How Effective is the Covid-19 Vaccine?

Are you going to decline the Covid-19 vaccine if it is offered to you? Why or why not? No matter how certain you are in your reasoning there will no doubt be someone else who feels exactly the opposite to you and will be just as certain of their position. We trust different sources of information, we have had different experiences with vaccines and we have different impressions of the threat of SARS-COV2 to us and our species.

I would suggest that those in the “vaccine cautionary” community would decline the vaccine based on their ideas around its potential risks. On the other hand, supporters of the vaccine are more likely to focus on its potential benefits. The debate has largely been centered around the disagreement people have about the risks. In this essay I will consider the uncertainty I and others have about its benefits.

Is the Medical Community biased about the Vaccine?

As a contributor to Collective Evolution I am well aware of the “cautionary” perspective on vaccinations and CDC directives. As a physician, I have a reasonable understanding of how those in the medical community regard the “best of what modern science has to offer”. I am part of a Physician group on social media where doctors can seek advice from each other around all matters Covid-19, from interesting cases to rare side effects to how to address special concerns raised by patients. It has been alarming to realize how unilateral the support of vaccination is in this community. 

I mean no disrespect to my medical colleagues. Many of those in this community have seen their patients die from this very real virus. They have had to struggle with the divergent directives coming from the CDC. They have had to work through many weeks where Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was in short supply as their hospital wards rapidly reached capacity and overflowed. Now that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have met minimum requirements for efficacy under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), they are faced with yet another impediment to getting themselves and their patients through this pandemic: growing skepticism around the vaccine coming from the very same people they are endeavoring to help. Their frustration around the situation is understandable, but is it biasing them?

Before consenting to any intervention it is important to understand its relative risks and benefits. As I mentioned earlier, there has been much concern in the “vaccine cautionary” sphere about side-effects and deaths. Here I will take a closer look at what we know about the benefits of the vaccine based on Pfizer-Biontech’s  briefing document to the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. How confident can we be in the efficacy of the vaccine? Has the manufacturer done its due diligence in its analysis and in being transparent? These are the central questions that need to be answered.

Understanding False Positives and Negatives

There has been a lot of discussion about the rate of “false-positives” with regard to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for confirming infection with SARS-COV2. The PCR test can return a positive result even if only trace fragments of the virus are present. Fragments of the virus on a nasal swab is not necessarily representative of an active infection or transmissibility. Moreover the sensitivity of this test is dependent on the number of amplification cycles, or the cycle threshold (Ct), used.  The Ct is not standardized. It is not unreasonable to say that there will be a percentage of people who test positive that do not have the disease. Nevertheless, without a better test we as the public must treat all positive PCR tests as an indication of an infection. We must assume the test is right. The rate of false positives, whatever it is, is directly proportional to the overestimation of the prevalence of the disease. 

Here I would like to discuss the significance of “false-negatives”. These are people who get a negative PCR result but may still be infected. The rate of false negatives is directly proportional to the underestimation of disease prevalence. This aspect of the inaccuracy of our primary diagnostic test gets relatively little attention for practical reasons. If you are suffering symptoms consistent with Covid-19 but have a negative PCR test we assume that you have Covid-19 anyway. In other words, if someone is symptomatic we assume that the test is wrong, i.e. that it is a false-negative, and necessary measures are taken. We quarantine and isolate until we feel healthy again whether we have Covid-19 or not. 

Because we are in the midst of a pandemic we have no choice but to make these assumptions. We are responding appropriately given the limitations of the test. Because of the assumptions we are forced to make, we are exaggerating the prevalence of the disease and our response to it to some extent. It is the nature of the situation we are in.

How do we know that the Vaccine is 95% effective?

With this in mind I would like to discuss an article published in the opinion section of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that ran earlier this month. The author, Peter Doshi (PhD), takes a rigorous look at the results reported by Pfizer regarding the efficacy of their mRNA vaccine. The success of their vaccine has been widely publicized to be 95%. Where exactly does this figure come from?

During the four weeks of observation (three weeks between 1st and 2nd dose followed by 7 days), 162 participants who received the placebo expressed symptoms of Covid-19 and tested positive by PCR. Compare that with only 8 in the group that received their experimental vaccine. The chance of getting Covid 19 after receiving the vaccine was about 20 times lower than if you got the placebo. This is the basis of the claim that their vaccine was 95% effective, well over the 50% threshold required for Emergency Use Authorization that allows their product to be deployed despite the fact that the two-year Phase III trial is still 20 months from completion.

How did Pfizer handle study participants in the “Suspected Covid-19” group?

It is less commonly known that of the nearly 38,000 participants in the Pfizer study, 3,410 fell into a group labeled “suspected Covid-19”. These are people who developed symptoms consistent with disease but tested negative by PCR. 1,594 of those in this group received the vaccine and 1,816 received the placebo. It should be quite clear that how we regard this much bigger group of symptomatic participants will have an enormous impact on the true efficacy of the vaccine. In other words, if we assume that the PCR test was accurate in all of these people and that they didn’t have Covid-19 and developed symptoms from another virus, the flu for example, then the vaccine would in fact be 95% effective as reported. On the other hand, if the PCR test was wrong every time and they all in fact had Covid-19, the efficacy of the vaccine would be much different: 1602 (1594 + 8) in the vaccine wing vs. 1978 (1816 + 162) in the placebo wing results in a vaccine efficacy of only 19%. 

The PCR test (like any test) can be wrong some of the time and right some of the time. The true efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine can only be calculated if we know how many symptomatic people in each wing had Covid-19 despite testing negative. It is likely that the percentage of false negatives are different in each arm. As the FDA briefing document on the Pfizer study and the BMJ piece correctly note, there should be fewer false negatives in the vaccine group. Why? It is because there is a greater chance of developing Covid-19 symptoms after receiving the vaccine compared to getting a placebo. Reactogenicity, or the acute response of the body to the vaccine, is common. Most of the acute inflammatory reaction to the vaccine occurs in the first seven days after receiving the vaccine. Looking more closely at the data, 409 patients in the vaccine group developed symptoms in the first seven days after inoculation. Compare this to 287 in the placebo group. If we assume that any participant who expressed symptoms in the first seven days must be suffering from the side effects of the vaccine or the placebo and not a new Covid-19 infection, the efficacy of the vaccine is still only 29%.

How important is this matter of the 3,412 “suspected Covid-19” participants? Let us say hypothetically that we as a nation decide to vaccinate our entire population with the Pfizer vaccine assuming that it has a 95% efficacy in preventing the disease. We can predict that within a month about 6.3% people will develop Covid-like symptoms from something other than vaccine reactogenicity or the disease itself. This is based on the number of participants who became symptomatic (from something other than reactogenicity) despite getting the vaccine and tested negative (1,185) divided by the total number who got the vaccine (18,801) = 0.063. With a population of 300 million we would expect roughly 19 million people to develop symptoms of Covid from something other than SARS-COV2 within a month. We can agree that we must be extremely confident in our assumptions about whether these 19 million people have the disease or not. Why would we assume they all don’t have Covid-19 when the vaccine trial itself considered them to be “suspected” of having it?

There is another extreme possibility. If all of the vaccinated participants who were suspected of Covid-19 truly did not have the disease and all of the unvaccinated (placebo) participants who were suspect did have the disease we would have a true miracle vaccine. Why? It would mean that only 8 people got the disease in the vaccinated group compared to 1978 in the placebo group. This would mean that the vaccine was approximately 99.6% effective.

Pfizer either did not do or report additional testing that would have helped

The real issue here is that we shouldn’t be guessing about such important numbers. What do you suppose Pfizer did, knowing that this larger pool of symptomatic participants could have an enormous impact on the estimation of their vaccine’s efficacy? In my opinion, they should have tested everyone who developed symptoms for antibody titers to help quantify the percentage of false negative PCR tests. If a participant felt like they were coming down with Covid-19 but had a negative PCR test, it seems clear that performing an antibody test would have offered a great deal of clarity. This was either not done or not reported.

We must be careful when interpreting the power of a vaccine safety and efficacy study. Although tens of thousands of people were enrolled in the study, the only meaningful numbers have to do with those that contracted the disease during the period of observation. This is the only way to assess the efficacy of the vaccine. When Pfizer only considers participants that became symptomatic and tested positive we only have a group of 170 cases to cross compare.

The 3,410 people who became symptomatic but tested negative during the four weeks of observation would represent a much larger set of cohorts and would amplify the power of the study 20 fold if infection could be confirmed or ruled out through additional testing. In other words, the 3,410 symptomatic people should be the ones that Pfizer were hoping would emerge when they enrolled 37,000+ individuals in their study. I find this lapse in diligence suspicious and at the very least inexplicable, especially in light of the latitude they are granted under the EUA. The fact of the matter is that we do not know if this was done. Pfizer, per their own protocol, will not make this data available until the trial is completed 20 months from now. 

Why didn’t Pfizer look harder?

This forces us to ask some sobering questions. If Pfizer is required (or has agreed) to make all data available in two years, would they have conducted antibody tests on the “suspected Covid” group? If those results told a different story it would be quite damning, if not now, eventually. Their product would not be permitted for use under the EUA if a 50% efficacy requirement could not be met. On the other hand, if antibody tests were conducted and the results confirmed the impressive efficacy of the vaccine, why wouldn’t they have made the data available right now?

It should be clear that if Pfizer’s primary goal was to obtain approval under the EUA they would have had little incentive to do further testing to confirm their product’s efficacy. Why would they take the risk of seeking more information on 3,400 participants that could potentially overturn their results that were based on only 170 outcomes? This is where we must be very careful in our assessment of the situation. If you believe Pfizer and vaccine manufacturers are only out for profits it would be easy to conclude that they are being manipulative. If you believe that these corporations are seeking to improve public health and safety you may grant them a lot of latitude here. To be truly objective we must ask if they have been scientific in their approach.

At the very least I feel that they have not been diligent, and their position hints at disingenuousness: Pfizer didn’t mention this group of participants in their 92 page report or in their publication in the New England Journal of Medicine. This group was only mentioned in two paragraphs of a 53 page briefing to the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the FDA submitted December 10, 2020. The FDA, an agency of the department of Health and Human Services that ostensibly serves to protect the public by ensuring the safety of drugs, biological products and medical devices, continues to remain silent around this issue.

The Take Away

The 95% efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine is widely touted by the media and the medical establishment. Why didn’t Pfizer test or report the testing of an enormously important group of participants in their trial? We can predict that without these additional tests deploying the vaccine will not change our behavior nor our attitude to this pandemic.

Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination

What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.

This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Old, sick, and frail people were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”

O the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”

“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”

Madsen also told the BMJ that,

There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.

The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:

In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.

“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.

“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”

Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it.  At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.

Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having  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.

A study published in the journal EbioMedicine  as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.

Pfizer’s Questionable History:  Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”

In it, he outlines the fact that,

Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.

Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.

Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the  Spider Papers.

The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored. In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.

Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: Science Behind Sound Healing For Serotonin Production

Mental illness has reached an all time high in the world, and yet the modern day medicines to relieve symptoms have gained controversy. This is, in part, why people have dug up the past to better understand alternative ways of healing.

Sound, for instance, has been a tool for promoting the physical and emotional health of the body for as long as history can account for, deeply rooted in ancient cultures and civilizations. The ancient Egyptians used vowel sound chants in healing because they believed vowels were sacred. Tibetan monks take advantage of singing bowls, which they believe to be “a symbol of the unknowable” whose “vibrations have been described as the sound of the universe manifesting.”

“Our various states of consciousness are directly connected to the ever-changing electrical, chemical, and architectural environment of the brain. Daily habits of behavior and thought processes have the ability to alter the architecture of brain structure and connectivity, as well as, the neurochemical and electrical neural oscillations of your mind.”

Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of the perception of sound, and it has fueled researchers paths to better understand how it can be used as medicine. For instance, in 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster, a medical doctor and biophysicist, proved, in his research paper, “Auditory Beats in the Brain,” how sound affects the how the brain absorbs new information, controls mood, sleep patterns, healing responses, and more, and how quickly. Thus, specific frequencies of sound and music can be used to generate neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

brain_scan

To understand the fundamentals of sound in healing, we must first understand our brain waves. The nucleus of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, is the communication between neurons. Brain waves are generated by way of electrical pulses working in unison from masses of neurons interacting with one another. Brain waves are divided into five different bandwidths that are thought to form a spectrum of human consciousness.

The slowest of the waves are delta waves (.5 to 3 Hz), which are the slowest brain waves and occur mostly during our deepest state of sleep. The fastest of the waves are gamma waves (25 to 100 Hz), which are associated with higher states of conscious perception. Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) occur when the brain is daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation.

According to Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., a speech-language pathologist:

Research shows that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz (The difference in 210 Hz and 200 Hz is 10 Hz). Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres of the brain (left and right hemisphere).

It is thought that different brain wave patterns are connected to the production in the brain of certain neurochemicals linked with relaxation and stress release, as well as better learning and creativity, memory, and more. Such neurochemicals include beta-endorphins, growth factors, gut peptides, acetylcholine, vasopressin, and serotonin.

A series of experiments conducted by neuro-electric therapy engineer Dr. Margaret Patterson and Dr. Ifor Capel, revealed how alpha brainwaves boosted the production of serotonin. Dr. Capel explained:

As far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.

Additional research upholds the beliefs of mind-body medicine in this sense, stating that brainwaves being in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, permits a vibration allowing for more serotonin to be created.

It’s important for us to come to terms with the fact that there is science behind age-old medicinal practices that do not require putting unknown substances in our bodies to alleviate issues like stress, depression, anxiety, and more.

But even more intriguing is to think something as simple as sound, as music, which we have come to treat as utterly pleasurable entertainment, has not only been used to promote healing and well-being, but has proven to work through research as well.

If your mental health is of concern, try listening to a binaural beat to generate alpha waves between 8 and 14 Hz to produce more serotonin. Another option is to take advantage of music that promotes a relaxed alpha state in the brain such as classical music.

Related CE Article: Research Shows We Can Heal With Vibration, Frequency & Sound

Study: Short Break From Cosmetics Causes “Significant Drop of Hormone Disrupting Chemicals”

A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas has demonstrated how taking even a short break from various cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products can lead to a substantial drop in the levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals present within the body.

The results from the study were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers gave 100 Latina teenagers various personal care products that were labeled to be free of common chemicals including phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone. These chemicals are used regularly in almost all conventional personal care products such as cosmetics, soap, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products, and animal studies have shown that they directly interfere with the body’s endocrine system.

“Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals,” said study lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health. “Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”

Results

After just a three-day trial with the girls using only the lower-chemical products, urine samples showed a significant drop in the level of chemicals in the body. Methyl and propyl parabens, commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44% and 45%, respectively, metabolites of diethyl phthalate, used often in perfumes, dropped by 27%, and both triclosan and benzophenone-3 fell 36%. The authors of the study were surprised to see an increase in two lesser common parabens, but, being minor, could easily have been caused by accidental contamination or a substitute not listed on the labels.

Co-director of the study Kimberly Parra explains why having local youths participate in the study was of particular importance:

The results of the study are particularly interesting on a scientific level, but the fact that high school students led the study set a new path to engaging youth to learn about science and how it can be used to improve the health of their communities. After learning of the results, the youth took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members, and presented their cause to legislatures in Sacramento.

Included in the CHAMACOS Youth Council were 12 local high school students who helped design and implement the study. One of the teen researchers, Maritza Cárdenas, is now a UC Berkeley undergraduate majoring in molecular and cell biology.

“One of the goals of our study was to create awareness among the participants of the chemicals found in everyday products, to help make people more conscious about what they’re using,” said Cárdenas. “Seeing the drop in chemical levels after just three days shows that simple actions can be taken, such as choosing products with fewer chemicals, and make a difference.”

The researchers noted that cosmetics and personal care products are not well-regulated in this country, and that getting data about health effects from exposure, particularly long-term ones, is difficult. But they say there is growing evidence linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals to neurobehavioral problems, obesity and cancer cell growth.

What Can You Do?

Well, you can be sure to check the labels on any products you purchase. Most personal care products contain a list of ingredients, but unfortunately many cosmetics do not. If you use a particular brand that you really love you can try contacting the manufacturer directly and asking them for an ingredient list.

You can also opt for more natural and organic products, but be sure to keep in mind that in the industry of personal care products, the words “natural” and “organic” are often meaningless. A safe bet would be to buy these products from a health food store and be sure to read the ingredients or ask the sales clerk. Generally, when products do not contain specific chemicals, the manufacturers are happy to label them as such.

The less demand for these chemically-laden products there is, the less these chemicals will be used. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR! We have the power to create the type of world we want. Be the change.

Check out The Story Of Cosmetics below!

Three Eminent Epidemiologists Explain Why They Strongly Oppose Lockdowns For Covid-19

Censorship of information by Big-Tech, all of whom have strong connections to Department of Defense agencies and big politics, is at an all time high. Not only has a sitting president had his social media accounts completely wiped out,  but thousands of doctors, scientists, journalists and people have had the same thing happen to them. Regardless of your views and what you believe, whether you are “left” or “right”, this is quite concerning. This type of censorship comes under the guise of good will, claiming that freedom of speech is causing harm, but this, in many cases, simply isn’t true. We’ve see academic thought, opinion, evidence and research removed from social media, especially when it comes to Covid. Any information that opposes the narrative that’s constantly beamed out by mainstream media or government health authorities seems to come under a watchful eye. A political scientist like Dr. Anthony Fauci is given free reign, instant virality and air time yet other renowned experts in the field have their voice silenced and never get a chance to speak to the masses. This has many people questioning what’s really going on here? Open scientific discussion is being stifled.

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)

Because this article is presenting a discussion of three renowned scientists who oppose government measures, I am also concerned that it will be “flagged” and perhaps labelled as “fake news.” When this happens, not only is the discussion and article completely censored from our followers but our social media accounts, like our Facebook Page, is punished. As a result of the “flag” our algorithms are adjusted and anything we post with this “flag” on our page is essentially blocked from our followers. This is why we are moving away from Facebook and asking people who wish to keep in touch with us to join us on Telegram, and/or our email list.

Below is a video of 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 where the initiators of the declaration. Together, they created The Great Barrington Declaration. The declaration has an impressive list co-signers, and has also now been signed by more than 50,000 doctors and scientists and more than 700,000 concerned citizens, which is pretty impressive given the fact that it’s received no attention from mainstream media.  Follow their twitter account here.

The declaration explains why these health professionals and scientists strongly oppose lockdown measures, and also brings up the topic of herd immunity. In the video below they explain their belief of why there should be a different response to the pandemic.

Scientists Explain How The Growth of A Baby’s Brain “Literally Requires Positive Interaction”

Loving your child will physically translate into a larger, healthier brain than children who suffer from extreme neglect, abuse and trauma. It’s true that children need to be loved and supported and not just so they can feel good about themselves, but so they can physically develop the way they are supposed to.

This is important information for parents to know, especially as there has been a debate over whether or not children, especially babies, should be attached with their mothers or if they should be left to ‘cry it out’ on their own, or ‘self-soothe.’ This goes beyond the child being independent and emotionally strong; it will impact how the child will develop physically into a healthy adult, and whether they will encounter mental health problems and addictive behavior as they grow up.

Brain Scans

The following image is a depiction of the brains of two children; the one on the left had an attentive caregiver who consistently loved, cared for, responded to and interacted positively with him. The brain of the child on the right was neglected, ignored and abused.

“The child on the right will grow into an adult who is less intelligent, less able to empathize with others, more likely to become addicted to drugs and involved in violent crime … and to develop mental and other serious health problems,” says an article published in The Telegraph in 2012.

According to UCLA Psychiatry Professor Allan Schore. a leading neurologist in the study of how the development of a child is affected by the amount of love given by its caregiver, “the growth of the baby’s brain literally requires positive interaction between mother and infant, the development of cerebral circuits depend on it.”

When Is This Most Crucial?

From the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy, up until the 24th month of life the baby’s brain will more than double in size, but that is only if it gets the proper love, care and affection that children actually require.

“There is something the human brain needs in terms of contact with other humans for it to grow. The connections that are not used die off,” he says. “It’s a use it or lose it situation. Cells that fire together wire together and do not die together.”

“The brain does not continue to grow and grow and grow. It organizes, then disorganizes, then reorganizes. The disorganization of the brain — the massive death of billions of neurons and disconnection of synapses — is part of how the brain is growing as it’s reorganizing,” says Schore.

To some this may seem obvious, but there are many caregivers that don’t understand how important this is and believe that in order to raise independent children that they must be left to soothe themselves. Unfortunately what they don’t realize is that infants are not equipped with any means to do this, and when they cry out, even if they are not hungry, don’t need to be changed, or don’t seemingly need anything, what they do need is love, care, and attention.

In the following video, Dr. Schore explains some of the findings from his research in more detail.

Repeating Cycles

“Parents who, because their parents neglected them, do not have fully developed brains, neglect their own children in a similar way: their own children’s brains suffer from the same lack of development,” according to the same Telegraph article.

Because the damage that is done is typically believed to be permanent, one might think there is no hope as generations will keep repeating the same cycles of what is often unintentional abuse. However with this knowledge and awareness we can practice early intervention. That involves identifying mothers who are “at risk” of neglecting their babies, and having a nurse check up on them often to instructs them on how they should be caring for their newborn child.

Early intervention has been tried in the US for more than 20 years. Data from the city of Elmira in New York State, where these programs have been in place for the longest have shown that children whose mothers had received guidance did much better compared to children with similar circumstances but without assistance. These children whose mothers were identified as “at risk” grew up to have about 50 percent fewer arrests, 80 percent fewer convictions and a significantly lower rate of drug abuse, according to the Telegraph article.

Hold Onto Your Children

Hopefully soon this information will be such common knowledge and our children will be raised with the utmost care, love, and affection. But until then, it’s important to spread the word! If you found this information useful or know anyone who would, please share.

Medical Prof Explains Devastating Effects of Lockdown For A Virus With A “99.95%” Survival Rate

What Happened: It’s quite clear to see for anybody who is doing deep research into the COVID pandemic that there is a big split within the scientific/medical community as to whether or not the measures being taken by governments around the world, like lockdowns, masking and social distancing are appropriate, effective and necessary. If watching mainstream media and only obtaining information via the television screen, radio and newspaper is ones only exposure to news regarding the pandemic, this wouldn’t seem to be the case, and it would seem that these measures are indeed necessary and appropriate because it seems to be the dominant viewpoint that’s constantly presented and beamed out to the masses.

It’s quite a concern to many that doctors and scientists who oppose the views and perception being given to us by mainstream media about the pandemic are largely ignored and censored. Somebody like Dr. Anthony Fauci, for example, can receive instant virality yet thousands of scientists and experts in the field who disagree seem to be ignored, censored and never really given the light of day to share their research, data, and opinions.

The truth is, lockdown measures may not only be unnecessary and useless for combating COVID, but they are also having other detrimental consequences that could be worse than the virus itself. This was recently expressed by Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine in an article written for The Hill titled “Facts, not fear, will stop the pandemic.”

In that article he expresses that the case fatality rate from the virus has dropped sharply since March, and that it’s now 99.95 percent for people under the age of 70 and 95 percent for people over the age of 70. He also recently expressed this fact  on a JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) Network conversation alongside Mark Lipsitch, DPhil and Dr. Howard Bauchner, who interviews leading researchers and thinkers in health care about their JAMA articles. Bhattacharya cited this study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization, along with approximately 50 others as expressed in the video interview.

In the article he wrote for The Hill, he points out a number of facts regarding the implications of lockdown measures.

The media have paid scant attention to the enormous medical and psychological harms from the lockdowns in use to slow the pandemic. Despite the enormous collateral damage lockdowns have caused, EnglandFrance, Germany, Spain and other European countries are all intensifying their lockdowns once again.

By lockdowns, we mean the all-too-familiar shuttered schools and universities, closed playgrounds and parks, silent churches and bankrupt stores and businesses that have become emblematic of American civic life these past months. The relative dearth of reporting on the harms caused by lockdowns is odd, since lives lost from lockdown are no less important than lives lost from COVID infection. But they’ve received much less media attention.

The harms from lockdown have been catastrophic. Consider the psychological harm. Reader, since you’re reading this in lockdown, you can undoubtedly relate to the isolation and loneliness that these policies can cause by shutting down typical channels for social interaction. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that one in four young adults had seriously considered suicide. Opioid and other drug related deaths are on a sharp and unsurprising upswing.

The burden of these policies falls disproportionately on some of the most vulnerable. For example, isolation led to a 20 percent increase in dementia-related deaths among our elderly population. Moreover, retrospective analysis of the lockdown in the United States shows that patients skipped cancer screenings, childhood immunizationsdiabetes management visits and even treatment for heart attacks.

Internationally, the lockdowns have placed 130 million people on the brink of starvation, 80 million children at risk for diphtheria, measles and polio, and 1.8 million patients at risk of death from tuberculosis. The lockdowns in developed countries have devastated the poor in poor countries. The World Economic Forum estimates that the lockdowns will cause an additional 150 million people to fall into extreme poverty, 125 times as many people as have died from COVID.

Criticism of lockdowns has been a common theme. Early on during the first wave of the pandemic, a report published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ titled Covid-19: “Staggering number” of extra deaths in community is not explained by covid-19?  has suggested that quarantine measures in the United Kingdom as a result of the new coronavirus may have already killed more UK seniors than the coronavirus has during the months of April and May .

A response by Professor David Paton, Professor of Economics at the University of Nottingham and Professor Ellen Townsend, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Nottingham School of Medicine, to an article  published in the the BMJ in November titled “Screening the healthy population for covid-19 is of unknown value, but is being introduced worldwide” states,

Taken together, the data are clear both that national lockdowns are not a necessary condition for Covid-19 infections to decrease and that the Prime Minister was incorrect to suggest to MPs that infections were increasing rapidly in England prior to lockdown and that without national measures, the NHS would be overwhelmed…Lockdowns have never previously been used in response to a pandemic. They have significant and serious consequences for health (including mental health), livelihoods and the economy. Around 21,000 excess deaths during the first UK lockdown were not Covid-19 deaths. These are people who would have lived had there not been a lockdown.

It is well established that the first lockdown had an enormously negative effect on mental health in young people as compared to adults. The more we lockdown, the more we risk the mental health of young people, the greater the likelihood the economy will be destroyed, the greater the ultimate impact on our future health and mental health. Sadly, we know that global economic recession is associated with increased poor mental health and suicide rates.

According to a recent study published in Pediatrics, lockdown and social distancing measures are strongly correlated with an increase in suicidal thoughts, attempts and behaviour.

According to Dr. John Lee, a former Professor of Pathology and NHS consultant pathologist,

Lockdowns cannot eradicate the disease or protect the public…They lead to only economic meltdown, social despair and direct harms to health from other causes…Scientifically, medically and morally lockdowns have no justification in dealing with Covid.

These facts and many others are what inspired Bhattacharya, along with Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist, and Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology to create The Great Barrington Declaration.

The declaration strongly opposes lockdown measures that are being and have been put in place by various governments around the globe. The declaration has an impressive list of co-signers from renowned doctors and professors in the field from around the world, and now has nearly 50,000 signatures from doctors and scientists. The declaration also has approximately 660,000 signatures from concerned citizens.

Scrolling through the twitter feed of The Great Barrington Declaration, I came across a post from the American Institute For Economic Research (AIER) titled “Lockdowns Do Not Control The Coronavirus: The Evidence.”

In the article they argue that, “In a saner world, the burden of proof really should belong to the lockdowners, since it is they who overthrew 100 years of public-health wisdom and replaced it with an untested, top-down imposition on freedom and human rights. They never accepted that burden. They took it as axiomatic that a virus could be intimidated and frightened by credentials, edicts, speeches, and masked gendarmes.”

According to the AIER,

The pro-lockdown evidence is shockingly thin, and based largely on comparing real-world outcomes against dire computer-generated forecasts derived from empirically untested models, and then merely positing that stringencies and “nonpharmaceutical interventions” account for the difference between the fictionalized vs. the real outcome. The anti-lockdown studies, on the other hand, are evidence-based, robust, and thorough, grappling with the data we have (with all its flaws) and looking at the results in light of controls on the population.

AIER gathered data that was put together by engineer Ivor Cummins Ivor Cummins but has also added its own in the summary they posted, which you can see below. The studies are focused only on lockdown measures and they “do not get into the myriad of associated issues that have vexed the world such as mask mandates, PCR-testing issuesdeath misclassification problem, or any particular issues associated with travel restrictions, restaurant closures, and hundreds of other particulars about which whole libraries will be written in the future.”

You can access those studies posted by the AIER here.

Other concerns with regards to lockdowns are the fact that they are based on “positive” results from a PCR test. Just because a person, especially an asymptomatic person, tests positive does not mean they have COVID. We seem to be forgetting this. For example, 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.

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%.

There are many examples, the list goes on and on and you can read more about that specifically here.

Although deaths are currently running at normal levels, fear is being driven by inflation of Covid “ases” caused by inappropriate use of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. This test is hypersensitive and highly susceptible to contamination, particularly when not processed with utmost rigour by properly trained staff. Case inflation also occurs from use of excessive number number of rounds of amplification cycles (termed CT) which amplifies non-infectious viral fragments and cross-reacting nucleotides from non-Covid coronaviruses/other respiratory viruses. These become mis-labelled as Covid. Even Dr. Fauci confirms that a positive result using CT above 34 is invalid. An obvious improvement is to immediately halt any use of CTs above 34 and ensure that or CTs between 25 and 34, two consecutive positive results are required before confirming a case as Covid positive. – Eshani M King, Evidence Based Research in Immunology and Health, Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, UK. (Source, BMJ)

Many concerns have also been raised about the death count, with various public health authorities admitting to counting deaths as COVID when they’re not actually a result of COVID. For example, Ontario (Canada) public health clearly states that deaths will be marked as COVID deaths whether or not it’s clear if COVID was the cause or contributed to the death. This means that those who did not die as a result of COVID are included in the death count. You can read more about that and see many more examples, here.

The ease to which people could be terrorised into surrendering basic freedoms which are fundamental to our existence..came as a shock to me…History will look back on measures – as a monument of collective hysteria & government folly.” – Jonathan Sumption, former British supreme court justice. (source)

The Takeaway

Implementation of the current draconian measures that so extremely restrict fundamental rights can only be justified if there is reason to fear that a truly, exceptionally dangerous virus is threatening us. Do any scientifically sound data exist to support this contention for COVID-19? I assert that the answer is simply, no. –Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, a specialist in microbiology and one of the most cited research scientists in German history.

Why is there so much suppression of science and scientists who oppose the narrative and information being put out by the World Health Organization?

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)

Why is there a digital fact-checker going around the internet censoring information? Should people not have the right to examine information, publications and evidence transparently, openly and determine for themselves what they wish to believe? Why are government health authorities not consulting with independent scientific organizations to determine the right course of action during this pandemic? Why do tens of thousands of doctors and scientists oppose the measures being taken by our governments? Why have other treatments been ridiculed and not even considered? Why has a vaccine been made out to be the only solution here, and why did the World Health Organization recently change their definition of herd immunity?

Do we really want to give these entities so much power that they can basically do whatever they choose against the will of so many people? Do governments even represent the will of the people and have our best interests at heart or is something else going on here? Why do we as a society fail to have proper discussions about controversial topics? Why are controversial stances that go against the grain always labelled as a “conspiracy theory” and ridiculed by mainstream media no matter how strong the evidence is behind them?

Ontario (Canada) Admits Labelling Deaths As COVID When They’re Not A Result of COVID

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

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

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

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

Again, this means when we observe the COVID-19 death count in Ontario, Canada, we are observing an inaccurate number given the fact that those who died with COVID may not have necessarily died as a result of it. Theoretically if a person committed suicide and tested positive for COVID or died in a car crash, of a heart attack, of cancer, diabetes or any other illness, they are also included in the COVID death count. Let’s not forget the fact that a positive PCR test does not mean one has COVID.

This has been common theme during the span of this pandemic so far. For example, in late June Toronto (Ontario, Canada) Public Health tweeted that “Individuals who have died with COVID-19, but not as a result of COVID-19 are included in the case counts for COVID-19 deaths in Toronto.”

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

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

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

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

The only issue is that we can’t know how many people have been added to the COVID death count in multiple places across the globe that did not actually die as a result of COVID. Theoretically, this could drive the global death count significantly lower than the official numbers we are getting.

At the end of the summer the CDC put out data showing that 94% of deaths that have been marked as COVID deaths had at least two or there other causes listed.  Out of all the deaths that have been labelled as a COVID-19 death in the United States up to the end of August, for 6% of them COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned and for 94% of the deaths there were other causes and conditions in addition to COVID-19. The CDC states that “for deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.” So how do we know that COVID was the cause for many of these deaths or even contributed? Many believe COVID was the cause and even contributed to the comorbitities listed. You can view the updated numbers here in table 3 from the CDC as they are similar.

We also saw this very early on in Italy, where 99 percent of those who were marked as COVID deaths had multiple comorbidities.

With the last two examples it’s important to mention that COVID may have been the cause or even a contributing factor. We already know that people with comorbidities as well as the elderly are the most vulnerable. We also know that for people 70 years and younger the survival rate of the virus is 99.95 percent, according to Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, MD,PhD, from the Stanford University School of Medicine. This is why approximately 50,000 doctors and scientists have now signed The Great Barrington Declaration strongly opposing lockdown measures, citing information showing that they are doing more harm than good and explaining that we don’t have to lockdown everything to protect the vulnerable. There are, according to them, more proper and efficient ways of doing so.

Why This Is Important: There are a lot of questions on the minds of many people, not only with regards to the severity of the virus, PCR testing, and the measures being taken by governments to combat it, but also the fact that information, evidence, science and expert opinion during this pandemic has been heavily censored. A lot of scientists and doctors have been doing their best to create awareness about this as we don’t hear a peep from the mainstream about it. Social media outlets have been censoring and blocking information that opposes the official narrative that’s beamed out by government health authorities. It’s odd how one scientist, like Dr. Anthony Fauci for example, can get all the air time in the world and given instant virality, yet thousands of other experts it the field who share an opposite opinion are completely ignored. It raises a lot of questions and red flags.

Over the last few months, I have seen academic articles and op-eds by professors retracted or labeled “fake news” by social media platforms. Often, no explanation is provided. I am concerned about this heavy-handedness and, at times, outright censorship. – Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH (source)

The bottom line is, science is being suppressed, and this is no secret. Below is a tweet from Dr. Martin Kulldorff, a Harvard professor of medicine that emphasizes this point, which was also recently emphasized by Kamran Abbas, a doctor, executive editor of the British Medical Journal, and the editor of the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He has published an article about COVID-19, the suppression of science and the politicization of medicine. There are many examples to choose from, I thought I’d simply mention these few to get my point across. It’s also not surprising to find conflicts of interests among government COVID advisors.

The Takeaway: A big problem we seem to be having today as a collective is that we are unable to communicate and discuss controversial issues or stances, or what are labelled as controversial stances appropriately. This is in large part due to the fact that these stances are heavily censored and ridiculed by mainstream media, a lot of information is labelled as controversial or a “conspiracy theory” which leads to a lack of understanding by the masses. It also makes it easy to not even entertain or have a discussion around the topic. Why do we have such a hard time entertaining what are deemed controversial stances? Why do we have such a hard time suspending our own beliefs and taking on other beliefs that contradict our own? Why do we have such a hard time understanding the view of another person and why they feel that way? Why have we become so polarized in what we believe in to the point where we can’t even have appropriate conversations about it with each other? Why do so many people respond with hatred, anger and ridicule when it comes to an opposing view? What’s going on here? Is information really the solution, because sometimes extremely credible information and evidence is completely ignored in order to protect one’s own belief system.