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Coronamonomania Thrives in Darkness, Part 45

By April 14, 2021Commentary

I need all your help to make sure that accurate information about vaccines is disseminated and the spread of misinformation is stopped.  This blog is dedicated to research and data.  If there was really bad news about the vaccines you would hear it from me.  (Much as it pains me to say this, if there was really good news about masks, you would hear that from me too.)  You may recall I cautioned on the mRNA vaccines that I would be inclined to wait a while to see real-world experience, since they were a new type of vaccine and the side-effect profile may not be clear.  It is very clear now.  In regard to Pfizer and Moderna there are extremely low rates of serious adverse events and they are incredibly efficacious.  J & J, and AstraZeneca, which are a different technology, let’s wait and see if there really is a causation link to clotting issues and what the mechanism is before we panic.  I am especially disappointed at the outright lies being spread.  These vaccines were tested in humans, they were extensively tested according to normal protocols.  They got very thorough review by the FDA.  They did get accelerated review and they should have, does anyone seriously think we would be better off if they were took the normal two or three years for a drug approval?  Do you know what kind of wave the northeast and Midwest would be having now in the absence of the vaccines?  These vaccines are not gene therapy and don’t affect DNA.  Trust me on this, I know a lot about genetics, again, I am co-founder of a company that manages gene and cell therapies for payers.  DNA is in the nucleus of cells, the vaccines, indeed the virus, never get in the nucleus.  The vaccines work in the cytoplasm, the general body of the cell.  They use the cell’s own protein-making machinery to work.  They work pretty much just like the virus does, like almost all viruses do.  (You want to worry about something dangerous, worry about retroviruses, which do affect your DNA.  HIV is a retrovirus and that is one reason it is so dangerous.  Retroviruses have likely been responsible for some of the current common human gene sequences.  Harmless retroviruses are actually used to do gene therapy in some cases.)   The vaccines don’t do anything to your genes and they are definitely not gene therapy.  I can go on and on, but really, what I am asking is that readers of this blog read this stuff with a jaundiced eye and help stop the spread of misinformation if you see other people doing it.  And whatever anti-government, anti-expert feelings you or people you encounter may harbor, I may share those to some extent, but they aren’t a reason to ignore research and data that suggests something is misinformation.

Things keep getting worse in Michigan, thanks to the Governor’s complete mismanagement of the epidemic from start to finish, including a pathetic vaccine rollout.  Kind of makes the IB look better, at least we straightened out our vaccination screwups pretty quickly, and because of that, we probably aren’t seeing the same level of case surge, although we do have a pretty high level among all states.

This coronavirus epidemic has people looking back and trying to assess the effects of other common cold viruses, such as rhinovirus.  This study, based on cases from a few years ago, found that rhinoviruses actually caused a fair amount of hospitalizations and even deaths in the elderly population.  (Medrxiv Paper)   My big concern is that as with flu, the public health nazis will think that they should make us all mask and social distance for ever to keep anyone from ever getting a respiratory virus.

This study assessed the impact of decreases in pediatric ER use in one state in the US.  (Medrxiv Paper)   As you would expect while there are declines in pediatric ER use across  the population, the biggest declines, and therefore the greatest risk of adverse effects on health, are among minority and low-income children.

Another potential negative impact of closing schools and lockdowns on children is declining levels of physical activity.  A study from Austria finds that children’s cardiovascular fitness declined and their levels of being overweight increased during the epidemic.  (Medrxiv Paper)

Another paper that attempts to assess the effect of “non-pharmaceutical interventions”, i.e., lockdowns, social distancing, masks, etc.  (RS Paper)   The study came from France and found that while the interventions may have slowed transmission, they had no effect on hospitalizations.  And they found no real effect of mask mandates.  As usual, these studies are methodologically difficult, but this one seems halfway reasonable.

Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Matt says:

    I think a lot of people, even if they agree the data shows the mRNA vaccines to have acceptable safety results so far, worry/wonder about long term risks. What research can be shared to address that concern? Why shouldn’t folks worry that Zombie syndrome onset could still occur, but maybe it takes a year or two to incubate?

    As always, thanks for your tremendous service to public knowledge on these matters.

  • Rob says:

    Serious (and loaded) question: doesn’t the recent “surge” in “cases” coincide with the recent approval/rollout of the crummy “10-minute COVID tests”? Not every state has approved these tests and I’m not sure how the states that have approved them have used the results in their statistics but it is worth asking.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    I believe that excessive testing is in fact responsible for some of the reports of “cases”

  • Kevin Roche says:

    Of course we don’t know if there are bizarre longer term safety issues, but given the sheer number of people who have received the vaccine, I think we are pretty safe. Finding rare serious events is a function of both time and number of people and when you have a large enough number of people, it would show up early. Given the mechanism of action, I don’t know of any reason why we would expect something.

  • Colonel Travis says:

    I know a number of people are worried about mRNA vaccines because they’ve never been used on this scale before, but I don’t think people know that they have been used in trials for years. If big problems had come up we would know about them by now. I’m just some goofball with a keyboard but I have tried to learn about these things and have read nothing to indicate a long-term safety issue with them.

  • David A says:

    Kevin,
    Below is an exercpt from a mailing from Liberty Counsel (lc.org). I would be curious if you have any comments on this stuff.
    Thanks!

    Johnson & Johnson: Deployment Stopped

    Both the European Union and the U.S. have stopped deployment of the J&J COVID shots. Citing a number of deaths in the EU, scientists suspect the shot causes cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (blood clots in the brain), in combination with a drop in blood platelets that results in death within two to 16 days after receiving the J&J shot.

    AstraZeneca: Banned in 18 countries

    The AstraZeneca shot has been banned by at least 18 world governments. Similar to the Johnson & Johnson issue, the AstraZeneca shot appears to produce severe thrombosis as well as a drop in blood platelets, resulting in death within two to 16 days after taking the shot.

    Pfizer/BioNTech: Under review

    Studies show that individuals who have received the Pfizer shot have an eight times higher chance of contracting the South African (SA) COVID variant than those who remained unvaccinated.

    Numerous countries, including Norway, Australia and the Philippines, have banned the Pfizer shot for elderly and frail individuals after nursing home injection programs took a number of fragile lives.

    Even the authors of the Pfizer clinical trial study admit their data shows a greater than 83% likelihood of at least one adverse event. That’s an 83% chance of someone experiencing lifelong side effects like sterility or losing their life altogether.

    The study’s authors also note that they did not have an adequate number of participants or enough time to reliably detect all adverse events. 

    Moderna: Under review

    In January, the California Department of Health paused deployment of the Moderna shot after a number of recipients experienced severe allergic reactions. But while California resumed deployment Jan. 21, the CDC quietly updated its website to warn that life-threatening anaphylaxis is, in fact, a known side effect of the Moderna drug.

    And both the Moderna and Pfizer drugs are suspected of causing “cytokine storms,” in which the body’s immune system attacks its own organs.

    Top vaccine scientist warns: STOP THE COVID SHOTS!

    Dr. Geert Vanden Bossche served as senior program officer in vaccine discovery for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He also served as the head of Germany’s Vaccine Development Office, the German equivalent of the CDC, at the German Center for Infection Research.

    In an open letter to the science community and the world at large, this top scientist wrote that he understands he is putting “all of my reputation and credibility at stake” in delivering his warning. But his conscience insisted.

    “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine how the consequences of the extensive and erroneous human intervention in this pandemic are not going to wipe out large parts of our human population.”

    The scientist goes on to say the COVID shots have a strong likelihood of “turning a relatively harmless virus into a bioweapon of mass destruction.”

    Pfizer’s former vice president and chief science officer, Dr. Mike Yeadon, sounded a similar alarm in a March 25, 2021, statement, saying the injections are NOT vaccines and will likely be used for “massive scale depopulation.”

    “I have absolutely no doubt that we are in the presence of evil,” Yeadon continued, before noting that this is not a determination he has ever made before in his highly acclaimed 40-year research career.

    These warnings are not the words of so-called “conspiracy theorists.” These men have held the top vaccine science positions in the world, and they are warning that the COVID shots are NOT proven or reliable medicine but carry significant risk of fatal outcomes.

    “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine how the consequences of the extensive and erroneous human intervention in this pandemic are not going to wipe out large parts of our human population.”

    The scientist goes on to say the COVID shots have a strong likelihood of “turning a relatively harmless virus into a bioweapon of mass destruction.”

  • Christopher Foley MD says:

    “Used in trials for years”? What trials? Cite some.

  • Dr. F says:

    Kevin,

    Thank you for your blog. I’ve been reading it during the “pandemic” and I appreciate your commentary and summary of research.

    I’m a bit confused with COVID vaccine recommendations population-wide. The CDC has estimated that 80% of the population infected with COVID experiences at most a mild infection with no medical care needed, many are asymptomatic.

    I’ve known many people that got quite ill after their 2nd COVID vaccine, a reaction that seems more likely in those that are young and healthy. With this young and healthy group, COVID is a almost negligible risk, yet they suffer through a vaccine reaction to keep them “safe”.

    Why do this? Vaccines have a significant cost and they don’t come without risks. For the overwhelming majority of the population, COVID is not a risk. Adaptive immunity through infection seems to be the preferred method to deal with the virus.

    Why not just vaccinate the obese and co-morbid elderly?

  • Kevin Roche says:

    It could be a reasonable strategy to only vaccinate the high risk groups. That would not fully eliminate significant transmission, and given that adaptive immunity is probably less robust in those high-risk populations, there will be a higher reinfection risk there if there is more general transmission. I am going to say this again, and people need to trust my knowledge on this–again, I ran a clinical trials organization, I know how drug and vaccine development works, I know how the biostatistics work. These are amazingly safe vaccines, even the J & J one, but certainly the mRNA. Just by coincidence if you vaccinate tens of millions of Americans, you are going to see an association with all kinds of things. Given the balance of harms and benefits, I would encourage people who don’t have some specific medical reason to be cautious, to get vaccinated. And I am dead serious when I say don’t give the dictators an excuse to keep us all locked down and masked forever because they don’t think enough people are vaccinated.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    easy enough to google or you can review articles on the history of mRNA vaccines. In fact I summarized one in a post a few months ago. That is absolutely true that this type of vaccine has been in trial work for over a decade.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    Some of it is marginally factually accurate. Almost all of it is a misrepresentation of what always happens in a clinical trial. If you are a participant in a clinical trial, you are told to report any slight twinge, think you might have a sniffle, report it, a tiny headache, report it. so 99.9% of so called side effects reported in clinical trials have nothing to do with what is being tested. The German scientist was not concerned about adverse events but about the effects on the human immune system and on virus evolution of not letting people get immunity through infection.

    I can’t fight every piece of misinformation, but I can assure you that if people believe this crap and don’t get vaccinated, we will never get out from the truly damaging and undemocratic states of emergency. Mike Yeadon has become a whacko in a number of regards and there is a reason he isn’t at Pfizer any more.

  • Corey says:

    “Do you know what kind of wave the northeast and Midwest would be having now in the absence of the vaccines?” This is pure speculation and no one can answer that question definitively. I think we all underestimate the impact of naturally acquired herd immunity. In my office alone (in the upper Midwest), about 90% of the folks have had COVID-19 – out of approximately 30 people. Not one of us has had it twice. Look at the case curves in ND and SD. Wouldn’t the high spikes indicate the reason those curves have dropped precipitously is due to naturally acquired herd immunity and not the vaccines? I’m not saying the vaccines have had no impact, but in many states, their impact has been ancillary to the population acquiring immunity the hard way. The Upper Midwest was almost already over this pandemic by the time the vaccines rolled out.

  • Kevin Roche says:

    It is not pure speculation. I believe the waves are clearly driven by seasonality, mitigated by prior infection and vaccination levels, which serve to dampen transmission that would otherwise occur. As you suggest, the Dakotas in particular had such high levels of prior infection, and have done an astounding job of vaccinating, so they are seeing less of a bump. Other places like Michigan, which have a poor vaccination regard are seeing worse waves. And look at Europe where the vaccination has been completely botched outside the UK. There is a very clear connection behind extent of vaccination and size of case bump in areas where seasonality is favorable to transmission

  • Christopher Foley MD says:

    In fact quoting from a recent paper: “we found chimeric transcripts consisting of viral fused to cellular sequences in published data sets of SARS CoV2 infected cultured cells and primary cells of patients consistent with transcription of viral sequences integrated into the genome. To experimentally corroborate the possibility of viral retro integration, we describe evidence that SARS CoV2 RNAs can be reversed transcribed into human cells by reverse transcriptase from LINE-1 elements or by HIV-1 RT, and that these DNA sequences can be integrated into the cell genome and subsequently be transcribed. Human endogenous LINE-1 expression was induced upon SARS CoV2 infection or by cytokine exposure in cultured cells, suggesting a molecular mechanism for SARS CoV2 retro integration and patients. This novel feature of SARS CoV2 infection may explain why patients can continue to produce viral RNA after recovery and suggests a new aspect of RNA virus replication.”

    Researchers are currently puzzled by the fact that there are meaningful numbers of people who are testing positive for CV 19 by PCR long after infection is gone. These people are not “reinfected”. The working hypothesis right now is that somehow segments of the viral RNA are being copied into DNA and integrated permanently into the DNA of somatic cells. That means these cells can continuously churn out pieces of viral RNA that would be detected by the PCR test even though no active infection is persisting. Even though these are smaller segments of the viral DNA, and represent mostly capsid protein, this has become a new concern. What is most definitely established is the following:

    1. Segments of CV 19 RNA can become integrated into human genomic DNA.

    2. This newly acquired viral sequence is not silent.

    3. Segments of CV 19 viral RNA integration is implied from the detection of chimeric RNA transcripts and cells derived from CV 19 patients. The in vitro data is now established.

    The reason these things are important is that we were told that this was “impossible”. You have repeated that falsehood now. It is not only possible but likely.

    Reference: Zhang, Liguo, Alexsia Richards, Andrew Khalil, Emile Wogram, Haiting Ma, Richard A. Young, and Rudolf Jaenisch. “SARS-CoV-2 RNA reverse-transcribed and integrated into the human genome.” bioRxiv (2020).

  • Kevin Roche says:

    And that has what to do with vaccines? Nothing

  • Kevin Roche says:

    And it turns out that if you search the citation history and reviews of the paper that it is widely discredited and no one, absolutely no one, has been able to replicate its artificially created results. Failure to replicate over this long a period of time, with this significant an issue, is a clear sign that the original paper is simply wrong. That is the problem with preprints. And the real nail in the coffin is that this paper was not able to get publication in a journal, which means it did not pass peer review.

    People, you have to be skeptical and check things out fully, especially when they seem unbelievable.

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