- The Facts:
77 NFL players recently tested positive for COVID-19, but it turns out they were false positives, apparently due to some kind of contamination in the lab.
- Reflect On:
How accurate is the testing we are using? Many claim we cannot identify the virus while others claim to have done so. Why is there so much confusion and contradicting information when it comes to COVID-19?
What Happened: The National Football League (NFL) recently stated that there were 77 positive tests for COVID-19. This caused a lot of noise in the mainstream media, but it was shortly revealed that all of these tests were actually false positives. Jon R. Cohen, M.D., the Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories, the testing partner of the NFL, released a statement explaining that these false-positives were due to an isolated contamination in the New Jersey lab.
“On August 22, BioReference Laboratories reported an elevated number of positive COVID-19 PCR test results for NFL players and personnel at multiple clubs. The NFL immediately took necessary actions to ensure the safety of the players and personnel. Our investigation indicated that these were most likely false positive results, caused by an isolated contamination during test preparation in the New Jersey laboratory. Reagents, analyzers and staff were all ruled out as possible causes and subsequent testing has indicated that the issue has been resolved. All individuals impacted have been confirmed negative and informed.”
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Why This Is Important: We normally wouldn’t cover a story like this, but I believe it’s important to highlight the testing used to identify the virus and the discrepancy that lies behind it.
For example, a study published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews in 2006 highlights:
Although the clinical manifestations of respiratory tract disease are easily recognized, the etiological agent responsible for disease is often not identified. For community-acquired pneumonia, a microbiological diagnosis can be made in <50% of cases (83, 102, 140). In the pediatric population, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza viruses, and influenza virus are known as the major causes of bronchiolitis and lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI). However, in a third of these cases of LRTI in children, an infectious agent cannot be identified (27, 135). In nearly half of upper respiratory illnesses (URI) in children, an infectious cause cannot be determined (86). The etiology of a majority of LRTI is thought to be viral (39), yet in only 40% of cases can a viral agent be identified, even with use of state-of-the-art genomic amplification methods (70).
This means that it’s very hard to identify a virus, and it’s not as simple as it’s being made out to be. Testing positive for the virus doesn’t always mean you have the virus, instead it could mean that you may have the virus, but it’s unclear. When it comes to covid, it’s not an unorthodox question whether or not a large majority of “positive” tests we are seeing in some countries really don’t reflect an accurate number of how many people actually have covid.
On the flip side, it seems generally accepted in the scientific community that many more people have been infected than what the numbers show, similar to other respiratory viruses, which in turn drives the infection fatality way down, somewhere on par with the seasonal flu. You can read more about that here.
That being said, again, it doesn’t seem like this virus is easily identified according to some information. For example, The Bulgarian Pathology Association has taken the stance that the testing used to identify the new coronavirus in patients is “scientifically meaningless.” This comes after the president of the Bulgarian Pathology Association, Dr. Stoian Alexov, said that European pathologists haven’t identified any antibodies that are specific for SARS-CoV-2.
He criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) and called them “a criminal medical organization” for creating fear and hysteria without, according to him, providing any verifiable scientific proof of a pandemic. He made these statements sharing his observations in a video interview summarizing the consensus of participants in a webinar on COVID-19 on May 8, 2020, with the European Society of Pathology. It was conducted by Dr. Stoycho Katsarov, chair of the Center for Protection of Citizens’ Rights in Sofia and a former Bulgarian deputy minister of health. The video is on the BPA’s website, which also highlights some of Dr. Alexov’s key points.
This may seem confusing as it goes against information that’s been published. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) claims that “Potent antibodies found in people recovered from COVID-19.” (source) So it’s understandable how many people would not agree with the stance of the association, and claim that it is indeed false, and that’s an understandable perception, but should we dismiss the reasoning? They are experts in their field.
Furthermore, films like Plandemic, which you can watch here, show how many years ago the virus was actually patented, or at least another type of coronavirus.. Does this mean that it can be identified outside of the human body, but not as well within the human body? I don’t know, which is why I am confused with regards to many things that have surfaced about the new coronavirus during the pandemic. The idea that we can’t identify the virus contradicts with a lot of information, and vice versa. Things are not clear, and that’s what happens when we live in a world that lacks transparency, one in which science and become extremely politicized and used to push various agendas.
The Bulgarian Pathology Association cite an article published in “Off Guardian” that makes some very interesting points. Below is a tidbit from what the article has in it, you really have to actually read the article to get a full understanding. It’s extremely well-sourced, full of detail and uses not only a number of scientific publications to back up their claims, but also statements from a number of scientists in the field. Again, I recommend you read the entire article here to get the full scope of their reasoning.
In it, they state:
So to start, it is very remarkable that Kary Mullis himself, the inventor of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology, did not think alike. His invention got him the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1993.
Unfortunately, Mullis passed away last year at the age of 74, but there is no doubt that the biochemist regarded the PCR as inappropriate to detect a viral infection.
The reason is that the intended use of the PCR was, and still is, to apply it as a manufacturing technique, being able to replicate DNA sequences millions and billions of times, and not as a diagnostic tool to detect viruses.
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.
They go deep into the science as to why they believe what they do.
We also contacted Dr Charles Calisher, who is a seasoned virologist. In 2001, Science published an “impassioned plea…to the younger generation” from several veteran virologists, among them Calisher, saying that:
[modern virus detection methods like] sleek polymerase chain reaction […] tell little or nothing about how a virus multiplies, which animals carry it, [or] how it makes people sick. [It is] like trying to say whether somebody has bad breath by looking at his fingerprint.”
And that’s why we asked Dr Calisher whether he knows one single paper in which SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated and finally really purified. His answer:
I know of no such a publication. I have kept an eye out for one.”
This actually means that one cannot conclude that the RNA gene sequences, which the scientists took from the tissue samples prepared in the mentioned in vitro trials and for which the PCR tests are finally being “calibrated,” belong to a specific virus — in this case SARS-CoV-2
I also recall coming across a study that purported more than half of those who tested positive for the virus and were asymptomatic may be false positives. That study has since been retracted but you can access it here.
How Dangerous Is The Virus? I don’t know.
The death rate for COVID-19, according to many experts, is right on par with the seasonal flu. This is a narrative that has become quite clear as we’ve progressed through this pandemic, and there are many examples. 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.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%. You can read more about that here. 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.
Furthermore, the fact that deaths in many countries have been counted as covid deaths when covid was not really the clear cause of the death, also has more people questioning what is happening here. You can read more about that story and see specific examples here.
These numbers really show how much the original models supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) were completely off, and in reality did nothing but contribute to unnecessary fear, panic and hysteria. These original models were the justification for worldwide global lockdown, and now that the fatality rate has dramatically declined and has remained low, mainstream media is focusing on cases.
The question is, again, can we trust the testing? I don’t know, but I do know there is a lot of discrepancy when it comes to testing for these types of respiratory viruses.
The Takeaway: It can be difficult to really understand what’s going on. On top of that, we now have a digital “fact-checker” that is making its way around the internet that is censoring information and perspectives that contradict the ones given to us from the World Health Organization. (WHO) Should we not be able to examine information for ourselves and determine what’s really going on? Is this pandemic being used, similar to other global catastrophes, to impose more control measures on the human population, like Edward Snowden and many others have alluded to? Are you staying calm, and peaceful when trying to have a discourse with someone who offers an alternative perspective? Why are things in our world so unclear? Why do we continue to rely on big interests to tell us what’s happening, why do we hand over our consciousness to them instead of doing our own research? Why are so many people divided in separated when it comes to their beliefs with regards to what is happening with the new coronavirus? Why do some issues on our planet, like elite-level child trafficking get absolutely no media attention when other topics do? Why are we being discouraged from asking questions that don’t fit the frame? Why are films like plandemic being banned everywhere, and heavily criticized and deemed a conspiracy theory by the mainstream media without them every addressing the actual points made in the film? Why are organizations like ours being censored and demonetized so much?
Encounters With Star People: An Extraterrestrial, A Spacecraft & An Alaskan Blizzard
- The Facts:
Dr. Ardy Sixkiller Clarke, a Professor Emeritus at Montana State University who is Cherokee/Choctaw has been researching the Star People, and collecting encounters between them and Native Indians for many years. This article shares one of many.
- Reflect On:
Are we alone? If not, what are the implications when the public becomes fully aware of this? How will it change the way we perceive ourselves, the cosmos, spirituality, consciousness, history, science, technology and more?
The topic of UFOs seems to be getting never-ending attention these days by the mainstream media, which is something quite different from a decades long ridicule campaign that’s taken place. Recently, the New York Times covered a story about Eric W. Davis, a renowned astrophysicist who worked with the Pentagon UFO program, stating that he gave a classified briefing to a Defense Department Agency as recently as March about retrievals from “off-world vehicles not made on this Earth.”
Mainstream media coverage of the UFO topic is a deep discussion, and it’s a topic, like everything else, where the ‘powerful interests’, for lack of a better word, will no doubt try and control the narrative and shape our perception of this reality. You can read more about that and dive a little deeper in an article I recently published about mainstream UFO coverage, here.
All in all, at this point we know what has been denied for decades, UFOs are real. The next question now is, what are they and who’s manning them?
Back when UFOs were still considered a “conspiracy theory” there was ample evidence clearly showing that they were indeed real. It’s a shame that something has to be acknowledged by the mainstream for it to be considered real. Just as the evidence was there for the existence of UFOs when they were ridiculed, “there is abundant evidence” that “civilizations have been visiting us for a very long time.” – Dr Brian O’leary, NASA Astronaut, Princeton Physics Professor. That is to say, there is ample evidence, in my opinion, suggesting that some of these UFOs are made by and operated by beings from other planets, civilizations and dimensions.
With this belief, I’ve dived into the lore of extraterrestrial encounters for quite some time. I find it fascinating how thousands of stories can corroborate with each other, and I find encounters with extraterrestrials, although they cannot be verified, to be a critical part for anybody to investigate if they want to have a broader perspective on the UFO phenomenon. Unfortunately, most people don’t actually research the subject and this often leads them to think there is no real evidence, and even report that to be the case.
At the very least, these stories which number in the tens of thousands, if not millions, are very fascinating.
Dr. Ardy Sixkiller Clarke, a Professor Emeritus at Montana State University who is Cherokee/Choctaw has been researching the Star People,and collecting encounters between them and Native Indians for many years. In her book, “Encounters With Star People, Untold Stories of American Indians” she details many of these stories, and explains how her fascination with Star People came from stories told to her by her older relatives, like her grandmother, when she was a child.
I’ve shared stories from her book before in the articles linked below:
The book is filled with many interesting encounters, in one of the chapters, she describes a story told to her by an Alaskan Native, who apparently “came upon an alien in the middle of the road during a blizzard. True to the Alaskan code of honor, he invited the alien to join him in his vehicle for fear he would freeze in the 70 degree below zero night.”
His name was Ross, and he had heard about Clarke and how she collects stories about extraterrestrials and UFOs from Indian people. They met at a restaurant, and Ross told Clarke his story.
Ross operated a snowplow for a living, and on the night of his encounter he was working a 50 mile stretch during a terrible snowstorm where visibility was almost zero, and the temperature with the wind chill hovered at nearly 70 below.
In the book, Clarke outlines a conversation between her and Ross. I left out most of what Clarke asked and focused on key quotes from Ross describing the encounter:
Ross: My partner comes from the south. We drive up and back over that stretch of the highway keeping the roads clear. Sometimes we drive 18-hour shifts. Sometimes more. We usually meet each other around Lucky Gil’s. Clarke: I recognized the place that he was talking about. It was a halfway inn consisting of a bar, restaurant, and gift shop. Ross: About an hour into the shift that night, I got a call from Bill, the other driver, that there was a strange glow up ahead of Lucky Gil’s. He asked if I saw it. Before I had a chance to respond, I came upon a disk sitting in the middle of the highway. It covered the full two lanes. It was round with bright orange lights around the bottom. I stopped within 20 feet of it. I flipped my lights up and down. I tried calling Bill, but my radio was dead.
Suddenly, blinding white lights came on and the craft moved upward and was gone. I watched until it was out of sight, but that was not long because the storm cut the visibility that night to nearly zero. When it was gone, there was darkness all around me…I sat there for a moment, I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. It was at that moment I realized my engine was off. I never turn off the engine for fear it would not turn over again in the extreme temperatures, but it was off. I held my breath when I turned the key in the ignition, and fortunately the engine came to life on the first try. I put in in gear and began to move forward. Just as I got up a little speed, I felt a bump under my right tire as though I had run over something. That freaked me out. I thought it might be something from the space-craft. I stopped the plow and readied myself to go outside. As I tited the string of my parka under my chin, I saw a hand reach upward and pound on the side window. Then a second hand appeared.
It was the scariest damn thing I have ever seen. I swear to you. Those hands only had four digits…I turned on the light inside the cab and suddenly a face appeared and stared at me. Suddenly, it turned and ran across the road to a stand of trees and disappeared.
It ran across the road into the woods. I had no intentions of following it. Leaving a vehicle in a blizzard could have deadly results. I thought that was the end of it, but it wasn’t. Suddenly, the creature re-appeared in the middle of the road ahead of me. Somehow I understood that it was cold and needed a place of shelter. I offered him to come inside my snow plow but he wanted nothing to do with it.
He stood in the middle of the road an told me he was cold and it was my fault. He said the vehicle took off without him. He was outside when I came upon the craft. In their haste to evacuate the scene the other crew members left without him…I invited him inside the snowplow again. I told him I had to clear the roads and I could not leave him outside in the cold. Reluctantly he came inside, but not like you and I would climb inside. He just appeared. One minute he was standing in the middle of the road, the next minute he was inside the cab with me.
I would be lying to you if I said it didn’t scare me. I was nervous and frightened. I just remembered what my grandfather taught me and stayed calm…That was the longest night of my life. I made it to my destination uneventfully; all the time the space traveler was riding shotgun in the passenger’s seat. He paused and then a smile crossed his face. I think we must have made an unusual pair.
Once I made it to the 50 mile point. I turned around and began the journey back again. It was snowing hard. The roads were covered with another four inches of snow. On the return trip, the spacecraft appeared again, in the middle of the road at the exact same spot as I encountered it earlier. The star man suddenly disappeared. Within seconds, I saw him in front of the craft. The pulsating lights outlined his shape and in the dim light I detected a brief and simple salute or a wave, I am not sure, directed toward me and then he was gone. He just disappeared in the night along with the craft.
He told me the craft had malfunctioned. They set down in the middle of the road only momentarily for repairs. He was curious and had gone outside to do some testing of the snow. They didn’t realize it was a highway because of the storm. When I came upon them, my appearance shocked them, and in their confusion they took off without him. They had not expected anyone to appear in the middle of the storm.
To add to his dilemma, they were not allowed to make human contact so he was uneasy about being discovered. So they immediately took off, leaving him behind. In the process they violated several rules of their travel. He said they were a young crew and would likely lose their rights as explorers if their superiors discovered their mistake.
He was fascinated with the snowplow and how it worked. He considered it a rather primitive machine but one that he was curious about. He told me that humans put too much reliance on oil-based machines. He said they should spend their energy on studying the use of magnetic propulsion for travel. He could not understand why our scientists had gone in this direction.
He had never experienced snow before or the extreme cold. He said on his planet, the weather never varied. He had never been so cold in his entire life and hoped never to repeat the experience.
The alien was quiet most of the time. I was lost for words. I didn’t know what to ask a man from the stars, so I was quiet too. After he was gone I thought of a million questions, but when you are there and it is happening to you, it is different.
He was small in stature. He had a human form, but he wasn’t human. He could have passed for maybe a ten year old from a distance. His ability to appear and disappear fascinated me. I asked him about it, but he said that everyone from his world could come and go like that. He said I could do it, too. I just had to learn to use my brain in the right way. I didn’t understand what he meant.”
The day after this happened, a couple of military officers showed up at work and asked if anyone had reported strange lights or UFOs on the night of the storm. Of course, my boss told him there were no reports. I had not reported it either and neither had Ed, the other driver. I thought it was best to keep quiet so I never told them about the star man. When the military showed up, I played dumb too. I didn’t want to lose work because of some government investigation. Besides, the military has too much control in the this state anyway.”
It’s fascinating to contemplate the implication of acknowledging that “we are being visited, and have been visited for many years by people from outer space, from other civilizations.” (Lord Admiral Hill Norton)
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the ET phenomenon truly leaves no aspect of humanity untouched and greatly expands human consciousness and the way we perceive ourselves, the cosmos, and the nature of reality. Just think of all that would change when we consider not only the existence of off-world civilizations but also the technology they use to get here.
I feel human beings have the potential to create a human experience where everybody, including mother Earth, can thrive. I feel as if we are natural born explorers, meant to traverse the universe in search of discovering new worlds and other life. Perhaps this is what some of these beings visiting us are already doing. How do we get to experience this potential world? It seems we have to look at what holds us back. Our ideas, beliefs and worldviews, do they truly hold up to the information that’s out there? Would new worldviews create a new world, a new society? What would happen if humans were more in touch with the essence that is observing the thoughts we individually have, as opposed to just identifying with the thoughts? Is that essence who we truly are?
22 Scientists Publish Paper Claiming The PCR Test Is “Useless” For Detecting COVID-19 Cases
- The Facts:
22 researchers have put out a paper explaining why, according to them, it's quite clear that the PCR test is not effective in identifying COVID-19 cases. As a result we may be seeing a significant amount of false positives.
- Reflect On:
Why are we being discouraged to ask certain questions and share certain information that calls into question the official mainstream narrative about this pandemic?
What Happened: A recent publication titled “Detection of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by real-time RT-PCR” recently published in the Journal Eurosurveillance has come under fire by 22 scientists/independent researchers. The publication claims that the RT-qPCR tests used for detecting COVID-19 is quite robust and a useful tool, but the independent publication presents a number of scientific and methodological “blemishes” that has them confident “that the editorial board of Eurosurveillance has no other choice but to retract the publication.”
According to the researchers,
In light of our re-examination of the test protocol to identify SARS-CoV-2 described in the Corman-Drosten paper we have identified concerning errors and inherent fallacies which render the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test useless.
The conclude by stating,
The decision as to which test protocols are published and made widely available lies squarely in the hands of Eurosurveillance. A decision to recognize the errors apparent in the Corman-Drosten paper has the benefit to greatly minimise human cost and suffering going forward.
They are not specific when they refer to “human cost and suffering, but I believe they are referring to the implications of lockdown measures as a result of COVID cases. 50,000 doctors and scientists have signed a declaration strongly opposing lockdown measures for a number of reasons, more than 100 million people will be pushed to starvation as a result of global lockdowns, and lockdowns in the UK, for example, may have already killed more seniors than COVID itself.
Is it not in the best interest of Eurosurveillance to retract this paper? Our conclusion is clear. In the face of all the tremendous PCR-protocol design flaws and errors described here, we concluded: There is not much of a choice left in the framework of scientific integrity and responsibility.
You can read the entire paper and the evidence behind their reasoning, here. The site where the paper is found was put up by Prof. Dr. Ulrike Kämmerer, specialist in Virology / Immunology / Human Biology / Cell Biology, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany, Dr. Pieter Borger (MSc, PhD), Molecular Genetics, W+W Research Associate, Lörrach, Germany and Rajesh Kumar Malhotra (Artist Alias: Bobby Rajesh Malhotra), Former 3D Artist / Scientific Visualizations at CeMM – Center for Molecular Medicine of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (2019-2020), University for Applied Arts – Department for Digital Arts Vienna, Austria.
To view the credentials and affiliations of the other 19 authors, you can refer to the bottom of the paper.
Other Doubts That’ve Been Expressed About PCR Testing
The Deputy Medical Officer of Ontario, Canada, Dr. Barbara Yaffe recently stated that COVID-19 testing may yield at least 50 percent false positives. This means that people who test positive for COVID may not actually have it.
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 also be as high as 50%.
Former scientific advisor at Pfizer, Dr. Mike Yeadon, also one of the authors of the paper discussed at the beginning of this article, argued that the proportion of positive tests that are false may actually be as high as 90%.
As far back as 2007, Gina Kolata published an article in the New York times about how declaring virus pandemics based on PCR tests can end in a disaster. The article was titled Faith in Quick Test Leads to Epidemic That Wasn’t.
The Bulgarian Pathology Association claims that PCR tests are “scientific meaningless” to detect COVID-19. They cite an article published in “Off Guardian” that goes into more detail and explanation as to why.
The idea that many COVID-19 cases around the world could be false positives is quite a common theme. 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.
Is Raab implying a 93 percent false positive rate?
A Portuguese court recently determined that the PCR tests used to detect COVID-19 are not able to prove an infection beyond a reasonable doubt. You can read more about that story here.
A number of everyday citizens have also come forward expressing their doubts, including some high profile people like Elon Musk for example. He 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.
I just wanted to provide a brief background as to why there is so much controversy out there regarding COVID-19 testing and false positives.
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
All of this being said, there is also a scientific consensus that infection cases are much higher and comparable to other respiratory viruses for example that already infect hundreds of millions a year, and that the survival rate for people under 70 is 99.95 percent. But there is a lot of controversy surrounding this as well.
It’s easy to see why so many people are confused and polarized when it comes to this topic. So many doctors, scientists, researchers and even politicians are providing evidence and claiming that these tests are going to have a very high false positive rate. Others, who are just as “renowned” with similar credentials are claiming that these tests are extremely accurate.
There are so many odd ‘things’ happening with this pandemic in terms of information that completely contradicts other information, not only with regards to the testing to detect the virus, but with regards to the severity of the virus as well. Never before have we seen people so polarized in their views, and this in itself is creating a big problem because it creates tension between us.
At the end of the day, we need to try and understand someone who does not share the same perspective as we do, and they should do the same without getting worked up. Our state of being when communicating is of utmost importance.
With so much confusion and lack of appropriate data to justify a lockdown, and with tens and thousands of doctors and scientists explaining how detrimental these measures are, I believe governments and health organizations should simply be presenting data and making recommendations based on science. Those who want to stay inside, wear masks and shut down their businesses for example, should have the option of doing that and those that don’t should have the option of doing that as well. Respiratory viruses kill tens of millions and infect hundreds of millions every single year, it’s not out of the box to treat this virus as we do all others, but that’s just my opinion, what’s yours?
Never before have so many people opposed and not trusted their government, yet we give these entities the power to make decisions and enforce them. Is this right? Especially when such a large majority, or minority, do not agree? Do governments actually execute the will of the people? Why do we continue to allow them to make such big decisions for us? Should it not be put to a vote? Should governments have the authority to shut things down whenever they please? Are they really executing the will of the people? Why do we simply rely on entities that may not have the best interests of humanity at heart?
The trouble we seem to be having is determining how to communicate about COVID, the fears we have around it, and how to come together as a community to ‘draw a line’ as to when we may be taking things too far.
COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Widespread, Even Among Medical Professionals
- The Facts:
Public health groups, including the World Health Organization, are making a concerted effort to reduce COVID vaccine hesitancy, as many medical professionals and minority groups remain doubtful about safety and efficacy.
- Reflect On:
Why is information about vaccines sometimes labeled by the mainstream as an "anti-vax conspiracy theory?" Why are concerns never really addressed properly and constantly ridiculed or unacknowledged?
It’s no secret that vaccine hesitancy is at an all time high, even among many physicians and scientists. This has actually been observed for a while. For example, one study published in the journal EbioMedicine in 2013 outlines this point, stating in the introduction:
Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts and science. These two dimensions are at the core of vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviours and attitudes varying according to context , vaccine and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines and ensure satisfactory vaccination coverage.
At a 2019 conference on vaccines put on by the World Health Organization this fact was emphasized by Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project. She is referenced, as you can see, by the authors in the study above. At the conference, she emphasized that safety concerns among people and health professionals seem to be the biggest issue regarding vaccine hesitancy.
She also stated,
The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…
We have to ask ourselves the question, why? Vaccines are not a one size fits all product, in the US alone nearly $4 billion has been paid out to families of vaccine injured children, and a number of studies are calling into question their safety. Aluminum, for example, seems to be a concern. You can and read about why here, but that’s just one of multiple examples.
Here’s an example of a vaccine injury I recently wrote about regarding the HPV vaccine.
Below is an article that was recently published Jeremy Loffredo, a reporter for The Defender. It goes into details about vaccine hesitancy among health professionals when it comes to the new COVID vaccines that are about to hit the market.
As details on the latest COVID vaccine contenders flood the news cycle on a daily basis, reports of concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the vaccine are widespread among many demographics, even including the professional medical community.
As vaccine hesitancy grows agencies, including the World Health Organization (WHO), are stepping up efforts to build vaccine confidence through public relations and communications campaigns.
Surveys reveal vaccine hesitancy
Researchers from the University of California Los Angeles’ Karin Fielding School of Public Health surveyed healthcare personnel working in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As the Washington Post reported, they found that two thirds (66.5%) of healthcare workers “intend to delay vaccination,” meaning they do not intend to get the COVID vaccine when it becomes available. They plan instead on reviewing the data once it’s widely administered and proven safe.
Seventy-six percent of the vaccine-hesitant healthcare workers cited the “fast-tracked vaccine development” as a primary reason for their concerns. Typically, vaccines take between eight to 10 years to develop, Dr. Emily Erbelding, an infectious disease expert at National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN in an article titled, “The timetable for a coronavirus vaccine is 18 months. Experts say that’s risky.”
The coronavirus vaccine frontrunners — Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca — are expected to make their debut in January. The pharmaceutical giants have exponentially accelerated the average safety and review timeline for vaccine development and production, to get the vaccines to market in under a year. Erbelding admitted that the accelerated pace will involve “not looking at all the data.”
Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association, said in a video that the number of physicians expressing hesitancy was “unprecedented” and “posed a real risk” to public confidence in vaccines.
A recent Gallup poll showed that only 58% of Americans plan on getting the COVID vaccine when it’s available. An October poll conducted by Zogby found that nearly 50% of Americans have concerns about the safety of the coming COVID vaccines.
A new collaborative survey project by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Langer Research found that Black and Latinx Americans are overwhelmingly concerned about the coming COVID vaccine.
The survey, as reported in the Washington post, claims to be “one of the largest and most rigorous conducted on this topic to date.” It found that only 14% of Black Americans trust that a vaccine will be safe, while only 34% of Latinx Americans trust it will be safe.
The survey also found, in the context of COVID, only 19% percent of Black Americans trust drug companies, while less than a third trust the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to “look after their interests.”
According to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group of medical experts who advise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fears surrounding the painful or harmful side-effects of the COVID vaccine are rooted in reality.
According to CNBC, during a virtual Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ meeting on Nov. 23, Dr. Sandra Fryhofer told fellow CDC officials that patients need to be aware that the side effects from the COVID vaccines “will not be a walk in the park.” Fryhofer acknowledged that side effects from the vaccines have been reported to mimic symptoms of a mild case of COVID, including muscle pain, fever, chills and headache.
Fryhofer, who explained that both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID vaccines require two doses, worries that her patients might not come back for a second dose after experiencing potentially unpleasant side effects after the first shot.
As a participant of the Moderna vaccine trials noted “it was the sickest I’ve ever been.”
Health officials try to combat vaccine hesitancy
Despite this, officials at the forefront of the COVID response plan to combat vaccine safety concerns and hesitancy using, what some are calling, questionable psychological techniques.
For example, the WHO, which named “vaccine hesitancy” as the top global public health threat, has hired the PR firm Hill + Knowlton to identify micro-influencers, macro-influencers and “hidden heroes” on social media who could covertly promote the organization’s image as a COVID authority in order to “ensure WHO’s advice and guidance is followed.”
Cass Sunstein, the chairman of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Behavioral Insights, recently wrote an article in Bloomberg in which he promoted the use of popular celebrities, athletes and actors as tools for vaccine persuasion against those who “lack vaccine confidence.”
“Trusted politicians, athletes or actors — thought to be ‘one of us’ rather than ‘one of them’ — might explicitly endorse vaccination and report that they themselves have gotten the vaccine,” Sunstein wrote.
Then there’s the “Guide to COVID-19 Vaccine Communications,” developed by the University of Florida and the United Nations that aims to help governments improve COVID vaccine uptake. The authors of the guide promote the tactic of covertly using trusted community leaders to help with pro-vaccine information.
Citing vaccine hesitancy among the African American community, the guide suggests that barber shops and hair salons in predominantly black neighborhoods might be tapped to help disseminate approved vaccine messaging.
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