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Autopsies for everyone will end vaccine misinformation immediately?

Tech bro turned antivaxxer Steve Kirsch has a simple solution that will end vaccine misinformation: An autopsy for everyone who dies within 2 months of COVID vaccination. So simple, yet so wrong.

Although I had mentioned him before, first time I dedicated a post to discussing Steve Kirsch, the tech bro who started out the pandemic two years ago as somewhat reasonable in his desire to fund research into repurposed drugs to treat the COVID-19 who later turned ivermectin zealot, misinformation firehose, and outright antivaxxer, it was about his “secret plan to end the vaccine madness.” More recently, he’s been whining that no one will “debate” him while harboring the apparent delusion that a free-for-all five hour video debate between him and his pseudoexperts versus real experts will end vaccine hesitancy, while complaining about “censorship.” (Of course, what he views as censorship I view as quality control.) Given Kirsch’s history of hare-brained schemes to “end vaccine hesitancy” or “end COVID-19 misinformation,” I was somewhat amused at his latest proposal; that is, until I realized that some people might wonder why it’s not a good idea. His proposal was published on his Substack earlier this week under the title—yawn, again?—A simple way to end vaccine misinformation immediately. The way? Kirsch thinks that an autopsies will do the trick, but not just any autopsies, rather:

If they truly wanted to end vaccine hesitancy, all they have to do is require autopsies if you die within 60 days of vaccination and require the medical examiners to make the required tests to determine vaccine involvement (as doctors Bhakdi and Burkhardt have done) and publish them. Publishing a fraudulent report would be a criminal offense.

This would end the debate. 

Or they could simply require all licensed embalmers to check for the telltale clots and make the numbers public. Again, it would be a crime to falsify reports. 

Or they could do both.

Why don’t they do this?

After reading this “proposal” of autopsies for everyone who dies within 60 days of vaccination, I have…questions. For example, why 60 days? Why not 90 days or 6 months or a year? After all, antivaxxers are always pointing to mythological “long term effects” after vaccines as a reason to reject COVID-19 vaccines as potentially unsafe, their being so new and all that. I do like to point out that they’ve been out for 15 months now, making the “long-term effects” gambit less and less compelling, particularly when combined with the observation that adverse effects from vaccines pretty much always manifest themselves quickly or, at most, within a few months.

Indeed, I discussed this issue in detail once before about a year ago when hack “journalist” Paul Thacker attacked Steve Novella and me using the same “long term safety” gambit.) As I pointed out then, Thacker had to strain mightily to find examples of complications of vaccination that happened more than six months out. They were all very special and rare cases. Even his other favored example, narcolepsy after the H1N1 influenza vaccine Pandemrix, was not convincing, as the narcolepsy was reported only weeks after vaccination. Basically, adverse events of vaccination that manifest themselves long after the vaccine are not a thing, although that never stopped antivaxxers before the pandemic from trying (and failing) to link vaccines to autism, autoimmune diseases, cancer, and pretty much every disease under the sun.

Looking at what Kirsch wrote, I noticed the names of the doctors to whom he referred. They sounded familiar, and so I looked them up: Sucharit Bhakdi, MD and Arne Burkhardt, MD, along with the paper. Then I searched this blog. Guess what? One of them, Dr. Burkhardt, has already been on the receiving end of some not-so-subtle and, in this case, not-so-Respectful Insolence for his shenanigans about COVID-19. In brief, last September he and some other COVID–19 contrarian doctors held a press conference in Germany in which he demonstrated his utter incompetence or dishonesty by showing all sorts of microscopic images of horrible looking things found in COVID-19 vaccines. Why do I say incompetence or dishonesty? Simple. These are the only two explanations. As a pathologist, Dr. Burkhardt should have been able to recognize common impurities like dust and bubbles found in specimens under the microscope. If he couldn’t, then that was incompetence, particularly because the presence of so many artifacts suggests that he didn’t know how to prepare his specimens to minimize such contamination. If he was not incompetent, then that would suggest that he knew what he was looking at but lied about it because he knew the rubes and antivaxxers don’t know what dust and bubbles look like under the microscope and that such artifacts would look very scary indeed to them, particularly under darkfield microscopy. Take your pick. (Maybe it’s both?)

At the time, he had also published an article claiming that 93% of deaths after vaccination for COVID-19 were caused by the vaccine itself. It was a study that was—surprise! surprise!—also touted by Kirsch. Unsurprisingly, the it was also not a good study. In any event, Burkhardt is clearly one of your run-of-the-mill antivax doctors misusing microscopy in the same way that Mike Adams and other cranks did to frighten people about vaccines (and, hilariously, Chicken McNuggets) years before the pandemic ever hit.

So what did this autopsy study by Burkhardt referenced by Kirsch show? In brief, Burkhardt looked at the autopsies of 15 people who died varying times after COVID-19 vaccination. Let’s just say that the window between vaccination and deaths resulting in autopsies was quite…variable. One died a week after vaccination. One died six months after vaccination. (So obviously it had to be the vaccine!) One died an unknown time after vaccination. I was amused by this passage about the autopsies in particular:

Prior to death, only 4 of the 15 patients had been treated in the ICU for more than 2 days. The majority were never hospitalized and died at home (5), on the street (1), at work (1), in the car (1), or in home-care facilities (1). Therefore, in most cases, therapeutic intervention is unlikely to have significantly influenced the post-mortem findings.

I immediately noticed that the numbers didn’t add up. Four patients were in the ICU for at least two days before death, but 5+1+1+1+1=9, and 9+4=13. How did the other two patients die? Were they hospitalized too? Were they in the ICU less than two days before death? Inquiring minds want to know!

I also noticed right away that only one of the patients was what could be described as young (28 years old). The rest ranged in age from 54-95 at the time of death. Nine out of the 15 patients were 70 or older; five were 80 or older. Thirteen out of fifteen were 55 or older. In other words, the vast majority of these patients were at much higher risk of dying in any given six month time period by random chance alone from old age or natural causes just because of how old they were. Going back to my posts on the misuse of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), when you vaccinate millions of people in a short period of time, starting with the elderly, there are going to be a lot of deaths within a month or so (even more for within six months) just by random chance alone unrelated to vaccination just because the baseline rate of mortality in the population. To show that the vaccine might have contributed, the very first thing that has to be demonstrated is that there is a death rate significantly higher than the baseline in the weeks and months after vaccination. There hasn’t been.

Next:

  • Not a single death was brought into any possible association with the vaccination by the coroner or the public prosecutor; this association was only established by our autopsy findings.
  • The initially performed conventional post-mortems also uncovered no obvious hints to a possible role of vaccination, since the macroscopic appearance of the organs was overall unremarkable. In most cases, “rhythmogenic heart failure” was postulated as the cause of death.
But our subsequent histopathological analyses then brought about a complete turnaround. A summary of the fundamental findings follows.

So conventional autopsies were done and didn’t find anything remarkable that might suggest that the vaccines killed the patients. Only when Burkhardt and Bhakdi started doing all their nonstandard investigations did the real “truth” come out! One wonders why they were called in if conventional autopsies didn’t find anything remarkable. One wonders, one does. Perhaps the families thought that the vaccine was the cause and got these additional tests done, and, of course, Burkhardt and Bhakdi found something:

A number of salient aspects dominated in all affected tissues of all cases:

  1. inflammatory events in small blood vessels (endothelitis), characterized by an abundance of T- lymphocytes and sequestered, dead endothelial cells within the vessel lumen;
  2. the extensive perivascular accumulation of T-lymphocytes;
  3. a massive lymphocytic infiltration of surrounding non-lymphatic organs or tissue with T- lymphocytes.

Lymphocytic infiltration occasionally occurred in combination with intense lymphocytic activation and follicle formation. Where these were present, they were usually accompanied by tissue destruction.

This combination of multifocal, T-lymphocyte-dominated pathology that clearly reflects the process of immunological self-attack is without precedent. Because vaccination was the single common denominator between all cases, there can be no doubt that it was the trigger of self-destruction in these deceased individuals.

To antivaxxers, first and foremost and always, it’s all about the vaccines. Always. Obviously, this small case series of mostly elderly people (and nearly all middle-aged and above) is uninformative without a control group to compare findings in autopsies. Similarly, given the wide range of times after vaccination (again in a small group of patients) it’s really difficult to make any link to findings in the autopsies to the vaccine. Similarly, these patients weren’t even vaccinated with the same vaccines. Some received the Pfizer vaccine. Some received the Janssen (J&J) vaccine. Some received the Moderna vaccine. For two patients, which vaccine wasn’t even known.

So what does Kirsch make of this? He wants autopsies, of course:

I’ll tell you why they don’t do it: They don’t do it because they know the results would be devastating and would immediately halt the vaccine and discredit the FDA, CDC, the entire medical establishment, virtually all members of Congress, and the mainstream media. 

Why doesn’t Florida Governor DeSantis require this in Florida? What is he afraid of? Why doesn’t Governor Newsom require this in California? What does he have to fear? DeSantis would be the most likely of any governor to do this. He could be a world hero if he did this.

My first reaction to the last proposal that Gov. DeSantis order autopsies of everyone in Florida who had received a COVID-19 vaccine less than two months before their death was: Don’t give this crank ideas. My second reaction was: If Gov. DeSantis won’t do this, you really have wandered so far into crank territory that even an arch crank won’t follow you.

Note the conspiracy theory, though. Clearly, the reason that no one is doing autopsies on everyone who dies within two months of receiving a COVID-19 vaccination is because “They” don’t want you to know “The Truth”! In case you didn’t get it the first time around, Kirsch calls out a number of provaccine doctors, as well as COVID-19 contrarians who loudly claim to be provaccine but routinely amplify antivaccine misinformation (e.g., Monica Gandhi, Vinay Prasad, and ZDoggMD), and then concludes that the reason that none of them have called for autopsies for everyone is this:

Any public official could call for this: a mayor, city council member, board of supervisors, etc.

Pfizer and Moderna CEOs could call for this to prove to the world that their product is safe! What do they have to lose??

Any mainstream newspaper in the world could call for this. 

Let’s be honest here. None of those people will call for transparency. They don’t want transparency. They all want to make sure nobody finds out the truth because when they do, all of these people will be discredited for years if not decades for their role in killing over 100,000 Americans.

Instead, you’ll get excuses like “we’d love to do this but don’t have the resources to do it.” Fine. Do 1 out of 10 autopsies picked randomly. Or 1 out of 100. Or cut the time to die to qualify to within two weeks after any COVID vaccine. Or shorter

Apparently, someone has told Kirsch exactly what I was originally going to say: Autopsies are expensive. They’re labor- and resource-intensive, and there is always the question of who pays. It is true that in general, dating back to long before the pandemic, pathologists and doctors have lamented how relatively few autopsies are performed any more. For example, after actor James Gandolfini died suddenly of an apparent heart attack in Italy, David Dobbs wrote an article entitled We Need More Autopsies. In it, he noted that in the 1960s 50% of all in-hospital deaths resulted in autopsies and that now the autopsy rate is only around 5% of deaths, adding that in the US “we usually don’t autopsy people unless the cause of death is mysterious or foul play is suspected.” Of course, what inspired the article was the disconnect between America and Italy; in Italy, an autopsy of Gandolfini’s body was required by law because he had died under medical care. In other words, what Kirsch is complaining about is a phenomenon that varies among countries.

Even so, this is not what Kirsch is demanding. He is assuming that the vaccines are killing people and demanding a very expensive investigation that governments and hospitals are unlikely to undertake. He knows that they are unlikely to do this, too. So it’s a win-win demand for him as a COVID-19 conspiracy theorist and antivaxxer. If “They” don’t do more autopsies on patients who die at some undefined time after COVID-19 vaccination, then “They” are hiding “The Truth” from you. If “They” actually do more autopsies, then you can count on people like Burkhardt and Bhakdi to do what antivaxxers always do and try to cherry pick results that “prove” that COVID-19 vaccines kill. Failing that, they’ll find all sorts of ways to move the goalposts and demand more; for instance, by claiming that the “right tests” weren’t done on the tissues. Alternatively, Kirsch will say that “They” didn’t include patients who had died much longer after vaccination. After all, just as it’s always been with antivaxxers claiming that vaccines can cause horrific complications years and years after vaccination, the conspiracy pump is already primed to do the same with COVID-19 vaccines. Just look at this particular meme that’s been going around:

Autopsies for all ten years later?
Antivax conspiracy theorists already think that there are long term effects of COVID-19 vaccines going out for ten years. Of course, I’d love to ask whoever made this poster if they can describe to me what NHEJ actually is. I bet they can’t. I also ask how they know, only 15 months after the vaccines started to be widely distributed that their evil effects manifest themselves ten years later. I bet we’ll need autopsies for at least nine more years!

I’m not opposed on general principle to more autopsies on patients who die unexpectedly. As Dobbs pointed out, autopsy findings add to or alter the cause of death often enough that we really should be doing more autopsies than just of 5% of deaths. Let’s be clear here, though. That more autopsies in general after in-hospital deaths or unexpected deaths would be a good thing, but that’s not what Kirsch is arguing. He’s engaging in a “heads I win, tails you lose” exercise designed to cast doubt on the safety of COVID-19 vaccinations by recommending a massive investigation that isn’t justified by the epidemiological data—or even by VAERS. In fact, what he is proposing would be the exact opposite of a “simple way to end vaccine misinformation.” Even if entirely negative, data from such autopsies would provide endless fodder for conspiracy theorists like Kirsch, and, I suspect, Kirsch knows it.

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]

58 replies on “Autopsies for everyone will end vaccine misinformation immediately?”

“ inflammatory events in small blood vessels (endothelitis), characterized by an abundance of T- lymphocytes and sequestered, dead endothelial cells within the vessel lumen;”

Marginated lymphocytes are very common in a variety of circumstances. This means, what, exactly? Probably nothing. Endothelial cells tend to slough in surpluses tissue. Again, this means nothing.

A minority of autopsies show no anatomical correlate of death. This is an opportunity for crank abuse.

I was hoping an actual pathologist might weigh in here.

I was wondering, though, whether the sloughing of endothelial cells depends on how long after death the autopsy is performed.

I’ve done some searching. I’ve found what I think are the original articles that this post refers to. Neither of them includes any images that would allow me to make an independent judgment about what they are talking about. I think that is telling in and of itself. They obviously don’t want anyone to be able to second guess them. If anyone can find any images, I would love to review them. Please post links here.

Gotta love how these types who don’t want vaccines or other preventive measures use the excuse that well, it’s mostly older people who die from COVID, and they’re all sick with one foot in the grave already, so let’s just not worry about it at all! Woo hoo! But then when an elderly person with preexisting conditions dies not long after a COVID vaccination, OH NO! It MUST BE the vaccine that killed them!!

Anti-vaxxers/ PH denialists/ contrarians ( whatever you prefer calling them) absolutely HAVE to harp upon vaccine “fatalities” or “damage” because we currently are seeing that rates of positivity, illness, hospitalisation and death are declining and governmental restrictions/ mandates/ rules are being lifted or made less stringent.
A great part of these developments are due to increased rates of vaccination and effective PH measures.
They just can’t admit it so they have to distract readers from the blindingly obvious facts.

For anyone who doubts, you can views maps about rates of Covid and vaccines via the Mayo Clinic’s dedicated websites.

as an aside: here’s a conspiracy theory I haven’t heard yet ( and I hope I don’t start one): did you ever notice that when you search for a website you see “cvid’? Proves that it was Gates and Microsoft.

“An autopsy for everyone who dies within 2 months of vaccination”

As long as this measures the 60 days before vaccination as well as the 60 days after, sure. OTOH, if it only measures the 60 days after then it is at best meaningless and at worst wildly misleading.

And while I may have flunked high-school Statistics and have long forgotten the rest, even I’m not so dumb I can’t tell which one Kirsch &co are fishing for.

COVID cranks: stupid, venal, math-illiterate, or all 4?

I suppose autopsies on people who weren’t vaccinated at the time of death. Preferably due to be vaccinated in a period of 60 days after they died. For instance, my dad died December 2020 and he might have been getting an appointment for vaccination somewhere in Januari, or Februari 2021, if he would have been alive at that moment.

The point, I think, is that you need a control group, given that the link is to an explanation of the Texas Sharpshooter Fallacy. As Renate observed, that would have to be be people who died unvaccinated, and I’d guess by using deaths within 60 days prior to a scheduled vaccination you’d wind up with an otherwise similar subject population.

Sadmar nails it. To detect any vaccine-related issues in the post-vaccine population, you need to compare it to a control population which is identical in every respect other than being recently vaccinated.

In fact, the solution is simple (at least on paper): just autopsy everyone that dies, thus providing you more than enough data from which to construct a well matched control.

Without a control, all you can say is “X people died of Y”. You can’t say if the level of Y is abnormally high (or abnormally low), or is just the normal background level you would find anyway in a population of that particular age, health, lifestyle, etc.

The antivaxxers won’t tell you any of this, of course, because their goal is not to detect if there are any serious vaccine side-effects but to confirm what they already KNOW to be true. Because antivaxxers (like all true woos) are paranoid narcissists, raging against a world they do not understand and cannot control. The only thing they seek is confirmation, never uncertainty, doubt, or [Dog forbid] correction. Thus the question of whether this defective design is by malicious intent or ignorant incompetence is a red herring: because they themselves could not care less how the result is arrived at, only that it’s the result that they want.

Therefore my advice is: Learn to look at the people, not at the product. The latter is just cheap sleight of hand, there to distract you; it’s the carnie or grifter behind it you want to observe like a hawk. And try to think as they would, not as you would Because you are a decent human being who naturally wishes to think the best of others, whereas they suffer no such limitations and will use your folly against you. Don’t hand them that power.

Honestly, the sooner the rest of humanity learns how to spot liars, manipulators, and abusers, and excise them for the social cancer they are, the better for all. Cos while nobody likes facing up to cancer, ignoring it to rot will end worse.

What has said:
” Learn to look at the people, not at the product.”

Exactly. You’ll find that they usually exhibit certain characteristics in their presentations and another set in their personal histories and backgrounds
— Overall, they display a know-it-all, self-aggrandising inflated sense of importance and would lecture and ‘correct’ all questioners. They have all of the answers. They look down upon experts and value their own abilities far above them. Speaking as if ex cathedra, they try to incorporate as many technical terms and ” big words” as possible even if they misuse or mispronounce them.
— Their background usually includes sub-standard, unrelated or odd educational achievements-
Sayer Ji has a degree in philosophy but writes about health and medicine. Some economists or tech bros play epidemiologist. Anti-vax mothers flaunt graduate degrees in non-medical areas although being mothers, of course, is the most relevant education. Lawyers show up quite frequently.

Anecdotes and testimonies are presented emotionally as evidence.

They are doing this to “save the children” or suchlike.

“COVID cranks: stupid, venal, math-illiterate, or all 4?”

Well, that’s only 3, but I’ll give you a fourth in a sec.
• venal. Probably not. Kirsch probably really believes the vaccines kill people, and he’s doing ‘God’s work’ by trying to save lives.
• math-illiterate. Doubtful. He has an MS in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.
• stupid. Well, not in any sense beyond that term as an all purpose ad hominem epithet.

I suggest that what we see with a lot of COVID cranks is not math illiteracy or ‘stupidity’ in any general sense, but rather the suspension of certain cognitive faculties when it comes to certain topics, on which the crank has developed at least a very strong ego investment, or possibly something closer to an obsession. If i wanted a precise term for that, I’d go looking in the DSM, but for the vernacular I’d go with “disturbed” or “unhinged”.

Autopsies following recently vaccinated deaths have actually been recommended by published scientific papers to increase vaccination safety awareness. See article:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8709364/#B34-jcm-10-05876

Whether or not Steve Kirsch knew about this, he is backed by scientists on the topic.

Also, this article shows that the need for a control group is covered by the causality WHO algorithm that was adopted to determine the direct link between vaccination and a fatal adverse effect.

So Kirsch started out “somewhat reasonable”. Isn’t that the way it goes with all of the COVID cranks, and the ‘anti-science’ crowd generally? My first reaction to the header above, before I read any of the text, was ‘hell, they just keep going lower, farther down the rabbit hole, and there’s no bottom’. This isn’t ‘stupid’, it’s sick. It’s depressing, to see this disfunction and it’s effects continue to spread. True to form, Kirsch goes even deeper into the quicksand than I’d imagined, targeting Vinay Prasad and Ron DeSantis (!!!!) as buckling to the great vaccine conspiracy. Well, they may not want to back Kirsch’s particular crazy proposals, but they too are moving deeper into the slough, in their own ways. [sigh]

On a lighter note: BTW, that’s JAMES Gandolfini, not John. “Tony Soprano”. I might suggest fixing that in the text above lest certain of his fans get too upset. You know, nice little blog you have here, it’s be a shame if anything happened to it. ; – )

For all the money the anti-vacc people claim pharma throws at doctors and others to push vaccines there seems to be no end to the folks jumping to join the contrarians. The money on that side must be astronomical.

A simple way to end vaccine misinformation immediately

I have a simpler way: delete Kirsch’s Substack.

The anti-vaxxers interpreting the autopsies are motivated to interpret any finding as a guilty verdict. If you’re committed to looking for autopsy data, the only way around this is to have autopsies also performed on a matching cohort of people who died while non-vaccinated, keeping the autopsy team masked as to vaccination status. Otherwise, what they’re proposing is an open ticket for over-interpretation.

But this ignores the best available evidence: prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. The Pfizer/Biontech vaccine study, at the time of EUA, reported on >37k subjects with median followup time of 2 months. There was no excess of deaths, or of Serious Adverse Events, in the vaccinated versus placebo groups. 6-month followup has been published, with similar conclusions (see link: http://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.28.21261159v1 ). That doesn’t mean there’s no difference at all, but it does mean that whatever difference may exist must be small enough to have not been apparent in a large sample. A rough calculation gives an upper bound to the mortality rate associated with vaccination (95% confidence interval) of 0.05%.

Meanwhile, in the US, there have been about 1 million excess deaths since the start of the pandemic, and in the past ~9months (when vaccines have been available), about 90% of the deaths have been in non-fully-vaccinated. A reasonable estimate is that vaccines could have prevented an additional 160,000 deaths ( http://www.healthsystemtracker.org/brief/covid19-and-other-leading-causes-of-death-in-the-us/ ).

Thank you for taking the time to write this, Dr. Gorski. I find Kirsch so profoundly irritating I have a hard time composing non-screechy responses to his nonsense.

The autopsy bit brings to mind the “vaccines always dunnit” crowd’s response to any infant death: they demand a special autopsy protocol to find imaginary harms from vaccines that cause the death, and insist that pathologists “are not trained” to look for signs of vaccine injury.

This “autopsy everybody argument” is beyond dumb, but let’s touch on a couple more ways in which it is stupid/unworkable.
Consent. How are you going to get consent for the autopsy? Isn’t that something that either the patient would have to consent to before they die, or the patient’s family would have to consent to after their death. That’s going to take time (have to find the family, get the paperwork filled out etc).

And then this “just make embalmers look” – again, consent, but also, not everyone who dies in the US is embalmed. It’s expensive. Lots of people are cremated (for lots of reasons), which would skew your sampling. Not to mention things like green burial (no embalming, no casket), aquamation, or composting don’t involve that kind of poking holes in folks either. (Not to mention that embalmers and other people in the funeral industry are not pathologists, are not trained to recognize any of the things Kirsch is looking for, and might not be even slightly interested in getting involved.)

Religious practices: there are major world religions that require prompt burial (within 24 hours, often) – that doesn’t really allow time for an autopsy. And you sure as heck can’t go around violating folk’s stated religious wishes for some nonsense study.

Record collection and storage: you’d need to find a way to collect these people’s medical records and store them correctly (in compliance with HIPAA and data integrity standards).

Sampling bias: who is going to consent to being part of this kind of trial? How does that deviate from the general population?

Ethics: what IRB is going to approve this?

But really, it all comes back to consent. Governors can’t just say “to hell with your religion and your clearly stated wishes, you’re getting autopsied”. People don’t stop having rights after they’ve died. There’s a reason why there are laws about things like “desecration of a corpse” – you can’t just help yourself to someone else’s body (anymore).

All true, but to repeat myself you are still looking at the cups on the table, not at the carnie who’s already hid the ball in his other hand. Setting an impossible-to-achieve standard for proof and declaring victory when the rest of the world refuses to honor that nonsense is SOP for these people. (The classic example being the “vaxxed vs unvaxxed trial”.)

So by all means point out all the ways in which their “proposed plan” is impossible, but frame each one in terms of their ignorance, incompetence, and/or malicious deception: “How did you manage to overlook the blatantly obvious X?” “Well derp, Einstein, so what’s your solution for Y?” “Funny how you forgot to mention Z, isn’t it?” Remember, all their theatrics do not care one whit about the science, all they care about making everything about Them vs You. And they are very practised at that.

Sure, you still need to have your due dilligence in place so if any neutral bystanders ask what’s the difference between you both, you can show that you have done yours whereas the cranks have not done theirs. But never pass up an opportunity to seize control of the cranks’ narrative and play it right back at them, with interest. And know their weaknesses: rigid naive thinking and pathological inability to admit when they are wrong. (Just as they know yours: your unfortunate tendency to chase after the rabbit instead of biting the hand that makes the rabbit go.)

Frame your responses to catch them out first, just as they’re trying to pull their cunning gotcha on you, and with any luck you’ll be treated to a glorious narc tantrum as they melt down in humiliation and impotent fury at being proved the fool. For their own public extinction bursts will discredit them quicker and more completely in they eyes of everyone else than all your dilligent technical dismantling of their bunk “science”.

Here’s a good example of how these toxic fucknuts play good science defenders for fools:

https://twitter.com/K_Sheldrick/status/1503248504143040512

They don’t care about the science, they care about making you lose your cool first.

Credit to Sheldrick there for recognizing he’s being played and explaining exactly how the game is rigged even as he’s playing along to their tune. Still, he could’ve saved himself the trouble simply by 1. daring them to source the primary data for their unsourced graph while 2. laughing at them for believing that their silly pictures demonstrate anything except how hilariously incompetent they are.

These are not grand chess masters where you have to out-think them 30 moves ahead. They are simple animals: action, reaction. So, make them react first!

Turn the challenge back on them by flagging the first obvious mistake they have made and explaining as you would to a small child how to correct it. 2. Mock them mercilessly for every minute that they fail to take this “out” which you have so generously provided them. With any luck they’ll quickly flounce, and you get to declare victory while publicly post-morteming their real reasons for failure. Or, if they do bite and deliver something that approximates a technical answer, just flag their next obvious mistake on your list; and rinse and repeat till they sicken of being run ragged by you. (Your generous “out”, of course, is a recursive trap for as long as you wish to work it.)

They wanna play 5-minute gotchas that make you expend hours of your own time on futile measures? With science and competence on your side, you should be able to outplay them at that game no trouble. (And you don’t even have, or want, to crack open the science to do it!)

Tricking you into running yourself to exhaustion was their clever Plan to use against you, and by using it against them first you’ve left them with no other option than to run away or melt down. (’Cos what else are the talentless spooges gonna do? Come at you with Science? LOL.)

Psychology is how you beat these assclowns, not Science. Once you control the narrative, you can geek out on the Science stuff for your own pleasure and edification (’cos I know you love indulging that, you dirty devils, you). But you must control the narrative first, otherwise everything else that you do is pointless.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”—Sun Tzu

Thanks for the link to Kyle Sheldrick’s thread, but I nearly missed because the link doesn’t go to the place you intended. Here it is in ThreadReader:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1503248453752655877.html

I have long ago refused to engage antivaxxers. As you say, they demand that you take them seriously, but you have to wait patiently till they say something patently ridiculous – which they always do – and then home in for the kill. Same game with global warming deniers.

Kyle Sheldrick actually learned that lesson much faster than I did.

Kirlsch, like so many anti-vaxxers et alia: “I have this wonderful idea, currently with no real evidence and not very well thought through, so everyone else should put all the time, effort, and resources, especially money, into implementing programs to show what a clever guy I am. You so-called experts just need to recognize my genius.”

“…so everyone else should put all the time, effort, and resources, especially money, into implementing programs…”

@ Sirhcton,

What about the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program—- an excise tax of 75 cents on every purchased dose of covered vaccine?

MJD says,

Q. Why might such autopsy data be a good thing.
A. It will support vaccine safety.

“Kirsch,” not “Kirlsch,” Darn it! I am sure that’s my first typographical error in years.

The money is not the only problem. In Canada, at least, there is a serious shortage of pathologists, especially those able to do complete medical autopsies.

Most of our workload is surgical pathology, of which both the complexity and sheer numbers of specimens has exploded. There is no way we could handle a sudden large increase in autopsy numbers.

In addition, there would be an immediate need for more autopsy assistants and histotechnologists, as well as increased supplies.

So, supposing this crash program is up and running in 10 years or so (training time etc). Once it is shown that COVID vaccins aren’t killing everyone off, we now have a bunch of idle pathologists, autopsy assistants and histotechnologists. I suppose they could sit around and wait for the next bogus vaccine scare to come along. Shouldn’t take too long, judging by past events.

Actually, requiring autopsies in most instances is unlawful in, I believe, every state. You have to get consent from the next of kin. The only circumstance in which consent is not required is cases in which a medical examiner has jurisdiction. They can proceed with an autopsy without consent, although, in some circumstances, they might listen to a family who objects. Kirsch must know that.

Another pathologist weighing in:

The 15-autopsy series of Burkhardt and Bhakdi made much of so-called “endothelitis” (sic), supposedly characterized by “an abundance of T-lymphocytes” and sloughed endothelial cells within the lumen of blood vessels. Those are vague and dubious criteria for endothelialitis. Pathologists typically look for histologic findings such as reactive changes or actual signs of damage/necrosis in endothelial cells. There could be lymphocytic infiltration of cells and presence of subendothelial lymphocytes associated with lifting up of the endothelium. With severe inflammation one might see damage in underlying non-vascular tissue. Having endothelial cells floating free in the blood vessel lumen doesn’t necessarily mean anything, as postmortem degenerative changes could result in endothelial cell sloughing. As Orac noted, the lack of a control group is telling; what would the conclusions have been had the um, researchers examined histologic sections while blinded as to whether they came from vaccinated or non-vaccinated individuals?

I also question the alleged finding of “massive lymphocytic infiltration” in various organs. How was this quantitated? I’m reminded of the pathology reports in Andrew Wakefield’s retracted measles study, which claimed to find significant lymphocytic infiltrates in small bowel biopsies from vaccinated autistic children, a finding later disputed by gastrointestinal pathology experts who among other things noted that there are normally substantial lymphocyte populations present in the small bowel lamina propria and that declaring an excess based on counts alone or just by eyeballing is a doubtful proposition.

Pathologists tend to be semi-amused/bemused by calls to boost the autopsy rate. I don’t see this stumping for lots more autopsies coming from people who actually have to do them on a routine basis. It’s usually clinicians, or occasionally academic pathologists who are gung-ho in this regard (academic pathologists can rely on pathology residents to do the dirty, laborious and sometimes dangerous work). No time is allotted in a hospital pathologist’s working day to do posts; they’re in addition to all one’s other work, and the “extra” pay is underwhelming. At least Kirsch et al want to sic all these bonus autopsies on forensic and not hospital-based pathologists, though I can hardly see forensic pathologists (who are already overworked and underpaid) being delighted at the idea of a ramped-up workload.

A couple other points: As most here probably know, thromboses (blood clots) have been observed in Covid-19 infection including fatal cases. Not everyone agrees that the triggering factor for such clots must be endothelial inflammation. There was research published last December which instead found that peripheral blood neutrophil activtion was the probable key event in causing cardiac thromboses.

Indeed. For a while, there, plenty of authorities were recommending full dose anticoagulation for severe covid alone as a risk factor. We never went that far but it got messy as they usually had a high dimer as a matter of course…many ultrasounds were ordered…

Or, as Ben Goldacre put it, ‘I think you’ll find it’s a bit more complicated than that’.

“(Of course, what he views as censorship I view as quality control.)”

Are you serious? That’s not how the scientific method works, and you know it. If you’re so sure of yourself, why not take the opportunity to prove him wrong? The reason is obvious, and applauding censorship rather than defending your position on the merits tells us everything we need to know. All that bluster about “quacks” and “cranks” is just cover for the absence of a cogent, data-supported argument.

“To show that the vaccine might have contributed, the very first thing that has to be demonstrated is that there is a death rate significantly higher than the baseline in the weeks and months after vaccination. There hasn’t been.”

I guess you missed the actuary reports of a 40% increased death rate in 18-45 year olds?

https://www.thecentersquare.com/indiana/indiana-life-insurance-ceo-says-deaths-are-up-40-among-people-ages-18-64/article_71473b12-6b1e-11ec-8641-5b2c06725e2c.html

A good-faith actor would not rule out adverse events without performing a thorough investigation. I’m sure that won’t stop you from inventing excuses to ignore the signal and ridicule the very notion of asking pointed questions about recently mandated experimental products as a possible contributing factor. Who needs facts, amirite?

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you consider Kirsch to be a ‘good faith actor’ (all evidence to the contrary), and a person guided only by a ‘data-supported argument’.
Is your support for Kirsch’s pet issue of ‘public debate’ (https://www.respectfulinsolence.com/2022/02/07/debate-me-bros-in-the-age-of-covid-19-disinformation/), a way to demonstrate to us that you don’t really know how the ‘scientific method works’.

“I guess you missed the actuary reports of a 40% increased death rate in 18-45 year olds?”

Nope, we just didn’t jump to conclusions based on nonsensical beliefs.

“Research indicates that COVID-19 is likely responsible for the increase, both directly and indirectly. There is no evidence to suggest the vaccines are to blame.”

http://politifact.com/factchecks/2022/feb/11/blog-posting/no-covid-19-vaccines-arent-responsible-increase-de/

I neglected to mention this gem from Burkhardt and Bhakdi regarding the deaths they “investigated”:

“The initially performed conventional post-mortems also uncovered no obvious hints to a possible role of vaccination, since the macroscopic appearance of the organs was overall unremarkable. In most cases, “rhythmogenic heart failure” was postulated as the cause of death.”

“Conventional post-mortems” always include microscopic examination of tissue samples*, and don’t rely on the macroscopic appearance of organs. I have never signed out an autopsy case as being due to “rhythmogenic heart failure” and don’t know of anyone who has made such a determination in the absence of documentation of a life-threatening arrhythmia.

*we could hardly miss massive multi-organ lymphocytic inflammation of the type claimed by B&B. Most likely these two are either making stuff up, or don’t know how to properly evaluate and gauge the significance of inflammatory cell populations.

Or they could simply require all licensed embalmers to check for the telltale clots and make the numbers public. Again, it would be a crime to falsify reports.

“The initially performed conventional post-mortems also uncovered no obvious hints to a possible role of vaccination, since the macroscopic appearance of the organs was overall unremarkable.

These f***ing guys…

Doesn’t it save you lots of time on surgical pathology cases when you make diagnoses just by looking at the specimens on the cutting board?

Hell, I let the histotechs do that. I just sit in my office, drink coffee, and sign the reports. Money for nothing, eh?

All the way through this post and the excellent comments I’ve been thinking about two specific exchanges online.
First the woman who posted on Facebook that her child was killed by a vaccine. It turned out the child got run over, but she thought the heavy metals in the vaccine made the child magnetic and so attract the car.
And the other, somebody who thought that deaths from covid were being artificially inflated. They thought if you were in hospital for, say, cancer, that should be the cause of death even if covid killed you. They wouldn’t believe that the cause of death is what kills you.
My point is that NO amount of facts will persuade you if you don’t live in reality.

And an education so poor that someone thinks heavy metals == magnetism and that magnetism will attract a car but not pull all the cutlery out of the kitchen drawers and find all the lost safety pins.

But the vaccines create a new Mystery Magnetism, since they attract brass house keys and stainless steel spoons. So it’s not about the good ol’ carbon steel in the car frame—maybe all the copper in the wiring harness?
/s

[Might want to check what kind of cutlery is in your kitchen, or your own education regarding conventional magnetism…]

I did check my cutlery. Some stainless steel is magnetic. I also double checked with the almighty internet just in case all of my stainless steel cutlery was a forgery. 🙂

‘Liberal counting’, ‘artificially inflated’ tomato, tomaato…https://www.foxnews.com/politics/birx-says-government-is-classifying-all-deaths-of-patients-with-coronavirus-as-covid-19-deaths-regardless-of-cause

I get that it’s your life goal to be as dishonest about vaccines and health as you can be john, but your cherry picking of parts of articles is pathetic.

“Dr. Michael Baden, a Fox News contributor, said it’s reasonable to include the death of someone infected with the virus, who also had other health issues, in the COVID-19 body count.”

I suppose it fits in with John’s political views though. Like old people getting mugged. It’s not the muggers fault they die, they’re just old and infirm. Death due to natural causes in John’s world.

You folks are hoot. You deliberately misinterpret what I write. “Mind read what I must be thinking or what my views must be, and then follow it up by calling ME dishonest.

Actually, the regulars here see right through you. Do you think you’re the first to come in the comments of this blog spewing antivaccine nonsense? This blog has been in existence for over 17 years.

An astute candidate for public office will jump right on this.

“Autopsies for everyone!!!”

(wild cheering)

What about starting with the elite athletes? Wouldn’t that sample be less likely to have the health problems predating the vax?

You mean NFL Players who have “through the roof” instances of Traumatic Brain Injuries? How about Baseball Players who have bad knees and elbows? Or NBA players with the same?

I can’t see how you think they are “less likely” to have health problems.

Less likely to have types of health problems complained of re the vax- cardiovascular. Less likely doesn’t mean won’t.

“Less likely to have types of health problems complained of re the vax- cardiovascular’

Aaah, the extremely rare if ever occurring thing that you liars insist happens all the time.

Earlier comments about your lack of integrity stand.

@john labarge Actually, young people, regardless of their lifestyle, rarely have heart issues,though they do have them

I want to reemphasize a point you made and TBruce echoed but I think was under stressed. The cases in the article by the two people he draws on were autopsied. The autopsy found nothing.

If his idea was adopted and actual autopsies were performed, they would be rejected unless they found what he wants – I bet even if they used some of the more expensive approaches the two people used. This suggestion is meaningless when he won’t accept results that show him wrong, and he hasn’t accepted other cases in which he was wrong yet.

It’s not sincere going in. As you said, it’s a no-lose proposition for him.

Kirsch reports strange artifacts (“land masses”) in the blood of Covid vaccinated people. Suspect graphene oxide. NN quotes a famous scientist:

“Someone named Phil Walsh who spent several decades as a microscopist and tissue culture specialist says that these artifacts were never seen pre-covid…”My best guess is that these are, indeed, atom-thick layers of graphene oxide / hydroxide which will easily fold multiple times into one ‘land mass’ structure,” Walsh writes.”

“I believe the reason for keeping the vials at such low temperatures before use is because the tiny nanometer-sized graphene flakes will begin to self-aggregate into larger and larger hexagonal honeycomb-like sheets at room temperature and above.”

“If true, this would explain the micro-coagulation observed in the delicate capillary vessels, as well as the concomitant rise in troponin levels observed in the “fully vaccinated.”

“I’d suggest repeating the blood examination and viewing immediately before desiccation occurs,” Walsh suggests to anyone trying to figure out the situation scientifically. “You also might want to bring a magnet close to the slide to see if any movement can be detected.”

That’s how we science, baby.

It does seem kinda sloppy of the Evil Overlords to inject us with graphene oxide-based tracking devices, when the evidence is so obvious on blood examination that Phil spots it right away.

“You also might want to bring a magnet close to the slide to see if any movement can be detected.”

You could do that back in the days of CRT displays. It was lots of fun! It probably doesn’t work quite as well with OLED displays. Bring back those old electronic microscopes!

We must have autopsies on all deceased people who received Covid-19 vaccines to look for brain lesions and other evidence of prion disorders, because (NEWS FLASH) RFK Jr.’s Children’s Health Defense has found another case of fatal Creutzfeld-Jakob disease attributed to Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The 60-year-old woman is said to have died of CJD five months after her second shot.

If you want more proof, the woman underwent a “sudden strange event she couldn’t explain,” four days after the shot.*

http://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/exclusive-interview-woman-dies-rare-brain-disorder-after-pfizer-shot/

The shortest reported latent periods between blood-borne CJD (the variant type) and development of the disease have been six and eight years. Overall, it generally takes a dozen or more years, sometimes several decades to develop CJD after exposure. But here we have a vaccine supposedly doing it in a few months’ time (previously CHD cited another CJD case in which symptoms developed just over a month after the first Pfizer shot).

Children’s Health Defense has previously promoted a report by J. Bart Classen in which he claimed (without experimental data, a model or convincing evidence of any kind) that the Pfizer vaccine could promote prion diseases due to an alleged propensity to cause abnormal protein folding, a finding which apparently made sense to J. Bart Classen (who has promoted various antivax sentiments) but to no one with expertise in the field or knowledge of clinical vaccine trials.

James Lyons-Weiler unsurprisingly is also pushing this spurious link.

It’s only a matter of time before Covid-19 vaccines are blamed for causing diseases that occurred before people were vaccinated, maybe through an RNA lab leak, or worries about what might happen after vaccination.

*what does VAERS say about sudden strange events after vaccination?
**I should be thankful that I got the Moderna vaccine, not Pfizer’s. Though the eminent research of J. Bart Classen may well shortly reveal that the Moderna vaccine causes Morgellon’s disease, tertiary syphilis and unmanageable hair.

I got Pfizer and have unmanageable hair. I had it since puberty, but that’s not a barrier to vaccine causation, is it?

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