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Getting the Measles in Modern-Day America—Not Nearly as Dangerous as Portrayed

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    This article was written By Dr. Alan Palmer, a contributing writer for Children's Health Defense.

  • Reflect On:

    Why have we been misled? Why does mainstream media simply ridicule thee types of arguments instead of actually addressing and countering the points made? Why is Facebook censoring vaccine safety information?

Before you begin...

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Throughout the 20th century, the U.S. and other Western nations made progress tackling problems related to nutrition, sanitation, hygiene, water, garbage and pests. With these improvements, the death rates from childhood infectious diseases plummeted—long before the advent of vaccines for those illnesses. U.S. vital statistics affirm that the measles mortality (death) rate had dropped 99.4% before introduction of the first measles vaccine in 1963.

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Fuzzy measles math

Prior to the measles vaccine’s U.S. introduction, the estimated number of measles cases annually was between 4 and 6.5 million (depending on the source). The government-reported mortality rate—pre-vaccine—was approximately 1 in 10,000 cases. So why do today’s media often report it as 1 in 1,000 cases? This appears to be an attempt to exaggerate the facts and promote fear to drive the vaccine mandate agenda. Ninety percent or more of all measles cases were so mild that they were never reported because parents never took their children to the doctor. Only 10% of overall cases were severe enough to warrant seeking medical care, but even in that subgroup, not all cases were reported. It was only among the 10% that sought medical care and were reported that the fatality rate was about 1 in 1,000. Modern news outlets get away with inaccurately reporting the death rate as 1 in 1,000 by leaving out the crucial word “reported” and referring only to “cases.”

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But even a death rate of 1 in 10,000 cases does not accurately reflect the situation for the majority of the population, for whom measles mortality was far less. Socioeconomic factors are very important in this discussion but often overlooked. In the middle of the last century, U.S. children living in poverty had poorer nutrition, less sanitary living conditions and less access to medical care. As one might expect, this resulted in less viable and resilient immune systems that made them more vulnerable to measles complications and death.

Two Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) studies support the observation that poorer children suffered more serious complications and a higher measles mortality rate. One study, titled “Measles mortality: a retrospective look at the vaccine era” (authored for the CDC’s Bureau of Epidemiology and published in 1975 in the American Journal of Epidemiology), reviewed statistics from 1958-1963. A 1980 study from the CDC’s Immunization Division, titled “Measles mortality in the United States 1971-1975” and published in the American Journal of Public Health, reviewed records from 1971-1975. Both studies showed that children who lived at or below the poverty level, and especially in rural settings, were significantly more likely to die from measles than those in the higher income brackets. In fact, the second study found a ten times (1,000%) higher death rate for those below the poverty level than for the more affluent population.

As I thought about those numbers and the 1000% greater incidence of death in poverty-stricken children, I became curious as to how disproportionate those numbers might be when considering the population as a whole. Remember, the overall mortality rate for the entire country was reported as approximately 1 death for every 10,000 cases of measles. In the pre-measles-vaccine era from 1959-1962, the total U.S. population was from 178 million (1959) to 189 million (1963), and the percentage of families living at or below the poverty level was about 8% (approximately 14 million). If that 8% had a 1,000% higher mortality rate than the more affluent population, it would stand to reason that the mortality rate for that affluent segment must be far less than 1 in 10,000 cases. Here are the CDC measles mortality numbers for 1971-1975 reported in the American Journal of Public Health:

  • Families with incomes of less than or equal to $5,000/year: 1 death in 237,467 (population)
  • Families with incomes between $5,000 and $10,000/year: 1 death in 1,009,437 (population)
  • Families with incomes over $10,000/year: 1 death in 2,190,837 (population)

In other words, for higher-income households, there was less than a one in two million measles fatality rate.

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Even lower mortality today

In modern-day America, there are many variables that would contribute to a dramatically lower measles mortality rate. What follow are but a handful:

  • The percentage of people living in poverty in the United States has decreased about 50% since the early 1960s (dropping from 8% to 4%). This alone would translate into a much lower measles mortality rate today.
  • Individuals living in poverty today have better access to sanitary water, nutrient-enriched foods, vitamins and medical care than 60 years ago.
  • Today, rural America has better access to medical care and doctors than in the middle of the last century.
  • Knowledge of personal hygiene and its importance has become part of the fabric of society. This helps to reduce the spread of disease and improves outcomes.
  • Since 1960, much has been learned about the power of vitamin A in reducing complications and deaths from measles. The World Health Organization (WHO) has touted the success of its vitamin A campaign in developing countries for reducing measles-related complications and deaths.
  • Many other herbal and natural antiviral compounds have been discovered in the last 60 years.
  • Immunoglobulin therapy is available today for individuals who are vulnerable to measles complications.

When it comes to advances in quality of living and easier access to all the resources that can promote better health, wouldn’t you agree that most people in the U.S. are experiencing the polar opposite of what people living in abject poverty in low-income nations experience? Today, more American families and children benefit from a higher standard of living than ever before; more are able to afford nutritious food and even nutritional supplements; more enjoy clean living conditions; more have access to better medical and social services; and more are knowledgeable about key health principles. In this context, it only makes sense that measles morbidity and mortality rates would plummet.

Contrary to what the pharma-controlled media would have us believe, the United States today is not equivalent to an impoverished low-income country. Yes, measles can be a deadly illness in those parts of the world where living conditions are similar to those that prevailed in large overcrowded U.S. and European cities in the 1800s and early 1900s—yet big pharma would have everyone in the U.S. and the West believe that if they don’t take all the vaccines that officials can muster, they will be in danger of sliding back to the Dark Ages, with millions of people ravaged by infection and hanging on by an extremely fine and frayed thread.

The MMR vaccine’s history and risks

It is impossible to say for sure what the mortality rate would be if measles were to return to the U.S. on a wider scale, but the evidence just described and the continued advances in treating infectious diseases both holistically and medically indicate that the rate could well be one death per 200,000 cases—or less. If there were four million measles cases, that would amount to around 20 deaths.

Many will say that one death is one too many—and I would agree. But we must contrast the complications and deaths that might be caused by natural measles infection with the rates of injuries and deaths attributed to the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. We must also consider the probability that the MMR vaccine—along with the ever-increasing childhood vaccine schedule—may well play a role in the meteoric rise of neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, learning and behavioral problems, gastrointestinal disorders, reproductive disorders and autoimmune and other chronic diseases. All of these conditions are at epidemic levels, and the human and financial costs are becoming astronomical!

In a historical look at the adverse reactions and deaths due to the measles and MMR vaccines, titled “Can measles vaccine cause injury and death?,” we learn the following: “As of May 31, 2019, there have been more than 94,972 reports of measles vaccine reactions, hospitalizations, injuries and deaths following measles vaccinations made to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), including 468 related deaths, 7,127 hospitalizations, and 1,820 related disabilities.” And these statistics are most certainly just a drop in the bucket. According to CDC-sponsored research, less than 1% of the adverse reactions from vaccines are ever reported to VAERS. The report describing the widespread problem of underreporting was titled Electronic Support for Public Health-Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS) and is often referred to as the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care study. Multiply the May 31 statistics about adverse reactions and vaccine injuries just from the measles/MMR vaccines by 100 (or add two zeros to those numbers), and you are closer to the actual number of measles-vaccine-related adverse reactions. Given that VAERS receives total reports of somewhere in the neighborhood of 60,000 adverse reactions annually, the true number of vaccine-related adverse events in the U.S. alone is more likely to be around six million annually.

While the media portray the MMR vaccine as the 21st-century “holy grail” of vaccines, the MMR has many skeletons in its closet. For example, a 215-page internal Merck document recently came to light thanks to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. on behalf of the Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN). It reports on the pre-licensure studies that were performed on the MMR vaccine. Among many interesting observations, one of the most glaring is a summary of findings on page 43 where it states: “Upper respiratory and gastrointestinal infections were reported in about 55% and 40% of vaccinees respectively.” Oh, the irony—it appears that Dr. Andrew Wakefield’s findings regarding the pathological changes in the gastrointestinal tracts of the children in his famous since-retracted 1998 study have been vindicated by Merck’s own pre-licensure studies! In other words, Merck and the vaccine industry knew about the evidence that Dr. Wakefield presented all along, yet they ruined his career to protect their investment in the MMR vaccine.

In addition, there are several scandals surrounding the MMR’s pre-licensure and post-licensure studies. First, two whistleblower scientists (Stephen Krahling and Joan Wlochowski) who worked on the pre-licensure studies to gain FDA approval for the mumps component of the vaccine have accused Merck of “spiking” samples of human blood with mumps antibodies from rabbit’s blood. They brought a case under the False Claims Act, alleging fraud against Merck that is still working its way through the courts. According to an article in Global Research titled “Merck senior management tried to pay off its own vaccine scientists to remain silent about scientific fraud,” the filing accuses Merck of lying about the safety and effectiveness of MMR vaccines, tampering with study data, defrauding the U.S. government and various other high-level crimes.

Second, Dr. William Thompson, a senior CDC scientist working on a major study to determine whether the MMR vaccine was associated with increased rates of autism, came forward in 2014 alleging CDC fraud. Dr. Thompson stated that when the data showed a significant vaccine-autism association, supervisors ordered the CDC researchers working on the study to bring all of their notes and study-related documents to a meeting to deposit them into a large trash can to be destroyed. Suspecting foul play, Dr. Thompson kept a full copy of all the records. Several years later, compelled by his conscience, he contacted Brian Hooker, PhD with a full confession. Dr. Thompson provided Dr. Hooker with over 10,000 pages of documents supporting his allegations and other examples of malfeasance.

On September 10, 2019, Children’s Health Defense published a response by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to a misleading article in The New Yorker—which The New Yorker itself refused to publish—that made several more critical points about vaccine risks:

  • Merck’s MMR pre-licensure studies found that 40% of children receiving the MMR suffered gastrointestinal illnesses within 42 days of the injection, and 55% suffered respiratory illnesses. These are symptoms that might persuade rational consumers to choose the infections over the vaccine.
  • The MMR’s package insert includes an almost two-page listing of over 60 adverse reactions ranging from vomiting and irritability to permanent brain damage and anaphylaxis. The Institute of Medicine has repeatedly pointed out the CDC’s failure to perform the studies necessary to confirm whether the MMR vaccine is causing these injuries.
  • Merck acknowledges that an astonishing 26% of post-pubertal females might develop arthritis and arthralgia from the MMR vaccine.
  • A 2017 letter published in The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) cited research showing that children receiving the MMR vaccine had five times the seizure rate of children with measles infections. A 2004 JAMA study found that an additional 1 in 640 children has seizures after MMR vaccination compared to unvaccinated children; about 5% of these will progress to epilepsy.

For further information, download my free eBook, 1200 Studies: Truth will Prevail. It has easy search and navigation features and links directly to article abstracts on PubMed or the source journal. These features make it an invaluable research and reference tool. Now 718 pages long, the eBook covers over 1,400 published studies—authored by thousands of scientists and researchers—that contradict what officials are telling the public about vaccine safety and efficacy.

Sign up for free news and updates from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Children’s Health Defense. CHD is planning many strategies, including legal, in an effort to defend the health of our children and obtain justice for those already injured. Your support is essential to CHD’s successful mission.

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3 Powerful Tools to Help Overcome the Emotional Toll of the Pandemic

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  • Reflect On:

    If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try these suggestions before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies.

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The pandemic has had a significant effect on our lives. Possibly without realizing it, many are suffering from a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Every news cycle paralyzes us with fear of a new variant. Some feel grief over who or what they have lost or continue to have feelings of social disconnectedness. Despite what we have all been through, we need to start moving forward with our lives and truly live again. We must recognize that we have more control over our physical and mental health than advertised. The truth is that there are many helpful things that we can do.

PTSD is a stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm was a threat or occurred. Those with PTSD may experience agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, social isolation, flashbacks, fear, anxiety, depression, attention difficulty, loneliness, insomnia, or nightmares.

Trauma can lead to feelings of powerlessness, but powerlessness can also keep us trapped in a PTSD cycle. The psychological imprint of trauma rewires the brain. There’s an old saying in neuroscience: “neurons that fire together wire together.” Our brain neurons begin firing in the amygdala, the emotional part of our brains, during a traumatic event. People can get stuck in an emotional loop, and the rational voice in their heads does not weigh in. This looping can cause a person to respond disproportionately to stress – freezing, panicking, or acting out in anger. Some dissociate or enter a trance-like state. Maladaptive coping skills can sometimes develop. Cutting, burning, overeating, drinking, drugs, overspending, etc., is all an attempt to dampen our painful emotional feelings. So, to avoid getting stuck in a PTSD cycle, we must act and take our power back.

Time to seek out the most effective help so that we can feel calm and in control again. What can we do?

1. Boost Your Immune System

If you fear getting sick, it’s time to live a healthier lifestyle and boost your immune system. Sadly, we are taught (with the help of pharmaceutical dollars) that health comes from a needle or a pill. Our “experts” recommend masks, hand-washing, social distancing, and mRNA vaccines. Still, they seldom suggest a healthy diet, supplements, and other natural remedies to help improve our health and support the body to fight off illness and disease. Click here for my article that includes 16 Tips on Boosting Immunity.

2. Embrace Spirituality

Over the last 20 years, I have been honored to have worked with many great therapists, healers, spiritual leaders, and trauma survivors to witness the power of Spirituality in healing. Spirituality is an inner belief system providing an individual with meaning and purpose in life. Whether it involves a higher power, nature, religious rituals, meditation, mindfulness, or prayer, the premise is to stay connected to the core of who we are. That place of stillness within us holding the memory of wholeness, peace, inner strength, and balance – despite what has happened. A spiritual philosophy or practice can provide us with a bigger context for our experiences and clarify our purpose. Spiritual methods also connect us with a sense of community and support. Finding our tribe is essential in the face of trauma and loss. The spiritual journey often allows us to go inside ourselves and listen to our inner guidance and “knowingness.” The inner voice may know, for instance, that the virus will not hurt us, or what we are being told by the media is untrue. Spirituality also helps us shift our perspective from “why me” to “what can I do about it. It brings us a sense of power and control.

3. Guided Imagery & Bilateral Stimulation

Both tools are essential for the trauma therapy toolbox. They are noninvasive and helpful for overcoming the effects of trauma. Guided imagery can help us alter the negative or stressful pictures and thoughts in our minds and help us create new, more peaceful ones—a form of instilling positive affirmations. Before you read on, I thought you might like to download my 10-minute exercise. This science-based, comprehensive video will help you to cultivate a sense of inner peace and give you a way to help overcome the effects of this pandemic – GET IT HERE

Is There Science Behind This?

Science, yes. Magic, no. This method requires regular practice if you want to make lasting, long-term changes to the ways that you think and feel. The good news is that both guided imagery and bilateral stimulation are widely practiced and well-established practices. However, I recommend that if you are still struggling after repeated listening, you find a qualified trauma therapist to continue the work you have already started.

A Look At The Research

Guided imagery is a behavioral technique using a series of verbal suggestions to guide oneself or others in visualizing an image in the mind to bring a desired response in the way of a reduction in stress, anxiety, or pain. A growing list of empirical literature supports the use of these techniques in various physical and emotional conditions. Guided imagery resulted in a clinically significant reduction in PTSD and related symptoms in a returning, combat-exposed active-duty military population. Positive affirmations can positively affect the brain’s circuitry. There is MRI evidence suggesting that specific neural pathways are increased when people practice self-affirmation tasks.

Numerous research articles have established that bilateral stimulation is one of the most effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some therapists practice Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a combination of psychotherapy and bilateral stimulation. EMDR is very effective for treating a wide range of mental health issues due to emotional and physical trauma. During bilateral stimulation, patients tend to “process” the memory in a way that leads to a peaceful resolution. And, often results in increased insight regarding both previously disturbing events and long-held negative thoughts about the self.

“Bilateral Stimulation induces a fundamental change in brain circuitry, similar to what happens in REM sleep. It allows the person undergoing treatment to process and incorporate traumatic memories into general association networks in the brain. This therapy helps the individual integrate and understand the memories within the larger context of their life experience.” – Robert Stickgold, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School

Takeaway

If you feel stressed or feel that you have PTSD resulting from this pandemic, try the above suggestions and download my helpful video before resorting to medication or maladaptive coping strategies. Also, you can discover the many mind-body practices you can do at home to help manage stress more successfully and so much more. SIGN UP HERE to receive your free download today. To purchase my book Healing Without Hurting, click here.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Most Diabetic, Heart Disease & Alzheimer’s Deaths Categorized As “Covid” Deaths (UK)

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    According to professor of evidence based medicine at Oxford Dr. Carl Heneghan , who is also an emergency GP, most diabetic, heart disease & alzheimer's deaths were categorized as COVID deaths in the United Kingdom.

  • Reflect On:

    How many deaths have actually been a result of COVID? Why is this pandemic surrounded with so much controversy? Why does mainstream media fail at having appropriate conversations about 'controversial' evidence/opinions?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

 Dr. Carl Heneghan has an interesting view on the pandemic, not only is he a professor of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University, he also works Saturday shifts as an emergency GP. This allows him to see healthcare from both the academic perspective as well as the healthcare experience, more specifically, it allows him to see COVID from both perspectives.

What Happened: In a recent article he wrote for The Spectator, he writes the following,

It’s hard to imagine, let alone measures, the side effects of lockdowns. The risk with the government’s ‘fear’ messaging is that people become so worried about burdening the NHS that they avoid seeking medical help. Or by the time they do so, it can be too late. The big rise in at-home deaths (still ongoing) points to that. You will be familiar with the Covid death toll, updated in the papers every day. But did you know that since the pandemic, we’ve had 28,200 more deaths among diabetics that we’d normally expect? That’s not the kind of figure they show on a graph at No. 10 press conference. For people with heart disease, it’s 17,100. For dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s 22,800. Most were categorised as Covid deaths: people can die with multiple conditions, so they can fall into more than one of these categories. It’s a complicated picture. But that’s the problem in assessing lockdown. you need to do a balance of risks.

Evidence-based medicine might sound like a tautology — what kind of medicine isn’t based on evidence? I’m afraid that you’d be surprised. Massive decisions are often taken on misleading, low-quality evidence. We see this all the time. In the last pandemic, the swine flu outbreak of 2009, I did some work asking why the government spent £500 million on Tamiflu: then hailed as a wonder drug. In fact, it proved to have a very limited effect. The debate then had many of the same cast of characters as today: Jonathan Van-Tam, Neil Ferguson and others. The big difference this time is the influence of social media, whose viciousness is something to behold. It’s easy to see why academics would self-censor and stay away from the debate, especially if it means challenging a consensus.

This is something that’s been a concern since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, a report published during the first wave in the British Medical Journal  titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19″ has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom, as a result of the new coronavirus, may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May.

According to the data, COVID-19, at the time of publication, only accounted for 10,000 of the 30,000 excess deaths that have been recorded in senior care facilities during the height of the pandemic. The article quotes British Health officials stating that these unexplained deaths may have occurred because quarantine measures have prevented seniors from accessing the health care that they need.

Fast forward to more recent research regarding lockdowns, and these concerns have grown. Professor Anna-Mia Ekström and Professor Stefan Swartling Peterson have gone through the data from UNICEF and UNAIDS, and came to the conclusion that at least as many people have died as a result of the restrictions to fight COVID as have died of COVID. You can read more about that here.

These are just a few of many examples. You can read more about the hypothesized “catastrophic” impacts of lockdown, here.

When it comes to what he mentions about academics shying away from debate, especially if their research goes against the grain, we’ve a seen a lot of that too. Here’s a great example you can read about from Sweden regarding zero deaths of school children during the first wave despite no masks mandates or lockdown measures. Jonas F Ludvigsson, a paediatrician at Örebro University Hospital and professor of clinical epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute is quitting his work on COVID-19 because of harassment from people who dislike what he has discovered.

Why This Is Important: Heneghan’s words are something that many people have been concerned about when it comes to the deaths that are attributed to COVID-19. How many of them are actually a result of COVID? The truth seems to be that we don’t really know. But one thing we do know is that total death toll caused by COVID doesn’t seem to be quite accurate.

That being said, we do know that people with comorbidities are more susceptible to illness and death from COVID, and that’s something to keep in mind. For people with underlying health conditions, covid, just like flu or pneumonia, can be fatal.

Ontario (Canada) Public Health has a page on their website titled “How Ontario is responding to COVID-19.” On it, they clearly state that deaths are being marked as COVID deaths and are being included in the COVID death count regardless of whether or not COVID actually contributed to or caused the death. They state the following:

Any case marked as “Fatal” is included in the deaths data. Deaths are included whether or not COVID-19 was determined to be a contributing or underlying cause of death…”

This statement from Ontario Public Health echoes statements made multiple times by Canadian public health agencies and personnel. According to Ontario Ministry Health Senior Communications Advisor Anna Miller:

As a result of how data is recorded by health units into public health information databases, the ministry is not able to accurately separate how many people died directly because of COVID versus those who died with a COVID infection.

In late June 2020, Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that:

“Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

It’s not just in Canada where we’ve seen these types of statements being made, it’s all over the world. There are multiple examples from the United States that we’ve covered since the start of the pandemic.

For example, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health stated the following during the first wave of the pandemic:

If you were in hospice and had already been given a few weeks to live and then you were also found to have COVID, that would be counted as a COVID death, despite if you died of a clear alternative cause it’s still listed as a COVID death. So, everyone who is listed as a COVID death that doesn’t mean that was the cause of the death, but they had COVID at the time of death.

Also during the first wave, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had to announce a change to how it tallies coronavirus deaths due to complaints that it inflated the numbers.

As you can see, we’ve struggled to find an accurate way to go about tallying COVID deaths since the start, creating more fear and hysteria around total numbers that are plastered constantly in front of citizens by news stations. That being said, a lot of people who are dying of COVID do have co-morbidities as well. But as the professor says, “it’s a complicated picture” and hard to figure out, and probably something we will never figure out.

There’s been a lot of “fear mongering” by governments and mainstream media, and some believe that lockdowns and masks are simply being used as a psychological tool to keep that fear constant, which in turn makes it easier to control people and make them comply.

Meanwhile, there are a lot of experts in the field who are pointing to the fact that yes, COVID is dangerous, but it does not at all warrant the measures that are being taken, especially when the virus has a 99.95 percent survival rate for people over the age of 70. There are better ways to protect the vulnerable without creating even more chaos that lockdown measures have created, and are creating throughout this pandemic.

That said, it’s also important to note that some calls for lockdown measures are focused on stopping hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. Why do some places with very restrictions see no hospital capacity issues? Why do some places with a lot of restrictions see hospital capacity issues? Why do we also see the opposite for both in some areas? These questions appear to be unanswered still. That being said. Hospitals have always been overwhelmed. This is not a new phenomenon.

The main issue here is not who is right or wrong, it’s the censorship of data, science, and opinions of experts in the field. The censorship that has occurred during this pandemic has been unprecedented.

Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. COVID-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science. –  Dr. Kamran Abbasi, recent executive editor of the prestigious British Medical Journal (source)

This censorship alone has been an excellent catalyst for people to question what we are constantly hearing from mainstream media, government, and political scientists. Any type of information that calls into question the recommendations or the information we are receiving from our government seems to be subjected to this type of censorship. Mainstream media has done a great job at not acknowledging many aspects of this pandemic, like clinically proven treatments other than a vaccine, and therefore the masses are completely unaware of it.

Is this what we would call ethical? When trying to explain this to a friend or family member, the fact that they are not aware of these other pieces of information, because they may be avid mainstream news watchers, has them in disbelief and perhaps even sometimes labelling such assertions as a “conspiracy theory.” This Brings me to my next point.

The Takeaway: As I’ve said in a number of articles before, society is failing to have conversations about “controversial” topics and viewpoints. This is in large part due to the fact that mainstream media does such a poor job at covering these viewpoints let alone acknowledging them. The fact that big media has such a stranglehold over the minds of many is also very concerning, because we are living in a time where independent research may be more useful. There seems to be massive conflicts of interest within mainstream media, and the fact that healthy conversation and debate is being shut down by mainstream media contributes to the fact that we can’t even have normal conversations about controversial topics in our everyday lives.

Why does this happen? Why can’t we see the perspective of another? To be honest, I still sometimes struggle with this. When it comes to COVID, things clearly aren’t as black and white as they’re being made out to be, and as I’ve said many times before when things aren’t clear, and when government mandates oppose the will of so many people, it reaches a point where they become authoritarian and overreaching.

In such circumstances I believe governments should simply be making recommendations and explaining why certain actions might be important, and then leave it to the people to decide for themselves what measures they’d like to take, if any. What do you think? One thing is for certain, COVID has been a catalyst for more and more people to question the world we live in, and why we live the way that we do.

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