Antivaccine nonsense Pseudoscience Quackery

Antivaxxer Levi Quackenboss vs. reality on COVID-19

Antivaxxer Levi Quackenboss is back, and she’s looking on the bright side of the COVID-19 pandemic for antivaxxers. Hilarity ensues.

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic is both a blessing and a curse to antivaccine activists. The curse comes from the knowledge that we are unlikely to be able to go back to a truly normal existence until an effective vaccine is developed and that people will be eagerly lining up for that vaccine when it is finally developed. On the other hand, the pandemic is a golden opportunity to gin up conspiracy theories about how Bill Gates, the World Health Organization, the CDC, and, well, just about everyone will use the pandemic as a pretext to institute forced vaccination, not just against COVID-19 whenever a vaccine becomes available, but against every disease for which routine vaccination is recommended, such as measles. Then, of course, there are the conspiracy theories, some quite ridiculous, that seek a way to blame vaccines themselves for the pandemic. Meanwhile, it amuses me to see antivaxxers fall all over themselves to tout an unproven drug, hydroxychloroquine, as the “cure” for COVID-19. They routinely falsely complain that vaccines are inadequately tested for safety and efficacy; yet now they’re willing to promote a pharmaceutical drug with very real and very significant side effects as a treatment for COVID-19, even though there is, in essence, no good evidence that it works? Of course, if I want a hot take that’s among the dumbest of the hot takes, there is one question I always ask: Has Levi Quackenboss chimed in about the pandemic yet? I think you know the answer to that one.

Now that Levi Quackenboss has gone to a Patreon model of antivaccine grift, I haven’t paid nearly as much attention to her because her public posts that can be accessed without a membership have been much fewer in number. However, she did grace us with a couple of doozies over the last few weeks, including one last night, entitled Seven Silver Linings of the Pandemic. Let’s just say that Ms. Quackenboss’ talent for antivaccine conspiracy mongering is undiminished during the pandemic. First, I can’t help but note her privilege, which is a hallmark of many in the antivaccine “intelligentsia”:

Then homeschooling and homebirth came to the masses; both significant sub-movements of the health freedom and parental rights movement. As long as one has money to put food on the table, it’s lovely being home in the evening to go on a sunset walk and read books to your kids and tuck them into bed.

Yes, it is nice to have enough money to be able to shelter in place during the pandemic. I understand that too, as someone who can do the same for now. True, I still physically have to go to work two or at most three days a week because of clinical responsibilities, but because of the pandemic our patient load of non-COVID-19 patients has plummeted and all non-urgent surgeries have been postponed for at least several weeks until—hopefully—sometime after the surge in cases crests in the hospital where I operate I can work at home most days. Granted, that causes its own problems. My lab is shut down, and I have a grant deadline in early June. The shutdown means, unfortunately, that I can’t generate needed preliminary data to support the grant application, which makes me wonder if I will be able to submit this cycle. My problems (and Quackenboss’ problems, likely) pale in comparison to healthcare workers risking infection every day to take care of huge numbers of patients and of low paid grocery store and other “essential” workers also risking themselves, sometimes without adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). Oddly enough, I volunteered to help take care of COVID-19 patients at one of the hospitals where I have privileges but have heard nothing back in nearly a week, which tells me that either things haven’t gotten that bad yet at my hospital or my skills are less in demand that I had expected.

But I digress.

Quackenboss is, unsurprisingly, gloating in silver lining #1:

This massive pandemic win is only in the beginning stages of unfolding this week and I can’t wait to see where it goes. Today the President announced that the U.S. would be withholding funding from the W.H.O. because not only did their incompetence bungle the initial response to COVID-19, but they assisted China in covering it up while inexplicably praising China’s actions and alleged “transparency.”

Senator Graham echoed the same defunding message this afternoon and assured Americans that there would be no W.H.O. funding in the next Appropriations Committee hearing. Last year the U.S. gave a total of $500M to the W.H.O., so this is no small potatoes.

For those of you who don’t know, leading up to 2017, the Gates Foundation and China rallied hard for an Ethiopian warlord named Tedros Adhanom to become the W.H.O. Director despite his crimes against humanity, and despite the fact he is not a medical doctor. He defers completely to China, going so far as nominating a fellow Zimbabwean warlord as a Goodwill Ambassador to the W.H.O. at China’s request, because the guy allowed China to rape Zimbabwe of its natural resources with impunity. Here is an absolutely outstanding roundup of this madman’s resume.

Yesterday a few U.S. Senators began calling for the W.H.O. Director’s resignation, and tonight there is a republican resolution for defunding the W.H.O. until he resigns. The brightest part of this event isn’t whether or not we are directly impacted by any decisions of the W.H.O. Director, but more so that that our fellow Americans have had their dreams shattered and realized that the W.H.O. is not an unbiased nearly-Godly public health entity doing what’s best for all of mankind.

Far be it from me not to criticize the WHO. I’ve criticized it in particular for its credulous embrace of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and its revision of the International Classification of Diseases so that its latest version, ICD-11 including diagnosis codes for TCM and other Asian traditional medicines while actively promoting the “integration” of TCM with science-based medicine. And, yes, a lot of the reason WHO is promoting and normalizing TCM quackery is because China has such a huge influence in the organization.

There are, of course, legitimate criticisms of the WHO’s initial response to the pandemic. For instance, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is not an MD, but was a well-regarded microbiologist and malaria researcher, and his Wikipedia entry suggests a distinguished career in public health before he became Ethiopia’s foreign minister. Still, it is true that Tedros did praise China early on in the pandemic. As noted in this Rolling Stone article, Tedros traveled to Beijing and has heaped effusive praise on China’s response to the pandemic even though its leaders didn’t turn over data right away and delayed sharing samples of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. However, it’s a balancing act. China is very powerful, and its cooperation was essential to having any chance of mitigating the impact of COVID-19. Also, WHO has systemic problems; no one denies that. As the Rolling Stone article notes, problems are rooted in a conflict between its overall mission to serve the world’s public health needs and the political realities that are inseparable from= how the organization is funded, with its funding coming from 194 UN member states and other outside entities who control how the vast majority of WHO’s resources are allocated. Its budget is also small compared to its mandate, with a two-year budget for 2020-2021 of $4.8 billion, compared to the CDC’s 2021 budget of $7 billion.

Of course, Quackenboss, like all antivaxxers, hates the WHO because it promotes vaccination, as it should, to improve the health of the world’s children. Its polio eradication efforts come under special scrutiny, and when the WHO held a vaccine safety summit last December, by January antivaccine propagandist Del Bigtree had assembled a video of carefully cherry-picked outtakes from a two-day conference that were edited to make it look as though leading WHO scientists were casting grave doubt on vaccine safety. They weren’t. Bigtree’s video was, as is the case of all his videos, deceptive propaganda.

Could the WHO have done better? Of course. However, threatening to defund it during the middle of a global pandemic is madness.

Let’s move on to #2, wherein Quackenboss attacks—surprise! surprise!—Dr. Anthony Fauci:

This little thug has multi-million-dollar conflicts of interest at the N.I.H. and he’s telling us that there will be no picking up and continuing on until his new vaccine hits the market. Do you have any idea how much money he’s commanded from taxpayers? For SARS, for MERS, for ebola, for zika. Thirty years to make an AIDS vaccine that doesn’t exist. How is this guy still employed?

Have you ever looked at his Wikipedia? You know how it is when you’ve needed to write your resume and you’re like, “Damn, how do I make myself look like I’ve accomplished something when really I’ve been treading water for years, praying not to get fired?” That’s Anthony Fauci’s Wikipedia. He’s made “important scientific observations,” and he’s “contributed to some understandings,” he’s “outlined some mechanisms,” he “developed some strategies.” I’m not making this up. He has never produced one FDA-licensed vaccine for any of the billions of dollars he’s demanded from Congress.

He facilitates pharmaceutical money laundering, that’s what he does.

The masses have watched day after day as he’s refused to endorse a 30-cent potential cure for COVID-19 and Americans have had enough. He’s standing by and letting people die while the world waits, and waits, and waits for his vaccine.

Remember what I said about the irony of antivaxxers pushing hydroxychloroquine as the “solution” to the pandemic? That’s exactly what Quackenboss is doing here with her reference to a “30-cent potential cure.” As I’ve discussed before, the weak evidence supporting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for COVID-19 is rooted in anecdotes and “case series” that are really just doctors’ bias-filled recollections, two execrable studies from France, and two small randomized trials from China, one negative and one positive but so flawed as to call its results into serious doubt. It is indeed amusing to see someone like Quackenboss, for whom no study is rigorous enough to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of vaccines, touting hydroxychloroquine, a drug with significant toxicities, as a “potential cure for COVID-19.”

As for her attack, it is also rich to see a pseudonymous antivaxxer with no qualifications denigrate the resume of a scientist like Dr. Fauci. Truly these people have no sense of irony. (Quackenboss is the ‘nym for Robyn Ross, an attorney in Colorado whose sole medical qualification is a bachelor’s degree in biology.)

But Dunning-Kruger never stopped an antivaxxer:

3. Infants are missing vaccination appointments and SIDS rates are dropping.

Not every infant, don’t get me wrong. Pediatricians are doing a full court press begging new parents to keep their “well baby” appointments as an essential reason to leave the houses. Do you remember what it was like to have a two-month-old in your house? Would you have taken your precious baby to a doctor during a pandemic? Me neither.

Some will, some won’t, but here are the facts: 3,500 babies die of SIDS each year. That’s almost 10 babies lost per day, every day of the week. If half of all new American parents skip the two or four-month vaccination appointment from March 15 to May 1, that’s 221 babies who don’t die in those 45 days. If more than half skip, that’s more babies who don’t die. If all parents skip, it’s 442 babies saved in six weeks.

Do you know who tracks this data? The CDC. They have it all. There’s a federal form that even asks pathologists about which vaccines were given to the child in the last 72 hours before death.

Notice that Quackenboss doesn’t present any…oh, you know…data that sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rates are dropping. She only speculates that it will and fantasizes about Freedom of Information Act requests for that data or a new “CDC whistleblower” in the future while making an even more risible prediction:

Or maybe the CDC will publish a study on how asymptomatic infant coronavirus prevented SIDS in the spring of 2020?

Also, if SIDS rates drop during this period (unlikely, but possible), that doesn’t mean it must be the vaccines. So many other things are going on right now that would be confounders. Of course, even if Quackenboss’ fantasy came true and there was a detectable decline in SIDS cases, I predict that she would attack any attempt to control for confounders as a coverup. For instance, it is known that SIDS rates are higher in the winter than the summer; so we would expect a decline in overall SIDS incidence going from March to June anyway, although seasonal variation has been declining since back sleeping recommendations were issued. Finally, I can’t help but wonder what she would say if SIDS rates actually increase.


We’ve all seen Paul Offit, Ian Lipkin, Peter Hotez, and finally Anthony Fauci himself warning the public about the “paradoxical immune enhancement” caused by an early version of the coronavirus vaccine, which is a common reaction with respiratory virus vaccines. It means that if the vaccinated person encounters the virus in the wild, they get far sicker than average, and die. Who the hell wants that vaccine?

Even before Fauci admitted the risk on live television the other day, an LX/Morning Consult poll found that only 30% of American adults would “be among the first” to get this new vaccine for a disease that is asymptomatic in children.

But here’s our prize: fully ten percent of poll responders said they would not get the vaccine at all. Wait, what? They’re all OK with vaccinating babies but the buck stops with vaccinating themselves?

Stop and think about all 220 million adults in the US. Take 10% of them. Now add them to the health freedom movement. Holla! If we can crack their brains open on their rights to refuse one vaccine, we’ve got them for life. Your legislators can bring it.

Immune enhancement is actually one reason why developing a COVID-19 vaccine could take longer than the 18 month time frame that many are predicting, and does Quackenboss actually think that real scientists (as opposed to an antivax attorney with an undergraduate biology degree) don’t think of this issue and aren’t working very hard to over come it? Meanwhile just look at the glee with which she anticipates how any vaccine adverse reactions in the form of immune enhancement will be a boon to the antivaccine movement. Truly the antivaccine religion is a death cult.

Next up, an attack on the Gates Foundation:

We all know that science has been for sale for decades, but this revelation couldn’t have come at a better time. The Gates Foundation is conducting a study on people sickened with COVID-19, to see whether hydroxychloroquine, the darling of the pandemic, is more effective than a placebo at saving lives. But guess what the placebo is? It’s vitamin C, which is, in itself, has been a successful COVID-19 treatment! Gates has all of his eggs in the vaccine basket, naturally, and is attempting to defeat hydroxychloroquine in the media, so stay tuned for the results of his study to be released in a few weeks or months.

You may think we’re the only ones outraged by controlled studies using anything but an inert placebo, but people were losing their minds over it on Twitter last night. The masses are waking! You don’t have to be an “anti-vaxxer” to know that vitamin C has serious health benefits.

I will admit to being puzzled at the choice of vitamin C as a placebo, which I verified by going to the original article. (I never trust anything Quackenboss says without verifying it.) For one thing, there is no good evidence that vitamin C treats or prevents COVID-19, and even the vitamin C cultists who claim that vitamin C can treat cancer and all manner of ailments don’t claim that taking a normal daily dose that is found in many supplements is enough. They claim that high dose intravenous vitamin C is necessary. I couldn’t find the reason why vitamin C was chosen as placebo, but it’s not an unreasonable choice given that there is no known activity of vitamin C versus COVID-19, particularly at the dose of 250 mg and 500 mg per day used. Personally, if I were designing a trial, it’s not a choice I would have made for the placebo control, but it’s hardly “tobacco science.”

Next up, here’s some New World Order conspiracy mongering:

Surely you’ve seen this outrageous Bill Gates idea being parroted in our Congress: people are supposed to IgG test for past COVID-19 infections, and then obtain “certificates of immunity” or “immunity badges” before being allowed to return to work “with confidence.” All of this is being done by pharma in the hopes of finally setting up that adult vaccine tracking database they’ve wanted for years. What could possibly go wrong in a country like ours with this idea?

I guess we’re lucky they aren’t going with Bill’s idea of implanting microchips into our retinas or whatever gets that creeper excited in times like these.

Of course, while America waits for a vaccine that most people don’t really want, this unacceptable idea would give rise to an immunity caste that is allowed to return to work and feed their families while everyone else begs on the streets. And, of course, it will lead to massive “corona parties” where people hope for intentional exposure so that they can get it over with and get back to life. Of course, this will kill the elderly, the immune compromised, and everyone on blood pressure meds.

Because such certificates, if they were ever instituted, are exactly like implanting microchips and mass surveillance. As for speculation about “coronavirus parties,” only an antivaxxer would think that other people who aren’t antivaccine would think of such a thing.

Finally, vaccine mandates are an insidious plot to eliminate the “healthy control group”:

How often have we said that states like California and New York have eliminated exemptions in attempt to eliminate our healthy control group from society? A parallel story is playing out in Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and even in Sweden and Belarus. They have refused to lock down, not that most people aren’t taking the virus seriously. The seriousness of the situation isn’t the issue; stripping people of their freedoms is the issue.

But the “control group” is why you see the media screaming about how the center of America isn’t threatening their citizens enough. It started with Bill Gates a few days ago, and was quickly picked up by his minions.

They want a federal lockdown because God forbid we look back on this situation in a year and say, “Hmmm. Apparently, looking at the data from Arkansas, locking down the whole planet was utterly unnecessary.” Do you know how unhinged Americans are going to become when they realize their jobs and small businesses were destroyed for no reason?

First off, there is no evidence that the unvaccinated are healthier. Indeed, what evidence that exists suggests, although it is not conclusive, quite the opposite, that vaccinated children are healthier. The worst that can be said is that vaccinated children are most definitely not detectably less healthy than unvaccinated children in terms of chronic illness and that the vaccinated have the advantage of suffering from much less infectious disease, such as measles, which can cause long-lasting damage to the immune system. In her usual delusional way, Quackenboss actually thinks that her “healthy control group” of unvaccinated people will be more resistant to COVID-19 and less prone to severe illness and death.

As for the states that refused until recently to institute shelter-in-place orders, we will soon find out how they do. I suspect that it will be poorly, although not as poorly as some more densely populated areas, because population density facilitates the spread of viral illnesses due to the closer proximity and more frequent interactions with a wider variety of people that are the norm in cities and densely populated suburbs. Yes, to Quackenboss it must be all about the vaccines when it comes to why COVID-19 hasn’t spread widely in the “center of the country” yet, instead of numerous other more likely factors.


Then, in the future, when we go before committee hearings and argue that eliminating exemptions eliminates the control group to prove that we are right, we’re going to have a beautiful, relatable, metaphor to do it with.

No, Quackenboss and her fellow antivaxxers, if they try to use that line, will have a delusional, pseudoscientific story for scientists to laugh at.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

113 replies on “Antivaxxer Levi Quackenboss vs. reality on COVID-19”

It makes me laugh when the anti-vaxxers and woo-meisters I survey support SB interventions like physical distancing, masks and hand washing to deter infection BUT in nearly the same breath, vilify the WHO, the CDC and experts like Drs Fauci and Hotez who are the source of the SB instructions.

-btw- it will be Passover:
May the Angel of Death** pass over us all

** non-existent but poetic

Passover Seders canceled because of plague. Jewish irony.

I will miss my nephew’s Seder-palooza. Last year we had about 20 people. And two dogs.

Next year in Jerusalemwith our friends and family! Good health to you all.

Biblically correct angel cookie:


I’d like to see discussion here on the possibility that it was a released bio weapon, intentionally or otherwise. China foreign affairs guy says it was US during military world games held in Wuhan back in October. Breitbart crap says we got some general say it was them Chinese labbers though.

Seems to have all the right attributes;

— extremely long period of asymtomatic spread

— seems effectively ‘airborn’ while also folmite/smear spread

— fairly deadly (boomer remover, but also a scatter shot of every one else)

— It is not all that clear that recovering from it grants immunity or if it is a flair up thing like HIV (have to keep an eye on Rand Paul for that; he has volunteered his services at a hospital.)

— zootropic now to include pigs, dogs, tigers, kitty cats, birds,…,pangolins? they’ll kill us all the scaly bastards,…??? I’ll be seriously reminded of the scene in 28 days later where the good guy gets zombified because a crow dropped some blood in his eye (though, in reality, it will probably be just ordinary pigeon shit.)

released bio weapon


Wonderful weapon: came back to kill the population of whoever released it and nobody knows how to turn it off. Pardon me while I shelter in place and wait for the media to finally realize that this thing isn’t over after we hit the apex of the first surge and that there will probably be repeated outbreak surges until we finally get to a herd immunity equilibrium –if there’s no vaccine first or if the prevalent strain doesn’t evolve to be less lethal as it circles the globe. Locking down is definitely not a good long-term response; we have to come up for air sometime!

Maybe I should move to New York sometime in August…

came back to kill the population of whoever released it and nobody knows how to turn it off.

In all fairness, I did imply unintended release (prematurely before mitigation had been developed? You know, on someone’s shoe or vape pen).

If it was a bio weapon then that may actually be more hopeful for a single valent vaccine, would it not? Because I thought engineered germs had built into them to not mutate (so that the cure still works or so that it does not become just the common cold) — corrector RNA or codon or something like that?

@ Tim

“I’d like to see discussion here on the possibility that it was a released bio weapon, intentionally or otherwise.”

BTW, WTF would it change if your fantasies had any remote chance of being true? Not much…

BTW, WTF would it change if your fantasies had any remote chance of being true?

Because, F68.10, the world needs to be demanding the notes of these germ labs whether my suspicions pan out or not! And if all that comes out of USAMRIID, that fucktarded lab in China that the convicted Canadian scientist helped them cobble together and supply, et. al. is wiped hard drives then those hard drives need to be analyzed at the quantum level to see what got dun goofed and gone.

@ Tim


“Because, F68.10, the world needs to be demanding the notes of these germ labs whether my suspicions pan out or not!”

Bottom line: whether your suspicions pan out are irrelevant to you given that you would take the same course of action in both cases. So why should we care whether or not your suspicions pan out if you do not care about it yourself???

Since FP has already expressed my first response, here are some reasons why I really, really, really don’t think this is a bioweapon (and a book suggestion).

1) Bioweapons are really the province of terrorists over nations, unless a very effective vaccine exists to be given to every single person in the releasing nation, and literally no one else. Bioweapons are like poison gasses; they’re far too unpredictable to use on the battlefield. But they are very effective at terrifying a civilian population. So, since China is a nation and not a terrorist group, that’s a no.

2) This is a terrible bioweapon. It’s deadly, but it’s not that deadly. It’s contagious, but it’s no measles. And frankly, it takes too long to kill to even be a terror weapon. And it’s not gross. You want a bioweapon you want something like measles crossed with smallpox, but deadlier.

3) It’s way too similar to stuff that’s already floating around. There’s a half-done SARS vaccine. Surveillance systems look for SARS and MERS and the global health community knows to keep an eye out for novel corona viruses, after SARS and MERS.

Personally, I think this “it must be a bioweapon!” idea is a fear-reaction to the fact that, even now in 2020, nature has the ability to really mess with humans, and there’s surprisingly little we can do about it. Nobody likes the idea that we’re not that far separated from our ancestors who survived the Black Death, or the Plague of Justinian, or the 1918 influenza. No one likes to feel powerless. So we make stories that give humans some power.

Book Rec: Biohazard, by Ken Alibek, who worked on the Soviet bioweapon program until the fall of the USSR. (When the USSR did have an accidental release of some anthrax they were weaponizing the world noticed pretty quickly.)

So why should we care whether or not your suspicions pan out if you do not care about it yourself???

WTF? I find myself caring about it even more than cannabis prohibition.

The obvious answer would seem to be that we need to see the notes on the exact, possibly still occulted to independent researchers, what exactly are the properties of this virus and what they have worked on to mitigate it, what did not work, why it did not work, and what they were working on thinking it might work.


Fair enough, JustaTech. But, I would like to note the weapon does not have to be ‘scary’ to be effective — Now, we’re getting rid of 401k’ers, blacks, hispanics, and anyone without access to doctors; Seems to me, it might be of advantage to some groups out there that want to limit the useless eaters.

There’s a half-done SARS vaccine.

After 17 years. And Why? Because everyone they give it to makes re-infectiion more deadly. IDK, maybe it is like an allergic reaction or something.

I can’t help but note that this one is called SARS-COV-2. Right now? the only hope I’m holding out for a timely vaccine is that this one is weaponized.

I’d like to see discussion here on the possibility that it was a released bio weapon, intentionally or otherwise.

Yah. See here.

@ Tim

“WTF? I find myself caring about it even more than cannabis prohibition.”

Well, yeah… Given that you did not bother to base you fear on facts and more importantly, that you do not care whether or not they are grounded in facts, it must be grounded in something else.

Fear grounded in fear?

Just to be sure, ya know… because if that’s the case, I also should ponder whether or not I should too start thinking about grounding my fear in fear. I’m sure something good will come out of it.

“I haven’t felt fear since I was five years old.” — Amos Burton

Oh, right:

zootropic now to include pigs, dogs, tigers, kitty cats, birds,…,pangolins? they’ll kill us all the scaly bastards,…???

You have started with a non-word and, impressively, gone downhill from there. (People have to worry about not transmitting to housecats.)

People have to worry about not transmitting to housecats

Yea, try telling that to the ferrell I look after that can’t understand why I can’t boop him on the snoot with my nose, or look into his eyes and blink slowly, or rub him for 5 minutes (cat tax) before he starts shredding your legs to do so.

Pangolins. FFFFuuuck. My first delve into Linux through Virtual Box was Ubuntu 12.4 — Perfect Pangolin. Chiners, please stop sticking your dick in that, that scaly fucktarded worse than a platapus is not gonna make your little pp bigger.

Yea, try telling that to the ferrell [sic] I look after that can’t understand why I can’t boop him on the snoot with my nose, or look into his eyes and blink slowly, or rub him for 5 minutes (cat tax) before he starts shredding your legs to do so.

How, exactly, have you wound up “look[ing] after” a feral cat? And why the fuck do you not understand that “boop[ing] on the snoot” is not in the fucking offing? Jesus, I worked for years in rescue, and not a fucking bit of this brain dropping makes any sense, Mitzi.

It took three years, Narad. Before then, the first time I fed her it was thanksgiving honey baked ham. For the next year, she would hang six feet from me and meow pitifully like she wanted comfort but would not let me approach. Then she got really sick (I thought heartworms, at first but then just some tick-born virus, found a tick on her asshole, picked it off, she got better) I kept approaching her and fed her tuna. She got better. Now, she will not stay out from under your feet and the owner of the property keeps a twig to swat her to step back. She is very demanding of attention, now.

She used to be somebody’s cat, obviously, but that was some time ago it seems. She has the corner of her left ear cut off which is what ‘Friends of Ferrels’ do around here (catch, inocculate, spade/neuter, release).

When I arrive, she strains her neck up for her ‘nose boop on the snoot’. Even demands belly rubs where before it was like violating her trust!

I’d like to see discussion here on the possibility that it was a released bio weapon, intentionally or otherwise.


No. You’re a fucking moron.


Okee doke, Has.

or otherwise.

All y’all pharma shills gonna discount the possibility that this got out a little ahead of schedule? Orr?

@ Tim

“All y’all pharma shills gonna discount the possibility that this got out a little ahead of schedule? Orr?”

I’m arguably the worst pharma shill possible.


What a great link. Though I kinda more identify with the female martian soldier than the non, feely-touchy-obviously-damaged-Amos. Though, I can not hate him either.

Greatest sifi series ever

“Holden, do not stick your dick into it; It is fucked enough already.”

I’m arguably the worst pharma shill possible.
SO FIX IT. No, wait; Ya’ll didn’t really do this? I’m willing to concede that is a small possibility and ya’ll do not know how to fix it yet.

Fuck that, admitted pharma shill; FIX IT!!! You are the worst pharma shill; you have the power of stealth. You can sneak up in there and badabam baddaboom and use some type machine to, umm, some shit and all is well. We are all counting on you… Do Not Fuck This UP.

@ Tim

“Fuck that, admitted pharma shill; FIX IT!!! You are the worst pharma shill; you have the power of stealth.”

If Big Pharma wanted a shill, they would choose someone less blatantly pro-disease than I am. I would be really bad publicity for them…

You may wish for the Angel of Death to pass over you and others but I will stay as clear away from the smallpox as possible. It did exist!

I wonder if she realizes that states who adopted stay at home late are also a control group, and they’re more densely populated. Florida is a control group. How is that going?

@ doritmi:

No one who ever reads what you write would consider you to be unsympathetic.

There are even some states that have yet to lock down. One of them is South Dakota, where some of my relatives live. The governor claims that South Dakota is too sparsely populated for the virus to spread. There are parts of the state where that might be true, but it’s not true of Sioux Falls, which is not significantly less dense than cities of similar size elsewhere in the country, nor is it true of Rapid City or Pierre. I expect that they will have problems with the virus, and those problems may be serious enough to prolong lockdowns in the rest of the country.

“Too sparsely populated” might apply to Nunavut, with a total of about 36,000 people, and a population density of (0.05 persons/sq mi). There are no reported Covid-19 cases there yet, and the territorial government has closed the borders in the hope of keeping it that way. That’s fewer people than in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where Smithfield is planning to close a meat-packing plant where more than 80 people have confirmed cases o the disease.

The balancing act that Tedros has played with China is, in effect, the same one state governors have to play with the president; if you don’t praise him effusively, you run the risk of getting cut off from vital supplies. It’s aggravating but understandable when applied to an authoritarian state like China, but utterly ridiculous that it has to happened within this country.

the Gates Foundation and China rallied hard for an Ethiopian warlord named Tedros Adhanom to become the W.H.O. Director despite his crimes against humanity

I think she means “lobbied”.
Are there any prominent Africans who aren’t “warlords” in Quackenboss’ mind?

Her main slur for Fauci is that his Whackyweedia entry is not curated personally by him and turned into an advertisement, as she would do.

The latter was indeed a peculiar complaint. It is symptomatic of Ross’ thinking.


Quackenboss thinks any prominent African is a “warlord” because she is a lowlife racist piece of garbage.

Those antivax lenses must be superglued to her eyeballs.

Global epidemic – it’s about me.

Control measures to slow the spread – they’re trying to hurt me.

Honest scientific communication – see, I was right, its about me.

Selfish, selfish, selfish, self centred person. The epitome of ignorance, both moral and scientific.

The Washington Post is finally breaking down its COVID-19 case/death rates in the US ‘per capita,’ which really highlights how well CA is doing in all of this. The Bay Area was instituting Social Distancing and then Shelter In Place before the statewide order came in. Noncompliance is still a problem, but most people have embraced the need, and it’s heartwarming to see.

Personally, I’m concerned about both the development of the vaccine, and having the manufacturing capacity in place to make enough of it if it all goes smoothly, but I’m no expert in public health.

“Thirty years to make an AIDS vaccine that doesn’t exist.”

It’d be a vaccine against HIV, not an AIDS vaccine (unless this is one of those dudes who don’t think AIDS is a consequence of HIV infection), and HIV is a spectacularly tricky virus to make a vaccine against for a few reasons. But wait, I thought these guys ‘knew’ that vaccines were ineffective and dangerous? So why wouldn’t we have just put our Mind Control Poison into a needle marked HIV Vaccine and just say it works? It’s almost like those who work on vaccines have very high standards for efficacy and safety, and won’t put something out unless it meets them…

As someone who worked on an HIV vaccine (technically a new model for testing HIV vaccines to improve screening time to weed out the ones that wouldn’t work), all I can say to “Thirty years to make an AIDS vaccine that doesn’t exist.” is Eff Off. If Quackenboss thinks it’s so easy, she can do it. And what does she care, she wouldn’t take it anyway.
I mean, that’s some real hypocrisy right there. Claim to be against all vaccines, but still demand a vaccine against HIV. Which is it, you want it or not?

The Bay Area was instituting Social Distancing and then Shelter In Place before the statewide order came in. Noncompliance is still a problem, but most people have embraced the need, and it’s heartwarming to see.

That’s all fine and well, but assuming a peak, tail, and resurgence, one is still sitting on a pile of susceptibles. If R_0 really is in the ballpark of 2.2 (something that’s hardly settled), the crudest estimate of the herd immunity threshold is about 55%.

Sorry Orac, but I have to disagree with your defence of Mr. Tedros. Yes, he does have to be a political animal to ensure the financial stability of himself, and to an extent the W.H.O. He also has a mandate to protect the worlds health. He appears to have forgotten that second part from the get-go when it came to the COVID-19 epidemic. He continued pushing the Chinese party line that there was no need to limit international travel for those that had been in Wuhan, or had had contact with people who were infected. It wasn’t until it had become a full-blown pandemic that he finally reversed the W.H.O’s recommendations (After many nations had implemented travel restrictions on their own) to limit travel.

If he had of done his primary job in the first place, we all may have been looking at this as an unfortunate incident in China that the world would mourn, and aid would be given. Instead, here we are, locked-down world-wide because he didn’t feel a potential pandemic was worthy of him falling on his sword to disagree with a powerful decision-maker. Instead, he went into toady bureaucrat mode and acceded to the irrational demands of a “patron” nation. And before people can pile on, no, we shall never know if it would have made a difference, but how long did it take for travel restrictions to be put in place when a less influential nation had an epidemic, Ebola in the D.R.C.

Anonymous Pseudonym,

Yes. They were wrong. But, it would not have mattered as, I believe, the virus was already here (In the US) in january when our own health agencies were broadcasting in January of a resurgence of ‘a paritularly virulent flu’ (this does happen most years than not, to be honest).

Where the W.H.O. was deadly behind the curve is accepting China’s guidance that there was no human to human transmission while they were dragging people out of their houses that were seen on surveillance cameras to have come into contact with a positive patient, welding people into their apartment complexes, sprayed some kind of spray that killed every animal coming into the area, and burning victims alive in crematoriums because they’d been too long on a ventilator and not likely to live.

Cheeto in chief was getting NSC biefings since november, but as he does not like the intelligence community because they hold over him the pp on the bed tapes, ignored them over wanting to focus on banning vaping.

BTW, there is a ‘proxy’ of death in china than can be inferred but I won’t link to because my google is not working now.

It is that there are three telecomm providers there and that, since data was available since 2014, they never loose customer counts — It is basically like a driver’s liscencse there, you have to have a phone and the Jing Ping Thought app or whatever that poo-bear propaganda shit is called there to travel by bus, rail, taxi, or plane.

Never lost subscriptions. Until the last 3 months where they lost 22.5 million of them.

Someone ran a conspiracy flag up their personal flag pole and saluted with both arms didn’t they?

Burned alive? F£#kwit.


At least he hasn’t mentioned 5G yet. That’s pretty popular among the hard of thinking in the UK.

I’m pretty sure its been pointed out before (on RI?) that some types of collision avoidance radar in cars work in the same part of the EM spectrum as 5G. We’ve been bathing in the rays for years ?. IT’S TOO LATE.

Right, some of the loons I survey blame 5G! For EVERYTHNG!
Something new: maybe it’s glyphosate says Stephanie Seneff of MIT ( see @ gorskon)

Looking at data about NYC, I find another factor that they may blame:
NYC is, like California, extremely diverse racially ( 32% white, 29% Hispanic, 22% Black and 14% ‘Asian’ **)
some woo-meisters constantly insult city dwellers ( a code word?) who aren’t ‘hard working’, ‘god fearing’, ‘gun toting’ decent folk like country people ( Adams and Null do this in slightly different ways, to the latter, city dwellers are “careerists”, ” corporatists”, “helicopter parents”, snowflake college students etc) They both always advise people to leave cities.

I’m just waiting for righties to blame minorities for the COVID-19 crisis. Hey, it started in China.
In reality, POC are suffering and dying more because of real world reasons like poverty, less accessibility to health care, living in higher density areas and having higher rates of conditions that make them susceptible like diabetes.

Personally, I am wondering how much subways *** contribute to the crisis.

** I was surprised after visiting Sacramento to find a similar distribution of nearly equal groups
*** and dependence upon other forms of mass transit

@Denice: That train has long since left the station. Ron DeSantis was ordering people from New York to self-quarantine for 14 days after entering Florida. Never mind that Florida’s beaches stayed open for Spring Break and hordes of potential virus carriers went back to various places in the Northeast and Midwest. As you point out, lots of those people live in places like New York City. More recently, there is a GOP Congressional candidate in Georgia who is advocating that residents of the district in which he is running arm themselves to protect themselves from the hordes in Atlanta. That’s not a dog whistle, that’s a foghorn.

Early on there certainly was a lot of blame heaped on Asians generally and Chinese in particular. Some still are blaming Chinese, but lately Trump himself has been quiet about that. I suspect someone explained to him that China is the world’s leading manufacturer of personal protective equipment.

Now that Levi Quackenboss has gone to a Patreon model of antivaccine grift, I haven’t paid nearly as much attention to her because her public posts that can be accessed without a membership have been much fewer in number.

Casually judging by the number of comments and “likes” listed on the entries, she ain’t getting much traffic.

How bizarre that an obscure lawyer notable only for spewing antivaccine idiocy is contemptuous of the accomplishments of a distinguished virologist. I wonder if her practice includes defending people who’ve committed Dunning-Kruger-related offenses.

Note: the red elements in the COVID-19 image appearing in the header of a couple of Orac’s articles (including this one) strongly reminded me of red crepe myrtle flowers. So I had to mail-order a plant, which arrived today.

Not sure if I can raise a full-fledged crepe myrtle tree here in zone 6b, but a sizable shrub should be doable.

For a moment I thought you were referring to Jo Navarro. Engineers famously prone to terrorism and climate change denial. Perhaps layers are prone to crazyness about SARS-CoV-2 and pandemics?

(Okay. the engineer statements are on small n-sizes.)

Oh, wow, she’s finally renewed her license. I wonder why — she hasn’t bothered to get liability insurance.

Today the President announced that the U.S. would be withholding funding from the W.H.O. because not only did their incompetence bungle the initial response to COVID-19

Sorry. No offense meant. My own president is not above reproach, either. Maybe we should start a club of “leaders who took too long to react”
But, dammit. If this is not the most glorious case of the cauldron calling the mirror wet.

“cauldron calling the mirror wet” ?????

Yoink! I’m taking that one.

people are supposed to IgG test for past COVID-19 infections

And as usual, antivaxers only latch on the part of the story which may affect their little own self.
Testing for the presence of IgG has at least three objectives, immediate or down the road
– yes, checking if people got the covid19
– another important test will be to check if these IgG confer protection, and how long they last
– given the current absence of highly efficacious treatments, there are projects about using these IgG gathered from recovered people to treat other infected people. As I understood it, that’s a complicated matter, to say the least. But we are that desperate.

“Canada is beginning the world’s largest clinical trial of a COVID-19 treatment that uses the antibody-laden blood plasma of people who have recovered from the disease. The study will involve 1,000 patients in at least 40 hospitals across the country. The convalescent-plasma approach dates back to the 1890s, but even the trial’s leader, haematologist Donald Arnold, calls it a “Hail Mary” plan with only a small chance of success.”
This popped up in my Nature feed and being a Canuck, I had to toot the horn!

Is Trump Scapegoating The World Health Organization?

Yesterday on STAT News (April 8, 2020), Helen Branswell wrote in an article entitled “Trump faulted the WHO’s coronavirus response. But it’s guided by rules the U.S. helped write”:

“Trump’s rationale was a bit confusing. Earlier in the day on Twitter, the president criticized the WHO for advising against banning travel from China to try to stop spread of the virus. That was despite the fact that the U.S. ignored the WHO’s recommendation and closed its border to people who had been in China — excepting Americans — in late January. Trump also said the WHO downplayed the outbreak, which is untrue. The agency exhorted countries starting in January to take an aggressive approach to finding cases of Covid-19 and trying to stop transmission of the coronavirus that causes the disease.

One of the core complaints the President leveled at the WHO is that it criticized his administration’s announcement on Jan. 31 that it was closing U.S. borders to foreign nationals who had been in China in the previous 14 days. (The ban did not apply to Americans in China, who streamed back to the United States.)

Senior leaders of the WHO, including Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, have been holding three-times weekly press briefings for several months now. They have not overtly criticized the United States — or any other country — for instituting travel bans. They did, however, talk about how such bans exceed the bounds of the International Health Regulations 2005.”

NOTE that Trump didn’t stop Americans in China at the time from returning to the States, potentially carrying the virus. I suggest reading the entire article.

WHO also posted online their report on the Pandemic, including timelines of reporting, etc.: “Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” (2020 February 16-24). WELL WORTH A READ.

Finally, one of the criticisms of China’s alleged delayed response is, of course, economic, hoping it would be contained and not affect their economy, dependent as it is on international trade. Well, Trump was informed by our own National Security Council as early as mid-January of a serious potential pandemic as well as WHO warning and his delay in finally recognizing it and implementing policies was much much longer than anything the Chinese have been accused of. His reasoning was that it was a fake threat aimed at harming his re-election campaign and, of course, its potential economic repercussions. So, I guess, as usual, the U.S. has a double standard, that is, we attack other nations for doing exactly what we are doing. If Trump had listened from the beginning and implemented appropriate policies, we would still probably be experiencing a pandemic; but it would have been considerably less.

Just to be clear, I don’t like any type of authoritarian government, including the People’s Republic of China; but that doesn’t mean I turn a blind eye to self-serving, racist tropes by Trump and our own right wing.

Could the Chinese have acted differently? Could the WHO have acted faster? Probably, but it would not have stopped the pandemic as the incubation time for the virus before becoming symptomatic would have allowed it to spread. And the first cases in Wuhan were thought to be pneumonia. It took some time as cases mounted to recognize that something new and threatening existed. On the whole, China has been proactive in containing the virus, much more so than we have until lately.

Is Trump Scapegoating The World Health Organization?

Of course he is. Next in line are the Pope, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Elma’s Bakery in Erewhon.

Of course Trump is looking for scapegoats. In this administration, the buck stops elsewhere.

I am not privy to any of the sort of intelligence the NSC has access to, yet it was obvious to me that this had the potential to be bad when first Wuhan, and then the rest of China, locked down days before Chinese New Year. In a normal year, most Chinese who can travel to their ancestral village do so at that time of year. That holiday is for Chinese roughly what Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day combined are for Americans. Even an authoritarian regime like China’s does not abruptly cancel such a major holiday without a compelling reason. This year Chinese New Year would have been on 25 January (and fittingly, this is a Year of the Rat).

One of the downsides of having an authoritarian leader (and this applies to Donald Trump as well as Xi Jinping) is that subordinates will try to downplay bad news. This was a major reason why authorities in the city of Wuhan and Hubei province reacted as slowly as they did. But once the leaders in an authoritarian system decide to act, things can and usually do happen quickly. In this regard the US got the worst of both worlds: an authoritarian leader in a non-authoritarian system. The US still does not have nearly enough testing in place, so case numbers remain artificially low, and there are states that have still not issued stay-at-home orders.

Tedros did praise China early on in the pandemic….China’s response to the pandemic even though its leaders didn’t turn over data right away and delayed sharing samples of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19

This seems to be one of the stories that going around, I tend to see it as a combination of a good bit sinophobia, a leavening of general xenophobia and a set of desperate lies told by the US Administration who desperately need to cover their asses over their complete balls-up in dealing with the pandemic and echoed by a MSM that reminds me of the Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” reports we heard before the Second Gulf War.

We can see the same sets of lies and wild accusations against Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the World Health Organization. Blame anyone and everyone.

Who are you going to believe, WHO and a blue ribbon panel of experts that WHO had sent to China /Wuhan or a bunch of crazy, xenophobic, conspiracy theorists?

People might like to read .It scotches the number of the wilder lies and conspiracy theories that one sees the mainstream media it on the internet.

There were a number of cases in Wuhan in December of 2019 that were not immediately identified as being different from the normal flu. I’m not a doctor and have never worked in a hospital but in the middle of flu season it may not be that obvious that you’ve got another disease with almost identical basic symptoms arriving on your doorstep.

These dates are taken from a number of sources and may not be completely accurate but until somebody can come up with something better rather than wild lies, (Hi Mr. Pompeo), they probably will do as a rough guide.

Notice that the famous “whistleblower”, Dr Li Wenliang was sending out his famous WeChat message as the initial investigation was going on. He was not a whistleblower just an astute opthamologist who recognize that there was a problem and was notifying some friends or colleagues that they might want to be taking some precautions. Maybe he even heard about the new disease on one of the wards after Dr. Zhang had begun her investigation.


December 26 – Dr. Zhang Jixian in Wuhan encountered four patients with pneumonia different from other pneumonia.

December 27 – Dr. Zhang Jixian reported these cases to hospital leadership.

December 29 – After joint diagnosis, the hospital reported the disease to Wuhan CDC.

December 30 – Dr Li Wenliang sent a message to a group of fellow doctors warning them about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Wuhan,

December 31 – China reported the unknown disease to WHO.

January 3 – China reported the disease to WHO

January 7, 2020, WHO announces that China has identified SARS-CoV-2 (under old name).

January 15, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada activates the Emergency Operation Centre to support Canada’s response to COVID-19.

January 23 Wuhan placed under effective quarantine as air and rail departures were suspended.

I would also point out that China delayed so long [/sc] Taiwan was able to start testing almost as soon has China reported the unknown disease on December 31st and so far has Covid-19 under fairly good control, probably the best in the world at the moment. It looks like they are doing better then even Singapore or South Korea. Intransitive may correct be here, but I think they actually activated their pandemics center and begin testing on the 31st of December.

@ John Kane

Thanks for backing me up. Wikipedia actually has: Timeline of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States AND Timeline of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic from November 2019 to January 2020. Both fairly good.

Don’t you feel secure knowing that our President, an “intuitive genius” is protecting HIS interests? LOL

And for those interested, had a great article just containing statements made by Trump, including dates: Kenneth Surin (2020 Apr 7). “What The President Said (About The Plague)

Thanks Joel, I do get mighty tired of all the mindless “Blame the godless communist Chinese” being used to cover others’ incompetence, particularly when the Chinese Gov’t seems to have reacted with real speed and determination.

He is not my president! Dieu merci.

I have a Queen as head of state and a fairly competent prime minister, Justin Trudeau.

@ John Kane

I actually spent two years in Ottawa, Canada, 1968 – 1970, earning an M.A. in Social Psychology from Carleton University. Visited Montreal many times and shook hands with Pierre Elliot Trudeau when he spoke at Carleton. I was there when OHIP began, Canadian Medicare. Justin Trudeau isn’t his father; but much better than Stephen Harper. Unfortunately, Canada has had several Provincial commissions that have recommended proportional representation; but it hasn’t been implemented anywhere. You have Ridings, first past the post (winner-take-all). For instance, several years ago Alberta had 1/3 of votes for either Green Party, NDP, or Liberal Party; yet all 19 MPs from Conservative Party. If Canada had proportional representation the Conservative Party would not have governed so long. Tant pis, en Francais.

Despite the above, I would love to be living in Canada. No death penalty, Medicare (though not completion of Tommy Douglas’ dream, which would include outpatient drugs, dental, home health care, and nursing homes); but far better than U.S. A nation that prides itself on multiculturalism which I applaud. I belong to a local YMCA where I go every day, except now closed because of pandemic. Members come from more than 36 different languages. Really super nice people, from Iraq, Syria, East and West Africa, Pacific Islands, Philippines, Afghanistan, Vietnam, People’s Republic of China, Mexico, Central and South America. And I love it, go to lunch with them, and many would be quite happy to have as neighbors. In fact, from Iraq, a Chaldean Christian, Jew, Sunni and Shia Muslims and all get along, including saying that under Saddam Hussein they had a good quality of life. Yep, he could be ruthless if challenged; but his “Vice President” was a Christian, streets were safe, women attended university, worked as doctors at hospitals, drove cars, etc. In fact, the Jewish Iraqi was head of lab at largest hospital in Baghdad.

In U.S. politicians play divide and conquer. Racism, anti-immigrant, etc. at each others throats while those in power benefit. It wasn’t legal or undocumented immigrants who were responsible for 2008 economic crisis and those responsible making out quite well while they encourage racism and xenophobia.

I greatly applaud how Canada has taken in so many refugees.

Medicare (though not completion of Tommy Douglas’ dream, which would include outpatient drugs, dental, home health care, and nursing homes)

My Medicaid plan provides all of the above. The only hitch is that one has to be in Cook County, Illinois.

On a less cheerful note, my Nature feed notes that measles is surging as a result of the coronavirus disrupting vaccination campaigns. 6500 children have died of measles in the DRC and 20 countries are suspending vaccination as they deal with the pandemic. This will generate more evidence for what happens when you don’t vaccinate only to be handwaved away by the true believers.

Something I failed to note:

Quackenboss** cites a poll- for whatever THAT’S worth- stating that 10% wouldn’t get a vaccine for COVID-19. It seems to fall into place with other data I’ve seen about vaccine deniers. ( numbers like 20% being suspicious of them, up to 5-6% seeking non-medical exemptions for children, 10% general vaxophobia etc). That number may ( vaguely) inform us about how many adults are willing to risk their own- and others’- lives because of woo-mongering and pseudoscience.

Actually, my own guess would be, unfortunately, higher than 10%

** how the fuck did she dream up that moniker? She’s the Boss of Quacks?

I had thought Orac gifted her with that moniker, but as I read further, I thought maybe not. Maybe she thinks it’s cute, in her mind, to call herself the boss of quacks, before anyone else calls her a quack. Like wearing big, black-framed glasses ironically. (Is ironic even the right word? Alanis Morrisette has me forever confused, since I read that she used it wrong all throughout her song.)

Kaia Rose – A British comedian, in criticizing that song gave a fantastic definition of irony – “Rain on your wedding day, that’s not ironic it’s just annoying – unless you’re marrying someone famous for predicting the weather…”

Surely you’ve seen this outrageous Bill Gates idea being parroted in our Congress: people are supposed to IgG test for past COVID-19 infections, and then obtain “certificates of immunity” or “immunity badges” before being allowed to return to work “with confidence.”

IIRC, “certificates of immunity” were a Boris Johnston brainfart that he ran up the flagpole to compete with a claim in the UK tabloids that Germans were planning to roll out immunity certificates (a claim based on misreading a headline in German media and not bothering to read the text, because tabloid journalism).
Of course this was back when the Tories were going to defeat COVID using millions of antibody tests that had fallen off the back of a lorry in China, and before they found out that the tests were worthess.

I guess we’re lucky they aren’t going with Bill’s idea of implanting microchips into our retinas or whatever gets that creeper excited in times like these.

“Bill Gates’ head is full of weird creepy fantasies about invasive medical control, and here to prove it is a weird creepy fantasy about invasive medical control that I found in my own head”.

The BillG (as he was known at Microsoft) that lives in conspiracy fantasists heads’ bears pretty much no resemblance to either his public persona or the descriptions of him by anyone who’s ever worked with him. And there are plenty of people out there saying very unflattering things about Bill Gates.

It’s like they just need someone to fill in for their boogeyman, and since he’s very well known, and very rich, and now does public health stuff, he fits.

IIRC, “certificates of immunity” were a Boris Johnston brainfart

I have a friend whose main profession is as a personal chef, and he’s already asked me if it’s possible, as a matter of branding.

Yeah, Bill Gates should be spending billions of his fortune in futile bids for the presidency, rather than wasting the money on disease eradication campaigns and antipoverty programs.

@ Smut Clyde – I stand corrected. Tedros appointed a warlord, Mugabe, as a goodwill ambassador back in 2017. The outcry was so loud, he changed his mind two days later.

“Robert Mugabe Ah Bob, the only person on this list not yet prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. Our man Bob started out as something of a hero, but it wasn’t long before he showed us his true colours. Even before he came into government Robert Mugabe had blood on his hands. During the Rhodesian Civil War, Mugabe was responsible for the death of around 20 000 members of the Ndebele tribe while trying his hand at the Dictator go-to, ethnic cleansing. He also appears to be immortal, after three decades as supreme leader of his broken nation”

Have you heard the saying.”birds of a feather flock together”? People are judged by the company they keep. Dr. Tedros is NOT a good guy.

Good day.

Have you heard the saying.”birds of a feather flock together”? People are judged by the company they keep

You have chosen to keep the company of Quackenboss. You rushed to defend her racist libels (in which no-one from Africa could become a world figure by way of education and accomplishments; they’re all “warlords”, ruthless mass-murderers with private armies). In your desperation to find mud to sling, you resorted to a link to far-right pukefunnel National Interest (whose publisher “was named in the Mueller Report as an agent of the Russian government and has intervened in American politics on direct orders of the highest levels of the Russian government.“)

Enjoy your flock. Be judged by your company.

@ Natalie White

You write: “Have you heard the saying.”birds of a feather flock together”? People are judged by the company they keep. Dr. Tedros is NOT a good guy.”

First, in October 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) appointed Mugabe as a goodwill ambassador; this attracted criticism from both the Zimbabwean opposition and various foreign governments given the poor state of the Zimbabwean health system. Responding to the outcry, WHO revoked Mugabe’s appointment a day later.”

Why he chose Mugabe is not clear. Keep in mind that Tedros is a well-respected microbiologist, especially known for his research on malaria. And he is from Ethiopia, not even close to Zimbabwe. So, he made a mistake and it was corrected before Mugabe could even begin the job. So, they didn’t keep company.

Have you ever considered how many appointments have been made by U.S. Presidents of people who later turned out to be undesirables. Or, if you don’t like Mugabe’s war crimes, how about ours? Nixon bombed and invaded Cambodia, not only a war crime; but against a Congressional resolution forbidding it, so he did it in secret. Result was death of around 200,000 Cambodians civilians, the fall of Prince Sihanouk’s government and the rise of the Khmer Rouge, responsible for the killing fields that resulted in deaths of 1 1/2 million Cambodians (so we are to blame for the Killing Fields of Cambodia); yet Nixon was re-elected and the threatened impeachment was for a 3rd rate burglary. To get Vietnam to agree to peace terms in Paris, we bombed Hanoi on Christmas eve and I met two UN observers who told me, as had been in news stories, that the bombing included the electrical power station and Children’s Hospital, which was at least 5 kilometers from any possible military target. This was also a war crime. I could go on; but the point is, Tedros is not a politician, he made a mistake, and it was corrected before any harm had been done.

The WHO was also, under its previous Director, criticized for handling of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa; but I think it important to also point out that the U.S. did nothing for a year before sending aid. The first medical personnel who dealt with the crisis were from Cuba and Medicin Sans Frontier, Doctors Without Borders. So, the U.S. is equally guilty of not dealing with the Ebola outbreak.

And if you read my comment above, Eric Lund’s, and John Kane’s, it is overwhelmingly clear that China, though not perfect, has handled the COVID-19 far better than the U.S. They warned the WHO and Trump saw it, not in terms of risk to American lives; but to his re-election campaign. Trump’s world is and always has revolved around Trump.

Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH APRIL 9, 2020 AT 11:16 AM
Eric Lund APRIL 9, 2020 AT 9:29 PM
John Kane APRIL 9, 2020 AT 12:17 PM
Joel A. Harrison, PhD, MPH APRIL 9, 2020 AT 1:12 PM

So, once again, you jump to conclusions using extreme language. Your idiotic world of black and white. YOU ARE A DESPICABLE MORON! ! !

p.s. did you vote for Trump? I didn’t like Hilary; but often in U.S. we don’t have positive choices, just lesser of two evils.

‘Ya know, Joel, I am entitled to an opinion. It does not make me a “despicable moron”. Why are you bringing up Nixon? Yes, Cambodia was awful and has nothing to do with a WHO appointment. Typical Joel extreme distraction tactic.

Why would anyone in such a high profile position even think about Mugabe being “a goodwill ambassador”? A bizarre choice coming from a supposed highly educated man. Dr. Tedros is the same man who didn’t report and down-played multiple cholera outbreaks. He could have gotten aid for them but chose to let them suffer. Again, NOT A GOOD PERSON.

Speaking of the WHO, when Pres.Trump tried to limit/stop air travel from China, at the very beginning, the WHO strongly advised against it and he listened to “the experts”.

So, you believe the Chinese are being transparent and truthful in their reporting? Laughable! The Chinese aren’t exactly known for being great humanitarians … re-education prisons and organ harvesting. Are you aware of the Yulin dog meat festival? You know where they terrorize dogs and cats before savagely killing and eating them?

Joel writes, “often in U.S. we don’t have positive choices, just lesser of two evils” – Sadly, I agree with you. I don’t identify with either party – Republicunts or Dimocrats. Both are FUBAR with self-serving career politicians/psychopaths.

@ Natalie White

YOU ARE A DESPICABLE MORON. Tedros is a microbiologist, malaria researcher, not really a diplomat or a politician nor an expert on health care systems. He made a mistake; but it was immediately rectified. And it is quite possible that he was advised to choose Mugabe. Do you know how Mugabe was even chosen? Saying “birds of a feather” is proof of how despicable your are. And I don’t believe the Chinese are being completely transparent any more than the U.S. government has been now and historically; but it is hypocritical to make them the bad guys when we are equally as guilty. As for their “re-education” we have 5 percent of the world’s population and almost 25% of those imprisoned. And numerous studies have shown that around 100,000 are TOTALLY INNOCENT and our system is biased against ever admitting errors. It has taken the innocent project up to 20 years to free someone who was totally innocent. And police in U.S. kill unarmed people, even kids (I suggest you read book “Battlefield America”) and it is acceptable. How about Eric Garner, killed with an illegal choke hold for panhandling cigarettes and grand jury no billed the cops. I repeat, an illegal choke hold. But, we do have another thing in common with China, the death penalty which no other Western nation has, not even Russia. So, we are in league with Somalia, Iran, Saudia Arabia, and China when it comes to the death penalty. And independent studies estimate in the past 50 years about 4% of those executed were INNOCENT.

If you had simply stated that Tedros has made mistakes and probably not the best choice to head the WHO, OK; but you immediately decided it was proof that he is a bad person. No, it is you who put people in extreme categories. You who are a BAD PERSON. I wonder if ever in your life you interacted with someone who turned out to be not such a good person???

And, as I wrote above, the WHO was following a document on limiting travel that we were instrumental in getting passed AND Trump stopped Chinese from coming to U.S.; but allowed Americans to return, some who were incubating the corona virus and weren’t quarantined. Get your friggin facts straight.

And as for cholera, again, the U.S. ignored Western Africa’s Ebola outbreak. And we don’t know why Tedros didn’t act. He has advisors and limited powers. And the U.S. embargo on Cuba includes food and medicine which is an international crime; yet Cuba sent a large contingent of medical personnel to West Africa and other places around the world; while we prefer to bomb them, not supply medical help. Watch, for instance, PBS NOVA “Cuba’s Cancer Hope.”

I don’t know about the dog festival, sounds horrible; but I know that American’s pay 70 – 80,000 dollars to go to Africa to kill a lion with a high-powered scoped rifle. That especially under Trump more wolves and bears are being killed, etc. And it was we who almost caused the extinction of Bison. And, as opposed to Europe, our treatment of animals in CAFO’s is abominable. And it is perfectly legal.

You are a prime example of an antivaccinationist seeing world in extremes of black and white, not ever admitting your own flaws. We have overthrown numerous democracies, including Iran’s, Guatemala’s, etc. We have supported some of the most ruthless dictators. I’m Jewish, hate the Nazis to my very bone marrow; yet, Roosevelt condemned the Nazi bombing of Rotterdam, Warsaw, etc and when they were losing the war, we firebombed their cities, killing old people, women, and children, which was a war crimes; but interesting that the Nazi bombing of civilians was not among the indictments at Nuremberg. I wonder why? Also, having studied the subject, Hitler NEVER received majority of votes and many Germans hated what he was doing, so we not only broke international law; but killed not just civilians; but totally innocent civilians. Frightening as it sounds, if we lost World War II, Nazi German could have tried and executed many American justly based on International Law, including the Hague Convention, etc.

Or, as Jesus said, “Don’t look at the fleck in someone’s eye and ignore it in your own.”

@ Natalie White

There is controversy whether Tedros failed to report cholera outbreaks in Ethiopia or not; but according to the New York Times, as their health minister: “He trained 40,000 female health workers, improved laboratories, created ambulance fleets and multiplied medical school graduates tenfold. Deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, as well as deaths of young children and women in childbirth, fell by more than 50 percent.”

So, again, the world isn’t black and white, except in your world.

@ Natalie White

You really are stupid. You write: “Why are you bringing up Nixon? Yes, Cambodia was awful and has nothing to do with a WHO appointment. Typical Joel extreme distraction tactic.”

I brought up Nixon because he killed far more innocent people than Mugabe; yet, we re-elected him. Cambodia alone, 200,000, then responsible for 1 1/2 million killed by Khmer Rouge and Nixon’s secret plan to end the war was saturation bombing, killing more than a million. So Mugabe was a rank amateur compared to just one American President and I can name more. And Nixon in later years was often quoted and interviewed, etc. So, Mugabe was an ass; but compared to . . .

What I find funny here is not whether or not Tedros is a good or bad guy. Or a good or bad choice for leadership of the WHO. It’s the idea that Trump listened to the experts. Wake up. Look at Trumps history. He doesn’t listen to any f#£king body unless they say what he already wants to hear. The idea that he would pay attention to the WHO when he barely listens to his own CDC is laughable.

@Eric Lund: ” I suspect someone explained to him that China is the world’s leading manufacturer of personal protective equipment.”
I suspect that someone pointed out to him that if he pissed off the Chinese government too much, that there would be no new Trump Tower in China, no Chinese visitors staying at the Trump Hotel, and no Chinese nouveau riches buying Trump condos or joining Trump golf resorts.

leading up to 2017, the Gates Foundation … rallied hard for an Ethiopian warlord named Tedros Adhanom to become the W.H.O. Director despite his crimes against humanity

Needless to say, this lobbying for Tedros Adhanom left no perceptible trace in the public record. Is this particular emission of conspiracist swamp-gas Quackenboss’ own personal fabrication, or is she merely recycling someone else’s lie, as a late link in the antivax human centipede?

Is this particular emission of conspiracist swamp-gas Quackenboss’ own personal fabrication, or is she merely recycling someone else’s lie, as a late link in the antivax human centipede?

Looks like the latter.

Imagine my surprise to find antivaxxers glued so firmly to the anus of Fox-Stürmer Media.

@ Natalie White

According to the New York Times (Donald G. McNeil Jr. Candidate to Lead the W.H.O. Accused of Covering Up Epidemics. The New York Times, May 13, 2017)::

“A leading candidate to head the World Health Organization was accused this week of covering up three cholera epidemics in his home country, Ethiopia, when he was health minister — a charge that could seriously undermine his campaign to run the agency.

The accusation against Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was made by a prominent global health expert who is also an informal adviser to Dr. David Nabarro, a rival candidate in the race for W.H.O. director general.

United Nations officials said more aid could have been delivered to Ethiopia had the truth been told.

Historically, some countries have tried to cover up or play down outbreaks of human or animal diseases for fear that travel restrictions would be imposed, tourism would suffer or food exports would be curtailed — or simply as a matter of national pride.

Dr. Tedros, who has the backing of the African Union and has been praised by international aid officials and former President George W. Bush, is widely respected for his stint as Ethiopia’s health minister.

He was Ethiopia’s foreign minister from 2012 to 2016 and was praised for his diplomatic skills. [NOTE THAT I WAS WRONG ABOUT HIM NOT HAVING DIPLOMATIC SKILLS]

Dr. Tedros, who has the backing of the African Union and has been praised by international aid officials and former President George W. Bush, is widely respected for his stint as Ethiopia’s health minister.”

And according to another article (Catherine Saez, Attacks on WHO Candidate Are Defamatory, ‘Colonial’, Ambassador. Intellectual Property Watch. May 17, 2017)

“The African Union delegation to the United Nations came in outspoken numbers to a press briefing today to express unshakable support for the Ethiopian candidate to be the next head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Asked about recent allegations in the press about Tedros’ part in a coverup of cholera epidemics in his country, the African ambassadors said those were defamatory allegations, done in desperation by a nervous competing candidate. Without citing which of the other two candidates that might be, an African ambassador said such attempt at destabilising the candidate reflects a “colonial mentality.” [THE ARTICLE GOES ON TO LIST HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND HIS GOALS FOR UN, INCLUDING EMPHASIZING HEALTH OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN, FIGHTING GLOBAL WARMING, ETC. WELL WORTH A READ]


AS FOR MY MENTIONING NIXON. YOU WROTE: ““Robert Mugabe Ah Bob, the only person on this list not yet prosecuted by the International Criminal Court.”







And I think Jimmy Carter the best ex-President we have ever had; but it would take too long to explain some really bad things he did while in office.

Joel drones on and on and on and on, you wrote “brought up Nixon because he killed far more innocent people than Mugabe; yet, we re-elected him.” Yeah, speak for yourself and the rest of the clueless boomers, I was a child during that time.

re: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – He was, and probably still is, a member of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, a KNOWN TERRORIST organization.
You stating that GWB gave him praises is laughable, like you value GWB opinion. You’re just reaching to bolster your position. How many people did GWB kill? How many did Obama take out?

Tedros may be a highly educated mircrobiologist, etc… but, IN MY OPINION, he is NOT a great humanitarian.

Good day Joel and Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

re: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – He was, and probably still is, a member of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, a KNOWN TERRORIST organization.

Your citation for this claim is a petition.
Let me repeat that – a petition.
To quote a certain tennis player famous for his temper, you can NOT be serious.

He was, and probably still is, a member of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, a KNOWN TERRORIST organization.

Maybe you should start a petition to bring back Mengistu.

@ Natalie White

You write: “Yeah, speak for yourself and the rest of the clueless boomers,”

Just how stupid are you? “Clueless????” We were involved in protests against discrimination/segregation, protest against the war in Vietnam and against Nixon. You really are an evil excuse for a human being. We fought for a better world and now watch as it reverts. In fact, two FBI agents came to the house I shared with President of local chapter of SDS.

I grew up knowing those who fought in World War II, concentration camp survivors, even some who were involved in freedom marches. What have you done in your life????

Oh, I also am approaching 100th blood donation and in the past worked in soup kitchens a few times. What have you done????

20/20 hindsight means that mistakes are going to be found in the responses and reactions of the WHO. Same for the reactions of individual governments.

When this is over (for a given definition of over) they’ll no doubt be massive internal analysis the the WHO. A revamping of procedures as all the lessons learned are incorporated. At this point, it will be found out if political pressure delayed various lockdown recommendations or if it was a case of not being sure enough of the human/human infection status to recommend such a huge move.

On the other hand, Trump will play a round of golf, go on holiday, look smug and say he knew it would all be over in X months, right from the first reports that crossed his desk in early January or so. I wonder what he’ll say about the distribution of ventilators? I wonder if he will start a specific department to study and prepare for any future pandemics……if he does, no doubt they’ll be the first ever, never done by any previous administration, they’ll be beautiful, it’s gonna be great, believe me.

@ Natalie White

OK, forget about Nixon, the U.S. has welcomed some of the worst dictators in the world. We still are friendly with the Saudis, who arrest and torture people. We put dictators in place around the world and brag about them as members of the free world.

You write: “re: Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – He was, and probably still is, a member of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, a KNOWN TERRORIST organization.”

According to the BBC (Imogen Foulkes. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, BBC News, March 4, 2020): The Ethiopian at the heart of the coronavirus fight : “Dr Tedros became a member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which was in the vanguard of the 1991 overthrow of Ethiopia’s Marxist dictator, Mengistu Haile Mariam.”

AND “During the current Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, he has travelled there
several times, not just to see the situation but to also talk to government leaders. And he moved quickly to visit Beijing when news of the coronavirus outbreak emerged. “His strategy is to coax China to transparency and international cooperation rather than criticising the government,” says Lawrence Gostin, Professor of Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

AND “We have been here before. Dr Chan was criticised for a perceived overreaction to the 2010 swine flu outbreak, over which she declared a pandemic and advised countries to spend millions on medicines most did not, in the end, need.

From Wikipedia: “As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tedros played a pivotal leadership role in the Africa Union’s response to the 2013–2016 Western African Ebola virus epidemic. He particularly facilitated greater country ownership and urging countries to adhere to the WHO guidelines including the full implementation of the International Health Regulations. He also advocated that the Ebola crises offer a unique opportunity to strengthen primary health care and highlight the importance of health as a critical security issue.”

I’ve already admitted he may have been involved in not reporting one – three outbreaks of cholera in Ethiopia and made a bad decision to choose Mugabe; but there is NO evidence they were personal friends and the offer was retracted one day later.

You write: “IN MY OPINION, he is NOT a great humanitarian.”

I already covered the many increases in health in Ethiopia because of him. Above, that while we ignored the Ebola outbreak he was trying to get nations to act. And he upset a lot in the WHO by appointing many women to positions.

According to an article in POLITICO (Sarah Wheaton. World’s doctor gives WHO a headache. January 10, 2018): “Tedros’ first appointments have already transformed the gender and geographic balance within the top ranks, even as they have raised concerns about a closed selection that downplays conventional expertise.

Of eight new directors chosen largely through a fast-track process, including Kasaeva, all but one are women. Tedros is trying change the recruitment system to eliminate “unconscious biases that make it unfavorable for women to get the positions,” a top Tedros adviser, Senait Fisseha, said in an email. Until that can be accomplished, she said, he had made “limited appointments of diverse and highly qualified women” to move his vision forward. That’s music to the ears of those who see an endless game of musical chairs that circulates people
from one U.N. or international development agency to another. Often that means wealthy Western countries dictating to poorer countries how to deal with their problems in order to receive aid.”

So, again, as I’ve said numerous times, he is not perfect; but looking at his overall record, he has been more a humanitarian than most, especially given the situation of a poor third world nation. As they say: “opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.” Having now well over a dozen articles about him, one can look at only the negatives as you do or have a more nuanced evaluation. I wonder how you would look at him if he strongly abandoned WHO support for vaccines???

By the way, is a for-profit, accused of sharing info, that posts petitions written by others. It isn’t clear who was responsible for the petition you linked to.

So, I repeat, if we wanted WHO to be led by someone from Africa, despite several negatives, Tedros was the best available choice. And, despite your one-sided need to label people as all or none, he has done a number of very positive things, including the overall health of the people of Ethiopia and making the WHO leadership more representative of the world. Sometimes to get things done, people have to compromise. Tedros got lots of positives done and, yep, did some things that I don’t like.

As usual, you are full of s..t ! ! ! Not because you point out some things; but because some of them are not , you just assume accusations are true and because you need to see anyone you dislike as all one side, your sick world of extremes of black and white.

Well, let me give you some fodder against me. When living in Sweden for 10 years one of my good friends was someone I jogged with, stayed at his place, went to movies with, lunch and dinner, etc. Actually was a group. I returned to the States in 1983. Visited Sweden in 1995. When I tried to look him up, he was in prison for murdering his wife. I can make excuses, knowing he came from a broken home, and she was going to divorce him and take their kid, and, though not an alcoholic, he did, at times, drink heavily; but he murdered someone. So, I guess that makes me “birds of a feather”. Note, he was a good friend, not like Tedros and Mugabe. And had he been in a prison close by, I would have visited him.
And one of my closest childhood friends turned out to be a racist. Maybe there were earlier hints; but when it became clear, I broke off all contact after being almost like brothers for over 40 years. Guess that makes me a racist?

And in college and later, several friends smoked marijuana and snorted powder cocaine. I always left when they did. They were and are still highly successful professionals, never used drug and drove afterwards, only on weekends. I have NEVER smoked, only sampled a little alcohol, NEVER used any recreational drugs except caffein and don’t even like taking aspirin or ibuprofen. But, since I have friends who use drugs, well “birds of a feather flock together”.

By the way, as for racism, during the 1950s we had barbecues and my dad invited coworkers, including “Negros” and “Mexicans” and I joined the YMCA in 1955, played with them, went to summer camp with them, etc. So, realizing that a close friend, almost a brother, was a racist was extremely painful. I tried my best to not admit it; but in the end, I acted.

During the Biafran war I remember crying when seeing photos of children with swollen bellies and I fight back tears, despite being Jewish, at the Israeli treatment of Palestinians, including bombing a school in Gaza with a UN flag on the roof. For me, all children are precious.

And, this may really piss some people off. The vast majority of holocaust deniers are anti-semites; but I believe a few aren’t; but it is so painful to admit their nation, their parents or grandparents played any part, so . . .

When I was on a Kibbutz in Israel 1978, a group of German students came to work as volunteers. American Jews avoided them. I sat at table with them, worked alongside them, etc. I hate Nazis, not Germans. Again, I don’t see things in black and white.

And, as for vaccines, the flu vaccine is the least effective, less than 50%; but if it was only 20%, even 10% in preventing illness, in lessening severity of, in reducing risk of hospitalization or death I would still get the shot. The amount of thimerosal is so minute compared to the mercury we get every day in our food, water, air we breath, etc. that I don’t even think about it. I actually understand immunology, microbiology, and how vaccines are made. I’ve only had flu twice in my life and both times not fun, one was the 1968 Hong Kong flu. So, not only not seeing world in black and white, I look at probabilities, at benefit/costs.

In any case, you can use your birds of a feather to label me, a friend who is a murderer, another a rapist, and several drug users. ENJOY!


Oh, yesterday received book ordered from, first book on history of WHO, and skimming it, it includes the positives and the negatives. It is difficult for such an organization to always do everything right when subject to funding and cooperation from many nations, etc. I am busy reading everything on corona viruses, history, molecular biology, etc; but plan to read carefully the book soon.

ADDENDUM. Oops! I typed “rapist” meant “racist” after “birds of a feather”. I suffer from cluster migraine, get clusters lasting 7 – 10 days, called suicide headaches, very painful. Well, haven’t had cluster in several years and one just started, woke me at 3:30 am, on pain scale of 1 – 10, a 10. Oh well. I wish there was a vaccine for them, started when I was a teenager. For some reason, as one ages, fewer and further in between. So, isolated due to Covid-19 and haven’t had a cluster for three years. One positive, I’m old, so probably won’t be around much longer. My only worry is if something happens to me my dog could suffer. Got him from a rescue group.

Anecdote – one of my friends developed cluster migraines in college, to the point it put back her PhD by a whole year. Through a series of not-totally-unlikely events she was cured of them by having her impacted wisdom teeth removed (the teeth were pushing on the nerved her neurologists thought were causing the migraines.

So, I don’t know if you still have wisdom teeth, but it’s a thought. (There might also be surgeries for them now, but neurological surgery is serious business.)

Sorry if you already know all this! And very sorry about your migraines.

@ JustaTech

My wisdom teeth were removed many years ago, early teens, before developed cluster migraines. And there is NO surgery for them; however, good research found that breathing in 100% oxygen for 15 minutes or less works for up to 75% of sufferers. So I tried it and it worked, 8 days in a row, cluster headaches ended in less than 10 minutes; but Medicare doesn’t cover and I found out I can get for negotiated rate by my health plan, so my doctor ordered it; but some idiots at health plan don’t care, see not covered by Medicare and notify oxygen company not to deliver. It wouldn’t cost my health plan 1 penny. Difference if covered by Medicare, copay $3.44 per month, if I pay negotiated rate, $17.61. Recent outbreak, phoned, ordered several times by doctor, bureaucrats at health plan told to ignore doctor’s order. An insane example of American health care. I e-mailed friends/colleagues in Canada, UK, and Sweden, and I would have the oxygen. So, last few days an unnecessary hell.

Just an errant thought for anti-vaxxers…

Over the years, vaccines have allowed us to eliminate or at least, control, outbreaks of many illnesses: small pox, polio, measles, diphtheria, pertussis, mumps, rubella etc,
–Right now, we are in the midst of a raging pandemic that is killing thousands of people, taxing medical resources around the world and perhaps crippling the global economy for years to come.
— Since 1980, we have witnessed the emergence of viruses from formerly extremely isolated places ( HIV, SARS, MERS, Ebola, COVID-19 and lord-knows-what-else-currently-brewing) which rapidly spread because of the evolution of both intercontinental and international trade and travel.

If more people had stopped standard vaccination, as many of you suggest, what would we have now?

@ Denice Walter

And without smallpox vaccine, many of us wouldn’t be here, world population would be much smaller as it killed 25% or more of population on regular basis. Just during 20th Century it killed an estimated 200 million people. And those who survived, many blind, almost all disfigured, plus it is an extremely painful experience.

I just watched for second time PBS American Experience “The Roosevelts”, not only the pain and suffering that FDR overcame; but reminded me of several people I have known. Antivaccinationists either downplay polio and/or blame it on things like DDT and believe easily cured with infusions of vitamin C. Having actually know quite a few who suffered from polio, including later post-polio syndrome, the antivaccinationists really anger me. Just like some have posted that most deaths from COVID-19 are older with comorbidities as if they don’t deserve a longer life. They aren’t just wrong; but despicable.

Oh, in book about WHO history, Tedros has also angered some because of his advocacy for universal health care, not something our for-profit health care system appreciates.

@ Natalie White

The petition was from an organization called Ethiopian Advocacy Network. I couldn’t find any info on them, except what they claim about themselves; but did find lots of petitions regarding many aspects of Ethiopia. just posts them, doesn’t check into validity any claims made by them. I did find an interesting BBC News article from April 8, 2019 entitled “How did US and Ethiopia become so close?”

Oh, as for flu shot, if everyone got it, then effectiveness would more than likely increase, how much, don’t know; but it would reduce spread, so even if individual vaccine has limited protection, the less exposure, the less intense, the more likely protection.

This may be an example of kook-citing. For example:

Kook 1 says something outrageous and demonstrably false.

Kook 2 cites kook 1.

Kook 1 cities kook 2 and concludes: “See! I was right!”

If we can crack their brains open on their rights to refuse one vaccine, we’ve got them for life.

This example of Quackenboss’ way with words has been neglected so far. She wants to crack people’s brains open as a way of recruiting them to the cause. Because having a cracked-open brain is one of the prerequisites of being antivax.

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