Before you begin...
“A Foolish Faith In Authority Is The Worst Enemy Of The Truth”– Albert Einstein
By Vera Sharav
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Note from the World Mercury Project Team: Following is Part Six in Vera Sharav’s seven-part exposé of the complex and widespread corruption that exists in the vaccination program, the deceptive practices by officials of “authoritative” international public health institutions and further evidence of the callous disregard for the plight of thousands of children and young adults who suffer irreversible harm. Sharav’s research is a must-read by those in our community.
You can read the previous parts here.
This recourse to authority is an attitude reminiscent of the American eugenics movement, when public health officials and academics at elite universities, embraced the pseudo-scientific tenets of eugenics, which were the basis for abhorrent discriminatory policies, including forced sterilization policies that were launched in the USA.
The internal CDC documents reveal that in addition to major methodological flaws and inconsistencies, CDC scientists and Danish scientists collaborated in outright fraud. Thorsen and his co-authors manipulated the results by excluding the largest outpatient clinic in Copenhagen – comprising 20% of autism cases in Denmark – from the pre-1992 cohort – thereby artificially inflating the autism incidence in Denmark after 1992 when thimerosal had been eliminated from children’s vaccines.
Furthermore, the authors of the Pediatrics (2003) article falsified their findings by omitting the 2001 data from their published report. The published report claims an astoundingly high (implausible) increase in the autism prevalence rate in Denmark after the phase-out and removal of thimerosal between 1990 and 1999.
This case reveals much about the corrupted vaccine literature. Indeed, the research community has not only failed to examine Thorsen / CDC research fraud, journal editors are knowingly facilitating fraudulent research articles to influence vaccination policies that put thousands of children at risk, depriving them of living normal lives.
The publicly accessible, internal CDC correspondence allows anyone to trace the underhanded route that led to the publication of the Madsen/Thorsen/ et al report in the journal Pediatrics – after it was rejected by the Lancet and by JAMA. A written communication between Dr. Thorsen and high ranking CDC official, Coleen Boyle (2003) reveals that when the paper was first submitted to Pediatrics with the 2001 data included; it was criticized by one peer-reviewer:
“The drop of incidence shown for the most recent years is perhaps the most dramatic feature of the figure, and is seen in the oldest age group as well as the youngest.” The reviewer questions the authors’ failure to discuss “the possibility that this decrease might have come about through elimination of [T]himerosal.”
The internal CDC documents further show that CDC brought pressure to bear on journal editors to publish the Danish studies. Dr. Cordero, Assistant Surgeon General, National Center on Birth Defects & Developmental Disabilities used his influence to persuade Dr. Lucey to publish the Madsen / Thorsen study, “Thimerosal and the Occurrence of Autism”
“I am writing in support of an expedited review and consideration of the enclosed manuscript… Specific aspects of vaccinations have been subject to inquiry includ[ing] the MMR vaccine and thimerosal…For thimerosal there are limited data…The Danish study is a powerful epidemiologic study …a key strength of the study is the ability to examine rates of autism prior to and after the discontinuation of vaccines containing thimerosal in Denmark in 1992. Contrary to what would be expected if thimerosal was linked to autism, the authors did not observe a decline in the rate of autism with the removal of thimerosal…
Its findings provide one strong piece of evidence that thimerosal is not causally linked to autism.” [Exhibit V: Cordero letter to Lucey]
How is it that even as thousands of journal papers are retracted from the scientific record – Retraction Watch counted more than 14,000 retractions– some are retracted for spurious reasons, others provide no explanation – yet, deliberately manipulated, fraudulent reports that were crafted to conceal vaccine safety hazards, have never been removed from the scientific literature. In fact, they continue to influence public health policy inasmuch as they were published in “authoritative” “high impact” journals.
- In the case of Pediatrics, a fraudulent study was published despite the fact that its editors knew that the 2001 data was omitted from the final version.
- US public health officials not only failed to disavow the fugitive’s research, federal officials have continued to collaborate and to co-author papers with him.
- Dr. Thorsen continues to collaborate with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network.
- Federal dollars continued to flow to studies in which he was or is involved.
- Thorsen is the named author of at least 19 reports following his fugitive status – “after his “disappearance”. The journals include: Pediatric Neurology (2016), PLoS One (2015), Pediatric Research (2014), Journal of Autism Development (2013), PLoS One (2013) (NCBI search)
- Both the HHS and DOJ continue to use his research as grounds to reject vaccine injury claims in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation.
- No retraction of the articles he was associated with during and subsequent to his 2004 to 2010 alleged criminal activities has occurred.
- The entire US public health machine acts as if the indictment never occurred.
Public health officials and the news media are using fear and exaggeration about the risks of infectious disease in the U.S., as well as the risks posed by un-vaccinated children, which is pitting neighbor against neighbor and parent against parent. They use the classic divide and conquer strategy.
Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), responded to Thorsen’s indictment stating:
“even if the allegation against Thorsen is true, it does not mean his science is bad… Let’s assume it is true that he embezzled money, the notion that it casts the science into question is false.For these big epidemiological studies, it is hard to believe that one person could effectively change the data.” (Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2010)
Dr. Offit is considered to be a leading authority, an ardent and outspoken vaccine defender/ promoter. This statement encapsulates the low regard that vaccinologists have for the integrity of vaccine science. Of course, like most vaccine promoters, Dr. Offit’s blatant conflicts of interest have enabled him to “vote himself rich”. He is quoted in Newsweek (2008) stating that the millions he made from the rotavirus vaccine patent: “was like winning the lottery.”
I believe that even if the allegations of embezzlement are not true, the evidence is indisputable that the studies produced by Poul Thorsen, and published in premier medical journals, are fatally flawed. By altering the inclusion criteria, excluding data that contradicted the authors’ claimed conclusion relegated the study to the ash heap of fraudulent junk science.
Furthermore, the following two studies “were conducted and results published without legally–required ethics clearances.”
- A Population-Based Study of Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccination and Autism” was published by The New England Journal of Medicine (2002);
- The validity of Childhood Autism in the Danish Psychiatric Central Register (co-authored by CDC scientist Diana Schendel) was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2010).
“CDC officials knew that the psychiatric registry records were reviewed without required permissions and they covered it up. In what are completely unethical acts by all involved, the team members went into damage control mode and decided that they likely could obtain permission for ongoing and future studies.
They concluded that it would probably be impossible to get permission for research that was already finalized (and published). It is absurd that experienced federal grants management officials even discussed the idea of seeking a human subject safety review retroactively. These are serious ethical violations. [sic] they shed light on the pervasive culture of corruption at the CDC.”
Dr. Coleen Boyle (had by then been promoted to) Director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, and Dr. Alan Guttmacher, Director of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Institute of the National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD) defended their agencies but provided no substantive information.
Boyle and Guttmacher evaded pertinent questions. When asked about why the number of children with autism has surged, they testified that autism has no known cause or cure; their focus was statistical tracking and detection tools.
- When asked if CDC had sought constituent input?
- Are there studies looking at the very aggressive way that we’re over-vaccinating our children”?
- Are you looking at the impacts of combinations of vaccines”?
- Boyle responded, “We know that vaccines save lives.”
- No response was given to the following questions:
- What steps were taken to ensure the integrity of the studies in which Thorsen was involved?
- Why did the FDA and HHS take thimerosal out of all children’s vaccines except just the one or two or three, if there was no problem?
Both Republicans and Democrats were exasperated by the evasive responses.
- Dr. Boyle finally acknowledged: “We have not studied vaccinated versus unvaccinated [children]”.
Dr. Guttmacher tried to impress the committee with non-specific claims of accomplishments: the NIH $169 million budget allocation for autism in 2011; he claimed “effective interventions…recent advances in networks” but could not give an example of an effective autism treatment resulting from the last 10 yrs in which the NIH had spent $500 million dollars on autism research, Dr. Guttmacher responded that progress had been “elusive” due to lack of funding. He did not wish to respond to the question, why thimerosal was still used in multi-vial vaccinations?
“I’m just sitting here, and I’m listening to all this. There’s something wrong with this picture. There’s something wrong… When you’ve got this combination of shots, and you go from 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 88, it seems to me somebody would say, wait a minute, let’s put the brakes on this, and at least let’s try to figure out whether the multiple-shot situation is causing this —
If I’m giving a baby nine shots in a day whether that—I mean, how much impact that’s having… you said there’s a body of evidence with regard to vaccines…
Mr. Chairman, I don’t know where we go from here… if we’re going to err, let’s err on the side of keeping children safe even if we have to [sic] do a pause and give one shot a day.”
Mark Blaxill, the author of The Age of Autism (2010), which documents that autism did not exist before the introduction of vaccines in the 1930s. Blaxill presented testimony on behalf of Safe Minds:
“Autism is a public health crisis of historic proportions. Autism is a public health crisis of historic proportions. Worse than poliomyelitis. It’s devastating a generation of children and their families. We need to face up to the reality Autism is a national emergency. Autism rates didn’t just rise, they multiplied.The old surveys didn’t just miss 99% of children with autism.
It’s horrible but true; reported rates of autism have risen simply because there are more cases of autism. In the midst of this crisis, the federal agencies responsible for the health of our nation’s children have failed in their duty. CDC’s negligence has led the way. Many believe CDC has actively covered up the evidence surrounding autism’s environmental causes.
NIH has received the lion’s share of Congressional funding, money they have wasted on status quo research and gene studies. It’s absurd to focus on genetic research in this crisis, there’s no such thing as a genetic epidemic. In the financial world, the result of the pressure to manipulate numbers to provide the answers bosses want has a name – securities fraud…what CDC has given us is the medical equivalent of securities fraud. All to avoid the inconvenient reality of the autism epidemic.
In 2006, Congress gave the NIH a mission to “combat autism.” You authorized $850 million for that mission… NIH spent most of that money on the great autism gene hunt while blackballing environmental researchers and defying parent concerns. It’s been a colossal waste of money and time. Not a single case of autism has been prevented. Not a single child received improved treatments. We need to conduct independent research into the great unmentionables, mercury, and vaccines, connections that we’ve documented in the earliest cases.
We need accountable new leadership. Please root out the failures, the waste, the fraud, the negligence and the abuse of these agencies that aren’t doing their jobs.” Blaxill’s latest book, co-authored by Dan Olmsted is DENIAL: How Refusing to Face the Facts about Our Autism Epidemic Hurts Children, Families, and Our Future (2017)
Cong. Bill Posey made an announcement, and submitted new information for the Congressional Record: “I have information that the fugitive doctor had been involved in [sic] 21 of the 24 studies with CDC”.
Another Major Episode of CDC Fraud & Scientific Malfeasance Came to Light
In 2014, Dr. William Thompson, the senior CDC epidemiologist who co-authored the 2004 study published in Pediatrics blew the whistle and revealed that fraud had been committed by CDC authors (himself included) to conceal the higher risk of autism for African American baby boys who were vaccinated prior to 36 months and prior to 24 months of age. Beginning in 2013, in taped conversations with Dr. Brian Hooker, Dr. Thompson revealed how CDC destroyed evidence of the risk for autism. He provided primary documented evidence – a copy of data that had been deleted from the published article in Pediatrics (2004) the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“We hypothesized that if we found statistically significant effects at either the 18-month or 36-month threshold, we would conclude that vaccinating children early with the MMR vaccine could lead to autism-like characteristics or features.”
When CDC scientists did find a statistically significant causal relationship between MMR and autism in African American boys, according to Dr. Thompson’s eyewitness account, CDC removed 260 black baby boys from the dataset and destroyed the data. The analysis in the published report in Pediatrics misrepresents the risk of having eliminated data from the dataset. That constitutes fraud.
Dr. Thompson stated that he wrote a letter alerting Dr. Julie Gerberding to the findings and suggested that the Institute of Medicine safety review committee should be informed of the risk, prior to its consequential February 2004 meeting. Dr. Thompson was reprimanded for contacting Dr. Gerberding and was put on administrative leave. He was threatened with being fired. In his taped conversation with Dr. Hooker – which was central in the film Vaxxed – he expressed shock by his own action:
“Oh my God. I cannot believe we did what we did. But we did.” “It’s the lowest point of my career, when I went along with that paper. I went along with this, and we didn’t report significant findings.”
“I am completely ashamed of what I did. I have great shame now. I was complicit, and I went along with that paper. I have great shame now, when I meet families with kids with autism, because I have been part of the problem.”
Dr. Hooker re-analyzed the complete CDC dataset in 2014, including the data that had been omitted from the published study in Pediatrics (2004). It showed statistically significant adverse effects at both 24 months and 36 months (RR 3.36, 95% CI 1.50-7.51, p = 0.0019). The higher relative risk of autism for African American infant boys, vaccinated with MMR prior to 36 months, was (330%) compared to other babies. His re-analysis was published online by Translational Neurodegeneration on August 8, 2014:
“The present study provides new epidemiologic evidence showing that African American males receiving the MMR vaccine prior to 24 months of age or 36 months of age are more likely to receive an autism diagnosis.
The results show a strong relationship between child age at the administration of the first MMR and autism incidence exclusively for African American boys which could indicate a role of the vaccine in the etiology of autism within this population group. The particular analysis was not completed in the original Destefano et al (CDC) study… the CDC study limited the total African American cohort to include only those individuals who possessed a valid State of Georgia birth certificate which decreased the statistical power of their analysis.”
However, Dr. Hooker’s article came under attack; pressure from the shadowy cyber enforcement squads, that act as a police force to suppress every independent vaccine study that challenges the mantra: “there is no link to autism… vaccines are safe and effective”.
On August 27, the journal removed Hooker’s article with the statement: “This article has been removed from the public domain because of serious concerns about the validity of its conclusions. The journal and publisher believe that its continued availability may not be in the public interest”. There was no specific fault or mistake cited.
On the same day that Dr. Hooker’s article was removed from the journal’s website, Dr. Thompson acknowledged the following in a statement issued by his lawyer (August 27, 2014):
“I regret that my co-authors and I omitted statistically significant information in our 2004 article published in the journal Pediatrics. The omitted data suggested that African American males who received the MMR vaccine before age 36 months were at increased risk for autism. Decisions were made regarding which findings to report after the data were collected, and I believe that the final study protocol was not followed.”
“My concern has been the decision to omit relevant findings in a particular study for a particular subgroup for a particular vaccine. There have always been recognized risks for vaccination and I believe itis the responsibility of the CDC to properly convey the risks associated with receipt of those vaccines.
I have had many discussions with Dr. Brian Hooker over the last 10 months regarding studies the CDC has carried out regarding vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes, including autism spectrum disorders. I share his belief that CDC decision-making and analyses should be transparent.”
Dr. Thompson then forwarded the documents to a U.S. Congressman William Posey who has repeatedly requested a congressional investigation.
“Mr. Speaker, I believe it is our duty to insure that the documents that Dr. Thompson are not ignored. Therefore I will provide them to members of Congress and the House Committees upon request. Considering the nature of the whistleblower’s documents as well as the involvement of the CDC, a hearing and a thorough investigation is warranted.“So I ask, Mr. Speaker, I beg, I implore my colleagues on the appropriations committees to please, please take such action.”
On August 26, 2014, Sharyl Attkisson, an investigative journalist who earned numerous awards as CBS science correspondent (1993-2014), conducted taped telephone interviews with Dr. Frank DeStefano, Director of CDC Immunization Safety, who co-authored the Pediatrics (2004) study.
He confirmed the verity of the confessions of CDC whistleblower, Dr. William Thompson about the omission from the published Pediatrics report, of children in the dataset, for whom there were no birth certificates here.
In a telephone interview, DeStefano defended the study and reiterated the commonly accepted position that there’s no “causal” link between vaccines and autism. But he acknowledged the prospect that vaccines might rarely trigger autism.
“Wouldn’t say it’s a myth, I’d say[sic] all the evidence, thus far, points to that there’s not a causal association between vaccines and autism…It’s a theoretical possibility…It’s hard to predict who those children might be, but certainly, individual cases can be studied to look at those possibilities.”
Attkisson writes, “They’re not even trying. A CDC spokesman told me that:
“the agency is not currently investigating the relation between vaccines and autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Further, CDC does not have any planned research addressing vaccines and autism. CDC believes that this topic has been thoroughly studied and no causal links have been found. Current CDC ASD related research focuses on determining how many people have ASD and understanding [other, not vaccine-related] risk factors and causes for ASD”.
When Dr. Thompson attempted to leave, CDC gave him a $24,000 bonus – a retention fee. Apparently, CDC continues to employ Dr. Thompson, because they feel more secure with him as an agency employee, enabling them to scrutinize his activities. Clearly, they feared his being outside the agency, which would risk that he might disclose additional CDC secrets.
CDC Continues to Conceal the Authentic 1999 Verstraeten VSD Study Findings.
When a request was filed with CDC to provide Dr. Verstraeten’s original dataset for independent analysis, CDC officials claimed the data were “lost.” Even after approval was granted, Dr. Mark Geier was blocked from gaining access to CDC’s Vaccine Safety Dataset which is the data CDC relied upon its study published Pediatrics. CDC continues to disseminate false reassurances in its “Science Summary Fact Sheet” claiming: “The evidence is clear: thimerosal is not a toxin in vaccines… there is no relationship between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism in children.” As its “evidence,” CDC cites the Danish studies.
In January 2017, the President and Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a press release in opposition to a federal vaccine commission on immunizations.
Fernando Stein, MD, FAAP and Karen Remkey, MD, MBA, MPH, FAAP stated: since we already know that: “vaccines are safe. Vaccines are effective. Vaccines save lives.” AAP declared that there is no need for further examination pf vaccine safety:
- Vaccines prevent forms of cancer.
- Claims that vaccines are linked to autism have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature.
- Claims that vaccines are unsafe when administered according to the [CDC’s] recommended schedule have likewise been disproven by a robust body of medical literature”.
However, when asked to provide citations to any peer-reviewed study that supports AAP’s claim that “vaccines prevent forms of cancer” or to cite the “robust body of medical literature” that supports its claims, the AAP declined, with a “no comment” response. (Immunization News, 2017)
WMP NOTE: This concludes Part Six. The final segment of this series will be entitled: Multiple Industry-Saturated Collaborating Partners Set the Agenda for Vaccination Policies.
Previously published articles: Sharav’s Introduction to the full article, L’affaire Wakefield: Shades of Dreyfus & BMJ’s Descent into Tabloid Science, outlines her well-researched and documented belief that, “Public health officials and the medical profession have abrogated their professional, public, and human responsibility, by failing to honestly examine the iatrogenic harm caused by expansive, indiscriminate, and increasingly aggressive vaccination policies.” Part One focuses on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the vaccine industry control vaccine safety assessments, control the science of vaccines and control the scientific and mass channels of information about vaccines. In Part Two Ms. Sharav interprets the complex web of internal CDC documents, revealing how key CDC studies and CDC-commissioned studies were shaped by use of illegitimate methods. Part Three takes a closer look at the Brighton Collaboration and the extraordinary influence these stakeholders have in the business of vaccines and their power to control the science and research and manipulate reports to further their own interests. Focusing on the HPV vaccine, in Part FourMs. Sharav explores how a global network of government/academic and industry stakeholders can suppress information about genuine scientific findings and, when needed, engage in corrupt practices to thwart the airing of information about vaccine safety issues. CDC’s childhood vaccination policy rests on the denial of safety hazards posed by vaccines and CDC officials are intent on shielding the policy and vaccination schedule at any cost. Part Fiveexamines documentation and internal correspondence that reveals how CDC used its influence and subsequently rejected scientific studies that contradicted the sacrosanct vaccine safety mantra.
More about the author: Vera Sharav is a Holocaust survivor and a fierce critic of the medical establishment. This article was originally published at www.ahrp.org. Stat news recently published an article about her and her work.
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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D
- The Facts:
Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.
- Reflect On:
Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?
Before you begin...
Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.
Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.
“Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine
According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame.
A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal.
“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed
How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.
If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.
Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms.
Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.
“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina
Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients.
Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.
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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)
- The Facts:
According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.
- Reflect On:
How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?
Before you begin...
Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.
What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,
It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.
Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.
This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.
According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.
Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.
These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.
When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.
Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.
That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.
Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:
Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”
This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:
As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.
In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:
“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”
It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.
For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:
If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.
Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.
As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.
There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.
Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.
That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.
The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.
Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. – Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)
This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.
Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.
The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.
Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.
In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.
To help make sense of what’s happening in our society today, we have released a course on overcoming bias and improving critical thinking. It’s an 8 module course and you can learn more about it here.
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Lebanese Hospital Becomes The World’s First To Go 100 Percent Vegan (Food)
- The Facts:
A hospital in Lebanon has become the first in the world to adopt a completely vegan menu.
- Reflect On:
Are people aware of the physical and emotional torture the majority animals we eat go through? Are people aware that a diet free of animal products can be very beneficial for human health. Are people aware that animal agriculture is destroying Earth?
Before you begin...
At the beginning of March, Hayek Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon became the first hospital in the world to serve 100 percent vegan only meals. Prior to this change, patients had a choice between animal based meals and vegan meals, and included with that was information about the health benefits of choosing plant-based foods versus the dangers of consuming animal products. The hospital made the announcement via their Instagram page, stating that “Our patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk, and eggs…the very food(s) that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.”
When the World Health Organization classifies processed meat as a group 1A carcinogenic (causes cancer) same group as tobacco and red meat as group 2A carcinogenic, then serving meat in the hospital is like serving cigarettes in a hospital. When the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) declare that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious disease comes from animals. When adopting a plant based exclusive diet has been successfully proven not only to stop the evolution of certain diseases but it can also reverse them. We then, have the moral responsibility to act upon and align our beliefs with our actions. Taking the courage to look at the elephant in in the eye.
Their various statements also point to the role that animal agriculture plays in spawning infectious diseases, citing the Centers for Disease Control’s estimate that 3 out of 4 new or emerging infectious diseases come from animals. “We believe it’s well about time to tackle the root cause of diseases and pandemics, not just treat symptoms,” they note.
This was a great statement. The modern day medical industry only seems to be focused on medications, and only medications that can turn a hefty profit, to treat and cure disease instead of addressing root causes. It’s good to see things changing, but a big problem remains. If a plant that grows in abundance, for example, has the potential to cure a disease, will we ever hear about it? Will the medical industry be interested in it? Probably not, but when a drug is made and patented from that plant in a specific way, that’s when we will. This is not to say that modern day medicine is useless, but today now more than ever a big problem exists, and this problem may be killing more people than it’s helping.
Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), a Harvard professor of medicine and also a former Editor-in-Chief of NEMJ, was frustrated that “the medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” (source)
According to Forks Over Knives,
While Hayek is the first hospital to completely purge animal products from its menu, a number of hospitals have begun offering more plant-based options in recent years. Both New York and California have enacted laws requiring hospitals to offer a plant-based option with every meal. In 2018 NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue launched the Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program to help patients transition to a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle.
The American Medical Association passed a resolution in 2017 calling on U.S. hospitals to provide healthful plant-based meals to promote better health in patients, staff, and visitors. The American College of Cardiology has issued similar recommendations.
In my opinion, “veganism is a very fine form of nutrition” (Dr. Ellsworth Wareham, heart surgeon), and as mentioned above, there is plenty of science to back up that statement. I’ve written about it many times before from a health perspective.
Here’s an article that goes into more detail and science if you’re interested, it also addresses history, and how our teeth and guts are designed and more. Here’s another one regarding a study that found a strong association between eating animal protein and a premature death from all causes, including multiple cancers and type 2 diabetes.
The studies cited in that article note that meat eating is strongly associated with up to a 75 percent increased chance of early mortality, and that protein from animals may cause harm, while protein from plants may help reverse disease and have a protective effect.
There are hundreds of these studies, and the ones I cite are just a few examples.
This is obviously a very controversial topic in the eyes of many, and it’s not hard at all to find conflicting information on the subject. I am no doubt bias in my beliefs and opinions here.
One thing is for certain, the way we treat animals on this planet is extremely heartbreaking and unnecessary. Animals are separated from their families, raised for slaughter and are kept in torturous conditions on a daily basis. It’s truly unbelievable and horrific. It’s the biggest genocide and example of both physical and emotional torture the world has ever seen. I don’t think anybody can witness what really goes on in most slaughterhouses can come out not being impacted.
On top of this, animal agriculture is one of, if not the greatest contributer to environmental degradation and pollution on our planet. Animal agriculture is actually the leading cause of deforestation. Every single day, close to 100 plant/animal/insect species are lost because of this practice.
Final Thoughts: At the end of the day it seems that, from a health perspective, processed meats, and other meats are no doubt harmful to human health. People can make the argument that other animal products may not be and that we are meant to consume them. People can also make the complete opposite argument. One thing that can’t be argued is, again, the torture, physical and emotional abuse that comprise the source of where animal products come from for the majority of people who eat them.
There is a big split, as with many other topics, amongst people on this issue. There are even vegan influencers who are creating splits within the ‘vegan community’ itself, which is unfortunate. I personally believe that, from a health perspective, animal products are not at all required for anybody and are again, overall, harmful to human health.
The more pressing issue, again, is the treatment of our animal brothers and sisters, and how we are constantly using and abusing them. It’s indicative of world that lacks empathy, compassion, understanding and love, as well as our inability to see ourselves in another. This can be seen in many aspects of the current human experience, be it war, human trafficking and more. That being said, it’s great to see human consciousness shifting towards a more compassionate, empathetic type of awareness. This is evident by the “vegan” movement alone, as it’s become quite large over the past few years and will continue to grow. Some of the biggest animal food producers have already gone out of business, and it’s great to see more people in the health community as well recognize that it’s a win for health, a win for environment, and most importantly, a win for the very emotional, intelligent, animals, who are similar to us in so many ways. We have so much to learn from them.
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