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It’s Time To Pay Real Attention to Children’s Health

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Every year, the President of the United States issues a proclamation in honor of Child Health Day (the first Monday of October), which in turn launches Children’s Health Month. President Calvin Coolidge was the first president to dedicate a special day to children’s health, in 1928, recognizing that “the conservation and promotion of child health places upon us a grave responsibility.” The U.S. is not living up to that vital responsibility and, in fact, is failing children miserably. American children’s ability to develop and thrive is being sabotaged by an avalanche of chronic ailments, with pediatric rates of some chronic conditions among the highest in the world.

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An abysmal children’s health report card

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Nationally representative studies show that the chronic disease burden shouldered by children in the U.S. is not only heavy but has increased steadily over the past three decades. One of these studies, published in 2010 in JAMA, used national longitudinal survey data to examine the prevalence of four types of chronic conditions (obesity, asthma, behavior/learning problems and “other” physical conditions) in American children and youth from 1988 to 2006. The researchers found that prevalence of these conditions doubled—from 12.8% to 26.6%—over the 18-year-period.

The results of a second national study were even worse. Over two-fifths (43%) of children participating in the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health had at least one of 20 chronic health conditions (see list of conditions in Table 1), and when the researchers added overweight/obesity and moderate or high risk for developmental/behavioral problems to their analysis, over half of all children (54%) suffered from at least one chronic condition.

Table 1. Chronic health conditions assessed by National Surveys of Children’s Health

Type Conditions
Developmental/neurological* Developmental delay; learning disability; conduct or behavioral problems; speech problems; attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; Tourette syndrome; epilepsy or seizure disorder; migraines
Other brain-related conditions Brain injury or concussion
Mental health Anxiety; depression
Autoimmune Diabetes
Atopic Food/digestive allergies; environmental allergies; asthma
Other Chronic ear infections; hearing problems; vision problems; joint or bone problems

*The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines developmental disabilities as physical, learning, language or behavioral impairments.

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The picture and trends for specific chronic conditions are equally bleak:

  • Developmental disabilities: Overall, more than one in six children (15%) between ages 3 and 17 have at least one developmental disability. The CDC notes that these disabilities “usually last throughout a person’s lifetime.”
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD): In 2012, the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network identified ASD in one in 68 children (1.5%); by 2014, the National Health Interview Survey (as reported by a different branch of the CDC) estimated autism prevalence at one in 45 children (2.2%). Parent-reported lifetime prevalence of ASD rose by almost 400% (from 0.5% to 2.0%) from 2003 to 2012.
  • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD): As of 2012, about one in nine 4-17-year-old children (11%) had ever received an ADHD diagnosis, up from 7.8% in 2003.
  • Tourette syndrome (TS): An estimated one in 162 children (0.6%) have TS (tics); of these, the vast majority (86%) have at least one additional neurobehavioral condition.
  • Epilepsy/seizure disorders: Roughly 0.7% of children have a seizure disorder. The risk of epilepsy is “strongly associated with increased number of allergic diseases.”
  • Food allergies: Allergies to food, including severe anaphylactic reactions, increased by 50% in children aged 0-17 (1997­–2011).
  • Asthma: In a nationally representative study of kindergarten-age children born in 2001, almost one in six children (17.7%) had asthma, and 6.8% had been either hospitalized or taken to an emergency room for asthma. Another study estimated that the lifetime prevalence of asthma increased by 18% in less than a decade (2003–2012).
  • DiabetesType 1 diabetes in youth (< age 19) increased by 21% from 2001 to 2009, for a 2009 prevalence of 1.93 per 1,000. Over the same time frame, there was a 31% increase in type 2 diabetes in children aged 10-19.
  • Obesity: Almost one in six children and adolescents (17%) are obese.

Vaccination and chronic illness

American children also are the most highly vaccinated in the world. Since 1990, when the U.S. began substantially expanding its vaccine schedule, the number of vaccines required for school entry has increased by approximately 260%. There also has been a growing push to recommend certain vaccines (especially influenza and the Tdap vaccine for tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis) to mothers-to-be, even though the package inserts for these vaccines openly state that “safety and effectiveness have not been established in pregnant women.” Currently, children receive repeated shots for 16 distinct illnesses (antigens). Counting vaccines administered during pregnancy, this adds up to as many as 73 total doses of the 16 antigens by the time children are 18 years old (Table 2).

Table 2. Number of Vaccine Doses Administered to U.S. Children through Age 18

Type of Vaccine Disease Antigens
(Number of Doses)
Hepatitis B (HepB) 3
Rotavirus (RV) 2 or 3
(by brand)
Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) 15
(5 shots x 3 antigens)
Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) 3 or 4
(by brand)
Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13) 4
Inactivated poliovirus (IPV) 4
Influenza (IIV) 19
Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) 6
(2 shots x 3 antigens)
Varicella (VAR) 2
Hepatitis A (HepA) 2
Meningococcal (MenACWY) 2
Tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis (Tdap) 3
(1 shot x 3 antigens)
Human papillomavirus (HPV) 2
Tdap (pregnancy) 3
(1 shot x 3 antigens)
Influenza (pregnancy) 1
TOTAL DOSES
Without pregnancy vaccines
With pregnancy vaccines

67-69 doses of antigens
71-73 doses of antigens

There can be no dodging the observation that chronic illnesses and neurodevelopmental disorders in children have increased in tandem with the burgeoning vaccine schedule. Unfortunately, citing bogus ethical concerns, the CDC has steadfastly refused to carry out a study comparing total health outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated children, even though a study of this type would help elucidate the apparent association. Filling this research breach, evidence from other studies has been slowly accumulating, highlighting telling differences between the two groups of children.

Health status: A pilot study published in 2017 by Anthony Mawson and colleagues in the Journal of Translational Science compared the health of vaccinated and unvaccinated 6- to 12-year-old homeschool children (N=666) in four states (Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oregon). In the U.S. in general, a higher proportion of homeschool versus public school children are unvaccinated; in this sample, 39% were unvaccinated. Otherwise, homeschool families are generally representative of U.S. families as a whole. For most of the analyses in this comprehensive study, the researchers defined “vaccinated” as either partially or fully vaccinated.

The study furnished a number of revealing results:

  • Chronic illness: Compared with unvaccinated children, vaccinated children had a more than twofold greater odds of having been diagnosed with any chronic illness and a nearly fourfold greater odds of a diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder (learning disabilities and/or ADHD and/or ASD). One in 13 vaccinated children (7.5%) had a neurodevelopmental disorder. Vaccinated children also had a greater odds of having a diagnosed atopic condition—allergic rhinitis, other allergies or eczema.
  • Partial versus full vaccination: Partially vaccinated children had intermediate results (between fully vaccinated and unvaccinated children) for most of the atopic and neurodevelopmental health outcomes.
  • Acute illness: Vaccinated children were significantly more likely to have had pneumonia and otitis media (middle ear infection). Unvaccinated children were more likely to have had chickenpox or pertussis. There were no meaningful differences for the other illnesses targeted by pediatric vaccines.
  • Preterm birth: Evidence (expanded on in a separate publication by the same authors) showed a synergistic increase in the odds of neurodevelopmental disorders in children who were preterm and vaccinated, suggesting that vaccination may “precipitate adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm infants.”

As far back as 1992, a New Zealand study produced almost identical findings, comparing the prevalence of 11 chronic health conditions in 226 vaccinated (46%) and 269 unvaccinated children (54%). With the exception of diabetes (zero cases in either group), the incidence of the remaining ten conditions (including asthma, tonsillitis, hyperactivity and “slow development of motor skills”) was two to ten times higher in vaccinated versus unvaccinated children. 

Use of health care services: In the Mawson et al. homeschool study, the vaccinated children were significantly more likely to use medications, to have visited a doctor when sick (past year) or to have had a hospital stay (ever). Echoing this pattern, a large 2013 study of pediatric clients at managed care organizations (MCOs) similarly found that “age-appropriately vaccinated children” used more health services than “undervaccinated” children. The MCO study, which included several hundred thousand children (N=323,247) born between 2004 and 2008, assessed undervaccination at two years of age based on “the difference between when the vaccine dose was administered and when the vaccine dose should have been administered.” The researchers also reviewed medical records to ascertain which children were undervaccinated for “nonmedical reasons” (that is, by parental choice). By these measures, half (49%) of the children were undervaccinated for any reason in the first 24 months, and an estimated 13% were undervaccinated due to parental choice. Undervaccinated children in the parental choice subgroup had significantly fewer outpatient and emergency department visits—both overall and for acute illness—compared with children vaccinated according to the standard schedule.

Undervaccinated children in the parental choice subgroup had significantly fewer outpatient and emergency department visits—both overall and for acute illness—compared with children vaccinated according to the standard schedule.

Toxic pathways to chronic illness

Increasingly, experts are studying how epigenetic factors contribute to the development of serious chronic diseases and disorders in children. Epigenetics looks at “de novo” genetic changes that “spontaneously arise within the child and are not present in the parents’ genes.” These changes control which genes switch on and off (gene expression). Many studies have described how environmental toxins prompt epigenetic changes that lead to developmental abnormalities and diseases. As the National Institutes of Healthconcedes, these environmental toxins include chemicals and medications.

According to the CDC, vaccines contain an astounding variety of ingredients, including preservatives and antibiotics to prevent contamination, adjuvants to stimulate a stronger immune response, stabilizers to enable transportation and storage, cell culture materials to grow antigens and inactivating ingredients to kill viruses or inactivate toxins. It is disingenuous to deny that these vaccine ingredients—both “chemicals” and “medications”—carry a sizeable toxic load straight into children’s bodies. Vaccine-friendly celebrity doctor Robert Sears acknowledges that parents are right to worry about the developmental impact of the “chemicals and metals and artificial things” harbored in vaccines. To name just four ingredients:

  • The neurotoxic ethylmercury-based preservative thimerosal is present in seasonal influenza and Tdap vaccines and can lead to accumulation of inorganic mercury in the brain in vaccine-relevant concentrations.
  • Aluminum adjuvants contribute to chronic neuropathology via multiple mechanisms, including through direct and indirect reductions in mitochondrial performance and integrity.
  • Formaldehyde, used as an inactivating agent, is both neurotoxic and a known carcinogen.
  • As an excitotoxin, monosodium glutamate (MSG) overstimulates nerve cells; neonatal exposure to MSG can produce “a significant pathophysiological impact on adulthood,” including increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier.

The ingredients of the Pediarix (DTaP-HepB-IPV) vaccine further illustrate the toxic soup injected into infants. They include formaldehyde; three different types of aluminum adjuvants; bovine, calf and monkey products; the inflammatory emulsifier polysorbate 80; and two different antibiotics. The complete list is as follows: “Fenton medium containing a bovine extract, modified Latham medium derived from bovine casein, formaldehyde, modified Stainer-Scholte liquid medium, VERO cells, a continuous line of monkey kidney cells, calf serum and lactalbumin hydrolysate, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum phosphate, aluminum salts, sodium chloride, polysorbate 80 (Tween 80), neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, yeast protein.”

Neurodevelopmental experts have described a number of biologically plausible mechanisms whereby the heavy metals in vaccines may trigger neurodegenerative processes by prompting chronic microglial activation and excessive immune stimulation; interacting with autoantibodies (which are associated with higher blood mercury levels); impairing detoxification pathways; and causing mitochondrial dysfunction. Both thimerosal and aluminum harm astrocytes, which play an important role in higher neural processing.

Questions that need to be answered

The parallel timing of the increased vaccination schedule in the U.S. and the chronic disease epidemic in children cannot be dismissed as a coincidence. Moreover, there are many additional vaccine-related questions that urgently demand answers. For example, what are the synergistic effects of multiple toxins such as thimerosal and aluminum, and what happens when these toxins build up over time? What is the association between the timing and spacing of vaccination and subsequent health outcomes? Is there a down side to tinkering with the innate immune system so early in life? On this latter point, Dr. Suzanne Humphries comments that aluminum adjuvants “create a red-alert situation forcing the infant’s innate immune system to respond in the opposite manner to the way it should function in the first year of life.”

Finally, it is important to remember that vaccines have been associated not only with morbidity but also with mortality. Infants in the U.S. receive more vaccines in their first year of life than anywhere else in the world, yet the U.S. infant mortality rate is much higher than in other high-income countries. A group of researchers examined reports to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) following Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) vaccination (1990–2013) and found reports of 896 deaths (median age=6 months); 749 records cited a cause of death, and 51% of these (n=384) listed the death as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Although the vague SIDS moniker often has made it difficult to definitively pinpoint a causal role for vaccines, in July 2017, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims handed down a decision ruling that the parent-petitioners put forth “preponderant evidence” that vaccines “actually caused or substantially contributed” to their son’s SIDS death. Corroborating a vaccine-mortality association, a study in the African country of Guinea-Bissau found that infant mortality in children who received the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis and polio vaccines was roughly double (10%-11%) the infant mortality observed in the no-vaccination group (4%-5%).

Infants in the U.S. receive more vaccines in their first year of life than anywhere else in the world, yet the U.S. infant mortality rateis much higher than in other high-income countries.

At this juncture, millions of children’s futures are at stake. It is critically important to honestly assess whether vaccines have had a net negative impact rather than the “enormous” beneficial impact that the public health establishment likes to present as fact.

The World Mercury Project is recognizing October 2017, Children’s Health Month, by launching a set of videos highlighting the chronic health issues plaguing our children. In our Campaign to Restore Child Health, WMP are also asking for everyone’s help to demand vaccine safety science. Our government health leaders who should be protecting children’s health are urging parents to vaccinate all children without doing the necessary safety studies. Watch the videos and read about the campaign.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones

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New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.

In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.

The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).

Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.

EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.

The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.

Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.

Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”

“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”

Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.

“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing portrayal of glyphosate as a benign chemical with no negative impacts on human health,” said Landrigan.

EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.

Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:

EDC’s can:

  • Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
  • Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
  • Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
  • Alter hormone receptor expression
  • Antagonize hormone receptors
  • Interact with or activate hormone receptors
  • Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
  • Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
  • Alter hormone synthesis
  • Alter hormone transport across cell membranes

The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two:  “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.

Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.

The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.

The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.

The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical,  particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.

U.S. government documents show glyphosate residues have been detected in a range of foods, including organic honey, and granola and crackers.

Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.

Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”

Written by Carey Gillam, research director of U.S. Right to Know, where it was originally posted. 

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

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Portuguese Court Rules That The PCR Test “Is Unable To Determine” A COVID-19 Infection

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A Portuguese court has determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt, and thus determined that the detainment of four individuals was unlawful and illegal.

  • Reflect On:

    With no clear cut answer, and many doctors and scientists contradicting each other, should governments be allowed to take measures that restrict our freedoms? Instead of force, should they provide the science and simply make recommendations?

What Happened: The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test “is unable to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, that such positivity result corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus”, said the Lisbon Court of Appeal. (source)

A Portuguese appeals court has ruled against the Azores Regional Health Authority, declaring the quarantining of four individuals is unlawful. One of them tested positive for COVID using a PCR test, and the other three were deemed to be high risk due to exposure, and as a result, the regional health authority forced them to undergo isolation. The appeal court heard scientific arguments from several scientists and doctors who made the case for the lack of reliability of the PCR tests in detecting the COVID-19 virus.

The court found that, based on the currently available scientific evidence, the PCR test is unable to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that a positive test actually corresponds to a COVID-19 infection for several reasons, two of the main reasons were that the test’s reliability depends on the number of cycles used, and the test’s reliability depends on the viral load present.

This was also brought up recently by tech mogul Elon Musk who recently revealed he had four tests completed in one day. Using the same test and the same nurse, he received two positive results and two negative results, causing him to state his belief that “something bogus” is going on here. He then asked his Twitter following

“In your opinion, at what Ct number for the cov2 N1 gene should a PCR test probably be regarded as positive? If I’m asking the wrong question, what is a better question?”

In the Portuguese appeal hearing, Jaafar et al. (2020) was cited, stating that “if someone is testing by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is  <3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.”  The court further noted that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown.

They also cited Surkova et al. (2020), stating that any diagnostic test must be interpreted in the context of the actual probability of disease as assessed prior to the undertaking of the test itself, and expresses the opinion that “in the current epidemiological landscape of the United Kingdom, the likelihood is increasing that Covid 19 tests are returning false positives, with major implications for individuals, the health system and society.”

The court also made the point that a medical diagnosis is a medical act, thus only a physician can determine if a person is ill, no other person or institution has a right to do that.

The court concluded that “if carried out with no prior medical observation of the patient, with no participation of a physician certified by the Ordem dos Médicos who would have assessed symptoms and requested the tests/exams deemed necessary, any act of diagnosis, or any act of public health vigilance (such as determining whether a viral infection or a high risk of exposure exist, which the aforementioned concepts subsume) will violate [a number of laws and regulations] and may configure a crime of usurpação de funções [unlawful practice of a profession] in the case said acts are carried out or dictated by someone devoid of the capacity to do so, i.e., by someone who is not a certified physician [to practice medicine in Portugal a degree is not enough, you need to be accepted as qualified to practice medicine by undergoing examination with the Ordem dos Médicos, roughly our equivalent of the UK’s Royal College of Physicians].”

In addition, the court rules that the Azores Health Authority violated article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, as it failed to provide evidence that the informed consent mandated by said Declaration had been given by the PCR-tested persons who had complained against the forced quarantine measures imposed on them….From the facts presented to the court, it concluded that no evidentiary proof or even indication existed that the four persons in question had been seen by a doctor, either before or after undertaking the test. (source)

According to Vasco Barreto, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Chronic Diseases (Cedoc) of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa,  it was irresponsible the way two magistrates dealt with the case. “PCR tests have a specificity and sensitivity greater than 95%. That is, in the overwhelming majority of cases they detect the virus that causes covid-19,” he said. This is indicated in a scientific article that is cited in the judgment, but that is read “completely wrong” by the magistrates, according to Germano de Sousa, former President of the Ordem dos Médicos and owner of a network of laboratories.

You can read more on why this judgement was “unscientific” according to them, here.

Why This Is Important: When it comes to the testing used to detect a COVID-19 infection, there is a wealth of information making it quite clear that the  (PCR)  tests are inadequate and unreliable for determining who is infected and who isn’t. As a result, there seems to be a strong possibility, according to many experts, that the number of cases recorded around the globe probably include a great number of false positives, meaning people who tested and do test positive for the virus don’t actually have it.

But is this true?

There is also a great deal of information making it quite clear that the PCR tests being used are indeed accurate, and very accurate. So, ask yourself this, how can there be “clear” information on both sides? What’s the correct information? How do we know what to believe? Are you open to consider another perspective about this pandemic, one that opposes what you believe? Can you see from the perspective of another person even though they may disagree with you?

There are many examples to choose from that reflect the idea that PCR tests are not accurate, and that they are. For example, the Bulgarian Pathology Association claimed that they are “scientifically meaningless.”  They cite an article published in “Off Guardian” that makes some very interesting points.

It’s been a common theme. Well after this, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated that:

“The false positive rate is very high, so only seven percent of tests will be successful in identifying those that actually have the virus.”

In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University and outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled: “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could be as high as 50%.

Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon argued the proportion of positive tests that are false is actually “around 90%”.

How declaring virus pandemics based on PCR tests can end in disaster was described by Gina Kolata in her 2007 New York Times article Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t.

On the other side of the coin, According to Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Centre and the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal:

”The rate of false positives with this particular test is quite low. In other words, if the test comes back saying positive, then believe it, it’s a real positive.”

According to Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, Senior Faculty Editor at Harvard Health Publishing.

False negatives – that is, a test that says you don’t have the virus when you actually do have the virus – may occur. The reported rate of false negatives is as low as 2% and as high as 37%. The false positive rate – that is, how often the test says you have the virus when you actually do not – should be close to zero. Most false-positive results are thought to be due to lab contamination or other problems with how the lab has performed the test, not limitations of the test itself

It also seems to be accepted by many scientists in the field that the number of infected persons is much higher than what we’ve been made to believe from testing, thus driving the infection/fatality rate even lower than what we are seeing. Estimates of infection fatality rate are on par with seasonal flu from this perspective according to many scientists and health professionals.

For example, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician and epidemiologist created The Great Barrington Declaration opposing lockdown. Approximately 45,000 doctors and scientists have now signed it. The compares COVID -19 to the seasonal flu.

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.”  John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University has said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old, explaining how that number rises significantly for people who are older, as with most other respiratory viruses. You can read more about that and access that here.

These are a few of multiple examples.

Is There Conflicting Info Due To The Politicization of Science? 

Kamran Abbas is a doctor, executive editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He has recently published an article about COVID-19 in the BMJ, the suppression of science and the politicization of medicine.

In it, he offers some food for thought,

Politicians and governments are suppressing science….Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

Globally, people, policies, and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas…The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.

The stakes are high for politicians, scientific advisers, and government appointees. Their careers and bank balances may hinge on the decisions that they make. But they have a higher responsibility and duty to the public. Science is a public good. It doesn’t need to be followed blindly, but it does need to be fairly considered. Importantly, suppressing science, whether by delaying publication, cherry picking favourable research, or gagging scientists, is a danger to public health, causing deaths by exposing people to unsafe or ineffective interventions and preventing them from benefiting from better ones. When entangled with commercial decisions it is also maladministration of taxpayers’ money.

The Takeaway: Politicization of science was enthusiastically deployed by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, and it is now regrettably commonplace in democracies. The medical-political complex tends towards suppression of science to aggrandize and enrich those in power.”

Are we really going to get anywhere if we are constantly polarized with regards to what we believe about this pandemic? More important than information and facts is our ability to empathize with another person who does not share our own beliefs and try to understand where they are coming from and why they feel the way they do. It’s also important for them to empathize with you, and at the end of the day we all must do this with each-other if we want to move forward. Polarization and separation, constantly arguing and fighting with one another will never get us anywhere at all, and simply leaves us open as a collective to harmful responses by governments.

Why is so much information being censored? Why is everything that’s controversial these days deemed a “conspiracy theory” and not really explored by a large majority of people? Given we are deeply feeling the need to make sense of our world, is it time we begin to look at developing the inner faculties necessary to move beyond ideology, limited thinking patterns and truly begin looking at what evidence around us says?

If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s that we need to change the way we think and how we relate with one another. Obviously, the measures being forced upon us are difficult, and may be causing a lot more harm than good, if any good at all.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

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British Medical Journal Editor Argues “Medical-Political Complex” is Corrupt & Suppressing Science

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Kamran Abbas is a doctor, executive editor of the British Medical Journal, and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He has published an article about COVID-19, the suppression of science and the politicization of medicine.

  • Reflect On:

    Can we rely on government and government health agencies to provide the citizenry with accurate information on COVID-19? Why are different perspectives from health professionals completely ignored by mainstream media?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has witnessed the suppression of not only science, but a number of prominent scientists and doctors from around the world. These doctors and scientists have shared their research, observations and opinions about COVID-19 that directly contradicts the information given to the citizenry by the World Health Organization (WHO) and government health authorities in dozens of countries.

Mainstream media is constantly giving attention to government affiliated scientists and is only sharing one perspective on this pandemic. Social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitter have all been actively censoring a number of scientists and doctors, but why? Why censor information if it’s not true? How can tens of thousands of doctors and scientists be sharing a perspective that’s constantly ridiculed by mainstream media?

I’m not talking about the more controversial films or messages like what has been touted by David Icke or the film Plandemic, we’re talking about real science from tens of thousands of respected and credentialed health professionals. Why are they not allowed to be heard? Why are there ‘fact-checkers’ going around the internet telling people what is and what isn’t?

These scientists have not backed down, for example, Michael Levitt, a Biophysicist and a professor of structural biology at Stanford University criticized the WHO as well as Facebook for censoring different information and informed perspectives regarding the Coronavirus.

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School created “The Great Barrington Declaration.” It now has approximately 45,000 signatures from doctors and scientists, the declaration strongly opposes COVID lockdown measures, stating that they do more harm than good and are not really effective.

Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, one of the most cited scientists in German history, who was chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Mainz along with his wife Karina Reiss Ph.D  have published a book titled “Corona, False Alarm? Facts & Figures.“  They are part of more than 500 German doctors & scientists who have signed on as representatives of an organization called Außerparlamentarischer Corona Untersuchungsausschuss. The organization opposes measures taken by governments worldwide.

These are just a few of countless examples out there from so many different countries. COVID-19 has united prominent scientists and doctors from around the world in large numbers, yet their concerns go unheard. Sometimes it seems like the mainstream media can make the minority feel like the majority, and the majority feel like the minority.

The general theme among these groups is that COVID-19 is not as dangerous as it’s been made out to be, and that there is manipulation of science and data on several different levels, from the infection/fatality rate, the number of deaths attributed to COVID-19, the number of cases that are actually out there, and the idea that the virus is being made out to be much more dangerous than it actually is.

What Happened: The latest example comes from Dr. Kamran Abbasi, executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal, editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, and a consultant editor for PLOS Medicine. He is editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and JRSM Open.

He recently published a piece in the BMJ, titled “Covid-19: politicisation, “corruption,” and suppression of science.”

In his article, he writes the following:

Politicians and governments are suppressing science. They do so in the public interest, they say, to accelerate availability of diagnostics and treatments. They do so to support innovation, to bring products to market at unprecedented speed. Both of these reasons are partly plausible; the greatest deceptions are founded in a grain of truth. But the underlying behaviour is troubling.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.

The UK’s pandemic response provides at least four examples of suppression of science or scientists. First, the membership, research, and deliberations of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) were initially secret until a press leak forced transparency. The leak revealed inappropriate involvement of government advisers in SAGE, while exposing under-representation from public health, clinical care, women, and ethnic minorities. Indeed, the government was also recently ordered to release a 2016 report on deficiencies in pandemic preparedness, Operation Cygnus, following a verdict from the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Next, a Public Health England report on covid-19 and inequalities. The report’s publication was delayed by England’s Department of Health; a section on ethnic minorities was initially withheld and then, following a public outcry, was published as part of a follow-up report. Authors from Public Health England were instructed not to talk to the media. Third, on 15 October, the editor of the Lancet complained that an author of a research paper, a UK government scientist, was blocked by the government from speaking to media because of a “difficult political landscape.”

Now, a new example concerns the controversy over point-of-care antibody testing for covid-19. The prime minister’s Operation Moonshot depends on immediate and wide availability of accurate rapid diagnostic tests. It also depends on the questionable logic of mass screening—currently being trialled in Liverpool with a suboptimal PCR test.

The incident relates to research published this week by The BMJ, which finds that the government procured an antibody test that in real world tests falls well short of performance claims made by its manufacturers. Researchers from Public Health England and collaborating institutions sensibly pushed to publish their study findings before the government committed to buying a million of these tests but were blocked by the health department and the prime minister’s office. Why was it important to procure this product without due scrutiny? Prior publication of research on a preprint server or a government website is compatible with The BMJ’s publication policy. As if to prove a point, Public Health England then unsuccessfully attempted to block The BMJ’s press release about the research paper.

Politicians often claim to follow the science, but that is a misleading oversimplification. Science is rarely absolute. It rarely applies to every setting or every population. It doesn’t make sense to slavishly follow science or evidence. A better approach is for politicians, the publicly appointed decision makers, to be informed and guided by science when they decide policy for their public. But even that approach retains public and professional trust only if science is available for scrutiny and free of political interference, and if the system is transparent and not compromised by conflicts of interest.

Suppression of science and scientists is not new or a peculiarly British phenomenon. In the US, President Trump’s government manipulated the Food and Drug Administration to hastily approve unproved drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir. Globally, people, policies, and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas.

The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.

How might science be safeguarded in these exceptional times? The first step is full disclosure of competing interests from government, politicians, scientific advisers, and appointees, such as the heads of test and trace, diagnostic test procurement, and vaccine delivery. The next step is full transparency about decision making systems, processes, and knowing who is accountable for what.

Once transparency and accountability are established as norms, individuals employed by government should ideally only work in areas unrelated to their competing interests. Expertise is possible without competing interests. If such a strict rule becomes impractical, minimum good practice is that people with competing interests must not be involved in decisions on products and policies in which they have a financial interest.

Governments and industry must also stop announcing critical science policy by press release. Such ill judged moves leave science, the media, and stock markets vulnerable to manipulation. Clear, open, and advance publication of the scientific basis for policy, procurements, and wonder drugs is a fundamental requirement.

The stakes are high for politicians, scientific advisers, and government appointees. Their careers and bank balances may hinge on the decisions that they make. But they have a higher responsibility and duty to the public. Science is a public good. It doesn’t need to be followed blindly, but it does need to be fairly considered. Importantly, suppressing science, whether by delaying publication, cherry picking favourable research, or gagging scientists, is a danger to public health, causing deaths by exposing people to unsafe or ineffective interventions and preventing them from benefiting from better ones. When entangled with commercial decisions it is also maladministration of taxpayers’ money.

Politicisation of science was enthusiastically deployed by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, and it is now regrettably commonplace in democracies. The medical-political complex tends towards suppression of science to aggrandise and enrich those in power. And, as the powerful become more successful, richer, and further intoxicated with power, the inconvenient truths of science are suppressed. When good science is suppressed, people die.

The Takeaway: What does it say about our world when so many voices are silenced? Why is this happening? How can so many doctors and scientists be wrong, ridiculed, completely ignored and censored to the point where not many people are even aware of the information they are sharing? Why do we only get one perspective from the mainstream media? Can we continue to rely on government, and government health agencies to provide us with real information and recommendations that have the best interests of the people at heart, or is everything we are seeing an attempt to not only control, but profit off the human race? Why have so many people lost faith in their government and the ability of it to deliver accurate and real information to the people?

Is it time to take matters into our own hands? Do we really live in a democracy when the voice and the will of so many people continue to go unheard and unacknowledged?

We’re in a time where these very questions are more important to answer than ever before. Action is needed, worldviews are shifting, practice is everything.

Dive Deeper

These days, it’s not just knowing information and facts that will create change, it’s changing ourselves, how we go about communicating, and re-assessing the underlying stories, ideas and beliefs that form our world. We have to practice these things if we truly want to change. At Collective Evolution and CETV, this is a big part of our mission.

Amongst 100's of hours of exclusive content, we have recently completed two short courses to help you become an effective changemaker, one called Profound Realization and the other called How To Do An Effective Media Detox.

Join CETV, engage with these courses and more here!

Continue Reading
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