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How antivaxxers weaponized an abstract by a Goop doctor against COVID-19 vaccines

Antivaxxers are weaponizing an abstract by Goop doctor Dr. Steven Gundry claiming that COVID-19 vaccines hugely increase the risk of heart attacks. Same as it ever was.

As the pandemic has progressed since the introduction of safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 nearly a year ago, we’ve seen antivaxxers resurrect old tactics and trope over and over again. Public health officials, scientists, doctors, and the media seemed rather surprised at these ideas and have struggled to deal with them, not so much because they are that hard to refute but because they had never seen them before. After all, before the pandemic, most scientists and doctors were “shruggies” about medical pseudoscience and antivaccine conspiracy theories, not really thinking or caring much about quackery and the harm it caused. Some were even openly dismissive and contemptuous, thinking such misinformation too obviously wrong to be worth their spending any intellectual firepower addressing. So, although skeptics were not surprised at how rapidly antivaxxers weaponized the VAERS database to portray COVID-19 vaccines as deadly (a tactic that even doctors who should know better have fallen for), claimed they are full or toxins or “permanently alter you DNA,” or render women infertile, all while donning the mantle of “health freedom” and claiming that “natural herd immunity” is the way to end the pandemic, the rest of the world sure did seem surprised and unprepared. So it is with another favorite tactic of antivaxxers, the weaponization of bad studies and scientific abstracts.

I’ll show you a recent example of such misuse of a scientific abstract that I encountered this week:

The issue of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines is a complex one that I’ve discussed before, from the first reports of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) out of the VAERS database. If you want more context, I’ll refer you to some very good posts at my not-so-secret other blog (albeit not my posts) here, here, and here. Suffice to say that the risk of myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination is low, much lower than it is from COVID-19 itself, and that myocarditis is nearly always mild and transient. Again, those of us who know the antivaccine movement knew that they would seek to exaggerate the risks of the vaccine and downplay the danger of the coronavirus, and we knew that some non-antivaxxers would even lean in that direction.

But what about that abstract? Let’s take a look:

AHA abstract
This is an abstract for a poster presentation, not a peer-reviewed study in the “highest impact cardiology journal” in which we “must take these findings very seriously.”

We’ve encountered Dr. Aseem Malhotra before. The first time was in September 2020. Six months into the pandemic, this cardiologist was pushing his “21 Day Immunity Plan,” achieving some notoriety for castigating Krispy Kreme Donuts for delivering 1,500 donuts to a UK hospital to say “thank you” to the doctors, nurses, and staff for taking care of so many COVID-19 patients. Why? Because he thought that it sent a horrible message because one of the risk factors for severe COVID-19 disease (as was already known then) was obesity. Also, of course, he had a book to sell that argued that “metabolic optimization” and weight loss could prevent COVID-19 or at least make it far less likely that you’ll die of it if you are obese. It was the typical victim-blaming game, with an appeal that you can “take your health into your own hands,” so typical of these sorts of diet plans. Of course, whether or not “metabolic optimization” and major weight loss can change your risk profile for severe COVID-19, there’s one big catch. None of this happens fast. It won’t protect you from COVID-19 now, and that’s what was (and still is) needed. Certainly “metabolic optimization” won’t obviate the need for vaccines.

Before I discuss the abstract itself, I also can’t help but note that we’ve discussed Dr. Robert Malone before as well. He’s a scientist who claims to be the “inventor of mRNA vaccines” and has claimed that he’s being “erased from Wikipedia” to hide that fact. (Never mind that his wife had been busted by Wikipedia editors altering the entry on mRNA vaccines to credit them to her husband.) He’s also promoted the conspiracy theory that the Pfizer vaccine was never truly FDA-approved and citing bad studies to downplay the effectiveness of vaccines. Although he did have a role in early experiments 30 years ago to introduce mRNA into cells in order to make specific proteins, there’s no good evidence that he had any significant role in moving that technology forward to the point of making mRNA vaccines. So of course he’s touting an abstract as “proving” a mechanism for how COVID-19 vaccines can cause myocarditis, and Dr. Malhotra is touting Malone’s take on the abstract as something that’s published in the highest impact cardiology journal whose findings must be “taken seriously.” But does that abstract do anything of the sort?

Spoiler alert: It doesn’t.

First, however, you must understand one thing. This is not a peer-reviewed paper in the “highest impact cardiology journal.” Rather, this abstract is published in conference proceedings of the American Heart Association 2021 annual meeting for the Damps, Infection, and Cardiovascular Metabolism session. Even more than that, see:

We’ll get to that one point in a moment, but more importantly this is a poster presentation that, as antivaxxers have long done, is being weaponized by antivaxxers. For those of you not in medical science, poster presentations are the lowest form of scientific publishing, reserved for the vast majority of abstracts submitted to major scientific conferences that are not selected for oral or podium presentations. They are barely peer-reviewed, if they are peer-reviewed at all. Some meetings in essence accept every abstract submitted as at least a poster presentation. Indeed, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO_ both do that; so by Dr. Malhotra’s criteria, I’ve published as many as dozens of papers in the two highest impact cancer journals there are, Cancer Research (AACR) and the Journal of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Unsurprisingly, the actual number of peer-reviewed publications I have in these journals is much smaller than the number of my abstracts published there.

Now let’s look at Seven Gundry and his PULS Cardiac Test featured in the abstract. Unsurprisingly, we’ve also met him before in association with his being one of the doctors associated with Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop empire. At the time, I characterized him as someone who portrays himself as a science-based doctor at the very highest level of his profession and acknowledged that, arguably, he was, at least until around 20 years ago, when he resigned as Professor and Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at a major medical school to devote himself to “reversing disease” with food and nutraceutical supplementation, instead of bypasses, stents, or medications. Basically, he’s a cardiac surgeon who became a “holistic” doctor (quack) nearly 20 years ago.

I further characterized Dr. Gundry as the “prophet of the new church of lectins,” in which lectins were rapidly becoming the “new gluten,” namely the protein blamed for all manner of chronic diseases that it doesn’t cause. Naturally, at the time he was selling all manner of supplements to block dietary lectins, “support intestinal health,” and help “curb cravings and encourages digestive strength.” Also, he was condescending as hell in mansplaining to Dr. Jen Gunter, who had been criticizing Goop and Paltrow.

You’ll therefore forgive me that I laughed at this response:

And this one:

So let’s look at the abstract. First, what is the PULS test? The abstract claims:

PLUS Cardiac Test (GD Biosciences, Inc, Irvine, CA) a clinically validated measurement of multiple protein biomarkers which generates a score predicting the 5 yr risk (percentage chance) of a new Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS)

That’s a direct cut-and-paste, by the way. Funny that Dr. Gundry misspelled his own test. It might be petty, but on the other hand such careless errors are often indicative of sloppy science. Unsurprisingly, a quick Google search located a website dedicated to selling the PULS Cardiac Test. The claims made include:

Unlike any other test for CHD.
  • Validated in a multi-ethnic population4
  • Outcome data demonstrates clinical utility in identifying at-risk patients5
  • Conforms to current ACC/AHA(ATP IV) guidelines6
  • Motivates patients to adhere to physician recommendations7

There are nine markers tested:

  1. MCP-3: Guides immune cell direction & activity
  2. sFas: Prevents cell death
  3. Fas Ligand: Initiates cell death and recycling
  4. Eotaxin: Activates immune cells at areas of damage
  5. CTACK: Helps clean up damaged tissue
  6. IL-16: Recruits & activates immune cells
  7. HGF: Stimulates tissue and repair
  8. HDL: Helps remove bad cholesterol
  9. HbA1c: Diabetes marker

So what does it do? This, apparently, all with a “simple blood test”:

Quantify Endothelial Damage: By measuring the body immune response that’s activated by the inflammation or damage to the endothelium/arterial wall. 

Predict ACS (Acute Coronary Syndrome): Identifies the asymptomatic “vulnerable” patient who is at risk of ACS (MI, Unstable Angina requiring hospitalization, and Sudden Cardiac Death). 

Improve Patient Care: Complements existing diagnostic procedures and enables further evaluation of significantly at risk patients who might have been missed by current methods. Provides guidance for preventive & intervention strategies that improve patient care.

Markers and scores involving multiple markers—in this case nine!—are very difficult to develop and validate, something this abstract doesn’t give a good feel for. One reason is simple. The more markers you add, the more variables and permutations of results there are. So when I see a test like PULS, I always ask: Why these markers? How were they chosen. Why were they lumped together this way?

Unfortunately, the references cited weren’t that helpful. For instance, here is the reference cited for the claim that PULS was “validated in a multi-ethnic population.” Notably, Dr. Gundry is not one of the co-authors, and this study was from 2012. It also is not PULS in that it “sought to develop a CHD Risk Assessment (CHDRA) model that improves 5-year risk stratification among intermediate risk individuals,” with the test specifically looking at “CHDRA algorithm of age, sex, diabetes, and family history of MI, combined with serum levels of seven biomarkers (CTACK, Eotaxin, Fas Ligand, HGF, IL-16, MCP-3, and sFas).” In other words, it looks at patient risk factors plus seven serum factors associated with inflammation. So it’s a bit deceptive to claim that PULS has been “validated” in a multi-ethnic population. It hasn’t. CHDRA, which includes a subset of PULS parameters plus clinical parameters was validated as possibly being useful.

The paper cited for the claim for PULS that “outcomes data demonstrates clinical utility in identifying at-risk patients similarly doesn’t quite do what’s claimed for it. My university doesn’t have a subscription to this journal, but the study appears to be by the same group (again, without Dr. Gundry) showing that the accuracy of the multi-marker panel, specifically, “specificity, sensitivity, interfering substances and reproducibility of the CHDRA assays, along with the effects of pre-analytical specimen processing, were evaluated” and found to be acceptable. Basically, it appears to be a clinical laboratory validation study, not an outcomes study.

As for the last two citations, one consists of 2014 ACC/AHA guidelines for preoperative evaluation of cardiac risk in patients undergoing noncardiac surgery. I’m not clear on how PULS would “conform to AHA guidelines.” The other, hilariously, supports the claim that PULS “motivates patients to adhere to physician recommendations” thusly:

Based on physician and patient testimonials.

Because of course! Now, on to the abstract, which concludes:

The score has been measured every 3-6 months in our patient population for 8 years. Recently, with the advent of the mRNA COVID 19 vaccines (vac) by Moderna and Pfizer, dramatic changes in the PULS score became apparent in most patients.This report summarizes those results. A total of 566 pts, aged 28 to 97, M:F ratio 1:1 seen in a preventive cardiology practice had a new PULS test drawn from 2 to 10 weeks following the 2nd COVID shot and was compared to the previous PULS score drawn 3 to 5 months previously pre- shot. Baseline IL-16 increased from 35=/-20 above the norm to 82 =/- 75 above the norm post-vac; sFas increased from 22+/- 15 above the norm to 46=/-24 above the norm post-vac; HGF increased from 42+/-12 above the norm to 86+/-31 above the norm post-vac. These changes resulted in an increase of the PULS score from 11% 5 yr ACS risk to 25% 5 yr ACS risk. At the time of this report, these changes persist for at least 2.5 months post second dose of vac.We conclude that the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle and may account for the observations of increased thrombosis, cardiomyopathy, and other vascular events following vaccination.

GD Biosciences appears to be a legit company, the “GD” standing for “Global Discovery,” although its website is very sparse and, unlike most companies’ websites, doesn’t list any of its products. Indeed, the PULS Cardiac Test appears to be its only product, and a four year old Facebook post touts the PULS test for having been featured on Fox News (always an indication of quality science!):

And a five year old post touts PULS thusly:

Meanwhile, the Facebook page for the PULS test itself features posts touting not just the test, but all sorts of supplements and “alternative” interventions:

Overblown claims for various dietary interventions and tests aside, for something like determining risk of acute coronary syndrome (also colloquially called a “heart attack” or “angina” or, when it progresses to cardiac muscle death, a “myocardial infarction”), let’s just say that 566 subjects represent too small a number to make such claims, and this study appears to be retrospective. (At least, I can’t find any indication that it was prospective.) Curious, I searched for Gundry’s last name, to see if he had registered his clinical study with the site. I could find no such registered study. The only study for which Steven Gundry was PI that as a site principal investigator (PI) for one study registered at, whose overall PI was Bill Massey, PhD at Northwestern University, Pharmacogenomic Testing Of the Elderly To Reduce Morbidity (POETRY), a study of a registry designed to “determine whether data from Pharmacogenomic (PGx) Testing for elderly and disabled patients can help physicians manage patient medication regimens and assess if the testing has an effect on reducing adverse drug events, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits.” (One wonders if Gundry bothered to get approval from an institutional review board for his PULS study, one does.) Surprise, but no results are posted at for this study.

At best, such a study could be hypothesis generating, but that’s not how it’s being used. Let’s look at its deficiencies. First, it’s not a randomized controlled trial of this test. It appears to be retrospective but in reality the abstract doesn’t even tell us the study design or statistical methodology used. (The abstract doesn’t even provide p-values or mention statistical significance! I found that to be very odd indeed for an ostensibly scientific abstract.) So the abstract could be prospective. It could also be retrospective. It could be a cohort study. We don’t know, because the abstract is so vague in describing the methods used.

Other deficiencies in the abstract are worse. For one, there’s the issue that there’s no comparison between vaccination and patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to develop post-infection immunity (commonly referred to as “natural immunity”). Anything that can cause inflammation is also likely to elevate a test designed to detect inflammation. That goes for COVID-19 even more than it does for the COVID-19 vaccine—or any vaccine. One wonders why Dr. Gundry didn’t look for the effect of other commonly administered adult vaccines (such as the flu vaccine) in this abstract to determine if this effect is nonspecific. (I realize that what I’m proposing is risky, as antivaxxers would just love it if the PULS test results were elevated after any vaccine, but scientists would recognize it as nonspecific and could point to no known actual elevated risk of ACS after other vaccines.) Basically, though, without the context of comparing PULS scores in an unvaccinated control group, a group receiving other non-COVID-19 vaccines, and a group recovering from COVID-19, it’s really hard to make any claims about this result. It’s meaningless.

Not that that stops antivaxxers like Alex Berenson from distorting this study and Mike Adams from claiming:

The mRNA (messenger RNA) jabs are particularly offensive in this regard, Berenson notes. Several months after getting injected, a person’s risk of suffering a heart attack or other severe coronary problem more than doubles.

“Patients had a 1 in 4 risk for severe problems after the vaccines, compared to 1 in 9 before,” Berenson writes.

Sound familiar? That same doubled risk for death in the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated also applies to heart problems. It would seem as though getting jabbed is a quick and easy way to fast-track one’s risk of dying early.

At the recent annual conference of the American Heart Association (AHA), Dr. Steven Gundry, a Nebraska physician and retired cardiac surgeon, presented a study showing this massively increased risk of heart problems post-injection.

The shots greatly increase endothelial inflammatory markers, he explained. Based on these markers, a patient is assigned a score that ranks how likely he or she is to develop an acute coronary syndrome within the next five years.

Here’s the problem. Gundry is a quack who has never adequately demonstrated that his PULS test truly does accurately predict the likelihood of heart problems, much less that mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 more than double the risk of ACS, much less that Adams’ rants about “depopulation” from vaccines is anything but fantasy:

“It’s going to take a lot more of these studies and stories before the Medical Nazis at the FDA and CDC back down because of ‘mild myocarditis,’” wrote another, referring to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s false claim that “mild myocarditis” cases post-injection are “rare.”

“Their goal is depopulation and they are enjoying the results right now because there is no pushback. Their livelihoods aren’t threatened, and they’re protected within their political circles. Nothing short of total non-compliance going forward on any covid mandates is going to budge this tyranny.”

This is how crappy abstracts have long been weaponized by antivaxxers, who either don’t know what Skeptical Scalpel wrote about years ago or know but also know that their readers don’t know:

Some members of the medical press may be unaware of the manner in which posters are chosen for presentation. In many organizations it works like this. Abstracts are submitted to the organization for oral presentation, which is much more prestigious than simply presenting a poster. An oral presentation requires that the completed paper be submitted to one or more discussants for rigorous peer review prior to the date of the oral presentation. Papers rejected for oral presentation are often accepted as posters without any critical review at all. 

He also noted:

Why do organizations accept all submitted abstracts as posters? I believe it is because accepting all submitted abstracts as posters significantly increases meeting attendance. At least one author of the 1025 accepted posters will probably attend the SCCM meeting to be present when the poster is briefly discussed at sessions known as “Professor’s Walk Rounds” or similar names.

There is reward for the authors as well, who can pad their CVs with references to their research as having been “accepted as a poster presentation at SCCM.” 

Bottom line. Exercise extreme caution when reporting the results of research presented in a poster.

Indeed. These are also the reasons why antivaxxers have long weaponized abstracts like Steven Gundry’s crappy PULS Cardiac Test abstract.

By Orac

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

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

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

To contact Orac: [email protected]

113 replies on “How antivaxxers weaponized an abstract by a Goop doctor against COVID-19 vaccines”

That must be some kind of record ‘fastest Expression of Concern’: 16 days, or maybe for ‘least amount of data needed for an Expression of Concern’.
The speed must be an indicator of how alarmed the AHA is, maybe that anyone actually read it.

Back in the days of my institutional servitude I contemplated having a rubber stamp with an image of a raspberry made to use for convenience in replying to certain types of correspondence. That “expression of concern” looks like a more conventional and formal raspberry.

There should be a journal for the specific purpose of publishing expressions of concern over the failure of other journals and organizations to perform due diligence before giving status to crap research.

We have something close – James Lyons-Weiler has a ‘journal’ (Science, Public Health Policy & the Law) for publishing anti-vaccine papers that have been retracted…

Mrna vaccines have UNKNOWN consequences, have indeed killed 10s of thousands of people, injured millions and yet you arrogantly and stubbornly forge ahead over the cliff of utter stupidity while perfectly healthy athletes drop dead worldwide and pilots die and collapse mid air ALL DUE TO THE VACCINES WHICH ARE NOT VACCINES.



Amazing. Everything you just wrote was wrong.

And their keyboard seems to have the Caps Lock key stuck.

Does it not make sense to at least do some research to find out whether cardiac events have increased abnormally amongst the vaccinated population, rather than bury heads in the sand, like we appear to be doing with the excessive VAERs reports?

Do you really think that Big Pharma pays blog commenters ? We just express our views. Try to argue with them. CDC sayd this about VAERS:
“VAERS accepts and analyzes reports of possible health problems—also called “adverse events”—after vaccination. As an early warning system, VAERS cannot prove that a vaccine caused a problem. Specifically, a report to VAERS does not mean that a vaccine caused an adverse event.”
Read tthis a few tines.,

Hiding behind the VAERs isn’t proof of causation mantra is getting tired when the number of reactions post these mRNA shots dwarfs other widely given vaccines by orders of magnitude. Indeed the large number of reported reactions signals causation and that there is something wrong with the safety surveillance approach.

I would like very much to see a fair and constructive debate about these COVID-19 “vaccines” . From the beginning you call people who challenge these vaccines anti-vaxers and anti science without actually proving that they are wrong.
Besides, can you really show us a complete study of what these vaccines are supposed to do because currently nothing proves they do any good especially when people like you are the only science and want to force them without any question because is the only solution.
There are so many studies, doctors and scientists that don’t agree with these vaccines and the fascism measures to impose them that currently brings more harm than good, but the more opposition the more inhuman restriction are made.
What vaccines ever were taken every 3 months? You must be completely insane.
Even NIH don’t agree anymore:
Doctors are fired if they have different good opinions:
Media doesn’t question anything negative about vaccines but instead is just a propaganda for the same one the only way the vaccine science.
Are a really comfortable with yourself to see the most civilized countries using the fascism like measure to torture their citizens because they don’t agree with these vaccines? Isn’t this a private information anymore? What a vaccine passport means?
So give me one reason why at this point in time anyone of any age should take this vaccine instead of taking preventive vitamin D, C and if infected add ZI, Quercetin and Ivermectin as prescribed by FLCCC protocol?
However I still believe that true science is by questioning and debating everything in a constructive way before developing and approve a final product that affect so many souls.

@NickD, I find it amazing that you claim to want a debate, but call them “vaccines”, nice touch.

What vaccines ever were taken every 3 months?

I don’t think that anyone’s suggesting that that be the case for COVID. I had my second AstraZeneca shot 3 months after the first, and I’m due for my booster 6 months after the second. There is no current recommendation for me to have any further shots.

That sort of pattern is common in childhood vaccine schedules. For example, in the Australian schedule, The DPT vaccine is given at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months, 4 years and 12-13 years. Hepatitis B vaccine is given at birth and at 2, 4 and 6 months. HiB vaccine is given at 2, 4, 6 & 18 months. Polio vaccination is at 2, 4 and 6 months, and at 4 years. Many of them have spacings of less than 3 months.

There seems to be an idea common in those opposing (at least) COVID vaccination that a vaccination is only of any use if it gives 100% immunity for life with a single shot.

NickD Vaccines are supposed to protect against COVID, There are lots of studies that show they are doing exactly this. I could quote any number of papers, but you would not read them.
There are any number of papers showing that ivermectin & al does not work, that why you shouls not use them.
None of known antivax doctors have been fired, Robert Kennedy Jr even got government money.

“We conclude that the mRNA vacs dramatically increase inflammation on the endothelium and T cell infiltration of cardiac muscle”

Apart from nitpicking grammar (shouldn’t that be “within the endothelium”?), an obvious question is whether routine autopsies for natural causes, which should always involve sampling of cardiac muscle including endothelium, have detected a dramatic upsurge in endothelial inflammation and lymphoid infiltrates in cardiac muscle since the advent of the Covid-19 vaccines? That’d be a lot more convincing than a multi-factor blood assay suggesting such inflammation. Where are the anatomic correlates?

If this was actually happening, leading figures in pathology like Dr. Ryan Cole* would have been trumpeting the findings.


Actually have to do the autopsies and publish the results, though. Still don’t know what was the result of the autopsy for that Miami doctor; or the Utah woman or etc. Seems folks don’t want to look or don’t want to publish what they find and are just interesting in repeating the “no evidence of causation line” when we already have evidence through proximate result. This small abstract should be enough to drive curiosity and actual data in refutation of the proposition rather than calling folks ‘quacks’, which I’ll tell you as someone who is resisting the mRNA push is not persuasive.

I find it fascinating to read so may ‘critical thinkers’ accepting this ‘abstract’ as fact, for no other apparent reason other than because it supports their preexisting beliefs.

“preexisting beliefs”

Some of them believe while many do not. They latch onto and cite whatever promotes their political agenda, massages their self image and soothes the angst they suffer. That’s why many trolls troll. They are not missionaries for any cause.

RI is a honey pot that draws them in. I go through an awful lot of popcorn watching them twist themselves into every contortion imaginable. They aren’t going away so I derive what enjoyment I can from their fevered gyrations.

Who said it was fact? It’s cautionary and given other incidents that corroborate it worth a modicum of curiosity rather than a plethora of arrogance.

I would prefer that scientific journals try not to publish science fiction, but maybe that’s just me.

@jtbax Perhaps it is actually your existing belief ? MRNA vaccines are bad and there are plot to hide the fact.

I looked at the function of several of the markers that the PULS test supposedly detects and it looks to me like the test has about the same specificity of PCR with random hexamers as primers – i.e. bugger-all. The ones I looked at all appear to be the sort of thing that would be expected in a wide range of immune response, and not specific to vascular or cardiac involvement.

When I looked that abstract up on the web a few days ago the first thing that struck me was that there is only a single author. That seems a great rarity these days, though perhaps for poster presentations it is more common.

One the spelling front, I note the poster has the wrong capitalization for mRNA.

On[] the spelling front, I note the poster has the wrong capitalization for mRNA.

Count your blessings: I can feel the New Yorker wanting to go with m.R.N.Ä.

When I looked that abstract up on the web a few days ago the first thing that struck me was that there is only a single author.

I was struck by that as well especially as the opening words of the abstract are “Our group”.

I come from a psychology background where typically a lot fewer research participants tend to end up on the author list and I am often impressed at the number of authors on a medical paper. I would have expected up to half-a-dozen authors here Only one author on this paper looks very strange.

@Doug: Indeed. I instantly halted at “Mrna” and read it no further. Because that level of QC speaks to the competence of its authors, and what it says is “Incompetent f-cks.”

When a writer demonstrate so little no respect for either the subject or its readers, the only correct response is to show them none in return. Straight into the circular filing cabinet and their name blacklisted as a good-for-nothing timewaster.

(Many years ago in another career I used to proof-read textbooks. If I’d sent an error like that to press, I’d have been fired—if not pulped along with the product—and quite right too.)

I instantly halted at “Mrna” and read it no further. Because that level of QC speaks to the competence of its authors, and what it says is “Incompetent f-cks.”

These errors were introduced by production. Compare No. 10604, which self-corrects in the text.

Editor here. I don’t use technology and am an old-fashioned line editor. The first (and laziest) thing I look for is sloppy capitalization and misuse of common technical terms. If I see even one example of something so obvious, I decline the job. With all of these crap “studies” coming out of China and India, it’s getting harder and harder.

My university doesn’t have a subscription to this journal

That’s probably because it folded some 8 years ago.

OT ( but it’s late and Orac may be taking a few days off so why not?) has a new video up of last night’s Progressive Commentary ( or Radio) Hour featuring a long interview ( rant) with RFK jr about his latest blockbuster best seller, The Many Sins of Anthony Fauci **… so if you want to get the gist without reading/ paying for the book, here’s your chance. He will claim no profit as all monies will go directly to CHD’s legal fund.

** not the real title

He will claim no profit as all monies will go directly to CHD’s legal fund.

Which then goes on to pay The Defender?

I am taking the Thanksgiving weekend off. Unless something really catches my interest, I’m probably not going to post again until Monday.

re puppies:

Newbies may not know that Orac and Ms O foster puppies ( and sometimes their mothers) for a pet adoption group. They are shown on his twitter account which internet sleuths should be able to find easily.

Many of these groups were affected by the pandemic: here, a local group run by the former mayor did not neuter and release cats until this past September and the county shelter also reduced its activities greatly. Thus, we were overrun with semi-feral cats and kittens. My SO fed and cared for quite a few: ultimately. 3 cats were spayed/ released and 5 kittens were accepted by the shelter for adoption. Last winter, a tiny, seemingly abandoned kitten appeared in the snow coming out from under my building and followed and adopted him. Thus, we have a black, gorgeous, agile, intelligent youngster who sometimes inhabits the basement but is definitely not Basement Cat ( Icanhascheezburger).

We used to foster dogs belonging to victims of domestic violence. One of them ended up as our dog eventually as the owner couldn’t look after her. Might go back to doing it when our current rescue hound dies. Wouldn’t be fair to him at the moment as he’s fairly old now, still likes to think that he’s dominant but doesn’t really have the bite to match his old man bark.

Don’t anti-vaxxers weaponize everything now a days (I’m just waiting in terror for these bad things to happen because I got my shots)? I wondered who Gundry was based on the click bait I see with his name on it. Sounds like someone is just phoning it in for Gundry to get yet another total insinuation against the effectiveness of COVID vaccination. Seems more like this was submitted as a part of business operations than genuine concern for well-being. Looks like click bait crossing over into legitimate scientific inquiry to me. Doubt there will be data provided to support the abstract and would happily salute the abstract on its way to the dumpster.

Thought this was interesting essay on conspiracy theory in politics

Enjoy your day!

Gotta say it was new to me last week. I am enlightened but not pleasantly!

Nice to see that the Charlottesville white supremacist conspiracy was put out in full view. I sure hope they are replaced.

@1000 Links: “Looks like click bait crossing over into legitimate scientific inquiry to me.”

Not even “crossing over”: calculated misrepresentation. Sleaze their nonsense into a scientific house via its letters pages or whatever and then claimed they’re “published” in it, claiming its honest name and credibility for themselves. Whereupon their core audience of drooling addicts, who don’t know any better because they don’t want to know, slurp it right up and amplify it onwards. Trivial for anyone who does understand anything at all to prove it’s bullshit, but it’s already outrun them. Ties in neatly with firehosing.

“conspiracy theory in politics”

Once you lock people into permanent fight-or-flight mode, you’ve got ’em by the balls. Looking at every regime that has screeched about imminent threats from “enemies inside and out” as means to grab absolute power. As per fricking usual, the call is coming from inside the house.

Not sure who the they are. This appears so ham-fisted and pure advertisement that there may be no particular audience in mind other than those who might buy the product. I wonder how many actually buy the pills or kits? That those who have a particular world view about vaccines look for this junk is a bonus for someone I guess.

Anyone know how much Ivermectin has been sold this year versus prior to pandemic?

Antivaxers and loons* (sorry for being repetitive) have jumped to exploit a story that a German doctor, Thomas Jendges recently committed suicide, leaving a note saying he could no longer tolerate the “genocide” of Covid-19 vaccination.

The only problem is that no such note was found, Jendges had publicly spoken out in favor of Covid-19 vaccination, and a circulating video which supposedly shows him claiming that the pandemic was engineered to impose world dictatorship actually shows someone else.

*including such luminaries as James Lyons-Weiler, who commented “If this does not wake you the fuck up, nothing will.” What a credulous dimwit.

Haven’t commented here in a long time, but I thought people might be interested or amused this: The son of a friend of a friend (both reliable witnesses!!) actuallly came down with myocarditis from a Moderna shot! And then, like John Cleese’s newt, he got better, and within a few days.

But he put his Dad through hell, because as chance would have it, his Dad is a superb cardiologist, who, while his son was hostpitalized, vividly imagined every possible way this could end badly.

Yet another case in which even one of the more dire side effects didn’t end up being serious in the long run.

What is the meaning of this?

“Baseline IL-16 increased from 35=/-20 above the norm to 82 =/- 75 above the norm post-vac; sFas increased from 22+/- 15 above the norm to 46=/-24 above the norm post-vac; HGF increased from 42+/-12 above the norm to 86+/-31 above the norm post-vac”

I’m talking about these:


No one knows which is the basic complaint. Could be a new scale to measure things that enhance the selling capability of the kit. In the dark as much as you are.

I’m talking about these:


I guess the ‘=’ is a typo and should be a ‘+’. Same key on the keyboard.
Then the ‘+/-‘ is likely a standard deviation. Or an interval of observed values.

The abstract doesn’t seem to indicate if these values are significantly over the norm. I mean, the norm is not indicated, there is no mention of any test, and some of these ‘+/-‘ intervals make the numbers fluctuate a lot.

I’m annoyed with the reviewer (if there was any) who let this pass.

Antivaxers and loons* (sorry for being repetitive) have jumped to exploit a story that a German doctor, Thomas Jendges recently committed suicide, leaving a note saying he could no longer tolerate the “genocide” of Covid-19 vaccination.

The only problem is that no such note was found, Jendges had publicly spoken out in favor of Covid-19 vaccination, and a circulating video which supposedly shows him claiming that the pandemic was engineered to impose world dictatorship actually shows someone else.

*including such luminaries as James Lyons-Weiler, who commented “If this does not wake you the f**k up, nothing will.” What a credulous dimwit.

@DB: “What a credulous dimwit.”

Never assume stupidity when malice is a complete explanation.

Repeat after me: They don’t care.

It’s all fuel to the Cause. It feeds the fire. They don’t care what—or who—it is made from.

Absolute scum.

Sorry, but instead of blasting the author I wish there was a more attention given to the potential results. Heart related issues from the Covid Vaccines are real and concerning and need to be studied in more detail. Two of my family members have had serious heart related reactions to the Vaccine and they continue 6 months post second shot. Both individuals say they would never get the shot again because their lives are not hell. I am pro vaccine but these types of studies and the experience of people close to me are extremely concerning.

Lyons-Weiler has disappeared his Twitter post about Jendges’ suicide. No admission that he was taken in by a false antivax meme.

@DB: Of course. People like that are incapable of admitting when they’re wrong. Anyway I’m sure it served its purpose.


What ‘results’? What can you learn from this abstract? This is not the ‘research’ that will tell you anything about any issue with the vaccine.
But I agree – the publication of studied this amateurish are ‘extremely concerning’.

Odd. We have fourteen clinics across two states and work out of six hospitals. NO ONE has seen a single case of vaccine related myocarditis and we’re looking for it since it seems like every other person you meet knows “two people” who have had it. Hundreds of thousands of patient interactions a month. Not. One. Case.

@MedicalYeti: “Hundreds of thousands of patient interactions a month. Not. One. Case.”

That doesn’t mean cardiovascular injuries don’t happen, although it does back existing observations they are very rare. (That rarity is also one of the challenges in researching them, although I’m sure that happens too.) So Will’s unevidenced self-selected anecdote is not automatically untrue, although I think the burden of proof is his to show he’s not bullshitting us as antivaxxers frequently do. (And if he has a problem with that, he should take it up with the antivax movement for destroying all patience and trust.)

Meantime, what Will forgets is the other thing which is known to cause cardiovascular injuries: COVID-19. And unlike serious vaccine injuries, serious COVID injuries are common.

In other words: none of this is news. Yes it sucks pants that vaccines aren’t 100% safe and effective. And yes, it really sucks for those who drew a short straw; hence the likes of NVICP to compensate for harms where they do occur. But how many millions more COVID deaths and injuries do antivaxxers think that their Nirvana fallacy justifies? Or do we vaccinate people today with the best vaccines we currently have—which are still magnitudes safer than the disease itself—and then work at making even safer and more effective vaccines as time allows?

So come on, all you antivaxxers: you’re real good at telling everyone all about the harms of vaccinating: let’s hear you quantify the harms of not-vaccinating so we can compare them for ourselves. And then tell us what you are doing to compensate all those COVID injury victims who chose to listen to you.

Or are you all too chicken?

Where is the incentive to make the vaxxes safer if you can just force these unsafe vaccines down people’s throats with mandate and aren’t liable for any reactions?

@Jlbatx: “Where is the incentive to make the vaxxes safer if you can just force these unsafe vaccines down people’s throats with mandate and aren’t liable for any reactions?”

Where’s your evidence that vaccines are “unsafe”? As in, compared to the disease they’re vaccinating against. Note: We were not born yesterday so don’t bother trying to pull your Nirvana fallacy crap. Anything under 1:100,000 is “safe” in the same way that seatbelts are “safe”; or are you going to screech about the dangers of those as well?
Where’s your evidence that nobody’s working on safer vaccines? Especially when researchers just announced they’ve figured out why the AZ vaccine sometimes causes life-threatening blot clots (though still only a tiny fraction of those caused by the disease itself).
Where’s your safer vaccines? If you put as much effort into solving the problem as flapping your big empty yaps about it, surely you should have it solved by now. No? Why not?
If it wasn’t for you all toxic fucknuts winding up people with your endless lies, we wouldn’t need mandates because enough people would get themselves vaccinated and take reasonable precautions like wearing masks in closed public spaces that the disease wouldn’t be running unchecked. YOU are the cause; at least have the spine to own it.
Manufacturers get indemnified for things like rare allergic reactions to a correctly manufactured product. Compensation in these cases should be automatically awarded on a no-fault basis, because A. it isn’t anyone’s fault, and B. you greedy abusive mofos would destroy public health and disease prevention in your shameless pursuit of profit and power if there wasn’t a buffer to protect vaccination programs from YOU.

Again, it’s real easy to say vaccines should be safer (a laudable goal); far harder to actually do it. So let’s flip it around: how many people have to die of the disease before you declare COVID vaccines Safe Enough to commence vaccinating? Cos officially we’re at five million and counting (the real number is probably twice that), not including people now dying a year on from the sequelae. Ten million? Fifty million? I think we should be told.

VAERS: 913,266 (and this is behind) more than order of magnitude of reports of deaths proximate to vax than prior years for ALL vaccines, 97,561 hospitalizations. And based on studies vax underreporting is somewhere round 10x meaning that 1/10 of the reactions are reported to VAERS. If underreporting were that high then for most age groups the vax would be less safe than the disease. Oh you’ll say that VAERs isn’t evidence, but it absolutely is evidence. It’s not conclusive. But it should be signaling significant inquiry. But because of something broken in our medical establishment (perhaps worldwide) it is not. People like the folks who post these are ignoring these signals. They proclaim it ‘safe and effective’. I and a significant portion of the public aren’t buying the safety proclamation and the efficacy one is highly debatable given the push for endless boosters. Vax mortality indeed may be even higher than the VAERs reports are claiming due to misclassification of heart incidents as unrelated to vaccine. We don’t know and while we want to say (whilst selling vaccines) that covid deaths are underreported (limited evidence for this assertion) we have no interest in determining whether the vax is indeed unsafe for some reason. Could lesser circulatory damage go unnoticed until it results in a catastrophic event less proximate to the vax? Who is investigating this? The vax should not be assumed safer than the disease until proven otherwise. Exactly the opposite. The vax should be assumed (and indeed there is significant evidence that it is) unsafe until proven safe. In fact it’s probably one of the most dangerous vaccines ever developed. Why is all cause mortality up this year after the vaccine was released early in the year? You can only blame the unvaccinated for so long.

I’m sorry you still find this confusing.

VAERS is a passive reporting system. Anyone can report anything. It’s been in the news: publicized by anti-vaccine sites and news outlets.

Raw reports are not evidence of anything. You cannot assume the thing they describe happened at all; you certainly cannot assume it’s vaccine related. And you cannot assume there’s under reporting rather than over-reporting – reporting of unrelated things, so your view that it should be multiplied by anything has no basis.

In other words, using VAERS reports as a measure is a mistake.

That’s why VAERS reports are investigated, and used in a more sophisticated way than anti-vaccine leaders feed their followers.

There is close monitoring of vaccines risks both through VAERS – by people who have access to the content of the full report and can get the medical records – and through other systems.

That’s how we discovered rare risks like the J&J blood clots. When those rare risks are discovered, they are transparently mentioned and action taken.

This careful monitoring does not support the claim that there are many other risks or that harms are widespread. When your leaders tell you such harms are widespread, they are misleading you.

These misrepresentations are harming and killing people. Don’t contribute by spreading anti-vaccine misinformation. Thank you.

So then you are a conspiracy theorist? The VAERs reports are a vast anti-vax conspiracy? The delta in reports from previous years is enough to assume something dangerous is going on in the absence of such a conspiracy. I don’t buy the conspiracy theory. I think it’s the same scientific incompetence and perversion that led to every other pharmaceutical massacre.

@Jlbatx: “So then you are a conspiracy theorist? The VAERs reports are a vast anti-vax conspiracy?”

You didn’t even bother to read a single word that Dorit patiently wrote, did you. Ungrateful lout.

VAERS is the bottom-most catch-all net beneath multiple nets designed to detect very rare vaccine adverse effects in aftermarket use. As the finest of those nets, VAERS also unavoidably catches large amounts of crap. Therefore you cannot simply point to VAERS’ net and cry “look how heavy it has become”; you actually have to get in it and shovel out all the loose crap to find any potential nuggets, and then you have to investigate each of those in depth to determine if it’s an actual AE or just another random lump of unrelated nothing.

Hell, VAERS itself tells you all of this right at the start, so you have absolutely no excuse to feign honest ignorance. We know you are fricking well lying. You have a track record of lying that’s 300 years old. Hell, it wouldn’t even surprise us if you lot were deliberately spiking VAERS with false reports yourselves. Anything in service to The Cause, amirite.

@jtbax VAERS reports are, of course not a conspiracy. They just not indicate cfterausality. They tell what bas things happen after vaccination, but cannot establish causality
Number of COVID deaths is 800000. Do you think nobody has not noticed as many deaths caused by COVID vaccines.

“So let’s flip it around: how many people have to die of the disease before you declare COVID vaccines Safe Enough to commence vaccinating? Cos officially we’re at five million and counting (the real number is probably twice that), not including people now dying a year on from the sequelae.”

Actually I think you are too generous. The Economist did this estimate showing 17.9 million (95% CI of 11.1 to 20.8).

The poor quality of excess death counting in many countries isn’t helping. This seems to be a mix of lack of resources, lack of system, incompetence and malfeasance.

India was one country in particular that caught my attention where 2 papers pegged the likely deaths as an order of magnitude higher than the official count…

Orac writes,

“For those of you not in medical science, poster presentations are the lowest form of scientific publishing, reserved for the vast majority of abstracts submitted to major scientific conferences that are not selected for oral or podium presentations.”

MJD says,

I’m sure D. Gorski was proud of the effort below. Hmm, don’t believe everything that Orac writes.


The growth arrest-specific homeobox gene Gax: A potential negative regulator of angiogenesis.
D. Gorski, The Society of Surgical Oncology Meeting, Washington, D.C

So we will just wait for Gundry’s paper – I’m sure that it will answer everyone’s questions. Gundry probably has the funding.

Wouldn’t want to leap to any assumptions, would we?

“Wouldn’t want to leap to any assumptions”

That’s often the only way to get there. To travel from reality to assumptions requires bridges of unreality that can only be constructed with unobtanium.

MJD says

This is where you are going wrong.

I am guessing that I have my name on upwards of 300 conference abstracts. I don’t know the exact number and have no interest in finding out.

That is because conference presentations and posters are of really low importance to scientific advancement. Any important work gets published in proper papers. Conferences are more for letting your colleagues know what you are working on, finding out what everyone else is doing and building collaborations.

Conference abstracts often include preliminary data, crap experiments, raw ideas (and frankly a lot of quite stupid ideas) and untested hypotheses. People who get excited about a single conference abstract as if it represents a major change in scientific understanding are quite frankly deluded.

Sometimes people only ‘publish’ the abstract/poster – if that’s all they have. Sometimes they need it for registration and/or as a reason to expense the conference…

Mike Adams ( Natural News, Saturday) declares Omicron merely a ruse to cover up vaccine deaths. Or as ( Vanden) Bossche explains, it could be a result of mass vaccination. Or a way to increase pharma profits. Or a way to usher in totalitarian rule. The Great Reset and de-population are coming. Mike himself is armed with a strong immune system bolstered by ivermecton, nebulised hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, colloidal silver even though the virus is not real. He doesn’t fear contact with people at rallies. No precautions at all.

Mike is so busy writing e-books, he has shortened his daily rants from one hour plus to around 20 minutes. This is quite useful for sceptics because very few can tolerate over an hour of his flaming BS ( similarly, Del Bigtree @ high wire talk; Gary Null., Gary, who rag on seemingly interminably). So cutting his broadcasts is a blessing to sceptics. Thanks, Mikey!

From the latest edition of I Looked In The Mirror And Saw Horrifying Evil, courtesy of NN’s “Ethan Huff”:

“Both (the NIH’s Francis) Collins and Fauci are the guilty ones in of all this, and both of them are projecting that guilt onto others. This is known as narcissism, sociopathy and psychopathy all wrapped into one.”

He is describing the essential attributes of his boss.

So now we have a new covid variant and has been spread by the fully vaccinated (vaccination require on international air travel).

So the fully vaccinated help spread the “Omicron”

And higher vaccinated states also lead in new infections.

@Kay West: Do you actually enjoy wiping your excrement on everything and everyone else?

Or do you simply lack the capacity to keep it to yourself?

Protip: When we told y’all to stick your strawmen where the sun don’t shine, we meant it figuratively.

“May” does not indicate sure thing, immune protection includes natural immunity.

“Dutch health authorities said the 13 cases of the variant were found among people on two flights from South Africa to Amsterdam on Friday.”

“Do you actually enjoy wiping your excrement on everything and everyone else?”

Actually I enjoy watching arrogant and condescending people be proven wrong.

Actually I enjoy watching arrogant and condescending people be proven wrong.

Congratulations, you have reached the exalted status of not even wrong.

@Kay West: “Actually I enjoy watching arrogant and condescending people be proven wrong.”

The mirror crack’d.

Actually I enjoy watching arrogant and condescending people be proven wrong.

What a coincidence! So do I.

Gundry is a quack because he thinks nutrition is important for preventing and reversing heart disease. Of course, using nutrition instead of drugs goes against the American tradition of supporting the pharmaceutical industry. And Gundry has the nerve to say the obesity contributes to covid-19. How insulting to the obese covid patients.

Ok, I can sympathize with finding the defects in a study. But at the same time, it would be nice to see if there are any positives at all. And maybe think about the motives of people like Gundry and Malone — are they really just greedy evil villains attacking the virtuous drug and medical industry just to increase their own profits? Or just to be mean and ornery?

These people, and others, really are concerned about these genetic vaccines, and maybe they have some valid reasons.

The bias is overwhelmingly against the dissenters, and in favor of Pfizer, Moderna, Merck, etc. The research money goes where it can benefit Big Drug, not where it can hurt them. So no wonder there aren’t more studies looking at the link between mRNA vaccines and heart disease.

These people, and others, really are concerned about these genetic vaccines

Should’ve cut to the chase. You lose.

“Gundry is a quack because he thinks nutrition is important for preventing and reversing heart disease.”

Jesus, dude, you’re not even trying. Just wispy clouds of straw dust. Even Kay West trolls better than you, and she’s an absolute dunce.

0/10 Learn to bait better.

Gundry is a quack because he published half-baked ‘research’.

But he sure does know his audience, seeing how fast so many people eat it up. Even more surprising is how people jumped to his defense, most without even understanding the ‘abstract’ or the problems with it…

Name one doctor who would not support proper diet to prevent heart disease. But their advice would sound so old and boring.
Besides of that it is never just nutrition advice. There is not much money here (government advices for free), so it is always buy supplements from. Doctors do not sell drug the prescribe, btw.

Repeating in agreement: “Doctors do not sell drug the prescribe, btw.”

Like, seriously. The patient chooses where (and if) to get a prescription filled. The patient’s health insurance decides how much (if any) of the cost of the prescription to cover for the patient.

At no point does the patient pay their doctor for filling the prescription. And anyone who has filled a prescription in the US in the past, say, 20 years, knows this.

(More than 20 years ago my mother warned me “if you can only buy the pills your doctor wants you to take at the doctor’s office, leave. That’s a quack.”)

BTW I was kind of surprised to see Gundry as the source of this. He’d always struck me as a kind of low rent YouTubey version of Dr Oz.
Once I tried to sit through his entire infomercial to see if I learned something. I did in fact learn 2!!! things:

According to Dr Gundry eating tomatoes will kill me (so I immediately went out and bought more)
No useful information is ever imparted in an infomercial…

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