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Is A Financial Crisis Coming To Canada?

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“The pending credit cycle in Canada will be one for the ages.”

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– Marc Cohodes, May 3rd, 2017

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Lately, the word “bubble” has been used more often to describe the overheated housing markets in Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. Even Bank of Montreal’s Chief Economist didn’t hold back when he wrote in a report, “Let’s drop the pretense. The Toronto housing market — and the many cities surrounding it — are in a housing bubble”(1).

In March, house prices in Toronto rose a record 33.2% year-over-year and the city was ranked number 1 in the world with the fastest-growing house prices; Vancouver came in third on the list after Sydney, Australia (2).  It’s getting to be such a problem that Ontario’s premier has met with the mayors of Toronto and surrounding areas to discuss housing affordability, while the Prime Minister has admitted that the federal government is monitoring the housing market closely.

But what might have been the clearest sign yet that the housing market is in a bubble was the 2017 Real Estate Expo in Toronto where real estate agencies, developers, and banks paid celebrities like Tony Robins and Pitbull to encourage people to join in on the real estate buying frenzy. Real Estate agents on a stage told prospective buyers things like: “Toronto has become one of the last safe havens in the world,” “Fear will kill you,” and, “Just jump in!” (3)

Clearly, this message is getting around as statistics show an increasing portion of the population owning more than one residential home. This housing bubble, like all other financial bubbles, is the consequence of historically low interest rates, which is the beginning phase of a credit cycle that inflates the bubble. But eventually interest rates rise, and when they do the bubble pops, the cycle reverses, and prices fall.

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The question is, what happens when the cycle turns? If we take a close look at the situation in Canada, we can see instability across the board whether it’s in the economy, in the banking system, or in government finances, and due to this instability, we can reasonably assume that when this cycle turns, it will be pretty ugly for Canadians.

Home Capital Group

Home Capital Group is Canada’s largest non-bank mortgage lender focused primarily on the subprime market — mortgage applicants rejected by the banks — through its subsidiary Home Trust Company. On April 26th, the stock of Home Capital plunged 65% when news came out that the company secured an emergency loan worth C$2 billion to provide liquidity for the company after an overwhelming number of depositors withdrew their money from the high interest savings accounts Home Trust offers — money Home Capital uses to provide mortgages at a higher interest rate, profiting from the spread.

From April 24th to May 1st, Home Capital saw its deposits shrink from C$1.4 billion to C$391 million (4). The problems for Home Capital began back in 2014 when the company cut ties with 45 brokers who were creating mortgages with fraudulent income information that amounted to 10% of Home Trust’s total mortgage originations. Fast forward three years and the Ontario Securities Commission has now submitted formal allegations against the company and the three former and current executives, alleging they knowingly misled investors when discussing the impact of the fraudulent mortgages.

Meanwhile, Home Capital has seen their CFO retire, its Chief Risk Officier leave unannounced, several board members resign, its founder Gerald Soloway step down as CEO and remove himself from the board, his replacement CEO fired, and a total of 33 employees leave in 2016 alone. Representing only 1% of the total mortgage market, it’s too early to know whether Home Capital’s problems will spread, but already investors are losing what matters most in a highly leveraged business: confidence.

On April 26th, the day Home Capital lost 65% of its value, Equitable Group, First National Financial, and Street Capital Group saw their stocks fall 32%, 11%, and 10%, respectively. In the week proceeding, Equitable Group, a mortgage lender that mirrors Home Capital, saw C$75 million worth of deposits withdrawn as their stock fell 39% (5). Canada’s finance minister Bill Morneau has said there is no link between Home Capital and risks in the housing market and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz has said that Home Capital’s problems are “idiosyncratic,” believing they won’t trigger a contagion effect.

Are these statements akin to when the chairman of the United States’ central bank, Ben Bernanke, said in 2007 that “the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained”(6)? Already we’ve seen actions being taken to safeguard contagion from spreading. The C$2 billion emergency loan that kept the lights on at Home Capital was provided by the Health Care of Ontario Pension Plan with very stringent terms. The loans have an effective interest rate of 22.5% and are secured against two pools of mortgages from Home Capital’s loan book.

In pool A, Home Capital can borrow C$0.50 of every dollar pledged and in pool B C$0.26 for every dollar pledged. These terms tell us what the HOOPP thinks about the quality of these mortgages being put up for collateral and of Home Capital’s ability to repay the loan. Meanwhile, as investors were dumping Home Capital’s stock en masse, two asset managing companies provided a floor for the stock. CIBC Asset Management increased its position from 2.46 million shares to 9.69 million, while Turtle Creek Asset Management, Home Capital’s biggest investor, was also a buyer (7). It is important to note that these two asset managers were not investing their own money, but were making “investments” on behalf of other people.

Home Capital has also raised money by selling C$1.5 billion in mortgage renewals to MCAP Corp., one of Canada’s largest independent mortgage financing companies that originates, securitizes, trades and services residential and commercial mortgages (8). Equitable Group, Home Capital’s mirror image who suffered its own bout of eroding investor confidence, has been given a C$2 billion funding backstop by a syndicate made up of the 6 major Canadian banks to provide support in case the lender should need it (9). All in all, the fear of contagion is clearly evident and the question that needs to be answered is whether the fraudulent mortgages in Home Capital loan book are limited to 10% or is it a much higher number? And, how many of these mortgages are insured by the Canadian taxpayer through the CMHC?

CMHC

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation is a government institution that has been a leading contributor to the inflating of the Canadian housing bubble. The institution is the largest provider of mortgage-insurance for homeowners unable to make a 20% down-payment, protecting lenders from default thus enabling them to make more risky loans.

The CMHC is similar to America’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government institutions that were largely responsible for the collapse of the U.S. housing market. Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, CMHC also buys and sells mortgage-backed securities, mortgages that are pooled together into a bond that became the popular financial instrument that sank the global financial system in 2008. The CMHC buying mortgages leads to more lenient lending standards as banks know they can make loans that they can later sell to the CMHC and not have to keep on their books.

All of this is backed by the Canadian government and thus the Canadian taxpayer. What’s really egregious about the CMHC is that while they provide banks with full insurance against losses, it’s the homeowner who pays the insurance premium and that taxpayer who pays the deductible, the banks pay nothing. Currently, the CMHC has about 9% equity against its liabilities outstanding (10). If there is a housing correction, the CMHC would need a taxpayer bailout of epic proportions.

Banks

It wasn’t too long ago that the Canadian banking system was considered the darling of the financial world. Back in 2008, a survey by the World Economic Forum listed Canada’s banking system as the world’s safest (11), a title also given to the country by the rating agency Moody’s in 2012 (12). But today the sentiment is much different as Moody’s has recently cut the credit rating of the 6 Canadian chartered-banks stating: “Continued growth in Canadian consumer debt and elevated housing prices leaves consumers, and Canadian banks, more vulnerable to downside risks facing the Canadian economy than in the past(13).

In March, the Bank of International Settlements (the Central Banks’ Central Bank) listed Canada as having the riskiest banking system of developed countries based on credit-to-GDP gap, property price gap, debt service ratio, and debt service ratio if interest rates rise (14). Residential mortgages make up about 52% of all Canadian bank loans so suffice it to say, the banking system is very vulnerable to a downturn in the housing market (15).

What makes matters worse are the leverage ratios of the Canadian banks. The leverage ratio is a capital adequacy figure that measures a bank’s ability to withstand negative shocks to its balance sheet. In a balance sheet, the difference between a company’s assets and liabilities is its equity so that if a company sells off its assets to pay its liabilities, the equity left over is returned to the owners. If a bank has $100 in assets and $90 in debt, then $10 is the difference and represents 10% equity or capital. The problem with assets is they can fall in value. If the capital ratio is at 10%, then that means assets can fall in value up to 10% before the bank is unable to pay its creditors. The leverage ratio is an international regulatory banking standard set up by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The leverage ratio measures the core capital of a bank against its total assets.

As per their 2016 annual reports, the major Canadian banks leverage ratios are: RBC – 4.4%, TD – 4%, BMO – 4.2%, Scotia – 4.4%, CIBC – 4%, National Bank – 3.7% (16)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21). If the value of the assets of these banks fall in percentage more than these figures, then the banks become insolvent. And of course, in the banking industry, loans are considered assets and as stated earlier, 52% of the banks’ loan book is made up of residential mortgages. Compounding the situation is the report from credit agency Equifax that says they saw a 52% increase in suspicious mortgages between 2013 and 2016 (22).

This leads one to ask was Home Capital the only lender to partake in mortgage fraud? How secure are the uninsured mortgages on the banks’ loan book and what happens if these people lose their jobs and are unable to make mortgage payments? A recent survey suggests that over half of Canadians are $200 away from not being able to meet their financial obligations (23).

Canada’s Dependence on Housing

Since the decline of energy prices, Canada’s economy has become more reliant on the housing industry. In fact, without the growth in housing, Canada’s economy would be contracting. It is estimated that housing makes up 20% of Canada’s GDP with industries like real estate, construction, and financial services.

The number is significantly higher when you consider the indirect impact of a booming housing market. Lawyer fees, government revenues, and increased retail purchases due to the wealth effect of rising home equity values enabling households to spend more (24). Consumer spending as a share of GDP is around the highest since the 1960s (25).

Debt-to-disposable income was at a record high 167% in March (26), and while this ratio has little impact day-to-day as Canadians aren’t expected to pay off their debts tomorrow, it does highlight the vulnerability of Canadians to economic shocks. Another indicator, the debt-to-service ratio, which is the cost to carry debt relative to income, is at 14% and has remained there since 2008, but that’s because interest rates have been at historic lows since 2008. What happens if interest rates rise? A survey by Manulife Bank found that out of 2,098 people polled, 72% said they would have difficulty paying their mortgage if their payments rose by 10%. An increase of 10% in mortgage payments could take as little as a single percentage point increase in interest rates (27).

HELOCs = Home Equity Loans of Canadians

Government Debt

Moving on to the problems in the public sector, we’ve already seen the harm government can do with the CMHC distorting the housing market by guaranteeing mortgages and mortgage-backed securities, and blame should also be put on the central bank’s historic interest rate policy. But looking specifically at government finances, the debt held by provincial governments is alarming. Ontario has the largest debt held by any sub-sovereign in the world at over C$300 billion.

Quebec is at over C$180 billion in debt. Other provinces are currently running deficits with no end in sight. At the federal level, debt isn’t too bad at just over C$700 billion when you compare it to America’s $20 trillion, but that could change by the time the Trudeau administration is voted out of office. It is estimated that Canada could run deficits until 2050 (28) with the policies enacted by Prime Minister Trudeau and he’s on pace to break the all-time record for federal government spending per Canadian despite Canada not being in a recession or at war (29).

Excessive debt is future consumption denied while higher taxation ensured, both outcomes are destructive to an economy, as more of the country’s capital and resources are directed towards paying the interest on the debt rather than being used in the real economy. Moreover, as a country becomes addicted to government spending, it becomes more reliant on it and thus harder to cut. If the government is forced to cut spending, it will have negative ramifications throughout the country for many Canadians dependent on it.

Gold

A development that was largely ignored by the corporate media, but should concern Canadians, is that the Canadian government has almost no gold left in its reserves (30). Unlike America, Germany, Russia and China, countries with vast gold reserves, practically all of Canada’s reserves are pieces of paper. This is foolish and short-sighted as gold has proved to be the ultimate form of money that will retain its value during a crisis, while paper assets can easily evaporate in value during a crisis of confidence and a deterioration in confidence is exactly what could ignite a financial crisis in Canada.

The Loonie

The Canadian loonie has been under pressure in the wake of the Home Capital debacle, dipping below 0.73 to the U.S. dollar. In 5 years, the loonie has gone from being at par with the U.S. dollar to falling under 0.70 at the end of 2015, when oil prices were at its lowest. This weakness in the loonie creates price inflation for Canadians as prices are a reflection of the value of money. I believe this 0.70 mark is an important psychological level for the Bank of Canada because when the loonie falls below this level people start to feel it more at the grocery store and financial commentators start to make noise about it.

The bank has two means of supporting the loonie: raising interest rates or using their reserves to buy it in the currency markets. If we explore scenario one it’s not a pretty picture. The current rate at the Bank of Canada is 0.5% and people have been calling for them to begin raising it for a while, especially now that the U.S. central bank has begun raising its rates putting further pressure on the loonie/dollar exchange. A rise in interest rates will in all likelihood pop the housing bubble as debt becomes more expensive, decreasing demand for mortgages.

When house prices fall, reflecting the decrease in demand, that’s when delinquency rates rise as homeowners, especially in the subprime market, go underwater as their mortgages become more expensive than the value of the home. As delinquencies rise, houses are foreclosed and put on the market increasing supply, putting more downward pressure on prices. The CMHC (taxpayer) then needs to cover all the mortgages and securities it insured, while at the same time the value of their assets are falling. With only 9% equity, the CMHC would need a massive government bailout. If the banks’ assets fall below their leverage ratios, then they too become insolvent, needing either a bail-in or bailout. At this point, a full-blown crisis emerges, leading to further erosion of confidence in Canada and the loonie. Rising inflation is countered with higher interest rates, and the higher cost of debt cripples the economy as highly indebted individuals, businesses and governments all have to cut back on their spending leading to higher unemployment.

It’s clear why the Bank of Canada has been so reluctant to raise interest rates. Scenario two, using reserves to prop up the loonie, will likely be futile as the market is more powerful than governments. It may work at the beginning and buy time, but as the Bank of Canada bleeds through its reserves, this in itself will erode confidence leaving them in the same position they found themselves in at the beginning, only this time without any bullets left in the barrel. A third scenario is to just let the loonie crater and let price inflation run rampant. This might be feasible to start, but as consumer prices explode Canadians will be squeezed as their cost of living outpaces their income leading to lower living standards and social unrest.

Final Remarks

Using the 2008 financial crisis in America as a model, it wasn’t until September 2008 when the government nationalized Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which backed $6.2 trillion worth of mortgages – making it clear to everyone that a major crisis was unfolding, but there were many signs leading up to that moment that indicated something bad was brewing in the housing market, including in April 2007 when America’s largest subprime lender, New Century Financial, declared bankruptcy.

In Canada, already the Toronto developer Urbancorp has filed for bankruptcy and Home Capital would have done the same if not for the rescue loan and it’s still highly probable that Home Capital will file for bankruptcy in the weeks or months to come. Are we in the early innings of a financial crisis in Canada? What will happen to the loonie if the markets and its speculators lose confidence in Canada? And how will the Bank of Canada respond to a falling loonie? So far in 2017, the loonie has been the worst-performing major currency in the world. I’m not predicting that a major storm is a certainty, but there’s no denying that there are dark clouds forming above Canada.

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Vancouver Council Votes Against Mandatory Mask Mandate: They’re Not Required

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vancouver, Canada will not have a required mask policy in civic facilities, and instead will simply recommend that people wear them.

  • Reflect On:

    Should governments recommend what they feel we should do and present the science instead of forcing certain measures on the population that many people and health professionals clearly disagree with?

What Happened: The city of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada will not mandate masks inside city buildings and will “strongly encourage” people to wear them instead. This is a bold move as many cities across the globe have mandatory mask measures in place.

The proposal by Counc. Sarah Kirby-Yung, which would have required masks inside city buildings, was opposed by more than a dozen speakers who pleaded with the city council to vote against it.

“Please consider our forefathers fought for our freedom, and if we release that choice, it’s the first step towards a dictatorship,” said one speaker according to City News. “Masks are used as weapons and they have certainly been used as weapons against me and others to silence and marginalize us and it’s not fair.”

According to Coun. Christine Boyle, public health experts encourage wearing masks, but a mandatory policy is not needed.

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Positive Association Found Amongst COVID Deaths & Flu Shot Rates Worldwide In Elderly

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A recently published paper has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

  • Reflect On:

    Why does vaccine hesitancy continue to grow worldwide? What's going on? What information/factors are contributing to this hesitancy?

What Happened: A recently published study in PeerJ  by Christian Wehenkel, a Professor at Universidad Juárez del Estado de Durango in Mexico, has found a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and influenza vaccination rates in elderly people worldwide.

According to the study, “The results showed a positive association between COVID-19 deaths and IVR (influenza vaccination rate) of people ≥65 years-old. There is a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths from eastern to western regions in the world. Further exploration is needed to explain these findings, and additional work on this line of research may lead to prevention of deaths associated with COVID-19.”

To determine this association, data sets from 39 countries with more than half a million people were analyzed.

The study was published on October 1st, and two weeks later a note from the publisher appeared atop the paper emphasizing that correlation does not equal causation, and that this paper “should not be taken to suggest that receiving the influenza vaccination results in an increased risk of death for an individual with COVID-19 as there may be confounding factors at play.”

The paper provides evidence from others which have recently been published that ponder if the flu shot could increase ones chance of contracting and dying from COVID-19.

For example, this study published in April of 2020, reported a negative correlation between influenza vaccination rates (IVRs) and COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity. Marín-Hernández, Schwartz & Nixon (2020) also showed epidemiological evidence of an association between higher influenza vaccine uptake by elderly people and lower percentage of COVID-19 deaths in Italy, which directly contradicts the author’s own findings and suggests that the flu shot may help prevent COVID-19 related deaths.

He goes on to mention another study:

In a study analyzing 92,664 clinically and molecularly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil, Fink et al. (2020) reported that patients who received a recent flu vaccine experienced on average 17% lower odds of death. Moreover, Pawlowski et al. (2020) analyzed the immunization records of 137,037 individuals who tested positive in a SARS-CoV-2 PCR. They found that polio, Hemophilus influenzae type-B, measles-mumps-rubella, varicella, pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13), geriatric flu, and hepatitis A/hepatitis B (HepA-HepB) vaccines, which had been administered in the past 1, 2, and 5 years, were associated with decreased SARS-CoV-2 infection rates.

So, its important to mention that correlations between the flu vaccine have also found that it may decrease ones chance of deaths from COVID-19.

But are there studies that have shown an increased chance of death or contracting other respiratory viruses as a result of getting the flu shot? Yes.

That’s also discussed in the paper. For example, he mentions a paper published in 2018:

In a study with 6,120 subjects, Wolff (2020) reported that influenza vaccination was significantly associated with a higher risk of some other respiratory diseases, due to virus interference. In a specific examination of non-influenza viruses, the odds of coronavirus infection (but not the COVID-19 virus) in vaccinated individuals were significantly higher, when compared to unvaccinated individuals (odds ratio = 1.36).

The study above found the flu shot to increase the risk of other coronaviruses among those who had been vaccinated for influenza by 36 percent. The study was conducted prior to COVID-19, so it’s not included and only applies to pre-existing coronaviruses. The study also found an even higher chance of contracting human metapneumovirus amongst those who had received the flu shot.

Below are some more studies regarding the flu shot and viral infections that hint to the same idea.

  • 2018 CDC study (Rikin et al 2018) found that flu shots increase the risk of non-flu acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs), including coronavirus, in children.
  • A 2011 Australian study (Kelly et al 2011) found that flu shots doubled the risk for non-flu viral lung infections.
  • 2012 Hong Kong study (Cowling et al 2012) found that flu shots increase the risk for non-flu respiratory infections by 4.4 times.
  • 2017 study (Mawson et al 2017) found vaccinated children were 5.9 times more likely to suffer pneumonia than their unvaccinated peers.

Why This Is Important: We live in an age where vaccinations are heavily marketed. We’ve seen this with the flu shot time and time again and we are also living in an age where a push for more mandated vaccines seems to be growing.

Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal) and also an assistant professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. He published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.”  In it,  he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”

This is a touchy subject that dives into medical ethics and the connections that big pharmaceutical companies have with our federal health regulatory agencies and health associations. Vaccines are a multi billion dollar industry.

At a recent World Health Organization conference on vaccine safety, it was expressed that vaccine hesitancy is growing at quite a fast pace, especially among doctors who are now becoming hesitant to recommend certain vaccines on the schedule. You can read more about that and find links to the conference here.

We have to ask ourselves, why is this happening? Is it because people and professionals are becoming aware of certain information that warrants the freedom of choice? Should freedom of choice with regards to what we put in our body always remain? Are we really protecting the “herd” by taking these actions?

In a 2014 analysis in the Oregon Law Review by New York University (NYU) legal scholars Mary Holland and Chase E. Zachary (who also has a Princeton-conferred doctorate in chemistry), the authors show that 60 years of compulsory vaccine policies “have not attained herd immunity for any childhood disease.” It is time, they suggest, to cast aside coercion in favor of voluntary choice.

When it comes to the flu shot, I put more information and science as to why so many people seem to refuse it, in this article if interested.

The University of California is currently being sued for mandating the flu shot for all staff, faculty and students. A judge has prevented them from doing so as a result until a decision has been made. You can read more about that here.

In South Korea, 48 people have now died after receiving the flu shot this season causing a lot of controversy. You can read more about that here.

The Takeaway: There are many concerns with vaccines, and vaccine injury is one of them. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Should these statistics alone warrant the freedom of choice? Should the government have the ability to force us into measures, or would it simply be better for them to present the science, make recommendations and urge people to follow them? When the citizenry is forced and coerced into certain actions, sometimes under the guise of good-will, there always seems to be a tremendous amount of uproar and people who disagree. Why are these people silenced? Why are they censored? Why are they ridiculed? Why don’t independent health organizations receive the same voice and reach that government and state “owned” or organizations do? What’s going on here? Do we really live in a free, open and transparent world or are we simply subjected to massive amounts of perception manipulation?

When it come to the flu shot there is plenty of information on both sides of the coin that point to its effectiveness, and on the other hand there is information that points to the complete opposite. When something is not 100 percent clear, freedom of choice in all places should always remain, in my opinion.

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Some South Korean Doctors & Politicians Call To Stop Flu Shots After 48 People Die

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The number of South Koreans who have died after getting flu shots has risen to 48, but health authorities in South Korea have found no link between the vaccine and the deaths.

  • Reflect On:

    Is the flu shot as safe as it's marketed to be?

What Happened: It’s that time of year and flu shot programs are rolling out across the globe. The number of South Koreans who have died after getting the flu shot has now risen to 48 and some South Korean doctors and politicians have called to stop flu shots as a result, according to Reuters. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) has decided not to stop the program, and that flu vaccines would continue to be given and will reduce the chance of having simultaneous epidemics in the era of COVID-19.

Health authorities in South Korea have explained that they’ve found no direct link between these deaths and the shots. KDCA Director Jeong Eun-kyung said, “After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination programme since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering…the COVID-19 outbreaks.”

According to Reuters, “Some initial autopsy results from the police and the National Forensic Service showed that 13 people died of cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and other disorders not caused by the vaccination.”

The South Korean government is hopeful to vaccinate approximately 30 million of the country’s 54 million people.

Concerns Some People Have With The Flu Shot: One concern many people seem to have is the worry of a severe adverse reaction.

Dr. Alvin Moss, MD and professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine emphasizes in this video:

The flu vaccine happens to be the vaccine that causes the most injury in this country. The vaccine injury compensation program, 40 percent of all vaccinations in this country are flu shots, but 60 percent of all the compensations are for the flu vaccine. So a disproportionate number of  vaccine related injuries are the flu shot.

Moss is one of many who believe that the flu vaccine is not as effective as it’s been marketed to be. For example,  A study recently published in Global Advances In Health & Medicine titled “Ascorbate as Prophylaxis and Therapy for COVID-19—Update From Shanghai and U.S. Medical Institutions outlines the following:

Recently outlined A recent consensus statement from a group of renowned infectious disease clinicians observed that vaccine programs have proven ill-suited to the fast-changing viruses underlying these illnesses, with efficacy ranging from 19% to 54% in the past few years.

Dr. Peter Doshi is an associate editor at The BMJ (British Medical Journal)  published a paper in The BMJ titled “Influenza: Marketing Vaccines By Marketing Disease.”  In it,  he points out that the CDC pledges “to base all public health decisions on the highest quality of scientific data, openly and objectively derived,” and how this isn’t the case when it comes to the flu vaccine and its marketing. He stresses that “the vaccine may be less beneficial and less safe than has been claimed, and that “the threat of influenza seems to be overstated.”

These are just a few examples out of many claiming that the flu shot has not really been effective, opposing others that claim it is.  Mercury that’s still present in some flu shots also seems to be a concern.

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid more than $4 billion to families of vaccine injured children. A 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million.

Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project stated at a World Health Organization (WHO) conference that more doctors are starting to be hesitant when it comes to recommending vaccines.

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… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…

This is no secret, and actions against mandates are being taken. The University of California was recently sued for making the flu shot mandatory. That trial will begin soon, and you can read more about it here, and find information regarding the claim that the flu shot can help in the times of COVID-19.

The Takeaway: We are living in an age of extreme censorship of information, no matter how credible or how much evidence is provided, information that goes against the grain always seems to receive a harsh backlash from mainstream media as well as social media outlets. Why is there a digital fact checker patrolling the internet? Should people not have the right to examine information openly and freely and determine for themselves what is and what isn’t?

As far as vaccines are concerned, despite the fact that there are many safety issues the scientific community  is bringing up, a push for vaccine mandates continues and the idea that we are protecting other people is usually the narrative that’s pushed hard. Vaccine skepticism is growing at a fast pace among people of all professions, and people aren’t stupid. There’s a reason why more and more people are starting to question what we’ve been told for years, and those reasons should be acknowledged and openly discussed amongst people on both sides of the coin.

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