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“Science Kardashians” versus the Great Barrington Declaration?

John Ioannidis has used a satirical bibliometrics index to portray Great Barrington Declaration signatories, who argue for a “natural herd immunity” approach to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the underdogs mobbed by “science Kardashians.” Why?

If there are sentences that I never expected to write as part of a blog post, near the very top of the list has to be anything resembling “John Ioannidis uses the Kardashian Index to attack critics of the Great Barrington Declaration.” It’s a sentence so off-the-wall that, even in the most fevered flight of ideas that sometimes run through my fragile eggshell mind as I contemplate what I’m about to write, I could never have strung these words and thoughts together unaided unless I had actually seen John Ioannidis publish a paper in which he did, indeed, weaponize the Kardashian Index in order to attack the signatories of the John Snow Memorandum as, in essence, “science Kardashians.” To my utter disbelief, this really happened last week in the form of a paper authored by John Ioannidis and no one else published in BMJ Open Access entitled ‘Citation impact and social media visibility of Great Barrington and John Snow signatories for COVID-19 strategy.“

I’ll stop right here for a second to reassure readers that I fully realize that those who don’t know who John Ioannidis is and are not familiar with the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD), the John Snow Memorandum (JSM), or, for that matter, the Kardashian Index (K-index) are very likely scratching their heads right now wondering whether Orac’s tarial cells are in desperate need of a recharge. That is entirely understandable. However, because of the bizarreness of the paper that I’m about to discuss, before I delve into it I will now take a moment to try bring everyone up to speed, so that you can all understand why the paper is a combination of bonkers and awful, not to mention a continuation of Ioannidis’ ongoing assault on science communicators with a significant social media presence who have criticized him. Regular readers, however, will likely be familiar with at least two things, though. First, I have written a fair amount about the GBD and John Ioannidis. Some might even be familiar with the John Snow Memorandum, a response by public health scientists to the GBD.

As for the Kardashian index, that seems to have started as a joke, leading me to wonder why someone like John Ioannidis would take it seriously enough to write a paper like this about it. In any event, before I get to the paper, here’s some relevant background. If you’re familiar with this, feel free to skim or skip the next couple of sections, but I think that it will still be worthwhile for even those familiar with all these terms and the background to review them, because doing so will really help put this paper into context.

John Ioannidis versus science communicators

As I alluded to above, John Ioannidis has for a while been more or less at war with science communicators who have criticized him. Of course, given his reputation and his pivot to questionable takes on COVID-19, he is a huge target. How did we get here? First, part of the reason Ioannidis is such a huge target is because he is a physician-scientist at Stanford University—Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology and Population Health—who is also one of the most published scientists in the world (if not the most published living scientist), with well over 1,300 peer-reviewed papers indexed in PubMed as of yesterday and eleven papers already in 2022. (By comparison, I have one co-authored paper in 2022 thus far, and that’s just because it took longer to be published than expected, pushing its publication date to a week ago.) As I’ve said many times, John Ioannidis was at one time a personal scientific hero and, I daresay, a hero of SBM bloggers in general. Pre-pandemic, we featured general laudatory commentary about a number of his papers, including papers about bad epidemiology regarding diet and cancer risk, the life cycle of translational research, whether popularity leads to unreliability in science, problems with reproducibility in science, and the reliability of scientific findings, all of which contributes to the puzzlement many of us have expressed over Ioannidis’ evolution into a COVID-19 contrarian who has been wrong about so much about the pandemic and has even credulously regurgitated outright conspiracy theories about it. Maybe, however, this development should not have been such a surprise. Let’s see why.

Ioannidis is most famous for having written the 2005 paper “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False“, which investigated why so much of what is published in the biomedical literature later turns out to be incorrect. It is, of course, a paper whose findings have been endlessly misused by cranks, quacks, antivaxxers, science deniers, and conspiracy theorists to claim that most science is false or “at best a coin flip’s worth of certainty” (and therefore their pseudoscience and quackery should be taken seriously as being correct), but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a worthwhile endeavor. Those of us who support science- and evidence-based medicine recognized it as simply trying to quantify something that we had long intuitively known, namely that one should never take any single paper as the be-all and end-all, that we should base our medicine on a confluence of mutually supporting evidence, because the initial papers published on a topic, the “bleeding edge” sorts of papers if you will, often are later shown to be mistaken. Indeed, there’s even now a term for it, the “decline effect,” or, as I like to call it, science correcting itself, even if the process is often messy and slow.

Even pre-pandemic, though, I found myself not as enthusiastic about several of Ioannidis’ takes on issues. The first time I found myself seriously at odds with an Ioannidis study was in 2012, when he tried to argue (badly) that the NIH funding crisis is completely broken and favors “conformity” and “mediocrity”. If you want the full explanation, read this and, for background, this, but the CliffsNotes version is simple. He operated from the unproven assumption that funding more “risky” research would lead to more scientific breakthroughs and also assumed that publication indices are the be-all and end-all of scientific importance. (This is a recurring theme throughout his career that has contributed to his COVID-19 issues.) Consistent with this sort of disagreement, I also thought that Ioannidis exaggerated when he claimed there was a “reproducibility crisis” in biomedical science, although my disagreement wasn’t as sharp as it was about Ioannidis’ apparent dismissal of the NIH funding process as being a bunch of sheep rewarding only “safe” scientific proposals with funding. Then there was the time when Ioannidis argued that evidence-based medicine (EBM) was being “hijacked” by industry while totally ignoring how pseudoscientific “integrative medicine” and “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) had taken advantage of the huge blind spot of EBM with respect to scientific plausibility to “integrate” quackery with medicine.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the pandemic hit, Ioannidis has arguably been one of the most prolific producers in the scientific literature of articles that downplay the severity of the pandemic, many based on methodolatry. Examples abound and have been documented mainly by Jonathan Howard and myself, the most egregious example being when Ioannidis credulously repeated a conspiracy theory from early in the pandemic claiming that doctors were intubating COVID-19 patients willy-nilly who didn’t really need intubation, thereby killing them. Less egregious (but still quite egregious) examples include downplaying the death toll from the pandemic by misrepresenting how death certificates are filled out to claim that it was comorbidities killing patients rather than COVID-19 and that COVID-19 mortality statistics were therefore hugely exaggerated (another conspiracy theory); downplaying the impact of the pandemic on hospitals; and publishing articles that overestimated the prevalence of COVID-19 and underestimated its infection fatality rate (IFR), among other things.

As Ioannidis started to receive something he wasn’t used to, namely large amounts of harsh (and, to my mind, justified) criticism for his conclusions, he started firing back with scientific papers that indulged in what can only be described as ad hominem attacks. For example, in one paper he indulged in the most gratuitous ad hominem attack I’ve ever seen in a scientific paper against a graduate student named Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, who had published an article that found an IFR far higher than Ioannidis had estimated. More recently, I discussed Ioannidis in the context of the Carl Sagan effect, in which scientists who take the time to engage with the public to communicate science tend to be viewed by many of their peers as inferior scientists, based on a stunningly lazy exercise in bibliometrics in which Ioannidis concluded that science communicators who are interviewed in the media are not, by and large, members of the top 2% of scientists in terms of bibliometric metrics. It was as big a “Well, duh!” conclusion as I’ve ever seen, given that there’s no evidence that effective science communication correlates with the publication metrics that Ioannidis used and served more as yet another attack on his critics on social media than anything else.

This latest paper by Ioannidis takes his lashing out at critics to the next level, but to understand why and how, you need to understand the conflict between the GBD and the John Snow Memorandum and why it is not surprising that Ioannidis has clearly allied himself with the signatories of the GBD against their critics and has used an even more ridiculous and lazy analysis to do it.

The Great Barrington Declaration and the John Snow Memorandum

Regular readers will likely recall that the Great Barrington Declaration is a statement that arose out of a weekend conference in early October 2020 held in Great Barrington, MA at the headquarters of the American Institute for Economic Research, a free market right wing think tank. This Declaration was written and signed by academics favoring a “natural herd immunity” approach to the pandemic, basically a “let ‘er rip” strategy in order to hasten reaching “natural herd immunity”, with a poorly defined—actually, almost completely undefined—strategy of “focused protection” to protect the groups most vulnerable to severe disease and death from COVID-19, such as the elderly, those with serious co-morbid chronic medical conditions (e.g., type II diabetes and heart disease), all so that society could “reopen” and life could go “back to normal”.

In response to the GBD, a group of public health scientists and physicians published the John Snow Memorandum. This memorandum was named in tribute to John Snow, the 19th century English physician who was one of the founders of modern epidemiology, for his finding that the source of a cholera outbreak in London was a public water pump on Broad Street, leading authorities to remove the pump handle, an action that ended the outbreak. In essence, the JSM countered the GBD by arguing for continuing traditional public health measures (masking, social distancing, etc.) to minimize death and suffering from COVID-19 by slowing its the spread at least until safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics became available. Again, remember that this was before COVID-19 vaccines were available to the public and that at the time these vaccines were still in clinical trials. The memorandum noted, correctly even in October 2020:

The arrival of a second wave and the realisation of the challenges ahead has led to renewed interest in a so-called herd immunity approach, which suggests allowing a large uncontrolled outbreak in the low-risk population while protecting the vulnerable. Proponents suggest this would lead to the development of infection-acquired population immunity in the low-risk population, which will eventually protect the vulnerable. This is a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence.

Any pandemic management strategy relying upon immunity from natural infections for COVID-19 is flawed. Uncontrolled transmission in younger people risks significant morbidity(3) and mortality across the whole population. In addition to the human cost, this would impact the workforce as a whole and overwhelm the ability of healthcare systems to provide acute and routine care.

Furthermore, there is no evidence for lasting protective immunity to SARS-CoV-2 following natural infection(4) and the endemic transmission that would be the consequence of waning immunity would present a risk to vulnerable populations for the indefinite future. Such a strategy would not end the COVID-19 pandemic but result in recurrent epidemics, as was the case with numerous infectious diseases before the advent of vaccination.

Indeed, the signatories of the GBD, Martin Kuldorff of Harvard University, Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, and Sunetra Gupta of Oxford University, have always seemed—shall we say?—unconcerned that, as a practical matter, it is impossible to protect the vulnerable when a highly contagious respiratory virus is spreading unchecked through the “healthy” population. (After all, who takes care of the vulnerable?) Moreover, as was noted even then, for “natural herd immunity” even to be achievable, immunity after infection must be durable, preferably lifelong. Unfortunately, if there’s one thing that the rise of variants such as Delta and Omicron, the latter of which has been particularly prone to reinfect those previously infected with prior variants of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, has shown us, it’s that post-infection immunity (i.e., “natural immunity”) is nowhere near durable enough for such a strategy, given the propensity of this coronavirus to produce variants that can evade immunity from previous infections and waning immunity from vaccination. It is for those reasons that, when I originally wrote about the GBD, I described it as eugenicist in that it basically uses the observation that young people are far less likely to suffer severe disease and die from the disease as an excuse to argue, in essence, “Screw the elderly” and “let COVID-19 rip” in order to achieve “natural herd immunity”. This was especially true given that the GBD was published and promoted before there were safe and effective vaccines available against COVID-19.

Now that there are safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19, even if since the rise of the Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variants they are no longer as effective as they once were because these variants can evade both post-infection and vaccine-induced immunity to some extent, emphasizing “natural immunity” as somehow being “superior” to vaccine-induced immunity is even more dangerous because it’s clearly not. If the rise of the Delta and Omicron variants, which are transmissible even in the vaccinated, hasn’t demonstrated that to you, I don’t know what will. That’s why it’s particularly disturbing—albeit not particularly surprising—that the Brownstone Institute, founded by former AIER Editorial Director Jeffrey Tucker—who was “in the room where it happened” as the GBD was drafted, describes his new institute as the “spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration,” and recruited Kulldorff as its scientific director—has pivoted to spreading antivaccine misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines, even going so far as to compare vaccine mandates to the “othering” that lead to the Holocaust, slavery, and Rwandan genocide and the public health response to COVID-19 to the Chinese Cultural Revolution, all while its signatories claim to have been “silenced“.

Meanwhile, the GBD was hugely influential, with its signatories seemingly having had easy access to the Trump Administration in the US and the Johnson Administration in the UK, whose policies then essentially aligned with the Declaration, as well as leaders like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who appointed a GBD devotee and member of the crank organization America’s Frontline Doctors to head up Florida’s public health apparatus and declared that a single positive COVID-19 antibody test proves lifelong immunity and no need for a COVID-19 vaccine ever. Even now, GBD signatories, allies, and flacks falsely argue that “natural immunity” undercuts the case for vaccine mandates, which, according to them, harm patients when required for healthcare workers and damage labor markets. Even after Joe Biden became US President, in this country the GBD remains enormously influential, and it’s hard to miss the rapid push to eliminate mask mandates and block vaccine mandates as having been influenced by it.

Enter John Ioannidis, using bad methodology and a joke of an index to argue that in reality the dominant narrative is not the GBD.

The Kardashian Index: Serious, satire, or a bit of both?

I had always ignored the Kardashian Index (or K-index), viewing it as more of a joke than anything valuable. It was originally proposed in 2014 by Neil Hall in a BMC Genome Biology publication entitled The Kardashian index: a measure of discrepant social media profile for scientists and named after Kim Kardashian, a celebrity who in my estimation is famous mainly for being famous (which was the point of the name) and compares the number of followers a scientist has on Twitter to the number of citations they have for their peer-reviewed work. The idea first came across to me as a means of denigrating scientists with large Twitter followings. However, Hall is on record recently as saying that he had always intended the K-index to be satire mocking the preoccupation with metrics measuring citations, even protesting that there are a number of “tells”. I’ll be honest. Most of his “tells” weren’t super obvious to me as I reread the paper. (Maybe that’s on me. Maybe not. Maybe I’m one of those old farts who didn’t “get it”.)

Let’s at least quote Hall, though:

I suppose the description of picking a “randomish selection of 40 scientists” to examine and that he had “intended to collect more data but it took a long time and I therefore decided 40 would be enough to make a point” were likely two of his “tells,” but in retrospect I have a hard time not coming to the conclusion that this whole exercise, satire or not, backfired rather spectacularly. If the K-index is satire, it’s perhaps a bit too opaque a satire, as certainly Ioannidis appears not to have seen it as satire; either that, or Ioannidis’ use of the K-index is satire that’s even more opaque and less recognizable as satire than the original paper.

I did take one of Hall’s recommendations to heart, however:

I propose that all scientists calculate their own K-index on an annual basis and include it in their Twitter profile. Not only does this help others decide how much weight they should give to someone’s 140 character wisdom, it can also be an incentive – if your K-index gets above 5, then it’s time to get off Twitter and write those papers.

In the interests of full of transparency, I will note that my own K-index, calculated yesterday using Hall’s original formula, varies depending on how I calculate it. The K-index is “calculated as the ratio of Twitter followers divided by 43.3C0.32, where C is the total citations received in one’s career”. Hall came up with that denominator when he fitted a curve to a graph of the number of Twitter followers versus number of citations as a means of estimating how many Twitter followers a scientist should have based on his citations. (Remember, he only used 40 nonrandomly chosen scientists.) In any event, if I use Google Scholar’s estimate of my citations (which, as you will see, Ioannidis says that he does in his paper) my K-index is 104; if I use Web of Knowledge metrics, it’s even higher, at 118. I guess that makes me a “science Kardashian”. Do I care? Not really, given that I have over 69K Twitter followers and Hall’s silly metric says that I should only have 585-664 followers. Instead, I view my Twitter follower count as overachieving on Twitter rather than evidence of underachieving in science!

"Science Kardashians"?
“Science Kardashians”? More like an oldish man yelling at a cloud!

That Ioannidis would, apparently more or less seriously, use such an utterly ridiculous “old man yells at a cloud” metric (that was likely intended to mock the very sort of exercise he uses it to indulge in) to strike back at critics of the GBD and, not coincidentally, of him, boggles the mind. On the other hand, Ioannidis does not have a Twitter account, making his K-index by definition zero, making me think that his entire conclusion from the K-index is that scientists should not have Twitter accounts. I also note that young scientists, who, being relatively new scientists, likely haven’t amassed a lot of publications and citations yet, could easily have a really high K-index with just a modest number of Twitter followers. That’s how ratios work. Does Ioannidis not understand this?

I wasn’t alone in thinking this:

Unsurprisingly, fans of the GBD, like Phil Magness of the AIER, used the term in a way that Ioannidis claims that he never intended. However, it was an entirely predictable use of the term:
In case you’re wondering, here Mr. Magness combines a play on “Kardashians” to portray public health advocates as unserious celebrities with a favorite crank tactic that likens public health to a cult. “Branch Covidian” is a favorite term used by them to cast public health as an apocalyptic cult.

So now, finally, let’s look at what Ioannidis did. I realize that some of you must be wondering why I took so long to get to this. You’ll just have to trust me that knowing the background is very important, and I hope that after you conclude this section you’ll agree.

Ioannidis versus the John Snow Memorandum

You can tell from the introduction of Ioannidis’ paper that he’s really cheesed about how the GBD and its signatories and supporters have been portrayed negatively, and he definitely vents:

The optimal approach to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an issue of major debate. Scientists have expressed different perspectives and many of them have also been organised to sign documents that outline overarching strategies. Two major schools of thought are represented by the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD)1 and the John Snow Memorandum (JSM)2 3 that were released with a short time difference in the fall of 2020. Each of them had a core team of original signatories and over time signatures were collected for many thousands of additional scientists, physicians and (in the case of GBD) also citizens.4 A careful inspection is necessary to understand the differences (but also potential common points) of the two strategies.4 5 The communication of these strategies to the wider public through media and social media has often created confusion and tension. The communication includes what endorsing scientists state and how opponents describe the opposite strategy. Oversimplification, use of strawman arguments, and allusions of conflicts, political endorsements and ad hominem attacks can create an explosive landscape.4–9

I like that part about ad hominem attacks, given Ioannidis’ previous “punching down” ad hominems against Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz and my perception that this entire article is basically an exercise in ad hominems marshaled to discredit JSM signatories. Maybe his irritation at criticism is part of the reason he treated a likely satirical index with the utter seriousness of a funeral director arranging a memorial service. Nowhere in his paper did I find any indication whatsoever that Ioannidis recognized the ridiculousness of the K-index or that it was likely intended as satire directed at the very sort of bibliometric analyses that he routinely does.

Pray continue, though, Dr. Ioannidis:

It is often stated in social media and media, by JSM proponents in particular, that JSM is by far the dominant strategy and that very few scientists with strong credentials endorse GBD.6–9 GBD proponents are often characterised as fringe, arrogant and wrong by their opponents.6–9However, are these views justified based on objective evidence on scientific impact or they reflect mostly perceptions created by social media and their uptake also by media?

Here, an analysis is being performed to try to evaluate the scientific impact and the social media visibility of the key signatories who have led the two strategies. Scientific impact is very difficult to evaluate in all its dimensions and no single number exists that can measure scientific excellence and scholarship. However, one can use citation metrics to objectively quantify the impact of a scientist’s work in terms of how often it is used in the scientific literature. Adjustments for coauthorship patterns, relative contributions and scientific field need to be accounted for.10Concurrently, an additional analysis evaluated the social media visibility of signatories, as denoted by Twitter followers.

Surely Dr. Ioannidis must realize that there are social media platforms other than Twitter. What about Instagram and YouTube, for instance? Or Facebook? Or Tik Tok. (If Twitter irritates Ioannidis so much, Tik Tok will likely break his mind. Maybe it’s best that he never look at Tik Tok.) Also, notice how he’s trying to argue that the JSM narrative doesn’t really dominate in public health science but only appears to dominate because of the social media presences of its signatories. And how does he propose to prove that? First, he looks at H-index metrics for the key signatories of both documents. H-index is a commonly used measure of publication productivity and citation metrics. Mine, for instance, is 26. Using the same methodology, Ioannidis’ H-index is 162. (To be honest, I thought that the discrepancy would be an order of magnitude larger.) Then he goes to Twitter and starts calculating the K-index for the signatories.

Ioannidis is sloppy from the start. He states that he uses the Google Scholar citation index for this reason:

The original publication14 defining the index used citations from Google Scholar. However, given that many signatories did not have Google Scholar pages and Google Scholar citations may be more erratic, Scopus citations (including self-citations) as of 2 April 2021 were used instead. Scopus citation counts may be slightly or modestly lower than Google Scholar citations, and this may lead to slightly higher K-index estimates, but the difference is probably small.

I went back and reread Hall’s original paper proposing the K-index, referenced by Ioannidis. Hall only mentions Google once in the context of Kim Kardashian being the most searched-for person on Google in 2014. In fact, Hall did not use Google Scholar at all, but rather stated explicitly: “I used Web of Knowledge to get citation metrics on these individuals.” So already, I sense some…manipulation and cherry picking here. Did Ioannidis try using Hall’s original formula and find something that didn’t fit with his narrative? One wonders, one does.

Actually, one doesn’t, given how Ioannidis picks the signatories he looks at:

The two documents were retrieved online.1–3 For the main analysis, the 47 original key signatories of the GBD who were listed on its original release online, and the 34 original key signatories who authored the first release of the JSM in a correspondence item published in the Lancet3 were considered for in-depth citation analysis.

He also takes care to use his previous database, the one that he used to denigrate scientists with a media and social media presence, to look at the top 2% of scientists in terms of his citation index. In any event, he’s unable to show that the original Great Barrington Declaration signatories are significantly “better” by these metrics than the original JSM signatories, concluding:

Among the 47 original key signatories of GBD, 20, 19 and 21, respectively, were among the top-cited authors for their career impact, their recent single-year (2019) impact or either. Among the 34 original key signatories of JSM, 11, 14 and 15, respectively, were among the top-cited authors for their career impact, their recent single year (2019) or either. The percentage of top-cited scientists is modestly higher for GBD than for JSM, but the difference is not beyond chance (p>0.10 for all three definitions).

He had a similar lack of luck when it came to comparing how many scientists were among the “top 2%” for each group. Then he produced what has to be one of the most ridiculous figures I’ve ever seen (and the only figure in the paper), showing the Twitter counts:

Kardashians everywhere among JSM signatories!
What does this figure even mean, other than that a lot of GBD signatories don’t have Twitter accounts?

He then notes:

Only 4/47 GBD signatories versus 17/34 JSM signatories had over 30 000 Twitter followers (3/47 vs 10/34 for signatories with over 50 000 Twitter followers). Twitter and citation data, and inferred Kardashian K-indices for the scientists with >50,000 followers appear in table 2. The values of K-index in these scientists were extraordinarily high (363–2569).

An updated search for Twitter accounts and followers on 25 November 2021 found that 22/47 key GBD signatories versus 34/34 key JSM signatories had a retrievable Twitter account (p<0.001). The median number of followers was 0 vs 34 600 (p<0.001). The number of key signatories with >50 000 followers was 13 vs 4.

If I were a peer reviewer for this article, I would have noted that Ioannidis got it wrong describing Hall’s original methodology (such as it was) and appears to have cherry picked an index that he’s more comfortable with. Even accepting that his findings described a reasonable comparison (which they don’t), I’d ask: So what? There’s no evidence that social media presence does or should correlate with citation metrics in the peer-reviewed literature. I’d even point out that, if you look at Table 2, which includes signatories with more than 50K Twitter followers, some of the GBD signatories have K-indices much higher than even mine calculated using Google Scholar; e.g., Martin Kulldorff (363), Michael Levitt 451), and Karol Sikora (2,569). In any event, if you look at the attached peer reviews, you’ll find that none of them note the central flaw at the heart of Ioannidis’ paper, namely that he used a metric conceived as satire completely seriously and neither the peer reviewers nor BMJ Open access editor realized that it was satire. I’d say that that rather made Hall’s point about some scientists’ obsession with publication metrics.

Indeed, running through Ioannidis’ “science Kardashians” (but, really, not “science Kardashians”) commentary is the apparent idea that a person’s number of Twitter followers is a valid metric for influence, coupled with the implicit Carl Sagan effect-like assumption that GBD signatories are better scientists because they don’t have as large a social media presence. For instance, get a load of this backhanded compliment:

The key JSM signatories have a very large number of followers in highly active personal Twitter accounts. The most visible Twitter owners include some of the most cited scientists in the analysed cohorts (Trisha Greenhalgh, Marc Lipsitch, Florian Krammer, Rochelle Walensky, Michael Levitt, Martin Kulldorff, Jay Bhattacharya) and others who have little or no impact in the scientific literature, but are highly remarkable and laudable for their enthusiastic activism (eg, Dominic Pimenta).

You can almost sense Ioannidis patting Dr. Pimenta on the head in a condescending fashion.

Amazingly, Ioannidis then cites Hall’s original paper, a paper that the Ioannidis of 2014 would likely have dismissed as a joke (which it is) as though it were serious scholarship:

Previous work that introduced the Kardashian K-index stated that K-index values above 5 suggest an overemphasis of social media versus scientific literature presence and called such researchers ‘Science Kardashians’.14 This characterisation has not caught up with evolutions in the last few years. Many signatories, especially of JSM, have extraordinarily high K-index, with values in the hundreds and thousands. However, one should account that the volume of Twitter users and followers has increased markedly since the K-index was first proposed, even before the COVID-19 pandemic and even for specialists in disciplines that are not very likely to attract massive social media interest (eg, urology).15 As COVID-19 has attracted tremendous social media attention, Kardashian K-indices are skyrocketing. While no past data were available for the number of followers of the analysed scientists pre-COVID, anecdotal experience suggests that many, if not most, saw their followers increase tremendously during the pandemic. Substantial increases were documented even in the short 7-month interval between April and November 2021.

The massive advent of social media contributes to a rampant infodemic16–18 with massive misinformation circulating. If knowledgeable scientists can have strong social media presence, massively communicating accurate information to followers, the effect may be highly beneficial. Conversely, if scientists themselves are affected by the same problems (misinformation, animosity, loss of decorum and disinhibition, among others)19 20 when they communicate in social media, the consequences may be negative.

Ioannidis, predictably, ignores his own role in contributing to this “infodemic”. He also finally reveals what’s really at the heart of this “paper”. After acknowledging that he had only sampled a small number of other signatories of both documents and that “both citation indices and Twitter followers have limitations in face validity and construct validity as measures of impact”, he nonetheless pivots to claim victimhood for GBD signatories and their narrative:

Acknowledging these caveats, the data suggest that the massive superiority of JSM over GBD in terms of Twitter firepower may have helped shape the narrative that it is the dominant strategy pursued by a vast majority of knowledgeable scientists. This narrative is clearly contradicted by the citation data. The Twitter superiority may also cause, and/or reinforce also superiority in news coverage. In a darker vein, it may also be responsible for some bad publicity that GBD has received, for example, as evidenced by plain Google searches online or searches in Wikipedia pages for GBD, its key signatories or even for other scientists who may espouse some GBD features, for example, scepticism regarding the risk-benefit of prolonged lockdowns. Smearing, even vandalisation, is prominent for many such Wikipedia pages or other social media and media coverage of these scientists. This creates a situation where scientific debate becomes vitriolic, and censoring (including self-censoring) may become prominent. Perusal of the Twitter content of JSM signatories and their op-eds suggests that some may have sadly contributed to GBD vilification.24

In addition, although Ioannidis is mostly correct that the narrative in the media has generally portrayed JSM as the scientific consensus, he fails to recognize that the reason for this dominance is more because JSM has been far closer to the scientific consensus in public health than the GBD, always a minority fringe viewpoint, ever was, rather than anything having to do with Twitter activity of JSM signatories. Indeed, Tim Caulfield and colleagues have argued that what predominated in the media regarding “natural herd immunity” strategies was more false balance than anything else, and I find that argument persuasive, particularly given the effectiveness of organizations like AIER and its offspring the Brownstone Institute.

Ioannidis also casts GBD signatories and supporters as victims, with a bit of what borders on conspiracy mongering:

A major point of attack has been alleged conflicts of interest. However, GBD leaders have repeatedly denied conflicts of interest (see also the site of GBD1). Key JSM signatories appropriately and laudably disclosed upfront all potential conflicts of interest in their original letter publication in the Lancet; the long list is available in public.3 Based on this list, it is possible that JSM leaders have more conflicts than GBD leaders, but the social media superiority of JSM controls also the narrative surrounding conflicts. A similar vitriolic attack has been launched against the American Institute of Economic Research that offered the venue for hosting the launch of GBD.24 Experimental studies show that mentioning conflicts may have the same degree of negative impact as attacks on the empirical basis of the science claims; allegations of conflict of interest are as influential as allegations of outright fraud, when the value of scientific evidence is appraised.25 Non-scientists’ trust is eroded by allusions of conflicts of interest, while it is not affected much by perception of scientific (in)competence (which is also impossible for a non-expert to appraise).25 26 In good faith, reporting of potential conflicts of interest should be encouraged and transparency maximised. However, spurious allegations of hidden agendas and conflicts should not become a weapon for invalidating one or the other document. While exceptions may exist, probably the vast majority of scientists who signed either document simply had good intentions towards helping in a major crisis.

I find it interesting that nowhere does Ioannidis appear to cite the document that, to AIER and GBD signatories, is one of the “vitriolic attacks” against them, namely the article I co-authored with Gavin Yamey (one of the JSM signatories) last spring, in which we documented how right wing forces and think tanks were promoting a GBD narrative and how influential that narrative had been to governments. Indeed, Ioannidis himself was promoting a GBD-like argument against “lockdowns” with his friend Bhattacharya to the Trump administration months before there was even a GBD, and Trump’s COVID-19 czar Dr. Scott Atlas even acknowledged him for it on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show a month ago. Meanwhile, I’m hard-pressed to find any JSM signatories having been invited to have such close contact with the Trump or Johnson administrations.

Interestingly, Martin Kulldorff and Jay Bhattacharya, both GBD signatories, with Kulldorff being the person who was first enticed by AIER to get the other GBD signatories together for the Great Barrington conference that spawned the GBD, are quite capable of some serious vitriol themselves, for example:

Indeed. Dr. Bhattacharya seemed to think that the JSM “science Kardashians” were all salivating at the opportunity to “lock down” and cause untold billions or trillions of dollars in economic damage.

Kulldorff himself loves to dismiss doctors critical of the GBD as “laptop class”, claiming false solidarity with working class people who didn’t have the option of working from home during the pandemic, which Kulldorff no doubt did. Like Magness above, Kulldorff also has a penchant for referring to his opponents as being a cult:

At least Dr. Kulldorrff resisted the temptation to use the term “Branch Covidians.” There is that, at least.

Kulldorff did know, didn’t he, that referring to scientific findings as religion and scientists you don’t like as cult members is exactly the same thing that antivaxxers love to do. Similarly, Kulldorff and Bhattacharya, the latter a good friend of Ioannidis’, have accused critics of the GBD of being “part of the mob”, egoists “making the poor suffer for their egos”, and so deluded that they “know lockdowns don’t help but they continue.” Why? They must be evil or something, I suppose.

A couple of weeks ago, a Stanford University medical student named Santiago Sanchez challenged GBD signatory Dr. Bhattacharya. I think it’s worth citing some of the Tweets:

Not only did Bhattacharya sic his Twitter followers on Sanchez, but, suspiciously, a “charity” affiliate of the GBD known as Collateral Global Charity called him a snake. When criticized harshly for it, whoever runs its Twitter account deleted the original Tweet and then unconvincingly claimed that it had been hacked:

One wonders if the ever-so-civil Ioannidis, who decries any form of ad hominem and nastiness in his search for only the purest possible scientific discourse has had a little chat with his good buddy Jay Bhattacharya and his other friends at the GBD about how bad it looks to “punch down” this way. Dr. Bhattacharya also challenged Santiago to a debate moderated by—I kid you not!—Dr. Vinay Prasad:

I realize that this is a bit of a tu quoque fallacy to bring this up, but on the other hand the hypocrisy of GBD signatories and advocates never ceases to astound me. Indeed, Ioannidis’ paper can be viewed in this context as a rather obvious ploy to portray JSM signatories as social media prima donnas, as unserious “science Kardashians”, and he’s so intent on such an ad hominem attack that he appears to have completely missed the point about the K-index and took it as a serious metric supported by research; that is, unless he has written a satire so incredibly subtle that no one can detect the satire.

Just for some enjoyment, I’ll also include this video by Rebecca Watson, who notes many of the same things I just did, only more sarcastically:

What would Kim Kardashian do, indeed?

“You’d think that at that point, a man with an ounce of self-awareness would slink off into the darkness to wait until everyone has forgotten the absurd wrongness. Maybe he’d dye his hair, start going by his middle name, take up goat farming instead of science, something. But not John Ioannidis! Nope.”

Don’t even get me started on the Rapid Responses to Prof. Ioannidis’ paper, not to mention the ones by Ioannidis himself, one of which accuses certain critics of “misrepresenting” his words and spreading conspiracy theories themselves. These responses to criticism might well warrant a followup post.

I’ll conclude by asking about John Ioannidis the same thing that I ask about every scientist and physician whom before the pandemic I had considered reasonable or even someone to be admired for their scientific and medical rigor: Did something about them change, or where they always like this and I just didn’t see it? For someone like Dr. Vinay Prasad, I think that the answer is the latter explanation. In the case of John Ioannidis, I still don’t know. Everyone with whom I’ve interacted who knows him says he’s such a supportive, honorable, and nice man. A paper like his K-index paper, however, is not consistent with such a characterization, and that’s why more and more I’m leaning towards the latter explanation for his behavior and scientific takes since the pandemic hit. Whatever the reason, I’ll conclude once again that, sadly, Ioannidis appears to have come full circle. He first became famous because of his paper about how most scientific findings turn out to be wrong, and now he’s contributing to the very problem that he identified.

And now he’s gone beyond that and led me to write a sentence that I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined and actually use it in a blog post.

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]

232 replies on ““Science Kardashians” versus the Great Barrington Declaration?”

This first started over 2 years ago someone posted these articles on job loss, cancer rates, drug abuse and how the lock downs were going to kill far more than the virus over the long run. The policies were haphazard and the message was mixed and sometime in opposition. Instead of the top scientists saying “we just don’t know at this time” they became like rock stars and changes the science every day

And how many studies and example of how to control the spread were wrong/misinformation even in scientific american.

New Mexico has one of the highest deaths per million

And Now all the second guessing from the lock downs and school closing is starting

The virus is receding all over the world but we will be paying for our fear of the virus for our children’s lifetime.

That was kind of my point, the people in charge of our health agencies KNEW (or should have) that lock downs, closed businesses, people get put out of work, closing or limiting doctors visits because of the virus would lead to large parts of society to get sick and die from other things, like untreated cancers/late detected cancers, drug abuse/drug overdoses, poverty, depression etc. When you treat a person do you just treat the issue or do you ask other questions about their life and life choices, family etc. that will affect treatment

I don’t believe they ever took that into account. If they are just going to ignore the other aspects of past science and the human condition, that is short sighted.

That is, of course, utter nonsense. There is no public health official, authority, or government agency that didn’t take into account potential costs of “lockdowns.” That is the single biggest myth promoted by GBD advocates, that of dogmatic scientists who don’t care about any possible collateral damage from interventions while casting themselves as the only ones who ever “cared.” It’s bullshit revisionist history, plain and simple.

Seems really obvious, if you don’t care about the deaths that budget decisions make — yea, there will be more deaths when there is reduced support.

Some are interested in caring for people by examination and spending, and there are others who aren’t. Let ‘er rip and congratulate freedom or something like that.

Fully believe careful intervention is the better option for the common person. Spending nothing or to trivial amounts, as well as,just pretending the market will find something on its own account is laughably naive – IMHO.

That’s a response I came up with based on the swerving commentary you made.

UNFORTUNATELY – for readers- I have created an index of my own based on my wanderings in the world of altie BS: it is the Null index – unlike the null set, { }, which is empty, it is merely empty of value. It is comprised of formerly SB physicians, scientists and other experts/ academics whose departures from reality earn them a guest spot or praise on Null’s altie showcase. Ioannidis, Kulldorff, Bhattacharya and many others such as Montagnier, Wolf, Peterson and Seneff are members.

Indeed, I take their appearance as an early warning sign of future lapses. Who would willingly visit such a misinformational hub? Someone who isn’t welcome at more legitimate venues; someone who hasn’t researched the show, its perpetrator or believes their press; someone who is desperately seeking out followers without concern about their quality.

Surprise!!! Public health scientists are more interested in sending out their messages to the public than right-wing think-tank inhabitants.

Does anyone here remember when Alex Berenson said a year ago, on news outlets that the CDC was with hold vast amounts of data on the vaccine and Covid itself. He was banned from twitter for saying things like that.

The New York Times

“The CDC isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects.”

and posters here called him a conspiracy theory believer..

@Clint: Berenson got one thing right. A blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut. In his case, a nutty squirrel blinded many to reality. His so-called data was consistently, demonstrably false, for instance claiming that vaccinated people under age 60 die twice as often as unvaccinated (wrong). Stacked up against all his other blatant errors, he’s still (as the Atlantic called him) “the pandemic’s wrongest man”.

How unsurprising you misrepresent why that clown was removed from twitter. Don’t forget he was “famous” for spreading crap like this:

“One person is 300 to 900 times more likely to die after getting the covid-19 vaccine than the flu vaccine. Adverse events are widely under-reported.

Masks make no significant difference: Masks have no significant effect (false claim made about a Danish mask study’s conclusions) 11/20/2020

“Don’t think of it [covid-19 vaccine] as a vaccine. Thing about it as best-as a therapeutic with a limited window of efficacy and terrible side effect profile that must be dosed IN ADVANCE OF ILLNESS [emphasis his]

He also tweeted and re-tweeted things like

[Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation] has been wrong over and over — why would anyone credit or repeat its projection of 500,000 US #Covid deaths by spring?”

and more, The latest story has yet to unfold, true, but saying that the clown known (rightly) as the “Pandemic’s Wrongest Man” was removed from twitter for this one issue is mistaken at best and more likely made to be (intentionally) misleading.

Yep. Berenson was (and still is) one of the most prolific sources of COVID-19 misinformation, disinformation, pseudoscience, antivaccine nonsense, and conspiracy theories. I perused his Substack the other day and…wow. He’s starting to reach Mike Adams territory.

FYI according to the CDC cloth masks do not have a statistically significant benefit. N95s were associated with a marginal benefit. Important caveat is that “the study did not account for other preventive behaviors that could influence risk for acquiring infection…”. E.g. a fraidy-cat that wears an 95 all the time is likely the same kind a person that is not getting out much. It’s not that far off that the masks that most people are wearing around aren’t really doing much if anything. See also recent publication in the Washington Post claiming the same based on a University of Minnesota study.

Yeah. I was disappointed in the cloth masks not making statistically significant differences. I disagree with your comment that N95s had a marginal benefit, since the handy graphic showed 83% reduction.

However, the message is clear. Ditch the cloth masks and get a surgical mask minimum. It definitely makes a difference. Thanks John.

Right. This doesn’t breed trust in anything. The medical establishment has itself to blame for the lack of trust. Not “antivaxxers”, not homeopaths, not chiropractors. Censorship, suprression, mob thinking, lack of transparency, and regulatory capture.

Here’s the thing: people with reasonable intelligence and critical thinking capacity weigh health advice, recognizing the body of research and clinical experience that goes into formulating it, and make decisions based on that. It isn’t some sort of blind “trust”.

On the other hand, we have people who lack critical thinking skills and make health decisions based on misinformation and fear, instead blindly trusting quacks and fraudsters who manipulate them and capitalize on those fears.

I have an image of John refusing vital emergency care on the grounds of “regulatory capture”, waving off the EMTs and demanding that he be taken to the nearest homeopathic E.R.

Nothing to do with ER, surgery, antibiotics (though over prescribed) or even other tried and true vaccines. Hiding data creates a presumption in the minds of many critical thinking people like myself, that that data is not helpful to their case – otherwise it’d be disclosed. Conspiracy theorists are easy to thwart via transparency and honesty.

@labarge…”The medical establishment has itself to blame for the lack of trust”….You sure about this?…How about looking into “Big conspiracy” or “Big wellness”….Are you going to trust the medical establishment when, or if, you need to be treated for example, with cancer, heart disease, diabetes?…Please feel free to let everyone know how your homeopathy is working out for you if you get diagnosed with one of the many ailments that can end your life!…With all due respect, I am genuinely curious what alternatives you would turn to.

“In conclusion, people with lower scores on standard tests of cognitive function reported being less willing to take up the future offer of vaccination for COVID-19. It is possible that erroneous social media news reports have complicated decision-making. Special efforts should be made to communicate clear information about vaccine efficacy and safety so that everyone—including those who report being less likely to choose vaccination—can make well-informed choices.”

“Hiding data creates a presumption in the minds of many critical thinking people like myself,”

labarge, you are many things, but a “critical thinker” is not one of them.

True story (told to me at one place removed).

One bloke insisted that there was HIV in the vaccines (look! It says so here on the internet) and that he would never get them but that his wife had had to get vaccinated for her job. When it was pointed out that sleeping with his wife would infect him if his theory was true, he was stunned. It had never occurred to him.

So let me get this straight, labarge. I’m a “fraidy cat” for wearing a proper mask and trying to maintain some semblance of my normal life? I guess you think that every disabled person should just shelter at home until this is over? There are a lot of people who remain at high risk of COVID. Perhaps if I didn’t live in a red state hellhole where only 53% of the population is fully vaccinated I wouldn’t have to worry quite so much. But with serious asthma that is only now getting back under control after some medication adjustments, I really can’t take chances. I’ve already have some permanent scarring and obstruction. I don’t want to reduce my lung function further.

You are welcome to wear your mask. It’s a free country wit freedom of religion protected under the first amendment as well. But shouldn’t your vaccine protect you?

No, they would not. Calculations for the threshold necessary to reach herd immunity have always included those who acquire immunity through vaccines and those who have post-infection immunity. There is nothing “magical” about herd immunity, and the rise of the Delta variants and now Omicron variant demonstrate how widespread transmission favors the development of variants that can evade immunity, both vaccine-acquired and “natural immunity” after infection. Moreover, the price of “natural immunity” is still widespread death and destruction, and it might not even work if another variant that can evade immunity arises, as is likely eventually. Without vaccines, the price of herd immunity is just too high, and what the GBD authors advocated was trying to reach herd immunity BEFORE there were vaccines.

I guess you think that every disabled person should just shelter at home until this is over?

That’s exactly what antimaskers and antivaxxers think, although they seldom say it out loud. Stripped down to their essence, their attitudes are eugenicist and “screw the old and disabled!”

@john labarge I am worried aoubt unvaccinated people (other than myself, can you imagine) and new variants that will appear.
I do not think that you are free to spread the disease.

Habitual liars like you, the former president, much of the right, the vaccine conspiracists, most certainly did play a role in this. Asshats like you bleating pure unsupportable BS about “perceived risks” of vaccines and flat out lying about the meanings of VAERS reports 24/7 were, and still are, everywhere.

Deep down in your soul I’m sure you’re quite proud of your contribution to the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of people because you were able to “stick it to the science conspiracy”.

There are no words to adequately describe how vile people like you are.

The damage caused by Redfield and Azar’s amazing disappearing job is still to be fully understood. If only they were on Twitter…

LOL, who are you going to trust, a scientist or a “science communicator”? Wasn’t it your lot who declared war on Ioannidis in the first place? What is a “science communicator”, anyway? What lurks behind this dreadful euphemism? Cannot science speak for itself?

What you dare not admit is that you are a propagandist. Don’t get me wrong, I am a propagandist too. But that’s the difference between you and me: intellectual integrity. Science communication is about the propagation of certain memes and narratives. Propaganda can be true. But there is a difference between information propaganda and disinformation propaganda. Yours is an example of the latter, isn’t it?

It is not Ioannidis who has abandoned the scientific paradigm; it is you. Replicability crisis should have stopped operation Warp Speed dead in its tracks.

Sue, are you aware that scientists engage in science communication in all branches of science?

Do you think that astronomers are engaging in “propaganda”?

Do you think the telescopes “speak for themselves”?

A random scientist tweeting to their friends about a cool study is “science communication”. A twitter account that just re-tweets overblown news articles with the simple statement “in mice” to point out unwarranted extrapolation from mice studies is “science communication”.

Perhaps Sue thinks that science should just be one big raw data dump and everyone can pick out the bits that support their existing ideas. Communication should be done by people she agrees with.

@Sue…”LOL, who are you going to trust, a scientist or a “science communicator”? Wasn’t it your lot who declared war on Ioannidis in the first place? What is a “science communicator”, anyway? What lurks behind this dreadful euphemism? Cannot science speak for itself”?…Since you have made all these claims…why don’t you support them???
“What you dare not admit is that you are a propagandist”….Again, you made the claim…try supporting it. Or, are you just generalising for the hell of it?
“Science communication is about the propagation of certain memes and narratives. Propaganda can be true. But there is a difference between information propaganda and disinformation propaganda. Yours is an example of the latter, isn’t it”?…Is it?…Evidence or it didn’t happen!
“It is not Ioannidis who has abandoned the scientific paradigm; it is you. Replicability crisis should have stopped operation Warp Speed dead in its tracks”….Why??…Evidence or it didn’t happen!…So many claims you have made!..So please provide the evidence if you are going to convince me!

“Masks make no significant difference.”
I believe that was confirmed by “cloth masks are just decorations”

“was removed from twitter for this one issue is mistaken at best and more likely made to be (intentionally) misleading
“He was banned from twitter for saying things like that.” ‘THINGS’ like that.

Everyone here went ballistic when the Atlantic wrote this.

But the atlantic article so much has changed from 2 years ago…. Israel? Anyone remember the woman pushing a shopping cart with a baby in the carrier, spraying Lysol in front of them as the walked.

as to his claim of “One person is 300 to 900 times more likely to die after getting the covid-19 vaccine than the flu vaccine.”
Since we have maybe 1 to 5 deaths from flu vaccine in 2 -3 years it wouldn’t take many deaths from Covid vaccines to hit the 300-900 times.

It will be many years before science determines what was the best approach, we are only a little over two years since covid was ‘discovered’

Your science is multiplying VAERS number with something out of your hat, I guess. I would expect a scintific analysis.
Vaccination obviously reduce number of deaths. There is newest from Singapore ministry of Health:
Atlantic is not a source of scientific research, btw.

It’s adding risks based on the untrustworthiness of the system. The system has shown itself untrustworthy. How untrustworthy has to be a guess.

@john labarge If system uis untrustworthy,it wouos make false claima. You should concentrate on them.

“How untrustworthy has to be a guess.”

Or labarge, as you and the other perpetually dishonest people are known for, not a guess but a bald faced false claim based on no data, only your dishonest cores.

““He was banned from twitter for saying things like that.” ‘THINGS’ like that.”

Yes — blatant lies. The type of thing you, labarge, and the other scientifically ignorant clowns do here on a regular basis.

So then by extension of your logic the CDC is a blatant liar, since I cited its study as the basis for cloth masks not having a statistically significant impact. Indeed you can’t cite a single example of a lie made by myself or Mr. Berenson. At best you can find opinions you disagree with.

from Clint: blah blah blah ‘discovered’

Discovered in quotes. thanks again for advertising your intent (and underlying lack of concern for any real investigations). You’er just another dishonest conspiracy monger,.

@chedca…Forgive my ignorance…but, what is your point and what are you trying to state?

Gates is a computer science geek, not a medical expert – he also predicted that he could eliminate computer SPAM….. and we all know how that went!!

So,….what’s your point?

@Orac…Correct me if I’m wrong but, is this just really about Ioannidis trying to justify a popularity contest that he is losing? Plus, trying to justify his unscientific stance using science because he needs to justify the particular side he has chosen?

Ioannidis clearly doesn’t take criticism well. This is his way of trying to get back at his critics. Instead of criticising their ideas, he goes for the personal attack instead. He is also indulging in a bit of willy-waving. My H index is bigger than yours!

It’s recently been revealed that GBD honchos Kuldorff and Battacharya were taking meetings during the Trump reign with Scott Atlas, Paul Alexander, and Joseph Ladapo of ‘America’s Frontline Doctors’. (Perhaps AFD’s Stella Emmanuel was too busy battling demons to attend.)

I propose a new index, in which medical science credibility is assessed by degree of separation from Scott Atlas. ;- )

Ioannidis is close enough to earn a D+.

Silenced. They won’t STFU. They’ve been all over the place including Congress. No one is being silenced. Get real. You can’t get away from them or their baloney.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: You and your ilk are mad that no one wants to hear your bs and just wish you wouldn’t shout your “Theories” into your cellphone for all to hear while they are just waiting in line at the bank or whatever.

No one is silencing you. No one is being “Cancelled.” People are tired of angry, spun-up whackos getting attention that isn’t deserved. Especially when the justification is often that “There are two sides that are equally valid.”

Example: I can show up at every school board meeting and demand that they teach that the moon landing was faked “Because it could have been” or I “Just think we should teach both sides!!” I would be very unpopular, indeed; folks would cross the street to avoid me, turn me off on social media, and not answer my texts or calls. Rightfully so. That’s not being silenced. That’s the consequences of being an unhinged nutbar.

I guess that it’s easier to claim that you’ve been silenced, than to admit that you don’t actually have anything constructive to say…

@ johnlabarge

You write: “FYI according to the CDC cloth masks do not have a statistically significant benefit. N95s were associated with a marginal benefit.”

According to the CDC MMWR you linked to: Always using a face mask or respirator in indoor public settings was associated with lower adjusted odds of a positive test result compared with never wearing a face mask or respirator in these settings (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 0.44; 95% CI = 0.24–0.82). Among 534 participants who specified the type of face covering they typically used, wearing N95/KN95 respirators (aOR = 0.17; 95% CI = 0.05–0.64) or surgical masks (aOR = 0.34; 95% CI = 0.13–0.90) was associated with significantly lower adjusted odds of a positive test result compared with not wearing any face mask or respirator. These findings reinforce that in addition to being up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, consistently wearing a face mask or respirator in indoor public settings reduces the risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection. Using a respirator offers the highest level of personal protection against acquiring infection, although it is most important to wear a mask or respirator that is comfortable and can be used consistently.”

Or at top of report: Wearing A Mask Lowered the Odds of Testing Positive:
Cloth Mask 56% Surgical Mask 66% N95 83%

Cloth masks had too few people to reach statistical significance; but all indications they did help and the other two did reach statistical significance.

Are you just plain STUPID or DISHONEST?

Clearly not as dishonest as the CDC which reached a conclusion that was unjustified and worse yet influenced policy that was also unjustified by the evidence. Suppose ivermectin had a similar study result. You all would say it was not effective. It’s a church, not a discipline.

Go take ivermectin. I couldn’t care less. I WILL NOT pay for it with my tax dollars. I WILL NOT be told I MUST give you an Rx for it.

Also, you fatuous gasbag, I would happily prescribe it if…wait for it…for the 50th time…


Unlike you, Kory, and most of the other IDIOTS who won’t get over ivermectin I ACTUALLY TREAT COVID PATIENTS. I have since day one of this thing from the clinic to the ICU and everywhere in between. I know what works and, importantly, what DOESN’T.

No “Church.” No “Faith.” No “Beliefs.” Just DOZENS of patients who listened to terrible advice and ended up on a vent. They all had little packs of ivermectin they paid some grifter $2500-3000 for. Many didn’t have that money to spare. Some DIED.

DO YOU GET THAT?? Some DIED. Have you no shame?

Someone’s grandfather, brother, husband, cherished friend DIED because assholes like you told him there are two sides to this, we are “Hiding” ivermectin from him, and he shoujd never take the “Poison jab.” Had he received the vaccine? He would have shrugged COVID off and be back in their lives. All the ivermectin in the world doesn’t change that one bit. DO YOU GET THAT?

You offend me. You should take an inventory of your works in life, my friend; for you are truly the worst of us.

I am very confused.
This study was published in 04Feb2022.
How could the results of this study have possibly impacted CDC recommendations back in 2020 or 2021 to wear a mask?

If ivermectin would have same results as COVID vaccine, it would be a miracle cure, and everybody would be very happy. Only problem with ivermectin is that is does not work, you know.

You’re a great example of how the provaxxers are not deep thinkers. Here you are just slinging ad hominems like a kindergartner.

@ Ed

You give a list of papers, several before the Pandemic. What you don’t understand, probably because you haven’t bothered to really delve into things, is that before the pandemic, we had plans for how to handle a pandemic; but they were based on what we know about flu pandemics. Flu and corona viruses are quite different; e.g. incubation time flu 1-3 days, covid-19 ca 9 -11, flu droplet spread (3 ft), covid-19 aerosol spread (much further), flu seasonal, covid-19 year round, flu miserable a week or pneumonia, covid-19 extremely miserable a week or much worse than pneumonia, more deadly, and long covid. Basically, the flu pandemic plan doesn’t work with COVID-19. Second, we were unprepared, National Strategic Stockpile not replenished, almost all personal protective equipment manufactured abroad, most vaccines and medicines also manufactured abroad, we didn’t have testing kits, and if we did, we didn’t have labs that could evaluate them, etc. etc etc. The best book that details all the mistakes we made is Scott Gottlieb’s Uncontrolled Spread

And I forgot to mention, we aren’t a nation; but Federal, State, County, and City governments with a polarized citizenry, a citizenry who many have little to no understanding of science and rely on social media, etc.

But despite everything, the often uncoordinated actions we took, according to numerous experts, still saved probably 300,000 lives. And as Gottlieb’s book makes clear, had we had test kits, testing facilities, quality masks, etc. and national cooperation, we could have limited lockdowns, etc. But without any of the mitigation strategies, especially prior to vaccines, we could easily have had over 2 million dead and many more with long covid. How would that have affected our economy? Read the book if you have even the possibility of an open mind

@ Clint

You write headline: ““The CDC isn’t Publishing Large Portions of the Covid Data It Collects.”

The problem was the data itself. While it clearly indicated hospitalizations and deaths, it was inconsistent because some hospitals gave almost real time data, others, delayed, and others . . . Some public health departments were on top of the situation; many weren’t. So, if it gave data from some areas, clearly a deadly serious pandemic, from others, just didn’t know. And, of course, people like you with your “immense” understanding of infectious diseases and pandemics would react how?

You might want to look into why our public health infrastructure is so underfunded and understaffed. Because despite what you choose to believe, the odds are high we will be experiencing more pandemics and ever decreasing intervals.

And by the way, some credible studies indicate the number of deaths from COVID-19 significantly undercounted.

@ Sue Dunham

At one time John Ioannidis was respected; but, as happens sometimes, some people lose their bearings. Finding innumerable flaws in his later papers is NOT propaganda, it is science and logic; but, as usual, given you trust RFKs book, a book of lies, including you don’t believe HIV causes AIDs, and in the last exchange you clearly demonstrated several times that you are an antisemite, anything you write is just one more example of your STUPIDITY, DISHONESTY, MENTAL PROBLEMS, AND THAT YOU ARE SICK, SICK, SICK

@ Clint

MASKS. Read my comment to johnlabarge. I have literally 100s of articles on masks and almost all show they do reduce risk, some better than others; but reducing risk with a minimal inconvenience of wearing a mask is a no-brainer for people who have a brain.

You write: “as to his claim of “One person is 300 to 900 times more likely to die after getting the covid-19 vaccine than the flu vaccine.”
Since we have maybe 1 to 5 deaths from flu vaccine in 2 -3 years it wouldn’t take many deaths from Covid vaccines to hit the 300-900 times.
It will be many years before science determines what was the best approach, we are only a little over two years since covid was ‘discovered’

We have, besides Vaccine Safety datalink, investigation of any deaths reported in VAERS, data from numerous other nations. And despite what you and others choose to believe, the mRNA vaccines are NOT experimental. First, prior to pandemic, going back to discovery of mRNA about 300,000 papers. Prior to pandemic almost 400 papers on developing mRNA vaccines, including animal, phase 1, and phase 2 for SARS; but pandemic ended. And the current Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have gone through animal studies, Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3. Everything we know about vaccines, simply if NO severe adverse reactions within several weeks, then no long term and we know the S-spike protein specifically designed so it can’t attach to cells. However, as opposed to unscientific types, I won’t speak in extremes of black and white. Maybe, due to some rare cause, a few people have died from the vaccine or maybe later. So far the vaccine according to huge amounts of data has save literally millions of lives, hospitalizations, and long covid. So, if a few dozen rare serious adverse events occur, tragic; but any sane person would look at the odds, overwhelmingly in favor of the vaccines. Of course, nothing will change your mind because you know you are right as a few others, despite education, training, and really taking the time and effort to read the latest research. Because of the pandemic, almost all journals are making latest papers available free online.

And reading mainly newspaper articles, etc. is NOT learning in any depth what is really happening. I would also you learn some immunology. Best book to start with, only 160 pages, well-written, inexpensive on Lauren Sompayrac’s How the Immune System Works (6th edition). I’m sure you won’t. Why let facts get in the way of “truths”

Can you provide a transcript ? Listening Youtube is waste of time
If you really read mask studies, you will notice thst conformacy is the issue. Second thing that the point is to protect others. Why surgeons wear thw mask ?

Above, Orac refers to ” Mike Adams territory” but the bar has just dropped quite a bit.
NN, yesterday’s podcast, 55 minutes in- at least until 1:10 when I stopped listening)

Mike compares public school ( US version) to sacrificing children to Moloch. After all, there is ‘transgenderism’, surgical or chemical castration, grooming, child rape, drag queen story hour, “cabins in the woods” (?), science teachers and other “demons and perverts”. Schools are ” government indoctrination camps”. In addition, they advocate abortion and child murder, Satanism, burning children alive as a sacrifice, ruining their DNA with vaccines.
Parents should only home school: live a less affluent lifestyle and downsize, even living in a trailer, rather than having both parents working.
HOWEVER, g-d sees everything and there will be retribution for these evils. See Book of Revelation.

I swear, I didn’t make that up.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Clearly not as dishonest as the CDC which reached a conclusion that was unjustified and worse yet influenced policy that was also unjustified by the evidence. Suppose ivermectin had a similar study result. You all would say it was not effective. It’s a church, not a discipline.”

“The Infectious Diseases Society of America’s COVID-19 guidelines continue to suggest against ivermectin use outside of the context of a clinical trial in outpatients or hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The guideline panel states that additional, sufficiently designed clinical trials are needed to inform decisions. The National Institutes of Health’s COVID-19 guidelines panel continue to indicate that there are insufficient data to recommend for or against the use of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 and that results from adequately powered, well-designed, and well-conducted clinical trials are needed to provide more specific, evidence-based guidance.” [UpToDate (2021 Aug). Ivermectin: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19]

“Ivermectin – In patients with COVID-19, we reserve ivermectin for prevention of Strongyloides reactivation in select individuals receiving glucocorticoids (see “Strongyloidiasis”, section on ‘Preventive treatment’). We do not use ivermectin for treatment of COVID-19 outside of clinical trials, as with other interventions that are not supported by high-quality data, consistent with recommendations from the WHO [3]. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses comparing ivermectin with placebo or standard of care have highlighted that the data on ivermectin for COVID-19 are of low quality [52,53,115,116]. As an example, in a meta-analysis of 16 trials evaluating ivermectin (only four included patients with severe disease), the effects on mortality, need for invasive mechanical ventilation, and duration of hospitalization were all very uncertain because of limitations in trial design and low numbers of events [52]. Although some meta-analyses have suggested clinical benefit (including mortality benefit) with ivermectin [117-119], these analyses pooled trials with active comparators (such as hydroxychloroquine), with unclear ascertainment of infection and disease severity, and with uncertain outcome assessment, all of which contribute further to low confidence in the findings; one large unpublished trial that suggested a mortality benefit and was included in these meta-analyses was subsequently removed by the preprint server [120]. Although ivermectin administered in a hospital setting has not been associated with excess serious adverse events in studies, gastrointestinal and neurologic side effects have been reported in individuals who obtained ivermectin at high or uncertain doses without prescription (eg, from internet or veterinary sources) [121]. Ivermectin had originally been proposed as a potential therapy based on in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2; however, the drug levels used in the in vitro studies far exceed those achieved in vivo with safe drug doses [122].” [Arthur Y Kim and Rajesh T Gandhi (2022 Jan 24). COVID-19: Management in hospitalized adults. UpToDate]

So, a comprehensive review found little evidence Ivermectin works; but also that it is associated with excess serious adverse events. I can give numerous other reviews. You don’t give one citation; but, as usual, you are DEAD WRONG; but your comment gives the impression you believe you are absolutely right. What a STUPID thing to say, “it’s a church, not a discipline.” It is you who indicates an unscientific, faith-based belief system.

@ johnlabarge

And Orac has written a half dozen articles on Ivermectin. Did you read any of them? Of course not because you know you are right. Why bother to read anything you, in your immense knowledge of science, would reject???

Myself and others continue to refute what you write; but it has NO effect.

Notice I didn’t assert that Ivermectin worked. I don’t know whether it does or does not. As I understand it as a layman there is much better data re fluvoxomine. I did take ivermectin and got over Covid faster than my spouse, but probably didn’t need it. All I said is if the same sort of statistical insignificance occurred in an Ivermectin trial, the community here would quickly dismiss ivermectin. But because this is for masks, this community embraces it. That indicates a bias that is not based on data but something else (faith or advocacy). Masks are an interesting intervention as is ‘social distancing which was relatively debunked early on. All previous studies showed very little benefit to masks with flu viruses which as I understand it have much larger aerosolized particles than coronaviruses (but some). You would think we would have had plenty of technology and motivation to discover whether masks worked in previous SARS outbreaks. Strange that no one mentioned them then. As a result masks look to me like more to do with a Church of Vax symbol of compliance than anything based on science. I’ve also speculated that they are a way to create demand for or encourage vaccination in order to ‘get back to normal’. Suffice it to say that the openings in masks are larger than the virus particles by a long shot and some other basis for attracting those particles needs to exist for masks to be effective – to my knowledge no randomized trial regarding masks has shown much benefit to cloth masks at all in the real world and surgical masks maybe a little. Nonetheless I’ve heard some hypothesize that there may be an static electrical mechanism which is interesting. Regardless, if the vaccine works for you why bother?

Look dingus, you are intimating that it works. You are not going to slither away that easily. You are pretending that there is a VALID alternative to vaccination to prevent serious illness. THERE IS NOT.

People don’t want the vaccine? No problem. Their risk. The vaccines are so readily-available and Omicron is mild enough I am prepared to say they are no longer a huge risk to others (In resource-rich countries.)

What you and others like you do is play make-believe that IVM or some other outpatient miracle drug will prevent serious COVID disease and it is being suppressed due to some bullshit “Religion-adjacent” belief system you pulled from fetid kiester. That is WRONG and gets people KILLED.

” openings in masks are larger than the virus particles by a long shot”

You know who you sounds like, John? You sounds like the religious abstinence-only “sex ed” folks who will lie with a straight face to an auditorium full of high school kids that condoms don’t work to prevent HIV transmission because they have “holes”.

(Viruses don’t just float around by themselves, they stick to things like very small (or much larger) water droplets, which are too big to go through most mask materials, particularly those made with an electrostatic charge.)

Problem with mask studies is compliance. You do not know would actually use the mask. But surgeons do use them, why this happens ?
Virus is inside cough droplets, and mask will trap the droplets, thus preventing the spread.

” I don’t know whether it does or does not.”

So you just admit you don’t care about the studies that show it doesn’t. Why do you think anyone should think you are trying to be an honest broker of things? (I mean, we’ve seen your posts. we know you lie like a $5 rug, but you seem to think you should be listened to. Why?)

I’m aware of only one negative study that purported to use the right dosage at the right time. So yes I question them. It could be that ivermectin works in some cases and not in others or for some and not for others. Regardless it’s one of the safest drugs around.

@john labarge Inefficient drug has no value, regardless of its safety. Interesting thing is that you mentioned “right time”. A real drug works every time.

“So yes I question them. It could be that ivermectin works in some cases and not in others or for some and not for others. Regardless it’s one of the safest drugs around.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether you are simply ignorant about things versus dishonest. It doesn’t matter — your views about all of this are still dangerous to people who believe you.

More bad news for Ivermectin fans. The I-TECH trial in Malaysia came up negative.

Question Does adding ivermectin, an inexpensive and widely available antiparasitic drug, to the standard of care reduce the risk of severe disease in patients with COVID-19 and comorbidities?

Findings In this open-label randomized clinical trial of high-risk patients with COVID-19 in Malaysia, a 5-day course of oral ivermectin administered during the first week of illness did not reduce the risk of developing severe disease compared with standard of care alone.

Meaning The study findings do not support the use of ivermectin for patients with COVID-19.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “But because this is for masks, this community embraces it. That indicates a bias that is not based on data but something else (faith or advocacy).”

I made it absolutely clear that they did find statistical significance for surgical and N95 masks and that cloth masks didn’t reach statistical significance but close because of too small a sample size. I also said I have a number of other studies. Are you completely STUPID. What bias when you wrote no statistical significance for any mask and the amount of protection minimal. And you continue to give your opinion without any references. And you are also wrong about physical distancing. Not a perfect solution; but combined with others and I repeat, I don’t see the world in black and white. I could give more references and quotes; but you have proven beyond any doubt that you are a STUPID, INTELLECTUALLY DISHONEST PERSON. And I am not the only one who has shown that your comments are either totally wrong or grossly exaggerated.

KEEP MAKING A FOOL OF YOURSELF. You and several others who post comments that reject or don’t even bother to actually research the science, who don’t really understand it, unfortunately, compose a considerable number of Americans, which is one of the reasons we have the highest per capita death rate from COVID-19 among advanced democracies.

What is your education, training, occupation???

Well Iceland with almost 90% of the adult population vaccinated and 80% boosted, threw in the towel today and will lift ALL restrictions as cases are rising to over 2,800 cases a day and admitted:
“To achieve this, as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines are not enough, even though they provide good protection against serious illness,” it added.”

But Nature magazine once proclaimed

“How Iceland hammered COVID with science.”

Maybe the Great Barrington Declaration was spot on.

Did you even read your own reference??

“ I think we’re going to be dealing with the virus, trying to suppress it as much as possible, until we get the vaccine,” he says.”

“Until we get the vaccine”


” Iceland with almost 90% of the adult population vaccinated and 80% boosted”

How is that anything at all like Great Barrington Declaration, which said nothing about vaccines because they hadn’t been released yet?

And who said it was a good idea or would work the way they think or that a very small island nation is a good model for anything other than other very small island nations?

@ Clint

And how many “cases” have been hospitalized, died??? I am confident that at some time if I had had a nasopharyngeal swab that they would have found covid; but my immune system stopped it and eventually removed it. I have not had any symptoms.

The article you linked to: “Their achievements aren’t merely academic. Iceland’s science has been credited with preventing deaths — the country reports fewer than 7 per 100,000 people, compared with around 80 per 100,000 in the United States and the United Kingdom.”

Are you incapable of actually reading and understanding articles you link to???

NOPE! IF you actually checked out the information thoroughly, you’d find out they did it exactly right until now…… with only 60 deaths to date. They are 89%+ vaccinated. The politicians have lost the will to continue and are betting the population if vaccinated enough to keep all the illness now to minor symptoms. They actually controlled it extremely well when we were still figuring out how to deal with it and severe illness. Now that they figure they can control it, they have pulled the mandates. It’s more of an educated bet, covered by political bafflegab.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Suffice it to say that the openings in masks are larger than the virus particles by a long shot and some other basis for attracting those particles needs to exist for masks to be effective – to my knowledge no randomized trial regarding masks has shown much benefit to cloth masks at all in the real world and surgical masks maybe a little.”

“Filtration for Wearer Protection
Studies demonstrate that cloth mask materials can also reduce wearers’ exposure to infectious
droplets through !ltration, including !ltration of !ne droplets and particles less than 10
microns. The relative !ltration e”ectiveness of various masks has varied widely across studies,
in large part due to variation in experimental design and particle sizes analyzed. Multiple layers
of cloth with higher thread counts have demonstrated superior performance compared to
single layers of cloth with lower thread counts, in some cases !ltering nearly 50% of !ne
particles less than 1 micron. Some materials (e.g., polypropylene) may enhance !ltering
e”ectiveness by generating triboelectric charge (a form of static electricity) that enhances
capture of charged particles while others (e.g., silk) may help repel moist droplets and
reduce fabric wetting and thus maintain breathability and comfort. In addition to the number
of layers and choice of materials, other techniques can improve wearer protection by
improving !t and thereby !ltration capacity.”

And I could give several randomized trials of cloth masks; but you keep making it clear that you ignore what people write and keep with what you choose to believe. And I already gave one reference which found Surgical Mask reduced testing positive by 66% and was significant. Just how STUPID are you to that “surgical masks maybe a little?” Don’t bother to answer, it is obvious.

And I have a number of papers on social distancing, not randomized trials; but still good research.


By the way, as a 75 year old man it is my intention in the future, even if pandemic winds down, to wear masks when shopping, though I always get flu shot, and masks not perfect, any reduction in risk worthwhile and may even protect me from common cold. So, a minor inconvenience to wear a mask for an hours shopping.

Cloth masks ? Have you not heard disposable ones ?
And do provide a link to transcript, listening a long youtube rant is waste of time.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “if the vaccine works for you why bother?”

Well, why bother with airbags if seatbelts work? Vaccines work; but not perfectly, so masks can further reduce the risk.

You write based on what idw56old says: “With labarge THE SPLIT OF TRAITS is probably 80% dishonest 20% stupid.

February 23, 2022 at 11:10 am
You’re a great example of how the provaxxers are not deep thinkers. Here you are just slinging ad hominems like a kindergartner.

Not an ad hominem; but an accurate description of you. As I’ve written and others, your comments either totally wrong or grossly exaggerated.

And you write: “All I said is if the same sort of statistical insignificance occurred in an Ivermectin trial, the community here would quickly dismiss ivermectin.”

And you ignore that those getting ivermectin had way more serious adverse events.
As I’ve written and you ignore, there are a number of studies of ivermectin and several reviews, all with the same conclusion, doesn’t work and serious adverse events.

So, I slightly disagree with idw56old in that I think you are both STUPID and DISHONEST, no way I can divide the two, too intertwined

More heretics!
“The CDC has built a series of recommendations for masking that are inconsistent with the technical and medical literature. The policy and procedural recommendations exaggerate the benefits, while ignoring the limitations and harms, especially for children and the general population. In addition, the CDC has taken a policy position of “it might work” and “it can’t hurt” and use selective and weak observational data in the place of actual controlled scientific study to justify inappropriate recommendations for masks and face coverings.

Recently, the CDC has deployed a respiratory protection policy (i.e., masks to N95s) that dismisses the key principles in any Safety and Health program regarding the use of respirators – namely the Respiratory Protection Program. There is no mention of potential risks if the respirator is not properly used or fitted correctly. Moreover, it is clear that respirators are not intended for use with children. In our profession, if PPE and respiratory protection guidance was to ever be delivered without risk identification, fit testing, and training, we would be liable for putting personnel in a high-risk scenario, which is what theCDC is doing with their policy.

We would ask the CDC to accept these basic industrial hygiene facts that we have presented, update their public guidance accordingly regarding the issue of droplets vs.aerosols, stop confusing the public regarding the effectiveness of masks, and stop implying respirators are acceptable for children, and to be given generally to the public.In addition, it is clear the CDC knows, or should know, that gaps between the face and mask are a major problem for real mask effectiveness and could never have met our industry’s requirement of 90% relative risk reduction”

A mask, even an N95, is not a respirator.
They are not the same at all, and the concerns about wearing a respirator (completely valid) do not apply to masks because of the major physical differences between masks and respirators.

It’s bigger than the difference between a snorkel and scuba diving.

Whomever wrote the section you quote is being disingenuous (and they know it) and so are you.

The CDC even has a little reference page describing the difference. Showing respirators protecting the wearer while masks protect everyone else.

You write: “if the vaccine works for you why bother?”

labarge’s comment is the vaccine equivalent of the creationist question, “If evolution is true, why are there still monkeys?”

@ Orac

Labarge may believe monkeys a higher form of evolution and identify with them. LOL

Why don’t you just wear protective suits a. la the Wuhan lab! You could be even more protected! Maybe we should mandate those as well!

Did someone drop you on your head repeatedly as a child? Dafuq do suits at a Wuhan Lab have to do with this? Did you think that dopey non sequitur was clever?

You should apply for a job at over at RT.

I am not fond of people wearing insufficient masks to guard against people with crappy or even amplifying hydrophobic materials and then saying how masks don’t work.

I made my own. vacuum bag, window seal, juice bottle, recently added audio {} My nightmares are these rightards ripping it off and asking me to fix their electronics whilst they hauk on me. “whatta the mask for? gonna rob a bank you an’t been near in 30 years?”

Joel wrote: “So, I slightly disagree with idw56old in that I think you are both STUPID and DISHONEST, no way I can divide the two, too intertwined”

Fair enough. labarge certainly works hard to display his dishonesty and the fact that he completely failed any effort to educate him on anything.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Why don’t you just wear protective suits a. la the Wuhan lab! You could be even more protected! Maybe we should mandate those as well!”

You have now earned being called an ASSHOLE. Why not just stay home and order everything delivered? Getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and practicing physical distancing allow me to significantly reduce risk, not end it, and still be able to move around. Again, ASSHOLE, it isn’t about black and white, all or none, something someone like you is totally incapable of understanding. And your criticisms of the CDC are really IDIOTIC. As more data come in, they adjust/change their recommendations. Would you really want them to make one set of recommendations and never change? As I’ve written and you are too STUPID to understand, if we had done nothing the deaths from COVID would have easily exceeded 2 million and many more with long covid. If we had been prepared; e.g., Personal Protective Equipment stored and manufactured here, testing kits, and labs that could evaluate them, etc. and, of course, funded public health, we could have had a much better response, saving more lives and with less lockdown; but an ASSHOLE like you only sees things in black and white. And given our politics, highly likely we won’t be prepared for next pandemic and it could be far worse than covid.

I repeat and you will ignore:
a. the vaccines aren’t experimental and overwhelming evidence shows they have prevented millions of deaths and even more hospitalizations
b. masks do work; but N95 better than surgical and surgical better than cloth
c. physical distancing does work
d. each contributes to reducing risk; but does not completely eliminate it.
e, CDC can only base its recommendations on data, since we didn’t have any on COVID, mainly flu, they did the best they could and as more data came in, they changed.
f. If we had done nothing, far more deaths and far more hospitalizations.

So, ignore, something someone STUPID like you is quite good at.

p.s. every human being will react slightly differently to infections, some will not become symptomatic, some have mild symptoms, some serious, etc. so your taking ivermectin and getting better faster than your wife says nothing about ivermectin. You should count yourself lucky that it didn’t cause serious adverse conditions.

Tell me, do you also believe in QAnon, etc.???

Well ok if not a lab suit then how many masks is enough? Should you wear 2 as the great prophet Fauci once indicated? Why not 3? Why not 7? Why not goggles and a face shield? Surely you don’t drive any place do you? What about riding a bicycle. Definitely very risky. I know we could do like they did in that movie where they don’t leave the house and just control robots…I think it was Surragates? LOL QAnon follower – everyone who disagrees with your brand of medical authoritarianism is a QAnon follower aren’t they? It’s your way or QAnon isn’t it?

Your examples are instructive. Do you wear a helmet when you ride a bike? Do you use your seatbelt when driving a car?

@ EVERYONE (johnlabarge will ignore anyway)

Below are the articles I have downloaded and read on masks. Please note that the list does include a few articles that didn’t find masks helped. As opposed to people like johnlabarge, I don’t rely on one or two studies and am always open to changing my mind IF a number of well-done studies refute previous ones. Note also that some of the studies were lab tests of masks and droplets/aerosols.

Reference List

Centers for Disease Control:

Andrejko KL et al. (2022 Feb 4). Effectiveness of Face Mask or Respirator Use in Indoor Public Settings for Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 Infection — California, February–December 2021. MMWR.

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

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

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

CDC (2021 Dec 6). Science Brief: Community Use of Masks to Control the Spread of SARS-CoV-2.

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

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

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

Guy GP et a. (2021 Mar 12). Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020. MMWR.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Abaluck J et al. (2022 Jan 14). The Impact of Community Masking on COVID-19: A Cluster-Randomized Trial in Bangladesh. Available at:

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

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

Bundgaard H et al. (2021 Mar). Effectiveness of Adding a Mask Recommendation to Other Public Health Measures to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Danish Mask Wearers: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine; 174(3): 335-343.

Chernozhkov V (2021 Jan). CAUSAL IMPACT OF MASKS, POLICIES, BEHAVIOR ON EARLY COVID-19 PANDEMIC IN THE U.S. Journal of Econometrics; 220(1): 23-62.

Cheng Y et al. (2021 Jun 25). Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Science; 372; 1439-1443.

Chughtai AA et al. (2020 Oct). Effectiveness of Cloth Masks for Protection Against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. Emerging Infectious Diseases; 26(1).

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

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

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

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

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

Hahn RA (2021 Jan). Estimating the COVID-Related Deaths Attributable to President Trump’s Early Pronouncements About Masks. International Journal of Health Services; 51(1): 14-17.

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

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

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

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

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

Prasad V (2021 Sep 2). Requiring Masks in Schools Has a Downside: The educational cost of face coverings is far better established than the benefits of mandates. The Atlantic. Available at:

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

San Diego Union-Tribune Editorial (2021 Aug 29). [Masks] Students back in class need role models. Available at: [scroll to page B13]

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

Zweig D (2021 Dec 16). The CDC’s Flawed Case for Wearing Masks in School. The Atlantic.

@ johnlabarge

I was able to cut and paste the letter sent to the CDC on February 22; but it is a bit scrambled. First, no proof it was ever sent. Second, even if it was, you jump on it without giving CDC any time to reply. I guess if you were a prosecutor in a criminal trial, you would try to get the judge to stop the defense from presenting its case. Third, I doubt you actually read it because you wouldn’t understand it.

You really are incredibly dishonest. Just because a small group claims and maybe did send a letter to the CDC does NOT mean they are right, does not mean they have a hidden agenda. A lot of people, including some who comment on this blog; e.g., Indie Rebel and Sue Dunham cite RFK’s book as if it were gospel, despite that I and others have torn it apart. Reminds me of those who believe QAnon or even Mein Kampf (loaded with historical inaccuracies) and once believed quite rigid and hostile in defending their position. Of course, with no indication they actually put any additional time and effort to validate them. I actually read RFKs book and went to footnotes/references and found about 500 that I could download, read and skimmed most of them.

But, of course, you, Indie Rebel, Sue Dunham, and others think you would have done a much better job of handling the pandemic, ignoring that, on the whole, we had good data on flu pandemics and almost none of coronavirus ones, etc. And the political interference and contradictory messages from Trump regime and the inadequate funding and staffing and since Biden’s Presidency, not my first choice, Republicans in Congress, State legislatures/Governors, etc. uncooperative. So, what do you expect in a nation where polarized politics trumps science?


johnlabarge: “…masks look to me like more to do with a Church of Vax symbol of compliance”

Nope, John isn’t antivaccine, not at all. That must have slipped out accidentally.

I love how members of the woo sect are quick to project their own mindset onto others.

I mean…I guess it depends on your definition of ‘antivax’. Again I’ve had vaccines and given my kids vaccines recently. The difference is I don’t think every vaccine is automatically good just because it’s called such, or because Fauci says so. I don’t worship Fauci or vaccines and I don’t buy pharmaceutical representations – including the FDA/CDC just because, particularly when pushed with oppression and force and when the risks are ignored by those who are in charge of monitoring the same. But sure if that’s what floats your boat call us all antivax/infedels/widerstand. Bring it.

And yet you’ve reluctantly, when pressed, kinda/semi-endorsed just one type of vaccine (Covid) as having greater benefit than risk, while pushing antivax memes and sneering at the “Church of Vax”.

Try bringing some honesty to the discussion.

” But sure if that’s what floats your boat call us all antivax/infedels/widerstand.”

Well, that is what you are. Also dishonest and compelely lacking in integrity and morality.

Do you not know that Fauci doess not approve vaccines ? FDA does. Aåpproval is based on clinical trial data, not anybody’s say-so.

Fauci is the Prophet. He would not concern himself with ministerial matters of approval based on whatever Pfizer said err I mean the trial data.

John: ” when pushed with oppression and force”

I’ve noticed a strong theme among people who are against COVID vaccination they take requests and recommendations as commands.

“It is strongly recommended you get vaccinated” is not a command. It is a request and a recommendation, but it is not a command.

(This is not to say that there are not employers who require vaccination as a condition of employment, but even then the individual has a choice to not get vaccinated. It is not a law.)

Is it a consequence of upbringing? A cultural thing?

@jon labarge So you claim that Fauci sends orders to FDA ? Have you some evidence ?

No. I’m being tongue and cheek about Tony Science err Fauci. The FDA approves what the pharmaceutical companies want based on their representations. Drug companies are skilled at presenting data to the FDA and it turns out that many from the FDA end up with high paying gigs at pharmaceutical companies later on. Interesting that 2 FDA officials resigned recently proximate to the booster recommendations. The approved opioids and vioxx didn’t they? So yeah not exactly all about safety. And that’s before we get to how they let big food lie on nutrition labels.

“Fauci is the Prophet. He would not concern himself with ministerial matters of approval based on whatever Pfizer said err I mean the trial data.”

Do you have any experience with even the simplest data? Basic statistics? It’s clear you find it easier to lie about what the studies say and dismiss modern science — the question is why? (The default answer for why you do this is simply that you’re one of the losers who wants to appear to be helping while “not trusting the system” — in other words, just a scumbag — but there could be more reasons behind your mental and social defects.)

They dropped approval for Vioxx, did they ? There were criminal prosecutions in the case of opioids, on ?
I suggest that you read Brian Deer on the caseof Vioxx, and check did same thing happen in the case of COVID vaccines.

If there’s one very strong sign of being antivax, it’s comparing vaccination and vaccine mandates to a religion or a cult; e.g., “Branch Covidian,” “Covidian church,” “Church of Vax,” “Vaccinianity.”

I’ve noticed that these types are really desperate to be able to equate scientific consensus to a “Religion.” Not just on this issue-many others.

@ Clint

You write: “Well Iceland with almost 90% of the adult population vaccinated and 80% boosted, threw in the towel today and will lift ALL restrictions as cases are rising to over 2,800 cases a day and admitted: “To achieve this, as many people as possible need to be infected with the virus as the vaccines are not enough, even though they provide good protection against serious illness,” it added.””

Didn’t you notice “good protection against serious disease?” So, with a very high vaccination rate and very low risk of serious diseases they llifted all restrictions. And, I repeat what I’ve written over and over again: being infected means nothing. We are surrounded by potentially pathogenic microbes every day, some even in our intestines; but as long as our immune systems function, including immunity from vaccines, not a problem. If the U.S. reached 90% vaccinated and 80% boosted, maybe we could also lift restrictions since we would have reached herd immunity (vaccinated plus those sickened); but I will still wear a mask because herd immunity doesn’t guarantee a few individuals can become infected from time to time, just can’t break out into population. You are just one more MORON who doesn’t believe in public health and vaccines.

I repeat: you missed or didn’t understand that the vaccines “provide good protection against serious illness.”

So does acquired immunity and so does a more mild variant that doesn’t cause severe illness. Correlation does not equal causation. Regardless, protection against severe illness if true (and if the vaccines were safe – which I do not believe they are, but assuming so) would only protect the person getting vaccinated. You’d need more justification for mandates than reduction in severe illness – at least in a non-authoritarian world.

“a more mild variant that doesn’t cause severe illness”

Excuse me?
The number of deaths in my region from delta and the number of deaths in my region from omicron are pretty much identical. And because of where I live we have a very good idea of which variant is most common in the region because of our sequencing center.

It’s all omicron right now. And those people still died of COVID. So it very clearly does cause severe illness.

Second, vaccination does reduce transmission. It does not eliminate transmission but it does reduce it, which obviously has a benefit to others. Does post-infection immunity reduce or eliminate transmission?

What mandates? There is no federal vaccination mandate. As far as I know there aren’t any state-level mandates. It’s all by individual employers (and the US military, as an employer).

As for your statement that there is no value to reducing severe disease, well, it’s nice to know you hate health care workers and anyone who might need advanced medical care.

1) “The number of deaths in my region from delta and the number of deaths in my region from omicron are pretty much identical” Citation needed. Also there are more cases of omicron so you should be using the rate of severe disease to understand risk of infection with the variant. Here is what the CDC says. 2) The theory that vaccination reduces transmission is deeply flawed when considered in the context of real world encounters. They arrive at this theory based on vaccinated individuals clearing the virus in slightly less time. Unless you are only going to encounter 1 infected person in your life or every single infected person you encounter starts their infection and clears their infection at the same time It’s really not relevant. Staggering these infection events only slightly covers any gaps in transmission. 3) “As for your statement that there is no value to reducing severe disease” Nope. Never made that statement. You made that up.

@john labarge you can actually study COVID transmission:
Krause PR, Fleming TR, Longini IM, Peto R, Briand S, Heymann DL, Beral V, Snape MD, Rees H, Ropero AM, Balicer RD, Cramer JP, Muñoz-Fontela C, Gruber M, Gaspar R, Singh JA, Subbarao K, Van Kerkhove MD, Swaminathan S, Ryan MJ, Henao-Restrepo AM (2021) SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccines. N Engl J Med.
No theorizing is needed

Here you go John:

Oh look, it caused more deaths than delta! Now, how is that possible if, as you say omicron is ““a more mild variant that doesn’t cause severe illness”?

Oh, but when confronted with the tiniest bit of data now you say ” you should be using the rate of severe disease” – which means that omicron does cause severe disease.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “I don’t worship Fauci or vaccines and I don’t buy pharmaceutical representations – including the FDA/CDC just because, particularly when pushed with oppression and force and when the risks are ignored by those who are in charge of monitoring the same”

“worship Fauci???” What a stupid thing to say! ! ! I respect him, listen to what he says, then do my own research, research involving more than one or two papers. He is an MD with specialization in Immunology and has 40 years experience, plus 100s of peer-reviewed publications. As for “pharmaceutical representations–including the FDA/CDC”. Yep, men and women who devoted many years to getting MDs, PhDs, both, are just shills for the vaccine industry and you know that because of your immense knowledge of vaccines, immunology, etc. Did you know that vaccine approval by FDA has much higher requirements than any other pharmaceutical product? I won’t go into details because it is really a waste of time with people like you who have been refuted by me and others over and over on this blog.


What’s more…they just HALTED the release of COVID vaccine to a cohort. If they were just in the tank for the industry…would that have happened? How will they get all that big vaccine lucre if they don’t play along?

Labarge isn’t the brightest bulb.

“Labarge isn’t the brightest bulb.”

When your whole thing is lying about what the data shows and misrepresenting what has been learned you don’t have to be bright, just dishonest, He’s got that nailed,

@john labarge If they did not make money on vaccine, where is conflict of interest ? Do you claim that are clean after all ?

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Yeah they haven’t made any money on vaccine at all…”

If you go to a supermarket you can purchase potato chips, candy, soft drinks or fresh fruit, veggies, etc. The companies that supply them make a profit and the supermarket makes a profit. In other words, making a profit doesn’t say if something is harmful, beneficial, or some combination. Pharmaceutical companies are businesses. If they offered any product for free, they would go out of business. If one were to look at the overall profits for COVID vaccines and the number of lives saved, hospitalizations avoided, etc. I would bet that the overall profit per each of the aforementioned would not be large. The question is how much value do you put on a human life? Of course, despite being refuted over and over about vaccines, etc. you don’t budge. However, our government could have set it up to design, produce, and distribute vaccines at the cost of taxpayers. Would that have been OK with you?

You just keep on for the most part with short empty sentences.


Wouldn’t that be a manufacturing defect? I’m which case I think you CAN directly sue the vaccine manufacturer. If it was deliberate than that would be a criminal act and you could, again, sue the manufacturer.

Sticking with chips (I assume you mean crisps rather than frys), they often contain salt. Salt is bad for you in high doses. You can have salt poisoning. Does that mean it’s a poison?

If vaccine would add r PREP poison in their product, you could sue them, even undet PREP Act. This would be willful malfeasanse, for sure

johnlabarge: “If you die from eating chips because they are laced with poison you can sue the food manufacturer.”

What vaccines do you believe are “laced with poison”?

Also no one is forcing you to buy chips or vegetables if you want to keep your job. Or trying to push an unconstitutional mandate re the same.

Not all vaccine mandates are created equal. The case you mention is a state case and the penalties were not severe. The federal government is generally not vested with that kind of power and certainly not through a workplace safety statute. If you like to dictate what people do to their bodies, then I’m sure you won’t mind when the shoe is on the other foot…

Eating chips does not endanger other people’s health. What federal vaccine mandate you have in your mind ?

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Regardless, protection against severe illness if true (and if the vaccines were safe – which I do not believe they are, but assuming so) would only protect the person getting vaccinated. You’d need more justification for mandates than reduction in severe illness – at least in a non-authoritarian world.”

First, while not perfect, vaccines reduce the number and duration of viruses transmitted by those vaccinated, so they do, to some extent, protect others. Second, over 900,000 have died and several million have been hospitalized, many for extended stays. Not only have these individuals either suffered greatly or died; but they have overburdened our healthcare system with burn-out among medical staff. So, you don’t think that a vaccine that significantly reduced the number of hospitalized and dead should be mandated. Keep in mind that many of the aforementioned, at least half occurred after the vaccines were widely available and many were infected by others. Of course you don’t care because in your world only you and, perhaps, a few family and friends count.


@johnlabarge, we keep hearing and seeing antivaxxers like you making all these claims about large numbers of people being injured by vaccines. Yet when we call for proof, we get othing.
If you have good evidence of peope being injured by vaccines, provide it. Otherwise, hold your peace.

“If only the vax pushers put forth that much passion for the vax-injured…”

If only there were any evidence at all for the numbers and types of injuries you liars assert come from vaccinations.

Yo can’t see evidence with your head buried in the sand. Ever hear of a rock and roll guy called Eric Clapton? Or Kyle Warner the mountain biker -these are just a couple famous examples.

Actually, I wish that the government would increase the death benefit under the VICP, and probably the CICP as well. Those haven’t been updated in years. And I look forward to 2 years from now when the PREP Act coverage for the Covid-19 vaccines expires and people with complaints can use the much better service under the VICP. But I will be watching to see what results come out of the CICP.

But when people say “vax-injured” they seldom mean “I took may case to one of these special courts and they agreed with me that I was injured by the vaccine”. They don’t even mean I have a Table Injury for vaccine X and will be pursuing compensation. What it typically means is I got a vaccine, something bad happened soon afterwards and I decided to blame the vaccine.

I have sympathy for their suffering, but remain skeptical of their claim for the blame.

lagarbage — “ever hear of eric clapton and kyle warner?” — as if that is evidence for his case.

Warner was asked for proof from his doctors that his issues were due to the vaccine. He couldn’t supply any — he just “knew”. That level of fact free assertion appeals to you, i’m sure, since you’re a pathological liar, but it doesn’t count in the real world.

Clapton’s issues with his hand (he claimed that after the vaccine shots “my hands just don’t work”) began long before he got the shots: he’d been saying publicly for years about it.

“n 2016, he confessed to Rolling Stone that he was having “a neurological thing that is tricky, that affects my hands.” The following year, he told the magazine he was having “eczema from head to foot. The palms of my hand were coming off.” He also was dealing with peripheral neuropathy — damage to a person’s peripheral nerves, leading to burning or aching pain in the arms and legs.”

So, once again, your ‘evidence’ is complete bullshit. We have to ask again: why are you such a disgusting person — what prompts you to lie so consistently, especially when the crap you lie about is so easliy shown to be bullshit?

@ johnlabarge

You write: “If you die from eating chips because they are laced with poison you can sue the food manufacturer. See the difference”

First, you ignore the point I was making that chips confer no health benefits and fruits and veggies do; but both confer profits. In other words, all companies make profits, so profits doesn’t say anything about the value of the product. Or, maybe you didn’t ignore; but just too STUPID to understand. Second, Number Wang is right, if the company allowed poison to get into their product they can be sued; but years ago someone poisoned products at supermarkets with a syringe, so company wasn’t sued. If any of the COVID vaccine manufacturers fail to manufacture according to the protocol supplied to FDA or allow contaminants they more than likely can still be sued; but one can’t sue for a rare serious adverse event, otherwise, probably NOT one pharmaceutical company would be in business and we would be in trouble.


@ johnlabarge

You write: “If only the vax pushers put forth that much passion for the vax-injured…”

First, again you show your IMMENSE STUPIDITY by emphasizing the “vax-injured”, a minuscule number, compared to the number of lives saved, hospitalizations avoided, etc. Second, where have any of us who understand vaccines indicated we don’t feel upset about the rare cases of vaccine injury. And what you, in YOUR IMMENSE STUPIDITY fail to understand is without vaccines and mitigation the rare cases of vaccine injury could very well have been the hospitalized and dead from the actual virus. Quite simply, you are FULL OF SHIT.

My point was that claims that vaccines prevent transmission is not based on some weird theory. There is one about omicron transmission and vaccines:
Omicron does indeed escape immunity (this applies to natural immunity, too) but boosting restores it.
You believe that everything happens after vaccination is caused by vaccination, do you ?

It’s not based on sterilizing immunity; therefore it’s based on rapid viral clearance. Rapid viral clearance becomes meaningless as the R value increases, unless everyone is isolating.

This is again if it not 100% (sterilizing immunity), it is 0%. If it is 80%, 4 of 5 tranmissions are prevented. This is not same thing that 0% is prevented.

Yeah, I get tired of the Nirvana fallacy about vaccines, in which if they don’t prevent infection 100% of the time, they “don’t prevent infection” and if they don’t prevent forward transmission 100% of the time they “don’t prevent transmission.” Basically, if vaccines aren’t 100% safe and 100% effective (which no medical intervention is), to antivaxxers (and even to some who should know better), they’re useless toxic crap.

I don’t think that the Nirvana fallacy is what we are talking about here. It’d be nice if we were. These vaccines are way leakier than that. These vaccines when widely distributed have fairly ineffective at stopping outbreaks.

Of course CDC is withholding data, but I’m sure it’s all positive about the vaccine. Definitely definitely positive. That’s why they want to withhold; they don’t want to cause a booster stampede, obviously.

Some of the most vaccinated countries had screaming outbreaks afterwards. (Gibraltar, Israel, Scotland) We aren’t talking close to 80% transmission prevented – that’s not supportable. Just about everyone I know who is vaccinated has had a symptomatic bout with the virus lasting nearly or longer than a week. Which is about how long my infection lasted without a vaccine (actually less).

@john labarge “CDC is withholding the data”? I cited a study, which was obviously not hiddeen. Lots of people study vaccines, not ust CDC,

“Heartbreaking stuff.”

I’m sure you’re very jealous of the imaginative lies on those conspiracy sites and wish you’d come up with them.

Still nothing that is reliable though.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Here is a telegram channel to follow”

Just because someone believes they were injured by a vaccine doesn’t make it so. Same problem with VAERS. I realize that you are TOO STUPID to understand Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc, that is, the logical fallacy of assuming that something follows something else was caused by it. As I’ve written several times, on average 2,300 Americans have a heart attack every day. So, if someone gets a vaccine and a couple days later has a heart attack, could be the vaccine and could be, quite simply, they would have had the heart attack without the vaccine. The CDC has teams who investigate every VAERS reported serious adverse events and, of course, a heart attack would be one. They get hold of the person’s medical records. So, for instance, they find out he/she was scheduled for bypass surgery because of over 90% stenosis of major coronary arteries and had had a previous heart attack, maybe quite obese and a smoker. They also look at per capita heart attacks prior to introduction of vaccine. And they also look at the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a almost real-time link to around 12 million Americans. And we have credible information that anti-vax websites are encouraging people to post on VAERS, even lying, though they don’t openly say so. Since one can post anonymously, basically, people can post whatever they want.

By analogy, which you are TOO STUPID to understand, imagine a crime where the police bring in 20 people for questioning. Someone with your “mentality” would automatically assume most, if not all, were guilty. Or, if you were on a jury, you would assume guilt and ignore the defense. And, though an anecdote, years ago an Australian woman was found guilty of murdering her child. No evidence she was a bad mother; but she showed no emotion when testifying. She and husband were camping in a tent when they woke up to find baby gone. She showed no emotion simply because she belonged to a fundamentalist sect which believe Jesus decides everything, so, though she loved her baby, she was serene knowing Jesus had taken it. Well, several years later someone came across a pile of bones from wild dogs and among them were those of a human baby and the site was only a short distance from where the woman had camped. Finally, she was released. The point is people like you don’t really listen to the evidence but focus on some things, either totally irrelevant or biased. I can find on the internet cites blaming everything on Jews, cites pushing QAnon, racists websites, some with well-written papers, based on cherry-picking of data and even twisting/distorting.

So, of course, you want to believe a telegram channel.

And, I have NEVER denied that vaccines can have serious adverse reactions, only that compared to their benefits, such reactions are rare.

Just one example. Smallpox came in waves, endemic; but then explosive epidemic. During an epidemic in Europe killed a minimum of 25 – 30% of population. We also know that the vaccine killed between 1 and 2 per million vaccinated. Just for simplicity, lets assume major epidemic every 10 years, and use lower stats of deaths and higher of vaccine-associated deaths, so, in 10 years vaccine would kill 20 people and save 250,000 people and a MORON like you would focus on the 20, also ignoring possibility that some of them, if not vaccinated, would have died from the actual virus. While COVID not as deadly by far as smallpox, counting deaths, hospitalizations, long covid, the actually reported and verified serious adverse events and a few deaths far outweighed by the deaths, hospitalizations, and long covid prevented. But, you, in your infinite wisdom based on cherry-picking web searches, ignore the science and by now overwhelming data on the effectiveness of the vaccine (not perfect) and the minuscule numbers of serious adverse events just keep making a fool of yourself.

I know you won’t answer; but please explain your education, training, occupation, etc. that you think makes you more knowledgeable than Orac, myself, and many more who actually have education and training related to infectious diseases and pandemics.

And I expect you will keep posting short comments linking to something you found on the web.

Assuming something WAS NOT caused by something that came before, particularly where the thing that came before is a medical intervention and the thing that came after is a medical problem or bodily injury, is stupid as well. The telegram testimonials are evidence, many unreliable, but evidence. As is VAERs. The thing with VAERs is the huge increase with the Covid vax. You in the pharma world may just brush it off, brush off heart inflammation as mostly peaceful err mild brush off blood clots as ‘rare’. Your fallacy is the assumption of no causation. And by the way, how many times have you applied Post Hog Ergo Prompter Hoc – fallacies sound cooler in Latin shows we’re sophisticated – to Covid deaths which as I understand it have an average of 4 comorbidities (sometimes gun shot wounds). I’m not saying that many of them aren’t caused by Covid. But vax pushers don’t seem so interested in such a stringent analysis of Covid death counts…these inconsistencies breed mistrust. Rightfully so.

“Assuming something WAS NOT caused by something that came before, particularly where the thing that came before is a medical intervention and the thing that came after is a medical problem or bodily injury, is stupid as well.”

JFC you are immensely stupid.

“The telegram testimonials are evidence, many unreliable, but evidence.”

No. There’s no reason to think any of the stories are reliable, and they most certainly do not qualify as evidence. You may not have standards for anything, but not everyone is as low on the requirement for data as you.

I don’t think you know what evidence is. Or the difference between evidence and proof.

@ john labarge You, in turn, do not know diffrence between a story and evidence.

labarge wrote:

“I don’t think you know what evidence is. Or the difference between evidence and proof.”

Randomly posted stories are neither evidence nor proof. That’s one of the most basic things people should understand

My freshmen stat students have a better grasp of that fact than you do — but then they aren’t as devoted to denying science and spreading harm as you are,

I’ll grant that allegations are not evidence unless authenticated. Similar to VAERs reports. But as I understand it physicians fill out a lot of VAERs reports. Moreover the allegations are numerous. I bet you think Trump was innocent of right?

“I’ll grant that allegations are not evidence unless authenticated. Similar to VAERs reports. But as I understand it physicians fill out a lot of VAERs reports. Moreover the allegations are numerous. I bet you think Trump was innocent of right?”

I’m not sure of what you’re hinting at about trump but, except for all of the things we’ve learned about his actions (lying about stopping flights from china, telling people to ingest bleach to fight covid, implying that ultraviolet light ‘taken internally’ would kill it, having government agencies steal supplies states [like mine, Michigan] purchased early in the pandemic so his kid-run team could use them, pooh-poohing the seriousness of the problem, lying about it being developed by the chinese, blocking aid to the Ukraine in exchange for support from putin — you know, all the stuff the modern right-wing does) I’m not sure what he could be considered innocent of.

More to the point: your little attempt at diversion from your continued dishonesty, and assertions that these “reports” on social media feeds validity solely because they support your delusions are pathetic. Spot on for you though.

Citation needed for Trump telling people to ingest bleach. Blocking aid to the Ukraine for support from Putin- you get that one from Maddow?

@john labarge Trump thought that injecting bleach would be very curative. You forgot all that ?
Doctors are required by law to reporty everything to VAERS, regardless how inplausible.

Waiting for your next lie labarge — it seems you came out of the womb with new ones on your lips.

““A question that probably some of you are thinking of if you’re totally into that world,” Trump began, clearly thinking the question himself, “So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that, too. It sounds interesting. And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.””

I don’t see ‘ingest bleach’ in this transcripts please point it out.

@john labarge Trump spoke about injecting bleach, which is worse thaan digesting it. We have spoken about this before. Read old threads.

“Trump spoke about injecting bleach, which is worse thaan digesting it. We have spoken about this before. Read old threads.”

He won’t — he’s already stated data doesn’t matter.

What are the chances labarge also thinks there was massive voter fraud in the last presidential election? The intersection of loons about covid and the vaccines with loons with voting conspiracies has to be a non-void set.

And yet no one has found a transcript where Trump suggested injecting bleach. Because that’s a lie. It’s not what he said.

The election was not audited. A system that can’t be auditable is probably corrupted, to what extent I don’t know.

“ The election was not audited. A system that can’t be auditable is probably corrupted, to what extent I don’t know.”

Just saw this gem: you do realize several states and localities looked over their results, right? You do know that even the fake auditors who supported trump couldn’t cook anything up, right?

I got to give you some credit. When you decided to spend your life being an idiot and habitually dishonest, spewing things that have no basis in reality and trying to convince gullible losers that you’re right, you went in whole hog. You’re not just on the foolish “covid isn’t bad, all vaccines are worse” train, you’re on the “the election was rigged” train too. What an asshole.

What are your views on the moon landing and Bigfoot?

@ Julian Frost

Thanks Julian. I did basically get the facts right, that jury convicted, not on evidence, etc.; but it was years ago and I’m not good at names.

“Blocking aid to the Ukraine for support from Putin- you get that one from Maddow?”
Got that from the facts scumbag. You’re not familiar with it because you don’t deal with facts.

His bleach comment was made during live television. I get that you are a congenital liar, but JFC you are a horrible liar,,

@ldw56old Politifact isn’t exactly a pro-Trump site, but even they didn’t go that far.

In addition withholding aid to Ukraine to aid Russia. Trump withheld aid to Ukraine – that’s true. To aid Russia – do you have a citation for this.

As for who the liar is – well it would seem that at the very least you are over your skis with your assertions.

@@john labafarge Politifact says that Trump is walking back, which means that hee actually did make the claim.

Well labarge, as expected, the fact that you refuse to acknowledge things that have been documented is not a surprise. How hard do you have to work to get so invested in your own lies that you stick with them over reality?

Don’t bother answering — I’ve had enough of your bs on this.

It remains the fact that injuries reported in VAERS does not surpass background level. Can you comment that ?
And, no, I am not in pharma.

There are now a lot of claims filed with the CICP for Covid-19 vaccines and treatments. Those include about 130 deaths claims. None of those have been compensated yet.

Three claims were tossed out because “the standard of proof for causation was not met and/or a covered injury was not sustained”

Other categories with a lot of claims are blood clot/clots and myocarditis.

Remember folks, just because johnlabarge refers to “vax-pushers” and suggests vaccines are “laced with poison”, that does not mean he’s an antivaxer.

I’m not offended by being called antivax, because..1)that term has been redefined to mean against ‘vax mandates’ and 2) childish because it turns something that requires a lot of context into name calling. To be sure this is a technique used by zealots and authoritarians in many situations on the left- racist, white supremacist, or on the right communist, socialist, terrorist sympathizer. Same old shit when dealing with authoritarians of any stripe.

Nah. The Venn circle between antivaxxers and “anti-mandate” activists is very nearly a circle. There are a few against mandates who are genuinely not antivaccine, but they are few. Moreover, the longer “antimandate” activists agitate against mandates, the further and further they drift towards antivaccine views. Why? Because the most vocal “antimandate” activists have always been antivaxxers. This dates back to long before the pandemic. Hell, it dates back to the 19th century. Thus, the natural history of “antimandate” is to drift more and more into antivax conspiracy theories.

As I like to say, come for the freedumb, stay for the antivax conspiracy theories and pseudoscience. It’s depressingly true.

Oh, spare me. You have made all sorts of dubious claims of harms caused by vaccines which you have failed to provide good evidence for (the evidence you’ve provided is hearsay and circumstantial) and repeated the now falsified claim that COVID vaccines do not reduce transmission.
You. Are. Antivaxx.

@Julian the evidence in favor of the vaccines is hearsay. Peoples’ testimonials about what happened to them are not hearsay. Circumstantial evidence is wait for it…evidence.

johnlabarge: “To be sure this is a technique used by zealots and authoritarians in many situations on the left- racist, white supremacist, or on the right communist, socialist, terrorist sympathizer.”

You forgot to mention the Saul Alinsky playbook, which resentful woo-ists have been known to invoke.*

*I don’t know what’s in the Saul Alinsky playbook, but it figures to be better than whatever playbook the Jets are using.


@Julian the evidence in favor of the vaccines is hearsay.

Studies have looked at this question. People who have been vaccinated and boostered have a fraction of the risk of developing a breakthrough COVID infection as the unvaccinated, a fraction of the risk of needing hospitalisation if they do develop a breakthrough infection, and a fraction of the risk of dying if they need hospitalisation. The unvaccinated are 97 times as likely to die from COVID as the vaccinated.
You are downplaying the effectiveness of the vaccines in stopping deaths. You continue to prove you are antivaxx.

“the evidence in favor of the vaccines is hearsay. ”

No, scientific studies, with accompanying analysis, not hearsay. This is one of your most blatant lies.

“Peoples’ testimonials about what happened to them are not hearsay. Circumstantial evidence is wait for it…evidence.”

Well no, that is the opposite of evidence. It’s becoming very clear that in addition to being a failure at science and honesty you’re also a failure at the fundamentals of statistics.

Your ignorance, together with your deep-rooted proclivity for lying, marks you as a very sad excuse for a person.

Studies are a report by a person of what happened in an experiment. They are hearsay by their nature. The fact that courts allow expert testimony doesn’t make it not hearsay. It’s an exception. They are generally subject to counter by other experts. The problem here is that science has been bent towards a Pharma/government objective and those who would challenge the studies re the vaccine have less resources, are marginalized or are worse face risks to their livelihood for speaking out. This lack of balance and challenge means that the pro-vax authors are subject to less challenge. Regardless studies are still representations of science and thus citation of those studies for the proposition they find (promote) is still hearsay.

Studies are a report by a person of what happened in an experiment. They are hearsay by their nature

Um, no. Studies are reports of the results of experiments, but that does not make them “hearsay.” Seriously, dude, you don’t science very well. Also, “hearsay” has a specific definition, which you clearly don’t know.

Yeah ok that was a torture paragraph. Citing a study – unless you are the author – is citing a recorded account by someone else for the truth of what happened in the experiment. And more so that author’s interpretation of the results for their truth. That’s fine when science allows free flow of ideas and to challenge those. It may be ok if there is a reliable way to assure the data is not fraudulent and assuming the data is open to independent examination by those that aren’t the study author. In the case of the vaccine trials, these assurances are not present. What’s more, real world data hasn’t matched those representations which indicates a lack of truth in the initial reporting. Without additional review by independent scientists (which the FDA sought to delay by 75 years!), the presumption is that the original vaccine trial results are bunk.

“Studies are a report by a person of what happened in an experiment. They are hearsay by their nature.”

Either you have no effing clue about science and statistics or you are willing to make the most outrageous lies possible in an attempt to defend your disinformation.

The evidence in favor of vaccines is dying in my ICU as I type this. We are headed in to place a tracheostomy so that he can go to a long term acute care facility. He will never meet his new grand baby. He will die in a few weeks having never regained consciousness. Ivermectin? Didn’t do shit. He got the monoclonals? Got him through until he developed sepsis.

You make me sick, labarge. YOU did this. Neither he nor his sons got the vaccines because of the bullshit you and your kind trade in. Good job. Nice life you are living.

“Studies are a report by a person of what happened in an experiment. They are hearsay by their nature.”

Bwhahahaha! Hahahaha! Oh, got to catch my breath, ha!

Oh my goodness, that was funny!

Well thanks for definitively proving once and for all that you’re not a scientist (or a lawyer). As though experiments are done by one person! As though there is zero data capture outside of one person writing stuff down in pencil or something. As though not a single instrument is used to generate data.

Even as an undergrad I didn’t do my studies alone with no one to check on my processes, procedures or data integrity.

Scientific studies are hearsay, snerk, that’s hilarious. I’ve got to go tell that one to the rest of the lab, they could use a laugh.

@MedicalYeti never been against vaccines (even covid vaccines) for those at high risk. I’m against them as one-size-fits all mandate throughout the population and am seriously concerned about their safety and the seeming arrogance/confirmation-bias of those charged with monitoring it. Mandating and lack of safety go hand-in-hand to ensure that vaccines are less safe than they could be. That said even accounting for some significant risk of the vax if you are in high risk category (mostly due to age/comorbidities) for covid then I think the vaccine is probably the better option. I’m particularly concerned about why the US holds up approval of more traditional vaccines that appear (I don’t know for sure.) to have a lesser side effect profile and at the same time is trying to push mandates (well not anymore).

They are statements made outside the forum and offered or their truth. See e.g. United States v. Oates, 560 F. 2d 45 (2nd Cir. 1977) lab report constituted inadmissible hearsay. Study statements of x effectiveness of vaccines is a report of what happened in the vaccine trial. It is an out of forum statement offered for its truth – that the vaccines are effective. It is hearsay. Without the full amount of data to back it up so that other experts can examine it, it is less reliable hearsay -or to put another way should be less influential because it’s one-sided hearsay without significant opportunity for challenge.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “The telegram testimonials are evidence, many unreliable, but evidence. As is VAERs. The thing with VAERs is the huge increase with the Covid vax. You in the pharma world”

First, you FRIGGIN ASSHOLE, I have NEVER worked for a pharmaceutical company, NEVER received monies from them, so I am NOT part of the “pharma world”. As all antivaxxers, since you “know” you are right, then anyone who disagrees with you can’t do it because of their independent education, etc; but must be a pharma shill.YOU REALLY ARE AN ASSHOLE”

Second, the huge increase in reports can be explained by a number of factors. a. increase in antivax websites, some actually posting anonymously, but encouraging people. b. Trump’s downplaying the pandemic, then talking about Warp Speed. So, many believe vaccines experimental, thus automatically more inclined to attribute problems to vaccines. I have already explained they are NOT experimental. c. overall stress of pandemic, lockdowns, etc. and I could probably think of more.

However, as I explained and you, in your IMMENSE STUPIDITY, ignore, CDC has teams who investigate every reported serious adverse event on VAERS, including medical records and has a real-time data program, Vaccine Safety Data Link, for vaccines. And also, we have data from many other nations.

You write: “You in the pharma world may just brush it off, brush off heart inflammation as mostly peaceful err mild brush off blood clots as ‘rare’. Your fallacy is the assumption of no causation. And by the way, how many times have you applied Post Hog Ergo Prompter Hoc – fallacies sound cooler in Latin shows we’re sophisticated ”

I nor no one else I know has brushed off heart inflammation or blood clots; they are serious; but almost all have NOT lead to permanent damage; but they are serious; but despite what you choose to believe, they are RARE and as I explained, if we were to use your approach, for instance, with smallpox, we would potentially have prevented 20 deaths at the cost of 250,000 or more. And I explained how many lives have been saved, how many hospitalizations prevented by the vaccine.

As for Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc, I learned it in high school and heard it numerous times as undergraduate. And had I not, quite easy to do a Google Search. Thank you for giving further evidence of your minimal education.

Finally, ASSHOLE,

Let me repeat, YOU ARE A FRIGGIN STUPID DISHONEST ASSHOLE. You have NO evidence except what you choose to believe, including your, as other antivaxxers, focus on vaccine profits, ignoring that for every life saved and every hospitalization prevented, the cost per is minimal and ignoring that profits don’t say anything about the products, etc.

Are you brain dead???

labarge: “The thing with VAERs is the huge increase with the Covid vax. ”

Just a thought (Orac can shoot this down if it should be): given anyone can report to VAERS, with no proof required, the huge increase is due to the rapid increase in people getting vaccines.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “Assuming something WAS NOT caused by something that came before, particularly where the thing that came before is a medical intervention and the thing that came after is a medical problem or bodily injury, is stupid as well.”

As I explained ASSHOLE, the CDC investigates each and every VAERS reported serious adverse events, with NO assumption either vaccine didn’t cause or caused. If they assumed NOT caused by something that came before then they would NOT bother with an investigation. Oh, sorry, you know, based on your immense biased ignorance that the investigations are rigged.
POST HOC ERGO PROMPTER HOC does not say that something that happens before something else didn’t cause it; but it is a logical fallacy to automatically assume it did. There is a difference and you, in your IMMENSE STUPIDITY, don’t understand.

I know what the latin phrase means. I’m remarking on your bias towards vaccines thinking that they never cause issues and away from other causes in other circumstances -thinking that covid is always the cause of death in folks who test positive and die after. Same fallacy you accuse antivaxxers of.

Speaking about fallacies, why do you think that spike protein vaccines are dangerous and COVID is mild ? Every SARS CoV 2 virus particle contains multiple copies of spike protein. Every time you get COVID, viruses will produce lots of spike protein.

The current variant is mild per the CDC and my and my families’ personal experience . My daughter was done with symptoms in less than a day. We really don’t have the data on the spike vaccines. And I believe the medical establishment is burying its head in the sand re reactions. (As we can see here folks assume no cause until cause is proven beyond doubt – likely very difficult to do and anyways the incorrect level of caution to apply to a medical intervention.) But questions I have about the data are 1) How many trial participants had had a recent covid infection before getting vaccinated? Did they have more reactions? Why aren’t we testing for antibodies before jabbing people? Why aren’t we in the US recognizing prior infection as protective? 2) Today it is not the practice to aspirate – did they do so in the trials? 3) If they did do so in the trials how can we compare what is happening in the real world to the trials? In general there is a difference in fighting off the virus/spike in the mucosal layer than throughout the body’s organs. Studies are showing wide distribution of the spike throughout the body? Why didn’t the trials test this? (Or did they an the data hasn’t been shared?) What testing was done regarding the same? As for people that get mild forms doesn’t that mean it’s likely that the virus didn’t replicate in the endothelial cells? If so, then bypassing that defense has a potential to be more dangerous. Indeed a young man may have a higher chance of myocarditis from the vaccine than the virus. (Why recommend the vax for such people when they have near 0 chance of fatality from the virus?)

“I’m remarking on your bias towards vaccines thinking that they never cause issues ”

It’s a good thing nobody has ever said that labarge. this is just another one of your lies.

@john labarge Did you read what I said. *Every SARS CoV 2 particle has multiple copies of spike proteins. During COVID, lots of spike protein is synthetised. Of your COVID was mild, all this spike protein did not do any damage.”
Try to answer to this,

“We really don’t have the data….”

Yeah. Just millions and millions of doses given all over the world and the best I could come up with from your precious VAERS data is a guy offing himself with a firearm after getting the vaccine.

If I had data the irrefutably proved the vaccine 100% safe and effective, you still wouldn’t accept it. Such data will never exist, as you well know, yet you demand them despite, as I’ve stated, you would never accept them…as you well know.

Your act is tired. Your arguments are fallacious. Your “Knowledge” has been exposed for what it is-fantasy.

For those millions of doses how many were aspirated? What was the distribution of mRNA throughout the body? How many got heart issues proximate to the vax. How did this mass vaccination affect all cause mortality?

“As we can see here folks assume no cause until cause is proven beyond doubt – likely very difficult to do and anyways the incorrect level of caution to apply to a medical intervention”

Practically the entire field of drug trials and follow up studies is designed to separate real effects from coincidences, statistical anomalies…..and opinions.

@john labarge Remember VAERS ? Side effects were reported there.

Aspirated. This is their new hoax, to quote their buddy Trump. I’ve heard this trope a few times on right-adjacent shows, etc: “Buh Buh they don’t aspirate do it goes into the ARTERY!! It goes right to the heart!! The horror!!”


No one aspirates routine vaccines anymore and they know it so they cook this baloney up because it sounds scary and somehow implies sloppy practice by medical pros.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “I know what the latin phrase means.” But you wrote: “Assuming something WAS NOT caused by something that came before, particularly where the thing that came before is a medical intervention and the thing that came after is a medical problem or bodily injury, is stupid as well.” Just how STUPID are you? If you understand that Post Hoc Ergo Prompter Hoc is used as a logical fallacy, that is assuming just because something comes before something else, the first caused the second and understand that it does NOT mean “Assuming something WAS NOT caused by something that came before.” Obviously you DON’T know what it means.

You write: “I’m remarking on your bias towards vaccines thinking that they never cause issues and away from other causes in other circumstances -thinking that covid is always the cause of death in folks who test positive and die after. Same fallacy you accuse antivaxxers of.”

Actually numerous studies now believe the number of deaths from covid has been undercounted; but I have NEVER said that I believe all deaths attributed to COVID were in fact caused by COVID. And I have NEVER claimed that vaccines never cause issues. If you remember MORON, I even gave example of smallpox vaccine killing 1 to 2 per million vaccinated. You just keep accusing me of things I have NEVER said. So, as usual you are an ASSHOLE. You just don’t know when to stop.

@ johnlabarge

You write: “@Julian the evidence in favor of the vaccines is hearsay. Peoples’ testimonials about what happened to them are not hearsay. Circumstantial evidence is wait for it…evidence.”

OK, you are right that it isn’t hearsay, for instance, if they give testimony that after getting vaccinated they had a heart attack. The heart attack is real and the vaccine is real; but it is NOT proof that the vaccine caused the heart attack. So, for once you are right; but obviously you don’t understand the limitations of circumstantial evidence. I have been following the Innocence Projects more or less since I saw a TV series in 1957, “The Court of Last Resort” about innocent people convicted of crimes and many due to circumstantial evidence. Of course, with circumstantial evidence one can then attempt to find solid evidence. And you ignore ALL the massive studies that the mRNA vaccines are quite effective; but do have rare serious adverse events. You don’t believe that because if someone had a heart attack after, for instance, the flu vaccine, you would want to blame the vaccine and would ignore overwhelming evidence that they were obese, chain smoker, previous heart attack, 90% stenosis of coronary arteries, and scheduled for bypass surgery. Just an example; but I’m confident how you would think.

So, right about hearsay; but wrong about circumstantial evidence. Alone, by itself, if taken seriously, can lead to bad conclusions/results.

Congratulations of being right once after being wrong probably approaching 50 times.

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