”.

A study published in the journal Atherosclerosis in 2015 found that “Measles and mumps, especially in case of both infections, were associated with lower risks of mortality from atherosclerotic CVD [cardiovascular disease].”

Dr. Summers naturally fails to disclose this kind of information in his op-ed so parents could do a proper cost-benefit analysis to determine whether vaccination is right for them.

One begins to see why studies have shown that parents who are choosing not to vaccinate their children, far from being unintelligent or “anti-science”, tend to be well-educated and affluent.

It’s the parents who choose not to put blind faith in an observably corrupt medical establishment that, rather than address their legitimate concerns, has shunned and ridiculed anyone who dares to question public policy, including parents of vaccine-injured children.

It’s the parents who understand how bias can become institutionalized. (No “conspiracy theory” is required to explain how the medical establishment could be wrong, though when it comes to “tobacco science”, there is certainly an element of willfulness. Older generations may recall how advertisements for cigarettes used to feature doctors’ endorsements, and it is not as though there wasn’t an abundance of other examples where the medical establishment has gotten it wrong.)

It’s the parents who are doing their own research, including by doing something most doctors and journalists can’t seem to be bothered with: digging into the medical literature (which can be searched at PubMed.gov) to see for themselves what science actually has to say about vaccines.

Measles and Mortality

Raptor emphasizes that “measles can be a serious illness requiring hospitalization”.

That is true. It is also true that the mortality rate from measles had already plummeted prior to the introduction of the vaccine. This can be seen in the CDC data presented in the below graph (note that the vaccine was licensed in 1963, after the last year shown on this graph).

Measles mortality

In fact, as an article in the journal Pediatrics notes, “nearly 90% of the decline in infectious disease mortality among US children occurred before 1940, when few antibiotics or vaccines were available.”

Moreover, the risk factors for complications from measles, unlike the risks from the vaccine, are quite well understood — such as malnourishment and, most specifically, vitamin A deficiency.

This brings us to the next objection of Raptor’s to my reply to Summers’s op-ed. Summers had written:

Preventing measles isn’t a matter of avoiding some minor ailment. The disease killed over 100,000 people in 2015.

I replied:

Summers notes the the deaths of over 100,000 people in 2015 as a result of measles infection as though the mortality rate in the US, absent mass vaccination, would be no different than in third-world countries in Africa.

Raptor asserts that I’m “just plain wrong” here; “Dr. Simmons [sic] wasn’t trying to imply that 100,000 children would die in the USA, he’s speaking worldwide.”

But that was precisely my point. Dr. Summers was citing a statistic suggesting a mortality rate that would apply to other countries, but not to the US — a fact which Raptor here tacitly acknowledges.

Raptor claims Summers “wasn’t trying to imply” that the mortality rate of measles would be the same in the US as it would be in developing countries. One might wonder how Raptor can read Summers’ mind, but it makes no difference because it isn’t a question of intent. Whether intentionally or not, Summers did in fact imply just that.

In fact, it was in this very same paragraph that Summers noted that there is a risk of brain damage from measles and asked, “Why on earth would parents opt for that risk when there’s a safe way of protecting their children?”

Summers was, of course, directing his question specifically toward American parents when he wrote that.

Raptor’s next comment is, “Of course, Hammond’s point sounds vaguely offensive that somehow only Africans will die of measles, and not privileged white Americans. Sigh.”

So now, in addition to it being “anti-science” to point out the acknowledged fact that the mortality rate in the US would not be the same as in developing countries, it is also “offensive” to point out that Americans enjoy a higher standard of living.

Sigh.

Unintended Population Effects of Mass Vaccination

Among other factors that aren’t taken into consideration in the risk-benefit analysis underlying public policy are unintended effects at the population level. For example, one effect of mass vaccination for measles is that in the event of an outbreak today, the risk burden has shifted away from children in whom it is a generally mild disease onto those for whom it poses a greater risk of complications: infants.

This is because in the pre-vaccine era, most women experienced measles infection as a child and developed a robust cell-mediated immunity. Frequent reexposure to the virus also kept antibody levels high. Since antibodies are passed from mother to baby via breastmilk, breastfeeding provided a strong passive immunity to infants, who do not yet have a developed immune system to be able to handle the infection on their own.

Now, however, thanks to mass vaccination, mothers aren’t as well able to confer immunity to their infants via breastmilk. This is because the immunity conferred by the vaccine isn’t as robust as that conferred by natural infection and wanes more quickly over time, and by reducing the circulation of the virus, the natural boosting of antibody titers from frequent reexposure no longer occurs.

Thus, because mothers in the era of mass vaccination aren’t as well able to pass protective antibodies on to their infants via breastmilk, in the event of an outbreak, infants are at a higher risk.

Conclusion

Raptor closes by describing my response to Summers’ op-ed as consisting of “tropes, myths, conspiracy theories, cherry picking and, need I mention this, outright misinformation.”

It is fitting that Raptor should close with such words because, in the end, having failed to identify even a single error in fact or logic in anything I wrote, such empty rhetoric is all Raptor has got. Rather than reasonably addressing my points, Raptor resorts to misrepresentation, strawman argumentation, obfuscation, and ad hominem attacks.

I am perfectly content to let intelligent readers decide for themselves, therefore, who is more “anti-science”.

Such efforts to bully and intimidate people into conformity will ultimately fail, but there’s a lesson in it: to dare to question public vaccine policy is a sin for which one must be rebuked.

It is to commit the crime of heresy against the vaccine religion.

The heretics, however, will not be intimidated.

We will not be silenced.


Jeremy R. Hammond is an award-winning independent journalist, author, publisher and editor of Foreign Policy Journal, and father. Subscribe to stay updated with his work on vaccines and get his free report “5 Horrifying Facts about the FDA Vaccine Approval Process.” 

We received permission to published it from The World Mercury Project.

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Alternative News

Landmark Case Filed Against U.S. Federal Communications Commission On 5G & Wireless Health Concerns

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Environmental Health Trust is has filed a case against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission regarding 5G and wireless radiation, citing health and environmental concerns.

  • Reflect On:

    How are federal health regulatory agencies able to approve this technology without any appropriate safety testing? Is there an Industry influence? Why are health concerns raised by thousands of papers considered a "conspiracy?" What's going on here?

The case is Environmental Health Trust, et al. v. FCC  case number 20-1025, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The Environmental Health Trust is a think tank that promotes a healthier environment through research, education, and policy and the only nonprofit organization in the world that carries out cutting edge research on environmental health hazards. They work directly with communities, health and education professionals, and policymakers to understand and mitigate these hazards. Dr. Devra Davis founded the non-profit Environmental Health Trust in 2007 in Teton County, Wyoming. She has been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, and has authored more than 200 publications in books and journals. She is currently Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, and Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School, Samsun, Turkey. Dr. Davis lectures at the University of California, San Francisco and Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Harvard, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and major universities in India, Australia, Finland, and elsewhere.

She’s actually one of the scientists who was creating awareness about big tobacco and how they were deceiving the public back in the day, and she’s compared that with the current climate of wireless technologies, proving that these technologies, like 5G and its predecessors, may be harmful to not only human health, but environmental health as well. The bottom line is, it’s firmly established in scientific literature that there are biological effects to be concerned about. These technologies pose great risks, and it’s quite alarming that federal health regulatory agencies have approved the rollout of these technologies without our consent, and furthermore, without any health and/or environmental safety testing.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of scientists doing their part to try and tackle this issue together by raiding red flags.

What Happened: The Environmental Health Trust has filed a case against the Federal Communications Commission. They explain:

Environmental Health Trust v. FCC challenges the FCC’s refusal to update its 25-year-old obsolete wireless radiation human exposure “safety” limits and the FCC’s refusal to adopt scientific, biologically based radio frequency radiation limits that adequately protect public health and the environment. The brief is filed jointly with Children’s Health Defense.

Our joint brief proves that the FCC ignored the record indicating overwhelming scientific evidence of harm to people and the environment from allowable levels of wireless radiation from phones, laptops and cell towers. Furthermore, the FCC “sees no reason to take steps to protect children”, despite being presented with scientific evidence indicating that children are uniquely vulnerable due to their developing brains and bodies.  Therefore, its decision not to review the “safety” limits is arbitrary, capricious, not evidence-based and unlawful.

Our brief contends the FCC has violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA).

Here is a clip of Senator Richard Blumenthal during a hearing that took place last year, questioning wireless industry representatives about the safety of 5G technology. During an exchange with wireless industry representatives who were also in attendance, Blumenthal asked them whether they have supported research on the safety of 5G technology and potential links between radio-frequency and cancer, and the industry representatives conceded they have not.

The EHT goes on to explain that:

The FCC opened an Inquiry into the adequacy of its exposure limits in 2013 after the Government Accountability Office issued a report in 2012 stating that the limits may not reflect current science and need to be reviewed. In response, hundreds of scientists and medical professionals submitted a wealth of peer-reviewed studies showing the consensus of the scientific community is that RFR is deeply harmful to people and the environment and is linked to cancer, reproductive harm, and other biological ills to humans, animals, and plants.

Notwithstanding the extremely well-documented record of these negative impacts from RFR, the FCC released an order in December 2019 deciding that nothing needed to be done and maintaining that the existing, antiquated exposure limits are adequate now and for the future.

In large measure, the FCC simply ignored the vast amount of evidence in the record showing an urgent need for action to protect the public and the environment. EHT contends that the FCC ignored the recommendations of hundreds of medical experts and public health experts who called for updated regulations that protect against biological impacts and for the development of policies to immediately reduce public exposure.

The brief contends the FCC has violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because its order is arbitrary and capricious, and not evidence-based; violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) because the FCC did not take a hard look on the environmental impacts of its decision; and violated the 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA) because the FCC failed, as required by the TCA, to consider the impact of its decision on the public health and safety.

“The FCC entirely ignored the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, hundreds of scientists and over 30 medical and public health organizations. Wireless emission limits should protect children who will have a lifetime of exposure,” stated Theodora Scarato, Executive Director of Environmental Health Trust. Scarato pointed out that the FCC “saw no reason to take steps to protect children” despite voluminous scientific evidence on the record showing that children are uniquely vulnerable due to their developing brains and bodies.

“Equally shocking is how the FCC could state that the existing limits which were developed in 1996 are protective without even addressing the impact of the existing limits on the natural environment. In this regard, there was a noticeable absence of on-the-record comments by the EPA. In fact, the EPA recently stated that it has no funded mandate to even review research on RFR. Yet there is a great deal of evidence in the FCC proceeding showing that radiofrequency radiation is harmful to birds, bees and trees.”

Video of Press Conference 

Opening Brief 

EHT Submissions to 13-84

The science is also clear, there are thousands of peer-reviewed publications raising cause for concern. For example, A study published in 2019 is one of many that raises concerns. It’s titled “Risks to Health and Well-Being From Radio-Frequency Radiation Emitted by Cell Phones and Other Wireless Devices.”

It outlines how, “In some countries, notably the US, scientific evidence of the potential hazards of RFR has been largely dismissed.  Findings of carcinogenicity, infertility and cell damage occurring at daily exposure levels—within current limits—indicate that existing exposure standards are not sufficiently protective of public health. Evidence of carcinogenicity alone, such as that from the NTP study, should be sufficient to recognize that current exposure limits are inadequate.”

Would it not be in the best interests of everybody to simply put this technology through appropriate safety testing?

It goes on to state that “Public health authorities in many jurisdictions have not yet incorporated the latest science from the U.S. NTP or other groups. Many cite 28-year old guidelines by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers which claimed that “Research on the effects of chronic exposure and speculations on the biological significance of non-thermal interactions have not yet resulted in any meaningful basis for alteration of the standard”

It’s one of many that call for safety testing before the rollout of 5G testing, because all we have right now from those who claim that it’s safe are ‘reviews of literature’ that are determining it’s safe.

This particular study emphasizes:

The Telecom industry’s fifth generation (5G) wireless service will require the placement of many times more small antennae/cell towers close to all recipients of the service, because solid structures, rain and foliage block the associated millimeter wave RFR (72). Frequency bands for 5G are separated into two different frequency ranges. Frequency Range 1 (FR1) includes sub-6 GHz frequency bands, some of which are bands traditionally used by previous standards, but has been extended to cover potential new spectrum offerings from 410 to 7,125 MHz. Frequency Range 2 (FR2) includes higher frequency bands from 24.25 to 52.6 GHz. Bands in FR2 are largely of millimeter wave length, these have a shorter range but a higher available bandwidth than bands in the FR1. 5G technology is being developed as it is also being deployed, with large arrays of directional, steerable, beam-forming antennae, operating at higher power than previous technologies. 5G is not stand-alone—it will operate and interface with other (including 3G and 4G) frequencies and modulations to enable diverse devices under continual development for the “internet of things,” driverless vehicles and more (72).

Novel 5G technology is being rolled out in several densely populated cities, although potential chronic health or environmental impacts have not been evaluated and are not being followed. Higher frequency (shorter wavelength) radiation associated with 5G does not penetrate the body as deeply as frequencies from older technologies although its effects may be systemic (7374). The range and magnitude of potential impacts of 5G technologies are under-researched, although important biological outcomes have been reported with millimeter wavelength exposure. These include oxidative stress and altered gene expression, effects on skin and systemic effects such as on immune function (74). In vivo studies reporting resonance with human sweat ducts (73), acceleration of bacterial and viral replication, and other endpoints indicate the potential for novel as well as more commonly recognized biological impacts from this range of frequencies, and highlight the need for research before population-wide continuous exposures.

A number of countries have already banned wireless technology in schools, and more are taking action steps, but it’s difficult when so many governments are dominated by corporations. Many people believe we now live in a corporatocracy, not a democracy, given the fact that they (corporations) have amassed so much power and have ways of dictating government policy. Paul Bischoff, a tech journalist and privacy advocate, recently compiled data regarding telecom’s political contributions to influence policies that benefit their industry, it’s quite revealing.

The list is quite long, and for the sake of a short read, if you want to learn more and access more of the science, you can start by visiting the Environmental Health Trust. It’s an excellent resource. There is a bit more information this article I recently published, but we’ve published many on the topic so you can browse around our site as well if interested, just use the search bar.

Why This Matters: 5G technology, and wireless technologies in general are a great example of measures being imposed on us against our will. It’s one of many examples that should have us questioning, do we really live in a democracy? Why has so much effort and awareness been raised, yet the idea that these technologies could pose a threat, and do pose a threat, is still considered a conspiracy theory within the mainstream? Why? What’s really going on here? Are there constant battles over human perception when it comes to certain topics? How much have we been misled? Is it time to start thinking for ourselves instead of relying on federal health regulatory agencies? How are we living? Why do we think the way we do? Human beings are full of unlimited potential, and there are better ways to do things here on planet Earth!

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Awareness

Study: Exercising With Mask Induces a “Hypercapnic Hypoxia Environment” – Not Good

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A study published in June 2020 raises some health concerns about people wearing masks while exercising. It also calls into question the ability of masks to stop Covid-19.

  • Reflect On:

    Are the mandatory orders that we are being given from government health authorities really the right thing to do? Why is there such a back-lash for questioning these measures? Should we not encourage questioning and discussion?

What Happened: A recent study published in the Journal Medical Hypothesis titled “Exercise with facemask; Are we handling a devil’s sword? – A physiological hypothesis” claims the following:

Exercising with facemasks may reduce available Oxygen and increase air trapping preventing substantial carbon dioxide exchange. The hypercapnic hypoxia may potentially increase acidic environment, cardiac overload, anaerobic metabolism and renal overload, which may substantially aggravate the underlying pathology of established chronic diseases. Further contrary to the earlier thought, no evidence exists to claim the facemasks during exercise offer additional protection from the droplet transfer of the virus. Hence, we recommend social distancing is better than facemasks during exercise and optimal utilization rather than exploitation of facemasks during exercise.

According to the authors, exercising with facemasks induced as “a hypercapnic hypoxia environment [inadequate Oxygen (O2) and Carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange] . This acidic environment, both at the alveolar and blood vessels level, induces numerous physiological alterations when exercising with facemasks: 1) Metabolic shift; 2) cardiorespiratory stress; 3) excretory system altercations; 4) Immune mechanism; 5) Brain and nervous system.’

Further, poor saturation of haemoglobin would be anticipated due to increased partial pressure of CO2 at higher exercise intensity Fig. 2 demonstrates the extreme right shift of the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, which would be higher than that expected during exercise. This acidic environment would unload O2 faster at the muscle level, but due to higher heart rate and reduced affinity at the alveolar junction, the partial pressure of O2 would substantially fall, creating a hypoxic environment for all vital organs.

In the figure below, the authors present a dissociation curve that “is showing the extreme right side shift with the carbon dioxide rebreathing (PaCO2) and inadequate available Oxygen (PAO2). Red dotted lines show the right shift of the curve due to exercise without masks (↑PaCO2, PH and temperature). Violet dotted lines show the extreme curve shift during exercise with masks (↑↑↑↑PaCO2, PH and temperature). (For interpretation of the references to colour in this figure legend, the reader is referred to the web version of this article.)”

The authors also point out that “wearing of facemasks to prevent the community spread of the novel Covid-19 is itself debatable, considering the limited evidence on the subject matter. WHO recommends masks only for Covid-19 patients but the usage of masks is morally “exploited” among community individuals.”

This is important to recognize, the use of masks is indeed debatable. Right now, “fact-checkers” are going around the internet censoring and labelling any information that seems to question the efficacy of masks when it comes to Covid-19, or anything that contradicts the WHO organization. Why do voices looking at facts ad science, and providing another perspective get silenced?

The purpose of the paper cited in this article is to explore and question: Does the use of facemasks offer any benefit for ‘social exercisers’ during this pandemic; 2) Does exercising with facemasks alter normal physiological responses to exercise; 3) Does exercising with facemasks increase the risk of falling prey to Coronavirus; 4) How could “social exercisers” combat the physiological alteration?

Here’s another interesting claim by the researchers:

The study concludes:

Exercising with facemasks might increase pathophysiological risks of underlying chronic disease, especially cardiovascular and metabolic risks. Social exercisers are recommended to do low to moderate-intensity exercise, rather than vigorous exercise when they are wearing facemasks. We also recommend people with chronic diseases to exercise alone at home, under supervision when required, without the use of facemasks. Given the identified and hypothesized risks, social distancing and self-isolation appear to be better than wearing facemasks while exercising during this global crisis.

This isn’t the only paper that has called into question the use of a mask. This study, is one of multiple that conveys the idea that they might in fact increase one’s chance of contracting a respiratory infection.

For example,

According to a study published in BMJ Open in 2015,

This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.

We have provided the first clinical efficacy data of cloth masks, which suggest HCWs should not use cloth masks as protection against respiratory infection. Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm. The controls were HCWs who observed standard practice, which involved mask use in the majority, albeit with lower compliance than in the intervention arms. The control HCWs also used medical masks more often than cloth masks. When we analysed all mask-wearers including controls, the higher risk of cloth masks was seen for laboratory-confirmed respiratory viral infection.

According to another study published a year after the one mentioned above,

The physiological effects of breathing elevated inhaled CO2 may include changes in visual performance, modified exercise endurance, headaches and dyspnea. The psychological effects include decreased reasoning and alertness, increased irritability, severe dyspnea, headache, dizziness, perspiration, and short-term memory loss. (source)

There are many examples. Doctors have been making YouTube videos and giving interviews about the same concerns as well. Again, many of these videos and interviews have been deleted from big tech platforms like YouTube.

Why?

Why This Is Important: We are living in a time where simply questioning information that’s dished out to us is becoming harder and harder to do and talk about on the internet – a place where ideas are shared. When something credible opposes a narrative handed to the population via some very powerful people, not only is it censored and often removed, but a mass media campaign of ridicule ensues. Of course, the main strategy used in the mainstream is to call these ideas a “conspiracy theory” and cast doubt. Censorship + Ridicule = massive perception manipulation.

Below is a screenshot of what has happened with our YouTube channel January 1st 2019. We were demonetized and shaddow banned. This is just one example of big tech censorship we have experienced. Our Facebook page has been heavily cut, and we no longer get ranked in Google search. We often joke at the office that, if people knew what we’ve gone through to keep Collective Evolution afloat for the past 11 years they wouldn’t believe it.

This is why we created CETV. Our own platform we created to help us continue doing what we do. CETV is our inner circle membership site that provides news and tools to raise collective consciousness. You can support our work and get inside access to Collective Evolution by becoming a member of CETV.

We thank everybody who has joined so far, you’ve truly kept CE going!

Why are there a digital authoritarian “fact-checkers” going around the internet and censoring information? Should people not have the right to examine information openly, freely and transparently and decide for themselves what is, and what isn’t, instead of having people in positions of power do it for them? Does this not leave room for mass manipulation of information?

The good news is that the censorship of information has drawn the attention of even more people, and has been a catalyst for some to recognize what’s really going on here.

Our physical rights are slowly being taken away under the guise of good will. Crisis’ like the coronavirus, or terrorism have always been used to do this. Create the problem, propose the solution and make it justified in the eyes of the masses. If we continue down this path and choose to be governed by those who do not have the best interests of humanity at heart, we are going down the path of total and complete population control.

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, there is so much controversy and information out there that completely opposes the mainstream media narrative. This information and evidence, once seen, has such a big impact on one’s consciousness and perception of the world we live in. Just like 9/11, this coronavirus incident is serving the collective and sparking more questions about what exactly we are doing here. Why do we live the way we live? Why do we respond the way we respond? Why do we continue to follow orders from those whom we choose to let govern us when it isn’t even clear that their recommendations are for the best interest of humanity?

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Alternative News

Trump Gives 1.16 Billion To Bill Gates’ Vaccine Alliance & Inks Deal With Pfizer For A COVID Vaccine

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Not long ago, President Trump gave more than a billion dollars to a vaccine alliance called Gavi that was co-founded by Bill & Melinda Gates. He also inked a deal with Pfizer for 100,000,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you going to get the vaccine? Will it be required to travel and to enter into certain buildings? If so, will you get it then? Are mandatory medical measures a violation of our freedom and human rights? Is it really for the good of everyone?

What Happened: Last month, US President Donald Trump “donated more to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to prevent the spread of infectious diseases worldwide.” He did so in a statement of support for Gavi at the public Gavi pledge conference, which was hosted by the United Kingdom, on June 4th. So far, the United States has donated more than $12 billion for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, and “the U.S. commitment to immunization complements the work of innovators in the United States and other countries who are racing to find a vaccine and treatments for COVID­19.” (source)

Bill and Melinda Gates co-founded the Gavi alliance in the year 2000, it’s a public-private partnership that claims to support “global health-system strengthening and vaccine deployment for infectious diseases worldwide.”  (source)

Here’s a video clip of Trump talking about his decision.

Shortly after this, Trump announced that they will give nearly $2 billion to Pfizer, a big pharmaceutical company, for 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that could make its way into the public domain sometime next year. According to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, the U.S. could buy another 500 million doses under the agreement if the vaccine is safe and effective in the U.S.

Multiple countries are now purchasing vaccines for the new coronavirus.

Why This Is Important: It’s important because the coronavirus vaccine is extremely relevant right now and on the minds of many as the only possible solution to this pandemic, at least that’s how it’s being marketed, despite the fact that multiple peer-reviewed studies and examples have emerged from all over the world regarding the success of other interventions.

For example, a study published last month in Frontiers in Immunology titled “Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19)” concluded the following:

Quercetin displays a broad range of antiviral properties which can interfere at multiple steps of pathogen virulence – virus entry, virus replication, protein assembly – and that these therapeutic effects can be augmented by the co-administration of vitamin C. Furthermore, due to their lack of severe side effects and low-costs, we strongly suggest the combined administration of these two compounds for both the prophylaxis and the early treatment of respiratory tract infections, especially including COVID-19 patients.”

As far as vitamin C goes, this is not the only study or article to recommend its use when it comes to treating COVID-19. For examplem Medicine in Drug Discovery of Elsevier, a major scientific publishing house, recently published an article on early and high-dose IVC in the treatment and prevention of Covid-19. High-dose intravenous VC was successfully used in the treatment of 50 moderate to severe COVID-19 patients in China. The doses used varied between 2 g and 10 g per day, given over a period of 8–10 h. Additional VC bolus may be required among patients in critical conditions.”

New York hospitals were also seeing success with Quercetin and Vitamin C. You can read more about that here. Vitamin C isn’t the only ‘alternative’ therapy, Hydroxychloroquine also caused quite a bit of controversy. The main point I am trying to make here is that mainstream media has not only ignored these facts, but there seemed to be a coordinated attack on the idea that these therapies can work. Once the mainstream media and organizations who are threatened come up with a way, whether it be by paying scientists or manipulating data, to ridicule an idea, that idea instantaneously loses credibility in the minds of the masses. That’s how much of a stranglehold mainstream media has, and has had on our collective perception.

Secondly, it’s important because according to organizations like the American Medical Association as well as the World Health Organization, vaccine hesitancy among people, parents, and, as mentioned by scientists at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, health professionals and scientists continues to increase. This is no secret, as vaccines have become a very popular topic over the past few years alone. In fact, the World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the biggest threats to global health security. The issue of vaccine hesitancy is no secret, for example, one study (of many) published in the journal EbioMedicineoutlines this point.

This fact was also  emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced by the authors in the study above. At the WHO conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider.

There are a number  of physicians and scientists raising awareness about this. The Physicians For Informed Consent are one of many such groups. This brings me to my next point, informed consent.

Vaccine mandates have already caused quite a controversy when it comes to children. The right to receive a medical or religious exemption is being taken away in various states, and a child cannot attend a public school unless they are up to date with the CDC’s recommended vaccination schedule. This is done on the basis that unvaccinated children are a danger to vaccinated children, which is a highly flawed argument given the fact that vaccines aren’t safe and effective for everyone, which is why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury act has paid nearly $4 billion to families of vaccine-injured children, and that’s only counting approximately 1 percent of vaccine-injured children because most of them go unreported. You can read more about that here.

It’s also important because we need to weigh the dangers of the vaccine compared to the actual disease. The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

Similar to CDC estimations, PIC’s analysis results in a COVID-19 CFR of 0.26%, which is comparable to the CFRs of previous seasonal and pandemic flu periods. “Knowing the CFR of COVID-19 allows for an objective standard by which to compare both non-pharmaceutical interventions and medical countermeasures,” said Dr. Shira Miller, PIC’s founder and president. “For example, safety studies of any potential COVID-19 vaccine should be able to prove whether or not the risks of the vaccine are less than the risks of the infection. (source)

You can read more about that story here.  So far, multiple clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have shown severe reactions within 10 days after taking the vaccine. You can read more about that story, here.

Alan Dershowitz and Robert F. Kennedy recently had a vaccine debate regarding the safety of vaccines. It includes a discussion about the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine. You can watch that and read more about it here.

Last but not least, it goes to show just how susceptible politicians and presidents are to what many before them have referred to as the invisible government. Donald Trump was clearly not a fan of vaccines, and that was made clear during his 2016 election campaign. When it comes to politics, big business always seems to win. Even those from within our federal health regulatory agencies are speaking up. In fact, only a few years ago, more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations and rougue interests  have on government policy. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.

The invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation…The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties…(and) control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under the cover of a self-created screen and seizers  our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.” (source)(source) – John F. HylanMayor of New York City from 1918-1925

Another great one from Theodore Roosevelt

“Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”(source)

The Takeaway

At the end of the day, the new coronavirus and the measures taken to combat it have caused a lot of controversy. When someone like NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said governments are using the coronavirus to push more authoritarian measures upon the population, it’s important that we listen. Instead, we prosecute them, exile them, and put people like Julian Assange who expose war crimes in jail while we agree with and identify with those who are committing the crime. What is encouraging, however, is that just like 9/11 did, COVID-19 is shifting human consciousness in a major way.

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