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The Shots Felt 'Round the World
Pharmaceutical Hegemony Vs Scientific Integrity and Public Health
“I have slowly and reluctantly concluded that contrary to my own initial dogmatic beliefs, Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine is far from being as safe and effective as we first thought.”
So writes Dr. Aseem Malhotra, in the first of his two important papers out this week. Aiming, in this first paper, to “gain a better understanding of the true benefits and potential harms of the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) coronavirus disease (COVID) vaccines,” he walks the reader through a careful and concise analysis, providing the evidence which contributed to his changing his mind.
Changing one’s conclusions based on new evidence or analysis is one of the most critical things that scientists do. But it is not what most people calling themselves scientists are now doing. In a short video interview that was released just as the papers were published, Dr. Malhotra was asked if he worries about the blowback that will come from being an mRNA vaccine whistleblower. He answers without hesitation. “For me, what’s most important is my duty to patients, and to scientific integrity, and to the truth.”
Would that everyone wearing the mantle of science or medicine acted this way. If they did, we would be living in a very different world.
Vaccines are simultaneously one of the great advances that Western medicine has ever made, and are not the solution to every problem. Even the best tool isn’t the right one for all situations. Some situations call for a different approach.
Furthermore: labelling something as a particular kind of tool doesn’t make it one. The Pfizer product that is labeled a Covid vaccine does not deserve to be called a vaccine. It doesn’t behave like any vaccine that has come before, and it’s not effective at doing what other vaccines do. It doesn’t, in short, belong in the category. Therefore, those who would call mRNA-vaccine skeptics anti-vaxxers are wrong.
As I have said elsewhere, I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I’m a trad-vaxxer. I like my vaccines to substantially reduce my risk of infection with the target disease, and also to reduce the risk that I will transmit the disease to others. And I strongly prefer that they’re free of adjuvants. The mRNA Covid “vaccines” fail on all counts.
In his first article, Malhotra analyses the highly questionable benefits of these vaccines (obscured from public view in part by Pfizer’s monkeying with their own clinical trials); and also assesses their risks, in which he includes both an overview of known adverse events following vaccination of individuals, and excess deaths at the population level after the vaccines were rolled out. Malhotra also points out some of the falsities we were fed (even while those of us questioning the party line were the ones being accused of mis-, dis- and mal- information). The falsities include, for instance, the widespread belief that unvaccinated people were dying at higher rates than vaccinated people, especially early in the vaccination campaign. Widespread juking of the stats has now been confirmed in many places, including in Sweden, in which authorities categorized as “unvaccinated” anyone who died within 14 days of receiving their first mRNA vaccine shot.
Malhotra, appropriately understated, offers that this created “a misleading picture of efficacy vs death.” I will add this: If your loved one had died within two weeks of getting an experimental treatment that had been marketed as a vaccine, and their death was then used, spuriously, to add fuel to a PR campaign to get absolutely everyone to go get that very same experimental treatment, you would have good reason to be furious. But fury is not on the menu of acceptable responses. Criticism isn’t either. Not even hesitation. There is only one socially acceptable response to Pfizer’s Covid treatment: embrace it.
Concluding his analysis, Dr. Malhotra says of the Pfizer mRNA vaccine, “the roll-out into the entire population seems, at best, a reckless gamble.” Being neither safe nor effective, one has to wonder why this medical treatment, more than any other in recent history, has had the full force of government, employer, public health, media and social coercion behind it.
Seriously: We’ve got mandates for this product? Yes, okay, so far as I know, no country or university or employer has mandated that people specifically get an mRNA injection in order to be considered in compliance. But many organizations have mandated that people get one of these new medical treatments that are being called vaccines, and the mRNA treatments from Pfizer and Moderna are by far the most prevalent, at least in the United States. We have had or still have, in various locales around the world, vaccine mandates to cross borders. To work. To attend school. To take public transportation. To go to restaurants and bars, theatres and clubs. To go to grocery stores, and pharmacies. People’s lives and livelihoods have been destroyed, and it’s still happening. Meanwhile most who complied and did not suffer health effects for doing so seem blind to the whole thing.
In May of 2021, two weeks after the FDA approved Pfizer’s shot for 12 – 15 year olds, I took my then 15-year-old son to the pediatrician for an annual physical, which was required each year for him to attend camp. After the exam, the pediatrician asked me if Toby would be getting the Pfizer shot that day, or at another time.
“He won’t be getting vaccinated against Covid,” I said simply. Our family discusses nearly everything openly, and we had already had many conversations about these vaccines. We were and are a family that takes Covid very seriously, and had been dismayed by the failures of science journalism, and then journalism at every level, to cover nearly any of the aspects of the pandemic with clarity or honesty. We had changed our own minds on some things—in the Spring of 2020, for instance, it seemed to us that widespread masking would help, and even that lockdowns would help, to keep the pandemic at bay. Those positions seem naïve now. But from the origins of the virus, to the ability to treat the disease with common drugs that were already in existence, to the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines, time and again we had seen group think supersede analysis. Furthermore, because as a family we talked about these things so openly, if either of our sons had seen the world differently on this topic, I felt confident that I would have known.
What the pediatrician saw in me, when I told him that my son would not be getting vaccinated against Covid, was a foolish woman, and an ignorant one. As he saw it, I was putting my own child at risk. I was a danger to my own family.
In fact, this pediatrician knew that I had a PhD in Biology, and had been a professor for 15 years. But that didn’t jibe with his position. When I told him (reminded him, I hope) that the risks to children and adolescents from Covid were very low, and the benefits from the vaccines would therefore be quite low as well, he was unimpressed. He also found it irrelevant that Toby, like everyone in the family, was at that time taking Covid prophylaxis in the form of daily doses of vitamins D and C, Magnesium and Zinc, and a weekly dose of Ivermectin. We did not even know yet that the risks from the vaccines are higher in the young than in the old, and higher in males than in females, although there were already intimations. We did know, however, that this was a novel kind of vaccine, one which turns your body into a factory for spike protein. As it turns out, that spike protein factory will stop work at some point, but cannot be made to stop on command. We knew, too, that this novel vaccine includes questionable ingredients, ranging from polyethylene glycol (PEG) to lipid nanoparticles. The FDA had rushed approval of this new product for young people, and our family was not going to follow the FDA’s lead.
The pediatrician tried cajoling, and fearmongering, and it didn’t work. I tried discussing the data, and that also didn’t work. Toby was in the room for the entire uncomfortable discussion. Finally, the pediatrician gestured at Toby, as if realizing his trump card, and said, “shouldn’t it be his decision? You’ve forced him to this.” I may have laughed out loud. “Go ahead and ask him. I’ll leave the room if you like,” and I got up as if to go.
The pediatrician was having none of it. He didn’t want to talk to Toby, or hear his opinions. He wanted to use Toby as a pawn to get me, Toby’s mother, to comply. To comply with imposing an experimental and unnecessary medical treatment on my exceedingly healthy son.
I did not comply.
What led a doctor, one whom I had trusted before, to come to such a dogmatic and dangerous conclusion? It’s not an excuse, but he was doing the same thing that so many people were doing. He was following along. It’s the easiest path for most of us, most of the time.
But he was, in my estimation, betraying some of the core values of his profession in taking that easy path. Doctors are supposed to diagnose and treat, yes, and hopefully cure, but also to educate. A patient needs to be fully cognizant of her options, and what they mean, in order to decide between them. But among many other things that have been lost these last few years, or are at risk of being so, is the principle of informed consent.
In the United States, the early legal history of “informed consent” involves several cases from the beginning of the 20th century, all about surgery. In one case, after a patient consented to surgery on her right ear, the surgeon intentionally operated on her left ear instead; in another, a patient had her uterus removed after explicitly saying that she did not consent to a hysterectomy.Even if the doctor believes that he is doing the right thing, without the patient’s informed consent, the treatment is illegitimate.
Decades later, as part of the investigation of Nazi war crimes during World War II, the International Military Tribunal established rules for the conduct of human experiments in what has become known as the Nuremberg Code. These include the following:
“the person…should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved, as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision. This latter element requires that, before the acceptance of an affirmative decision by the experimental subject, there should be made known to him the nature, duration, and purpose of the experiment; the method and means by which it is to be conducted; all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected; and the effects upon his health or person, which may possibly come from his participation in the experiment.”
In the case that an experimental medical treatment has been developed under proprietary conditions; has undergone clinical trials supposedly designed to assess safety and efficacy, but which were deeply compromised, and were terminated early, leaving no possibility of said trials revealing whether the treatment is either safe or effective; and is being pushed on the public as the only possible solution to dealing with a global pathogen (even while other treatments are being used successfully in other parts of the world), how can a patient possibly have “sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved,” such that she can make an “enlightened decision”? She cannot. When the developer of a treatment has scuttled their own trials such that not even they are aware of “all inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected,” informed consent is not even possible.
Well. At least our leaders in the scientific and medical realms are making decisions based on work they have done or directly assessed, on which basis public health policy is then made. That, at any rate, provides some modicum of “informed” for the potentially consenting consumer of experimental medical treatments.
As Dr. Malhotra reveals in his second of this week’s excellent articles, much of the health policy that appears to be generated by the world’s leading scientists and doctors, is, instead, merely coming out of the mouthsof said authority figures, who often get their opinions from the media, who in turn get their lines directly from the pharmaceutical companies themselves. This frees self-appointed “fact-checking” organizations like PolitiFact (which partners with Facebook and TikTok) to have no relationship to facts at all.
One example that Malhotra recalls is that of CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who has recently admitted that her early optimism for Pfizer’s vaccine efficacy came from reading a news story on CNN, which in turn was generated almost verbatim from Pfizer’s own press release.
The CDC presents itself as working “24/7 to protect the safety, health, and security of America from threats here and around the world.” The leader of such an agency has a responsibility to never make pronouncements that sound science-ish, but which are actually informed by the very corporation that needs the vaccine to win. Not necessarily to work, but to win. The interests of Pfizer, and the “safety, health and security of America,” are most definitely not the same the thing, and there is no reason to think that they will even align most of the time.
Public optimism from the director of the CDC will have direct effects on public health policy. Walensky’s optimism for this product was not based on research or analysis that her own agency had done, but rather, on a mainstream media news feature, which was itself cribbed from the manufacturer’s own press.
She really ought to have known better. So very many people really ought to have known better.
Modern medicine has blinders on, as do many of its practitioners. Bret Weinstein and I write about this in A Hunter-Gatherer’s Guide to the 21st Century, which was fully drafted before Covid struck:
“Combine a tendency to engage only proximate questions, with a bias towards reductionism, and you end up with medicine that has blinders on. The view is narrow. Even the great victories of Western medicine—surgery, antibiotics, and vaccines—have been over-extrapolated, applied in many cases where they shouldn’t be. When all you have is a knife and a pill, the whole world looks like it would benefit from being cut and medicated.”
We have a system that can be diagnosed by its failures, including most importantly its failure to recognize and correct past failures (on this point, see too DarkHorse Livestream #143: What Did They Know & When Did They Know It?). At the end of the short video interview that I referenced earlier, Dr. Malhotra is asked what he would like to say to citizens, all of whom are wrestling with what to do. This is what he says:
“you need to understand that the current system is encouraging good people to do bad things. And the root of this problem is big, very powerful corporations that have too much influence on government, on health care, on media. [The corporations’] primary responsibility is to produce profit for their shareholders, not to give you the best treatment.”
There are no doubt some very ugly people involved in all of this, but overall, I believe that Dr. Malhotra is correct: most of the people doing bad things are not inherently bad themselves. But they have been fooled or coerced into behaving badly, which can of course have long-term effects on personality.
Dr. Malhotra’s final point in that short interview is the most urgent of all. While most people are decent, the system is not:
“We have a psychopathic entity influencing health policy. That needs to stop, and it needs to stop now.”
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Malhotra 2022. Curing the pandemic of misinformation on Covid-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine – Part I. The Journal of Insulin Resistance 2022; 5(1), a71.
On DarkHorse Livestream #133: Corruption, Efficacy & the Rise of Trad-Vaxxers. July 6, 2022.
Malhotra 2022a, p7.
Bazzano, Durant, and Brantley 2021. A modern history of informed consent and the role of key information.Ochsner Journal 21(1): 81-85.
As quoted in Bazzano et al 2021.
The fact that the FDA allowed Pfizer (and other pharmaceutical companies) to provide the vaccine to subjects in the placebo group after only two months means that, effectively, no trial was completed, as there is no chance of recording adverse events from those trials beyond the first two months. In turn, this also means that everyone taking Pfizer’s vaccine now is participating in an experiment, as the previous, required one was terminated before completion.
I encourage everyone to read this article in its entirety. A recurring theme is this: follow the money. To wit: “the real battle in health care is one of truth versus money,” says a former Editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. “ Similarly, independent researchers who were analyzing the effectiveness of Tamiflu concluded that “all industry sponsored research should be considered marketing until proven otherwise.” And hey, did you know that Facebook and Merck have partnered to create the “Vaccine Confidence Fund”? Seriously, read this piece: Malhotra 2022. Curing the pandemic of misinformation on COVID-19 mRNA vaccines through real evidence-based medicine - Part 2. Journal of Insulin Resistance 2022; 5(1), a72.
With no apparent irony, PolitiFact says that they partner with Facebook and TikTok to “help try and slow the spread of misinformation online.”
This was my first post at Natural Selections, on July 29, 2021: Fact Checkers Aren’t Scientists: Too often, they’re censors.