Longtime readers might remember that a a frequent topic here at Respectful Insolence was a certain Houston-based cancer quack named Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski. He was a frequent blog topic, particularly between around 2010-2014. When last I wrote about him, it was before the pandemic and in the context of Amazon, Facebook, and other social media’s early attempts to crack down on antivaccine misinformation. At the time, I noted how Amazon Prime had ceased to host several documentaries featuring antivaccine disinformation and quackery but had continued to host a number of others, including a documentary about Burzynski. My point was that health misinformation consists of more than just antivaccine misinformation and that it’s not enough to deplatform just antivaccine quackery, pseudoscience, and conspiracy theories. As I said at the time, “Antivaccine movies are gone, but quack movies aplenty remain.”
These days, 20 months into the pandemic, I couldn’t help but think of Stanislaw Burzynski. The reason is the recent push to pressure various medical authorities to do something to discipline doctors who actively spread COVID-19 and COVID-19 misinformation, of which there have been a depressingly large number. For instance, in August the Federation of State Medical Boards, the umbrella organization for all state medical licensing boards, issued a statement saying that doctors who promote and spread COVID-19 misinformation should face discipline. At the time, although I have long said that physicians who spread dangerous health misinformation should lose their medical licenses, I was skeptical, because Stanislaw Burzynski and the long list of quacks who have eluded discipline from their respective state medical boards was in my mind. I remain so. Sure, there have been exceptions, as when the medical boards in Washington and and Mississippi did actually discipline such doctors, but overall they are the exception, not the rule.
More recently, I learned that nursing authorities are making similar statements:
And just the other day, the American Medical Association weighed in:
Let’s just say that I’m…underwhelmed by the actual statement:
ADDRESSING PUBLIC HEALTH DISINFORMATION DISSEMINATED BY HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
RESOLVED, That our AMA collaborate with relevant health professional societies and other stakeholders: (1) on efforts to combat public health disinformation disseminated by health professionals in all forms of media and (2) to address disinformation that undermines public health initiatives. (Directive to Take Action), and be it further
RESOLVED, That our AMA study disinformation disseminated by health professionals and its impact on public health and present a comprehensive strategy to address this issue with a report back at the next meeting of the House of Delegates. (Directive to Take Action)
Your Reference Committee heard testimony in overwhelming support of Resolutions 411 and 40 412, urging the AMA to take a strong stance on disinformation. It was noted that a small number of physicians are stealing the credibility of our profession and they are using their professional license to validate the disinformation they are spreading, which has seriously undermined public health efforts. The Board of Trustees testified that a comprehensive approach to addressing disinformation is needed, and they would be open to studying this issue. Testimony highlighted the impact disinformation is having on health outcomes beyond COVID-19. The importance of addressing the use of social media and other online platforms to disseminate disinformation was also mentioned. Given the urgent nature of this issue, your Reference Committee agrees that a study on disinformation disseminated by health professionals as well as the development of a comprehensive strategy to address this issue is needed with a report back to the House of Delegates at our next meeting. Therefore, your 1 Reference Committee recommends that Alternate Resolution 411 be adopted in lieu of 2 Resolutions 411 and 412.
I suppose that it’s a start, but who wants to bet that the committee doing the study doesn’t contact people with practical experience combatting medical misinformation going back 20+ years—cough! cough! Steve Novella and me? (Sorry, but I couldn’t resist. Maybe I should have, but I couldn’t.) Still, it’s possible that the AMA remains gun-shy about calling out quackery since its experience with chiropractors, who successfully sued it for its accurate assessment of chiropractic, leading to its watering down its statement.
So why am I revisiting this topic now? After all, I’ve been saying for years and years that antivaccine physicians and quacks should lose their medical licenses, just as Andrew Wakefield did. Of course, even though Wakefield was from the UK and not the US, his case actually illustrates the problem. It took something like twelve years between the publication of his dubious (and now known to be fraudulent) case series in The Lancet and his being “struck off,” that delightfully British term for stripping a doctor of his medical license.
I saw two articles pop up in my Google Alerts last night, Cancer treatment has shown ‘amazing results’ – expert stresses ‘patients cured’ from it and Cancer treatment has yielded ‘wonderful results,’ according to experts, with ‘patients cured.’ I bet that you can guess whom they’re about. Indeed, I felt as though I’d been transported back to 2013 or so, when articles of this sort were a regular staple of British tabloid newspapers, along with messages like the following.
With cancer, abnormal cells begin to grow and divide at a much faster pace than they normally would and at the same time, older cells don’t die off as they should.
As abnormal cells pile up, tumours start to form and if nothing interferes with this process, tumours continue to grow and spread, or metastasize.
Dr Stanislaw Burzynski believes antineoplastons are part of our natural defence system and that they help prevent abnormal cell growth.
Antineoplastons are peptides found in the urine and blood of healthy people.
They are made up of amino acids and peptides with amino acids being the building blocks of protein and peptides composing of amino acids.
Dr Burzynski suggests that some people don’t have enough of them, which allows cancer to develop and grow unchecked.
He believes antineoplastons are part of the body’s natural defence and can protect against cancer.
This passage could have been written in 2013, 2009, or even the 1980s. As I recounted in an article for Skeptical Inquirer in 2014, Burzynski has been peddling his antineoplaston quackery since sometime around 1976-1977. I even joked about Burzynski’s early efforts in the late 1970s—before he figured out how to synthesize his antineoplastons—to collect human urine from state penitentiaries and Gilley’s Bar, where Urban Cowboy was filmed, wondering whether perhaps some of John Travolta’s own urine was used to make some of those early batches of his cancer “miracle cure.”
More depressingly, I listed the many attempts by health authorities to shut Burzynski down, ranging from early efforts by the Texas Medical Board in the 1980s (which failed), the FDA’s attempts to stop Burzynski’s dubious “clinical trials” of his drug in the 1990s (which also failed), and further efforts to do the same in the early 2010s (which succeeded briefly with a clinical hold on Burzynski’s “clinical trials” but ultimately also failed). Most recently, the Texas Medical Board made a valiant effort to discipline Burzynski and take away his medical license, but in 2017 he got off with a slap on the wrist and was back in business in short order charging huge sums of money for his unproven and ineffective quackery. By 2018 he was even trying to promote a My Cancer-Free Life, a docuseries that purported to discuss patients whom he had cured.
I was curious what prompted the article on Stanislaw Burzynski, as I hadn’t written (or even heard much) about him since well before the pandemic hit and radically altered my blogging topics to be mostly about COVID-19. The article smelled of being promotional astroturf (whose like we have seen before), and, oddly enough, included a video of Scottish comedienne Janey Godley announcing that she had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. First, I wondered whether maybe Godley was a Burzynski convert seeking treatment at the Burzynski Clinic in Houston, but, as far as I can tell, the video of her included with the story has nothing to do with Burzynski other than that it features a famous woman recently diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer.
I’m not going to discuss all the reasons why Stanislaw Burzynski is a predatory quack who charged hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat desperate cancer patients with deadly cancers such as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). For that, please read my summary for Skeptical Inquirer (and Bob Blaskewicz’s article on how Burzynski weaponized cancer patients against attempts to stop Burzynski, a story that very much resembles how COVID-19 patients and their families have tried to impede any attempt to crack down on doctors promoting, for instance, ivermectin) or peruse any number of my posts here or at my not-so-super-secret other blog about Stanislaw Burzynski. Also consider this article on why so many Texas politicians, including Senator Ted Cruz and John Cornyn supported (and, I assume, continue to support Burzynski). Sound familiar? Burzynski had juice, and so do a number of COVID-19 misinformation-promoting doctors.
Instead, I want you to consider the case of Stanislaw Burzynski. He has been in private practice administering his antineoplastons to cancer patients since the late 1970s, around 45 years. During that time, he’s grown old and rich off the backs of desperate patients. Yet, despite multiple attempts, the last one culminating in failure in 2017—the sanctions placed on Burzynski’s practice were a slap on the wrist given that he didn’t lose his Texas medical license—Burzynski apparently continues to practice. A search on his name shows that this year there have been patient families exhausting their financial resources in order to access Burzynski’s quackery, for instance, the family of a girl named Jashly Avalos with DIPG, a deadly brain tumor:
Twelve-year-old Jashly Avalos is known as a fun, creative girl who loves to cook and snuggle with stuffed animals. Her family was shocked when they found out she has a rare type of brain tumor.
“She has what’s called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, which we call DIPG. Doctors told her she would have six months to live and that was almost 18 months ago, and she’s been surviving. And all through the summer, she was doing well. All of a sudden, just very quickly, she started to deteriorate. That’s basically what the main hospitals do is they say that there is no cure,” explains family friend, David Grai.
He says doctors offered chemotherapy and radiation to extend her life, but just for a few months. They’re hoping for treatment that will allow her to live well into adulthood.
Burzynski is indeed a quack who preys on false hope, particularly in patients like Jashly and their families. The story above could easily have been a tragic story that I wrote about a decade ago. Easily. For example:
They learned the Burzynski Clinic in Houston has a history of curing patients with this disease.
Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski administered a special treatment to a girl in a similar situation decades ago. “Her life expectancy was only two to three weeks. She recovered completely! She is now 23 years old, she is a mother of three children and she leads a perfectly normal life. It’s possible to cure it, but only for some patients,” states Dr. Burzynski.
What makes it impossible for this family is the high cost of the medications. It’s such a rare condition, the treatment is outrageously expensive.
“The most expensive part of her treatment is gene-targeted medications, which need to be obtained from a pharmacy. These medications, from the pharmacy, cost about $30,000 a month or even more,” exclaims Dr. Burzynski.
Except that, no, the Burzynski Clinic does not have a history of curing patients with DIPG, nor is Burzynski’s quackery “gene targeted,” no matter how much he tries to claim that it is. (It’s really “make it up as you go along.”) There is no evidence that DIPG patients treated by Burzynski do any better than average, and, as I’ve shown in my discussion of many testimonials of supposed “miracle cures,” there is always an alternate explanation for why the patient did well. Basically, it is true that DIPG is a very, very deadly cancer, but it is not true, as Burzynski himself likes to claim, that no one ever survives it. There are occasional long-term survivors, documented by science, as well as cases whose tumors respond far better than usual to conventional therapy.
I also can’t help but note another example, Dr. Rashid Buttar, whom I’ve been writing about since the very beginning of this blog, back when he was a cancer and autism quack, when the North Carolina Board of Medical Examiners finally disciplined him. Unsurprisingly, today Dr. Buttar is one of the usual quacks and grifters promoting COVID-19 and COVID-19 misinformation. Like Dr. Burzynski, all Dr. Buttar got was the proverbial slap on the wrist, even after having called the Board a “rabid dog“. All the Board did was to restrict Dr. Buttar’s practice so that he was no longer permitted to treat children or cancer patients. Why children and cancer patients specifically? Simple. Dr. Buttar had been known for his antivaccine views that blamed mercury in the thimerosal preservative in vaccines caused autism, and his treatment was a “transdermal chelation therapy” that we disparagingly called “Buttar’s butter“, and he was a cancer quack, to boot. Two years later, Dr. Buttar was free to practice medicine again mostly unencumbered.
And don’t even get me started on the case of Dr. Christopher Duntsch, the Texas neurosurgeon who is the topic of Dr. Death, a fictionalized account of his misdeeds on Peacock. Dr. Duntsch maimed and killed a number of patients with seeming impunity before it was not the Texas Medical Board who finally stopped him, but a prosecutor.
So let’s get back to the FSMB, AMA, and various specialty certification boards making statements that doctors who spread COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation should face discipline. I agree. I’ve been saying the same thing for literally decades now. In fact, I’ve gone way beyond that in stating that doctors promoting quackery, antivaccine misinformation, and general dangerous health misinformation should have their medical licenses suspended or taken away altogether. I’ve said repeatedly that being a physician is a privilege, not a right, and that by accepting that privilege we physicians should agree to use the power we have responsibly. The First Amendment does guarantee us the right to free speech, just as it does for anyone else. However, our speech about health carries much more influence than that of Joe Average, and professional ethics demands that we should not misuse the platform our privileged status gives us. There should be consequences to physicians who do misuse their status that way, as so many have been doing for a long time and whose disinformation has been turbocharged since COVID-19 emerged up to and including permanent loss of that privileged status.
I’m therefore happy that certain medical authorities responsible for certifying and licensing physicians are finally waking up. I and other skeptical physicians have been banging this drum for a long, long time (despite the dismissal before the pandemic of our efforts by certain prominent physicians as being akin to LeBron James “dunking on a 7′ hoop“), and we welcome the help.
The reason that I wrote this is not to discourage those who want to hold physicians spreading COVID-19 misinformation accountable. Rather, it is because I want them to know that none of this is anything new. I want them to know how long and pervasive this problem has been since long before the pandemic rubbed our profession’s face in it in a way that can no longer be ignored and swept under the rug. I want them to know how just how involved and difficult our task will be, given the way that the law in states such as Texas and others, seems to treat a medical license as a right rather than the privilege that it is. By challenging them, I aim to find out just how serious they are about it. I’m reminded of this scene from The Untouchables:
No, I’m not saying that violence will ever be required. Far from it! What I’m asking is this: How far are we willing to go to shut down the quacks, grifters, and antivaxxers? I realize that I’m sounding like an old fart, but that doesn’t mean my concerns aren’t valid. What the cynic in me sees is a scenario in which, as the pandemic finally abates and resistance to public health interventions becomes less intense as such interventions become less and less utilized, those who’ve jumped on the bandwagon to discipline doctors who have proven that they should no longer be doctors will fade away, leaving us longtime skeptics alone once again to fight the battle.
I hope that doesn’t happen. I hope that the AMA, which tends to function more as a trade association protecting the financial interests of doctors more than a true professional organization, sticks to its guns, as it did not do in the 1970s with chiropractic. I hope that state medical boards actually take the FSMB statement to heart and put some real teeth into it. I hope all the doctors who’ve had their “St. Paul on the road to Damascus” moment due to COVID-19 stay with us after the pandemic is over. Contrary to the way we are portrayed by quacks, it is actually skeptics who are the “pitiful little band,” not the quacks:
After all, we still have the problem of “integrative medicine,” which, despite its seemingly increasing popularity in “integrating” quackery with medicine, was a magnet for antivaxxers before the pandemic and is now the same for COVID-19 misinformation. Reversing that will be a generational task, and we need all the help we can get.
67 replies on “Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and the problem of COVID-19 misinformation”
They hyperlink for “https://www.respectfulinsolence.com/2011/12/05/personalized-gene-targeted-cancer-therapy/” ‘make it up as you go along’ is broken.
Orac, Dr. Burzinski hosts a documentary on his clinic website explaining his side of the story concerning anti-neoplaston therapy, that it is misrepresented by institutions who criticize and cite the wrong patent entirely. Would you respond directly to his production? without any specific rebuttal this article comes off as baseless pissing and moaning.
The embedded link works just fine for me; so I don’t know what your problem is with the link.
As for rebuttals of Burzynski, I’ve been writing them since at least 2009 or 2010. There are many on this site. I don’t see any need to reinvent the wheel at this point, particularly given that rebutting Burzynski is not the primary purpose of this post. As for that “make it up as you go along” link, it is a lengthy rebuttal of Burzynski’s claim that his antineoplaston therapy plus the other cocktails of drugs he’s used are “gene-targeted cancer therapy.” They are, as I pointed out, very much a “make it up as you go along”/”throw everything but the kitchen sink at it” concoctions.
I could list literally dozens more.
@Orac: “I could list literally dozens more.”
You just did. In the first link in the first sentence in the first paragraph of this post. It is very hard to miss.
So probably safe to say “Charlie c” is yet one more disingenous JAQ-off, likely knows it too, and is trying to make you waste your time running cleanup behind him by peeing on your floor. That or he’s stupider than Gerg (which I don’t think is even possible).
I was thinking about this exact thing today when Kelly Brogan’s new pitch for urine therapy came across the twitters. There’s a whole tier of people with some sort of degree, but don’t technically practice with licenses, that are also fogging the field. They don’t fade away either, and there are no levers at all to stop them from peddling misinformation.
Stamping out disinformation is complicated by the fact that one person’s information is another person’s disinformation. Very often there is more than one way of looking at a medical problem, and the mainstream consensus of the moment might not turn out to be correct. So who is suppose to control all the health professionals and make sure they don’t ever say anything that isn’t “true” according to whatever the current standard might be?
I can understand wanting to prevent outright quackery, but it is not always obvious what that is.
The answer is to make people prove their statements if they fall outside of current consensus. It may be difficult but that’s the point. Reality will prove out. The only problem is how many people die in the meantime.
It isn’t so simple to “prove” a medical opinion, and it can require enormous resources. If a medical doctor is inventive and has their own ideas about how to treat some disease, they are forced to ignore their own clinical experience and use the standard mainstream treatment. Which often involves harmful drugs.
And now, of course, with covid, medical doctors are losing what little freedom they had. If no one has been motivated to spend millions of dollars and several years researching something, it cannot be used on patients.
And most people have no idea how easy it is to “prove” a treatment does not work. Just give the wrong dose to the wrong patients at the wrong time, and make sure the power is inadequate. Viola, fails to reject null, negative result immediately accepted as “proof.”
That is NOT how experimental science is supposed to be be done, but I believe it’s a common trick, and may have been used with Ivermectin. It also can be used to “prove” that drugs have no side effects.
I understand that patients need to be protected from rogue doctors who push expensive worthless “cures.” But it’s hard to know the difference between them, and the ones who actually know something that the mainstream has not yet discovered or acknowledged.
Burzynski did actually run clinical trials, so other peopöe could do it, too. Just publish the results.
So your idea of experimental science is to ignore the science and experimentation and go with personal opinion? Because that’s what you are talking about.
Modern trial design has been developed to eliminate as much personal opinion as possible. Why? Because people believe huge amounts of bollocks without factual basis.
However, I suggest that you mention this to the big pharmaceutical companies. Their profits will go through the roof now that they don’t have to safety test anything. Or prove that it works.
Science: When evidence disagrees with your hypothesis, replace the hypothesis.
AltMed: When evidence disagrees with your hypothesis, replace the researcher.
(e.g. Just ask Prof Ernst and that chucklehead Brian how the second one works.)
As always, defenders of quacks retreat to citing gray areas in medicine with a predictable “one person’s ‘information’ is another person’s ‘disinformation.’:” (Gee, it’s not as though I haven’t heard that one more times than I can count over the last two decades of addressing antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories, general quackery, and health disinformation.)
Here’s the thing. We’re not talking about gray areas or even close to gray areas. We’re talking outright misinformation and quackery, such as the FLCCC and antivaxxers who claim that the vaccine is dangerous, doesn’t work, permanently alters your DNA, sterilizes our womenfolk, will cause a cancer epidemic, etc., as well as those pushing unproven (and now disproven) “miracle cures” like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. So let’s just say that I am…unimpressed…by your argument. It’s the same misdirection and false appeal to gray areas in medicine that I’ve seen defenders of quacks and antivaxxers (and quacks and antivaxxers themselves) invoke going back at least to 2005, if not longer.
When physicians from groups like AFLDs and FLCCC are repeatedly publicly saying that more people are dying from COVID-19 vaccine than COVID-19 (an outright lie), there is no gray area about whether this is information or misinformation.
This is shameful, dangerous and highly unethical behavior by these disinformating physicians that is killing thousands given that you’re 10X more likely to die of COVID if you are unvaccinated than vaccinated.
See also: Gaslighting, Firehosing. Persuading people to believe is not their only win condition. Convincing them not to trust anyone is also good enough.
(Just ask Putin’s disinfo agents how that one works.)
The whole problem can be summed up in the line ‘one person’s information is another person’s disinformation’ – different people may have different opinions, but they don’t get different realities (or facts). If you think that the current information is wrong, then get the data to prove it. See the difference?
Of course, in a perfect world than opinion would be based on facts…
“in a perfect world than opinion would be based on facts”
In a perfect world facts supplant opinions. In our world opinions never die. They become the walking dead. Blog trolls are zombies wearing freshly laundered clothes. They may look pretty but the odor remains.
Sometimes, there are more possibilities. But regardless what way you look at Burzynisku, heůs a quack who fleeces vulnerable patients and their families.
Same as it ever was…
Can’t wait for Dr. Christopher Hickie to weigh in with his history of attempts to get various medical associations and authorities to live up to their responsibilities.
Keep up the pressure, guys.
… And thanks for your past and continuing efforts to police your profession.
The Texas Medical Board doesn’t deserve criticism for not disciplining MDs who’ve misbehaved during the pandemic. Why, the TMB just recently fined one of America’s Frontline Doctors, Stella Immanuel* $500 for failing to obtain proper informed consent from a patient prescribed hydroxychloroquine off-label. And they’ve required her to submit her consent form for review. Now that’s a stinging slap on the wrist.
And in these days of declining membership, you can hardly expect the A.M.A. to boot out pseudoscience-endorsing docs, or even worse, to suggest that state medical boards crack down on them.
*Immanuel has claimed that gynecologic problems stem from patients having sex with demons in their (the patients’) dreams, that alien DNA has been used in formulating medicines, and that there’s been research on a vaccine to prevent people from becoming religious.**
**as if there’s something wrong with that.
One weird thing I encountered yesterday on Dutch newssites is that some unvaccinated people are seeking ways to get infected with Covid-19 on purpose.
Because there is talk about limiting acces to certain places to people who are either vaccinated, or have had the infection. In Germany this allready case in some places and it is also done in Austria.
But don’t name these people weird or something simular, because I suppose they don’t believe in some nasty conspiracy.
Still, these people seem to be more affraid of the vaccines than of the nasty things that can happen after a Covid-19 infection.
I agree with everything here. This is hard work, almost always very discouraging work, since many complaints to medical boards go nowhere slowly.
More state medical boards, however, have publicly endorsed the FSMB statement, as has the American Board of Medical Specialties and many of its member specialty boards who award board certification. This is good as it presents more opportunities to go after these quack physicians, though it remains to be seen, as you note, Orac, if there are teeth behind those statements. My hope is if one of these boards/groups “breaks the ice” and sanctions a bad physician, others will follow.
Nothing will be easy, but I fully believe those joining in the effort now (especially @NLFD, many of whom are true frontline physicians and nurses seeing the deadly toll of medical disinformation daily during this pandemic) will not stop in their efforts until they succeed in protecting our patients from these predatory, grifting, quack physicians through revocation of medical licenses.
This COVID pandemic reminds me of the plot of the movie “Jaws” (1975).
You have Jaws the great white shark which is a deadly public health treat which has demonstrably killed people and continues to be a deadly threat.
You have Sheriff Brody and Matt Hooper (a shark expert) who recognize the threat and want to shut down the beaches to swimming until the threat is mitigated.
He is opposed by Larry the Mayor and the Amity Island business owners who depend on everything staying open to insure their income and therefore are very much against any beach closures whatsoever.
The Mayor uses his political position to override the expert(s) and keep the beaches open and the deaths continue to climb from the obvious threat.
To the movie going audience the Mayor is considered the sleazy villain and Brody & Hooper are considered the sane/rational heroes looking out for the safety of the public.
The difference with this COVID pandemic is that a large minority of people consider the Mayor and his allies (politicians, businesses, and shark/COVID minimizers) as the good guys and the expert scientists and their allies as the bad guys.
Can you imagine watching “Jaws” with an audience that is rooting for the Mayor, the business people, and the minimizers who recommend letting the shark attack whomever and who boo & hiss safety conscious Brody and Hooper?
Welcome to “Jaws 2020-2021 – The COVID Story”
If you let the shark bite you and survive, you’ll have Natural Immunity! Odds are that you’ll never be bitten be another shark again.
Blame it on the seals on those silly conservationists!
You may become a bloody stump and stop bleeding because of the shock and the cold and the salt water stinging your exposed sockets. I shall hence forth call you Bob. And maybe later hug you and squeeze you. And call you George.
The real slap in the interface is when your buddy then uses you as bait because you called him an InBev beer snob. And that is the one you are not likely getting out of. Unless, of course, you might round up a pressure vessle, high powered rifle, raft, wooden paddle, and high voltage DC lines at Cable Junction. Good luck with that.
Janey has today tweeted that she is in an NHS hospital in Glasgow, and will be using science and technology to get better.
It’s odd that she should phrase her treatment like that, which makes me think that someone has already let her know that grifters and quacks are using her illness to drum up fresh marks for their scams.
Well a ‘science based’ website, that uses the fictional movie “Jaws”, to justify the lock downs, masks, arrest and jailing of people who oppose the forced vaccinations and fails to recognize or acknowledge the actual risk of the vaccines and forced isolation and increased death due to drug overdoses and late treatment from such preventable cancers and heart issues or the actual death rate from Covid. Scientist scared people so much, that people actually believed that if they caught Covid that it was a death sentence and they would die and the enrichment to the tune of billions of dollars of drug companies and their executives.
The result of the movie ‘Jaws’ was a general population that was so afraid of the oceans and sharks that resulted in the slaughter of tens of millions of these mostly harmless animals that has resulted in untold ecological damage. Even the author of the book ‘Jaws’ regretted his stoking hysteria in people.
Will anyone here actually come to regret their part in stoking irrational fear in the public that Covid represented, a virus with a 99% chance of recovery.
A 1% death rate? Oh well,no problemo!
I suppose the 10 to 30 per cent suffering from long-haul COVID aren’t worth mentioning, right?
Your callousness is remarkable.
You’re completely right about the other harms, but even her death claims aren’t what she thinks they are. It’s worth reminding that a 1:100 chance of dying from a disease – even a 1:1000 – is high in today’s criteria. It is not an acceptable risk.
@TBruce: “Your callousness is remarkable.”
Consider the source.
For an authoritarian purity cult, it is not remarkable at all. It is the baseline on which they all build.
“It is not an acceptable risk.”
Which is why they have to play up any possible dangers from vaccination (real or imagined). Otherwise, even the most rabid anti-vaxxer would have a pause when trying to chose between a 1/100 chance of dying or something smaller by many multiple factors of 10.
@NumberWang: “Which is why they have to play up any possible dangers from vaccination (real or imagined).”
Indeed. And not only do they play up the dangers (real and fictional) of vaccines, but they massively play down both the effectiveness of vaccines and the dangers of the actual diseases.
Some, like Gerg, will even reframe the contracting of these diseases as providing health benefits. Which surpasses mere propaganda and motivated [non-]reasoning to next-level delusion entirely.
“Otherwise, even the most rabid anti-vaxxer would have a pause”
I think you hugely underestimate their rabidity. They don’t care about Truth. They care about Power. Their newly-found common cause with overt fascists comes as absolutely zero surprise when considering their motives.
I hate to keep saying it, but: Read up on Cluster B personality disorders. Narcissism in particular. I will put good money on both Correlation and Causation. Because they’re not really humans; they’re vampires. And we are just tractable food.
Number of Covid-19 cases that have occurred in U.S.: 47,700,000.
Covid-19 deaths in U.S.: 770,000.
Average daily Covid-19 hospitalizations in U.S. over past week: 45,000.
Average daily Covid-19 I.C.U. cases in U.S. over past week: 11,550.
Number of Covid-19 vaccine doses given in U.S.: 450,000,000.
Number of confirmed deaths in U.S. attributed to Covid -19 vaccination as of 10/22: 5.
Will any antivaxers here that have been stoking irrational fears of the vaccines while downplaying Covid-19 disease risks ever come to regret their behavior?
Almost certainly not.
I love kooks and crackpots who are unable to distinguish between similes and reality.
9/11 Witness – “It sounded like explosions going off.” (The sound of the towers falling)
9/11 Kooks and Grifters – “See!!!! The towers were brought down with explosives!!!!”
So, Kay, you are one of the audience who would be cheering on Mayor Larry and the shark and booing Brody and Hooper.
“After all, with all those tens of thousands of vacationers the shark will only kill a few and they weren’t good swimmers anyway…”
You do realize that currently around the world beaches are shut down and closed due to the presence of sharks?
Why are those governments spending all that money and effort and infringing on people’s rights when there is a 99.9999% chance of not dying by shark attack?
Why don’t you and the other disease preservationists go there and protest the infringement on people’s “liberty” to be eaten by sharks or crocodiles?
If people would attempt to exterminate SARS-CoV-2 after experiencing millions of deaths from it I can only say “Good!”.
You and the other disease preservationists would, of course, be holding candlelight vigils for the virus.
That’s an impressively long sentence fragment.
We don’t need no ed-you-Kay-shun
boomp boomp boomp boomp
We don’t need no thought control
boomp boomp boomp boomp
Hey mediconazi! leave them kids alone
boomp boomp boomp boomp
nice try but your chances of dying of preventable diseases are: heart disease 1 in 6, your chances of dying of preventable cancers 1 in 7, your chances of dying of preventable respiratory disease 1 in 27 verses your chance of dying from Covid are 1 in over 150.
please cite your 10 to 30 per cent long-haul Covid or did you just make that up and how many of them are vaccinated.
The people who crave the power are the true believers in the effectiveness of these vaccines. The fascist are the ones who demand loyalty over all else and want to label those who question authority as anti-science, you know if you question Dr Fauci your are questioning science.
Life is a risk. The callousness is on the vaxxers, who would not treat the sick person who are turned away at hospitals, no matter what they came to the hospital for, simply because they are not vaccinated, who prevent people from early detection and treatments for cancers because of Covid restriction, who prevent early detection of heart issues, who are willing to prevent people from seeking help with addictions and access to treatment centers and allowed to die from drug over-doses. You have all seen pictures of people spraying Lysol as they are shopping in a store or washing in bleach, the fresh food they are about to eat. How many future cancers are we going to have because of all the ingested sanitizers we came in contact with, all because of irrational fear.
The vaccine does not exterminate the Covid in fact the vaccine helps its spread by making people have fewer symptoms (asymptomatic) thus the marginally sick spread the virus to the more at risk people.
Just some shark information.
Last year over 100 MILLION sharks were killed by people for sport (that number was over 200 MILLION the year ‘Jaws’ came out), about 57 people in the world were killed by sharks. Please cite the beaches that are shut down because of the presents of sharks, if that were the case every beach in the world would be shut down.
So much for this site being dedicated to science
If you knew more than diddly squat about COVID, you would know that the risk of long haul COVID is at least 10 per cent, and probably more (like 30%) (reference provided below). But you don’t, so what did I expect?
If a person is infected, vaccination reduces the risk of developing long haul COVID by 49% (reference provided below). Combine that with the vaccine’s reduction of risk of getting infected in the first place and of landing in the hospital and of death, of course, and you would be a fool not to get vaccinated.
But I repeat myself.
Anyway, here’s one useful review that has references to reputable journals.
Now that you have a reference to my statement, could you kindly provide a reference or two to support your torrent of bullshit?
@Kay West: “So much for this site being dedicated to science”
The lady doth protest too much. And by “lady”, I mean the feces-flinging baboon. But then, if you knew anything about science, you’d know it is evidence that talks. And the better that evidence is, the louder it is heard. So where TF is yours?
5/10 for a shark derail (that was novel—good for you!)
-5/10 for your ass still writing checks that your mouth don’t cash
I think you’ve mixed up your death figures. Saying that 1 in 6 deaths is/was from heart disease is not the same statistic as saying that your chance of dying from Covid is 1/150 if you catch Covid. You’d have to find out the total deaths attributed to Covid in a particular.time period and then work out this as a percentage of all deaths.
I was wondering how she got to that number. Or why she puts this as a preventable disease.
And whether she considered that, for example, death from covid-19 can come via a heart attack.
It seemed a strange claim, but if she wants to elaborate and cite, I would be willing to look at her data.
In 2019 the CDC says that 659k people died of heart disease, 600k deaths of cancer, 173k accidents. In 2020 they think that approx 375k people died of Covid.
About 100 million sharks a year are killed by fishing, almost entirely by commercial fishing. Of that around 40 million for shark finning.
Few places in the world currently cull sharks to protect beach swimmers: the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland, the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the French overseas department of Réunion.
“Between 1950 and 2008, 352 tiger sharks and 577 great white sharks were killed in the nets in New South Wales”
“[In Queensland from] 2017 to 2018, 218 sharks were killed, including 75 tiger sharks and 41 bull sharks”
“In a 30-year period, more than 33,000 sharks have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal’s shark-killing program”
“Réunion authorities currently kill about 100 sharks per year”
Shark culling to protect swimmers at beaches is a minuscule fraction of the commercial catch.
I can tell you that it’s actually commonplace in Australia, both because of shark sightings off beaches, and after shark attacks, but, of course, the closures are temporary.
Here’s a news page including items about 5 recent closures of beaches around Perth in Western Australia due to shark sightings or shark attacks.
My other topical songs having garnered wild enthusiasm, I present (with minimal apologies to Glenn Frey) “Covid Blues”.
You see it in the headlines, you hear it every day
They say they’re gonna stop it but it doesn’t go away
It’s ravaging Wadena, and fills the hospitals in L.A.
We try to social distance, but I mean it’s here to stay
It’s feeding the statistics in Sweden and Peru
You ask any C.D.C. man, he’ll say, “There’s nothin’ we can do”
From the office of the president
Right down to me and you, me and you
It’s a losing proposition but one you can’t refuse
It’s the politics of vaccines
It’s the Covid blues
None of the above links you provided address Dr Burzynski’s contention that his therapy is being misrepresented by a “dublicate patent”. His side of the story is available in a self-produced documentary here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVrd1hWVpls
Do you have any other links on Dr Burzynski that can explain the difference in account?
Also, what kind of a sycophantic fool believes a YouTube video constitutes legit evidence? Or decades and dozens of registered “trials” without a published result is normal. Or charging participants for taking part in them. Or forcing them to buy cheap off-the-shelf chemo from his pharmacy at 10x the price they’d pay anywhere else.
Well, you’re right in a way. It is all evidence. What it lacks, alas, is the criminal prosecution—the only trial that fraud is good for.
He does have very nice monogrammed gates though:
Please cite more recent information, not something the was published just 3 months after the vaccine was available (March 2021). The data only cites people who were hospitalized, and the article describes long haul as 60 days. and “seem to suggest that COVID-19 vaccination may also ease recrudescent symptoms, she said.” seems to suggest is really not science.
And your 10% figure was from a study in published in August of 2020 and is an estimate and is “currently based on limited evidence” and to quote the research “Around 10% of patients who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 virus remain unwell beyond three weeks, and a smaller proportion for months” and came from the BMJ (a publication that was questioned by this blog). Did you even read the whole story and look up the sources or just google something hoping no one would question it.
The chances of dying from Covid are CDC stats not mine. And given the population of the US is about 330 million and we have had about 350,000 people die a year from Covid, so your chances of dying from Covid are very small as about 47 million people tested positive for Covid and probably (wag) twice that many people had Covid and didn’t get tested or didn’t even know they had Covid.
You all demand proof of your lock downs, mandates, etc. detrimental effects on society.
Nurses and doctors who worked tirelessly while a vaccine was developed are now being fired for not having a vaccine, but guess what. they are having to close emergency rooms because of the mandate.
and even shut down entire wings of hospitals.
and as to your compassion for the sick.
So yes, you are the compassionate ones, who do research (well at least can google stuff).
“The chances of dying from Covid are CDC stats not mine. And given the population of the US is about 330 million and we have had about 350,000 people die a year from Covid, so your chances of dying from Covid are very small”
Given a population of 330 million and around 670,000 people die a year from heart disease so your chance of dying from heart disease is very small. Compare the 350,000 to the 670,000.
You’ll note what Kay West and the rest of her disease perverts do is divide the annual number of deaths from COVID by the number of US residents total. What she conveniently forgets is that all those people live on average 80 years, and 350,000 × 80 = 28,000,000 deaths = a 1:12 chance of dying from COVID vs any other cause.
So not so small after all? Don’t worry, I’m sure she’ll lie about that too.
FOAD, Kay West. Medics who refuse to vaccinate now that is available broadcast their incompetence to all. Maybe you are happy to be tended by quacks; the rest of us can and should demand a higher standard than that. Being entrusted others’ lives is an extraordinary privilege and responsibility, not a goddamned right.
Fuck narcs. Worst fucking parasites in existence. Jiggers and guinea worms got nothing on you.
Here’s a quotation from the NEJM:
…there is a palpable sense that life can return to normal. Though most Americans may be able to do so, restoration of normality does not apply to the 10% to 30% of those who are still experiencing debilitating symptoms months after being infected with Covid-19.
It’s dated August 12, 2021. Is that recent enough for you?
If it isn’t, whatever. I really don’t care.
There is a paper from August 2021:
Phillips S, Williams MA. Confronting Our Next National Health Disaster – Long-Haul Covid. N Engl J Med. 2021 Aug 12;385(7):577-579. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2109285. Epub 2021 Jun 30. PMID: 34192429.
Saying exactly same things
There’s plenty of evidence that long-term sequelae of acute Covid-19 infection are commonplace. Take for example this systematic review published in August of this year:
“A total of 18,251 publications were identified, of which 15 met the inclusion criteria. The prevalence of 55 long-term effects was estimated, 21 meta-analyses were performed, and 47,910 patients were included (age 17–87 years). The included studies defined long-COVID as ranging from 14 to 110 days post-viral infection. It was estimated that 80% of the infected patients with SARS-CoV-2 developed one or more long-term symptoms. The five most common symptoms were fatigue (58%), headache (44%), attention disorder (27%), hair loss (25%), and dyspnea (24%).”
Misrepresenting or ignoring the effects of long-term Covid-19 while tragicomically attempting to dismiss the impact of death from the disease (i.e. “only” 770,000 dead in the U.S. alone) are hallmarks of antivax callousness*.
*not to mention the trifecta of antivaxdom: ignorance, confusion and hostility.
you claim people who question the wisdom of forced vaccinations ‘fascist”
“I think you hugely underestimate their rabidity. They don’t care about Truth. They care about Power. Their newly-found common cause with overt fascists comes as absolutely zero surprise when considering their motives.”
Yet Santa Cruz county just imposed a mask mandate IN YOUR OWN HOME.
“the mandate will also apply in private settings like a person’s home when members of another household are present, according to the county.”
That mandate was just lifted because according to county health officials
“Santa Cruz County has among the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates of any county in California, with 70.8% of the population fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.”
“Public health officials said new cases of the coronavirus have spiked in the county, shooting up 29% in just the past two weeks.”
@Tony: You can fuck off too.
It just keeps getting better and better for Didier Raoult.
After he was hit in October with accusations about conducting an unauthorized clinical trial of tuberculosis treatment on disadvantaged patients who could not properly consent (some of whom suffered serious renal complications), there’s a new scandal, as reported by the online investigative journal Mediapart. Coworkers at his Mediterranean Infection University Hospital Institute are alleging that pressure was exerted on them to falsify experimental results.
“About ten people (doctors, biologists, interns or assistants) thus regret “regrettable scientific and ethical practices” in the columns of Mediapart. And even denounces falsifications of results to prove the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine treatment against Covid-19. “The results do not go in the direction of Didier Raoult, the threshold of positivity of the PCR tests was modified thus making negative a large number of results for the patients followed in Marseille and allowing, in this way, to conclude in the ‘beneficial effect of hydroxychloroquine “, details Médiapart.”
(as reported by the French website lindependant.com, slightly mangled by Google Translate
life expectancy in the US is not 80 years
81 for females and 76 for males but I won’t quibble over small things like facts.
47 million people have test positive for Covid, now if you use the CDC past estimations on number of people that test positive for the flu verses the CDC’s estimation of number of people who were infected with the flu (both similarly spread viruses) but not reported.
I am using CDC numbers of people who tested positive for flu in the season 2017-2018 ,was about 1.1 million people. The CDC estimates that 41 million people had the flu. So using the same extrapolation applied to Covid to the flu (40 times the number of actual positive cases). We can estimate that everyone in the US has had the Covid (in one form or another). So yes the total population should be included in calculations of deaths from Covid.
The alternative is to question every estimation of the flu cases the CDC has ever issued.
770,000 people over 2 years, sounds like a lot but you have factor the normal deaths in the US is about 3.5 million people a year or about 8,000 people per day. 5 million people have died in 2 years, guess what 60 million people died in the last 2 years alone, from starvation. You may call it callousness but facts are facts and if you are going to study a problem you have to remove the emotion or you end up doing what the world is doing, over reacting to the news of the day, no masks or 1 mask or 2 masks, lock down or no lock down, Lysol everything or not, face shields or not, rubber gloves or not, marijuana/liquor shops are essential but restaurants are not.
So now the definition of long term Covid is 14 days?
“The included studies defined long-COVID as ranging from 14 to 110 days post-viral infection.”
Can you please post a link to this review?
I’m reminded of the antivaxer who said it wasn’t a big deal that plague killed a third of the world’s people during the Middle Ages, because after all, humanity survived.
“You may call it callous”
Yes. Insanely so.
For 2019, the average lifespan in the US was calculated at 78.79 years, if you wish to be anal. But perhaps the concept of rounding to 1 significant figure is unfamiliar to you?
I actually did make a typo, putting 350M instead of 330M as US population. So if you want to nitpick something, nitpick that.
Honestly, I could’ve just put 80×300M to keep the math simple, and still make my point. Which is: if you antivaxxers are going to claim that the chances of dying of COVID is 1:150, 1:1500, or whatever, make sure you’re using the right denominator.
Right now, the US is seeing around 300K COVID deaths per-year , out of a population of 300M. Which is a 1:1000 chance of dying of COVID in ONE YEAR. However, most people don’t live one year; they live on average 80 . So in order to calculate that the average person has X% chance of dying from COVID, you have to take ALL of those 80 years into account.
My original comment ought to have done a better job explaining itself, but the key point stands: If we assume the annual death rate from COVID doesn’t significantly change in the next four decades, the chances of a person dying of COVID as opposed to any other disease is close to 1-in-10 .
(For comparison, cardiovascular diseases are responsible for 1-in-4. So COVID is not trailing that by much once we do a valid side-by-side comparison. Plus, COVID itself is partly a cardiovascular disease, so don’t be surprised if that number worsens due to long-term sequelae.)
And, reminder: antivaxxers love to claim numbers like “99.9%” or “99.98%”  of Americans survive COVID, conveniently failing to mention you’ve used the entire population (300M) as the denominator, because… reasons. Whereas you should be dividing by the number of people who [are known to] have contracted it, which brings the real percentage close to 99% .
(But that wouldn’t suit your lies, so you don’t.)
So you lecturing me for intentionally using approximations  to make a point while being magnitudes on the low side yourselves (by incompetence and/or malice) is a joke. SOP for you mendacious shitweasels, of course. Motes, beams, etc.
(If actual science folks find any egregious errors in my post, please correct me. Antivaxxers though can just piss off.)
 Closer to 400K if we divide the current death (777K) toll by 22 months, but I’m being generous and undercounting. 300K÷300M keeps the math simple. And it’s impossible to estimate the average annual death toll when the disease itself is only 2 years old.
 Marginally less, if you want to be anal, but again keeps the math simple.
 Somewhere between 1-in-10 and 1-in-20; i.e. a magnitude greater than antivaxxers claim. And there’s really no point trying to be any more precise than magnitudes, as this is all working on reasonable estimates, not actual figures, since we won’t actually have the full data until the end of the century.
 98.85% if we use 1.15% mortality (also an estimate, but still more accurate than your numbers which are typically out by a magnitude or two).
 One of the reasons to show the calculations to only 1 or 2 significant figures is to make it clear that all of the numbers being used are approximations. Indeed, writing numbers to lots of decimal places can be done to deliberately deceive: to create the impression of great accuracy even though the source numbers are only estimates.
to the bacon
remember during the middle ages when the consensus of medical science believe that cats (and dogs) were in league with the devil and killed cats(and dogs) who could have lessened the Black plague caused by fleas carried by rats, who were kept in check by the cats and dogs.
just a few snippets of what was done to stop the plague, but didn’t do anything, just like today, where the states with mask mandates have the highest covid infection rates.
“Closure of public places like theatres and dancing-houses.
The killing of cats and dogs, which were thought to carry the plague. It was estimated that 40,000 dogs and 200,000 cats were killed.
Houses where someone got the plague were shut up, and marked with a red cross.
(kind of reminds me when the Chinese government welded the doors shut on those who caught Covid)
Many people just stayed indoors
Doctors advised people to fumigate their houses, and keep the windows closed.
(well now they just used Lysol)
People refused to touch other people.”
“People’s lives and businesses suffered terribly because so many were shut in their homes. One eyewitness said that London became so quiet that every day was like a Sunday and grass started to grow in the streets. Many were forced to beg or steal food and money because the plague had such a bad effect on trade.”
Ask the 60 million people who starved to death in the past two years how that is working out.
So science has come a long way.
And I found your link which is almost a year old research.
Your obsession with medicine in the 1300s is a little blinkered. Cats and dogs can catch the plague. Fleas from the rats in question can live on dogs and cat fleas can carry the plague. Whilst it’s obvious that medical knowledge in the middle ages was pretty poor it’s not such a silly idea to think that cats and dogs might be a vector. Especially since killing an infected rat causes its fleas to scatter.
“Science and the Middle Ages?”
What you describe was pushed by the Catholic Church….and would be exactly what anti-vaxers would be pushing too.
Evidence or GTFO, you despicable disease pervert.
Annual number of starvation deaths hovers around 5M/yr (which is both appalling and nothing new) and, though COVID has worsened it (WFP put 2020 at 7M), the primary cause of it remains war.
And what do antivaxxers do to address this toll? Compound it, of course!
Because, just like the warlords, there is nothing and no-one they care about except for themselves. Converting starving innocents into one more weapon in their arsenal is just one more revolting example of how antivaxxers adorn themselves with other people’s suffering in their unashamed grab for attention and power.
FOAD, Kay West. Even jiggers and guinea worms have more humanity than you: at least they don’t pretend to be anything other than life-sucking parasites.
I was thinking that it’s a bit rich using the Black Death as a citation for masks being a waste of time, then complaining about a study only a year old.
@has, yeah, I wondered where Kay got that from. Maybe she’s confusing the number of people suffering from starvation with the number of people dying of starvation.
I was going to call out your bullshit about starvation deaths and your amusing claim that medical science existed in the Middle Ages. Lawrence, Number Wang and has have dealt with that quite nicely.
There is, however, your claim that states with mask mandates have the highest COVID infection rates. I would direct you to the results obtained with a google search of
“covid rates in states with mask mandates vs without”.
Are you trying for Alex Berenson’s title of The Pandemic’s Wrongest Man? I dare say that you’re a contender.
And BTW, what’s up with you and Lysol? That’s just weird.
“There is, however, your claim that states with mask mandates have the highest COVID infection rates.”
It is not impossible for this to happen: if a state without mask mandates sees a big increase in COVID cases, it may [re]introduce one—whereupon antivaxxers would indeed be correct in identifying it as a state that has both mask mandates and high infection rates.
Of course, what antivaxxers wouldn’t tell you is that this unhappy status is a temporary one: having firstly being historically caused by lack of masking, and secondly by being remediated in the near future by use of masking.
In other words, a painfully amateurish misdirection as propaganda, fooling only those who aren’t paying attention or who want to be fooled. To the rest, it is further evidence of antivaxxers’ corruption.
[…] state medical boards only rarely do this and often fail when they do. That’s why I frequently refer to Dr. Burzynski when discussing the recent push to empower state medical boards to sanction physicians who promote […]