- The Facts:
A reader sent an email to us offering a very different perspective from a recent article on Bolivia that we published.
- Reflect On:
In complex geopolitical matters, has it not become essential to read about and fully understand both sides of a conflict before coming to an understanding of what is actually going on?
I don’t pretend to be an expert in geopolitical affairs, but I do write about them from time to time based on the information that is available to me. One thing that I hold as an advantage, and this could be said about CE as a whole, is that I am only interested in finding and revealing the truth. When readers write in offering a different perspective on what I’ve written, I am happy to evaluate it honestly to see if it makes more sense than what I’ve said, or at least if it provides another side of the story which brings us to a more nuanced and balanced understanding of what is going on in a particular country in the world.
This has happened to me in my reporting on Hong Kong, where my article ‘What Are The Hong Kong Protests All About?‘ led to ‘Let’s Look At Both Sides Of The Hong Kong Protests,’ and reporting on Venezuela, with articles Globalists Want Venezuela As The Next Jewel In Their Crown and Burning Aid Trucks In Venezuela Bring Western Propaganda To Light leading to Reader Emails: Stop Making Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Out To Be A Saint.
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Something similar has occurred as a result of our article ‘They’re Killing Us Like Dogs: A Massacre In Bolivia and a Plea for Help‘. Briefly, the article characterized the takeover of the government in Bolivia as a violent and illegitimate coup against Evo Morales, who was forced to flee to Mexico with his family. While I did not write the aforementioned article (it was actually a guest post originally published by Mintpress News), I did receive an email from Ivanka who lives in Bolivia and had a very different take on what is happening on the ground. In the interest of exposing our readership to different perspectives, our reader’s insights are provided here.
Ivanka wrote that ‘I have been following CE for many years and consider it a very trusting and reliable source of information,’ but felt that our article on Bolivia was unfairly slanted and one-sided. Here are the reasons she gave:
FIRST, there was NO coup in Bolivia! The article does not mention the 20 days of peaceful civic resistance across all Bolivia, with the whole country on strike after the October 20 elections due to many reports of fraud (dead relatives voting, people went to the polls and someone had already voted for them, videos of votes being changed or replaced). These were not reports being seen on TV or what people read on newspapers, it was what our friends and family where experiencing and seeing during the voting day and sharing with each other via their phones. During these 20 days, Evo, the president at the time, threatened to lay siege to the cities and prevent food from entering if they did not stop the strike, he made fun of the blockades, sharing that he would give workshops on how to appropriately do a blockade and after two weeks he asked that the country go back to normal as there were not professional soccer matches due to the Resistance. These were all speeches that Bolivians saw. He also ordered the attack with snipers, of a caravan of buses with miners coming from Potosi, that were going to the capital of La Paz to support the demands for the president to resign. Of course Maddeas’ article does not reference any of this.
Second, people were tired of the abuse of power, corruption and lies of Evo’s presidency. He had been president for 14 years (3 terms) and despite losing a referendum in 2016 to change the constitution to run indefinitely, in 2017 he got approval from this selected Supreme Court tribunal, that it was a human right to run indefinitely for president. Does that sound like democracy or respect for people of the country?
3] He claimed he was indigenous supporting the indigenous, yet he approved the burning of over 5 million acres of the Bolivian Amazon in August for coca and soy production, horrifically suppressed de TIPNIs in 2011, built a $7 million dollar museum about himself, built himself a $45 million dollar palace for the government (when one already existed), bought himself a $45 million dollar private airplane, and many more things. This is in a country that is third world and has desperate need for schools, hospitals and even running water in many areas.
4] As far as the violence Maddea describes, she does not explain how Evos supporters were armed with rifles and dynamite and attempted to blow up the Senkata Gas plant on Nov 19, that would have killed hundreds of thousands of people. Nor she mentions how since Nov 10, armed and violent Evos supporters (mostly coca growers) have vandalized, burned and blow up public and private property in La Paz including the burning of homes of civic leaders of the Resistance, burned 68 buses of public transportation in La Paz, blew up overpasses to stop traffic and food from coming into the city.
After I replied to Ivanka she provided additional information in a subsequent email:
I just received this article that does a very good job at providing factual information on the Legality of how things happened after Evo resigned, and how the Bolivian constitution was followed and specific facts on the situation
Here is a song that was written towards the end of 20 day Civic Resistance, they translated the lyrics to english when you use CC. It does a very good job of summarizing the 20 day Civic resistance and how people felt. It references many previous acts like 1]the repression of Tipnis, 2] the repression of the disabled, 3] deaths and impunity of the government to do whatever they wanted, 4] how they disrespected the Bolivian vote in the referendum and then again in the October 20 elections. It’s important to note that NO political party led the civic strike, bolivians did not want politicians involved, they don’t care for them. if you look at history, Bolivia has had many military coups, dictators, political and social unrest even int the last 40 years. the civilian strike was led by civic organizations from accross the country that united and coordinated the efforts.
Evo and his vice president, resigned on November 10 in an effort to “stop the bloodshed that spread across the country in recent weeks”. Yes, that is what he said in his speech, we all heard him. They also insisted they were victims of a coup, but again, there was not political party leading, nor the military was out on the street until November 11. Bolivians were very concerned that Bolivia would become the next Venezuela and Cuba, because of all the policy changes and Evo’s rhetoric. They were the same. People were chanting: This is not Cuba, is not Venezuela, This is Bolivia and Bolivia is respected! Another chant was: “who gives up? No one gives up. Who gets tired? No one gets tired. Evo again? No way in Hell” – of course I translated.
During the 20 day protest, he said many tings (as I pointed out into my previous e-mail) which turned more and more groups against him. So little by little, the glass of water that was already full, kept over flowing with water until it exploded. When Evo was leaving, he went to Chimore which is where Coca is grown and where he built a 45 million dollar airport in the middle of a tiny town of 30 thousand people, and where there are zero international flights. Why do you think he built that brand new airport a few years ago? of course no one internationally mentions this, but all Bolivians know. Here is a map of Evo’s supporters. There were mostly coca growers, as Evo has been the president of all 6 coca growing organizations since about 1995.
Making Sense Of It All
As with my previous experiences diving into the conflicts in Hong Kong and Venezuela, reading these two sides of the Bolivian affair really encourages us to take a more nuanced look at these complex geopolitical conflicts, and resist jumping to one side or the other, as difficult as that is for our minds to handle. In one paragraph of the article we previous published the author intimates that she did process information from both sides in order to come to her conclusions:
It’s little wonder that many Bolivians have no idea what is happening. I have interviewed and spoken to dozens of people on both sides of the political divide. Many of those who support the de facto government justify the repression as a way to restore stability. They refuse to call President Evo Morales’ ouster a coup and claim there was fraud in the October 20 election that sparked the conflict. These claims of fraud, which were prompted by a report by the Organization of American States, have been debunked by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a think tank in Washington, D.C.
However, for Ivanka, the author did not take any of the claims of those who support the de facto government very seriously. It is not a question of doubting that the author reported on what she saw, which inevitably involved protesters with bullet wounds, some of whom died. It is a question of coming into the situation and making a snap-fire judgment of what is going on based only on what she has observed, without really understanding both sides of the conflict and the historical reality of the situation that Ivanka has lived through as a citizen of Bolivia. Ivanka had much more to say about the details, but I believe this will suffice to provide enough information from both sides to give us something to contemplate, and for some create the hunger to look into the situation more deeply, and from a ore nuanced position.
My own takeaway from important emails from people like Ivanka is to try not to stay stuck on one side of a particular narrative while being closed to information from the other narrative. No doubt, there are villains and villainy on each extremity. But more importantly, Bolivia has many good people on either side of the conflict fighting essentially for the same thing: peace, prosperity, and freedom. Only when people on each side of the conflict are able to see the similarities in each other’s desires will it become possible to come together and fully implement their shared goals.
Another Lawsuit Filed Against Merck Claiming HPV Gardasil Vaccine Caused Debilitating Injury
- The Facts:
Another lawsuit has been filed alleging severe injury and disability as a result of the HPV vaccine. This time it's on behalf of Sahara Walker, a 19 year old girl from Wisconsin who suffered debilitating injuries after receiving the vaccine.
- Reflect On:
Why are concerns regarding vaccinations always unacknowledged by mainstream media? Why are those who raise concerns always considered "anti-vax conspiracy theorists?"
What Happened: Baum Hedlund Aristei & Goldman, a law firm based in the United States, along with attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr recently filed their fourth lawsuit against Merck on behalf of Sahara Walker. Walker is a 19 year old girl from Wisconsin who suffered debilitating injuries from the Gardasil HPV vaccine.
Two days after she took the vaccine, she starting vomiting and experiencing headaches, sever body aces, extreme fatigue that had her bed ridden where she remained, unless she used a wheelchair.
Over time Sarah’s symptoms became more severe. In 2015 her medication schedule rose to 55 pills a day while she endured 54 doctor appointments. She was eventually diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope, postural postural orthostatic tachycardia (POTS), a form of orthostatic intolerance called orthostatic hypotension, small fiber neuropathy and severe autoimmune autonomic neuropathy.
An article written by Kennedy explains,
Today, Sahara, 19, takes 14 prescription medications and receives an expensive intravenous immunoglobulin treatment every three weeks.
“I want to warn kids of the terrible risks for this vaccine and let other injured girls know that they are not alone,” Sahara explained. “The Gardasil vaccine stole my life. Before Gardasil, my future was filled with endless possibilities. Now, my life is a parade of accommodations and medical interventions. It’s not how a 19 year old should live. I’m fighting for all of us.”
If Merck had warned Sahara’s mother about Gardasil’s dangers, she never would have allowed her daughter to receive the HPV vaccine.
“We are pro-vaccine, but we would have never had Sahara get Gardasil if we knew the risks,” Sahara’s mother said. “She went from perfectly healthy to sick and disabled within days of the shot. It’s beyond any doubt that Gardasil caused her injuries.”
Internal documents showed that Merck cherry-picked its own data to mislead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and doctors about Gardasil’s safety and efficacy. We aim to get justice for Sahara and others impacted and to force Merck to stop defrauding the public so that we can protect our children.
Why This Is Important: Deaths and permanent disabilities have been reported as a result of the HPV vaccine all across the globe for many years.
For example, researchers from Mexico’s National Institute of Cardiology pored over 28 studies published through January 2017—16 randomized trials and 12 post-marketing case series—pertaining to the three human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines currently on the market globally. In their July 2017 peer-reviewed report, the authors, Manuel Martínez-Lavin and Luis Amezcua-Guerra, uncovered evidence of numerous adverse events, including life-threatening injuries, permanent disabilities, hospitalizations and deaths, reported after vaccination with GlaxoSmithKline’s bivalent Cervarix vaccine and Merck’s quadrivalent or nine-valent HPV vaccines (Gardasil and Gardasil 9)
Japan stopped recommending the HPV vaccine as a result of serious adverse reactions. Multiple films have documented this phenomenon, we’ve written about one of them before called Sacrificial Virgins.
There are a number of documented examples from all over the world, and they are full of debate between the manufacturer and the person injured with regards to whether or not the vaccine actually played any role in the injuries and deaths. For example, A 14-year-old boy named Christopher Bunch passed away more than a year ago, and the mother and father are claiming that it was as a result of the HPV vaccine. His mother started a petition over a year ago claiming that her son “died as a direct result of the HPV vaccine.”
On January 26th, the father of the boy, Elijah Eugene Mendoza-Bunch, wrote this via his Facebook page,
So back on December 11th 2019 I sent an email to CEO Ken Frazier of Merck song to speak with him about the HPV VACCINE and how it killed my son and how it is destroying lives. Well here we are January 25th (the day I got it in the mail) and this is the response from Merck….
You can view their response and read more about that story here.
These are just a few of many examples.
Science Calling The Vaccine Into Question: A new study published in The Royal Society of Medicine is one of multiple studies over the years that has emerged questioning the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. The researchers conducted an appraisal of published phase 2 and 3 efficacy trials in relation to the prevention of cervical cancer and their analysis showed “the trials themselves generated significant uncertainties undermining claims of efficacy” in the data they used. The researchers emphasized that “it is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.” The researchers point out that the trials used to test the vaccine may have “overestimated” the efficacy of the vaccine.
A study published in 2013 in Current Pharmaceutical Design carried out a review of HPV vaccine pre- and post-licensure trials to assess the evidence of their effectiveness and safety. They found that,
HPV vaccine clinical trials design, and data interpretation of both efficacy and safety outcomes, were largely inadequate. Additionally, we note evidence of selective reporting of results from clinical trials (i.e., exclusion of vaccine efficacy figures related to study subgroups in which efficacy might be lower or even negative from peer-reviewed publications). Given this, the widespread optimism regarding HPV vaccines long-term benefits appears to rest on a number of unproven assumptions (or such which are at odds with factual evidence) and significant misinterpretation of available data.
For example, the claim that HPV vaccination will result in approximately 70% reduction of cervical cancers is made despite the fact that the clinical trials data have not demonstrated to date that the vaccines have actually prevented a single case of cervical cancer (let alone cervical cancer death), nor that the current overly optimistic surrogate marker-based extrapolations are justified. Likewise, the notion that HPV vaccines have an impressive safety profile is only supported by highly flawed design of safety trials and is contrary to accumulating evidence from vaccine safety surveillance databases and case reports which continue to link HPV vaccination to serious adverse outcomes (including death and permanent disabilities).
We thus conclude that further reduction of cervical cancers might be best achieved by optimizing cervical screening (which carries no such risks) and targeting other factors of the disease rather than by the reliance on vaccines with questionable efficacy and safety profiles.
Vaccine ingredients have also come under a lot of scrutiny over the years, especially aluminum, and the HPV vaccine contains aluminum.
“There has not been any clinical trials designed and carried out to test the safety of aluminum adjuvants. Not a single clinical safety trial for any vaccine that includes an aluminum adjuvant.” – Professor Christopher Exley, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry and group leader of the Bioinorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Keele University.
It’s concerning that aluminum hasn’t been tested for safety. Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization mentioned at a WHO vaccine conference at the end of 2019, that there are clinical studies that blame adjuvants for adverse events seen as a result of administering vaccines, and how people in general often blame adverse reactions to vaccines being the result of the vaccine adjuvant. You can find a link to that conference and read more about it here.
Professor Christopher Shaw from the University of British Columbia in Canada explains that injected aluminum doesn’t come into the same methods of excretion as the aluminum we take in from food, for example. When we inject aluminum, it stays in the body, it may cross the blood brain barrier, enter into cells and various organs in the body.
When you inject aluminum, it goes into a different compartment of your body. It doesn’t come into that same mechanism of excretion. So, and of course it can’t because that’s the whole idea of aluminum adjuvants, aluminum adjuvants are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over and over again persistently, otherwise you wouldn’t put an adjuvant in in the first place. It can’t be inert, because if it were inert it couldn’t do the things it does. It can’t be excreted because again it couldn’t provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system. – Dr. Christopher Shaw – Canadian neuroscientist and professor of ophthalmology at the University of British Columbia (source)
In 2018, shaw published a paper in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry that found almost 100 percent of the intramuscularly injected aluminum in mice as vaccine adjuvants was absorbed into the systemic circulation and traveled to different sites in the body such as the brain, the joints, and the spleen where it accumulated and was retained for years post-vaccination. (source)
Exley and a team of scientists published a paper in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology titled “The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science.” In their publication, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants, like that of any environmental factor presenting a risk of neurotoxicity and to which the young child is exposed, must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”
The publication goes on to address concerns it has with another paper that was published a year prior, emphasizing that the authors of that specific publication, JP Goullé & L Grangeot-Keros,
The Takeaway: Did you know that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury (NCVIA) Act has paid out nearly $4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children? This is not money coming from the pharmaceutical company. The NCVIA insures that these payments come from taxpayers, the pharmaceutical companies are not held liable. Vaccines are a liability free product.
Why is any type of information that paints vaccines in a ‘negative’ light completely unacknowledged in the mainstream? Does the information in the article alone not warrant some sort of discussion, or at least some sort of acknowledgement as to why some people are concerned?
Why does mainstream media always use terms lie “anti-vax conspiracy theorist” and ridicule? More important than facts and who is right or wrong is our ability to communicate with each other without consequences. We must learn to see the perspective of those who disagree with us, and understand and feel why they feel the way they do. This needs to be our focus, if we can’t get along with people who disagree with us, we are never going to move forward and this applies to everyone.
I would argue that there is more than enough information out there regarding vaccinations that support the idea of informed consent instead of mandatory measures.
New Research Adds Evidence That Weed Killer Glyphosate Disrupts Hormones
New research is adding worrisome evidence to concerns that the widely used weed killing chemical glyphosate may have the potential to interfere with human hormones.
In a paper published in the journal Chemosphere titled Glyphosate and the key characteristics of an endocrine disruptor: A review, a trio of scientists concluded that glyphosate appears to have eight out of ten key characteristics associated with endocrine disrupting chemicals . The authors cautioned, however, that prospective cohort studies are still needed to more clearly understand the impacts of glyphosate on the human endocrine system.
The authors, Juan Munoz, Tammy Bleak and Gloria Calaf, each affiliated with the University of Tarapacá in Chile, said their paper is the first review to consolidate the mechanistic evidence on glyphosate as an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC).
Some of the evidence suggests that Roundup, Monsanto’s well-known glyphosate-based herbicide, can alter the biosynthesis of the sexual hormones, according to the researchers.
EDCs may mimic or interfere with the body’s hormones and are linked with developmental and reproductive problems as well as brain and immune system dysfunction.
The new paper follows publication earlier this year of an assortment of animal studies that indicated glyphosate exposures impact reproductive organs and threaten fertility.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, sold in 140 countries. Introduced commercially in 1974 by Monsanto Co, the chemical is the active ingredient in popular products such as Roundup and hundreds of other weed killers used by consumers, municipalities, utilities, farmers, golf course operators, and others around the world.
Dana Barr, a professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, said the evidence “tends to overwhelmingly indicate that glyphosate has endocrine disrupting properties.”
“It’s not necessarily unexpected since glyphosate has some structural similarities with many other endocrine disrupting pesticides; however, it is more concerning because glyphosate use far surpasses other pesticides,” said Barr, who directs a program within a National Institutes of Health-funded human exposure research center housed at Emory. “Glyphosate is used on so many crops and in so many residential applications such that aggregate and cumulative exposures can be considerable.”
Phil Landrigan, director of the Global Observatory on Pollution and Health, and a professor of biology
at Boston College, said the review pulled together “strong evidence” that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.
“The report is consistent with a larger body of literature indicating that glyphosate has a wide range of adverse health effects – findings that overturn Monsanto’s long-standing
EDCs have been a subject of concern since the 1990s after a series of publications suggested that some chemicals commonly used in pesticides, industrial solvents, plastics, detergents, and other substances could have the capacity to disrupt connections between hormones and their receptors.
Scientists generally recognized ten functional properties of agents that alter hormone action, referring to these as ten “key characteristics” of endocrine-disruptors. The ten characteristics are as follows:
- Alter hormone distribution of circulating levels of hormones
- Induce alterations in hormone metabolism or clearance
- Alter the fate of hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone receptor expression
- Antagonize hormone receptors
- Interact with or activate hormone receptors
- Alter signal transduction in hormone-responsive cells
- Induce epigenetic modifications in hormone-producing or hormone-responsive cells
- Alter hormone synthesis
- Alter hormone transport across cell membranes
The authors of the new paper said a review of the mechanistic data showed that glyphosate met all of the key characteristics with the exception of two: “Regarding glyphosate, there is no evidence associated with the antagonistic capacity of hormonal receptors,” they said. As well, “there is no evidence of its impact on hormonal metabolism or clearance,” according to the authors.
Research over the last few decades has largely focused on links found between glyphosate and cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL.) In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
More than 100,000 people have sued Monsanto in the United States alleging exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based herbicides caused them or their loved ones to develop NHL.
The plaintiffs in the nationwide litigation also claim Monsanto has long sought to hide the risks of its herbicides. Monsanto lost three out of three trials and its German owner Bayer AG has spent the last year and a half trying to settle the litigation out of court.
The authors of the new paper took note of the ubiquitous nature of glyphosate, saying “massive use” of the chemical has “led to a wide environmental diffusion,” including rising exposures tied to human consumption of the weed killer through food.
The researchers said that though regulators say the levels of glyphosate residue commonly found in foods are low enough to be safe, they “cannot rule out” a “potential risk” to people consuming foods containing contaminated with the chemical, particularly grains and other plant-based foods, which often have higher levels than milk, meat or fish products.
Canadian government researchers have also reported glyphosate residues in foods. One report issued in 2019 by scientists from Canada’s Agri-Food Laboratories at the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry found glyphosate in 197 of 200 samples of honey they examined.
Despite the concerns about glyphosate impacts on human health, including through dietary exposure, U.S. regulators have steadfastly defended the safety of the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency maintains that it has not found ”any human health risks from exposure to glyphosate.”
Portuguese Court Rules That The PCR Test “Is Unable To Determine” A COVID-19 Infection
- The Facts:
A Portuguese court has determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt, and thus determined that the detainment of four individuals was unlawful and illegal.
- Reflect On:
With no clear cut answer, and many doctors and scientists contradicting each other, should governments be allowed to take measures that restrict our freedoms? Instead of force, should they provide the science and simply make recommendations?
What Happened: The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test “is unable to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, that such positivity result corresponds, in fact, to the infection of a person by the SARS-CoV-2 virus”, said the Lisbon Court of Appeal. (source)
A Portuguese appeals court has ruled against the Azores Regional Health Authority, declaring the quarantining of four individuals is unlawful. One of them tested positive for COVID using a PCR test, and the other three were deemed to be high risk due to exposure, and as a result, the regional health authority forced them to undergo isolation. The appeal court heard scientific arguments from several scientists and doctors who made the case for the lack of reliability of the PCR tests in detecting the COVID-19 virus.
The court found that, based on the currently available scientific evidence, the PCR test is unable to determine beyond a reasonable doubt that a positive test actually corresponds to a COVID-19 infection for several reasons, two of the main reasons were that the test’s reliability depends on the number of cycles used, and the test’s reliability depends on the viral load present.
This was also brought up recently by tech mogul Elon Musk who recently revealed he had four tests completed in one day. Using the same test and the same nurse, he received two positive results and two negative results, causing him to state his belief that “something bogus” is going on here. He then asked his Twitter following
“In your opinion, at what Ct number for the cov2 N1 gene should a PCR test probably be regarded as positive? If I’m asking the wrong question, what is a better question?”
In the Portuguese appeal hearing, Jaafar et al. (2020) was cited, stating that “if someone is testing by PCR as positive when a threshold of 35 cycles or higher is used (as is the rule in most laboratories in Europe and the US), the probability that said person is infected is <3%, and the probability that said result is a false positive is 97%.” The court further noted that the cycle threshold used for the PCR tests currently being made in Portugal is unknown.
They also cited Surkova et al. (2020), stating that any diagnostic test must be interpreted in the context of the actual probability of disease as assessed prior to the undertaking of the test itself, and expresses the opinion that “in the current epidemiological landscape of the United Kingdom, the likelihood is increasing that Covid 19 tests are returning false positives, with major implications for individuals, the health system and society.”
The court also made the point that a medical diagnosis is a medical act, thus only a physician can determine if a person is ill, no other person or institution has a right to do that.
The court concluded that “if carried out with no prior medical observation of the patient, with no participation of a physician certified by the Ordem dos Médicos who would have assessed symptoms and requested the tests/exams deemed necessary, any act of diagnosis, or any act of public health vigilance (such as determining whether a viral infection or a high risk of exposure exist, which the aforementioned concepts subsume) will violate [a number of laws and regulations] and may configure a crime of usurpação de funções [unlawful practice of a profession] in the case said acts are carried out or dictated by someone devoid of the capacity to do so, i.e., by someone who is not a certified physician [to practice medicine in Portugal a degree is not enough, you need to be accepted as qualified to practice medicine by undergoing examination with the Ordem dos Médicos, roughly our equivalent of the UK’s Royal College of Physicians].”
In addition, the court rules that the Azores Health Authority violated article 6 of the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, as it failed to provide evidence that the informed consent mandated by said Declaration had been given by the PCR-tested persons who had complained against the forced quarantine measures imposed on them….From the facts presented to the court, it concluded that no evidentiary proof or even indication existed that the four persons in question had been seen by a doctor, either before or after undertaking the test. (source)
According to Vasco Barreto, a researcher at the Center for the Study of Chronic Diseases (Cedoc) of the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, it was irresponsible the way two magistrates dealt with the case. “PCR tests have a specificity and sensitivity greater than 95%. That is, in the overwhelming majority of cases they detect the virus that causes covid-19,” he said. This is indicated in a scientific article that is cited in the judgment, but that is read “completely wrong” by the magistrates, according to Germano de Sousa, former President of the Ordem dos Médicos and owner of a network of laboratories.
You can read more on why this judgement was “unscientific” according to them, here.
Why This Is Important: When it comes to the testing used to detect a COVID-19 infection, there is a wealth of information making it quite clear that the (PCR) tests are inadequate and unreliable for determining who is infected and who isn’t. As a result, there seems to be a strong possibility, according to many experts, that the number of cases recorded around the globe probably include a great number of false positives, meaning people who tested and do test positive for the virus don’t actually have it.
But is this true?
There is also a great deal of information making it quite clear that the PCR tests being used are indeed accurate, and very accurate. So, ask yourself this, how can there be “clear” information on both sides? What’s the correct information? How do we know what to believe? Are you open to consider another perspective about this pandemic, one that opposes what you believe? Can you see from the perspective of another person even though they may disagree with you?
There are many examples to choose from that reflect the idea that PCR tests are not accurate, and that they are. For example, the Bulgarian Pathology Association claimed that they are “scientifically meaningless.” They cite an article published in “Off Guardian” that makes some very interesting points.
It’s been a common theme. Well after this, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab stated that:
“The false positive rate is very high, so only seven percent of tests will be successful in identifying those that actually have the virus.”
In July, professor Carl Heneghan, director for the centre of evidence-based medicine at Oxford University and outspoken critic of the current UK response to the pandemic, wrote a piece titled: “How many Covid diagnoses are false positives?” He has argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false in the UK could be as high as 50%.
Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon argued the proportion of positive tests that are false is actually “around 90%”.
How declaring virus pandemics based on PCR tests can end in disaster was described by Gina Kolata in her 2007 New York Times article Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t.
On the other side of the coin, According to Dr. Matthew Oughton, an infectious diseases specialist at the McGill University Health Centre and the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal:
”The rate of false positives with this particular test is quite low. In other words, if the test comes back saying positive, then believe it, it’s a real positive.”
According to Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, Senior Faculty Editor at Harvard Health Publishing.
False negatives – that is, a test that says you don’t have the virus when you actually do have the virus – may occur. The reported rate of false negatives is as low as 2% and as high as 37%. The false positive rate – that is, how often the test says you have the virus when you actually do not – should be close to zero. Most false-positive results are thought to be due to lab contamination or other problems with how the lab has performed the test, not limitations of the test itself
It also seems to be accepted by many scientists in the field that the number of infected persons is much higher than what we’ve been made to believe from testing, thus driving the infection/fatality rate even lower than what we are seeing. Estimates of infection fatality rate are on par with seasonal flu from this perspective according to many scientists and health professionals.
For example, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician and epidemiologist created The Great Barrington Declaration opposing lockdown. Approximately 45,000 doctors and scientists have now signed it. The compares COVID -19 to the seasonal flu.
The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” John P. A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford University has said that the infection fatality rate is close to 0 percent for people under the age of 45 years old, explaining how that number rises significantly for people who are older, as with most other respiratory viruses. You can read more about that and access that here.
These are a few of multiple examples.
Is There Conflicting Info Due To The Politicization of Science?
Kamran Abbas is a doctor, executive editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He has recently published an article about COVID-19 in the BMJ, the suppression of science and the politicization of medicine.
In it, he offers some food for thought,
Politicians and governments are suppressing science….Science is being suppressed for political and financial gain. Covid-19 has unleashed state corruption on a grand scale, and it is harmful to public health. Politicians and industry are responsible for this opportunistic embezzlement. So too are scientists and health experts. The pandemic has revealed how the medical-political complex can be manipulated in an emergency—a time when it is even more important to safeguard science.
Globally, people, policies, and procurement are being corrupted by political and commercial agendas…The UK’s pandemic response relies too heavily on scientists and other government appointees with worrying competing interests, including shareholdings in companies that manufacture covid-19 diagnostic tests, treatments, and vaccines. Government appointees are able to ignore or cherry pick science—another form of misuse—and indulge in anti-competitive practices that favour their own products and those of friends and associates.
The stakes are high for politicians, scientific advisers, and government appointees. Their careers and bank balances may hinge on the decisions that they make. But they have a higher responsibility and duty to the public. Science is a public good. It doesn’t need to be followed blindly, but it does need to be fairly considered. Importantly, suppressing science, whether by delaying publication, cherry picking favourable research, or gagging scientists, is a danger to public health, causing deaths by exposing people to unsafe or ineffective interventions and preventing them from benefiting from better ones. When entangled with commercial decisions it is also maladministration of taxpayers’ money.
The Takeaway: Politicization of science was enthusiastically deployed by some of history’s worst autocrats and dictators, and it is now regrettably commonplace in democracies. The medical-political complex tends towards suppression of science to aggrandize and enrich those in power.”
Are we really going to get anywhere if we are constantly polarized with regards to what we believe about this pandemic? More important than information and facts is our ability to empathize with another person who does not share our own beliefs and try to understand where they are coming from and why they feel the way they do. It’s also important for them to empathize with you, and at the end of the day we all must do this with each-other if we want to move forward. Polarization and separation, constantly arguing and fighting with one another will never get us anywhere at all, and simply leaves us open as a collective to harmful responses by governments.
Why is so much information being censored? Why is everything that’s controversial these days deemed a “conspiracy theory” and not really explored by a large majority of people? Given we are deeply feeling the need to make sense of our world, is it time we begin to look at developing the inner faculties necessary to move beyond ideology, limited thinking patterns and truly begin looking at what evidence around us says?
If there’s anything this pandemic has taught us, it’s that we need to change the way we think and how we relate with one another. Obviously, the measures being forced upon us are difficult, and may be causing a lot more harm than good, if any good at all.
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