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Physicians who promote COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation should lose their medical license

The Federation of State Medical Boards warned physicians that spreading COVID-19 misinformation might jeopardize their license to practice. It’s about time the FSMB said that, but I have serious doubts that anything will happen.

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I not infrequently went on record arguing that physicians who promote antivaccine misinformation should lose their license to practice medicine. The most recent example I could find occurred nearly a year before things started shutting down due to COVID-19, when I noted the case of Dr. Larry Palevsky, who had recently spoken at a rally opposing vaccine mandates issued in response to measles outbreaks that had been occurring due to low MMR vaccine uptake. (Truly it was a simpler—and far less lethal—time two years ago.) At the time, I argued that antivaccine physicians, particularly antivaccine pediatricians like Dr. Palevsky, should be subject to sanctions by their state medical boards, up to and including losing their license to practice medicine. Before that, I had applauded the Medical Board of California for having suspended the license of Dr. Robert Sears (who like to go by “Dr. Bob”) for deficiencies in practice related to vaccination, among other things), having said at the time action was first taken that “it was about time” and then approving of the sanctions the board finally issued, while lamenting that, not only did Dr. Bob get off easy, with just a suspension of his license, but he was being defended with massive false balance.

What Dr. Bob did wrong and why the Board sanctioned him can be found previous posts by yours truly here and hereSkeptical Raptor, and others. The CliffsNotes version is that there was a case where he handled the complaints of a child with severe headaches after having been hit in the head…poorly. He also granted a nonmedical exemption to school vaccine mandates to a child based on non-science-based reasons and failed to keep adequate records. Personally, at the time, I was surprised that what got Dr. Bob’s license in trouble was mostly the case of the child with head trauma, given that he had started profiting by offering seminars on how to avoid vaccine mandates and providing bogus nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates beginning almost as soon as SB 277, the California law that eliminated nonmedical exemptions, was passed in 2015.

In light of this history, I was happy to see that the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) had issued a statement on physicians who promote COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation:

Physicians who generate and spread COVID-19 vaccine misinformation or disinformation are risking disciplinary action by state medical boards, including the suspension or revocation of their medical license. Due to their specialized knowledge and training, licensed physicians possess a high degree of public trust and therefore have a powerful platform in society, whether they recognize it or not. They also have an ethical and professional responsibility to practice medicine in the best interests of their patients and must share information that is factual, scientifically grounded and consensus-driven for the betterment of public health. Spreading inaccurate COVID-19 vaccine information contradicts that responsibility, threatens to further erode public trust in the medical profession and puts all patients at risk.

The FSMB is, as its name implies, the organization made up of state medical boards, described thusly:

The Federation of State Medical Boards represents the state medical and osteopathic regulatory boards – commonly referred to as state medical boards – within the United States, its territories and the District of Columbia. It supports its member boards as they fulfill their mandate of protecting the public’s health, safety and welfare through the proper licensing, disciplining, and regulation of physicians and, in most jurisdictions, other health care professionals.

With this mission:

The FSMB serves as a national voice for state medical boards, supporting them through education, assessment, data, research and advocacy while providing services and initiatives that promote patient safety, quality health care and regulatory best practices.

The fact that the FSMB issued such a statement stating that physicians spreading misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19 risk disciplinary action is a big deal, at least to me. However, my enthusiasm and approval are tempered by my knowledge of how state medical boards actually operate. They are, in general, underfunded, have inadequate resources, and can only act when they receive a complaints about specific instances of poor practice or patient injury. Indeed, when a state medical board actually does act against an antivaccine physician (for instance), its penalties are often minimal, as was the case for Dr. Bob Zajac in Minnesota.

Indeed, I’ve long lamented how rare it is for a state medical board to suspend or revoke the medical license of outright quacks and how difficult it has been on the occasions when a state has tried. One good example that I like to cite is cancer quack Stanislaw Burzynski, who has been practicing his cancer quackery in Houston since the late 1970s and, despite the occasional attempt of the Texas Medical Board to put a stop to his activities, has managed to prevail, with only minor impediments placed on his ability to practice, leading me to lament, “How is it that in 2018 cancer Stanislaw Burzynski is still preying on desperate cancer patients?

Elsewhere, I’ve discussed the problem before a number of times. The problem is that state medical boards tend to be reluctant to go after doctors who use unscientific treatments like “detoxification” and colon cleanses because it forces them to enforce a standard of care, because such cases are harder to prove, and because there is so much pushback. State medical boards are generally good at going after doctors who commit easily identified, clear-cut breaches in trust, such as substance abuse, defrauding insurance companies, or diddling patients. When it comes to making judgment calls about doctors practicing outside of the standard of care, they’re a lot more reluctant to do so. That’s why the only physician behaviors very likely to result in strong action consists of running a prescription mill, sexual improprieties with patients, or practicing while impaired due to abuse of alcohol or illicit substances. It’s a matter of resource allocation and prioritization. State medical boards tend to react primarily to what they perceive to be the most immediately and obviously dangerous behaviors. Practicing quackery rarely makes the cut, because medical boards tend to be loathe to make value judgments about medical practice, and proving quackery is way harder and more resource-intensive than proving that a doctor is an addict who has been practicing while impaired or has sexually abused patients.

Even horrible surgeons like Dr. Christopher Duntsch, whose epic incompetence in the operating room resulted in multiple “clean kills” and paralyzed patients, to the point that his bungled operations so alarmed colleagues that they actually took the rare action of complaining about him, all too often take a long time to take down. Ultimately, Dr. Duntsch, who had major substance abuse problems in addition to his epic incompetence in the operating room, finally did lose his medical license and is now serving a life sentence in a Texas prison for multiple counts of aggravated assault relating to 33 botched surgeries over two years, including two that resulted in patient death. Indeed, Dr. Duntsch’s case was so remarkable that he is now the subject of an eight part series on Peacock entitled Dr. Death: The Undoctored Story:

The good thing about the case of Dr. Duntsch is that doctors as sociopathic as he was are rare. The bad thing about the case is that it took a really long time for his colleagues (who knew his reputation and had had to try to salvage his disastrous complications) and the Texas Medical Board to act.

Which brings us to COVID-19 misinformation, which can kill.

I previously discussed the case of Dr. Steven LaTulippe, whose license was suspended by the Oregon Medical Board for having  violated an order in Oregon requiring healthcare workers to wear face coverings in healthcare settings, and also because he was giving out dangerous misinformation to his patients. The order also noted that Dr. LaTulippe “and the staff in his clinic refuse to wear masks in the clinic and urge persons who enter the clinic wearing masks to remove their masks,” “regularly tells his patients that masks are ineffective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and should not be worn,” and “further asserts that, because virus particles are so small, they will pass through the recommended N95 masks and most other face coverings people are choosing to wear,” while directing “patients to a YouTube video providing false information about mask wearing.” At the time, I approved, but didn’t think the order went far enough. Just a suspension of Dr. LaTulippe’s license just didn’t seem to go far enough given his irresponsibility and spreading of COVID-19 misinformation.

The problem, of course, is the sheer number of physicians who have fallen under the spell of COVID-19 and antivaccine conspiracy theories, starting in 2020. It started with hydroxychloroquine and other “miracle cures” for COVID-19 and degenerated from there. You’ve probably heard these names: Dr. Vladimir ZelenkoDr. Mehmet Oz (yes, him!), Dr. Stephen Smith, and many others. Meanwhile, a group of doctors dubbing themselves “America’s Frontline Doctors” (none of whom are actually what I would consider pandemic frontline doctors) started promoting all manner of COVID-19 disinformation, including the claim that hydroxychloroquine is a miracle cure that “they” are keeping from the people. Now, many of the same doctors (plus others who, to their initial credit that didn’t last, didn’t jump on the hydroxychloroquine bandwagon last year) are promoting ivermectin.

Also, unsurprisingly, there are physicians who were not at all happy to see the FSMB statement. Even less surprisingly, it’s the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a far right wing medical John Birch Society camouflaged as a legitimate medical professional society. I’ve written about the AAPS a number of times, relating how it’s promoted antivaccine pseudoscience blaming vaccines for autism, including a view that is extreme even among antivaccine activists, namely that the “shaken baby syndrome” is a “misdiagnosis” for vaccine injury. It’s worse than that, though. AAPS has promoted HIV/AIDS denialism, blamed immigrants for crime and disease, promoted the pseudoscience claiming that abortion causes breast cancer using some of the most execrable “science” ever, and not only rejected evidence-based guidelines as an unacceptable affront on the godlike autonomy of physicians; the very concept of a scientific consensus about anything. Let’s just put it this way. The AAPS has featured publications by antivaccine mercury militia “scientists” Mark and David Geier and many others. Unsurprisingly, in the age of COVID-19, the AAPS has seamlessly pivoted to COVID-19 denial, antimask nonsense, and antivaccine conspiracy theories.

The title of its protest of the FSMB statement? As you might expect, Dr. Tamzin Rosenwasser’s article is entitled The Federation of State Medical Boards Channels the Soviet NKVD. (I suppose I should be grateful that Nazis weren’t mentioned, at least in the title.) After quoting the FSMB statement, Dr. Rosenwasser goes all anti-Communist, consistent with the AAPS’s similarity to a medical John Birch Society:

The FSMB has been described as a “private lobbying organization that represents the state’s attorneys who work for medical boards.” It does not by itself have the legal authority to take a doctor’s license but is highly influential.

The NKVD, the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, was the Soviet secret police agency, the precursor to the KGB.

No subtlety there, is there? It gets even less subtle. Dr. Rosenwasser invokes Ignaz Semmelweis (of course!) and the example of Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who in the 1980s discovered that most peptic ulcer disease was due to a bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, which went against the prevailing medical consensus of the day. I applaud Dr. Rosenwasser from resisting the urge to invoke Galileo. That shows some major restraint, perhaps more so than not invoking Nazis. Oh, wait, she did go there:

To coerce people to be vaccinated against their will violates the Nuremberg Code. Did we not once have an actual meeting of minds that the things done by doctors in Germany at the direction of that National Socialist government warranted the Nuremberg Code, designed to prevent any recurrence of such medical experiments?

Was there a consensus in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s that Jewish, Romany, and Slavic peoples were a disease on the superior Aryan race? Was that consensus enforced by fear? Was there also a consensus that Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholic priests, and Lutherans like Dietrich Bonhoeffer who did not agree with that consensus were to be tortured and executed along with the people they defended?

Is there now a consensus among all 50 States that physicians are to be muzzled, silenced, and have their lives destroyed in case they do not agree with the new NKVD?

It always amuses me how the AAPS can’t seem to understand the difference between Communism, socialism, and fascism, but whatever. Also, as I’ve pointed out before, the Nuremberg Code does not apply to vaccine mandates or COVID-19 vaccines, but rather is a thinly veiled Godwin designed to portray vaccine advocates as Nazis.

But back to Semmelweis and Marshall and Warren. The resistance to Marshall and Warren is often vastly exaggerated for effect when they are invoked for this purpose. In reality, their findings were accepted quickly when you come right down to it. In brief, as I’ve discussed before, Marshall and Warren first reported a curious finding of what they described as “unidentified curved bacilli on gastric epithelium in active chronic gastritis” (not ulcer) in two letters to The Lancet, published on June 4, 1983. They reported that it wasn’t seen using traditional staining methods and suggested that they might be associated with gastritis. By 1992, multiple studies had been published establishing the causative role of H. pylori in peptic ulcer disease, and medical practice rapidly changed. That’s less than ten years, which, given how long it takes to organize and carry out clinical trials, is amazingly fast. Yet somehow a favorite AAPS-style myth is that “dogmatic,” “close-minded” scientists refused to accept Marshall and Warren’s findings. In actuality, H. pylori as a major cause of gastric and peptic ulcer disease is, in reality, an example of an old scientific consensus that deserved to be questioned, was questioned in the right way, and was overthrown rather quickly.

As for Semmelweis, whose evidence that the simple act of handwashing before delivering babies was very effective at dramatically lowering the incidence of life-threatening prevent puerperal fever was rejected by most of his fellow physicians in Vienna 160 years ago in one of the most shameful episodes in medical history, I can say one thing with great confidence. Neither Dr. Rosenwasser, the AAPS, nor any of the other quacks promoting COVID-19 misinformation is another Semmelweis, or anything resembling Semmelweis. (I also note that Semmelweis’ story is a bit more complex than the version that is usually recounted by people like Dr. Rosenwasser in that Semmelweis’ findings were more favorably viewed in other countries, such as the UK and his results were long understood because of his reluctance to publish them, leading to their being spread through secondhand reports.)

Unsurprisingly, Dr. Rosenwasser can’t resist including standard antivaccine talking points in her article:

Now, we have an experimental vaccine for a disease with a greater than 99 percent survival rate except in patients who are over 70 years old or have comorbid conditions. Though it is available only under an Emergency Use Authorization, people are under intense pressure to receive it. Severe side effects have occurred in some recipients: myocarditis in more than 3,000; Guillain-Barré syndrome in more than 450; bleeding and clotting disorders in about 2,000; and death in more than 11,000. But mass vaccination is apparently consensus-driven.

If you have any doubt that the AAPS is antivaccine, just look at that paragraph. It recycles all the standard antivax talking points about the COVID-19 vaccine, such as the claim that it is experimental, which conflates a legal definition of a drug or vaccine that hasn’t yet achieved full FDA approval with a scientific definition. (By any reasonable scientific definition, vaccines that have undergone multiple phase 3 clinical trials and been administered to two billion people with an excellent safety record are no longer “experimental.”) Then there’s the dishonest appeal to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database, which deceptively ignores the baseline rates of such complications.

In the end, even as I support the concept of the FSMB’s statement of suspending or revoking the licenses of physicians who promote COVID-19 disinformation and antivaccine misinformation, I have enormous doubt that it will come to anything. State medical boards are constrained by the laws of their state, some of which (I’m talking to you, Texas) treat a medical license, once obtained, more like a right than a privilege, severe underfunding that only lets them go after a medical license in the most egregious cases, and other constraints. Worse, in the age of COVID-19, the entire right-wing COVID-19 disinformation ecosystem, of which the AAPS is a small but influential part on medical matters, will treat any physician whose license is sanctioned by a state medical board as a free speech martyr. I’m glad the FSMB said something about revoking the licenses of physicians who spread misinformation, but I fear that in practice implementing such a policy will be well nigh impossible.

Doctors who are antivaccine and/or promote COVID-19 misinformation often appeal to free speech and portray any attempts by medical licensing bodies, whatever the state or country, to discipline them for their activities as fascistic (or Communist) assaults of “free speech.” Here’s the thing, though. Professional speech is not the same as some random fool on social media saying the same thing. When physicians use the imprimatur of authority that society bestows on them to add the authority of their profession to their misinformation, that is an abuse their status as a physician that during a pandemic can have potentially deadly consequences. Contrary to Dr. Rowenwasser’s ridiculous comparison to the repression carried out by the NKVD and appeal to the Nuremberg Code, it is entirely appropriate for the FSMB to recommend going after the medical license of any physician promoting obvious COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories. That is not suppression of free speech. That is professional oversight. My fear is that nothing will come of the FSMB’s statement, as much as this statement should guide state medical boards in disciplining quacks.

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]

152 replies on “Physicians who promote COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation should lose their medical license”

Supporting your point about the too low penalties is the fact that in Dr. Bob Sears second case – which involved five very problematic exemptions – he only got longer probation.

On the other hand, we have seen some more vigorous action for other doctors – like revoking Kenneth Stoller’s license, and at least temporary revocation of Dr. Paul Thomas’.

Maybe we will see some more, in the context of the pandemic. I agree that it’s long overdue.

Useful analog: What should be done to a physician who says to a patient: “no need to treat your PCP pneumonia or your HIV. It’s all made up by big pharma to sell drugs, anyway!” The consequences of that malpractice are just as dire as advocating against an effective vaccine in the middle of a raging pandemic. Death by respiratory failure that was totally preventable.

A law like that would not be legally permissible IMO because “anti-vaccine” misinformation is singled out for special treatment. That’s like saying organized fraud is okay, as long as it benefits global industry. It would need to cover all vaccine misinformation. Are you sure that’s a road you want to go down? Maybe you should bring it on.

Deviating from the accepted standard of medical care has long been a recognized justification for medical board complaints, and potentially can lead to suspension or revocation of one’s license to practice.

Discouraging vaccination or urging unproven Covid-19 care based on egregious misinformation could certainly fall into that category.

@NWO Reporter Can you point us any religious dogmas based on clinical trials ?

This is proposal is PURE medical facism, the union of political special interests, corporate influence
& Government control coupled with the medical industry to affix communication controls between doctors and patients. Imagine for a moment swapping Covid with abortion….You people on the left would freak the f out.

So reading the insert it’s considered Miss information? And likewise explain to a patient the potential side effects is also mis-information? So I guess explaining to patients that blood clots and Myocarditis are potential side effects is also misinformation? Additionally telling your patient that this vaccine is experimental is also misinformation?

Let’s continue further…. telling your patient that there are no long-term studies on the side effects of this vaccine because there have been no multi-generational human studies is also Misinformation ?

And what about all of patients in the usa that decide to choose a doctor not based on Western and European orthodoxies? Should I be allowed to sue the homeopathic doctor? You people are tyrannical to the point of pure insanity how about allowing people to make decisions for their own health and living with the consequences of thier decisions and if those consequences involve death so be it it’s called FREE WILL. Just like the homeless person outside year 5th Avenue apartment has the free will to take a piss on your steps you also have the free will to go and get a vaccine and you both have the freedom not to be interrupted by one another

I know you people have a difficult time understanding that people have free will and make decisions every day based on their own desires and wishes that makes your head explode that people have this primitive basic right. The right to exist involves making decisions for my own health and if that involves refusing a vaccine or going to a doctor that tells me what I want to hear that’s my problem not your problem.

Everyone pushing vaccines refuses good knowledge some key facts and because you refuse to acknowledge and explain address these everyone is suspicious of you and your agenda.

1) why are the side effects produced by these vaccines both the prevalence and the severity dismissed as always worth the risk ? How does that make sense for anyone that is under the age of 45 and healthy it doesn’t and you know damn well it doesn’t
2) why is there no discussion of improving this vaccine for example streamlining into production the Novavax vaccine which has near minimal side effects?
3) why is the United States not tracking breakthrough infections? How many people are dying that had the vaccine how many people are in the hospital
4) and why are prophylactics cheap prophylactics not being utilized and I’ve been around for years?
5) why are side effects not being reported in the media.?

And most importantly above all why should anyone Trust big Pharma Corps after what they did to this country AND the globe with the Oxycontin epidemic?

The onus should be on all of you to make us trust this industry and this vaccine then and only then will the rest of us consider taking this experimental Jab.

Every medical professional every scientist knows that this vaccine is the most dangerous vaccine ever produced except you’re unwilling to speak out against it because you are all cowards. This vaccine is beneficial only to select groups like the elderly and those with comorbidities like obese and immunocompromised people if the industry was truly transparent they would be working on numerous types of vaccine for the rest of us the rest of us….NEWER versions with near NO side effects… that is the only way people will take this jab in future!! GET THAT THRU YOUR THICK SKULLS.

I for one. Had Covid and there’s no way in hell I would ever destroy my natural immunity to take this experimental vaccine which no one has any idea what the long-term side effects are. Im a healthy middle-aged man who takes care of myself covid is real but it is nowhere near as dangerous as any of you are making it out to be you are insane and frankly on the same psychological level as Josef Mengele for ALL of you. W
who thinks that is OK to inject healthy people with an experimental vaccine …You ARE is clinically insane

Vaccine fact sheet is avaiable (there is no package insert for EUA vaccine): It actuall should be given to the patient. So it is obviously not misinformation,
You can actually sue a homeopath, and I think you should, false claims.
You do think, I presume, that other people’s health is not your problem. But what about infected people ? Do you think that getting COVID is their decision ?
1) One wants to see your risk reward calculus for differnet age groups. I for one do not know it.
2) Novavax is a spike protein vaccine, so it is not much different. FDA is currently evaluating it
4) if you know a cheap prophylactic against COVID, tell us. Perpahs there is none. and thats why none is used,
5) Media is full of stories about side effects, like:
But they may mention other things.
You should read clinical trials data and follow up studies, not rant against Big Pharma.
Perhaps medical profesionals who does not say that this vaccine is most dangerous ever are not cowards, bur are disgareeing with you ?
Vaccination does not destroy natural immunity, quite contrary, it is like a booster shot.
Millions are killed by COVID ? It is dangerous

Finally, sanity. Thankyou for your well thought out and excellent comments. I commend and appreciate what you had to say. Concur!!

A law like that would not be legally permissible IMO because “anti-vaccine” misinformation is singled out for special treatment.

Nobody cares about your legal dicta, Ginny. Go crochet a swing or can some tasty frogs.

Narad-Sorry to say but many involved in the legal professions, US , UK or anywhere else would be very interested in the many difficulties in framing such a proposed Law(s) to inhibit the antivax brigade’s dangerous nonsense.

Leonard, an action by a medical board does not involve passing a law. Ginny’s attempt was even sillier, by vaporously invoking Title IX or Title VII or something.

Do sanctioned physicians have recourse to the law? Sure (for example). But it would help to keep in mind what the point of such actions is: “Disciplining physicians who engage in unprofessional, improper, or incompetent medical practice.”

I would expand the criteria. If a doctor promotes ANY information that is not supported by multiple sources of evidence then they should be told to stop. They should then be given a reasonable amount of time to produce evidence that supports their position. This evidence must satisfy an independent panel of experts in the relevant field. If it doesn’t, they should be told shut up about it for good or lose their licence.

I suppose you could vary the threat levels depending on how much harm their information could cause. Recommending woo in addition to evidence based treatment does less harm, usually, than recommending woo in place of evidence based treatment.

@NumberWang–This sounds like what the Oregon Medical Board did with Paul Thomas, If Paul Thomas is telling the truth regarding his encounters with his medical board, namely they requested this of him after he published his anti-vax book “The Vaccine Friendly Plan”. I get the sense from his incessant I’m-a-martyr-send-me-money-for-my-lawyer-fees” videos that his published paper on how supposedly his unvaxxed patients are healthier than his vaxxed patients was his ace in the hole. But since that paper was recently retracted, I think he’s in trouble when the Oregon Medical Board meets next on his case in January 2022.

Unfortunately the speed at which medical boards are forced to move (due to the scant resources they get) makes the idea of rapid action against these quacks during a pandemic feel very remote.

Unfortunately, I’ve heard a few of these physicians as live guests or being featured in print on websites/ podcasts of well-known alt med, anti-vax or woo proselytisers ( NN, PRN, High Wire Talk, AoA, Mercola etc) which is even more alarming because some of these outlets serve as woo consolidators and reach ( supposedly) millions of followers. Thomas, Sears, Palevsky, Zelenko and Cowan spring to mind immediately.

This is proposal is PURE medical facism, the union of political special interests, corporate influence
& Government control coupled with the medical industry to affix communication controls between doctors and patients.

So reading the insert it’s considered Miss information? And likewise explain to a patient the potential side effects is also mis-information? So I guess explaining to patients that blood clots and Myocarditis are potential side effects is also misinformation? Additionally telling your patient that this vaccine is experimental is also misinformation?

Let’s continue further…. telling your patient that there are no long-term studies on the side effects of this vaccine because there have been no multi-generational human studies is also Misinformation ?

This is proposal is PURE medical facism

I’m going to need an example of IMPURE medical fascism if you can’t sort it out better than that,

Medical doctors should not be forced to always go along with every mainstream medical consensus. Sometimes that consensus is controversial, sometimes it turns out to be wrong.

MDs should have some freedom to use their own clinical experience and judgement. Of course they shouldn’t be allowed to kill or harm their patients. It can be very difficult to differentiate between spreading dangerous misinformation and questioning a questionable mainstream consensus.

Not everything has been formally researched, and not all formal research is correct. MDs should not be treated like robots who can’t think for themselves. There is no simple answer.

Dorit how many lawyers get disbarred for giving bad advise? How many cases get sent back down to lower court for retrial for ineffective (or worse) council, yet no disbarment for those lawyers? About 1,000 lawyers each year are disbarred out of 1.3 million lawyers.

So everyone here is shilling for a vaccine that is only 42% effective, but it has made billionaires of the executives of the vaccine companies.
I mean seriously, would you buy a car that only worked 42% of the time?

You did not read everything, as usual. Check second graph, effectiviness against hospitalisation. This number is much higher.


So if someone listens to you, gets a vaccine and suffers serious side effects they get to take your license.

Let’s do this.

I’m more than happy to be held accountable. That’s the difference between me and the scamming antivax COVID cranks.?

What about blog authors.

What about drooling idiots?

They should be accountable as well.

Got insurance, Dave?

And it’s not as though this sort of information is unique to the US. This is the information you get if you get the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia:

There’s a another sheet for Pfizer (because it has different risks). They are the only two COVID-19 vaccines currently in use here. Moderna has recently been approved, but is not yet in use.

Not a physician, but over at Mikey’s place, Judy Mikovits is claiming SARS-CoV-2 is a lab made monkey cell virus spread in polio vaccines amongst others.

Somehow no-one noticed a worldwide pandemic for all those years until the beginning of 2020.

I swear there is a competition to see who can have the most ridiculous theory about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 published.

Physicians who promote Covid vaccine misinformation should lose their license? Yeah — I am reflecting on all the ‘misinformation’ I heard: Masks are useless against Covid; the vaccinated don’t need to mask; the vaccines will prevent transmissions; boosters are not needed; the lab leak theory is crazy conspiracy. Hey — has anyone thought of stripping Dr Fauci’s license?!

Masks where considered useless, when unsymptomic transmission was not known
Boosters may not be needed, but this it is may change if nasty variant comesw in.
Vaccinated may need masks, if pandemic amonst unvaccinated is bad enough
You will notice that one should change your opinion when new data comes in.
This is quite different than saying that masks are useless because virus particles are so small or mispresenting VAERS data.
Lab leak hypothesis is actully probably wrong. Vaccines does not prevent tzransmission among unvaccinated.
Sammelweiss problem was an actual dogma of traditional Westerm medicine, that diseases are caused by miasma. It was written in the books, so no refutation was acceptable. He did not have explanation either, Pasteur provided it later.

“You will notice that one should change your opinion when new data comes in.”

Gurgles changes his opinion whenever he finds out that he was accidentally right. If there was ever any evidence that vaccines were dangerous, Greg would be kicking in doors to vaccinate people at gunpoint.


You will notice that one should change your opinion when new data comes in

That’s my point, Aarno! With the science constantly ‘evolving’, we don’t know what will be misinformation today and fact tomorrow. We don’t want to strip any physician of his license for spreading ‘ dangerous misinformation’ only to see him proven correct in the future.

To handle such delicate affairs, maybe the ‘experts’ should agree on unchangeable Covid facts. Such info should be printed in a manual, and all ‘experts’ and doctors should be made aware of it and told they cannot breach such info lest they face penalties. I vote for Orac initiating such a manual, and being the final arbitrator to decide when a breached has occurred and if penalty is warranted. Just my two cents.

Does Greg not understand how science works? As new evidence is acquired, you update your theories. Policies based on a new understanding should change accordingly. Some people seem incapable of understanding this, no matter how many times it is explained to them. If the super nice guy next door turns out to be a serial killer, do you continue to consider him a super nice guy?

If the super nice guy next door turns out to be a serial killer, do you continue to consider him a super nice guy?

Some people do.
Look at the Belgian military who treatened to kill some virologists and took heavy weapons from the army. In the end he only killed himself, but before he was found, his neighbours argued he was a very nice man.

“With the science constantly ‘evolving’, we don’t know what will be misinformation today and fact tomorrow.”

So we should depend on whatever fact-deprived nonsense appeals to us, knowing that it is extremely unlikely to ever evolve into something resembling truth?

Example: the dynamic duo who recently wrote an op-ed in the Wall St. Journal praising ivermectin to the skies as a Covid-19 cure, then acknowledged in a later letter to the editor that a key study they cited had been retracted – but they still stood by their claims! Such people can’t admit they were wrong.

Actual scientists acknowledge error and learn from it.

@Greg Science is not continously evolving in the sense you think. Even old Greeks did know that earth is spherical.
There is for instance, lots of data of vaccines and autism. How could all this data be wrong. A conspiracy theory is needed.
Much less is currently known about SARS CoV 2. But there are many clinical trials and followup studies about vaccines. Thisn applies to ivermectin, too, though there data is contradictory

Fauci may have helped to start the pandemic, and had the nerve to lie and deny it. But you will never see Orac complaining about that.

Bob Zajac, as punishment for promoting not practicing the standard of care regarding vaccines in his practice as well as promoting his anti-vaccine views in the advertising of his practice is now required by his medical board to (as reviewed by Dorit on a recent Skeptical Raptor posting):

Take courses in:
Medical ethics.
Communicable diseases.
Professional boundaries.
Patient communication, focusing on explaining risk and informed consent.

Read a document about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Write a five page or more paper summarizing what he learned and “demonstrating how it is implemented in his practice.”

Remove from his website language criticizing CDC’s research on vaccine safety and language proposing alternative vaccine scheduled.

Not to post public materials on his clinic website blog or vlog.

Pay a civil penalty of $10,000.

While we all wish it were more severe, there is a possibility this will hurt Zajac financially. When Paul Thomas had his license suspended in 12/20, he has stated that he lost insurance contracts and was forced to “tail out” on his malpractice insurance because his malpractice insurer termed his contract due to what happened with the medical board (the tail amount that must be paid (typically within 30 days of termination is 150 to 200% of your annual premium which was probably about 30K for Thomas.

Now while Zajac didn’t lose his license, the stipulation he entered into with his medical board is a public announcement that he provides substandard care. So it may happen that the health insurance plans he contracts with might not want to contract with him anymore and that his malpractice insurer might term him or at least jack up his premiums because of this medical board decision.

As I posted under Dorit’s column on Raptor’s site, Zajac just got a rap on his knuckles. Reported in the Strib today, Zajac’s attorney sounded pleased with the agreement; “I think there has been great work at resolving this,.” And Zajac himself posted on FB.

I still have my medical license, unrestricted. I can still see patients, serve the community, and keep moving and going where God is bringing me… Still allowed to speak my heart in public, and will continue to provide Informed Consent with open honest dialogues regarding health and medical freedom issues.

IOW, like Dr. Bob Sears, he’s just going to keep on keeping on. He should have lost his license. State medical boards are a joke.

Yup. Chris’ notice about how his malpractice insurance rates might go up is true, but grifters like Dr. Zajac are generally cash-only practices or if they take insurance it’s only as “out-of-network” docs who require the cash up front, after which the patient has to apply for reimbursement from the insurance company. He’ll be just fine after this, and he’ll be a hero among antivaxxers for having stood up to The Man.

Over here in UK-ia my old regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council, finally did something useful and sensible and removed an anti-vax loon from the register – – for spouting anti-vax rubbish, amongst other things. There is a long list of the nonsense she came out with from p10 on.

I note also that she was said to employed as an “independent aesthetic nurse”, whatever the buggery bolloocks one of those is, suggesting that she might have been having trouble getting a job as a proper nurse in a proper healthcare setting, as she would have had to convince someone like me or my sister that we should let her near any patients…

Murmer- a quick google and we have for aesthetic nurse- one who performs non-surgical aesthetic treatments, injectable or otherwise. I did laugh at your unusual expletives, ‘buggery bollocks’.

It’s stolen: Jennifer Saunders used it a lot as Edina in Absolutely Fabulous. Dunno if she actually coined it or borrowed it from somewhere.

And there was some deliberately playing ignorant going on there…

Yes – Fauci screwed up saying don’t mask. He was trying to preserve PPE. It was a mistake to go about it that way. Period.

Yes – the virus could have come from WIV. There are plenty of precedents for dangerous stuff leaking BL4. We will probably never know for sure.

None of this changes the fact that the vaccine works, is safe, and (best of all) is FREE and readily-available. None of this means the scientific method is flawed. You’re conflating crappy, maybe-biased journalism with the science it purports to report about.

So the Mayo Clinic says the Pfizer vaccine is only 42% effective. would you buy a car that only worked 42% of the time (or have an airbag or seat belt that worked 42% of the time).

People on this blog want doctors who give bad/misleading/non groupthink advise to loose their medical license’s, what about lawyers who give bad/misleading legal advise. No one is forcing people to follow these doctors or lawyers advise, that’s why its call a legal opinion or a medical opinion.

Kay as usual is playing fast and loose with facts.

The report out of Mayo says the Pfizer vaccine is 42% effective against infection by the Delta variant while the the Moderna vaccine had 76% effectiveness against infection by Delta.

From CNBC:

“To be sure, the authors found that both vaccines “strongly protect” against severe disease; the difference appears to be more about whether people get infected at all in the first place. The CDC has said the risk of infection is 8x higher in the unvaccinated than the vaccinated, and the risk of hospitalization or death is 25x higher.”

I’m happy I got the Moderna vaccine. Still, the Pfizer vaccine recipients are in a much better place than antivaxers, who’ve wound up being far more vulnerable, and reduced to trying to get others to believe their lies so misery can have company.

Actually, I want doctors stopped from promoting stuff that contradicts current evidence. Not contradicts ‘group-think’, contradicts evidence. Otherwise known as measured fact. It’s not a case of the most persuasive person getting to establish current knowledge. It’s a case of the most persuasive evidence establishing current knowledge.

Why is that so difficult to understand? If someone thinks current evidence is wrong then they should be able to show why and how to the same standards as the original data. If they can’t then their idea is shit. No point sulking because they get called on it. Step up your game and do a better job.

You did not read Daily Fail article:
He explained: ‘In that case, it would then be a laboratory worker instead of a random villager or other person who has regular contact with bats. So it is actually in the probable category.’

The Danish scientist stressed that the WHO investigators found no direct evidence of this.
So it is still a theory
It quite curious, too, that you now trust WHO
The real point that there were lot of possible infections earlier, It is known that there was an initial attempt to hide the epidemic:

So the guy that led the WHO probe said the first covid patient may have been infected by a bat while working the a wuhan lab.

If the evidence of the first case was hidden, what else was hidden?

And yes it is a theory. and yes there is no direct evidence (and probably never will be) but circumstantial case can be made.

and at this point with so many ‘experts’ changing their positions, mask no mask, it is not airborne it is airborne, social distance was just a made up 6 feet number, Trump vaccine, no Trump vaccine (even Orac changed his position and was hesitant to take it). It didn’t come from a lab, well maybe it did come from the lab.

I am aware that science changes, how many false things have been put out by our experts only to have to change their positions, sometimes the best answer is ‘at this point we don’t know” The truth takes time to sort itself out. How hard is that to accept.

So this is too early for many correct or incorrect answers. But it sure looks like we’re back to 1692-1693

@Kay West It was not Trump vaccine. Experts changed their mind when data about clinical trials came in (and because they were allowed to run enough time).
Experts changed their minds about masks when data about asymptomatic carriers came in.
Experts changed their mind about airborne dispersion, you know why,
Same holds with origin of SARS CoV2. Lab workers have constant contact of bats, but they should be protected exactly because of that. Wet market workers is another thing.

So, Kay, how does this account for the other lineage? If you’re going to regurgitate the Daily Fail, that’s on you.

I had to laugh at the monumental hubris of this idea. “Sure, I know medical science has been wrong about a lot of things over the years–but that kind of incorrect judgment doesn’t happen anymore. Everything we think we know now in the medical field is indisputably correct–so the right thing to do is punish all who disagree. It’s called “science.”

And I have to laugh at fools who can’t tell the difference between reasonable scientific debate about and questioning of current scientific understanding compared to promulgating bonkers conspiracy theories and pseudoscience the way that antivaxxers and anti maskers do.??‍♂️

@ Orac

“And I have to laugh at fools who can’t tell the difference between reasonable scientific debate about and questioning of current scientific understanding compared to promulgating bonkers conspiracy theories and pseudoscience the way that antivaxxers and anti maskers do.”

Couldn’t agree more. But my laugh is mightily sinister.

This sums up why antivaxxers are a scourge. They are toxic to the precise purpose of freedom of speech: solve issues and deal with real problems. Not invent them out of pure fantasy.

Though I must say I have more sympathy for people who experienced some kind of trauma compared to massive jerks who just jump on the topic with pure conspiracy theories in order to lambast their favorite scapegoat. They’re all guilty, but some have a relative excuse for their behaviour. Others positively do not.

I’ve been dealing recently with an antivaxxer whose old mum died after a vaccine years ago. I have more sympathy for him than for jerks just putting dollar signs everywhere as if it were an argument. Not all antivaxxers are the same, though all are dangerous.

But yeah, sanctions for antivax MDs would be a good start. There are other ways to debate than to simply make a fuss in public in time of a pandemic. If they had a point, this should have been sorted out years ago. Now is the time for action, not for iddle talk undermining action.

More deaths have been reported to VAERS from the covid shots than from all other vaccines combined for the last 30 years. That’s not a “conspiracy theory”, that’s an indisputable fact. The CDC, FDA, and all their minions haven’t even acknowledged it, much less explained it. I give you credit for at least trying to provide an explanation awhile back–but you didn’t have any analyses or anything in the way of evidence to back it up.

It is the explanation. That you don’t accept it demonstrates your ignorance of epidemiology and how VAERS works.

Orac, seems the CDC and FDA don’t share your confidence about your ‘explanations’ for the massive increase in deaths (and other serious injuries) reported to VAERS from the covid shots. If they did, they would have mentioned and addressed the issue publicly, likely multiple times, and there would be analyses of VAERS data to back it up. There aren’t.

The CDC & FDA have never even acknowledged the massive increase in adverse event reports from covid shots, much less explained it. Even published, peer-reviewed CDC research that looks at VAERS data doesn’t mention it.

The CDC and FDA are no experts at distinguishing ‘coincidental’ VAERS reports from accurate ones. How would they have become experts at that, when the massive increase in deaths reported to VAERS is completely unprecedented in VAERS 30-year history?

@NWO Reporter Not everything happening after a vaccination is caused by it. Neither are all health problems happening after reading your comments caused by them.

@ Kay West

You write: “would you buy a car that only worked 42% of the time (or have an airbag or seat belt that worked 42% of the time).”

Actually seatbelts only prevent deaths and serious injury by approximately 50%, so a bit better than 42%. And seatbelts and airbags have caused some injuries, e.g., burst bladders, bruised kidneys, and at least one death, belt twisted and sliced into driver. So, only 50% and small but real risk of serious adverse events. I guess you would recommend against mandatory seatbelt laws and even advise against using them?

As for the origin of COVID, not really important, given the huge diversity of coronaviruses in bats, some genetically close to SARS. The evidence is quite strong not from lab; but whether from lab or nature, the world and especially the U.S. were poorly prepared and some nations, especially the U.S. did a poor job of acting. And several reviews tell us that if another, perhaps more dangerous virus emerges, we are still ill-prepared. And by the way, there have been numerous leaks of gain-of-function viruses from U.S. labs, including, you guessed it, a couple of leaks of corona viruses. I realize that nothing will change what you choose to believe; but below is a partial list of the articles I downloaded and read on origins of COVID. I doubt you will read any of them:

Origin of Covid-19
Reference List

Adams B (2021 May 22). PolitiFact retracts Wuhan lab theory ‘fact-check’. Washington Examiner.

Aizenman N (2020 Feb 20). New Research: Bats Harbor Hundreds Of Coronaviruses, And Spillovers Aren’t Rare. NPR.

Allen A (2021 May 19). To the Bat Cave: In Search of Covid’s Origins, Scientists Reignite Polarizing Debate on Wuhan ‘Lab Leak’. Kaiser Health News.

Bai M (2021 May 29). Healthy skepticism – San Diego Union-Tribune.

Boswell J (2021 May 30). Chinese scientists created COVID-19 in a lab and then tried to cover their tracks, new study claims. The Daily Mail.

Boyd C (2021 Jun 23). More proof of lab leak? China DELETED samples from earliest patients. MSN.

Brufsky A (2020 Sep). Distinct viral clades of SARS-CoV-2: Implications for modeling of viral spread. Journal of Medical Virology; 92(9): 1386-1390.

Calisher CH et al. (2021 Jul 5). Science, not speculation, is essential to determine how SARS-CoV-2 reached humans. The Lancet

Coronaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (2020 Mar). The species Severe acute respiratory syndrome related coronavirus: classifying 2019-nCoV and naming it SARS-CoV-2; Nature Microbiology; 5(4): 536-544.

Cui J et al. (2006 Oct). New Research: Bats Harbor Hundreds Of Coronaviruses, And Spillovers Aren’t Rare. Emerging Infectious Diseases; 13(10): 1526-1532.

Cyranoski D (2017 Dec 7). Bat cave solves mystery of deadly SARS virus — and suggests new outbreak could occur. Nature; 552(7683): 15-16.

Dallavilla T et al. (2020 Apr). Bioinformatic analysis indicates that SARS-CoV-2 is unrelated to known artificial coronaviruses. European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences; 24(8): 4558-4564.

Docea AO et al. (2020 Jun). A new threat from an old enemy: Re‑emergence of coronavirus (Review). International Journal of Molecular Medicine; 45(6): 1631-1643.

Doucleff M (2021 Mar 15). WHO Points To Wildlife Farms In Southern China As Likely Source Of Pandemic. NPR.

Eldholm V & Brynildsrud OB (2020 Sep 17). On the veracity of RaTG13.

Engber D (2021 May 26). If the Lab-Leak Theory Is Right, What’s Next? We know enough to acknowledge that the scenario is possible, and we should therefore act as though it’s true. The Atlantic

Frum D (2021 May 18). The Pro-Trump Culture War on American Scientists: Some are trying to turn the lab-leak theory into a potent political weapon. The Atlantic.

Garry RF (2021 May 12). Early appearance of two distinct genomic lineages of SARS-CoV-2 in different Wuhan wildlife markets suggests SARS-CoV-2 has a natural origin.

Ge XY (2013 Nov 28). Isolation and characterization of a bat SARS-like coronavirus that uses the ACE2 receptor. Nature; 503(7477): 535-8.

Godlee F (2021 Jul 8). Covid 19: We need a full open independent investigation into its origins. BMJ.

Goodman A & Daszak P (2020 Apr 16). “Pure Baloney”/ Zoologist Debunks Trump’s COVID-19 Origin Theory, Explains Animal-Human Transmission. Democracy Now!

Gorman J, Zimmer C (2021 Jun 16). Scientist Opens Up About His Early Email to Fauci on Virus Origins. The New York Times.

Gorski D (2021 May 31). The origin of SARS-CoV-2, revisited. Science-Based Medicine.

Graham RL et al. (2013 Dec). A decade after SARS – strategies for controlling emerging coronaviruses. Nature reviews. Microbiology; 11(12): 836-48.

Hayes P (2020 Jul 21). Here’s how scientists know the coronavirus came from bats and wasn’t created in a lab.

Holmes EC et al. (2021 Jul 7 Preprint). The Origins of SARS-CoV-2: A Critical Review. Zenodo.

House NNC et al. (2021 Mar 19). Corona Viruses: A Review on SARS, MERS and COVID-19. Microbiology Insights; 14.

Hu B et al. (2015 Dec 22). Bat origin of human coronaviruses. Virology Journal; 12: 221.

Hu B et al. (2017 Nov 30). Discovery of a rich gene pool of bat SARS related coronaviruses provides new insights into the origin of SARS coronavirus. PLoS Pathogens; 13(11): e1006698.

Jewell M (2021 Mar 4). A Primer on Coronavirus, Variants, Mutation and Evolution. NC State University: Applied Ecology News.

Jiang S & Shi ZL (2020 Jun). The First Disease X is Caused by a Highly Transmissible Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Virologica Sinica; 35(3): 263-265.

Kessler G (2021 May 25). Timeline: How the Wuhan lab-leak theory suddenly became credible. The Washington Post.

Kim NY (2021 May 17). Debating the Origins of the COVID-19 Virus: What We Know, What We Don’t Know. PolitiFact.

Latham JR (2021 Feb 25). Why China and the WHO Will Never Find a Zoonotic Origin For the COVID-19 Pandemic Virus.

Li B et al. (2020 Jan 29). Discovery of Bat Coronaviruses through Surveillance and Probe Capture-Based Next-Generation Sequencing. mSphere; 5(1): e00807-19.

Li H et al. (2019 Sep). Human-animal interactions and bat coronavirus spillover potential among rural residents in Southern China. Biosafety and Health; 1(2): 84-90.

Li X et al. (2020 Jul 1). Emergence of SARS-CoV-2 through recombination and strong purifying selection. Science Advances; 6(27).

Li W et al. (2005 Oct 28). Bats Are Natural Reservoirs of SARS-Like Coronaviruses. Science; 310(5748): 676-9.

MacLean OA et al. (2021 Mar 12). Natural selection in the evolution of SARSCoV-2 in bats created a generalist virus and highly capable human pathogen. PLoS Biology; 9(3).

Maxmen A (2021 Apr). WHO report into COVID pandemic origins zeroes in on animal markets, not labs: Scientists say the conclusions make sense but note that supporters of the lab-leak theory are unlikely to be satisfied. Nature; 592(7853): 173-174.

Menachery VD et al. (2015 Dec). SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronavirus pose threat for human emergence. Nature Medicine; 21(12): 1508-1513.

Moran L (2021 May 5). Lab leak conspiracy theory rears its ugly head again: this time it’s Nicholas Wade of the New York Times. Sandwalk.

NDTV (2020 Mar 31). China Reopens Markets Selling Bats, Pangolins After COVID-19 Effect Dips.

Parrish CR Et al. (2008 Sep). Cross-Species Virus Transmission and the Emergence of New Epidemic Diseases. Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews; 72(3): 457-70.

Petrosillo N et al. (2020 Jun). COVID-19, SARS and MERS: are they closely related? Clinical Microbiology and Infection; 26(6): 729-734.

Qiu J (2020 Jun 1). How China’s ‘Bat Woman’ Hunted Down Viruses from SARS to the New Coronavirus. Scientific American.

Rasmussen AL (2021 Jan). On the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Nature Medicine; 27(1): 8-9.

Rasmussen AL & Goldstein SA (2021 Jun 4). We may never know where the virus came from. But evidence still suggests nature. The Washington Post.

Reardon S (2021 Jan 29). The Most Worrying Mutations in Five Emerging Coronavirus Variants: Here is a guide to novel versions of the COVID causing virus—and genetic changes that can make them more contagious and evasive in the body. Scientific American.

Robertson L (2021 May 21). The Wuhan Lab and the Gain-of-Function Disagreement.

Sallard E et al. (2021 Feb 4). Tracing the origins of SARS‑COV‑2 in coronavirus phylogenies: a review. Environmental Chemistry Letters; 19: 769-785.

Samorodnitsky D (2021 May 26). The lab-leak hypothesis for COVID-19 is becoming a conspiracy theory. Massive Science.

Segreto R & Deigin Y (2021 Mar). The genetic structure of SARS-CoV-2 does not rule out a laboratory origin: SARS-COV-2 chimeric structure and furin cleavage site might be the result of genetic manipulation. BioEssays; 43(3).

Siegel (2021 May 20). No, Science Clearly Shows That COVID-19 Wasn’t Leaked From A Wuhan Lab. Forbes.

Singh D & Yi SV (2021). On the origin and evolution of SARS-CoV-2. Experimental & Molecular Medicine; 53(4): 537-547.

Sørensen B et al. (2020 Jul 1). The Evidence which Suggests that This Is No Naturally Evolved Virus: A Reconstructed Historical Aetiology of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike. Minerva

Sullivan J (2021 Feb 13). Statement by National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.

Tang X et al. (2020 Mar 3). On the origin and continuing evolution of SARS-CoV-2. National Science Review; 7(6): 1012-1023.

Thacker PD (2021 Jul 8). The covid-19 lab leak hypothesis: did the media fall victim to a misinformation campaign? BMJ.

The Washington Post (2021 Mar 26). Secretary Becerra calls for follow-up investigation into pandemic’s origins. San Diego Union-Tribune.

Timberg C (2021 Feb 12). How Li-Meng Yan’s challenged claims about China and covid went viral. The Washington Post.

Wang N et al. (2018 Feb). Serological Evidence of Bat SARS-Related Coronavirus Infection in Humans, China. Virologica Sinica; 33(1): 104-107.

Wallace-Wells (2021 May 27). The Sudden Rise of the Coronavirus Lab-Leak Theory. The New Yorker.

Wang LF & Eaton BT (2007). Bats, Civets and the Emergence of SARS. Current topics in microbiology and immunology; 315: 325-344.

Ward M & Rayasam R (2021 May 19). Experts weigh in on the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis. Politico.

Wardeh M et al. (2021 Feb 16). Predicting mammalian hosts in which novel coronaviruses can be generated. Nature Communications; 12(1): 780.

Wertheim J) et al. (2013 Jun). A Case for the Ancient Origin of Coronaviruses. Journal of Virology; 87(12): 7039-7045.

WHO (2021 Mar 30). WHO-convened Global Study of Origins of SARS-CoV-2 – China Part – Joint WHO-China Study 14 January-10 February 2021.

Wikipedia. Horseshoe Bat.

Willemsen R et al. (2011 Sep). CGG repeat in the FMR1 gene – size matters. Clinical Genetics; 80(3): 214-25.

Woodward A (2021 May 27). Lab or Nature? The Current Evidence For Each of The SARS-CoV-2 Origin Theories. Business Insider.

Wu Y & Zhao S (2021 Jan). Furin cleavage sites naturally occur in coronaviruses. Stem Cell Research; 50.

Xiao (2021 Jun 7). Animal sales from Wuhan wet markets immediately prior to the COVID‐19 pandemic. Scientific Reports: 11(1): 11898.

Yan LM (2021 May 17). Archived fact-check: Tucker Carlson guest airs debunked conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was created in a lab. PolitiFact.

Yang XL et al. (2015 Dec 30). Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Bat Coronavirus Closely Related to the Direct Progenitor of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus. Journal of Virology; 90(6): 3253-3256.

Ye ZW et al. (2020 Mar 15). Zoonotic origins of human coronaviruses. International Journal of Biological Sciences; 16(10): 1686-1697.

Yu P et al. (2019 Apr). Geographical structure of bat SARS-related coronaviruses. Infection, Genetics and Evolution; 69: 224-229.

Zhang T et al. (2020 Apr 6). Probable Pangolin Origin of SARS-CoV-2 Associated with the COVID-19 Outbreak. Current Biology; 30(7): 1346-1351.

Zhong R (2021 Jun 9). Wuhan Markets Sold Animals That Could Have Infected Humans With Covid, Study Finds. The New York Times.

American Lab Leaks Coronavirus

Young A (2020 Aug 17). Here Are Six Accidents UNC Researchers Had With Lab-Created Coronaviruses. ProPublica.

Young A (2020 Aug 17). Near Misses at UNC Chapel Hill’s High-Security Lab Illustrate Risk of Accidents With Coronaviruses. ProPublica.

I guess you would recommend against mandatory seatbelt laws and even advise against using them?

Oh, the vaccine/seatbelt comparison rear its head yet again. So, so lame! Yes, if wearing a seatbelt involves injecting an experimental one in my bloodstream and I am unnable to ‘unseatbelt’ or sue Toyota if crap happens, I would also become an anti-seatbelter.

Did you not get that “experimental” is a legal term ? How experimental is a set belt used in hundred million cars.
Your immune system clears spike protein in about a week. Your immune system is the switch off you asked. Its job is clean off foreign proteins, after all.

Number Wang- sometimes it may be easy to establish the dominant , best evidence-your measured facts- but at other times the evidence can be contradictory, controversial or whatever which will and does result in varying practices and much else.

Yes. However, “I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that” doesn’t seem to work as a statement with anti-science pundits.

but at other times the evidence can be contradictory, controversial or whatever which will and does result in varying practices and much else.

And, in those circumstances, yet again ‘vested’ groupthink will prevail.

@ Kay West

Yep, Anthony Fauci in the beginning downplayed need/value of masks. His motives were good, i.e., we had an acute shortage of personal protective equipment, including masks, and he was afraid that some members of the public would buy up many of them, which they probably would have. However, the evidence on the efficacy of masks is overwhelming. Of course, some masks are better than others. In any case, below is a partial list of ALL the articles I have downloaded and read on masks. However, masks aren’t 100% effective. So what? They reduce considerably one getting infected or infecting others. Note I continue to download and read extensively on topics related to Covid; but got tired of updating reference lists.

Reference List

Centers for Disease Control:

Associated Press (2021 May 17), CDC head – mask ruling based on science – San Diego Union-Tribune.

CDC (2021 May 27). Science Brief/ Background Rationale and Evidence for Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.

CDC (2021 May 28). Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People | CDC.

Chow D (2021 May 13). Here’s the science that convinced the CDC to lift mask mandates. NBC News.

Cook S et al. (2021 Apr 28). CDC unveils new mask guidelines for Americans who have had COVID-19 vaccine. CBS News.

Florko N (2021 May 11). CDC’s slow, cautious Covid-19 messaging seems out of step with moment. STAT

Karan A (2021 May 27). The CDC’s latest blunder is really about trust, not masks. STAT

Leonhardt D (2021 May 11). A Misleading C.D.C. Number. The New York Times.

Molteni M (2021 May 16). Mask mandates might be going away, but don’t ditch yours just yet. STAT.

Simmons-Duffin S (2021 May 14). FAQ: Yes, The CDC’s New Mask Guidance Was Based On Science / Shots. Health News: NPR.

Thompson D (2021 May 14). The CDC’s Big Mask Surprise Came Out of Nowhere – The agency’s communication strategy has lagged so consistently behind the research that it’s brought new meaning to the concept of “following the science.” The Atlantic.

Tufeksi Z (2021 Apr 28). The CDC Is Still Repeating Its Mistakes – The agency’s new guidelines are too timid and too complicated. The Atlantic.

Wosen J & Mapp LJ (2021 May 15). County, state mum on change to mask mandate. San Diego Union-Tribune.


Axelsen PH & Poland GA (2021 Feb 22). Vaccines, masks, distancing and credibility: An urgent warning for pandemic management . Vaccine; 39(8):1173-1174.

Bulfone TC et al. (2021 Feb 15). Outdoor Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and Other Respiratory Viruses: A Systematic Review. The Journal of Infectious Diseases; 223(4): 550-561.


Colby JL (2021 Jun 17). Why you might not want to put your mask away yet. San Diego Union-Tribune.

Epperly DE et al. (2020 Dec 10 medRxiv). COVID-19 Aerosolized Viral Loads, Environment, Ventilation, Masks, Exposure Time, Severity, And Immune Response: A Pragmatic Guide Of Estimates.

Fouda B et al. (2021 Apr). Identifying SARS-CoV2 transmission cluster category: An analysis of country government database. Journal of Infection and Public Health: 14(4): 461-467.

Gandhi M & Marr LC (2021 Jan 15). Uniting Infectious Disease and Physical Science Principles on the Importance of Face Masks for COVID-19. Med (New York, N.Y.); 2(1): 29-32.

Gorski D (2021 May 17). How anti maskers weaponize techniques of scientific analysis to attack mask mandates. Science-Based Medicine.

Joo H (2021 Feb 12). Decline in COVID-19 Hospitalization Growth Rates Associated with Statewide Mask Mandates — 10 States, March–October 2020 – MMWR.

Leclerc QJ (2020 Jun 5). What settings have been linked to SARS-CoV-2 transmission clusters? Wellcome Open Research; 5: 83.

Lee C et al. (2021 May). Viral Visualizations: How Coronavirus Skeptics Use Orthodox Data Practices to Promote Unorthodox Science Online. CHI ’21: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems; Article No. 607: Pages 1-18.

Liang M et al. (2020 Jul). Efficacy of face mask in preventing respiratory virus transmission: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease; 36.

McGreevy R (2021 Apr 5). Outdoor transmission accounts for 0.1% of State’s Covid-19 cases. The Irish Times.

Parker-Pope T (2021 May 6). Do We Still Need to Keep Wearing Masks Outdoors? The New York Times.

Qian H (2021). Indoor transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Indoor Air; 31(3): 639-645.

Thompson D (2021 May 21). The Texas Mask-Mandate Mystery. The Atlantic.

Van Dyke ME (2020 Nov 27). Trends in County-Level COVID-19 Incidence in Counties With and Without a Mask Mandate — Kansas, June 1–August 23, 2020 – MMWR.

@ Kay West

You questioned the choice of 6 ft for physical/social distancing. Yep, not strictly based on science. If outdoors, temperature, humidity, wind, and whether an infected person just talks or cought and/or sneezes are all factors. However, on average 6 feet, given what we know about the Covid virus, is a reasonable compromise. How in hell could we adjust ongoing distances based on the aforementioned? Hourly weather reports for every city, etc.?

Anyone understands that airborne infections travel distances, depending on the particular microbe.

And you mention that in the beginning they didn’t know if airborne. Yep, in the beginning; but early on during the pandemic they had overwhelming scientific evidence. However, they also, to err on the side of caution, thought it might also be transmitted via fomites, that is, inanimate objects, so people were advised to disinfect surfaces, etc. Evidence strong not transmitted via fomites, perhaps, if someone coughs in hand, opens door, and someone immediately opens same door; but odds small.

Basically, you have no respect for the CDC or other public health scientists, so you bring up things that in the early stages of a pandemic, especially with Trump undermining all scientists, with a shortage of personnel and funding, and, yet, still getting it eventually right.

One error was to reward those vaccinated by saying no need to wear masks. Two problems:

Trusting the honesty of people. Many not vaccinated just lie and go without masks
Though risk lower, because those vaccinated have lower; but not non-existent viral loads, if in neighborhood of someone who couldn’t be vaccinated or their immune system didn’t respond strongly, puts them at risk.

And you don’t understand difference between being infected and experiencing serious symptoms. At ALL times we have in and on our bodies literally billions of microbes that could potentially be harmful. Read any introductory Microbiology textbook. However, our immune system keeps them in check, sometimes completely eliminating them; but if our immune system is compromised, e.g., chemotherapy for cancer, etc. they could break out.

People vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna may give positive results of Delta virus from nasal swabs, etc.; but no serious symptoms. In fact, even possible that the viruses in nasal cavity eventually after sometime completely eliminated by our immune system. However, if you worry about testing finding potentially dangerous viruses, I suggest you become a hermit because most people you interact with will have something; but probably you already have antibodies to most from previous exposure to low doses or because your immune system is still reasonably young and robust.

You just don’t get anything right. Wow! Probably a combination of your seeing things through a rigid ideological lens and a lack of education in immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, and extensive studying of current and historical epidemics/pandemics.

Not to additionally ridicule Kay (why not?), but the following deserves a further response:

“People on this blog want doctors who give bad/misleading/non groupthink advise to loose their medical license’s, what about lawyers who give bad/misleading legal advise. No one is forcing people to follow these doctors or lawyers advise, that’s why its call a legal opinion or a medical opinion.”

Lawyers who give bad advice are at risk of sanctions from their supervising bar association and risk being sued for legal malpractice.

“A Solicitor owes a client a duty of care to act in their best interests. If that Solicitor gives incorrect advice or fails to do something which any reasonably competent Solicitor would have done, then you may have a claim in negligence, if you can establish that you have lost something of value.”

A complicating factor may be whether the person who loses something due to bad professional advice (their money or health, for instance) has an actual lawyer-client or doctor-patient relationship with the offending professional. Still, a bar association may well look askance at an attorney who gives interviews advising people to declare themselves sovereign citizens to avoid paying income tax, and a diligent board of medicine would be justified in cracking down on a physician who spreads pernicious misinformation about the pandemic and puts large numbers of people at risk if they take his/her advice.

i don’t like to argue with a cartoon but here goes.
Interesting that you would talk about lawyers, here is a couple of interesting facts.
In the US there are about 1.4 million lawyers.
in 2017 about 15,000 complaints were filed with the 50 states bar association for malpractice.
Of those 15,000 complaints only about 1,000 lawyers were disbarred for a period of time, and about 1,600 received any censure.
Do you really think that only about 2,600 lawyers gave bad, misleading or false advise?
How many lawyers are censured/disbarred if a case was overturned in higher court because of incompetent/inadequate legal advise (don’t hold up too many fingers).
As to legal malpractice I would leave that up to someone else to answer.

As to these doctors giving vaccine advise to people, I would bet they have lawyers who advise them on what they can and can not say or claim. Its not much different then any other profession. These doctors can offer a public opinion just the same as everyone else, what you and others are proposing is to attack people and their business for a public opinion. I am sure you would protest if some group attacked your work/business because of something you post on RI

These doctors can offer a public opinion just the same as everyone else,

If they preface their opinion by “Dr X say”, then it’s not their public/simple citizen opinion, but their professional opinion.
And as such, ground for judgement by the people in charge of enforcing some quality of work among the profession.

I am sure you would protest if some group attacked your work/business because of something you post on RI

True, but that, by itself, doesn’t make it right or wrong.

But funny you should say that. That did happen, to Orac and to at least one person among the long-term readers.
So no reason that this shouldn’t happen to more deserving people.

A few key differences::
– Orac does not post medical advice, aside “consult a real physician for you troubles, not some ill-trained medical wannabe”
– We are talking about attacking the physicians giving bad medical advice, not the superstructure hosting them. Also, many of these doctors do a bit more than giving bad advice via tweeter, they also give it directly to their patients.
– There is a reason there is a disclaimer that the writings posted here are Orac’s opinions, not his institution.

i don’t like to argue with a cartoon but here goes

I’m starting to think the last line of Apocalypse Now should have been “The irony.”

“Like an arrow?”


An arrow may be lost in the weeds and undergrowth when it misses not only the mark but the entire backstop. Not always the responsibility of the archer, highly trained, practiced, and disciplined in the placing of arrows, it may have been refracted by a spell of warding.


“They’re made out of meat.”


“Meat. They’re made out of meat.”


“There’s no doubt about it. We picked several from different parts of the planet, took them aboard our recon vessels, probed them all the way through. They’re completely meat.”

“That’s impossible. What about the radio signals? The messages to the stars.”

“They use the radio waves to talk, but the signals don’t come from them. The signals come from machines.”

“So who made the machines? That’s who we want to contact.”

“They made the machines. That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Meat made the machines.”

“That’s ridiculous. How can meat make a machine? You’re asking me to believe in sentient meat.”

“I’m not asking you, I’m telling you. These creatures are the only sentient race in the sector and they’re made out of meat.” Terry Bison, 1991

In other Covid-19 vaccine news:

A Supreme Court justice (Amy Barrett) has refused to block a requirement by Indiana University that students and employees be vaccinated against Covid-19.

In the linked story the Associated Press says that seven of the eight students involved in bringing the suit qualify for religious exemptions to the rule. I wonder what faith they’re claiming precludes their being vaccinated, other than the religion of Me, Myself and I.

Erwin Chemerinsky, a scholar of constitutional law and dean of Berkeley Law, explained in the LA Times that there is no real requirement for religious exemptions to vaccination mandates. He wrote, “Universities and employers have the legal right to make sure that everyone is vaccinated. And they have the moral duty to protect health and lives.”

I don’t like religious exemptions to such mandates because they privilege religious belief over other secular belief systems. To me, in the name of basic fairness, it’s all or none. You either allow personal belief exemptions for all belief systems or you allow them for none. Obviously, I advocate for the latter: No personal belief exemptions, with only legitimate medical exemptions permitted.

You either allow personal belief exemptions for all belief systems or you allow them for none.

Indeed, the students who challenged the university’s vaccine mandate argued in part that the “radically expanded exemptions” from the requirement “have virtually guaranteed anyone can get” one.

“No one, in practicing his or her religion, has a constitutional right to endanger others.”

Yet metzitzah b’peh persists.

@ Kay West

You write: “These doctors can offer a public opinion just the same as everyone else, what you and others are proposing is to attack people and their business for a public opinion.”

Law is an arbitrary group of rules made up historically. In fact, as undergrad I took three courses in Constitutional Law. Supreme Court, despite what they claim, can draw from various previous decisions and come up with whatever their prejudices allow. I have three books on history of Supreme Court. Medicine, at least modern medicine, claims to be based on science. If a doctor says it is his personal opinion, not his medical opinion, then he can say what he likes; but if he claims his opinion based on medical science, NOPE. As for a lawyer advising them what they can and cannot do, if a lawyer advises them they can give an opinion as a medical doctor that contradicts overwhelming scientifically validated medical science, it would NOT change the FACT. Lawyers advise what they think people can get away with. The U.S. is the most litigious society on Earth. In fact, years ago I read something that said something like American colonials would rather sue than eat breakfast. Don’t remember the exact quote. .

Despite what you choose to believe, the dangers and reality of COVID are well-established science. Since I doubt you even know the basics of virology, you really don’t know what you are talking about. As for the vaccine, despite what antivaxxers believe, it is NOT an experimental vaccine and it was NOT rushed.

It is based on the established science of molecular biology, specifically how mRNA works in cells. As for being rushed, traditionally, first comes animal studies, then phase 1 looking for serious adverse reactions, then phase 2 looking for effects on immunity and serious adverse events, then phase 3, placebo-controlled double blind large study, then vaccine production. The animal studies, phase 1, and phase 2 were all carried out completely and reported; however, rather than successively, though independent, they were partially overlapping. The only potential problem was risk to volunteers in phase 3. I was one of them. However, phase 3 for both Moderna and Pfizer were conducted as if animal studies, phase 1, and phase 2 had been completed; but phase 3 were carried out exactly as required. In fact, both were published on Dec 30 and Dec 31 in New England Journal of Medicine. Usually, once phase 3 completed, then vaccine production begins. Trump agreed to pay for vaccine production before phase 3 was completed. It may seem rushed; but ALL the phases were carried out and reported. And we have enormous date on just how effective the vaccines are, not necessarily in preventing infection; but in preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and deaths. This data we have from around the world. As for serious adverse reactions, rare but real. But anyone who really understands COVID, not just risk of death; but long-COVID, and current DELTA variant is affecting larger number of children, who also understands that the risk of rare but real serious adverse events is minuscule compared to risk from COVID, not Kay West of course, understands that the benefit to risk ratio is enormous.

Antivaxxers rely on VAERS; but VAERS is not a scientifically valid base. Imagine some crime is committed. Police bring in dozens of possible suspects. Does that mean even one is the actual culprit? Well, based on how antivaxxers use VAERS, they would see everyone brought in as a suspect as guilty. Every serious adverse event reported in VAERS is investigated by teams at the CDC, including accessing medical records. On any day in U.S. approximately 2,300 people suffer from heart attacks. So, if someone gets a vaccine, has a heart attack a few days later, may be reported to VAERS; but if number of heart attacks following vaccines not higher than usual and patient’s medical record shows heart disease, wasn’t caused by vaccine. Antivaxxers reject this. In 1976 the swine flu vaccine was given out. One nursing home had a number of deaths following vaccination. Later was discovered that the number of deaths than week was actually slightly lower than average; but too late to save giving vaccine to other nursing homes. The swine flu didn’t break out, so considered a mistake to vaccinate; but if no vaccine and swine flu had broken out, all hell would have been directed at CDC. One other thing, there was a large report of cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, allegedly tied to vaccine. Later CDC investigated, getting medical records when possible. Turns out a doctor in Minnesota had a cassette course in recognizing Guillain-Barre. He listened to it late one night, misunderstood. Thought one of his patients had it and reported to CDC MMWR. Followed by many reports. Later investigation found most not Guillain-Barre. Also, I was working at time as civilian for U.S. Navy. We got double doses of vaccine and, yet, that year military reported fewer cases of GB than usual year. In this case it wasn’t VAERS; but MMWR that was WRONG. Holland gave out regular doses of vaccine and also had fewer than expected number of cases of GB. Of course, Kay West will ignore this.

So, once again, lawyers and law are artificial constructs, medicine science is applied science. If a doctor gives an opinion that goes against overwhelming scientific evidence, he is betraying his oath and his medical license. Unfortunately, there are licensed physicians who practice homeopathy and retain their licenses. They shouldn’t.

Kay– the basics issues are not difficult to comprehend and have been around in evolving forms since humans decided that community living was more interesting and safer than a solitary existence- we are social animals. We all ( or most) believe that freedom is a wonderful thing, but with the myriad choices about what we do or should do may and invariably and does impinge others’ freedom to choose. It’s inevitable that institutions arise in the society that try to establish some ‘fair play’ among our choices. There has to be some control and curtailment of what could be dangerous ( cause harm) activities of any group. Society judges and sometimes may get it wrong BUT regulation there must be. Antivax ideas and practices clearly can at times be very dangerous- people die as a result. You may die if you wish but you will not be allowed that freedom to cause others, such as your children, or your neighbor to do likewise. It is a great juggling act in our lives with all these issues but we cannot revert to long gone previous eras where life could be very nasty and short. Science can and does provide the very best, but far from perfect or agreed, knowledge about matters medical: anything else is second best.

Back over at Mikey’s place he has been interviewing Dr Richard Fleming about the COVID-19 vaccines being bioweapons. For its full loonyness, the interview contains the following

“Now these people are criminally culpable,” says Fleming. “They have violated the Biological Weapons Convention Treaty. They have violated the Informed Consent with the Declaration of Helsinki. They have violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Treaty. They have violated the Nuremberg Code. Physicians in the United States that are vaccinating people who have not read the package inserts to obtain the information about the drugs are violating their Hippocratic Oath – but wait a minute, there’s nothing on those package inserts because they are intentionally blank.”

But this one is OK, because Fleming has not only been defrocked, but also convicted of fraud and debarred by the FDA

It must be a sad come down for Fleming. Grifting through Mike Adams.

Greg- there is much confusion or misuse of the word ‘experimental’. The vaccines in use have passed all the protocols that have been established for vaccine production, safety and efficacy and minimal harm. It could be considered ‘experimental’ if you are considering the ongoing studies needed to answer all the unknowns, including much epidemiological work. Nevertheless it is clear to most everyone- the vast majority of those who inhabit our planet, that the present vaccines have been and will continue to benefit all those (with very few exceptions) who partake. You must expect restrictions of your activities if you decline. The safety of the majority is paramount. And is it even fair that you willfully risk infection and if serious have to be treated by hospital staff who are at risk of your transmitting the disease to them? These are life and death decisions.

I recently encountered someone demanding RCTs for mask-wearing. I gave him a cluster analysis, which he derided. Following this, he provided a press release for… a cluster analysis.

It’s only been a month or so, but I’ve got to get rid of this Tw*tter account.

@ Kay West

In comments to a previous article by Orac “James Lyons-Weiler whines about his “vaxxed/unvaxxed” study retraction” you began an exchange of comments about the CDC’s estimates/predictions regarding excess deaths from COVID.

You wrote: “The CDC is lying to the public!!!!”

Your basic argument was the CDC changed Upper Bounds. Since you gave link to CDC page, I went to it (CDC, 2021). I carefully read at the bottom of the page Technical Notes: Methods where it stated: “The ‘surveillance’ package in R (2) was used to implement the Farrington algorithms, which use overdispersed Poisson generalized linear models with spline terms to model trends in counts, accounting for seasonality.”

Note also the Technical Notes include a section labeled Completeness and Limitations.

Well, I have not only a PhD and MPH; but an MS in biostatistics from 40 years ago. I didn’t know what R was nor spline. So, I went through Indexes of two shelves of statistics books (course books and books obtained during my working life). Neither R nor splines were listed. At the end of the Technical Notes was a reference list. I found several of the articles. W Kevin Vickland supplied another excellent Canadian article (Statistics Canada) and an article on R (Salmon, 2016). I found several other articles doing Google searches and read them ALL (see reference list below). Kevin and others explained why splines were used. I am always willing to learn new things. Your response was: “Why are they using a spline?????? . . The Upper bounds are determined by the a fore mentioned ‘average’ (they might be better to call it outside the range of expected deaths) and the Predicted is based on what the CDC thinks will be the death toll, why would that number get to change, as it is what it says it is a PREDICTION ? They may be using a spline, but the bottom line is WHY?????”

You also wrote: “Does the local weather person get to go back 10 days or two weeks or 2 years and change their forecast so it looks like they were more accurate then their original prediction . . . As I said before does a person playing poker get to pull back money he/she bet after each turn to the card? Does an insurance company get to go back after you died and charge you more because you died before they predicted you would?Your explanation of the CDC using a spline may be accurate but the question still stands, why?”

First, no indication you read either any of the articles in reference list at bottom of CDC report nor articles linked to by Kevin. Do you actually understand what a spline is? I doubt it. Kevin and others explained; but you ignored. Take flu. There is a flu season. If one used averages for year of pneumonias to do a linear type regression, it would be wrong because for part of year no flu. Flu leads to secondary bacterial pneumonias and hospitalizations. Imagine an inverted flattened half circle. The linear regression would be a flat line. With splines, they would divide it into probably four sections where curve show significant changes, then do a regression on each. This is what a spline is.

However, you mention averages; but don’t seem to know what a moving average is: “In statistics, a moving average (rolling average or running average) is a calculation to analyze data points by creating a series of averages of different subsets of the full data set. A moving average is commonly used with time series data to smooth out short-term fluctuations and highlight longer-term trends or cycles. The threshold between short-term and long-term depends on the application, and the parameters of the moving average will be set accordingly. For example, it is often used in technical analysis of financial data, like stock prices, returns or trading volumes. It is also used in economics to examine gross domestic product, employment or other macroeconomic time series. Mathematically, a moving average . . .can be viewed as an example of a low-pass filter used in signal processing. . .Viewed simplistically it can be regarded as smoothing the data (Wikipedia. Moving Average).” Note. moving average was in index of some of my stat books, so existed and used decades ago. Splines are just a new more advanced version.

As for weather predictions, my local newspaper gives weekly predictions; but each day they change with new data. For instance, Monday’s prediction for Friday rain may be 20%; but then it increases on Tuesday, etc. Predictions change with new data. Insurance companies base rates on averages, not one or two premature deaths. If many premature deaths, then they will change their rates for new enrollees. Which is what CDC bases data on, not one case. Are you totally NUTS? And poker players based on next card can fold or increase bet. You seem to ignore all of this.

In the CDC report you linked to, it states: “These estimates are based on provisional data, which are incomplete. The weighting method applied may not fully account for reporting lags if there are longer delays at present than in past years. For example, in Pennsylvania, reporting lags are currently much longer than they have been in past years, and death counts for 2020 are therefore underestimated. Conversely, the weighting method may over-adjust for underreporting, given improvements in data timeliness in certain jurisdictions. Unweighted estimates are provided, so that users can see the impact of weighting the provisional counts. However, these unweighted provisional counts are incomplete, and the extent to which they may underestimate the true count of deaths is unknown. Some jurisdictions exhibit recent increases in deaths when using weighted estimates, but not the unweighted. The estimates presented may be an early indication of excess mortality related to COVID-19, but should be interpreted with caution, until confirmed by other data sources such as state or local health departments.”

So, you don’t understand splines and accuse them of lying when they clearly indicate the limitations of current predictions. What would you have them do? Perhaps, not say anything until, say, 90% of data is in and validated? Yep, then if a serious pandemic, many more would sicken and die before any actions taken. Of course, if early data overestimate, as they admit a possibility, precautions may not have been called for. Well, I prefer to err on the side of safety. Our military launches aircraft when foreign objects detected on radar. If nothing, they return to base; but if an actual attack, if wait until first bombs dropped, would be devastating. If COVID had turned out to be less serious than initial reports, would have meant I need not have worn a mask and when in line at Costco stand 6 feet behind next in line, etc. Wow! But, if, as turned out to be quite serious pandemic, and no warning, advice, I and many others may not still be here.

I want to thank Kevin and others for links and their excellent rebuttals which you ignore.

Instead of saying CDC is lying if you had said something like “Doesn’t seem accurate to me because . . . and you also indicated an understanding of splines, R, etc. would have been acceptable. One can always disagree with choice of statistics, how data collected, and how presented. There is always more than one way to present data; but you ignore the Technical Section which explains clearly what and why they did what they did and its limitations. You ignore what Kevin and others wrote in comments and just stick to defending your indefensible position.

Starting off by calling people liars just shows what a despicable dishonest person you are. You don’t understand epidemiology, immunology, microbiology, the history and current status of infectious diseases, virology, etc; but over and over make comments worded as if you are absolutely certain of your position.

Please tell us what you base your “expertise” on? Or perhaps, like Trump, you ignore, even reject science because you consider yourself an “intuitive genius?”

Spline Regression & Excess Death Estimates
Reference List

Chandra (2019 Aug 15). Unraveling Spline Regression R. Towards Data Science. Available at:

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2021 May 13). Estimation of excess mortality due to COVID-19. Available at:

Lewis T (2021 Jun 2). Excess Deaths Reveal the Pandemic’s Hidden Toll in Some U.S. Counties. Scientific American. Available at:

Livieris IE et al. (2021 May 5). Smoothing and stationarity enforcement framework for deep learning time-series forecasting. Neural Computing and Applications: 1-15. Available at: What is R? Available at:

Salmon M et al. (2016). Monitoring Count Time Series in R: Aberration Detection in Public Health Surveillance. Journal of Statistical Software; 70(10): 1-35. Available at:

Singh G (2018 Mar 20). Introduction to Regression Splines (with Python codes). Analytics Vidhya. Available at:

Statistics Canada (2020 Aug 28). Estimation of excess mortality. Available at:

Steiger JH. An Introduction to Splines. Department of Psychology and Human Development. Vanderbilt University. Available at:

Vyawahare (2019 Dec 4). Spline Regression in R. When the word regression comes, we are… Analytics Vidhya. Medium. Available at:

Wikipedia. Moving average.

Wikipedia. Spline (mathematics).

NumberWang- I was just trying to clarify a little your statement about evidence and facts. I was not making any attempt at all with regard anti-science pundits which is more than adequately dealt with by many commenters and over a long period of time on this blog site.

Greg- Vested groupthink does not explain how certain scientific concepts that emerge in a consensus, have done so after the utmost scrutiny and critical examination from quite independent scientific organizations from a world wide geography and varying philosophical backgrounds. Most everything important has a ‘vested interest’ be it financial as you probably imply or psychological; you know the sort of thing- the scientist and his team working their whole career on a theme only to find that alternative research has shown them in error and they eventually abandon their line of research. Money, although very important, is only one of many factors involved in the scientific enterprise. You need a wider perspective Greg to rid yourself of your ‘conspiracy’ mindset. If you were to truly study the serious input from many commenters on this blog that would be a great start.

@ Leonard:

Don’t you just love it when trolls toss in concepts from the social sciences like groupthnk, learned helplessness, Stockholm Syndrome or COGNITIVE DISSONANCE to lamely support their pseudo-science?
Your advice is sound but I doubt that Gerg will ever take any of what Orac’s regulars write seriously because ( he believes) he knows BETTER. It’s a prerequisite of contrarianism and Brave Maverick-ism- their ideas will cahnage the world Things like this happen when you base your position on feelings not data.

Offtopic and I know it’s a typo but cahnage is halfway between change and carnage and either seems to fit.

“Cahnage” is the New Englanders’ term for a bad highway accident.

Vested groupthink does not explain how certain scientific concepts that emerge in a consensus, have done so after the utmost scrutiny and critical examination from quite independent scientific organizations from a world wide geography and varying philosophical backgrounds.

Leonard, and how much of that is now the exception rather than the rule? What — you really want me to believe that the decision to vaccinate the world is based on sound, rigorous science? Please! That decision is a political one, and with the science being secondary. What else could account for all the backpedalling, corrections, and ‘evolving science’!

Does that mean there is a secret, elite core that is pushing the vaccines for its own sinister gain? Not necessarily, but politics is very much involved. Maybe your hands were genuinely forced and you felt you had to do something; fair enough, but don’t scorn some of us for seeing that you are indeed winging it. Even more, don’t scorn us for not wanting to participate in the experiment.

What else could account for all the backpedalling, corrections, and ‘evolving science’?

Yes, hearing Fauci groan on about how we are dealing with a new virus with Delta, you get the impression that all the ‘brilliant’ scientists are surprised by this. Yet, are we really to believe that Bosseche was the only visionary? I highly doubt that. A calculated decision was made to push the vaccines, and that involved not being so forthcoming.

Actually lambda variant appeared in Peru december 2020. Peru started to vaccinate February 2021. So Bossche is wrong.
Number of variants depend amount viruses circulating, which depends on number of people infected.
Decision to vaccinate is based on historical fact: many viral diseases are controlled by vaccines. Antivirals are much less effective, and one needs a multidrug therapy to get some results,

Do you know who still keeps up his medical licence? Mercola! It’s pictured on his site and expires in July 2023 ( Illinois). Supposedly, he no longer sees patients but he stills mis-advises people on a large scale…I’m not sure about Kelly Brogan but I assume Sherri Tenpenny keeps hers up.

The current post discusses medical doctors, not other medically trained people, like nurses/ paraprofessionals.( We certainly are aware of them at RI!) however the majority of people I survey have no standard credentials or “relevant background education* upon which to confabulate Covid mythologies- they do it on their own. A few are lawyers ( RFK jr, Mary Holland, Kent H.) . Others have no relevant university education ( Adams, Sayer Ji, AoA writers), bogus degrees ( Null) or nothing academic to speak of ( Bigtree). This category – non- medical doctors- has been affected by recent rules but many of the culprits have been creating their own social media or spreading their BS ( non degree) through less monitored channels like gab, MeWe, Parler etc. often listing several of these outlets on their sites.

Denice-you may well be right about Greg not willing or able to ‘change his mind’. It is fascinating how people in all walks of life become emotionally attached to their views and are not open minded enough to accept anything that threatens to change it. There is profuse amounts of discussion about this problem, many books, papers etc. Having been a secondary school science teacher (now retired) my experience tells me that the critical mind and rational thinking has to be taught and experienced early in primary school and continue at various levels throughout formal education, knowing that this education may be in conflict with home parental or family values. There will be some success but plenty of ‘failures’. It’s the human condition that we have to live with ‘primitive’ thinking alongside some of the most brilliant minds and ideas. Also there needs to be a more widespread recognition of how relatively ignorant we all are in the vast, accumulated sea of human knowledge. Hooray for hard won/earned expertise.

Narad- I agree with your comments about medical boards or any such regulatory tool. But I alluded simply to the difficulties that would accrue if Law was brought to attempt regulation some of the matters being discussed. There would be interested parties apart from Greg.

I will let Denice Walter respond to you your posts.

Denice Walter
June 20, 2021 at 1:23 pm
Sometimes a single statement by a person tells you all that you need to know concerning the quality of their other communication no matter how voluminous.

@ Kay West

And you avoid the fact that I have refuted everything you’ve said, not just this time around. My last response to you nailed it, you called the CDC liars, ignoring their own explanations of the limits of their current projections, that is, awaiting more data. Calling people liars when they clearly qualify what they wrote, shows what a low life despicable person you are. And you compounded it by admitting your ignorance of why splines were used, not even attempting to understand why.

I would be willing to bet that Denise would not agree to your using a quote from her to depict me when it was aimed at you, Greg, and other ignoramuses.

Keep digging a hole ever deeper for yourself. Dunning-Kruger fits you perfectly. Ignorant; but certain of yourself.

@ Kay West

You quote Denise “Sometimes a single statement by a person tells you all that you need to know concerning the quality of their other communication no matter how voluminous.”

Yet, my comments were essentially direct refutations of yours, some of yours were quite long. The pot calling the kettle black. Besides being wrong over and over you really are a moronic hypocrite. And I certainly don’t take one sentence out of context and base my judgment solely on it.

And again, your critic of the CDC included asking if an insurance company would demand repayment if someone died prematurely. Insurance companies base premiums on group averages, assuming some will die prematurely and others live quite long. You don’t even understand something as simple as this. And the CDC does the same thing, estimates with a range, not sticking to one exact number.

You still haven’t answered. Did you even read the Technical section on the CDC page you linked to. I highly doubt it. If you did, however, obviously you didn’t understand it!

And let me make myself quite clear, I could care less about you. For me, you just represent much that is wrong in the U.S., simply people incapable of logical thinking, people who don’t understand science, and people who even when overwhelmingly refuted, rigidly defend their indefensible positions. By the way, are you a believer in QAnon? Wouldn’t surprise me.

@ Joel:

Obviously, my quotes can cut both ways. Hah!
Amongst Orac’s regular commenters, you provide perhaps the most extensive collection of SBM research as well as expert digression upon the subjects under consideration. It’s not just intelligence but the knowledge you’ve acquired both formally and on your own as well as hard work.

How can I evaluate people? First of all, I studied subjects relevant to people’s abilities and education including testing, have counselled people from many different backgrounds and I’ve been around the block a few times myself. Long ago, my SO had a friend, Mike, who was so shockingly bright and articulate about many subjects but who took a regular job that didn’t require any post secondary education: years later, I found out that he gave up a scholarship at an excellent school because his father died suddenly and his mother had no family nearby and other younger children, so he helped support them all.

You may have noticed that I often describe clues about how charlatans betray their true capacities whilst grandiosely posturing as scientists or innovators ( I do so on Orac’s latest post) as well as other stuff that involves how they put an argument together or compose an entry. Since our respective educations overlap in both life and social sciences, I’m sure you are aware of these measures.

Greg- there may be a desire by those ‘in the know’ to vaccinate the world against Covid but such an outcome will be through individual countries with financial, technical, expertise and whatever sharing and help is necessary to achieve such an outcome. It’s not inconceivable that the WHO could develop a program of a world wide vaccination program for those countries and regions that have had little success for a variety of geographical , political and other reasons, such as occured for smallpox. This would most probably not eliminate Covid completely but it would save lives and suffering. You’re dead right that politics is involved, but perhaps not in a way that you imagine- and you can certainly imagine!
From the beginning the experts were upfront about the limitations of their vaccines, what they can achieve, what they know and don’t yet know: and most certainly YES, the vaccines have been developed on the basis of sound, rigorous science, I believe. And how much do you know of the various scientific disciplines that contribute to development of a safe, efficacious vaccine that you put yourself in the position as a knowledgeable critic of the processes and results? I think many commenters here have exposed your staggering ignorance of so many things related to the science.
Forgive my scorn of your mindset but human life would be so much improved if their were less of it’s type among us.

Ah Leonard…I want to believe but past behavior is a good indicator of present behavior. Have you seen Pfizer’s rap sheet?

Besides, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former FDA head and now Pfizer’s top vaccine salesman, is predicting Covid will become endemic in the U.S.

Game over.

@ cuckoo4cocopuffs

You write: “Ah Leonard…I want to believe but past behavior is a good indicator of present behavior. . . Game over.”

Nope. Why? Simple because the scrutiny of current vaccines is much much higher than previously because of idiots like you and also because past detected problems lead to added scrutiny. Also, leadership and employees change, some because of previous detected problems. If one based any product on previous detected problems we would have few products on market, e.g., exploding gas tanks in Ford Pintos, so documented safety of Fords today, we should ignore?

And any product today could be by a company that escaped detection of earlier problems. We don’t live in a perfect world.

And you ignore the literally worldwide data we have on the Pfizer vaccine. I’ve already dealt above with problems with VAERS.

Yep, cuckoo is perfect name for you!

Cuckoo- What is it you wish to believe? The rap sheet for Pfizer ( and others) is evidence that there are strict independent institutions watching out for nefarious activity and if found punish accordingly. Is there a rap sheet for any vaccines being used that are not as it states on the ‘tin’? For any intelligent consumer of the variety of information available about Covid and it’s enemy the vaccines it is apparent that the vaccines are producing results as expected. Many lives are being saved and much suffering reduced. Is that something you don’t believe?

Have it occurred to you that Gottlieb may be wrong ? It is competition between vaccination effort and new variants.
Vaccine efficacy against delta variant is still quite high:
Lopez Bernal J, Andrews N, Gower C, Gallagher E, Simmons R, Thelwall S, Stowe J, Tessier E, Groves N, Dabrera G, Myers R, Campbell CNJ, Amirthalingam G, Edmunds M, Zambon M, Brown KE, Hopkins S, Chand M, Ramsay M. Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccines against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) Variant. N Engl J Med. 2021 Aug 12;385(7):585-594. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2108891. Epub 2021 Jul 21. PMID: 34289274; PMCID: PMC8314739.

In the not-so-strange bedfellows department:

Those of you frogs who object to slowly coming to a boil in the pot of Tyranny, don’t miss your chance to welcome the “Arise USA Resurrection Tour”, which has been crisscrossing the country in seemingly random fashion this summer and is due for several stops in Florida next week.

The organizer is Robert David Steele, an ex-CIA agent and Libertarian presidential candidate in 2016. The targets include Covid-19 restrictions, election fraud, Satanic pedophilia, assaults on Faith and Family, and of course Zionism.*

While there are varied participants from dark corners of the far Right (including the Oath Keepers, a militia organization with ex-military and police members which has been linked to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot), RI readers will be interested to know that featured tour headliners have included Sherri Tenpenny and James Lyons-Weiler.

Participants been constricted a bit by loss of their special tour buses, which they had to return to the bus company when donations reportedly fell off a cliff. But they’re keepin’ on.

*Steele objects mightily to being termed anti-Semitic, noting: “I am the most published person on the planet in relation to the sharp distinction between Zionism as a Red Mafia Satanic Pedophilia network, versus Judaism as a faith”. So there.

In other anti-vax/ Covid denialism news…

Today ( AoA), Kim Rossi insults a doctor ( @ EMeadeMD) who describes a 15 hour overnight shift during a pandemic because SHE herself is on duty “24/7/365” with autistic daughters. Retweeted by Katie Wright (@ katiewr31413491) AND doctors are no good .
No. Kim’s daughters have been in schools, day programmes for most of their lives, they have frequent therapy sessions, their father has them visit at his new home some weekends AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, Kim gets a caretaker evenings so she can teach karate several nights a week, She has a lot of time for the internet, exercise and baking.
Similarly, Katie Wright, whose son in at a RESIDENTIAL school in Upstate NY ( and was there during the pandemic), has time for walks in Central Park, bird watching, trips to Florida and other activities which she describes on most days.

All those doctors that support the vaccine can’t be wrong…what do you know layman! Just that the doctors are forced to accept what the pharmaceutical companies want for fear of losing their license.
This does not instill trust.

Well, I’m still waiting for all those anti-vax doctors to lose their licences…….

It’s true.

If I don’t present references from Pfizer and Moderna in my medical license renewal applications, they are rejected.

On the other hand, I get a $500 check for every pro-vaccine post. It’s hard to beat that sweet Pharma lucre.

@ johnlabarge

Yep, doctors vaccinate because of fear of losing license because of power of pharmaceutical industry. Not because they went through 4 years of medical school learning immunology, microbiology, etc, then did a 4 or 5 years 100 hours per week residency, then read articles in peer-reviewed medical journals. Not because a well-done Phase 3 clinical trial of, for instance, the Moderna mRNA vaccine was published in the most prestigious medical journal, New England Journal of Medicine:

Baden LR et al. (2020 Dec 30). Efficacy and Safety of the mRNA-1273
SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine. New England Journal of Medicine. Available at:

On the 31 Dec NEJM published similar study on Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

And since these studies we have 7 months of data of effectiveness and safety of the vaccines from around the world. Nope. not VAERS (see what I wrote above).

I suggest you read the above article or, perhaps, you just aren’t capable of actually understanding a medical article?

Yep, doctors ignore science, ignore their training, just do the bidding of pharmaceutical companies. In that case I suggest if you or any friend or loved one ever suffers illness, don’t take any prescribed medications.

By the way, how many doctors have lost their licenses for promoting anti vaccine messages? A couple were warned for signing dishonest wavers, etc.

By the way, have you ever studied immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, history and current status of infectious diseases? Yet, as other moronic commenters, your comment indicates you are absolutely certain you are right.

All those doctors that support the vaccine can’t be wrong…what do you know layman! Just that the doctors are forced to accept what the pharmaceutical companies want for fear of losing their license.

Wait, and you code for a living?

This does not instill trust.

Strange internal fantasy dialogs rarely do.

Wang, shouldn’t Fauci be the first one?

“On Jan. 26, Fauci gave an interview to John Catsimatidis, a syndicated radio host in New York. “What can you tell the American people about what’s been going on?” (about Covid) Catsimatidis asked. “Should they be scared?”

“I don’t think so,” Fauci said. “The American people should not be worried or frightened by this. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States,”

I would think that would qualify as bad/misleading medical advise, how many people listened to Fauci and didn’t take the virus seriously and died.

@ Sophie Amsden

You write: ““On Jan. 26, Fauci gave an interview to John Catsimatidis, a syndicated radio host in New York. “What can you tell the American people about what’s been going on?” (about Covid) Catsimatidis asked. “Should they be scared?” “I don’t think so,” Fauci said. “The American people should not be worried or frightened by this. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States,” I would think that would qualify as bad/misleading medical advise, how many people listened to Fauci and didn’t take the virus seriously and died.”

However, as usual, you lying lowlife, you take one part of a quote out-of-context. Below is what he actually said:

“It isn’t something the American public needs to worry about or be frightened about, because we have ways of preparing and screening of people coming in [from China],” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci told “The Cats Roundtable” on 970 AM-N.Y., per The Hill.
“And we have ways of responding – like we did with this one case in Seattle, Washington, who had traveled to China and brought back the infection.”
There are thus far only two cases in the U.S. among the 1,320 confirmed worldwide, according to The World Health Organization (WHO) Saturday, The Hill reported.
“It’s a very, very low risk to the United States, but it’s something that we as public health officials need to take very seriously,” Fauci added to host John Catsimatidis, per The Hill.
A NIAID vaccine for the coronavirus would be about three months away from being ready to test on humans, according to Fauci.
“We’ve just got to make sure that we are totally prepared,” Fauci said, per the report. “Infectious diseases will continue to emerge on the human species. And we’ve got to be essentially perpetually prepared.”

Eric Mack (2020 Jan 26). NIH Expert Fauci: Coronavirus ‘No Worry” for Americans. Newsmax. Available at:

[Note. of course the title of the above article also plays up just part of what he said. Newsmax is a conservative media.}

So, at the time there were “only two case among 1,320 confirmed worldwide.” And Fauci stated: “We have ways of responding . . it’s something we as public health officials need to take very seriously . . . We’ve just got to make sure that we are totally prepared.”

So, at the time, he was dealing with Trump, who denied the seriousness of the COVID threat to U.S., and, yet, he explained that we have measures to deal with it. Unfortunately, Trump undermined those measures. Had Trump not rejected science and scientific advisors, the overwhelming number of disease experts believe we would have had far fewer than over 600,000 deaths, perhaps lower than 100,000. And he made it clear that: “it’s something that we as public health officials need to take very seriously.”

You really just continue to prove what a dishonest lowlife you are, taking one sentence out-of-context. I should also point out that despite the over 600,000 deaths, the entry of the Delta variant, and exponential increase in sickness and hospitalizations, including children, many Americans like you “still don’t take the virus seriously” still ignore the overwhelming evidence of the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, and the effectiveness of masks and social distancing.

Nope. Fauci is merely failing to predict the future or being politically sensitive to prevent panic. Not exactly bad medical advice. It’s a shame that he has to be a politician as well as a scientist. People want accurate advice after the fact. Before that it’s known as fear mongering. Just look at the whole AGW issue.

I would think that would qualify as bad/misleading medical advise,

Both Sophie and Kay, huh? Time for bee noises.

“Time for bee noises.”

When one of the youngsters asked if they would take the carcass to the vats or try for a procreative stump, he paused for only the briefest reflection before agreeing that they should try for a stump. Perhaps some of that female flesh could be revived and preserved. If her womb could be maintained, she might yet serve the Hive. It would be interesting to see a child of that flesh.

Frank Herbert, Hellstrom’s Hive, 1972

@ Sophie Amsden

Just found additional info:

Former White House advisor Steven Bannon says Anthony Fauci, director of the Centers for Control and Prevention, said Americans shouldn’t “worry” about corona-19. •In late January, Fauci twice said the country shouldn’t fret. •But both times, he added that the situation could change. Former White House advisor Steve Bannon has been defending President Donald Trump against criticism that he was slow responding to the coronavirus

On Jan. 21 – the day the first covid-19 case in the U.S. was confirmed – Fauci appeared on conservative Newsmax TV. “Bottom line, we don’t have to worry about this one, right?” asked Greg Kelly, the host.
Fauci said, “Obviously, you need to take it seriously and do the kind of things the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Department of Homeland Security is doing. But this is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”
So Fauci, in a qualified response said, don’t worry “right now;” “you need to take it seriously;” and although “this is not a major threat,” keep an ear open to the CDC and Homeland Security.”

Warren Fisk (2020 Apr 29). Did Fauci tell U.S. ‘not to worry about’ coronavirus? PolitiFact. Available at:

Sad for all of you. Of course you didn’t include this remark.

Fauci said, “Obviously, you need to take it seriously and do the kind of things the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Department of Homeland Security is doing. But this is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”

that was said 5 days prior to the one I quoted.


“But this is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about.”

but yes he changed his mind.

my doctor ‘ oh it just indigestion and maybe acid re-flux’
me the next day in the icu ‘I thought you said it was indigestion or acid re-flux’
my doctor ‘oh, I changed my mind’

@ Kay West

You really are one sick lowlife, you and Sophie. I found online different quotes by him over several days, and, yep, he said at the time people need not worry; but also that things could change and that public health was closely monitoring the situation.

During this exchange I’ve refuted everything you’ve said. Yet, you ignore and just keep digging a deeper hole for yourself. You really are SICK SICK SICK!

On the other hand, if Fauci had raised the alarm after only a couple of documented cases in the U.S. and people went into panic mode, and then nothing happened, I’m sure you would attack him for that as well. From an ASSHOLE like you and Sophie, Fauci would be damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. Well, it doesn’t work that way. Given how many Americans see the world in black and white, like you and Sophie, if he had even hinted that things could get serious, we would still have had many in panic mode.

Go to hell!

You must love blogs like this. In the real world, for instance, at a public health conference, people like you would be laughed out. And if you were taking a university level course, flunked out.

@ Kay West

The first mayor Richard Daley went in for his annual physical. His doctor pronounced him healthy. He had a massive heart attack and died. Was his doctor wrong? Maybe; but maybe not. A blood clot could have broken lose, for instance. So, yep, a doctor could tell a patient he just has heart burn and the next day he could have a heart attack or stroke.

But his doctor wouldn’t say he changed his mind. Just an example of your infinite stupidity. Shit happens. A good friend of mine, much nicer person than me, got up to make coffee for his wife. She heard a crash. He died of an aneurysm. He was only 63. A non-smoker, not overweight, coached Little League, etc.

As for Fauci. Again, at the time there were only a couple of documented cases in U.S. and a few hundred internationally; but Fauci made it clear things could change. Perhaps, English isn’t your first language. Because “right now” doesn’t say things can’t change and Fauci made that clear. And, as I mentioned, he was partially muzzled by Trump who refused to recognize the risk, even make modest preparations.

Again, are you a believer in QAnon? And you can keep posting 2 + 2 = 5 until Hell freezes over, just making a bigger and bigger fool of yourself.

save your self righteous comments for someone who gives a shit..maybe your non-existant best friend. i can just see etched across your big forehead ‘Willfully Ignorant’

Ah the old: “My doctor said it was just indigestion” gambit. It’s been a while since I heard this one…what did it turn out to be? Last time I heard this one was in the ER and the patient said she had “Massive sepsis requiring several debilitating surgeries” even though I couldn’t find a single surgical scar anywhere…not even port scars. This one has been around since the days of usenet.

On the off chance you’re telling the truth, please do tell us more…

@Kay West Did you notice this one from Joel’s answer
There are thus far only two cases in the U.S. among the 1,320 confirmed worldwide,
So, actually one could say that one should be careful but there is no problem yet.
It is quite different that some people still say, after hundred thousands deaths. that one should not be careful and there is no problem.
Diagnosis is not same thing that predicting pandemic, you know,

In the interests of authentic COVID information, I’d be very interested to see @Orac produce an article comparing and contrasting the immunity acquired by those who have survived a COVID infection, and those who have been vaccinated.

So as to answer the question: Is there any benefit in vaccinating those who are healthy, post-COVID?

This study, published in June suggests there is no benefit, for the post-COVID individual.


[…] Federation of State Medical Boards’ Board of Directors issued a statement that said that medical professionals who spread COVID-19 misinformation should lose their licenses. I’ll believe it when I see someone actually lose their license, but this is a good warning, […]

go ahead an take away the license of any doctor treating covid before the need for hospitalization.

after the Nuremberg2032 trials execute anyone pushing the vaccine, all those unlicensed doctors will be the only ones still alive

Lots of doctors “treat COVID before the need for hospitalization.” They just don’t use unproven treatments like ivermectin or fear monger about vaccines.

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