Bad science Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Quacks misuse Koch’s postulates to deny that SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19

Science denialists and quacks love abusing Koch’s postulates to deny that various microorganisms are the true cause of disease; so it was inevitable that they’d do it for COVID-19.

Quacks often deny germ theory. I realize that it’s hard for a lot of physicians to believe that, in 2020, germ theory denial is a thing, but it is. (I’ve written about it many times before.) There are a variety of forms of denial of germ theory, too, ranging from “soft” denial to harder forms of denial. One example occurred in 2008, when Bill Maher engaged in “soft” germ theory denial in which, although he didn’t deny that the influenza virus causes the flu, he denied the effectiveness and safety of flu vaccines while simultaneously claiming that he “wouldn’t get the flu on a plane” because his “terrain” was so hostile to germs because of his healthy lifestyle and diet. (I couldn’t help but wonder all the weed he brags about smoking is part of that claim.) Bob Costas, of all people, responded with the perfect retort, “Oh, come on, Superman!” Indeed, amusingly, in response to criticism Maher fervently denied that he had denied germ theory, even though he had also quoted a common germ theory denialist lie about the “deathbed conversion” of Louis Pasteur, the father of germ theory, it’s a myth frequently spread by quacks who claim that Pasteur “recanted” on his deathbed (note the choice of word) and “confessed” that it was the “terrain,” not the microbes. (This never happened.) Another form of “soft” germ theory denial is the the co-opting and abuse of of Koch’s postulates to cast doubt on whether various microbes actually cause disease.

Yes, in the middle of a pandemic, quacks are misusing Koch’s postulates to try to deny germ theory.

I came across an example of this the other day posted to a chiropractor’s website in which Koch’s postulates were misrepresented, misunderstood, and abused to cast doubt on whether SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and has resulted in so much suffering and death this year, is really the cause of the disease. It came in the form a video featuring Sayer Ji interviewing a “natural healing consultant” (i.e., quack) named Dr. Andrew Kaufman.

Regular readers will likely be familiar with Sayer Ji, as he’s been featured a number of times on the blog to deconstruct the quackery and antivaccine disinformation that he regularly spreads. Examples abound, including his teaming up with his wife, the equally quacky psychiatrist turned Goop icon, Kelly Brogan to deny public health science and science-based interventions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Before that, Ji regularly peddled antivaccine disinformation (I found it particularly amusing when he complained about attempts to clamp down on antivaccine disinformation on social media), willfully misunderstood the concept of overdiagnosis in order to attack screening tests, and even denied the importance of genetics in causing cancer. And, yes, he’s denied germ theory before, once using what I like to call in reference to the quack view of it the “mystical, magical microbiome” (or was it the “magical mystical microbiome“?) as a pretext to deny germ theory.

As for Dr. Andrew Kaufman, sadly, he does have an MD, and, oddly enough, has not been featured on this blog, a failure that I plan to remedy now. Unsurprisingly, he features a quack Miranda warning prominently on his website, where he describes himself thusly:

I am a natural healing consultant, inventor, public speaker, forensic psychiatrist, and expert witness. I completed my psychiatric training at Duke University Medical Center after graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina, and I have a B.S. from M.I.T. in Molecular Biology. I have conducted and published original research and lectured, supervised, and mentored medical students, residents, and fellows in all psychiatric specialties. I have been qualified as an expert witness in local, state, and federal courts. I have held leadership positions in academic medicine and professional organizations. I ran a start-up company to develop a medical device I invented and patented.

So, like Kelly Brogan, he’s a psychiatrist. He also sends up a lot of red flags, for example:

Medicamentum Authentica means “authentic medicine” in Latin. This is the standard I ascribe to when I present health information and work with clients. Since word meanings are frequently changed, even inverted, by official dictionaries, Latin provides sanctuary. Since Latin is no longer spoken, it is considered a ‘dead language.’ Thus, its meanings will never be compromised.

Yes, be very careful whenever you see a physician or other health practitioner using words like “true” and “authentic” with respect to medicine. These words bespeak a rather concrete worldview, in which only what they promote is “true” and “authentic.” The reference to Latin as a “dead language’ whose meanings will “never be compromised” is only a cherry on the top of the sundae of woo-speak. In any event, Dr. Kaufman appears to have been a psychiatrist at SUNY Upstate Medical University before he turned to woo. With the appearance of COVID-19, his woo was turbocharged, and he’s definitely been denying germ theory with respect to SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19, which leads me to kicking myself for not having written about him before. Fortunately, Jonathan Jarry in a fantastic article entitled The Psychiatrist Who Calmly Denies Reality:

Sounding composed and knowledgeable, Kaufman repeatedly tells his viewers that viruses are not a cause of human diseases. Through watching hours and hours of video, I have seen him deny the existence of the viruses behind the common cold, polio, HIV-AIDS, viral hepatitis, chickenpox, COVID-19, and measles.


Dr. Andrew Kaufman rose to fame in the early days of the pandemic by claiming that what scientists were actually seeing with their electron microscopes was not a new coronavirus but rather exosomes. This story is quite interesting as it reveals a common tactic Kaufman uses. In building a bridge between an observation and a conclusion he likes, he will often use valid science to lay down a number of planks. When that bridge is almost complete, he runs out of planks and takes a leap of faith, but that leap may only be noticeable by an expert. Going back to exosomes, most of what Kaufman says is true. Our body is made of cells, and you can imagine a cell like a soap bubble. An exosome is a tiny bubble that buds off from that soap bubble and starts floating around, maybe eventually fusing with another soap bubble.

These exosomes can carry payloads, like genetic material, and act as transporters inside our body, and they do look an awful lot like many viruses. In fact, sometimes a virus will infect a cell and an exosome containing the virus’ genetic material will bud off and go on to infect another cell, just like a viral particle would! But here we reach the end of our bridge. Two scientific experts discussed this issue in a YouTube video and concluded that “clearly, there are similarities between exosomes and the coronavirus but they are absolutely different in many aspects.” Kaufman takes a leap and claims the virus does not exist. It’s all exosomes.

Imagine a whole hour of video with this sort of nonsense, and that’s what you get. I’m further amazed that I don’t recall ever having come across this video before, given that it was posted to the chiroquack website in September, but here it is, still on YouTube:

The video’s introduction states:

In this interview, Dr. Kaufman explores a new study published in NATURE which claims to establish COVID-19 related pathogenicity in an animal model, but which does not fulfill Koch’s postulates for germ theory, and may overtly misrepresent the truth. This, in fact, is not new, as many publications have claimed to isolate COVID-19 or prove its role in causing animal and human deaths, yet none of them are actually capable of demonstrating this conclusively. Sayer Ji asks hard hitting questions and together they explore the implications of this and other research to the ongoing weaponization of germ theory as a political weapon for mass control and surveillance in violation of basic human, civil, constitutional and medical rights.

Note how the language gives away the game: “Weaponization of germ theory as a political weapon for mass control and surveillance.” Ji even introduces Kaufman with statements about how he is a “leader” in questioning how the “dominant narrative around COVID being this lethal invisible particle” that “sprung up in Wuhan in some kind of wet market” or was a “bioweapon” led to the “complete cessation” of social and economic activity, all based on what Ji characterizes as this “invisible particle” that’s been identified and is being tested everywhere. Particularly amusing is how Ji claims that Kaufman has been “telling the truth from the perspective of science itself.”

Again, this video is a little over an hour long, and I couldn’t stand to watch the whole thing. I’m not even going to go into the weeds that much, because there’s so much misinformation, bad science, pseudoscience, and disinformation in the video that it would take a series of posts to deal with it, although I can point out that Jarry was very much right about Kaufman’s techniques of science denial and disinformation in terms of how he cherry picks papers and takes germs of reasonable science and concerns and twists them into weapons against germ theory that he uses to deny that SARS-CoV-2 has definitively been shown to be the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. Central to this is his central claim, which I’m going to zero in on and not get so much into the numerous weeds, that SARS-CoV-2 does not meet Koch’s postulates for causation of COVID-19.

First, let’s review Koch’s postulates, using the quote from Robert Koch from 1890 repeated on the chiropractor’s website:

However, if it can be proved: first that the parasite occurs in every case of the disease in question, and under circumstances which can account for the pathological changes and clinical course of the disease; secondly, that it occurs in no other disease as a fortuitous and non­ pathogenic parasite; and thirdly, that it, after being fully isolated from the body and repeatedly grown in pure culture, can induce the disease anew…

Or, to boil Koch’s postulates down to a 1937 version by Thomas Rivers and colleagues:

  1. The parasite (virus) is present in every case of the disease.
  2. The parasite should be fully isolated from the body and all products of disease (i.e. purified)
  3. The parasite should be grown in a pure culture (not possible for viruses)
  4. The isolated parasite produces the same disease, with all of its characteristics, in a normal host

I love to note how germ theory denying quacks just love to cite 19th century understandings of infectious disease as the be-all and end-all of the science of infectious disease, as if science hasn’t advanced in 120 years! Ji and Kaufmann even cite a quote that Koch’s postulates have not been satisfied in viral diseases, leading to this quote about modification of Koch’s postulates for viruses:

… the spirit of his [Koch’s] rules of proof still holds in that a worker must demonstrate that a virus is not only associated with a disease but that is actually the cause… this is accomplished by the production with a degree of regularity of a transmissible infection in susceptible experimental hosts by means of inoculation of material, free from ordinary microbes or ricketssiae, obtained from patients with the natural disease…

Again, Koch’s postulates arose from 19th century science and were proposed when germ theory was still in its infancy. We’ve learned since then that things are a lot more complicated, and, of course, quacks have been trying to point to examples of that complexity to cast doubt on the whole edifice of germ theory as the explanation for infectious diseases. The funny thing is that even in the 19th century Koch soon realized that there existed infectious diseases that did not fulfill his postulates:

Koch’s postulates were developed in the 19th century as general guidelines to identify pathogens that could be isolated with the techniques of the day. Even in Koch’s time, it was recognized that some infectious agents were clearly responsible for disease, even though they did not fulfill all of the postulates. Currently, a number of infectious agents are accepted as the cause of diseases despite their not fulfilling all of Koch’s postulates.

And Thomas Rivers, viewed as the “father of modern virology” even wrote:

It is unfortunate that so many workers blindly followed the rules, because Koch himself quickly realized that in certain instances all the conditions could not be met. . . . Thus, in regard to certain diseases, particularly those caused by viruses, the blind adherence to Koch’s postulates may act as a hindrance instead of an aid.’

Today scientists recognize Koch’s postulates mainly for their historical importance rather than as hard-and-fast rules to demonstrate disease causation. As mentioned by Thomas Rivers above, even Koch started to loosen the requirements of some of his own postulates, for example:

Koch abandoned the requirement of the first postulate altogether when he discovered asymptomatic carriers of cholera and, later, of typhoid fever. Asymptomatic or subclinical infection carriers are now known to be a common feature of many infectious diseases, especially viruses such as polio, herpes simplex, HIV, and hepatitis C. Specifically, all doctors and virologists agree that the poliovirus causes paralysis in just a few infected subjects, and the success of the polio vaccine in preventing disease supports the conviction that the poliovirus is the causative agent.

Sound familiar? It is now known that SARS-CoV-2 can cause asymptomatic infections in a relatively high proportion of patients and that these asymptomatic people can transmit the virus. How large a driver of the pandemic asymptomatic spread is has been heatedly debated, but there is no doubt that you can have COVID-19 and have few or no symptoms. It is true that, early in the pandemic, the World Health Organization appeared to have stated that asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 was rare (it didn’t exactly say that), and it was soon forced it to walk even that claim back rapidly.

Even the second of Koch’s postulates doesn’t always apply:

The second postulate may also be suspended for certain microorganisms or entities that cannot (at the present time) be grown in pure culture, such as prions responsible for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.

Ditto the third of Koch’s postulates:

The third postulate specifies “should”, not “must”, because as Koch himself proved in regard to both tuberculosis and cholera, that not all organisms exposed to an infectious agent will acquire the infection. Noninfection may be due to such factors as general health and proper immune functioning; acquired immunity from previous exposure or vaccination; or genetic immunity, as with the resistance to malaria conferred by possessing at least one sickle cell allele.

Again, does this sound familiar? Asymptomatic infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurs. A lot. Moreover, the virus can be grown in culture, just as many coronaviruses have been. It’s related to SARS, a coronavirus (hence its name), the coronavirus that was so feared in 2002-2003.

Another thing that Kaufman does in the video is to cherry pick studies to try to cast doubt on. For instance, he looks at the New England Journal of Medicine study published in January that first described the novel coronavirus isolated from patients with a mysterious new pneumonia in China in late 2019 that isolated virus from three patients in Wuhan. He harps on a statement in the conclusion of the paper:

Although our study does not fulfill Koch’s postulates, our analyses provide evidence implicating 2019-nCoV in the Wuhan outbreak. Additional evidence to confirm the etiologic significance of 2019-nCoV in the Wuhan outbreak include identification of a 2019-nCoV antigen in the lung tissue of patients by immunohistochemical analysis, detection of IgM and IgG antiviral antibodies in the serum samples from a patient at two time points to demonstrate seroconversion, and animal (monkey) experiments to provide evidence of pathogenicity.

Well, duh! It was January. The outbreak in Wuhan had only been going on a couple of months. In fact, that paper was quite impressive for what the scientists could accomplish in that they isolated a new virus, sequenced its genome and related it to existing coronaviruses, and published highly suggestive evidence that this new coronavirus was the cause of the pneumonia observed, with the authors noting:

We report a novel CoV (2019-nCoV) that was identified in hospitalized patients in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. Evidence for the presence of this virus includes identification in bronchoalveolar-lavage fluid in three patients by whole-genome sequencing, direct PCR, and culture. The illness likely to have been caused by this CoV was named “novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia” (NCIP). Complete genomes were submitted to GISAID. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 2019-nCoV falls into the genus betacoronavirus, which includes coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, bat SARS-like CoV, and others) discovered in humans, bats, and other wild animals.15 We report isolation of the virus and the initial description of its specific cytopathic effects and morphology.

Which is exactly what the authors did. Kaufman tries to cast doubt on it by pointing to the small sample size. Again, this study was preliminary evidence, not absolutely confirmatory, and there have been many, many studies since then confirming that this then-novel coronavirus is the cause of COVID-19. He also claims that there was “no virus particle directly from patient demonstrated or identified,” Note the word “directly.” The authors actually did culture the virus in human airway epithelial cells and Vero E6 and Huh-7 cell lines. Hilariously, Kaufman also claims that “short RNA sequences of unknown origin from BAL sample” were “not conclusive.” This is a misrepresentation of PCR methods used to amplify RNA from the virus isolated from human respiratory isolates. He even dismisses, in essence, the computational biology behind next generation sequencing that has been used to sequence the virus as a “theoretical model of a theoretical virus.” He says he’s working on a white paper to claim this. He also dismisses next gen sequencing as being only good if you know the sequence is already, which is utter nonsense. Of course, knowledge of existing coronavirus sequences was used to guide the sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, but that doesn’t mean that scientists didn’t correctly identify the virus. (I suspect that molecular biologists who deal with next gen sequencing would be face palming furiously, if they ever listened to this part.)

In fact, an update to Koch’s postulates based on advances over the prior 100 years in science, microbiology, virology, and nucleic acid sequencing was proposed in 1996 by Fredricks and Relman and were summarized thusly:

  1. A nucleic acid sequence belonging to a putative pathogen should be present in most cases of an infectious disease. Microbial nucleic acids should be found preferentially in those organs or gross anatomic sites known to be diseased, and not in those organs that lack pathology.
  2. Fewer, or no, copy numbers of pathogen-associated nucleic acid sequences should occur in hosts or tissues without disease.
  3. With resolution of disease, the copy number of pathogen-associated nucleic acid sequences should decrease or become undetectable. With clinical relapse, the opposite should occur.
  4. When sequence detection predates disease, or sequence copy number correlates with severity of disease or pathology, the sequence-disease association is more likely to be a causal relationship.
  5. The nature of the microorganism inferred from the available sequence should be consistent with the known biological characteristics of that group of organisms.
  6. Tissue-sequence correlates should be sought at the cellular level: efforts should be made to demonstrate specific in situ hybridization of microbial sequence to areas of tissue pathology and to visible microorganisms or to areas where microorganisms are presumed to be located.
  7. These sequence-based forms of evidence for microbial causation should be reproducible.

SARS-CoV-2 fulfills Koch’s postulates easily, as can be demonstrated by looking at the totality of evidence and not misrepresenting it, all while recognizing what PCR and next generation sequencing really are, rather than the simplistic, distorted view that Kaufman provides. In fact, I don’t even need to list all the examples myself here. In October Virology Down Under published an exhaustive list of studies showing that this coronavirus does, in fact, fulfill Koch’s postulates.

Whenever I point out that a very common thread of “thought”—if you can call it “thought”—in alternative medicine is nothing more than germ theory denial, the usual reaction from my fellow physicians is incredulity. Newbies who haven’t encountered quacks before invariably do a double take when I inform them that germ theory denialism is a thing, particularly among antivaccine activists. (After all, vaccines don’t make sense if microorganisms don’t cause disease.) Yet, time and time again I find examples of quacks who deny that disease is a consequence of infection. In fact, some go so far as to try to argue in the other direction, that microorganisms are good for us. Of course, there is a grain of truth in this. We’ve known for a long time that one of the pernicious effects of antibiotics is that they kill the beneficial bacteria along with the pathogenic bacteria, leading to syndromes like antibiotic-associated diarrhea and C. difficilecolitis, just to name an example. The problem is not so much that quacks claim that our microbiome, for example, can be beneficial, it’s that they basically deny that there are pathogenic bacteria, their usual spin on this claim being that these viruses and bacteria can’t cause disease if you’re truly healthy and your immune system is intact. Unfortunately, the subtext of this is that, if you aren’t “healthy,” it’s your fault. If you don’t believe me, just look at the rant by antivaxxer Del Bigtree, in which he urges his listeners to “catch this cold” while blaming the victims of COVID-19 for having made themselves chronically ill and therefore susceptible to COVID-19.

Most physicians (and most people in general) have a hard time believing that there are actual physicians out there who deny germ theory in the middle of a pandemic that’s already killed nearly 1.7 million people worldwide, including over 310,000 Americans, with the actual numbers likely being much higher, but there are. Andrew Kaufman’s attempt to twist Koch’s postulates to deny that SARS-CoV-2 has been identified as the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 is but one example, unfortunately. Indeed, he’s such a font of disinformation that I’m likely going to have to delve more deeply into his claims.

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]

114 replies on “Quacks misuse Koch’s postulates to deny that SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19”

Perhaps the “softest” form of germ theory denialism I’ve come across is focusing purely upon improving immunity ( usually through supplements, restrictive diets, stress reduction, exercise, thinking the right thoughts) whereby they evade the entire issue about whether microbes exist or are pathogenic. With Covid denial, the woo-master also continually harps on death rates in the extreme elderly, as one says, ” They were already dying”, or ” overweight”, leaving out large numbers of people who were active, younger and not seriously ill at all. Their form of denialism is meant to quell the fears of followers who just might be lured by public messaging about masks, social distancing or vaccines, as if to say, ” You can’t die of this- it’s those other people- sick, dying, fat, non-white, poor”.. There seems to be a political slant to people like Del or Null who oppose governmental restrictions of any sort: health freedom advocates and other anti-government sources, mostly on the right , local or from abroad, ( Peter Hotez goes into this)
The amount of Covid misinformation I read or hear is astonishing.

It’s also a weirdly Puritanical outlook. Maybe they’re not directly calling sickness “a punishment from God”, but there’s still an underlying implication that, if you are sick, it is because you did something wrong and you deserve to be sick.

And then, as you say, the follow-on implication, that because one has been “good”, is an upright and moral person who eats just the right diet and does just the right exercises and thinks just the right thoughts, then one will not get sick.

Never mind that it flies in the face of science, reason, and experience, but yet, here we are.

It flies in the face of the Bible too and orthodox Christian doctrine as well. The Book of Job doesn’t say that he experienced his sickness and misfortune because of sin, in fact it says that his friends who believed that were wrong. And there are all those verses verses in the Gospels where Jesus talks about how the Lord makes the sun shine and the rain fall on the just and the unjust alike, and how he says that those eighteen people killed by the collapse of the tower of Siloam were not greater sinners than everyone else.

The NYT (Dec 16) had a report that in some areas of the US, covid is now the leading cause of death for the under-50 crowd. But, hey, freedom comes with side-effects and there was probably something wrong with these younger folks anyway.

“I’m a bit concerned about a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s not because I doubt that a vaccine is possible, but rather because the incredible rush towards a vaccine is naturally concerning.

Were a vaccine to be approved within that timeline, it would be a world record in terms of speed, and pushing it to be even faster could well be an utter disaster.

Funny, isn’t it, how the original news stories about the trial left out the bit about the significant adverse events.
A couple of days ago, bioethicist Arthur Caplan and colleagues published an article in JAMA warning of the potential adverse consequences of too much speed:

It’s not hard to imagine that when promising vaccine candidates emerge President Trump, hyping “Operation Warp Speed,” in a frenzied effort to demonstrate leadership and produce good news, pressuring the FDA to approve a vaccine that has serious side effects.

Large clinical studies for a new vaccine for a new disease take months or years to carry out, particularly for a vaccine, in which a large population needs to be vaccinated and compared to a population receiving a placebo. One can imagine the disaster that would occur if a vaccine were deployed and then the reports of serious adverse events—or even deaths—started rolling in.”

That was from a prominate anti vaxxer.

And these were the responses from the minions, toadies, and sycophants

Dorit aka: “Doritos”
I am also worried. As fast as possible, as you say, but not cutting safety testing. In one viewpoint article authors reminded us of the rush to make a fly (sic) vaccine during the 1976 swine flu scare, and the negative results.

Dangerous Bacon aka; “The Baconator”
I told Trump that he should instead name the project “Operation Impulse Power”, but that guy never listens
Operation Warp Speed feels like another unrealistic Apprentice-like project that’s been put out to those who do vaccine research.

Christine Rose
That seems like a huge percentage of adverse events for a phase one trial. Scale it to millions and that’s a lot of people alone at home fainting with a dangerous fever.

Christopher Hickie
Ironically if Trump rushes an unproperly vetted vaccine to market he might wind up being the best thing to happen to AVers since Wakefield .

Yet when I questioned the logic of vaccinating a single cohort of health care workers, so if there was an issue of safety that we probably shouldn’t endanger our health care system, you would think I was the next thing to Andrew Wakefield.

then you have MSNBC doctor Vin Gupta saying

“Just because you get vaccinated after the second dose does not mean you should be traveling. … You could still get infected and pass it along to others.”

Why bother with the vaccine if you can still get infected and pass it along to others.

And you expect citizens to “follow the science”?

Christopher Hickie
Ironically if Trump rushes an unproperly vetted vaccine to market he might wind up being the best thing to happen to AVers since Wakefield .

Hey Scott–it was vetted, so drop it like a good doggo, ok? Also please travel forward in time to 12/18/2020 where a very effective Pfizer vaccine is being give to HCWs nationwide and soon Moderna’s will as well.

Good news Orac!. I did the screening forms Monday, but since I’m not with an institution/hospital I think it will take longer (so here’s to hoping I got some “natural” immunity from last month’s adventure given what’s happening in my covid-denying state). I hope those in control of vaccination efforts are reserving a dose for 28 days from now.

Orac, great news! Our Minister of Health declared that teachers should be getting the vaccine along with the elderly and just after the medical personnel so I do hope to be getting it soon-ish.

It’s not hard to imagine that when promising vaccine candidates emerge President Trump, hyping “Operation Warp Speed,” in a frenzied effort to demonstrate leadership and produce good news, pressuring the FDA to approve a vaccine that has serious side effects.

First, that’s not a sentence, and second, you posted “when promising vaccine candidates emerge” today?


You are really not the sharpest knife in the drawer,are you.

That “sentence” was cut and pasted from this blog, written by Orac, when “warp speed” was introduced by Trump. As “when promising vaccien candidates emerge” was, again, cut and pasted from this very web blog.
He is the link to the post since obviously you are incapable of searching this blog on your own, so you can read it at your own speed, Orac probably typed it real slow so people like you could read it.

Maybe “Skitt’s Law” applies here.

If this is how you conduct your research I would question its value to women/man/peoplekind.

I think you hurt his feelings with that scottlelicious take down. Also, I’m probably wrong; being consumed with anticipation to see Scoffleugapuss on The ABC’s of Covid-19 on CNN tomorrow morning, as I am.

It’s just that I’m a big fan of Henson. Did you know that he died of streptococcus-A flesh eating bacteria after popping a boil on his butt?

Christine Rose
That seems like a huge percentage of adverse events for a phase one trial.

Umm… I’ll leave it at “where has Christine posted in this thread?”

I hadn’t. I did express concern about adverse events in a phase two trial, which seems like lifetime ago. If you scaled up by percent you would in fact get a lot of people fainting and potentially injured.

However as we know phase two trials do not show statistical significance and the dose given may not be the dose used for the phase three. I haven’t seen anything written which directly follows up on the fainting issue. Maybe someone has access to the phase three data.

Doctor’s advice: stop whining, be a good little science denier, put your Binky back in your mouth and stop typing.

Typical of a science denier, your recent focus point, that a single cohort of HCPs should have been vaccinated first, was not well received by more experienced commenters and you’re not happy.

Approximately 300,000 doses ( are now distributed (the majority being to HCPs); no hospitals lack HCPs due to vaccine adverse events despite record COVID deaths in the US (which leads the world in total deaths). Try visiting an ICU in Texas or Southern California and you’ll find HCPs ably doing their jobs AND being vaccinated (two things at once!).
Conclusion: you were incorrect in your estimate of vaccines harming HCPs, so no need for anyone to follow your silly suggestion. Do try and keep up.

Suggestion: latch on to some other isolated hypothesis and whine when you are proven wrong again. Meanwhile, the rest of us that routinely have to do many things at once (and realize vaccines are the best method for stopping the pandemic) will continue to watch as you attempt to mastering more than one thing at a time…

Or, better yet, boycott Orac, go to AoA or similar site and peddle your goofy hypotheses to an adoring audience. You clearly can’t handle the truth (even when you are proven wrong).

“Conclusion: you were incorrect in your estimate of vaccines harming HCPs, so no need for anyone to follow your silly suggestion. Do try and keep up.”

Really, do you want to argue with the CDC who recomended the same thing.

So do try and keep up with the CDC’s advise. And you might follow your own advise
“Or, better yet, boycott Orac, go to AoA or similar site and peddle your goofy hypotheses to an adoring audience. You clearly can’t handle the truth (even when you are proven wrong).”

“Consider staggering vaccination of personnel from similar units or positions”

 Reactogenicity following vaccination:
– Guidance on scheduling to avoid potential clustering of worker absenteeism related to systemic reactions

Nice attempt at revisionist history. You were exaggerating the possible adverse events and inferring recklessness as science deniers would be expected to do.

The way it works is much more reasonable than your scare mongering: I get the vaccine on Monday, another doctor with from my subspecialty skills gets it Wednesday. CDC is far less draconian than your scheme: experience with ~300,000 doses have confirmed results from PIII, and droves of HCPs aren’t calling in sick due to be vaccinated (funny about that, eh?).

Again, please exercise your right to go to another site so that you can be adored by fellow science deniers. You seem easily offended when others criticize you (though we’d still do our best to get you and your ilk through a trip to our ICU).

Yes those two items were way back in history and yes I reworded every letter.

they were made on the 1st of December 2020 they were cut and pasted from the materials presented and made by persons/doctors who were giving guidence on “Phased Allocation”. As to your “scare mongering”, I simply posted what the CDC gave as guidence.

As for other previous post on this thread, I just cut and pasted from RI what was posted here in May (I even had to post the link back to that for some of the less skilled people).

I am a little dismayed at the quality of the reading skilling and ability to actually read what is posted here considering the level of education, it does not make me angry, it does scare me a little knowing that others lives depend on those same reading/comprehension skills.

If your reading skills and understanding of what was proposed by the CDC are that lacking, I would consider going to a different ICU if I were in need of medical care.

There is a lot of conflation of ideas. Let’s concentrate on the “weak germ theory denier” or better “a denier of the germ theory in a weakened form”. The flu vaccine is variably successful, depending on the year and the ability to predict the strain that will emerge. Overall the efficiency is estimated to be about 50%. Life style and diet: emerging data strongly indicate the following: optimal immune health requires sufficient sunlight and vitamin D. Certain medications have anti-viral capability such as azithromycin that induces interferon 1, ivermectin which interferes with RNA viral replication (including SARS2, Zikevirus and the flu). Adequate and deep sleep is necessary for the optimal immune response. How much of this is due to melatonin and how much is due to circadian rhythm is not yet clear but these are contributory factors. The old TB sanitoriums were effective in treating TB prior to the advent of NIH and related anti-TB agents. So I don’t see how claiming a healthy life style indicates that the speaker is a “weak germ theory adherent”.

I forgot to mention. These “soft” germ theory deniers almost inevitably invoke Antoine Béchamps, who was Pasteur’s rival and proposed a different theory of disease in which the microbes didn’t cause the disease but rather emerged from the “terrain,” a.k.a. the diseased tissue. Kelly Brogan mentions Béchamps. Bill Maher alluded to it.

Another good indication: If someone repeats the myth of the “deathbed recantation” by Pasteur in which he supposedly admitted that Béchamps was correct and that it was the “terrain, not the microbe,” that person is almost certainly a germ theory denier, often a strong one.

Invermectin requires a lethally-high dose to get the same antiviral results in vivo as seen in vitro. Until that changes it’s a non starter

There is a lot of conflation of ideas. Let’s concentrate on the “weak germ theory denier” or better “a denier of the germ theory in a weakened form”.

I guess you’ve just proved your own assertion.

The reason we don’t have any effective TB drugs is because Big Sanitorium is suppressing them.

From Wikipedia:

After the establishment in the 1880s that the disease was contagious, TB was made a notifiable disease in Britain; there were campaigns to stop spitting in public places, and the infected poor were pressured to enter sanatoria that resembled prisons; the sanatoria for the middle and upper classes offered excellent care and constant medical attention.[93] Whatever the purported benefits of the fresh air and labor in the sanatoria, even under the best conditions, 50% OF THOSE WHO ENTERED WERE DEAD WITHIN FIVE YEARS (1916).[93]

I guess it’s how you define “effective”.

I remember that time. They took the damn ambeer spitoons out of the theatres so that we just spat upon the floor.

There’s a great first hand account of living in a TB sanitorium in the late 1930’s called “The Plague and I” by Betty MacDonald. She’s a very engaging and funny author, but reading it now from a 21st century perspective, the treatments are terrifying. Lots of “pneumothorax”, or collapsing a lung to try and get the immune system to scar over the bacteria and move the TB to a less active state.

The other treatments were mostly “lie completely still and don’t cough” for weeks on end. And plenty of people died, even with all the best intentions of the staff.

Oh yeah, and Betty was in the Pacific Northwest, so there was no sunshine for her! Presumably the air quality out in the woods was better than in downtown Seattle, but it was neither dry nor sunny.

Oh yeah, and even then they didn’t say she was “cured”, they said that she no longer had “active” TB, so she wasn’t in danger of spreading it to others.

Supposedly, the contrast between middle class care for TB and the state sponsored kind was very well known to the public and recounted in the tragedy of Long Day’s Journey into Night – in short, the well to do father, a successful actor, is too cheap to pay for a good sanitarium for his younger son who is then condemned to the poorer establishment which enrages his other son. The story may be inspired by reality in the author’s family near New London CT.

This video is way too deep for scott and pathcoin, but I watched it this morning and found it especially informative.

Professor Shane Crotty, PhD answers a series of COVID 19 vaccine questions including what are the chances of long-term side effects? How safe is RNA vaccine (i.e. Pfizer / BioNTech an Moderna Vaccines) technology? How long does mRNA from a vaccine stay in our cells? What else goes in vaccines? How long does immunity last? Why are T-Cells so important? Why does Pfizer’s vaccine need to stay SO cold?

“squirrel ett” I think that is YOU who are out of their depth.

Those first 5 paragraphs were written and posted by our host Orac, who is a great site host ( that was meant as a complement) and allows me and my friends to post satire, ironic and things that poke fun at many of the people who come to this site in attempt to display their intelligence and humor (or lack there of).

The added touch ” That was from a prominate anti vaxxer.” was satire and obviously went over your head.

And of course you missed the most ironic thing was Dr. Vin Gupta telling us that we still have to wear our masks, lock down, don’t travel et. al. because even if we get the vaccine we can still get the Corona or give someone the Corona. ( I get my Corona with a slice of lime and I don’t give anyone my Corona)

Those first 5 paragraphs were written in May.

“squirrel ett” I think that is YOU who are out of their depth.

As compared with someone who is semiliterate and can’t figure out how to use the “reply” button?

Thanks for posting that! It is a very good all-in-one presentation that should, I think, be quite easy for people with little biology or biochemistry to understand.

Next time I venture to the store I shall purchase an extra treat for my squirrels, in your honor.
I feed my squirrels peanuts in the shell. They like to try to fit two in their mouths so they can take them home. This always leads to considerable juggling so they can get a good grip. I have one squirrel who, after a bit of trial, will put down the peanut in his mouth, pick up another, chew a bit off along the length to reduce the diameter, then put another in his mouth along with the trimmed one. That squirrel got smart brainz.

It’s reassuring that he explains the ‘speed’ comes from solving the things up front that money can solve whereas before, there was hesitancy on the part of investors for a product in early development.

He didn’t answer the question on how the RNA gets put into the “super tiny butter droplets!” Perhaps, it is a trade secret {I’m guessing that they feed the RNA and ‘butter’ to modified civets who’s internal machinery does the packaging and the product is collected as modified civet urine}.

And that it is just RNA, butter droplets, and salt water, “basically”, might be construed as a little misleading as we now know that there is PEG*.

*suspected in the allergic reactions — the media hyping up every incident is not helping to instill confidence. I’ve gone vasovagal on several occasions; usually at the sound of “next, please” so that I expect there will be overinflation/conflation of these events as more people will be nervous about the proceedure.

Makes me wonder if part of the reason some people latch on to that god awful coronavirus/flu vaccine study (which mainly just shows that the flu vaccine works) is because they believe the flu vaccine pollutes the “terrain.” I mean, a big part of it is that they will accept anything that makes vaccines look bad, but as Denice has commented, there is an above average concern with “purity” among antivaxxers, and the terrain theory aligns nicely with it.

But Terrie!
Everything pollutes the terrain!
Bad food, bad water, bad air, bad thoughts, bad actions, bad relationships, bad politics, electronic pollution, microwaves, glyphosate, vaccines, meds
I think that this worldview rests upon mistaken beliefs that the world was cleaner and purer in the past ( 19th Century/ early 20th century**) and so, people were also purer- both physically and morally
Modern day folk can recapture this primal edenic lifesyle by leaving the cities! Becoming farmers and craftspeople! Using barter and trading services! In the old days, you didn’t hire a company ((shudder)) to build a barn, your friends and relatives all pitched in for free They don’t become careerists– men toil on the land! Women care for babies, sew and weave!
Probably links to quasi religious/ magical thinking as well.

Some well known woo-meisters advocate ideas like these to their followers and sell them the products and instruction books they need to begin.

SRSLY: they also believe in homeopathy so a microgram or two of a substance/ poison is immensely powerful!

** historians would differ

Like you said, how can you claim SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t exist when all the science you review PLUS the mRNA vaccines tailored to SARS-COV-2 work so damn flppin’ well.

Any physician who publicly denies germ theory shouldn’t be allowed to be a physician. If you’re that dumb and dangerous, you aren’t safe to let be around patients. I’m sure if Kaufman practices any psychiatry his treatment plans fall well below the standard of care.

I did not know Brogan and Ji were married…I may now have to re-evaluate my crowning of “The Drs. Wolfson” as the most batsh*t crazy of anti-vax couples in America. Thankfully Wolfsons moved to Colorado so they have nothing to do with the AZ anti-vax scene anymore (though I feel sorry for Colorado).

Germ theory denial has gotten a tremendous boost from the Covid-19 pandemic, way more than antivaxery. There’s been an outpouring of books (“The Contagion Myth”, “Virus Mania”, “Covid Operation” etc.) with chiros, naturopaths and assorted conspiracy loons jumping on the bandwagon (also M.D.s including Kaufman and Thomas Cowan, sorry to say).

This site ties it all together. If you visit, prepare for a looong single-page scroll and bring plenty of brain bleach. You will also need degaussing later from the extreme crank magnetism.

I am disappointed by Mr. Lustik’s Etsy page but withholding judgment on his ability to really bring the Cart00ney Brand capitalization.

Now, Andy, did you hear about this one?
Tell me, are you locked in the punch?
Andy, are you goofing on Elvis? Hey, baby
Are we losing touch?

If you believed they put a man on the moon
Man on the moon
If you believed there’s nothing up his sleeve
Then nothing is cool

That this bozo’s name actually is Andrew Kaufmann too is only icing on top. Somehow I don’t think it’s so unlikely that he also believes the moon landings have been faked.

Off topic. I would like to know if people on this blog endorse coercive psychiatric hospitalisation of antivaxxers and covid deniers such as “professeur Jean-Bernard Fourtillan”, pharmacist. Decided by the state, essentially.

I do not endorse this use of psychiatry. Wonder if you people do.

Sue deniers. Jail them. Use medical boards. Abide by due process. Psychiatry should not be used in this way IMO.

Knowing how this kind of process works from the inside, I do not believe that “medical reasons” are words that should be taken at face value. I do not buy it.

No I don’t think that is either useful or necessary. I think there areother more useful ways. Deplatforming anti-vaxxers helps. In Australia anti-vaxxer organisations have had their charity status revoked.

Probably more effective is making the choice to be an anti-vaxxer have consequences that helps protect everyone else. Almost certainly, Australia will institute a vaccination requirement for international travel. The main airline has already stated that proof of vaccination will become a requirement of using their service.

One of the results of the change to the vaccine requirement for schools in California has been an increase in parents getting their children’s vaccinations up to date.

For heavens sake, the man was arrested for running illegal medical trials and referred for psychiatric evaluation! That sounds pretty coercive to we,

@ jrkrideau

“For heavens sake, the man was arrested for running illegal medical trials and referred for psychiatric evaluation! That sounds pretty coercive to we,”

That is not the point. The point is whether or not psychiatry should be used to this end, if indeed used in the context of public policy feuds. The fact that he ran illegal medical trials is not something I’m concerning with here. That’s with the legal system and the medical boards in a decently run State. Psychiatry should be for suffering people or people that really are dangerous to others. I feel sorry for you if you do not get the point of my remark.

@ Dangerous Bacon

“So there’s no evidence Fourtillan is being persecuted for being a Covid-denier and antivax loon. Why he wound up in a psych ward is unclear, but the most logical explanation is that his response to being busted was, um, excessively flamboyant, even for the French.”

Same reply. Deal with it with the legal system. The fact that this happened while in jail may well be medically legitimate, but given what I’ve seen in this system, I see no reason to discard the “fuck the loon who’s putting us in pain” mentality. And I see no reason not to use this option as a baseline.

The judge did rule that the sectioning was illegal, in the end. What I’m worried about is why these kind of things happen in the first place.

I do not give two tugs on a dingo’s dick about Fourtillan. I care about the procedure, and why it’s so easy not to give credibility to the authorities on these kind of matters. If the judge ruled against this sectioning (which he did…) I want explanations from the people who took these decisions.

Being misled by the cognitive biases baked into all our brains by evolution is no crime nor is it the something which can or should be used to excuse someone of responsibility for criminal actions. Nor is it something that can be “treated” by psychiatric medications or neurosurgery. I recall Arthur Koestler musing on such solutions to the quirks of our brain structure in his book The Ghost in the Machine, sort of like how we wear shoes to overcome the deficiencies evolution gave to the structure of our feet. As far as I know though, there is no medication or other therapy that can help keep our brains from falling into, say, the Dunning-Kruger effect or confirmation bias, other than training ourselves to be aware of and try to consciously overcome them. It’s like dunking a 12′ hoop though…

I tend to look askance at late Koestler. I don’t know whether he was a full-on transactionalist à la Watzlawick, Laing, etc., but it seems to the ballpark. On the other hand, I took to The Age of Longing and need to procure Darkness at Noon.

I don’t think I made it through The Roots of Coincidence. I definitely didn’t stick with Bohm’s later epistemontological entry in this ballpark.

Reports say the eminent “professeur” Fourtillan was arrested after well over a year of foot-dragging for running (along with his sidekick and fellow antivaxer Henri Joyeux) unauthorized “in the wild” medical trials of “hormone patches” to treat neurological disorders including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders, depression and psychotic states*.

These patches are said to contain a derivative of melatonin (valentonin) and an obscure biochemical molecule described back in 1961, neither ever validated as having a medical use. The only research alleged to have been performed is evidently unpublished but referred to in patent applications – a patent has been applied for in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Behind all this is a ”non-profit foundation”, the Josefa Fund which supposedly has been assigned the rights to the hormone patches. Who’d get money from sales of the product is unclear, but the whole thing reeks of scam.

So there’s no evidence Fourtillan is being persecuted for being a Covid-denier and antivax loon. Why he wound up in a psych ward is unclear, but the most logical explanation is that his response to being busted was, um, excessively flamboyant, even for the French.

*maybe the hospital should slap a few of these patches on Fourtillan to see if he’ll calm down.

an obscure biochemical molecule described back in 1961

Well, well, well. I wonder whether it’s an MAO inhibitor like its friends and what the hell it was supposed to be doing.

Off topic. I would like to know if people on this blog endorse coercive psychiatric hospitalisation of antivaxxers and covid deniers such as “professeur Jean-Bernard Fourtillan”, pharmacist.

As phrased, of course not. I will go no further except to note that Dr. Steven LaTulippe of Oregon seems to have a French counterpart in Dr. Patrick Bellier.

@ Narad

“As phrased, of course not.”

Thanks, Narad. I’m more concerned with the “as it is phrased” aspect than about the genuine details behind the case. It indeed is more a question of principle for me than it is about defending that man…

F68.10 I don’t know what jails are like in France, but in the US they are no place to put a 70 plus year old person. A psychiatric hospital is much more comfortable. In fact, prisoners have been known to feign illness to get moved. Perhaps, the physician transferred Mr. Fourtillan as an act of mercy.


Then I want to hear the “préfet”, the non-elected official that is the head of the executive branch in his area on this one.

But this is France: you never hear an official explaining a decision. Much less so a decision like this one. We will have access to no document to understand what happened. The only thing we can hear will be Fourtillan one day, when he will not feel threatened, if he wishes to explain what happened. He’ll have the madman stamp on his forehead anyway, so no one will care in the end. Except the antivaxxers…

That’s why I do not accept coercive sectioning on the order of the prefect, the one just under our Monarch Macron (whom I support given the even more autocratic spirit of his contenders) on topics like this.

Everything points towards the fact that Fourtillan did not endorse this sectioning. At a very minimum, nothing points towards the fact that he agreed, except blank official statements like “he has been notified of his rights”. (Yeah right, I’ve heard it too… Bullshit).

And no: if you want to put people in jail, do so. Make them comfortable if necessary or if you feel guilty. Do not use psychiatry to this end. And puh-lease do not bullshit me about comfort in psych wards.

If Fourtillan states he wanted it, and if I see no threats and no complacency of high-profile medical doctors, then I’ll revise my opinion.

What I want is more freedom of expression of skeptics on such matters, such as the FakeMed collective, to know where they stand. For now, the “face of science” in medicine in France, that’s Laurent Alexandre in the popular psyche, a wild transhumanist. The Raoult case and connections of Fourtillan with antivaxx are appalling, and do not speak well of the French climate. But if psychiatry is supposed to be a tool in the fight against people holding deviant medical ideas, I want to… hum!… know it. I’ve already seen way too much of this science-shaming on “poor” people and laymen for their own good, including me, and I really do not like it.

The “everything goes” in the name of the defense of medicine is not something I can endorse. Sorry.

And the fact that the “parquet de Nîmes” – the public prosecutor if you will – has opposed and appealed the decision by the judge to liberate the dude does not point to some considerate perception of these decisions as concern for the dude’s well being.

I’m sorry. Denialism can be two faced.

I don’t know what jails are like in France, but in the US they are no place to put a 70 plus year old person.

You mean The Shawshank Redemption was fanciful?

@ eileenk2

“Perhaps, the physician transferred Mr. Fourtillan as an act of mercy.”

My lawyer has asserted that this hypothesis is inconsistent with the legal items that were actioned by the “préfet”, head of the executive branch in his area.

Why am I not surprised? Oh! I know! Because I’m paranoid. That must be the explanation.

F%&$ spineless doctors who consent on this kind of sht because it suits them. Very very very disappointed by this lack of moral fiber. FakeMed is no better than Laurent Alexandre on this one. No point having the upper scientific hand over cranks when you stoop so low when it comes to morals.

@ eileenk2

“A psychiatric hospital is much more comfortable.”

I’m sure he’s finding solitary confinement to be exceedingly comfortable.

I’m sorry: the more and more I read about it, the more I find the complacency I read on that topic to be horridly unjustified.

Just wished an asteroid would wipe out this entire worthless species known as humans from the face of the Earth. I’ll light a candle praying for a swift and painful gamma ray burst.

F68.10: I’d settle for anti-vax physicians losing their licenses (and publicly called out by physician groups to leave a good internet search trail) as well as expelled from any medical groups they belong to such as AAP (which really should automatically happen when they lose their license, but does not).

If someone is admitted to a psychiatric hospital against their will I’ve always been told it must be because they are an immediate danger to themself and/or others due to a known or suspected psychiatric condition. I would hope those requirement would not be abused.


@ Christopher Hickie

“I would hope those requirement would not be abused.”


As you gathered, I’m not a big fan of the “Hold-Up” disinformentary Fourtillan helped to pull out of his ass. But that’s not the issue that I deem at stake here. I’m more concerned with… ahhh… the “rules of the game”.

Medicamentum Authentica means “authentic medicine” in Latin.

I refuse to bang my head against the table before coffee.

All I remember from 2 years of high school Latin is “Semper ubi sub ubi”, and it’s a misappropriation that the teachers couldn’t stand. But having seen what pant zippers can do when you don’t, it’s valid.

Here’s news:

( Shooting the Messenger Blog, today)
She’s being investigated by the NY Dept of Health because of her Covid denialism and misinformation about her certification.

Now if they’d only go after people who practice medicine without any certification

Denice, if they went after people who: practiced medicine without any certification or practiced law without a law degree and passing the bar or gave tax advise with out a CPA certification or gave opinions of police practices without a state certification of qualification to be a police officer or gave opinions on military operations without having been in the military or gave opinions on firefighting without a certification from the state or gave opinions on gun control without first having owned a gun (I could go on and on, but you get the idea).
There would be no MSNBC, no FOXTV, no CNN, no NBC, no ABC, no CBS, no TWITTER, no FACEBOOK, no BLOGS, their would be very few conversations in bars and resturants (if they were open). Professional sports would have no fans …..

And for those of you who need a written explanination… AKA; Nonards, Baconator, Doritos, Tinny Tim, Squrriel ett

that was


@ scott allen:

You are describing general opinions held in diverse situations whilst I am discussing specific individuals who advise customers with illnesses who seek them out rather than standard medical care- which is disparaged- for often serious conditions: they can range from
vitamin salesmen to nutritionists or healthy living consultants and anti-vax proselytisers or bloggers who prescribe diets, supplements and other treatments for specific conditions that are not supported by research.
It’s all over : Orac writes about them.

It is really hard to argue with someone who has a British accent, I will attempt it ( I’m not arguing I’m just explaining why I am right)

That post was (as most of my post) are an attempt at humor, sarcasim, irony based on a little information.

I know neither of the doctors in question, however, neither of them has a large practice nor large numbers of followers that effect/affect large numbers of people. If their followers want to believe what those two are putting out, so be it.
As one of my college professors said, “you can worship the head of a sardine” AKA; you have the right to be stupid.

As to the other outlets, ABC,NBC,CNN etc. all those pud nuts , politicians, panderers, “experts” can advesrsely effect/affect millions of people (well given their ratings maybe not CNN) with equally misleading, misguided, harmful, expensive and false information.

My sister, lives in a state where the county health director isn’t even a medical doctor (the person has a Ph.D but not in medicine), but has no problem giving out medical advise.

I don’t care if people want to spend their money on, extra uneeded vitamins (just makes expensive pee), stones (who bought “pet rocks”), crystals (who wears diamonds), etc. What ever you do don’t go on Twitter or Facebook and ask about eating “cow patties”. You’re getting all upset over a group of, for lack of a better term, “wack jobs”. I am more concered by who is running the federal reserve or head of the CDC or the Interior Department or NSA etc.

You may think those two doctor are unusal, what ever you do, do not go to Sedona Arizona or study the “Sedona Method” buy crystals (and not the good, diamond kind)

Again, humor, sarcasim, irony.

if they went after people who: practiced medicine without any certification […] or gave opinions of police practices

You are equating giving an opinion as an educated layman with giving a professional opinion while exercising one’s job?

A journalist, pundit or other layman can freely states an opinion on how things are done.
Now, if they diagnose people and tell them to take some pills, that’s a fully different can of worm.
No, telling people to mask or to take a vaccine is not practicing medicine. It’s telling people to follow the recommendations of physicians from health agencies.

Well, that would be great news if NY Office of Professions grew some teeth on this. They need to go after Palevsky, too…he’s gone all anti-covid-19 vaccine.

Kelly Brogan is a bad person for spreading antivax lies. But I don’t blame her for letting her board certification lapse.

Specialty board certifications used to signify that a doctor had finished a residency and passed a national oral and written test. But recently the boards have become a protection racket. Pay up or possibly become unemployable. This is going to worsen the doctor shortage we have now and more care will be delivered by nurse practitioners in the future.

When the boards first changed the rules, they only asked for re-certification every ten years. Then every three years. Now they want money annually. But there’s no evidence that re-cert demands create better doctors.

Private equity owners of Pearson VUE and related for-profit education corps are driving the re-certification demands. Curiously the salaries of specialty board directors are now in the millions. I expect this racket to eventually leverage control over MDs who get uppity and threaten someone’s bottom line.

Dr. Oz and Dr. Vin Gupta are practicing medicine on TV (and getting well paid for their advise) as are other commentators on Law, Military, Police, Fire et al. can be just as damaging as the advise these Doctors (brogan etal.) are giving out.

How many people go to a regular MD and get medical advise, but then are urged to get a second opinion (or a 3rd or 4th) and are given completely different advise with each doctor they visit, should we go after the medical licenses of those 3 doctors because they gave a differnet opinion on a course of treatment. (I a personal note I am a triathlete and a running, I was having issues with my right knee, the first doctor advise “tone down” your running, next specialist prescribed Meloxicam, the 3rd doctor an orthopedist wanted to do surgery (not an option). You know who cured my knee problem, the high school kid at the shoe store where I buy my running shoes, who suggested two things, a shoe insert that would cushion the step and the second was to not run on city streets, she explained that city streets are crowned in the middle to allow water to run to the curb/drain. and that the crown could be as high as 6 inches which ment that my left foot was hitting the ground at a higher point then my right foot and thus my right foot/knee were absorbing more of my weight. My knee problems vanished).

Over the course of history we’ve had many “main stream” medical treatments, which we look back on as laughable, I am sure that over the course of time even our host has change the way he treats his cancer patients with treatment that once were “cutting edge” but are now main stream.
If the treatments these 2 “doctors” fail to produce results they will fade from history and their followers will go onto something else and more main stream doctors. Many products and breakthroughs are made by accident or people willing to take a chance on something different. Your Hershey’s bar is the reason you have a microwave, and a farmer plowing a field is the reason why you have a TV.

But then I think we are disagreeing about angels and pins.

The trouble is, Scott, these two doctors treatments won’t fade away fast enough. All they have to do is lie about how successful they are, pick patients who haven’t got anything seriously wrong with them to then ‘cure’ and, as a last resort, claim that their treatments are being suppressed by ‘them’.

I like your anecdote about your running pains. It’s a perfect example of people showing expertise in narrow fields. The guy at the shoe store has lots of experience, or just happens to have been in the right place at the right time to gain the knowledge you need. The doctors look for an issue inside their own expertise. Technically you would have been helped by reducing your training but it’s not really solving your problem. You now have a perfect anecdote as to why antivaxxers with no training in epidemiology or immunology or any other relevant ‘ology should be ignored. The right person, with the right knowledge solves the problem.

I’m just surprised that nobody referred Scott to a podiatrist — I’ve known a couple of ballet dancers in my life, and pointe work will f*ck up your feet right good. Custom orthotics were the way to go. (I’m going to need some myself, but that’s for a number of things that are chronic, wearing out, or something; I’m away from my medical care for a few months.)

As one of my college professors said, “you can worship the head of a sardine” AKA; you have the right to be stupid.

Well, that’s one thing that you seem to have internalized.

And that was posted by the person who doesn’t know how to conduct a search on this website ( Hint: its at the top of this page) and find, a single or all of the comments made by a poster or didn’t know that Orac had doubts about the speed and quality of “THE” vaccine. With your post “First, that’s not a sentence, and second, you posted “when promising vaccine candidates emerge” today?” Says a lot about your reading comprhension.

It is amazing that someone actually pays you to do research.

“It is amazing that someone actually pays you to do research.”

Perhaps he does ‘research’ on his own dime. He might even be just some gig economy sad sack court clerk doing tort.

“scott is a ********ed tool and should die in a fire.. with his little dog to”, said someone who said something that sounds exactly like something I would say.

That sounds like an actionable legal threat. You should probably hire him to misrepresent you for the defense of you so, like Trump, you’ll come out a ‘whiner’.

mr tim (making fun of “tiny Tim” at this time of year is just wrong) did you just make my case by practicing law without a license?

This is from my post answering Denice Walter.

“….practiced law without a law degree and passing the bar….”

and no that is not an “actionable legal threat”, it is something that is said on a grade school playground.

I believe someone else outted “Nonards” as a researcher.

again Sarcasim, Irony, Make fun of …., Humor.

I think if they had a Humormeter yours would read “zero”.

“(making fun of “tiny Tim” at this time of year is just wrong)”

I’m touched. My friends just call me ‘gimpy’.

Re humormeter readings for scott/Tim – Tim frequently brings on an involuntary smile whereas scott does not.

“Today scientists recognize Koch’s postulates mainly for their historical importance rather than as hard-and-fast rules to demonstrate disease causation.”

Koch’s postulates are alive and well… in plant pathology.

Since word meanings are frequently changed, even inverted, by official dictionaries, Latin provides sanctuary. Since Latin is no longer spoken, it is considered a ‘dead language.’ Thus, its meanings will never be compromised.

Latin is not a dead language. It may no longer be anyone’s first language (I could be wrong; there’s nothing to stop some Latin speakers setting up a community which uses Latin day-to-day and teaches their children Latin ahead of English, Spanish or whatever) but it is still used by the Roman Catholic Church, historians, archaeologists and many other academics, while also still being taught in many secondary schools around the world, not to mention universities. There are even occasional fads for its revival amongst adults, for example as happened in Finland a decade or two ago.

If Latin were a dead language it wouldn’t contain terms such as ‘Tela Totius Terrae’ (note the deliberate alliteration) or ‘Liber Prosopographicus’. If Latin were a dead language our understanding of its use in Classical times would not change if archaeologists or archivists uncovered a previously unknown or unrecognised educational work written to help first-century Roman schoolboys with their grammar.

My level of respect for Kaufman’s capacity for introspective thought is not high.

Thank you!
I know that back in the 90’s there was a Latin radio station (or at least a radio program in Latin) that played on an NPR affiliate out of Vermont. (I know this because my Latin teacher told me so; one of the few things I actually remember from Latin.)

If Latin counts towards the “foreign language” requirement many PhD programs still have, then it’s not nearly as dead as Kaufman seems to think.

And even if it was a dead language it would still be open to interpretation, because it is a language.

In October Virology Down Under published an exhaustive list of studies showing that this coronavirus does, in fact, fulfill Koch’s postulates.

I suspect that link was supposed to point here rather than Vincent Racaniello’s joint.

@ Narad:

I can somewhat surmise what your situation is and hope that you’re doing alright now and that you will come out ahead. Whenever a catastrophe occurs, for months afterwards our memory accentuates and replays that earth shattering event over and over but eventually, that darkness wanes and brighter reminiscences begin to shine through involving the person in better days balancing out the totality. But you knew that already.
I hope this leads to better days for you.

Thanks, Denice. It’s a novel situation for me and has a steep learning curve. Thankfully, the next-door neighbors are helping immensely, and several of the others have called to offer assistance with getting around and so forth — my dad was popular, even though he holed up after my mom died.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the financial stuff (on both sides) that’s a morass. Well, that and hiring a plane to scatter his ashes where he specified, but that’s another story.

@ Narad
I suppose I did miss some post from you about your dad. I feel very sorry for your situation.

Re: “Pasteur recanted”, I’m going to shamelessly repost something I put on another blog:

“Pasteur recanted on his deathbed” (1) is a common trope among alt-meds/anti-vax. The “terrain” fits with their “underlying cause of all illnesses” approach. And denying – or just minimizing – germ theory is a fast way to also deny the seriousness of infectious diseases. You see, it’s not the bug, it’s just all these toxins. Or the lack of vit D (2).

(1) AFAIK, all he said was “I want to pee” (3)

(2) Demonstration further up in the comments.

(3) OK, making this one up. I’m channeling Hervé Bazin.

I still have a hard time understanding how germ theory deniers can wholeheartedly embrace Heinrich Hermann Robert Koch, while simultaneously spitting venom at Louis Pasteur.*

*When Paul Offit passes on (hopefully far in the future), wonder how long it’ll take for antivaxers to start spreading the tale that Offit renounced vaccination on his deathbed.

To be fair we don’t know that’ll happen on his deathbed. He might recant moments before the giant asteroid strikes and all life on Earth (including viruses) is extinguished. At least that’s what the anti-vaxx ETs will tell the hatchlings.

Let me peer into my crystal ball and perceive The Future…**

( NYT***) Covid is mutating in the UK! And the RSA! and Other Places!

That doesn’t mean that the new vaccines will be totally ineffective and that we should shuttle the whole enterprise immediately
But anti-vaxxers will jump on this just like they’re currently harping on allergic rxs and fainting ( as if any of these are new news). Viruses mutate.
-btw- if you get scientific information from RFKjr, Del ,PRN, Natural News, Handley, Age of Autism be forewarned****…

** since we know that anti-vaxxers will jump upon any news about Covid and ramp up fear without much provocation
*** a long article- I won’t go into detail
**** do you study immunology or neurophysiology with Katie Wright?
SRSLY people I know audit free courses in life/natural sciences,IT and art from Harvard, MIT etc

I have founded a group dedicated to rejecting Koch’s postulates and recognizing any prospective infectious disease, as long as the anecdotes are entertaining enough.

It’s called “Koch Zero”.

PM me for membership info and special offers.

There may be a reason anti-vaxxers descend upon Orac..

According to Brandy Zadrozny ( twitter, NBC, MSNBC), they’ve been shut out of network news since Andy’s defrocking and more recently banished from social media like Facebook, YouTube, twitter so they resort to antics like rallies, protests and hanging signs at freeway/ highway overpasses ( like Joshua Coleman does) attempting to garner the attention of local news outlets disseminating Covid denialism and misinformation about vaccines in general..

As their choices in venues narrow, I’ve seen a few of the leaders shepherd followers to sites like MeWe, Gab and other outre facilities ( Larry Cook) OR they create own their own alternatives like Mike Adams’ Brighteon or PRN, which is greatly expanding to include websites with viewer content: citizen journalism. Or they come here..

For example, there’s Parler, a Twitter-style platform named after the French word meaning “to speak.” It caters to users who were fed up with being “censored” by mainstream sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
By infiltrated he’s talking about the COVID-19 pandemic that has scammed the “foolish public” into obeying devastating social restrictions in the name of public health, he wrote.

“Turn off the MSM (mainstream media) and do your research,” he warned others.

In other words, do your research on Parler or other social media sites that encourage free-speech patriots* to share all their far-fetched theories about complex global machinations.

Here’s a newsflash from a member of the mainstream media: This isn’t research. This is regurgitation.

{he’s losing it and that might possibly be bad, bad buttons}

*MyPillow sheets are amazing; They even arrive with the eye holes pre-cut out for ya.

Denice, I think what you claim is happening is a, Conspiracy theory.

First you believed someone who posts on Twitter, and works for MSNBC, NBC, has no medical training and I might add, a leading conspiracy theorist and if you were going to lable her she would be slightly in the group that believes in the magic in crystals etc . Her belief that anti vax poster are leaving facebook, twitter etc. may be true, but they have and the rest of the public been leaving for sometime now, that is why twitter, facebook and google are placing so much emphases on China and the 3rd world, it is the growth market, it why they allow those countries to censor the content (they trade market access for a little censorship) people who have been on facebook etal, for years are realizing that it is just one big marketing tool, places like the dark web and even newer places like the “deep web” and its off springs are the new market for the US. You may be suprised that only about 10% or less of the web, that you can access (like here, news sites etc.) the other 90% of the web is made up of the deep web and as more people become familiar with the deep web, more people are using it.

As for this site, as a liberitarian, I find some of the articles are insightful, some are amusing. Some of the commentators are just “bat crap crazy” (but still funny). If they were on the “other” side you would call them “intolerant””stupid” “anti science” “conspiracy theorist” etal. Those poster lack of even a minimum of research into the subject they are commenting on is, for a science blog, that is appalling. What is history to some of these posters is what is on todays thread and the counterdict what they have posted even three of four days ago.

I attempted to show that in my first post on this topic, when I quoted Orac from just 6 short months ago, I included the comments from that post of Orac’s. I was called a anti vaxxer, science deiner or worse. Even the people who posted the original comments claimed that I had made up what, I claimed they posted. I had to link to the article from Orac’s original post in May, not once but twice, because people claimed I made up the quotes I had pasted into my post.

I do fear that real science is coming to an end and only the science that is approved by a government agency will be conducted.

“In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.”

That was from Eisenhower’s 1961 speech on the “Military industrial Complex”

Ms Zadrozny doesn’t need medical training to survey the internet which is what she has done for years: I doubt that she consults crystals. Facebook and other social media are dropping anti-vax groups and medical misinformation sources: this is not a conspiracy theory IT IS A FACT. If you try to get FB pages for various well-known groups, you are told that they don’t exist or suchlike. True for many of the sites Orac discusses regularly ( Natural News, PRN, Age of Autism, Stop Mandatory Vaccination, the HighWire etc) in addition, owners of these sites gripe about these actions PLUS social media firms themselves announce these actions. Some of the owners direct their followers to adopt the aforementioned sites or peruse their own alternatives which they set up and pay for themselves, rather than free FB.

I’ve watched the evolution of on-line alt med/ anti-vax activities since the early 2000s and can affirm the same. Orac has been writing about it since 2004 ( at least) and his work is archived and accessible. Peter Hotez recently discusses how anti-vax misinfromation spreads from Health Freedom groups as well as by foreign and rightwing domestic interference- especially from Texas To question these multiple reasonable sources is a form of denialism.
Next you’ll be telling me that reasonable sources are all nests of conspiracy theorists..

“Newer” deep web? The term has been around since before 2003, when I encountered it in grad school, and the concept has been around even longer.

In this time of new Covid-19 vaccines being introduced (along with attempts by antivaxers to spread distrust), it’s good to remember Eisenhower’s response in the 1950s to the brand-new polio vaccine.

He respected science and so was strongly for it.

Quote of the day (also from the linked article):

““As a victim of polio myself, I’m a big fan of vaccinations, and if I were a parent who had a child … being subject to getting any particular disease, I would come down on the side of vaccinations”

Sen. Mitch McConnell

@Dangerous Bacon

Oh eww, Bacon, you’ve made me agree with Mitch McConnell, the most evil man in the Senate. Gross, now I need a shower or something.

3 governors claimed that they wouldn’t trust the “Trump” vaccine (Inslee, Newsome, Cuomo) even Orac thought it was rushed. That’s why I copied and pasted his article from May. How is that is now a right wing conspiracy, the first 3 are all democrats. Cuomo has now announce that the vaccine might not be effective against the “new” strain of Covid in England. Orac is a doctor/scientist he understands the nuances of research and the subtle changes in positions. The general public does not understand that, “A person is smart,but people are stupid.” We went to war in Viet Nam, Iraq and countless other places because politicians/news media stampeded them.

We are now going to starve 270 million people to death because of politicians/news media.

we’re going to turn African women in to sex workers for the same reason.

Ask Orac how many fewer cancer patients he is seeing and who are going to die sooner because of it.

As to Ms. Zadrozny please use this internet to visit her on her Facebook page. You may want to look at her articles on the Daily Beast. (Agendas everyone has theirs). You don’t need medical training to survey the internet ……

” is a simple hustle. Someone pays me. I manufacture a story for them and we trade it up the chain – from a tiny blog to Gawker to a website of a local news network to the Huffington Post to the major newspapers to cables news and back again, until the unreal becomes real.”

To Terrie the deep web is a newer term, you are probably misremembering “dark web” which are two distinctly different terms (and places), the term “deep web” did not come into common useage until 2009.

The Russians or Chinese or Iranians just used it to hack the federal government.
The Chinese used it to hack the DOD/State Dept in 2010 and obtained every application for Top Secret Clearence

Use tor/bit/onion and search engine Ahmia a whole new world will open up.

To the Baconator,
“I believe very greatly in the power that can be developed by the humanitarian agencies of this country when they work together in coöperation”

Isn’t that what Trump did, put together a pulbic/private partnership to develop a vaccine in under 10 months and get it approved.

the deep web is a newer term, you are probably misremembering “dark web” which are two distinctly different terms (and places), the term “deep web” did not come into common useage until 2009.

The Russians or Chinese or Iranians just used it to hack the federal government.

Umm… It was a supply side attack through a trusted network management application’s update process with ‘valid’ certificates; not some phishing “click this link to get gud out of super secret usenet.” The organization’s build system was compromised — it didn’t show up in source.

A little worrying is due over that they likely pilfered sensitive power grid infrastructure details which would allow for a more focused attack on key nodes that could result in blacking out the whole nation*. This, of course, would allow Nero-in-right-wing’s-wet-dreams-chief to declare his martial law and give him more time to keep shitting in the oval office trying to find the corner.

He need not call in that favor; All Trump’s dog whistling over election fraud, ‘Bamadamn’s Tubby and Mo Brooks’ call to challenge elector slates, and constant EIB spattering of “illegitimate president” are likely firing up the faithful to such levels of violence that *insurrection scenarios will be able to be acted upon*.

*You just creamed your pants. Did you not?

@Scott. Nope. You’re talking out your ass. In fact, a 30 second search shows the term was coined in 2001. So, yeah, 2003, in the context of commercial databases, unless you’re going to suggest Lexis Nexis or EBSCOHost are part of the dark web. This may come as a shock to you, but sometimes, other people know more than you do.

@ Scott:

If Ms Z makes up everything why do both the people tossed off of social media and social media itself- opponents- say the same thing? That these people are off social media.
Also, never base whatever you purport on one source only- I quoted Ms Z because she nicely summed up what I already know from other sources ( Hotez, Orac) and personal observation over a decade and more
— anti-vax got television MSM coverage such as Oprah Winfrey, Larry King, news stories years ago
— MSM started filtering them out ( after Andy’s striking off) and they retreated to the internet/ social media/ websites
— Social media** is shutting them off/ posting warnings/ not allowing new material/ de-platforming them, exposing them via Wikipedia
they now seek out other means to get attention- protests, signage ( local news) or start their own internet groups

** Facebook, twitter, YouTube, google listing system

You are falling under the same spell as the current followers of virus theory that a snippet of a genome constitutes the entire genome.

“A nucleic acid sequence belonging to a putative pathogen should be present in most cases of an infectious disease.”

This is like saying you’ve found a bone fragment on the ground and claim it’s from Big Foot. You put the bone fragment into a computer modelling system and – poof – a picture of Big Foot appears. There is your proof. Current virology uses computer modelling in the same fashion. They take a free floating nucleic acid sequence, place it into a computer modelling system, and add missing sequences until it matches a genome of a virus that has never been properly isolated, purified or confirmed to be the cause of any disease.

placing a tissue into a cell culture full of antibiotics, bovine or monkey cells and other toxins causes the cell to deteriorate and break apart. This is the corona effect when a cell starts to exude the interior material to the outside due to the toxicity of the surrounding environment. Nucleic acid sequences are then distributed throughout the cell culture but these sequences are just the break down product of our own cells due to the toxins not due to an invading genome (i.e. a virus).

These sequences would be present in all people since we share similar genetic code. Then we use the RT-PCR test kits which are designed to replicate the nucleic acid sequences in the sample. Given enough cycles, the probability of the nucleic acid being present in all humans is 100%. Each PCR test kit is designed to react to the presence of a specific sequence (not the genome) which means every person in the world would be positive if you ran enough cycles.

There is just too much money and vested interests to acknowledge this fact until it is no longer profitable – which will only happen when people decide to not get vaccinated or tested.

Most likely this comment will not be approved or you will attack my background or try to impeach my knowledge base instead of the science itself but I’ve come to accept this from those who blindly follow the current narrative.

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