Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

Did the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine cause Dr. Gregory Michael’s fatal ITP?

Recently, a post by Heidi Neckelmann, the wife of Miami obstetrician Dr. Gregory Michael describing his death from idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) 16 days after being vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine went viral. Unsurprisingly, in her grief she blamed the vaccine for her husband’s death from a rare autoimmune condition that destroys platelets and causes bleeding. Unfortunately, Dr. Michael’s tragic death underlines the difficulty distinguishing coincidence from causation when evaluating adverse events after vaccination.

Three weeks ago, I wrote about how the roll out of COVID-19 vaccines under the FDA’s emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna RNA-based vaccines would very likely result in a tsunami of confusion of correlation with causation to blame the vaccines on all manner of seeming “adverse events,” whether the adverse events were caused by the vaccine or not. I used the specific examples of syncope and Bell’s palsy, the former of which is a common reaction to needlesticks of many kinds (including all vaccinations) and the latter of which was almost certainly not related to vaccination against COVID-19, also explaining how the law of large numbers will mean that there will certainly be a lot of health issues manifesting themselves sometime soon after vaccination just by coincidence alone, up to and including death. (The same principle applies to claims that vaccines cause autism.) Elsewhere, I predicted:

The point is that there will be all sorts of scary stories about COVID-19 vaccines in the coming weeks and months, and a lot of people will have reactions similar to mine. Again, most symptoms other than the sort that I experienced will turn out not to be due to the vaccine. I also have another prediction. There will be people who get COVID-19 right after having the vaccine, and antivaxxers will claim that the vaccine caused it, just as they sometimes claim that the flu vaccine causes the flu. There will also be people who happen to die within a month of getting the vaccine, particularly when the vaccine rolls out to elderly general population, due to the simple law of large numbers and the fact that on any given month far more elderly people die than young people. Look for antivaxxers to spin these coincidences as “definite proof” that the COVID-19 vaccine kills, just the way they’ve done for vaccines and sudden infant death syndrome (which is not caused by vaccines) and for the HPV vaccine and deaths of teenaged girls.

Dr. Vincent Iannelli agrees.

The first such story has started circulating in the antivaccine nooks and crannies of social media, the tragic and strange case of Miami OB/GYN Dr. Gregory Michael, who died of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purport (ITP, also known as immune thrombocytopenic purport) but it’s also being flogged by the usual British tabloids. Worse, even The New York Times is not exactly being totally responsible reporting this story, as last week it included this quote:

Dr. Jerry L. Spivak, an expert on blood disorders at Johns Hopkins University, who was not involved in Dr. Michael’s care, said that based on Ms. Neckelmann’s description, “I think it is a medical certainty that the vaccine was related.” “This is going to be very rare,” said Dr. Spivak, an emeritus professor of medicine. But he added, “It happened and it could happen again.”

Predictably, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s antivaccine group Children’s Health Defense, was all over it in an article entitled, “Johns Hopkins Scientist: ‘A Medical Certainty’ Pfizer Vaccine Caused Death of Florida Doctor“. They even used it to make this deceptive claim:

Redwood also pointed out that ITP has been reported to occur following exposure to drugs containing polyethylene glycol (PEG), a compound used in both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

If you go to the actual study cited by antivaxxer Lynn Redwood, you’ll find that the drug was peg-interferon-alpha2a, in concert with ribavirin and telaprevir antiviral treatment and that Redwood failed to mention that ITP is a known issue with interferon treatment, with the PEG likely having nothing to do with the case of ITP reported.

My compulsion to mention even the little deceptions of antivaxxers aside, let me just say that I think it was highly irresponsible of Dr. Spivak to hand antivaxxers a veritable gift like a quote by him expressing such certainty. The antivax underground is running with it and likely will continue to do so.

Now let’s discuss the story, which is not a “medical certainty” that the vaccine caused Dr. Michael’s fatal case of ITP, although we certainly have to take it seriously as a possibility given the timeline. His sad story is a useful jumping off point for emphasizing once again how difficult it can be to a true correlation between an adverse event and vaccination and to rule out coincidence, which is more common than most people understand when very large numbers are involved.

Dr. Gregory Michael, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, and ITP: What happened?

The story of Dr. Michael’s death is the first story of a death after vaccination against COVID-19 that sounds somewhat plausible on the surface and allows me to revisit this issue because, unlike the cases of people who are, for example, hit by a car within two weeks of vaccination, we can’t just dismiss his case of ITP a priori:

A Florida doctor has died several weeks after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, although it’s not yet clear whether his death Monday was related to the shot he received on Dec. 18. Dr. Gregory Michael, 56, an OB-GYN at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, died after suffering a hemorrhagic stroke apparently resulting from a lack of platelets. Miami medical examiners are investigating his death, the Florida Department of Health said in a statement. “The CDC and FDA are responsible for reviewing COVID-19 vaccine safety data and presenting that information for federal recommendations on vaccine administration,” communications director Jason Mahon said in an email. “The state will continue to provide all available information to the CDC as they lead this investigation.”

The USA TODAY story cited above was actually fairly cautious in its telling of the story of Dr. Michael’s tragic death due to idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), also known as immune thrombocytopenic purpura. ITP is a condition in which there is an immune reaction against platelets, which are responsible for clotting, leading to a decrease in their number to the point where bleeding can occur. Most often that bleeding takes the form of “petechiae”, or tiny bruise-like markings on the skin, but in rare cases ITP can lead to dangerously low numbers of platelets, levels at which the risk of spontaneous bleeding in the brain and other organs becomes very high. It’s called “idiopathic” because its causes are unknown or not well understood. (As I like to say, “idiopathic” basically means “we don’t know the cause.”)

The story further noted that ITP is rare and that in extremely rare cases, the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has been linked to thrombocytopenia in children, according to a 2003 study. The story also noted that ITP “can also be caused by cancer, anemia, heavy drinking, viruses, some genetic conditions, toxic chemicals and medications such as diuretics and the rarely used antibiotic chloramphenicol”. (More on the general risk of ITP after vaccination later.)

Unfortunately, pouring gasoline on the flame was, in her understandable grief, Dr. Michael’s wife Heidi Neckelmann, who wrote a Facebook post that rapidly went viral, particularly in antivaccine circles:

It’s impossible not to feel enormous sympathy and empathy Ms. Neckelmann. I can only try to imagine what she is going through now, particularly given that her husband was within a couple of years of my age. Stories like this always make me wonder how I’d react to the unexpected and rather rapid death of my wife. Be that as it may, Ms. Neckelman’s post led to sensationalistic headlines, like this one from (who else?) The Daily Mail:

Daily Fail ITP headline


Heidi Neckelmann says obstetrician Gregory Michael, 56 – her ‘best friend’ and partner of 28 years – was active, healthy and had no pre-existing conditions before getting the jab on December 18. However he died from a stroke Sunday morning after suddenly developing a rare autoimmune illness that causes the body to destroy its own platelets, the tiny fragments that help blood to clot. Distraught Heidi, 58, thinks the groundbreaking Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine may have somehow been the trigger. ‘In my mind his death was 100 percent linked to the vaccine. There is no other explanation,’ she told, fighting back tears. ‘He was in very good health. He didn’t smoke, he drank alcohol once in a while but only socially. He worked out, we had kayaks, he was a deep sea fisherman. ‘They tested him for everything you can imagine afterwards, even cancer, and there was absolutely nothing else wrong with him.’ Pfizer told Wednesday that it was aware of Dr. Michael’s ‘highly unusual’ death and was investigating further. However a spokesman cautioned: ‘We don’t believe at this time that there is any direct connection to the vaccine.’

The Daily Mail story, as sensationalistic as it is, does provide us with more information that Ms. Neckelmann’s Facebook post:

Dad-of-one Gregory suffered no immediate reaction to the injection but three days later he was taking a shower and noticed petechiae – spots of red that indicate bleeding beneath the skin – on his feet and hands. When he checked himself into Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, the hospital where he works and had the groundbreaking vaccine, medics discovered he was suffering from an acute lack of platelets. ‘All the blood results came back normal except for the platelets which came back as zero,’ Heidi said. ‘At first they thought it must be a mistake. So they did the test again and this time did a manual count which is supposed to be more accurate. This time it showed just one platelet. ‘He felt 100 percent, he was normal, energetic, happy. But they said you cannot go home, this is incredibly dangerous, you could suffer a brain bleed and die.’

Ultimately, Dr. Michael was diagnosed with ITP, and here’s what ultimately happened:

After two weeks of infusions and experimental treatments that failed to raise Gregory’s platelet count, doctors decided they had no choice. However he died from a hemorrhagic stroke – when blood from an artery bleeds into the brain – before he could undergo the surgery. ‘They gave him medicine. They gave him an incredible amount of platelet infusions, I’m told all the platelets in Miami Dade County,’ Heidi said. ‘But no matter what they did, nothing helped. The blood tests came back with zero platelets every time.

What the story means by “had no choice” was the surgical treatment of ITP, namely splenectomy, or removal of the spleen. Surgeons were understandably reluctant to operate on a patient whose platelet count was so low as to be almost undetectable, given the extreme risk of bleeding. Dr. Michael apparently died before he could be operated on, as risky as surgery would be.

ITP: Causes and treatment

As I mentioned above, ITP is an autoimmune condition that results in platelet destruction in the spleen. Again, as I said before, “idiopathic” means basically “we don’t know what causes it.” There are also two forms of ITP, acute and chronic, with the acute form occurring mainly in children and the chronic form occurring in adults:

Acute ITP generally lasts less than 6 months. It mainly occurs in children—both boys and girls—and is the most common type of ITP. Acute ITP often occurs after a viral infection. Chronic ITP lasts 6 months or longer and mostly affects adults. However, some teenagers and children do get this type of ITP. Chronic ITP affects women two to three times more often than men. Treatment depends on the severity of bleeding and the platelet count. In mild cases, treatment may not be needed.

Another aspect of ITP is that it is usually not life-threatening. Acute ITP is often self-limited, and it’s rare for ITP in adults to be so resistant to treatment as Dr. Michael’s case:

For most children and adults, ITP isn’t a serious or life-threatening condition. Acute ITP in children often goes away on its own within a few weeks or months and doesn’t return. In 80 percent of children who have ITP, the platelet count returns to normal within 6 to 12 months. Treatment may not be needed. For a small number of children, ITP doesn’t go away on its own and may require further medical or surgical treatment. Chronic ITP varies from person to person and can last for many years. Even people who have severe forms of chronic ITP can live for decades. Most people who have chronic ITP can stop treatment at some point and maintain a safe platelet count.

The most common symptoms of ITP include, of course, the petechiae and purpura mentioned before (small lesions on the skin due to bleeding under the skin), plus any or all of the following:

  • bruising easily
  • spontaneous nosebleeds
  • bleeding from the gums (for example, during dental work)
  • blood in the urine
  • blood in the stool
  • abnormally heavy menstruation
  • prolonged bleeding from cuts
  • profuse bleeding during surgery

There are a number of conditions that have been associated with the development of ITP:

  • Viral infections (including chickenpox, parvovirus, hepatitis C, Epstein-Barr, and HIV)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Drug-induced immune thrombocytopenia
  • Sepsis, a severe bacterial infection in your blood
  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), a bacteria that can live in your digestive system

Also, medications can increase the risk of ITP:

  • Certain drugs for heart problems, seizures, and infections
  • Heparin, a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots

The treatments for ITP depend upon the type and severity. As mentioned above, sometimes ITP doesn’t even require treatment and can be managed expectantly by checking platelet counts regularly to make sure the patient’s platelet count is not declining or are even increasing back towards normal. Unsurprisingly, the first line of treatment, however, is corticosteroids, ranging from oral prednisone in less severe cases to intravenous dexamethasone or methylprednisolone in more severe cases in which the platelet count is so low as to risk bleeding.

In case of emergency, platelet transfusions are used, but this is usually not the first choice because the new platelets are usually chewed up by the autoimmune response just as fast as the patient’s own platelets. Thus, platelet infusions are generally not used except in emergencies when bleeding is occurring or platelet counts are as low as Dr. Michael’s were. Either way, platelet transfusions are not a long-term treatment for ITP, as they can only temporarily increase the number of functional platelets.

There are also other drugs that can be used, non-steroid immunosuppressants such as mycophenolate mofetil and azathioprine, or even the chemotherapy agent vincristine. Intravenous immunoglobulin can also sometimes be effective at decreasing the rate at which macrophages (an immune cell) destroy antibody-tagged platelets. Like platelet transfusions, though, intravenous immunoglobulin usually only transiently increases platelet counts and is usually only used in cases where steroids don’t work and bleeding is either occurring or feared to be imminent. In cases of refractory ITP, thrombopoietin receptor agonists (drugs that stimulate the receptor) can stimulate the bone marrow to make more platelets. Another treatment includes rituximab (Rituxan), a monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20, which is found on the surface of B-cells. When rituximab binds to CD20, it causes B-cell death and is used against blood cancers and autoimmune diseases.

Finally, there’s surgery. Every general surgeon knows about ITP, because it is general surgeons who are called upon to do a splenectomy in patients whose ITP is refractory to other treatments. The reason that splenectomy works is because platelets with antibodies bound to them are taken up by macrophages in the spleen. Splenectomy can result in durable remission of ITP in up to 80% of patients, but, again, it’s generally risky because of the elevated risk of bleeding in the sorts of patients for whom the operation is generally reserved, namely those with refractory severe ITP.

It’s also important to note again that severe bleeding due to ITP of the sort suffered by Dr. Michael is rare.

Does vaccination against COVID-19 cause ITP?

The study cited in the USA TODAY story estimated the attributable risk of developing ITP after MMR vaccination to be 1 in 25,000 vaccinations, which strikes me as rather high. After all, a risk of ITP that high should produce a much more noticeable incidence of ITP. Be that as it may, another later study noted that bleeding episodes were uncommon among these patients, that the ITP associated with MMR disappeared within a month in 74% patients and only persisted beyond 6 months in only 10%. And, again, this was observed in children, not adults.

Dr. Iannelli notes that ITP is rare and that there is only one vaccine for which there is a documented association, the MMR vaccine. True, ITP is listed on the Gardasil package insert as a possible adverse reaction, but, as Dr. Iannelli goes on to explain further, later studies have shown no association, and the risk of getting ITP after an actual measles infection is considerably higher than the risk of ITP after the MMR vaccine, thus leading him to point out that “worry about ITP is a not a good reason to skip or delay getting vaccinated”.

This brings us, after this long detour into the weeds of what ITP is, what can trigger it, and how it’s treated, back to the question of COVID-19 vaccination and ITP, the question at the heart of the sad story of Dr. Michael’s sudden development of ITP refractory to treatment that claimed his life within two weeks of diagnosis. Dr. Iannelli further notes that the annual incidence rate of ITP is estimated to be 3.3 per 100,000 adults/year. Given that there are over 200 million adults in the US, this would lead to an estimate of around 16 adults per day being diagnosed with ITP. That means that, in any given three day period (chosen because Dr. Michael’s wife reported that her husband’s symptoms began three days after he was vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine), one would expect approximately 48 adults to be diagnosed with ITP. As the COVID-19 vaccines roll out, it’s going to become more and more likely that these people will receive their diagnosis within a couple of weeks of having been vaccinated against COVID-19. It’s thus probably more likely than not that Dr. Michael’s diagnosis so soon after vaccination is a coincidence.

It must, however, be acknowledged that it is possible that COVID-19 vaccination might have caused Dr. Michael’s severe ITP. The problem then becomes determining whether his tragic outcome was a coincidence or due to the vaccine. Unfortunately, Dr. Michael’s case is, at present, a single anecdote, making it impossible to demonstrate causation. Certainly, the clinical trials for neither the Pfizer/BioNTech nor the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines detected any signal for ITP in the form of bleeding, low platelet counts, or the like within two months of vaccination. Indeed, one of the deaths in the placebo group for the Pfizer vaccine was due to a hemorrhagic stroke. Given that there were approximately 44,000 subjects in the Pfizer/BioNTech trial with not a single patient showing signs if ITP, we can reasonably conclude that, even if the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine increases the risk of ITP or causes ITP, the risk must be very, very low.

What might lead scientists to think that there is an actual association between vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine and ITP? Again, Dr. Iannelli suggests one possible metric for judging whether ITP really is associated with this vaccine:

But how can you know for sure? Experts will look for safety signals and will make sure that the incidence of ITP and other conditions doesn’t rise above historical rates. For example, if all of a sudden we notice that the incidence of ITP rises to 6 or 9 per 100,000 adults/year after getting a vaccine, then that would be a signal that there could be a problem. A few media reports likely aren’t though.

Given how low the annual incidence of ITP is at baseline taken in context with the fact that there will be tens of millions of adults vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine this year, we would expect to see a significant increase in the annual incidence of ITP if this vaccine did actually increase the risk of ITP. For more on how, when studying adverse events after vaccination, scientists differentiate coincidence from actual association that might be causal, here’s a good primer.

But what if there really is an association between the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID vaccine and ITP? Even in the case that there is such an association, we know that, for the phase 3 clinical trial to have missed it, the incidence of post-COVID vaccination ITP must be very, very low. That would imply that, even if there is such an association, it is far safer to get the vaccine than it is to take the risk of catching COVID-19 – and, again, this is just one story. We do not know if Dr. Michael’s case, as tragic as it is, even indicates potential causation. Again, you can’t tell that from just one case, however dramatic and tragic. It is, however, not implausible that ITP might occur after vaccination against COVID-19 given that a recent review of the literature found 45 cases of new onset ITP after COVID-19 infection. Three turned out to be exacerbations of preexisting ITP and were excluded, but the review also reported one fatality due to intracranial hemorrhage, the same complication that took Dr. Michael’s life. It was also noted that severe bleeding due to ITP after COVID-19 infection was rare and that diagnosing ITP in the setting of COVID-19 infection is challenging due to the common incidence of clotting disorders and diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC), which can also cause platelet depletion. Clearly more study is needed, and one anecdote isn’t enough to draw any conclusions.

It’s also entirely understandable that Heidi Neckelmann would believe that it was the COVID-19 vaccine that killed her husband. Humans are, as I like to say, pattern-seeking creatures. It’s hard-wired into us to search for causes whenever something horrible happens, and we usually find one, whether it is the true cause or not. As bad as I feel for her, I just wish that Ms. Neckelmann hadn’t in her grief leapt to the conclusion that it was definitely the COVID-19 vaccine that had caused her husband’s death from ITP and trumpeted his story as a warning to the world, so that his death wouldn’t be “in vain.” Her Facebook post handed the antivaccine movement and COVID-19 cranks a powerful propaganda weapon. Again, I think I understand why she did it, but really wish she hadn’t. Her post is already doing damage to efforts to persuade people to accept COVID-19 vaccines, as antivaccine groups gleefully spread this story far and wide.

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]

244 replies on “Did the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine cause Dr. Gregory Michael’s fatal ITP?”

You can tell how vile and self-serving the Daily Mail is when it touts its story as ‘EXCLUSIVE’ and litters the story with phrases like ‘ can reveal’ when initially all it has done is read and blindly repeat a tweet.

“The World Health Organization chief on Monday lambasted drugmakers’ profits and vaccine inequalities, saying it’s “not right” that younger, healthier adults in wealthy countries get vaccinated against COVID-19 before older people or health care workers in poorer countries. Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that most vaccine makers have targeted locations where “profits are highest.”

And I was told that the drug companies don’t make a big profit off of vaccines and I thought the US government and the “warp speed” project paid for the research, why are the drug companies making the profit, shouldn’t the government get reimbursed for the investment ?

There is a difference between profit and big profit. Of course drug companies make profit from vaccines. There is not only rechearch costs, but also fabrication costs.
Governments have to think about their own countries, because they are chosen by the people in their countries, so I can understand they care for their own people first.

Pfizzer makes the vaccine for 15 dollars for the two shots (that includes R & D, distribution etc.) They sell the two shot vaccine for 39 dollars. So in real terms they don’t make huge profits if they only sold 50 or 100 million. But the WHO purchased 2 BILLION doses at the 39 dollar price point, Some western countries are paying up to a 50% premium over the 39 dollars to be first in line. So 50 to 70 billion dollars profit, plus all the good PR and that’s just Pfizzer’s part.

@ scott allen

How much would you give Pfizer to bring the WHOLE ECONOMY approximately back to normal?

Feels so good to be JAQing off !


they are giving 2.27 million doses of the covid vaccine per day, world wide. That works out to about 900 million doses in a year, (but it takes 2 doses to complete the vaccination) so that means only 450 million people will have immunity in the first year.

Fauci claims that we will have to get to 80% to get to herd immunity. Given that there are about 7.5 BILLION people in the world, that means that they would have to give the vaccine to about 5.6 BILLION people before we get to herd immunity.

So we might get to immunity in 10 to 15 years, even if we were to double the number of doses (produced in a year) we are talking, 5 to 7 years or even triple the doses, 2 to 3 years. That’s provided that nothing goes wrong or the vaccine doesn’t need a booster every couple of years or the vaccine doesn’t work on the new strain.

I am just adding the numbers

@ scott allen

You haven’t answered the question. What is your pricing for a world recovery? Give a number.

Then we’ll check if it’s reasonable, and also check if your number adding reaches that number.

I am just adding the numbers

No, you’re making a really stupid extrapolation based on the presumption of a static world.

”And I was told that the drug companies don’t make a big profit off of vaccines and I thought the US government and the “warp speed” project paid for the research”

You were ”told” wrong.

First of all, while vaccines can be very profitable, there are much greater profits to be made from antibiotics and other drugs and treatments for people sickened by infectious diseases. Antivaxers refuse to acknowledge this basic fact.

Secondly, Operation Warp Speed did not finance research, at least in the case of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Support funding for facilities came from the German government; the U.S. committed to buying millions of vaccine doses.

In the U.S., the vaccines are free. I agree it might have made sense to require part of the profit of the main beneficiaries from the government money, but our administration does not seem to have done so, or limit their global freedom.

But the lack of equity is a really big issue. I would point out that one problem is that most developed countries won’t have the infrastructure for these specific vaccines, that require very strong cold storage.

Dr. Peter Hotez started his vaccine development with a focus on developing a vaccine that would be targeted at low income countries, resilient, easy to transport and store, and cheap. If you want to help that problem, you can look at how to donate to his effort. I did, though I suspect little private donations aren’t going to be enough, but at least it’s something tangible we can do.

The vaccines are not free in the US, the project “warp speed” is paying about 2 billion for 100 million doses, when the contract was signed which allowed Pfizer to go ahead with the R & D from money from the German government. The US got a cut rate on the vaccines, but if the vaccine failed the test, the US wouldn’t been out any money., and Germany would be on the hook for failed R & D
As Dr. Baconator pointed out the German government funded the up front cost so they share in the profit.

But you are correct this vaccine is a rich countries vaccine as in much of this covid thing, the people who are going to die (aka: de-platformed) are going to be the 3rd world poor, who are going to die from starvation etc. from the developed worlds over reaction or fear of this virus.

I was posting about our/the west”s reaction to this virus in May on this blog, I have been criticized, to say the least, when I posted this in November you would have thought was calling for insurrection. I have been to 3rd world countries where people live day to day and if the truck is a day late, 2-3 people die from starvation/malnutrition.

In the west I posted research that showed that unemployment is worse than any pandemic but that it won’t show up like a pandemic. I got over 10 replies that were filled with venom that a cobra would envy.

Go stuff it , Doritos.

ITP was and is an expected side-effect of the vaccine, it is in the insert.

And labeling me an Antivaxxer because I say vaccines can be made safer is juvenile behavior.

Afterall, if I was an “antivaxxer” I would not take any vaccines, and I do take vaccines.

Gee, I do not take all the medications my doctors want to prescribe… so by your logic you should say I must be “anti-medicine”.

I am proud to use my brain and not be a Loyal Lemming like you. It makes careful thought and discrimation, and deciding if the side-effects make taking a medicine or vaccine worth the possible outcomes makes me intelligent. While you? Yosr stance that all vaccines are fine as they are, is something else all together.

In fact, you remind me of the trumpers who believed all his BS. They lacked the ability to hear the conman spouting lies and falsehoods in his words, and got sucked into his fantasy, and now lots of them it in jail , saying “But trump told us to stop Congress.”. They never engaged their brains.

There is not a product made by man that can not be improved upon. It is people like you who hold back finding better ways to make vaccines safer and less harmful.

COVID-19 vaccines don’t have an actual insert yet, making your attempt to misrepresent inserts even less convincing than usual. You’re also responding to the wrong thread.

I describe you as antivaccine because you use misinformation to try and scare people off vaccines.

As here. You have no real basis to assume COVID-19 vaccines will cause ITP. You just want to believe they’re bad.

And labeling me an Antivaxxer because I say vaccines can be made safer is juvenile behavior.

Aelxa, we label you an antivaxxer because in multiple comments on this blog, you have downplayed the risks of vaccine-preventable diseases and exaggerated the risks from vaccines.
If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s most likely a duck.


Pfizer was expecting ITP to be one of the possible side-effects..that is all the proof I need after someone comes down with ITP after the vaccination.

They were looking for this to happen.

And I never said it would be a common side-effect. I clearly stated it was a VERY, VERY, VERY …..RARE!!!!!! HAPPENING!!!!

You people are so dense. I would be highly surprised if more than 0.001 out of a million people had this side-effect.

And if someone is scared off from a vaccine because of a 0.001 out of a million chance…..that person better stay safe in a bunker because they are too paranoid to live.

As for inserts……did I write it was a paper insert? No.

The insert information is on-line and you can check it out at the CDC and other sites. Anyone can get this information on-line and there are updates all the time, as they get more information from day-to day.

Perhaps you call the insert something else, than an insert. For me it is just the paper that comes with the medication which outlines everything from all the ingredients, to the study results and possible side-effects, etc.

It ain’t the PDR but it is fairly informative.

A. Again, there is no insert. You are welcome to link to whatever online source shows what you are referring to.

B. Where did you see that Pfizer was expecting this? And note that you have just stated that you do not need evidence for a link, you are just assuming one based on a temporal connection. Attributing harms to vaccines without evidence is classic antivaccine. Note that the post, amd commenters, are acknowledging that eventually we might see a link. But they are pointing that we need evidence.

C. Thank you for admitting that if there will be a link, it will likely be rare. Note that there is currently not only no basis for a link, there’s no basis fir a number. On both counts, we actually do need evidence.
You have pulled back before when antivaccine positions have been pointed out. And then you come back and again make statements, like the one you started with, attributing to vaccines risks with no evidence, to scare people. If you don’t want to be considered antivaccine, don’t behave in ways that are.

It’s highly improbable that he would develop ITP within 3 days. The general timeline for developing ITP post-infection seems to be about 1-3 weeks. Post-MMR ITP is about the same. Immunity from vaccines also takes a few weeks. So for the vaccine to be the cause of this, his immune system would have to react faster than anyone else’s.


Type 1,2, & 3 allergic reactions are seen within a 24 hour period.

Type 4 allergic reactions take a MINIMUM of 24 hours …..with 48 to 72 hours being typical.

This vaccine causes a higher rate of allergic reactions than any other vaccine ever has produced before.

ITP can be caused by an allergic response.

Figure it out, it is not hard especially as ITP was an expected possible side-effect of the vaccine.

Do not confuse the ITP in children that is caused by a virus and take a long period to surface, with the ITP caused by an allergic reaction.

They are two different things.

Loss of blood platelets is an allergic response? Seriously. Now the inevitable “citation needed.” Make sure it is a PubMed indexed study by reputable qualified researchers.

Low platelets is a long, long way from zero platelets. Now, which is it, massive clotting that depletes platelets to zero (magically without showing any symptoms of such clotting) or an allergic reaction that attacks platelets on a scale not previously seen? Because your claims are all over the place, and all in the realm of “possible, not probable.” I’ve heard of hearing hoofbeats and thinking zebras, but you seem to be thinking Przewalski’s horse.

Low platelets is a long, long way from zero platelets.

But it’s a conference abstract, so it carries extra weight. All the same, I get the strong impression that Aelxa didn’t even understand the second paragraph.

I’ve had a Type 4 response come on in less than 24 hours. But maybe my immune system was extra-primed to respond to that antigen.

As of today (January 19, 2021), Israel has inoculated 2,185,289 people with one dose, and 423,123 of them have received the second dose. If ITP was caused by the vaccine (especially if there is a normal incidence of 3.3/100,000/year), then Israel should be seeing a dramatic increase in ITP levels. And because everyone is in one of four HMOs, the signal wouldn’t be hidden like it might be in the fragmented US system. But Israel, as of now, has not reported any associated side effects of the vaccines.

As a heavy drinker, does that risk stack? I mean, if it is a (however small) risk, should I lay off a couple days before getting it and sometime thereafter? I’ve a friend that was a heavy drinker back in the day. They put him in jail and cold-turkeyed him; his blood jellied up and he had his first heart attack under the age of 33.

This is stupid.

Thrombocytopenia is a common symptom of COVID-19, and ITS is listed as a possible side-effect of the Pfizer vaccine and was one they were expecting to occur during trials.

Since the vaccine trials are basically still going on, due to fast-tracking of the vaccines at “Warp Speed”, this is making everyone who gets the vaccine one of the guinea pigs.

It is not surprising that a case of ITP from the vaccine occurred.It is an extremely very, very, very rare side-effect that will happen, as it was expected to happen. The disease causes blood clots, did you think the vaccine never would?

Really?????? That you make it a big deal and start raving about Antivaxxers is hilarious.

You remind me of all those people who say “only 6 people died of COVID-19, because the CDC only found six people who did not have any morbidities. Everyone else just died of diseases they already had, not COVID.”

COVID-19 causes blood clotting….so expect some people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine to develop and die of blood clotting, and get an ITP diagnosis. It is just going to be very, very rare side-effect… was expected in the vaccine insert.

Not everything the disease causes is also a vaccine side-effect. To give two examples, IPV does not cause paralysis, and measles vaccine does not cause SSPE.

The article explained why there is cause to doubt that this is from the vaccine, and at the least, confidently asserting it’s from the vaccine is without basis. I recommend reading it carefully. At any rate, it is being investigated – and if there will be a link, and we don’t know yet, the indication is that it will be extremely rare.

For new readers: this person is a long standing anti-vaccine commenter.

Wrong, Dorit.

According to the American Association of Pediatricians. …….

Let me quote it for you……

“…, the risk of SSPE following measles vaccination (0.5 to 1.1 10/6) appears to be less than the risk following measles (5.2 to 9.7 cases/10 6).”

Why don’ t you check before you claim anything.

The measles vaccine does cause SSPE, it may be at a lower rate that from getting the Measles…but the Measles vaccine DOES Cause SSPE.

And using the live polio vaccine, or OPV, does cause paralysis in people who get it…….

I never said the dead polio vaccine, ie IPV , caused paralysis.

I love how you misquote and claim things that I never wrote.

Go stuff it.

A. No. While it used to be thought the vaccine caused SSPE, since we have genome testing, it’s always wild virus, never the vaccine virus. That’s why experts don’t see the vaccine as causing it.

B. You tried to argue that the fact that the actual disease causes ITP means that the mRNA vaccine, which has no live virus, does. I gave you two example why that jump is without foundation. You didn’t have to say anything about IPV for that example to show you wrong.


Did you read that article and then the articles they footnoted to prove only “wild type” measles was found in people with SSPE?


Well guess what, in one study of only a total of 11 people with SSPE…..only 5 of them had “wild type” measles found in them. The other SIX did not, but they did not identify what organisms they had if any. However, since they found 7 were alive during the 1989-1991 measles period……

That is only FIVE out of 11 had residual “wild-type” measles found in their bodies via gene typing.

Another study of found HSV1&2, CMV, and a slew of other viruses in people with SSPE…….but ZERO measles virus…..

To extrapolate from these two studies that the measles vaccine does not cause SSPE, but the “wild type” measles does……is plain stupid.

And from these “gene” studies the article you linked to claims “wild-type” measles is at fault. Completely faulty extrapolation.

Most SSPE has absolutely no relationship to “wild-type” measles at all. Instead Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Herpes Simple Virus type 1 are what is found.

In fact, the SSPE cases were in kids had been vaccinated, but they ASSUME had exposure to the “wildtype” of measles at one point in the one study. Yet 6 out of 11 cases had no “wild-type” measles in them. What a gem of a paper. Not.

What I might say about this is we all know the measles vaccine is so badly made that after the problems of kids who are vaccinated getting the measles, the government has been think of recommending boosters beyond the two initial vaccinations as the protection fades.

And the facts show that vaccinations do not protect you from getting SSPE, since you can be fully vaccinated and catch the measles. And PRESUMABLY that is why they had SSPE. I wonder if they checked if the people had CMV and/or HSV1 in them, too.

And the facts show, most people with SSPE never were even exposed to “wild-type” measles. But they definitely were exposed to CMV and HSV1in the one study.

Hopefully they will come up with a better vaccine for the measles, but I highly doubt it. They have a half-passed working one that they can sell, and the profits keep rolling in..

Why bother spending any money trying to develop and make a better one.

Neither of these studies looked at whether wild measles virus causes SSPE, so you are at best misreading them, at worse misrepresenting them.

The first asked how many cases of SSPE were connected to the measles outbreak in 1989-1991; they were not asking wild measles or not, they were asking whether it was a specific outbreak. They are telling you not all cases of SSPE are related to the 1989-1991 outbreak.

The second asked whether other viruses also contribute to developing SSPE. Note that it starts with the role of measles virus in the cases, then asks if there are others.

So neither is on point.

If you read the heavily referenced article I gave you, it explains that it’s the wild virus isolated in cases of SSPE, and why that leads experts to conclude it’s not caused by vaccines.

And this kind of misrepresentation to attack vaccines is why commenters here identity you, correctly, as antivaccine.

A. Your first article is from 1977. My article explained that initially it was thought vaccines could cause SSPE, but growing knowledge showed that wrong. Your article was out of date.

B. Your second article is off topic. It did not ask if measles virus caused SSPE. It asked if cases of SSPE can be traced to a specific outbreak, 1989-1991, and if they can identify that specific virus. They found 11 cases they could. The takeaway is that SSPE is more common than they thought, but it’s based on wild measles virus causing it, not in tension with it.

C. Your third article is off topic. It starts with the fact that wild measles virus causes SSPE, then asks if other viruses contribute, too. It tests for those. It does not challenge the role of wild measles virus.

At best, you misunderstood the articles. At worse, you misrepresented them.

This kind of misuse of sources to make unfounded claims of vaccines harms is why commenters here rightly identify you as antivaccine.


You claimed gene studies were done that PROVED “wild-type” measles was the cause of SSPE. So I read you article link you placed in your own comment plus the footnotes.

The footnotes from the article you linked to, are the two links I put in my comment. I did not bother linking the other footnotes that had absolutely nothing to do with gene typing organisms.

Go read those two links and tell me again SSPE is caused by “wild type ” measles, it is not true.

The only organisms found in all SSPE suffers is HSV1 and CMV.

And the article seats clearly that the 5 out of 11 who were found to have “wild type” measles had all been vaccinated and had not had “symptomatic” measles. None of those 5 were unvaccinated, or had had symptomatic measles.

These two articles are the footnoted articles from the article you linked to support the gene identification claim. If you do not like them, you should write the article authors and tell them the footnotes do not support the article.

You do not like them, then find an article that has proof SSPE is caused by the Measles and not the measles vaccine. So far there is no proof.

These kids had been vaccinated, so they had vaccine measles types in them. Identifying that they also had “wild type” measles in them, does not mean the “wild type” was the cause of the SSPE.

The other article looked for viruses involved in SSPE, measles was not found, CMV and HSV1 was found in all of the SSPE cases pluses some other viruses here and there.

And as for my making “unfounded claims” regarding vaccines, check this out……

California is trashing an entire lot of 300,000 Moderna vaccines because on January 14th six healthcare workers at one site had severe allergic reactions to it.

These COVID-19 vaccines were rushed and are showing they have problems all on their own. If it were not for the effects to the economy from this Pandemic, these rushed vaccines would not have seen the light of day for years yet.

And since there are supposed to be no adjuvents in these vaccines, the problems are due to the mRNA in some way. And using mRNA is a completely new and completely untested process that was adopted because of the failures trying to make a SARS vaccine over 10 years ago.

Humans are the guinea pigs in this “Grand Experiment” with mRNA.

And I do not see how anyone can deny it, or say that having reservations about this new mRNA vaccine process is “spreading lies”.

A. See the comments above about why the two articles are off topic.

B. Read your medscape article, that says Dr. Pam is asking to wait on a specific lot “out of an abundance of caution” to allow investigation, and calls for use of other COVID-19 vaccines. That doesn’t sound like “the vaccines are unsafe.”

This kind of looking for something wrong, and misreading or misrepresenting sources to support it, is why it’s clear you’re antivaccine.


ITP happens in one out of every 25,000 measles vaccinations, in both children and adults, so stop saying the COVID-19 vaccine would not cause ITP. It is a stupid statement and incorrect. Want to know my source? Dr Paul Offit , of Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.

Vaccines do cause ITP, and I clearly wrote it was a very, very, very uncommon side-effect.

And death from ITP is not that common, most all recover enough platelet count to be “fine”, as long as they are careful.

The deathrate for ITP is no greater than the general population. Source? Go look it up, I am not giving you a link, it makes comments not get posted.

This doctor MOST LIKELY died from ITP caused by the vaccine. Will lots of people getting the vaccine develop ITP and die? No, you can likely see one very mild acute case in about 25,000 vaccinations that rapidly resolves, IF it follows the same incidence rate as the measles vaccine. I am sure there are people out there who had cases of ITP from the vaccine, but the drop in platelets was not enough to send them to the doctor.

But a few people may wind up like the doctor that died ……and it will be very, very, very rare.

Saying some cases will occur and that it will be extremely very, very, very rare is not “fear mongering”.

But claimly an expected side-effect which is known to happen, is not going to happen or did not happen….that is irresponsible.

MMR vaccines are not COVID-19 vaccines. One is a live vaccine, one isn’t.

You’re saying “cats scratch, so parrots scratch, too.” Doesn’t work.

Maybe COVID-19 vaccines will turn out to rarely cause ITP. Maybe not. Right now the evidence isn’t there. Wishful thinking isn’t a substitute. You certainly don’t have evidence to argue it caused this death, and several commenters here pointed out the timing is problematic.

Wanting to believe the vaccine caused harm isn’t evidence.

How about this: How often do healthy folks spontaneously develop ITP? I have to say the common sense interpretation is to look at what medical interventions happened contemporaneously with the development of ITP. It is anti-commonsense to dance around this fact. Now if there were other medical interventions or illnesses that were contemporaneous then that would be different. But should this be the only one, the common sense way to look at it is that the vaccine had something to do with it. And being cautious about a new vaccine that was fast tracked, with a known allergen, and made with new tech is not really on the level of “anti-vaxxer” which implies an unreasonable aversion to vaccines. Being cautious about a newly developed vaccine is not that.

The post you’re commenting on actually addresses how often ITP happens generally, and what it means in this case. That is what background rate means.

I encourage you to read the post.


If the mRNA injected was “dead” then it would not be able to tell our cells to make the protein sequence that duplicates the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike, in order to get the immune system to make antibodies to the spike protein.

Your problem is you can not sue vaccine companies for bad reactions, so you support them totally and attempt to suppress any criticism of vaccines. There is more than one way to get money from a company.

The mRNA is alive, so it can very well cause ITP. And ITP is also caused by allergic reactions, too, and the allergen does not have to be alive.

mRNA vaccines are not live virus vaccines.

Whether or not the mRNA vaccines cause ITP remains to be seen. You cannot just assume it into reality. That’s what this post is saying.

Your last comment is extremely strange. I’m not a lawyer; I’m a legal academic. I don’t sue anyone, so why would I want to sue pharmaceutical companies? Maybe you have in mind anti-vaccine leader RFK jr.? I don’t get paid by pharmaceutical companies.

I understand that it can be hard to be corrected, but throwing around wild statements isn’t helping you.

“so expect some people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine to develop and die of blood clotting, and get an ITP diagnosis.”

How does that happen without platelets?? Is it like the Andromeda Strain?

What you never heard of this happening?????………

Try checking out the topic “COVID-19 and clotting” once a week. It is amazing how things progress.

And most ITP does not result in total loss of platelets, it can be either an acute short-term problem, or the can be a long-term chronic disease process.

Look up ITP on-line and learn about all the forms and variations on ITPtwIt is called a medical education.

Point is without any evidence of any other illness or medical intervention contemporaneous with ITP, common sense points to the vaccine as the cause. Without evidence of another cause, that’s the most reasonable conclusion.

ITP is not a common symptom of COVID-19. It’s not even sure if it’s caused by COVID-19. You obviously didn’t bother to read the post, particularly this part:

It is, however, not implausible that ITP might occur after vaccination against COVID-19 given that a recent review of the literature found 45 cases of new onset ITP after COVID-19 infection. Three turned out to be exacerbations of preexisting ITP and were excluded, but the review also reported one fatality due to intracranial hemorrhage, the same complication that took Dr. Michael’s life. It was also noted that severe bleeding due to ITP after COVID-19 infection was rare and that diagnosing ITP in the setting of COVID-19 infection is challenging due to the common incidence of clotting disorders and diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC), which can also cause platelet depletion.

In other words, it’s not a slam dunk that ITP is even caused by COVID-19, much less ITP this severe.?

infection is challenging due to the common incidence of clotting disorders and diffuse intravascular coagulation (DIC), which can also cause platelet depletion.

Woah. I’ve started infusion of proton water to keep them all spread out. As a bonus, I might also now be a walking hydrogen bomb depending on how tight circumstances causes my butt cheeks to clench up.


Did I write that it was a common occurrence? Or even a rare occurrence?

No, I wrote it was a very, very, very rare event that was expected to show up in trials but had not…..until now, since the trials are in effect still going on right now with the vaccination of Americans.

Be real, viral infections are the cause of ITP, at least in children.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus, and ITP has been seen in people with COVID.

You could also say there is no proof that people who had allergic reactions at the time of their COVID vaccination, actually were reacting to the vaccine.

Maybe it was something they ate for breakfast. Or some perfume someone else was wearing. Or………

The excuses can go on forever, but the fact is ITP was one of the possible side-effects they were EXPECTING.

ITP is a immune reaction against ones own platelets…….

“Medications can cause an allergy that cross-reacts with platelets” per John Hopkins.

I can tell you I have had allergy attacks where I breakout all over with these little bleeds under the skin, so it is not that rare in allergic reactions. And I wind up with weird bloodwork, and we sit there hoping it will just go away and not become chronic.

Mainly, allergic reactions are to proteins, and mRNA gets into cells to give them instructions to make a certain protein our bodies have never seen before.

Is it any wonder that ITP can occur a few days after a COVID vaccination? Nope, that is when you would expect a reaction like this happening, after the mRNA was finally in the cell making the protein.

Why do you think they were looking for this reaction during the very start of human trials? Because ITP sounds like a neat group of letters?

No, because the mRNA would release a novel new protein into the bloodstream. And people can have allergic reactions to novel proteins.

These are not live virus vaccines, so they’re not equivalence to a virus.

You keep claiming someone was expecting ITP. What makes you think that? What’s your source?

It’s certainly possible, but it’s improbable enough, at least in this case, that I would need better evidence than temporal association. And even if the vaccine somehow did cause this case, it would still need to be shown that the risk is such to alter the odds for anyone else. I mean, I acknowledge statistically impossible things do happen*, but that doesn’t mean we’re all at risk.

*Roy Sullivan is a great example of “the only reason we have the odds of this happening once, ever, is because it actually happened once.” Roy was hit by lightening seven times and survived. The odds are about 1:10^28. The total human population over time is estimated as 1.07×10^11.

There needs to be an antibody response before ITP can occur. Antibody responses take 7 to 21 days. 3 days is far too short to generate an antibody response and then have that response result in ITP.

ITP may be a side-effect of the vaccine, although if it is it must be rare. However, this particular case of ITP was almost certainly not caused by the vaccine.

By the way, not every symptom a disease causes will occur from the vaccine. That is an argument from ignorance.

Chris Preston

Really? Do I need to write for the fourth time that ITP is a VERY, VERY, VERY RARE expected side-effect that they were looking out for? Or do you have problems reading what I actually wrote.

I wonder how people who never ate a food in their life, who then eat it and have an immediate allergic reaction have acquire those antibodies.

It happens because the immune system is not perfect.

We all have been exposed to at least three other coronaviruses that can even cause false Positive test results in the COVID-19 testing.

Want to tell a mother whose child has an allergic reaction to peanut the first time they are given peanut butter, that it could not have occurred for 7-21 days after that first exposure?

Or any of the people who had immediate reactions to the COVID vaccine? I would love you to tell them they need antibodies to SARS- COV-2 first, before they have a reaction.

ITP is no different, the immune system makes a mistake. And it does not take 7-21 days for the first protein to be released by the COVID-19 vaccine mRNA programmed cell, it starts real fast. Like as soon as that mRNA can wiggle its way into a cell.

And it looks like this doctor had the misfortune to have an immune system that reacted in a Type 4 manner to it. And in a very catastrophic cascade effect.

Who knows, he could have gotten the SARS-CoV-2 virus and had the same thing happen, death from a total lack of platelets.

Or perhaps not, we will never know.

I wonder how people who never ate [sic] a food in their life, who then eat it and have an immediate allergic reaction have acquire [sic] those antibodies.

It happens because the immune system is not perfect.

Your profound insight is noted. F*cking IgE, how does it work?


How does IgE work?……..

IgE is made in RESPONSE to an allergen. Of course our plasma immune systems are already making some IgE all the time, so some is floating around in the blood. And the immune system makes mistakes.

For example, I am allergic to Latex from decades of working as a Respiratory Therapistin the ICU, CCU, and Recovery Room, and I get literal skin burns from touching Latex, on top of the swelling and shortness of breath, etc..

However, certain foods have proteins in them that are close in composition to Latex, so I have reactions to bananas, pineapple and avocado too. They literally burn my mouth and throat if I get some in my mouth, yet they are not Latex.

Immune systems are not perfect.

I have had severe reactions to stuff I never encountered before, one drug made the entire inside of my mouth and gums to peel off. It was a bloody mess.

Crazy immune reactions is why I have to take so much oral medication for allergies, plus aerosol brochodilators plus aerosol cromolyn sodium, plus nasal cromolyn sodium and nasal antihistamines. And I still sneeze and have a runny nose all day.

My doctors do not want me near the COVID vaccine, I would most likely have a very severe reaction in their opinion. Besides I had COVID-19 in March and did not make any antibodies they could find in my blood back then.

I just wear my facemask and face shield or goggles when I have to go out, and stay home and away from people other times.

“ate [sic]”

What? sb “eated”?? Bush-league, grade screwell english teacher pedantry.

“Have never eaten,” Mitzi. Don’t try to teach your grandmother’s editor how to suck eggs.

COVID-19 causes blood clotting….so expect some people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine to develop and die of blood clotting, and get an ITP diagnosis. It is just going to be very, very rare side-effect… was expected in the vaccine insert.

How is it that COVID-19 causes clotting but the vaccine causes exactly the opposite – destruction of platelets and loss of ability to clot?

“It is not surprising that a case of ITP from the vaccine occurred.”

I think more accurately one would say, “It is not surprising that a case of ITP after the vaccine occurred.”


Of course you can find anyone who disagrees with you “annoying” .

If you do not like people to write comments that disagree…just eliminate the comments section.

Otherwise, really you can not expect to get only comments that agree with you whole heartedly and massage your ego.

You will also get opposing comments. Most of what you write in your obsession with “anti-vaxxers” I just shake my head at and ignore, but every once in awhile I have to write a comment.

I mean the COVID-19 vaccines already have an 11.5 per million vaccinations serious allergic reaction rates versus the flu vaccine having a 1.1 in a million vaccinations serious allergic reaction rate.

Which is why the government is saying if you have a problem with serious allergic reactions, then you should not get this vaccine at all.

These vaccines have a problem and I doubt it will ever be fixed….because of people like you who try to squash any criticism of vaccines and try to name criticism of vaccines as being “quackery” or “anti-science” or “anti-vaccine”.

You’re very silly. I still let you comment, don’t I? Antivaxxers don’t let provaxxers post on their blogs.???‍♂️


Since I never read an “anti-vaxxer blog” in my life, I can not say if they do or do not let “pro-vaxxer” make comments.

It was not until I read stuff on here that I learned anything about these people who you call “Anti-vaxxer”. Such as people as Kennedy, etc.

Yeah, yeah, I am going to hear from various people that I did and still read their stuff, but believe me the only thing I knew Kennedy’s were into was the River warden or stewards thing, in helping to find polluters and keeping waterways free of pollution.

Note that Orac has – on this blog and elsewhere – acknowledged and addressed the allergic reaction.

People who follow the evidence follow it both ways. Just assuming the vaccines cause ITP, or “have a problem,” isn’t following the evidence.

If there’s no evidence showing one way or the other, than you can’t claim it. You can say “we don’t know.”

The rate of serious allergic reactions after Covid-19 vaccination is lower than what Aelxa quoted, based on more up to date data. From Stat News:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at present it looks like anaphylaxis cases are occurring at a rate of about 5.5 per 1 million vaccine doses given, though the agency cautioned that figure may change as the vaccination effort continues.”

Obviously this is something of concern and is being followed closely. It remains true that evidence to date shows a very good safety profile for the mRNA vaccines.

What also remains true is that you can raise legitimate questions about vaccines without being termed an antivaxer. On the other hand, continually denigrating vaccination using false claims and vituperative rhetoric makes your agenda obvious.


After they announced the number of people having anaphlatic reactions in January 6th in the news…….

You can be sure people who have serious allergy problems are presently not going to get the COVID-19 vaccine for right now. Anaphlatic shock is no fun, just the adrenaline shot is a very unpleasant experience. When you feel yourself dying you never want that experience again.

The rate of regular allergic reactions like difficulty breathing, breaking out in a rash, etc is so much higher. But you can look it up on the CDC.

I do not denigrate vaccinations, I have had plenty of vaccinations in my life. I advocate for newer research and improvements. I just want them sooner than vaccine companies want to do them, if they ever do.

Why are we not all riding around in Model T Fords? They worked just fine, they got you from point A to point B. Because better cars could be built, and they were.

And improvements continue, though some of the stuff in cars today is rather like putting lipstick on a dog. Looks stupid on the dog, and not improve the dog’s ability to guard and be a pet..

Yet critizing and wanting improved vaccines are “anti-vaxxer”. That is a dumb attitude, we need better vaccines.

“Making do” with what we have is like living in 2021 and driving a Model A to work.

Except there is evidence. Healthy person with no underlying conditions took vaccine. Days later he developed an autoimmune condition. What’s more a few others developed the same autoimmune condition (see CDC) proximate to getting the vaccine. And there is a known allergen in the vaccine. That’s the evidence and so far it all points to the vaccine. The rest is hand waiving trying to say it’s a coincidence; and there is no evidence for the coincidence.

A. That’s not evidence that it was not a coincidence. That kind of temporal connection is exactly what experts warn cannot be used to show a causal link. This is what is meant by the saying correlation is not causation.

B. ITP and allergic reactions are different. There is a stronger basis for the allergic reaction claim addressed here.

Evidence is facts tending to prove or disprove (not to be conflated with proof itself). Temporal relation to the vaccine is evidence that the vaccine is the cause. A known allergen in the vaccine is evidence that the vaccine is the cause. Both tend towards proving that the vaccine is the cause. These facts cannot be escaped through handwaving or coincidence any more than a man holding a gun over a dead body can argue that he wasn’t the one who shot him WITHOUT EVIDENCE THAT the bullet came from a different gun. Having the ballistic reports match would be dispositive, not coincidental. Here, there are no other known causes for this patient’s condition. There are no other guns and no other bullets, yet. This is where the vaccine defenders lose me. Vaccines must be defended at all costs! Bunk. Evidence is evidence and here there is zero evidence that there is any cause other than the vaccine which is the actual intervention that happened extremely proximate to the its projected immune response. The rate of spontaneous ITP is too low to explain this as coincidence unless the patient was taking something else that is known to cause it. (another gun another bullet)

Mistrust of the medical establishment is due in part to its love of fallacy. For instance even if the patient were taking a drug that was another known cause of ITP, if we were to use the analysis the CDC uses for covid deaths we would still have to blame the vaccine as one of the causes. (mighty self serving that causation/correlation argument doesn’t work with recording covid deaths and only the other way around isn’t it). Saying there is more evidence that it’s a coincidence than the vaccine is just intellectual dishonesty (the razzle dazzle defense). “But the experts say” is more fallacy. And by the way which experts? And who is paying them? Right now all odds point to the vaccine as the cause until there is evidence otherwise, the guy holding the gun over the person shot dead is likely the one who did it and will likely get convicted without a ballistics report showing otherwise.

We all want the vaccine to succeed, but not through burying our heads in the sand because we feel the odds are on our side that we won’t get sick from it; that’s the same nonsense the covid-hoaxers push. And the cure to all of this is intellectual honesty.

Except that you have failed to account for all the other cases of ITP that don’t have a known cause and also are not proceeded by vaccination. What caused those cases? How do we know definitively that it was not one of those causes that was a factor in this case?

If I go to my doctor’s office for a vaccination and am hit by a car in the parking lot, is that the vaccine’s fault?
Without more data we can’t say. Was I hit by the car because I passed out? Then we might be more likely to partially blame the vaccine. Was the driver of the car not paying attention to where they were going because they’d just gotten a bad diagnosis? Then it would be very hard to justify blaming the vaccine.


ITP is classified as a Type 2 allergic response……

I have already posted multiple links showing ITP is caused by an allergies response.

The “I” in ITP stands for IMMUNE.

As for “correlation is not causation” you can spout that saying all you want but it comes down to an immune response causes ITP.

Bring “alive and breathing” is a correlation to ITP, so is waking g up in the morning, but it is the direct immune response which makes antibodies that cling to the platelets and mark the platelets for destruction by the spleen that causes ITP to occur.

There are enough studies on PubMed showing the incidence of ITP in individuals with allergies is beyond the “coincidence factor”.

The fact that the doctor had an extreme case of ITP which was in no way normal shows his case of ITP was not in the “to be expect to occur” category.

I think a Hematology expert’s opinion that it was the COVID-19 vaccine which was the cause of the ITP, carries way more weight than your opinion.

Scott Allen, the Pfizer/Biontech vaccine is free to recipients. I’m getting it in early March, at one of the New York State sites, and I don’t have to pay anything for it.

scott allen indulges in a lot of whataboutism. Seemingly in the pursuit of being anti-vaccine, anti-lockdown and anti-mask.

I generally don’t bother. He can head off into the weeds on his own.


“…and I don’t gave to pay anything for it.”

I was pointing out you were paying for it, we all do. You comment made it sound like a “free lunch. TINSTAAFL.

If people can afford $5 for a pack of cigarettes or $4 for a bag of potato chips, then they can afford to pay $15 for a shot.

And those less well off have Medicaid and things like a prescription costs $3 Dollars. One fellow I know who lives across the street gets a one bedroom 700 sq ft apartment that costs him only $216 a month and it also has a 20 foot long balcony to boot.

And people inbetween can go to the local County Health Dept and get shots for free. I did when I needed a Tetanus shot. There are options for every income level if you look.


International economics is complicated. We buy plastic toys, cell phones and solar panels from China. We sell them soybeans and pork. We may have a negative trade balance with them, but it could be balanced by positive sales to other countries. Trump’s tariff war threw that out of whack.

China and Russia don’t run their economies by the same rules as mainly democratic capitalist countries like the U.S., Germany, India, and Japan. The TPP was an attempt to balance that out, but we dropped out.

That being said, you made a positive claim that could easily have been supported by quoting a relevant source. You chose to leave that out and then later chose to try to shift the burden of proof. That reduces your claim to the status of unsupported. Refusing to support it further lowers its credibility.

But since you’re so interested in China, which do you think are safer and more effective, the Chinese Covid-19 vaccines or the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna?


I think you are confusing me with f68, he is the one interested in China.

I am interested in local trade, I was against the WTO way back when we were protesting in Seattle, saying it would devastate the American industry and economy. The WTO which helped make multinational corporations the new owners of the us government.

I got the same carp back then that f68 deals out now, that the only economics are WTO economics and local economies do not matter.

As for what mRNA vaccine is best? Wait until the studies are over and they pass regulation and can be licensed. That is when I will give you my opinion on the matter.

Right now they are all experimental and unlicensed. And will be for years.

Dr Rebecca

You paid for the vaccines with your taxes, how do you think the US government got the money to buy the vaccines? Two billion dollars is not chicken feed and has to come from somewhere.

It might be cheaper if everyone paid for it at the time you get it. The interest on $2 billion is going to cripple our future.

The vaccine companies are not giving it out for free, TINSTAAFL. (There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, also a great line from Frank Herbert’s book “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”.

“The interest on $2 billion is going to cripple our future.”

Are you acquainted with the size of the federal budget deficit? As a result of fiscal year 2020 spending, the debt is projected to be $20.3 trillion dollars.

$2 billion is 0.0001 of that total.

Fulminating about such a relatively miniscule outlay in the face of a national emergency is extremely foolish – and again, betrays an agenda that flies in the fact of facts and reason.

You can’t even get your Heinlein right. It’s TANSTAAFL (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch)

If you had read my comment more carefully, you would have noticed that I said that the vaccine was free for the recipient. Of course it has to be paid for by somebody. I believe that it should be free for residents of the US. Our taxpayer money paid for its development, so our residents should get it without cost, since we’ve already paid for it.

Not everyone would be able to pay for it out of pocket, and we all suffer from the pandemic, so it makes sense to me that our government, which we all pay for, should use our money to purchase it for us.

For Frank Herbert I much prefer “Fear is the mind killer, fear is the little death……”. Wasn’t that keen on anything after Dune.

Heinlein (the author of TMIAHM) on the other hand. I have fond memories of ‘Have Spacesuit Will Travel’ and ‘Tunnel in the Sky’ from my youth.

Fulminating about such a relatively miniscule outlay in the face of a national emergency is extremely foolish – and again, betrays an agenda that flies in the fact of facts and reason.

I wonder whether Aelxa expressed as much concern for Trump’s unfunded tax cuts for the ultra rich that cost roughly $2 bn? They are going to be much less useful to the economy than vaccinating the population against COVID-19.

Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard I woke up my cat (who is now giving me the stink-eye).
Heinlein, libertarian, and possible supporter of a child rapist, is the one who wrote The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. A classic of science fiction, which you have pretty clearly never read if you managed to get it mixed up with Frank Herbert’s Dune (also a classic of science fiction, but with a totally different writing style and social philosophy).

As for your concern about $2 billion dollars, well, thou had best get thine tuchas to the front gate of Fort Hood and protest away, because you would not believe how much of your tax money is spent on the military.

I have fond memories of ‘Have Spacesuit Will Travel’ and ‘Tunnel in the Sky’ from my youth.

I generally keep a copy of the former around to this day. That’s some mighty fine juvenalia.


The National Debt at the end of 2019 was $22,027,424,114,818.60

I hope you do better job on your own budget, otherwise you are in trouble. Let me give you some advice, if you have a mortgage, pay it off way before you get to 50 years old. By 50 you are being laid off, and no one wants to hire you except to flip burgers.

And I believe the deficit is almost $28 trillion, so why make a big deal over $2 billion? Because the interest rate is crippling the future of 331 million people whose kids see their jobs going to AI and robots. Is AI and robots going to pay the taxes, to pay that deficit?

In 1791 with George Washington the national debt was $75 Million.

In 1863 with Abraham Lincoln the debt was $1 Billion.

When I was born in 1954, the debt was $271 Billion. $2 Billion is almost 10% of the national debt back then.

1982 with Ronald Reagen the budget first hit $1 Trillion. This is where they started to cut taxes on the rich, saying it will “tinkle down” to everyone. Well what trickled down was the need for those less rich to pay more taxes. And the National Debt took off like a rocket.

1986 Ronnie again we hit $2 Trillion.
1990 George Bush we hit $3 Trillion.
1992 George Bush we hit $4 Trillion.
1996 Bill Clinton we hit $5 Trillion
2002 George Bush we hit $6 Trillion.
2004 George Bush $7 Trillion.
2006 George Bush $8 Trillion.
2007 George Bush $9 Trillion.

2008 George Bush $10 Trillion, this is where to big payout to “save the banks, because they are too big to fail” Mortgage Crash happened. Yet no one forgave the mortgages of the barely-making-ends-meet crowd, and people lost their homes and jobs. Banks got free money though.

2009 Barack Obama $11Trillion.

2010 Barack Obama $13Trillion, now let me stop here a moment. Ten years ago in 2010 the national debt was a little less than half what it is now at the end of year 2020.

By the time Obama left office the national debt was $19 Trillion, when he entered office eight years before it was $11Trillion. So in 8 years the debt went up $8 Trillion, or about $1 Trillion a year.

When Donald Trump enter office the debt was $20Trillion his first year and he gave the top 1% a cool $1Trillion tax cut, plus cut corporate from 35% to 21%. At the end of 2020 the national debt is now $28 Trillion. If the tax cuts had not gone through that debt could have been $24Trillion at the end of 2020.

In four years of Donald Trump, the national debt went up $8 Trillion, $4 Trillion spent in 2020 alone, to help keep corporations alive, many of which pay little or no taxes…….

Do the math, at this rate we can not afford to exist. We can not afford AI and robots, people need to work.

Unless all the taxes are paid by the 1% and the corporations, and the government supports the bottom 80% of the population totally from cradle to grave, paying for everything they need. Then you can afford AI and robots.

So $2 Billion dollars matters, every single Billion Dollars matters.

M Wolsten

I prefer proper English, thank you.

I know it was TANSTAAFL, but my grade school English teacher would not allow “slang” nor contractions such as “isn’t” or “ain’t”.

So I still say “can not” instead of “can’t”. I also say “May I?” instead of “Can I?”. Nothing like asking “Can I go to the bathroom?” , and being told “You can, but “may you” is the question.”

I was waiting to see who would pounce. Congratulations, you win zip for TANSTAAFL though.


I do not know, I think the Dosadi Experiment and Whipping Star were fairly good books by Herbert. But the Dune books were a completely complex engrossing world. It would be a miracle to be able to make two separate but as engaging universes by a single author.

My favorite Heinlein book is “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “The Cat Who Walks Through Walls” comes in second (but all the Lazarus Long books are interesting). I could use some of the memory help they had from the Lazarus books. I was mixing up Alfred Bester of “The Stars My Destination” and A.E. Van Volt of “Slan” the other day. “Slan” though was the first science fiction book I even read, back in 1960. And I still have it in my top ten list.


Robert Heinlein had alot of different political stances over his lifetime, from Democratic Socialist to Democrat Party member, and died a Registered Republican………

He always had trouble between his desire for total freedom (libertarian ideals) and actually societal needs for people to co-operate (the lifeboat dilemma). And the “child rapist” thing, I have no idea what you are talking about. I read fiction books for enjoyment, I do not have a background check done on the author before reading a book.

As for mixing up authors, it is quite easy to do when you have read many thousands of books over 60 years of reading. At one point I was read four books a day, now I am down to one a day.

I read Ayn Rand “The Fountainhead” while in grade school, and while I agreed that completely stifling ideas and art is wrong, I found her arrogant attitudes rather gauche, that only radical and libertarian ideals should be admired.

I admire ancient Greek buildings, they have a symmetry and grace the stuff made since the 1960s lacks. That Washington DC has public buildings that would look familiar to the Greeks and Romans is not a negative, as they have classic lines and embody principals of scale and balance.

And “Atlas Shrugged” was just torture to get through, and contained her fears from growing up in Russia.

@ Aelxa

“Let me give you some advice, if you have a mortgage, pay it off way before you get to 50 years old.”

Let me give you some advice. Get a course in economics. Olivier Blanchard tends to be a good reference on how to think of budget deficits in a global macroeconomic environment.

With the coronavirus, however, all bets are off, and the analogy you drew with a personal mortgage (which inherently is bonkers) has become more and more bonkers.

The world does not work like that. Now get real: your big economic problem on a geopolitical level will be China. So start being serious buddies with India. No point thinking of budget deficits if you do not get your policy right on this specific geopolitical point.

Aelxa, the tetanus shot you can get from the County health department also isn’t free – the recipient doesn’t pay, but the taxpayers of the county do. (As a person who pays a lot in property taxes, I am happy to pay for vaccines of all kinds for people in my county who can’t afford them).

I admire ancient Greek buildings, they have a symmetry and grace the stuff made since the 1960s lacks.

You should get a yurt.


As a person who pays property taxes on my home and the land it sits on, I am fully aware of what my taxes buy.

And even renters pay property taxes, both through their rent (where do you think the landlord gets the money to pay property taxes from?) and on their car and a few other things in my county.

And since my income is so low, I did not have to pay a fee at the time of my shot at the County Health Dept. It really should have been given to me at the hospital and Medicare would have paid for it.

However, our only hospital, that covers two rural counties, does not stock the Tetanus vaccine at all. I had to wait two days until the Health department was open to get the shot

But I certainly paid for that shot via my taxes.


You need to learn economics, not me.

An open system where the money flow goes mostly in one direction will soon deplete the economy where the money is flowing from.

More money flows from the US to China , then comes back from China to the US.

Switching to India will not change that. It just means the money flows to India instead, and even less will come back.

Why do you think until 1982 the big talking points with other countries was always the “trade defict” and that other countries needed to buy more things from the US?

Except that now with multi-national companies, the US no longer cares about “trade deficits”, since practically squat is made in the US any more.

And corporations are running the government via political “donations”. They do not care about the defict as long as the Corporations get what they need to make the most profit.

Having components made overseas and assembled in the US , does not make it “Made in America”.

Corporations are making a profit, but it is not profit that flows through the local US economy. It goes overseas instead to buy more foreign made products to sell in the US.

Local small economies are slowly drying up as Americans have less “discretionary” money to spend. Most Americans now live paycheck-to-paycheck, if they are lucky enough to have a job at all.

The outflow needs to be stemmed, because there is no more excess money in local economies anymore, everyone has been running on a deficient that now to large.

The US is starting to look like it got sucked into a “payday loan” that will never end, only get larger and larger faster until we die, and then suck more money out in interest than can ever be made by our descendants.

The last time the National Debt was paid down even slightly, was back in the 1950s. Since then it had been piling up, and has gone crazy since 2000.

@ Aelxa

“You need to learn economics, not me.”

Already did. Thank you. It was kind of my job…

“An open system where the money flow goes mostly in one direction will soon deplete the economy where the money is flowing from.”

When money flows in one direction, something else, whether a commodity or a financial investment or whatever flows in the other. More or less. (See corruption in the commodities market for counter-examples).

“More money flows from the US to China , then comes back from China to the US.”

Show me the data. Will not discuss such an item without serious data points. BTW China has its own internal problems, specifically in the finance sector. Morphing for quite some time.

“Switching to India will not change that.”

A geopolitical alliance with India is the best way to counteract the debt trap policy of China in South Asia all the way to Africa. Africa is economically booming. The US has a stake there. Moreover, there are serious political concerns: China is a dictatorship. India is a democracy with free speech. And they are more and more in conflict. When you have 1 billion against 1 billion people, it’s time to choose sides. The WTO consensus of the year 2000 is kind of over. It’s time to get real and understand where your interests are.

“Why do you think until 1982 the big talking points with other countries was always the “trade defict” and that other countries needed to buy more things from the US?”

Let me see… Because trade deficits do matter? That’s a given. It’s not the end of the story, though, and you should start giving it a thought. Because the dollar era is drawing slowly to an end.


I do not need to show you the data…. you claim economics was yyor “job”, so you should already have that data.

“A product or commodity comes back”, yes, but that product just degrades and gets trashed in most cases in a very short time.

Meanwhile the local economy has lost most of that money, due to the cost of buying and then shipping a product from overseas. Every dollar spent on a product by purchasing it outside the local economy, decreases the total amount of money within that economy.

This can go on and a deficit not be noticed for quite a long period in an economy where there is good amount of cash circulating throughout. And when a product is made locally, this causing the government to print more money in response to the “value added” to the system which the product brings, increase Gross National Production. The employees that made the product are paid, and they can then buy more products.

In the US we no longer make most of what people purchase. So there is no employee making a wage, and taking that money to buy stuff. Someone in China is making that wage instead.

Yet the person in the US who used to make that product is now in low paying “service jobs” and not making any real products. So they do not get the money they used to.

The whole system is like a leaky pipe in the wall……you may not have known the leak is there, but soon the wall comes crashing down.

Your view of economics says the multinational corporations are raking in the dough, so the economy is just great.

Meanwhile, the bottom 80% of the US population is holding on by the skin of their teeth. No wonder suicide and death by drugs is going through the roof, they have no hope and no future. And it gets worse every year.

Everything is being sucked up by the top 1% and the multinational corporations, and not recirculating back down to the 80%. And if the leak to overseas keeps going on, soon there will be no one in the bottom 80% able to afford those products made overseas.

Then what will the 1% and corporations do?

@ Aelxa

“I do not need to show you the data…. you claim economics was yyor “job”, so you should already have that data.”

Sorry, but my Bloomberg terminal has kind of been taken away from me when I was in solitary confinement in my last dozen hospitalisations or so in psych wards. And a live Thomson-Reuters data feed from financial markets to feed data into my stochastic optimisation algorithms… ah, well… that’s quite expensive too.

So, no, badass girlie: I’m not willing to play the game of choosing data only to hear you complain that you do not like my source. Bring your data – data that you consider kosher – and we’ll eventually discuss. Until, then, sod off.

I’ll have more fun pathologically self-soothing myself with the Chiasso smuggling case.

134 billions. That’s serious, real porn…


The health department could have charged me for the tetanus shot, and does if your income is above the poverty level.

On the other hand NO ONE can charge you a fee for any of the COVID-19 vaccines, because none of them have passed the FDA since they are still in “investigational” studies. In other words anyone getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines are now study participants, ie also known as “guinea pigs”.

The vaccines were given EUA status “emergency use authorization”. The vaccines are not licensed anywhere in the World for use in humans, and so they can not be sold to individuals. But the government was happy to pay for them, in an effort to possibly end the Pandemic.


Nope, I am not playing your game, if you can post on here you know where the data is and you can retrieve it.

Your view is the multinational corporation view of economics….”What is good for corporations is good for everyone.”

My view is the local economy view…. “What takes money permanently out of local circulation is extremely bad for all of us”.

It is the Corporations versus the Individual. Why do you think they want to get rid of cash (paper and metal coins)?

The vaccines are not licensed anywhere in the World for use in humans

“Proper English,” indeed. Please see “Kingdom, United.” Asia might help on the clue front, as well.

I seem to have missed a lot.

Let me give you some advice, if you have a mortgage, pay it off way before you get to 50 years old.

This is extraordinarily stupid advice, as there are far better ways to spend one’s money than on mortgage principal. (Oddly, I got a metric shit-ton of tutelage about this yesterday from financially savvy friends.)

@ Aelxa

“Nope, I am not playing your game, if you can post on here you know where the data is and you can retrieve it.”

You were the one bringing up economy and playing your know-it-all little game, missy. I’ve dropped the topic a quite some years ago and do not care much about the news nowadays. But yeah, I still can discuss the topic. But I have no patience for time-wasters like you. Put up with the data or shut up.

“Your view is the multinational corporation view of economics….”What is good for corporations is good for everyone.””

Nope. My view is that market mechanisms and competition between firms are essential. If the market is rigged and inefficient and can be regulated, I look at every option on the table to correct that. Which includes big, major, severe fines against companies. Which includes breaking up monopolies. But which also excludes whining commie perspectives on the economy. I admire work by Olivier Blanchard, for instance, no matter how much I may disagree with him. I’m a neoliberal. Not a business-worshipper. I do think companies cashing massive amounts of dough is a very good thing. But I do not believe shareholders should be exempt from taxation, nor do I think plutocrats should hold indirect legislative power (though I do think plutocrats can do a very fine job when playing the game of direct democracy).

“My view is the local economy view…. “What takes money permanently out of local circulation is extremely bad for all of us”.”

Which is bonkers. International financial flows are hugely important to societies. They are at the heart of geopolitical games and long-standing cultural conflicts related, among others, to European colonisation, but they are very much vital nonetheless. And their real-world counterparts is real-world trade. These are fundamental aspects of an economy that cannot be ignored if you care to think two minutes about the very simple fact that the world is bigger than your house.

“It is the Corporations versus the Individual. Why do you think they want to get rid of cash (paper and metal coins)?”

Nope. The individuals have a say in corporations. They can build one, they can criticize and coerce them by legislation. Corporations are simply silos where capital gains accumulate. They can and should be broken apart with antitrust laws as soon as we can identify that they become monopolies stifling competition among firms. (Which is different than competition among lay people and workers who should to some extent be protected from such a stress that flies way above their heads anyway).

Many reasons why cash is going away. But Switzerland is a nice place to store gold ingots in a vault if you have any… 5% of your investments seems reasonable to me as a very basic rule of thumb for an above than average middle-class household in a developed country. (May have to update that evaluation given that I haven’t worried about that in quite a few years). Gold hedges against inflation and financial meltdows, but somewhat a drag in a deflationary context. Always double-check your yield curves.

As to medium of payments, the issue is much more complex than what you sketch complaining about cash going out of business. Look at international remittances, alternative way private insurance systems develop in Africa, and, more importantly… international loans between countries or international institution are still contracts, and, cash going away or not, they are still backed by the use of force to coerce taxpayers into paying their due. And blockchains may end up changing the whole payment landscape no matter what corporations really want in the end: they are slaves to technology.

I’ll have more fun pathologically self-soothing myself with the Chiasso smuggling case.

I remain fond of the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist, but I may have already mentioned that. Too many entries on my dance card.

Have you heard of deficit spending? Yes, I pay taxes to the US government (and state, and county, and city, and school district….), but the US government is (and has been) running a deficit for a long time, so that’s probably what paid for the vaccines. We in the US benefit from the fact that our credit is so good that we can borrow a lot of money on the international credit market at a very low interest rate. At a very low interest rate, as I said.

And if most of the country manages to get vaccinated this year, and we reach a high enough level of herd immunity (achieved by vaccination, not by allowing millions of people to die), then our economy can wake up again, people can go back to work, and we will easily be able to pay the interest on the debt we got into from paying for vaccine development and the vaccines themselves.

The cost of vaccine development and distribution will pay for itself many times over in financial terms.

And of course, especially in human terms. Once my parents and I are both vaccinated, we might actually be able to visit & see each other in person again and actually hug each other! Imagine that!


Bonkers is you.

An individual has no effect on corporations, even when you have stock they do not allow you to vote unless you have a huge block of it.

And “neoliberal” is the same stuff people like Teddy Roosevelt fought against….corporations thinking they can takeover complete sections of the economy with impunity. Wanting deregulation to make more money while the locals suffer.

Forget it, the only people who win under multinational corporations is the top 1%. Jeff Bezos is making out like gangbusters while killing and disabling people working in his distribution centers.

I owned businesses, local businesses and I treated my employees well. And I did not expect them to live on slave wages while I lived like an Empress.

Being from where you came from, I am sure you are pro multinational corporations.


Have I heard of “deficit spending”? Yup, I wrote an entire post outlining it from George Washington to tRump and it is now at 28 Trillion dollars.

Just remember to wear your mask when visiting your parents, as the first shot only gives you about a 40% protection rate.

And there is no proof yet that even full vaccination with two shots will prevent you from spreading COVID-19 asymptomatically. This is still a vaccine understudy and development, and not licensed.

@ Aelxa

“Bonkers is you. An individual has no effect on corporations, even when you have stock they do not allow you to vote unless you have a huge block of it.”

The power of civil society is still too weak against corporate interests. I do grant that. That’s why I’m a big fan of Popper’s Open Society concept. It’s a necessary political addition to liberal democracy. And if set up right, it should have an effect. For now, it’s insufficient. Nonetheless, competition is a real thing and is driven by individuals as well as criticism of corporations which, hopefully, may end up breaking up some tech companies and impose more intelligent privacy laws (that respects privacy on one end more than it, and that still allows criminal investigations to proceed as in child sexual abuse cases).

“And “neoliberal” is the same stuff people like Teddy Roosevelt fought against…corporations thinking they can takeover complete sections of the economy with impunity. Wanting deregulation to make more money while the locals suffer.”

Nope. Neoliberalism is not that. It is, yes, the recognition that the only alternative to a market system is an administrated economy, which cannot technically work. Besides that, neoliberalism does allow regulation of markets when they are shown to be defective (regulating mortgage-backed securities is compatible on papwer with neoliberalism, not regulating them is laissez-faire economics, its antithesis). Neoliberalism has been more or less theorised at the Walter Lipmann Colloquium in Paris. The meaning the word has acquired in the popular psyche is not an accurate depiction of the concept: neoliberalism requires a state with strong powers to regulate markets ; and back up failures such as financial meltdowns, yes. But not administrate them. Which is why commies hate neoliberals: they want administration.

“Forget it, the only people who win under multinational corporations is the top 1%.”

Nope. The poor part of the world has benefited and will continue to benefit from such historical developments. The rich world is getting angry because its interests are not met, and with a good reason: there is so much to do elsewhere! The poor world is capital-hungry in a way that’s hardly imaginable when living in the rich western world.

“Jeff Bezos is making out like gangbusters while killing and disabling people working in his distribution centers.”

Neoliberalism allows regulation. Neoliberalism is not “screw the workers”. What is “screw the workers” is globalisation, a problem that is so massive given the development differentials between countries that no real options are on the table. You’re confusing things.

“I owned businesses, local businesses and I treated my employees well. And I did not expect them to live on slave wages while I lived like an Empress.”

And if you trade commodities, you do have to deal with the fact that, say, Zambia is poor, that they need jobs, that corruption is rife, that competition exists to the detriment of that economy, that the chinese are not angels when they step in, that the OECD rules on commodity trading are neocolonial and condone corruption and will be hard pressed to change (as african leaders do benefit from corruption)… I mean, look: economic realities in the world are not comparable to your personal experience in micro-economics. These realities cannot be wished away. They are not condoned by “neoliberalism”. They are condoned by complacency, and you’re a part of it.

“Being from where you came from, I am sure you are pro multinational corporations.”

Yeah. Of course. As well as big macro hedge funds. And also even more pro-little-business. That’s not a contradiction. Multinationals are only a silo for capital gains. They can be legislatively broken up and perhaps should be broken up more often. Competition for money is not what is at stake. What is at stake is competition for good economic ideas. Money merely is a proxy for that. And that’s the real point. From my point of view, you can tax Bezos or whoever you want as much as you want as long as you do not break the mechanism that eliminates bad economic ideas from to pool of ideas in business. That’s called “markets”, whether you like it or not. I defend markets. All the rest is more or less politically up for grabs as long as you can make a sound case for it.

Dr. Lesses, please take a course on economics, no treatment/vaccine etc is ever free, some one pays for that service. If a insurance company (blue cross/ humana etc.) pays, then the people who bought insurance policies pays for it, if the government (medicare/medicade) pays for the service then taxpayers paid for the service.
So you are going to pay for that service either in higher taxes or higher premiums, just because you don’t see the bill for the vaccine, doesn’t mean you didn’t pay for it.

I’m not an idiot, and I know things have to be paid for. See my previous comment. You’re attacking a straw man, since I only said that the vaccine will be free to recipients, not anything else about how it’s being paid for.

@ Rebecca

“I’m not an idiot”

Likely not. Antivaxxers such as scott allen use rhetoric stunts of this type all the time.


“I don’t have to pay anything for it.”

Thats what you posted

And if you would read these posts you would have observed that the US government did not pay for the Pfizzer vaccine it was paid for by Germany.

@ scott allen

“And if you would read these posts you would have observed that the US government did not pay for the Pfizzer vaccine it was paid for by Germany.”

And if you had observed Rebecca’s post, you would have noted that she wrote: “You’re attacking a straw man, since I only said that the vaccine will be free to recipients, not anything else about how it’s being paid for.”

Bottom line: Rebecca wins the argument.

Antivaxxers such as scott allen use rhetoric stunts of this type all the time.

Harebrained rants packed with spelling errors?

@ Narad

“Harebrained rants packed with spelling errors?”

Yeah. Essentially. Though I must admit I love it when I see a good ugly rant that believes it can hide its paucity of arguments behind rhetorics. It’s always a good laugh to outsmart it rhetorically. It’s so cheap and addictive that it should be illegal.

Or, alternatively… counter-trolling trolls should be raised to the status of an olympic discipline. Not many blogs where it’s allowed, unfortunately. But it’s my caviar.


The Pfizer vaccine is free of adjuvents since they do not want the immune system to react to the mRNA , but it does contain “inactive” ingredients that you can gave an allergic reaction to…….

On of those ingredients is PEG (polyethylene glycol) which is known to be an allergen that effects a small but not tiny segment of the population.

I wasn’t having a conversation with you about allergens, adjuvants, etc. Not interested in your opinion on this.

The Pfizer vaccine is free of adjuvents [sic] since they do not want the immune system to react to the mRNA



Well, since you stated your vaccine you were getting would have no “recipients” I thought I would clear it for you since Narad did not.

Yes, Natalie White, I’m not a physician. I never claimed to be one, by the way. I have a Ph.D. in comparative religion. I don’t believe that disqualifies me from making a statement about how the vaccine is being paid for. Are you a doctor or other health care worker?

Ad hominem attack. I never claimed to be a physician. If you have any expertise, where does it come from?

Good, so you don’t have expertise in medicine. I’m not commenting on the vaccine itself, but on the cost in the United States for people resident here. Do you always use feeble attempts at humor to answer people who disagree with you?

Natalie, please lay off the anti-Semitic comments. You’ve been here long enough that I know you have a thousand and one ways to try to denigrate each of us. You don’t have to go straight to anti-Semitism.
It also doesn’t go well with your endless appropriation of other people’s sacred symbols for your avatar.

@Justatech, Given that every antivaxxer sooner or later reveals themself to be ableist, it’s sadly not shocking when they break out the other forms of bigotry. Disgusting, but not shocking.

I finished your novella:

Some day in April after the last entry (idk, maybe it was May):

…Crackers had gotten his antlers stuck in the giant fence as if he was just like any other stupid giant goat….as Natalie White trecked back to the gutted hardware store…Though she finally found her way back with a hacksaw to free him from his rack, Crackers was already dead…

“If only I had not spent so many extra days taking selfies with greasy bloaties along the way”, Natalie wailed.

Natalie looked at her last flask of Coke Zero, then up at the blistering sun, and then at the corpse of the sympathetic fly airport that had become of Crackers; she muttered “muck fe” and died on the spot next to her ,errm, affectionate, moose and savior, her compatriat, her friend.

The End. aka, Fin.

When this person initially started making comments – on Dr. Paul Offit’s Facebook page – she claimed she was a nurse. She also claimed that she was not anti-vaccine.

The latter was, of course, untrue, and there is no reason to accept the former, either.

Natalie is a die-anti-vax loon. She thinks kids should avoid all vaccines and risk getting high fevers, seizures, meningitis, etc. This is why I call her a sadistic child hater who loves to see kids suffer.


Talk about a “straw man”, I never said/claimed you were in “idiot” ,like you claimed. I said, you needed to take a economics class after you posted this.”AND I DON’T HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING FOR IT.”

this is cut and pasted from your post .
“I’m getting it in early March, at one of the New York State sites, and I don’t have to pay anything for it.”


To Dr. Baconator

I never said anything remotely what you claimed I implied, about costing too much but about 2 Billion dollars for Pfizzer. (actual Trump got 100 million doses at around 19 dollars a shot). The total cost of “Warp Speed” is around 12 billion, but who is counting or cares.

Just an FYI the US debt is around 28 Trillion not your figure of 20 Trillion, but again who is counting, but the interest alone on the debt is over 1 Billion dollars a day and going up.

@ scott allen

“Talk about a “straw man”, I never said/claimed you were in “idiot” ,like you claimed.”

You did try to shame to shame her by questioning her credentials out of the blue. At a minimum, that’s rude. And a baseline assessment, given your behaviour, is indeed that you were taking her for an idiot.

Quit bickering.

So now you’re a deficit hawk. Convenient for you to decry expenditures on vaccines by the federal government that will save millions of people’s lives. Is that out of a genuine concern for the debt, or is it because you think all vaccines are bad?

@ Rebecca:

I see that you’ve already met RI’s resident trolls: a rite de passage around here: you’ve acquitted yourself admirably. True, one doesn’t need to be physician to understand
the material being presented however your status suggests that you just might know something about reliability of sources and how to cite and/ or extrapolate from them.
I find – although I never diagnose anyone- that most of the trolls are merely contrarians, hellbent on negating anything that they perceive as the ‘voice of authority’ as they dismiss experts and expertise but there a few who are motivated by other deeper emotional issues that lead to their adamant opposition and – often- overt hatred for SBM and its advocates. Personally, I might interact with the former class but avoid the latter because it seems to feed their vehement opposition and dismissal of reality as research on anti-vaxxers shows. But each person will do as he or she may.
Welcome aboard


Welcome. I had to take care of a six month old baby with chicken pox before the vaccine for that was available. I despise all that think children should suffer from vaccine preventable diseases.

I am a mother with just a BS in engineering. But I know just enough biology to distinguish between reality and that used on Htrae (also known as “Bizarro World” — the cube shaped planet where everything is the opposite of reality).


You may hate to see kids being sick, but kids need to be exposed to infectious organisms to develop an immune system “library” of diseases while they have the T-cells to do so………

If you keep children in a nice clean bubble, such as most American homes now are, you are not doing the child a favor……….

No one likes disease and illness, but it is how immune systems learn. You use it early, or reap the consequences.

Denice did you read what you posted.

“although I never diagnose anyone”

but then you go on to psychoanalyze any poster who disagrees with you.

“incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result”

Just like Rebecca’s post

“I’m getting it in early March, at one of the New York State sites, and I don’t have to pay anything for it.”

“Self awareness” is missing.

@ scott allen

“but then you go on to psychoanalyze any poster who disagrees with you.”

There is a huge difference between analyzing what the psychological dynamics underlying antivax sentiment, which is perfectly legitimate, and stooping to the level of personal attacks based on fuzzy psychological projections. Which is the kind of think of thing I am experiencing from catholic apologists of the worst kind, who instrumentalise my experience of abuse to morally blackmail me into submission to Jesus. Denice is not abusing you in any way. Get real. You are being a recurrent prick. And you know it. Playing the nazi card on me? As you did? You must be joking pretending to be whining about being psychoanalyzed ! Or whatever…

I really don’t care if denice is psychoanalyzing me or anyone else,

I was pointing out the irony of her statement. as I have done to others who post here.

as to your fight with others in different blog’s, that’s on you.

as far as you being a nazi
you referred yourself in several post as “edelweiss” and was proud that you had gotten to use the swiss lettering on your computer (ss).

The edelweiss was used as symbol for the Nazi’s as the german word means, “noble and white”. SS troops would wear the edelweiss as a symbol of a true “aryan” soldier.

so now we have gone to “Godwin’s Law” and will end this thread.

@ F68.10

“so now we have gone to “Godwin’s Law” and will end this thread.”

Nope: not ending. And yeah, I like my swiß keyboard, and am not ashamed to claim that it’s one of the most awesome in the world!

“I was pointing out the irony of her statement. as I have done to others who post here.”

You’re dumb: there is no irony. Denice is obviously not carrying DSM diagnosis on people on the web. I also do not endorse that attitude, and have made that public on multiple occasions. However, when someone is behaving like a fool, yeah, we have a right to call a spade a spade. When someone is using psychological projections, we have a right to call a spade a spade. When someone is engaging in personal attacks or unduly playing the telepath, whether you or Denice, we also have the right to call a spade a spade.

That’s not called “irony”. That’s called “spitting facts”. Like one of my modern-day heroes, Palki Sharma Upadhyay.

This is all you’ll have left without 230:

No, U. You nazies moms make me hard AF.

“Godwin’s Law” satisfied, I trust?

You are being a recurrent prick.

And quite a high-recurrent one. I have manhandled (or have been manhandled by) plenty of barbed wire, shiny new ones or old rusty ones, and very few of them achieved this level of prick factor.

Scott Allen and f68

The Nazis took symbols from many places.

The Edelweis flower was the national symbol of Switzerland since the 1800s, in the 19th Century.

And in Nazi Germany the Edelweis pin was worn by the Edelweis Pirates who opposed the Nazis…….

This claim of the Edelweis means you are a Nazi, is like people who say the “OK” hand symbol means you are a member of the KKK, just utter nonsense.

Germans had been using Edelweis flowers in embroidery for 100 years before the Nazis. Edelweis jewelry has now been made for over two hundred years in Europe.The Swiss still put the Edelweis flower as a symbol of Switzerland all over the products they sell, they even have an airline in Switzerland called Edelweis.

I would like to see you call a Swiss by the name Nazi, they were neutral during the entire WW2 war. It is Switzerland’s national flower.

The Nazis took symbols from all over the World, the hacked cross came from Tibet, as the Nazis thought Aryans came from the region. Just because a short-lived fascist regime purloined symbols to use, does not mean they belong to the Nazis.

“or have been manhandled by”

Lordy. Back in the day, stringing the crap, “careful, careful, careful” was the chant of my employer. “I am careful, I hooked it arond a post!” “Jump!” looks over and 900 feet of unspooled wire is heading at me at some 20 MPH. There is a surprizing amount of spring-energy stored in that crap. I lost. Bigly.

@ F68.10:

HAH! As if anyone around here really believes in psychoanalysis anyway!

Seriously, Scott is not one of the latter category- he most likely is a contrarian and I have answered him in the near past..
The other sort are very few and far between- 2 or 3 at most overall this year I think that interacting with them only helps them to further bury themselves into a dwwp morass of unrealistic beliefa and imagined warfare which is harmful to them.

I kind of liked it myself but worried that some readers might not translate my error..

-btw- deep has many meaning in Hindi, is a masculine personal name and name of a terrific Indian food company.

Should have been “derp morass”.

That is only one layer below the deep morass. The dwwp morass is further down again.


“You did try to shame to shame her by questioning her credentials out of the blue.” (yes you did repeat yourself)
I never questioned anybodies credentials, you read that from someone else’s post, but you projected that on my post.

“call a spade a spade……call a spade a spade…..we also have the right to call a spade a spade.”
in the US you would be called a racist for saying that.


Now if I would have made those two mistakes, Nonards would have posted 6 times about how illiterate I was.

“HAH! As if anyone around here really believes in psychoanalysis anyway!”
Well you just pissed off a whole lot of doctors, psychiatrists and physiologists.
And some of the people that post here are in desperate need of those professionals

We have been in real wars, you are the ones who are imagining it, you are at war with the anti vaxxers and they are at war with you, eurasia and eastasia. You both use the same terms to describe each other and repeat the same lines to your own audiences.

As I posted several times you don’t realize how you sound in your posts.
“Self awareness” is missing.

@ scott allen

“I never questioned anybodies credentials, you read that from someone else’s post, but you projected that on my post.”

You wrote: “Dr. Lesses, please take a course on economics”

That’s what I had in mind. You did take her for an idiot.

“…in the US you would be called a racist for saying that.”

Buddy… I grew up in Lesotho and Suid-Afrika. Do you really think I only remotely care being called a racist by an American or approximate? I do not give a fuck: In France, claiming races exist is considered racist. In Suid-Afrika, claiming that races do not exist is considered… I’m at a loss for words. Deal with your issues across the Atlantic and do not bother me with your nonsense.

“Well you just pissed off a whole lot of doctors, psychiatrists and physiologists.”

Do not get me started on that topic. And I believe you should not tickle Denice on a topic she is quite familiar with.

“And some of the people that post here are in desperate need of those professionals”

Me? Should I ring up mommy? Give us a break with your spineless bravado.

““Self awareness” is missing.”

And you lack moral clarity.


Because there is sooo much controversy with where the liver and.. hands.. are located amoungst this ‘tarded community.

Because there is sooo much controversy with where the liver and.. hands.. are located

That would be anatomists.

scott might have had in mind the role of psychoanalysis in getting beta blockers to work, or maybe not.

And…life is better without the insults.

@ scott allen

“I never questioned anybodies credentials, you read that from someone else’s post, but you projected that on my post.”

Nope. You did infer that she was a dumbass by telling her to get a course in economics.

“in the US you would be called a racist for saying that.”

I do not care about your US issues on racism. They are none of my business.

Now if I would have made those two mistakes, Nonards would have posted 6 times about how illiterate I was.

No, Spotts. Hell, I’m not even much bothering with you. But let us (tinu) recall the Rectification of Names — you are semiliterate. This, after all, is the warp and woof of your corpus.

“call a spade a spade……call a spade a spade…..we also have the right to call a spade a spade.”
in the US you would be called a racist for saying that.

Only by the subliterate. Mirrors are your friends, spottses.

Wow – there are some who are determined to say this is due to the vaccine, despite what was written above.
I made some calculations myself similar to those Orac did – but I think they portray the issue a bit better.
Given the natural incidence of ITP, and given that about 9 million were vaccinated in the first month, you would expect around 35 cases of ITP in those who had been vaccinated in that one month. Simply from natural incidence.

Can ANYONE writing about lead me through the logic by which you can conclude that his death was not one of those 35, but was definitely due to the vaccine?

@ pbshaffer

lead me through the logic […] but was definitely due to the vaccine?

Easy. It’s always the vaccines. /s

As an additional experiment, we can try to plot the Venn diagram of
– the people who claim ITP is without doubt due to the vaccine, and
– those who, all last year, keep harping on how the death from Cvid19 were exaggerated and the mostly harmless SARS-Cov2 is maligned.
Some overlap would not be surprising.

@ JustaTech writes, “Natalie, please lay off the anti-Semitic comments. You’ve been here long enough that I know you have a thousand and one ways to try to denigrate each of us. You don’t have to go straight to anti-Semitism.”

Anti-semite? Did you see the website? They practice “magic”. Those golems and incantation bowls are some freaky stuff. If Rebecca Lesses, PhD were “anti-vax”, you’d all be laughing about now. Double standard – not surprised.

You then say, “It also doesn’t go well with your endless appropriation of other people’s sacred symbols for your avatar.” Endless appropriation? Now the eye of horus is considered misappropriation? Really? Who am I offending? Ancient Egyptians? Get a grip and stop with virtue signaling.

Good day JustaTech.

@ Nathalie White

“They practice “magic”. Those golems and incantation bowls are some freaky stuff.”

Oh right… Only jews dabbled into crazy whacko stuff? Everyone did. Muslims still have these crazy beliefs about djinns. So what? Seriously…

You’re out of whack. We’re done with the christian blood libel against jews in the modern world. We do not believe anymore that they need christian blood to free their hands because jews are born with their hands glued to their heads. Come on… Grow up, Nathalie.

The only thing you proved is that people believed in crazy stuff and still do. And you’re one of them.

Gather ’round, gather ’round, and see the commenter who can’t tell the difference between studying a thing and believing a thing is true.

And English professors who study Shakespeare, do you think they believe that Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the Fairy Realm?

(“Did you see the website? They practice “magic”.”) If you think that the only group that has ever practiced “folk magic” are Jews then you are so stunningly ignorant you must live under a rock. Knock on wood!

What about your previous avatar? Or are you going to claim that the young Native American woman from the 1800’s is you? You’re so basic.

do you think they believe that Oberon and Titania are the King and Queen of the Fairy Realm

Say it isn’t so.

I have seen A Midsummer Nights Dream numerous times and every time Oberon was King of the Fairies.

next you will be telling me that Bottom did not run around the woods with a jackass head.

Having played both the Mechanical who plays the Lion and the Mechanical who plays the Moon, all I know for sure is that only a real jackass can play Bottom.

Right. As if the only reason people study folklore and rituals is because they believe in them!
More likely, they’re studying them because of what they meant to original participants or to people in general- moderns included. Culture is more than Doric, ionic or Corinthian columns Actually, a few people around RI** have studied Frazer’s Golden Bough because he illustrates how the human mind works which can be relevant whether studying ancients in Italy or modern day believers in homeopathy and other pseudo-science. I think that our host may have even applied the rules of contagion to anti-vaxxers who fear the least taint in vaccines. I should look that up..

** Orac, me, others

Anti-semite? Did you see the website? They practice “magic”.

Quoth Ms. Eye of Ra. Holy f*ck. Honey, I’d offer to turn you on to people who really know this shit, but they don’t suffer idiots gladly.

Go take 500 mics and let everyone know when you find your way out of moose country.

Cheeky writes, “Go take 500 mics and let everyone know when you find your way out of moose country.” Sounds like a plan although I want to wait til things warm up a bit. Wanna join?

Cheeky writes, “Go take 500 mics and let everyone know when you find your way out of moose country.” Sounds like a plan when things warm up a bit…wanna join? Tim?

Natalie White – I don’t practice magic, I study the history of Jewish magic. Magic is often a part of religion, in Judaism and in many other religions.

I don’t try to convince people that magic works – I don’t “believe in” magic. Unlike you, I pay attention to scientists who weigh the benefits and risks of vaccines and listen to them, and then decide to follow their advice and take them. Everything I’ve read thus far has convinced me that the benefits of the various Coronavirus vaccines vastly outweigh the risks of getting Covid. I have asthma and can easily get bronchitis even when I have a simple cold. I don’t want Covid to get into my lungs and land me in the ICU.

“Magic is often a part of religion, in Judaism and in many other religions.”

She’s one of them, yo! Probably knows how Chucky works.

to Rebecca

I really don’t care about the US debt/deficits. I was pointing out to Dr. Baconator that his numbers were wrong.

Since your new here, this is a quick guide to the main posters to this site.

F68.10 ….. is the resident bully, so never disagree with anything he post, don’t feel bad if he goes off on you, he does the same on others sites as well.

Narad …… is the school marm who corrects everyones spelling, punctuation and word usage. Any by our count has that most post on any given thread (sometime double that of any single poster). but throw in Skitt’s law to his posts.

Denice… a well meaning person, but is arrogant and condescending and has no “self awareness” (she posted she had co conspirators and at the same time castigating anti vaxxers as conspiracy filled people and threw Orca under the bus with this:”

“BUT, broadly

— they don’t have an educational background and experience in the field which they explore. Sometimes, they may venture into largely distant areas ( an expert in GI discusses the brain or a software creator discusses vaccines) and present themselves as well.
— they describe their persecution by authorities and encourage potential followers to reject expert opinion or criticism.they present themselves as leaders of a movement that will “clean up” a corrupt establishment.”

That is who Orac is.

so throw a little “Dunning Kruger Effect” on top

Tim….. the resident want to be a hippy, who’s rants are short and almost as numerous as Narad.

Natalie… who is an anti-vaxxer and makes no bones about it.

Dorit ….. who is a law professor, I need not make any other comment.

Dangerous Bacon….. it’s the name of a cartoon character with big hands and a tiny head… enough said.

A few others that post here do hit and run posts, most come to brag or show off their new found knowledge, they got from their smart phones.

Scott…. I and a group of former co workers, come to this site to watch the humor and sometimes even gleam some actual knowledge for what people post (but that is few and far between). We are not anti-vaxxers, most of us are on the second or 3rd yellow card. We share access to the same email and name on this site and are the tenth man, we like the irony and sarcasm.

We share access to the same email and name on this site and are the tenth man, we like the irony and sarcasm.

Well, that would be a bannable offense* were it possible that anybody else on G-d’s green earth could be dredged up with your giant sack of tells spotts.

*And is trivially easy to check, should Orac care to.

@ scott:

How in the world would you file Orac under my description of alt med/ woo/ anti-vax leaders?
— he DOES have the background to criticise pseudoscience because of his study of general science, undergrad IIRC degree in chemistry, doctorate in cell physio, MD, research/ practice for decades and understanding of experimental design and statistical analyses.
How does that compare to software people ( Seneff, ‘Dr Shiva’), historians( Doshi) or lawyers ( RFKjr, Holland) on vaccines? Or a GI surgeon ( Andy) pontificating upon brain development?
— where does Orac talk about being persecuted by experts? He pretty much follows consensus opinion with some criticism. He doesn’t plan on over-turning standard medicine or science just to improve its foundation in data. He encourages readers to follow the consensus science of the moment…

Many of his targets have NO standard background in medicine or science PLUS they reject current consensus. THEY seek to overturn current SBM with highly speculative and data-free hypotheses. Orac explains how with relevant examples..

A sceptic doesn’t need a medical degree to evaluate con artistry, misappropriation of experimental findings, misquoting, CV padding, braggadocio or opportune lying.
We try to do that and DOCUMENT it
That’s why alt med proselytisers are extremely angry at Orac, sceptics, Wikipedia and social media companies that toss them off of their platforms because of their lack of basis in realty

And -btw- my chief interest is in revealing how the *leaders” of alt med mislead their followers that can lead to poor decisions about health. In fact some of the lunatics I survey go far beyond health to include educational, financial and lifestyle advice that is based purely in their grandiose self-evaluations of expertise
AND I can illustrate how many of them get rich in the process..


@ scott allen

“F68.10 ….. is the resident bully, so never disagree with anything he post, don’t feel bad if he goes off on you, he does the same on others sites as well.”

Me? Bully? Naaah… I’m merely speaking up my mind. And performing magical tricks.

But I haven’t laid a hand on you, big boy. And I adapt my rhetorics to the person I’m talking to. For now, Rebecca seems to be behaving quite well…

” Co-conspirators”?
Where is open and public advocacy for science, research and higher education, a conspiracy? Then, are universities “conspiracies” too? Are governmental agencies and advocacy groups as well?

Alt med/ anti-vax / woo-meisters utilise conspiracies ( by the ‘powers-that-be’, the Establishment, the religion of Scientism, BIg Meanies, etc)
to explain why their grounding-breaking theories/ research is not the state of the art in medicine or biology
they claim that they are being stopped, suppressed or downgraded because they are a threat to the Establishment, Scientism, Meanies etc

They’re being rejected because they have no evidence or data to back up their claims.,

Natalie White

Wow, religious symbols are “freaky stuff”.

I guess you then avoid all religions since they all use symbols and “freaky stuff”.

I mean if your loved one was killed by a gun, would you wear a tiny replica of it around your neck, or pray while counting beads where a gun hangs off of the end of those beads?

How about the incense censer they swing around during a Catholic Mass?

Evangelical Lutherns wear red clothing on certain Sundays, a use of a symbol.

You know, making fun of a religion is not nice. It may not be your religion but have some respect for other people’s religions.

I used to laugh at the priests wearing black dresses back in the 1960s when I was a child, and they still wear robes that look like dresses during Mass. But I am no longer a child and grew up, so I no longer think it is either funny or laugh.

Perhaps you will grow up, too, someday.

@ Aelxa

I kind of see making fun of religions as a moral duty. Which doesn’t mean harassing believers is fine, nor means spouting random shit like Natalie did is fine either. But, yeah, I do not believe religion should be given any free pass. I’m starting to get seriously annoyed by nonsense spouted by believers – the latest I unearthed is “child sexual abuse victims should forgive abusers because… Jesus” (mmmmh, no. Hell, no!) – and I do not believe anymore that we should let nonsense, whatever its origin, fly by. My sense of tolerance has been stretched too much, and I’m positive that we should not confuse tolerance with leniency any more.

Well, here’s one: Regulating the Magic that is Homeopathy… April 22, 2015
Law of Similars, Law of Contagion

Two hits on James Frazer; 25 on Law of Contagion/ re homeopathy and anti-vax Easy to find. via search.

So if you think this way, ( complete this sentence).


As Dr Paul Offit said……”We are keeping our eyes open and to see if it happens again.”

While Dr Jerry Spivak Professor of Medicine and Oncology at John Hopkins says “I think it was a medical certainty that the vaccine was related.”

This is new technology, and the mRNA molecule programs a cell to make a protein molecule that is not a complete virus and not dead either. That is a live virus protein fragment, no one killed it. It has not been cooked.

Viruses cause ITP, and the mRNA vaccination is not injected dead virus, it injects a mRNA program to have the body’s cells make the virus. Granted it is only a tiny fraction of the complete virus genome, however a live cell made that fraction so it is not really “dead”.

It may not cause disease, but it sure is causing allergic reactions. And ITP is definitely caused by allergic reactions.

Not that viruses are alive anyway……

@ Aelxa

“That is a live virus protein fragment, no one killed it. It has not been cooked.”

Yeah. It’s a prion. BWAHAHAHAH!


A Prion is a “misfolded” protein that can really mess up your brain and make holes in it, but it is not that approximately 16-bit piece of SARS-CoV-2 that the mRNA vaccine programs cells to make.

That is a live virus protein fragment, no one killed it.

Please, Aelxa, stay on topics of comparative religions.
That post on live proteins was painful to read.

While we may debate on whether a virus is alive or not, there is no debate as to when it is dead. Laying around in incomplete little bits is usually pretty conclusive.
Do you know the joke about the lawyer, the forensic doc, and the murder victim whose brain was in a jar?

Uh. I guess we could have a similar debate as to whether a Golem inscribed with the proper chem is really alive, i.e. like a human.
But there is no doubt the Golem is dead if all you bake is its hand.

If what you mean is that the protein is biologically active, that’s a different question and type of “alive”.
And protein “cooking” is very often irrelevant to triggering allergic reactions.

That post on live proteins was painful to read.

For me, it conjured* the image of their starting to sing à la Michigan J. Frog.


[Aelxa’s] post on live proteins was painful to read.

Honestly, that awful word salad wouldn’t even pass for primordial soup.

If only antivaxxers could bottle their own immunity to shame, they’d make an absolute fortune flogging it on public speaking circuits.


As I noted before, viruses are not really “alive” even when they are complete sequences, and they are not “dead” when they are incomplete. And incomplete fragment can just not program a cell to make more copies of the virus.

But since that fraction of a virus was made by a living cell programmed by the mRNA, in a sense it is “alive”, a newly made protein sequence. That it is unable to program a cell is not the point.

As for me saying it was not “baked” you know very well I was not talking about literally “baking” a virus to make it inactive.

@ JustaTech – You’re reaching. Did I say I believed in it? From the website, “We consider the use of amulets and other magical techniques for healing, and explore the relationship between magic and Jewish mysticism. The course finishes with an examination of possession and exorcism in the early modern world, and the ways in which the Jewish magic tradition still persists in the modern era.”

My initial joke, “Please don’t hex me!” This is an example of mockery. I thought it was funny but some feewings were hurt : (

Rebecca initially posted as a Dr. Rebecca Lesses. She set herself up for scrutiny. Sorry Rebecca. Wonder if she would give me permission to read this article. Looks interesting for sure: /45492580_Exeorcising_Power_Women_as_Sorceresses_Exorcists_and_Demonesses_in_Babylonian_Jewish_Society_of_Late_Antiquity

Unfortunately, her book is beyond my budget:

And lastly, the pic of the Native American woman…now this is considered misappropriation? Did you notice the pic was my avatar during the BS holiday Thanksgiving? Guess not. Went over your head. My homage to Native Americans. You remember, they were victims of a brutal genocide, too. Now you’re twisting that? Good grief woman! You need to chillax.

God this is long. Apologies.

@ScottAllen writes, “Natalie… who is an anti-vaxxer and makes no bones about it.”

I’m anti-anti. If we must describe things by such terms, I am anti medical tyranny.

Good day and good health to you.

@ Natalie White

“I am anti medical tyranny.”

Me too. But weirdly, we do not have the same appreciation of what tyranny is… To me, tyranny is solitary confinement, for instance.

But if you are anti medical ‘tyranny’ in the form of required vaccination for certain services, how do you square this with your duty to avoid harming the society that provides those services?

It’s like the owner of a food stall who doesn’t mind eating with dirty hands and therefore doesn’t see why he should be made to keep clean when providing food for customers.

I actually saw a food truck (well, trailor) today. They’re quite rare around here, at least on my daily routes.

It was at a gas station and was this little shack hitched* to a regular pickup truck. I got the feeling it was not local (and, judging from the immaculate condition of the truck, his hands were probably clean). It had a name painted on the back but, as I was in traffic and it was skewed to me, all I made out was “Shake It…(something)”. They seemed to be doing some buisness; there was a short line and people mulling around it chatting(?).

*The type where the ball goes in the middle of the bed of the truck. I’ve installed one of those for my employer and it was not nearly as ‘bolt on’ as he indicated to me It would be. He just repeated the stuff the site where he ordered it from told him.

Burns were had, fingers were mashed, and knuckles were busted.

@ NumberWang –

You ask, “But if you are anti medical ‘tyranny’ in the form of required vaccination for certain services, how do you square this with your duty to avoid harming the society that provides those services?”

Body autonomy…for everyone…informed consent. I am pro-Nuremberg Code.

Your analogy re: food prep – When you allow others to prepare your food, you assume they are following required food safety laws, washing their hands, wearing new gloves, cleaning, etc…but there are no guarantees…Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares anyone?

There is even risk in receiving healthcare:

Thanks for your reply.

Good day and good health to you.

There are people who research and publish articles and books about the practice of medicine in olden times, including the use of herbs by ancient cultures and native Americans. That doesn’t mean they reject modern evidence-based medicine. I have an excellent book in my horticultural library about medicinal plants used by Plains tribes in North America, and one of my long-planned but as yet unfulfilled projects is to establish a a walled medicinal herb garden (I have started seeds of an Asian mandrake species* which would fit in nicely). I’m not about to give up vaccines and other proven medical interventions however.

Sorry that Rebecca has received the negative attentions of antivaxers displaying their classic profile: uninformed, confused and hostile.

*Dioscorides recommended mandrake as an anesthetic. I’d probably opt for something more dependably effective and less toxic, although the tropane alkaloids sound intriguing.

Thanks Dr. Bacon. You and I share an interest in the wonderful world of plants. Botanicals are/were the basis for many pharmaceuticals.

Mandrake is an interesting plant. The comparison to a human body is uncanny let alone it’s medicinal qualities. I like the old timey art featuring the plant.

When I’m able, I want to plant calendula and make salves, tea, etc.

Good day and good health to you.

Botanicals are/were the basis for many pharmaceuticals.

List them right out, Toonces. Note that Taxol and friends don’t count. If you don’t know why, you’re not competent for such utterances.

Many herbalism promoters boast about a high proportion of modern drugs being plant-based, while simultaneously declaring that the pharmaceutical industry ignores plant-based remedies because they can’t be patented.

Somewhere in TCM there has to be an herbal remedy for deficient awareness of irony.


And why does Taxol not count? It comes from the Pacific Yew tree. Sure it is highly toxic, but what chemotherapy drug is not toxic?

And most drugs in the Pharmacopia are based on plants, the drug companies found ways to use just one chemical a plant makes, and then make that chemical artificially.

There is a company called Prodigene that is working on transgenic plants to have the plants grow recombiant proteins for pharmaceuticals. ……..

Research into plants is always ongoing…..

You have a poster of Marjorie Taylor Greene all illuminated in black light at the foot of your… bedding. Do you not?

“and the push for the 25th amendment has started.”

I should think that would scare you to death because black, Asian-Jamaican, woman, socialism. I know you don’t wish for her to be coming to your suburbs*. No, wait; that was the plan all along. Carry on.

*I certainly would not kick her out of bed if, however unlikely, she ever learns to just stop speaking ‘words’.

I didn’t see any mention of the 25th Amendment, but I’m glad he puts a lot of work into planning his speeches. It’s better than just standing up and riffing on whatever pops into your hesf.

Cheeky writes, “List them right out, Toonces.” Thanks. Don’t mind if I do…..

“A full 40 percent of the drugs behind the pharmacist’s counter in the Western world are derived from plants that people have used for centuries, including the top 20 best selling prescription drugs in the United States today. For example, quinine extracted from the bark of the South American cinchona tree (Cinchona calisaya) relieves malaria, and licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) has been an ingredient in cough drops for more than 3,500 years. The species native to the United States, Glycyrrhiza lepidota, has a broad range from western Ontario to Washington, south to Texas, Mexico and Missouri. Eastward, there are scattered populations. The leaves and roots have been used for treating sores on the backs of horses, toothaches, and fever in children, sore throats and cough.”

A while back we talked about scopalamine and Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium).

One of my favorites, Lady’s glove:


Hope you are doing well.

“A full 40 percent of the drugs behind the pharmacist’s counter in the Western world are derived from plants that people have used for centuries, including the top 20 best selling prescription drugs in the United States today.”

I have my doubts about that. Here’s a list of the 20 top-selling prescription drugs in the U.S.:

Lantus Solostar
Victoza 3-pak

Hard to see much there that could be legitimately characterized as “derived from plants” without confabulating or at least str–et–ching definitions to and past the breaking point, especially when you recognize the amount of genetic manipulation involved. Major drugs that are a couple of simple steps from the herb farm? Not so much, these days.

Some biologics (not to my knowledge ones on the top-seller list) are derived from substances isolated from plants, including at least one influenza vaccine. A quadrivalent flu vaccine in clinical trials uses a gene sequence coding for a protein that is inserted into a bacterial genome and transferred to a species of Nicotiana, which then produces substantial quantities of the immunogenic protein. The leaves are harvested and processed to obtain the crucial vaccine component, much faster than has been done with conventional flu vaccine technology.
Does that mean that antivaxers should drop their opposition to such vaccines, since they’re “natural”?


So, you love that influenza vaccine too? 🙂


Your list is of the top 20 drugs that earn the MOST MONEY for the pharmaceutical companies.

The biologics are extremely expensive, I should know, one of them prescribed to me costs $1,500 a shot. But they are not the medications taken by the most people.

Here is the list of the MOST PRESCRIBED prescription medications…….

You will notice they are drugs for Hypothyroidism, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, High Cholesterol, Ulcers, Sleeplessness, Pain, Infections and Depression.

And none of them are biologics. How many were based on plants, I have no idea. But most are based on duplicating natural substances found in the human body.

A claim was made that the “the top 20 best selling prescription drugs in the United States” are derived from plants.

I showed that isn’t the case, by listing the top 20 best-selling drugs. If you want to argue that those drugs are truly plant-derived, have at it.

And again – why do herbal medicine enthusiasts tell us that the pharmaceutical market is dominated by plant-based drugs, and in the same breath complain that drug companies ignore plant-based drugs because they can’t be patented?

@ Dangerous Bacon

I do believe you could find plant-based alternatives to paracetamol. Something that metabolises less painfully… My 2 cents.


There is also poke weed root-juice which shows promise for turning skin cancer into mutated skin cancer (depending on when it is harvested) and not just the usual use of, you know, killin’ people ‘accidentally’.



That was the first plant my parents showed me as a little kid, to tell me it was extremely poisonous and not it even touch it.

The fighting cancer idea was an old wives’s tale and never true as far as I know. But birds love the berries the Pokeweed grows.

Hi Dr. Bacon – Well, thank you for that extensive list. The article I cited was from the U.S. Forestry Service, so there is room for doubt about their claims plus I don’t know when the piece was written. From the list I notice a lot of immuno-suppressive, diabetes, and cancer drugs…which in my mind means many chronically ill people. I’m surprised blood pressure medications and statins aren’t in the top 20.

Re: Tobacco and vaccines – Since cigarette smoking is on the decline, are farmers trying to find a new, more profitable use for it?

You ask, “Does that mean that antivaxers should drop their opposition to such vaccines, since they’re “natural”? ” I dunno. I don’t speak for antivaxers. However, if the vaccine makes it beyond development and testing, it may be worth a conversation then.

Good night.

HAHAHAHA… I have only been back here a handful of times in the last half decade, some things never change!

Remember, one of the most important things that you can do as you get older is argue online with random people about vaccines. YOU! are really making a big difference. Keep it up.

I just made some popcorn, I have to go put some butter on it.

Is Denice W. still around? or did she age out and is now talking to the dining room table?

And we should care about your random rants because… Hello, another sadistic child hater who loves to see kids suffer from high fevers, seizures, meningitis, encephalitis, permanent disability and even possible death. I forgot you existed, and yet you are here to spread evil again.

Please go away forever, sadistic kid hater.

It’s well known that HAHAHA is most effective with three or fewer repetitions of HA. Employing four or more gives the impression that the user is having a seizure or perhaps experiencing stuck keys, like the demonic C.I.A.-infiltrated keyboard that deleted Sharyl Attkisson’s crucial file data.

By leaving off the initial ‘H’ it becomes a burgeoning sneeze which, in this case, may be due to an education allergy. The initial ‘H’ is a typo caused by one of those ill timed sneezes.

Is Denice W. still around? or did she age out and is now talking to the dining room table?

If she wants to talk to the dining room table, she knows where to find you.

@ Skeptiquette – I went back and read some of your posts from 2014. Nice to meet a proponent of civil discourse.

From March 21, 2014 1:13 p.m. you wrote,” I don’t think you understand my motivation. This isn’t some life or death battle that I am going to get even remotely emotionally worked up about. I am trying to take these opportunities to learn something, through discussion with like minded people. That is really what I love about the internet; it’s that I can have a conversation with kreb or anyone else, who lives halfway around the world, and learn new things, think of new avenues to explore, etc.”

Some things and people never change, however, the Covids has shed much needed light on vaccine policy, production, testing, efficacy and reactions. The global community is observing, commenting, and sharing information at a rapid pace.

I hope you come back.

It was an interesting trip back in time reviewing that thread.

I seem to have had a somewhat useful interchange with Skeptiquette, at least for a while.

Some of the commenters there are not seen here much. Lilady is sorely missed. Sid not so much.

Dorit was just dipping her toes into the vaccine discussion stream. She has become much more knowledgeable in the subsequent years.

I think my comments stood the test of time fairly well.

I haven’t seen any significant research on “immune modulated autism” since then and I did look a few months ago. On the other hand, there has been a lot of research on genetic links to autism/ASD and the percentage of cases with a genetic link continues to grow.

I still think we need a better Pertussis vaccine, but the decline in cases since the last peak in 2012 suggests that the current vaccine is far from useless.

Covid-19 protection measures have already drastically reduced influenza case numbers. I wonder if they will have a similar effect on pertussis?

Perhaps mRNA technology will yield that better vaccine that we keep hoping for?

And channeling Kenneth Copeland is not a good way to initiate a productive discussion.

Vis a Vis the pertussis vaccine: I also would like a better one, and I’d also like to know why humans don’t produce long-lasting immune memory to pertussis (in any form). What is it about that bacteria that makes it so forgettable?


Here you go, pertussis immunity depends on T-cells…….

And so as you get older immune T-cells decrease dramatically, making it rasirr to catch pertussis. …..unless you exercise alot……..

So walk 10,000 steps a day, or take up cycling and do it alot. Since without good T-cells a vaccine will not help you much.


Maybe the body needs a circulating population of helper T-cells to get the immune response started and can’t afford to wait for memory B-cells to ramp up production.

I don’t really know, but I’ll be looking for information while I’m reading Sompayrac this year.

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