Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery

America’s Quack Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, and the failure of medical academia

Earlier this week, Mother Jones published an article about Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dr. Oz’s (a.k.a. America’s Quack) promotion of antivax quack Joe Mercola, who is now a leading source of COVID-19 disinformation. We warned you about this when it happened. Few listened.

Longtime readers might remember that back in the day I routinely liked to refer to Dr. Mehmet Oz, the once promising cardiac surgeon turned advocate of “integrating” quackery into medicine (i.e., “integrative medicine“) turned Oprah Winfrey’s go-to physician for dubious medicine, turned daytime “medical” talk show host (and I use the term” medical” loosely) who is now the Republican candidate for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania as “America’s Quack.” I don’t know whether I coined the term or not, given that adding the term “quack” was a very obvious riff on the title of “America’s Doctor” bestowed on him by Oprah and that Dr. Oz even trademarked the term “America’s Doctor,” but it sure feels like it. So what the heck? I’ll go with it for purposes of this post.

What brought me to write about Dr. Oz again after the last time, when I noted that it appeared that Columbia University had finally cut ties with him after his emergence as a Senate candidate was the confluence of a couple of articles. The first article was a story By David Corn published a couple of days ago in Mother Jones entitled How Dr. Oz Boosted an Osteopath Who Became a Top Spreader of Covid Misinformation. (As an aside, I really don’t like this headline because it emphasizes that Dr. Joe Mercola, whom I’ve written about more times than I can remember and will probably write about again next week, is an osteopath. It shouldn’t matter, at least not in the US. I can point to MDs who are nearly as prolific at promoting antivaccine disinformation, although admittedly they didn’t make over $100 million doing it. End of rant.) The second story was an editorial by H. Holden Thorp published yesterday in Science entitled Remember, Do No Harm? The two are, of course, related, and Dr. Oz, one of whose most famous examples of promoting quackery is documented in the first article, is a prime example of the failures described in the second, even though he is not mentioned in the second article.

In his article, Corn simply documents what skeptics and those of us at my not-so-secret-0ther blog have been documenting for 15 years, specifically how Dr. Oz used his daytime TV show to promote quackery of the worst sort and the quacks who sold it, one of whom was Dr. Joe Mercola. Dr. Oz has, of course scrubbed his website of all the articles, promotional materials, and video clips from The Dr. Oz Show, in order to transform it into his Senate campaign website, but I can show you this contemporaneous Facebook entry from a decade ago to give you a flavor of what I’m talking about:

America's Quack promotes Joe Mercola
The affinity between America’s Quack and Joe Mercola is predictable.

Fortunately, apparently Dr. Oz’s techies are apparently not skilled enough to have set his robots.txt file to have excluded the almighty Wayback Machine from archiving his article at, and here it is. Before I move on to discuss the articles above, I can’t help but note that America’s Quack really lived up to the moniker bestowed on him by skeptics and supporters of science-based medicine in this episode, and it wasn’t even the only time that he had Joe Mercola on his show. I particularly like this quote from the article:

Dr. Oz does not agree with everything Dr. Mercola’s says, but he does appreciate how Mercola pushes physicians to think differently about medicine.

Sure, and flat-earthers push astronomers and geologists to “think differently” about astronomy and geology, while Ken ham pushes biologists to “think differently” about evolution. Also, damn you, America’s Quack, for taking an altered version of Apple’s famous slogan from decades ago to “think different” and conflating the two in my brain. I won’t forget that. Dr. Oz actually got it right—although not in the way his producers apparently think—when they labeled these “cures” as “Radical Cures Your Doctor Thinks Are Crazy.” Hint: There are many very good reasons why doctors think Joe Mercola’s “radical cures” are crazy.

For example:

Dr. Mercola Says: Cancer Can Be Cured With Eggplant

Dr. Mercola argues that an affordable cream, which uses the eggplant extracts known as BEC and BEC5, appears to cure and eliminate non-melanoma skin cancers in weeks. A mixture of naturally occurring glycoalkaloids found in the plants of the nightshade family, including eggplant, have been shown to be highly effective in treating human skin cancers. The power is in the pigment – its natural chemicals bind to skin cancer cells and is highly toxic to them, yet they cause no harm to healthy cells. One study found that 20 out of 24 skin cancer lesions disappeared after using this eggplant extract cream. There is currently one company that makes this cream – Curaderm; it costs $125.

During the same show, Mercola promoted anti-mercury amalgam nonsense about “toxic teeth,” while, as all quacks do, portraying himself as the poor, poor persecuted “truth teller” in medicine, with his “cure” for the “toxic teeth” problem being an algae known as Chlorella, which, if you believed Mercola back then, was a lot like the Oil of Aphrodite and the Dust of the Grand Wazoo.

In any event, this is how Dr. Oz characterized Joe Mercola’s skin cancer quackery:

Dr. Oz’s Bottom Line

Dr. Oz finds this treatment intriguing and believes more research should be done. Skin cancer is the number one cancer in the United States. Do not self-diagnose and do not skip the doctor. You need to have your doctor diagnose a skin lesion. And remember, this cream appears to be effective only on non-melanoma skin cancers. If you get a lot of non-melanoma skin cancer spots or are worried about surgery and scarring, as your doctor if it makes sense to pursue this alternative treatment.

I can’t help but notice how Dr. Oz clever—as always—didn’t quite explicitly endorse Joe Mercola’s quackery but rather urged his viewers to see their doctor. However, he added his favorite weasel words of how he found Mercola’s nostrum “intriguing” and believed that “more research should be done,” while suggesting that it might be OK for non-melanoma skin cancers, the majority of which in older people tend to be basal cell carcinomas, which are rarely life-threatening, except when grossly neglected for a long period of time.

This brings me to Corn’s take on Dr. Oz:

In 2009, after Oz had appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show dozens of times, Winfrey set him up with a syndicated television show of his own on which he covered assorted health issues. It was a success. But four years later, in a lengthy profile of Oz, New Yorker reporter Michael Specter noted that Oz had “consistently” booked “guests with dubious authority” to challenge conventional medicine. That included Mercola, who had quit practicing as a doctor to run a highly profitable business selling alternative health products and dietary supplements. The FDA had warned Mercola for making false claims about products that supposedly combat cancer and heart disease. And he had a rather spotty record in other ways. He had claimed avian influenza was a hoax, contended that vaccines are dangerous and cause AIDS, and promoted an Italian doctor who said cancer is a fungus that can be treated with baking soda. (In 2018, this doctor was sentenced to five and a half years in prison on a manslaughter charge for treating a brain cancer patient with this supposed remedy.) Yet Oz vouched for Mercola, hailing him as a “pioneer in holistic treatments” and a person “your doctor doesn’t want you to listen to,” a man who “is challenging everything you think you know about traditional medicine and prescription drugs.” 

In an odd comment to Specter, Oz said, “If I don’t have Mercola on my show, I have thrown away the biggest opportunity I have been given.”

America’s Quack indeed. Back then, circa 2010-2012, Joe Mercola was the biggest quack around, with one of the biggest followings around for a quack; so of course Dr. Oz had to have him on his show not just once, but four times. (Also, I can’t help but note here that Dr. Mercola’s techies are definitely more skilled than Dr. Oz’s techies, given that when he turned his website into a repository that would only host his content for 48 hours before it went to his paid Substack archive, the better to encourage scarcity, decrease his server costs, and generate a very nice income stream, in that they correctly blocked from saving his old content, which is why the link to Mercola bragging about having been on America’s Quack’s show four times is gone.)

In actuality, of course, having Joe Mercola as a guest on his show four times is only a small aspect of the quackery juggernaut that America’s Quack was back in the day. I’m not talking “soft” quackery either. I’m talking quackery as bad as The One Quackery To Rule Them All (homeopathy) and even faith healing, as well as the promotion of the antivaccine views of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and even psychic scammers like John Edward and Theresa Caputo. In addition, he’s promoted unproven (and almost certainly nonexistent) links between cell phones and breast cancerGMO fear mongering,  By 2014, Dr. Oz’s reputation for quackery had gotten so bad that he was increasingly facing less than adoring press and was hauled before Senator Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) committee for his unscrupulous boosterism for unproven weight loss supplements, where he was soundly humbled. All of this happened long before the pandemic hit. Indeed, Dr. Oz even once had Mike Adams—yes, that Mike Adams, founder of Natural News!—as a guest on his show.

When the pandemic hit, Dr. Oz was an early promoter of COVID-19 minimization and denial. One example comes to mind when America’s Quack got into trouble for suggesting that we should reopen schools because “only” 3% more people might die, even referring to opening schools as a “very appetizing opportunity.” He did eventually apologize (sort of), but not before memes like this had started widely circulating:

America's Quack and COVID-19 denial
April 2020: Dr. Oz thought that “only” 3% more deaths was an “appetizing” tradeoff.

This happened in April 2020. No, seriously. It happened only a month after the World Health Organization (WHO) had declared COVID-19 a global pandemic.

Indeed, certain COVID-19 contrarian takes and messages minimizing the disease were baked in very, very early, a number of them with the help of Dr. Oz, who famously enthusiastically embraced Dr. Didier Raoult’s bad science used to promote hydroxychloroquine as a miracle treatment for the disease. It was a treatment that turned out to be the Black Knight of COVID-19 treatments, utterly ineffective.

Given Dr. Oz’s history, it’s not at all surprising that his initial first pivot was to COVID-19 contrarianism and “miracle cures” for the disease, although I do note that as 2020 went on and faded into 2021 he seemed to be a lot more careful about pushing COVID-19 quackery; that is, until he became a Senate candidate. In any event, Dr. Oz promoted outright quackery and antivaccine disinformation dating back to his show’s beginning in 2009, and when skeptics like Steve Novella and I wrote about it, either on Science-Based Medicine, my posts on this blog, or, for example, Steve Salzberg’s posts on Forbes or Derek Lowe’s posts on his blog, our efforts struck me as screeching into the void. Few cared. Sure, it was gratifying to see Sen. McCaskill eviscerate Dr. Oz in front of her Senate committee, but unfortunately the wounds she inflicted healed up as rapidly and magically as even the most devastating wounds inflicted on Wolverine did leaving Dr. Oz free to promote quackery on his show again.

This is a good place to segue to Thorp’s Science editorial:

When the advocacy group America’s Frontline Doctors appeared on the steps of the United States Supreme Court in 2020, falsely stating that hydroxychloroquine was a cure for COVID-19, their pronouncement was virally shared by right-wing media and soundly debunked by medical academicians. A year later, one of these frontliners, Joseph Ladapo, became the surgeon general of Florida and a faculty member at the University of Florida College of Medicine. He has continued to spread dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 while his academic colleagues are shamefully silent.

Many assumed that Ladapo’s faculty appointment was the result of political pressure by the university’s administration as it aimed to please Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It was unsurprising that anti-vax DeSantis wanted a surgeon general with anti-science views. But it was shocking that the medical school accepted Ladapo as a colleague. Even more shocking was a statement from the university president in the Tampa Bay Times confirming that Ladapo was voted into his position by the faculty and approved through the usual procedures. Even Ladapo’s former supervisor at the University of California, Los Angeles, declined to recommend him for the position, considering his approach to COVID-19 so dangerous as to violate the Hippocratic oath to do no harm.

Thorp makes an excellent point. Dr. Ladapo was faculty at UCLA before Gov. DeSantis elevated him to be Florida’s Surgeon General, a position that put him in charge of the Florida Department of Health and thus the entire medical and public health bureaucracy of the state, including its COVID-19 response. When the Florida Senate, as part of a routine background check on him, asked UCLA for an evaluation, all that one of his supervisors at UCLA could say in an evaluation was that Ladapo’s hands-off approach toward managing COVID-19 made his colleagues feel uncomfortable, with the responses to questions asked on the evaluation being—shall we say?—less than glowing but not damning:

Question: “Would you recommend the applicant for employment as a surgeon general of Florida and confidence in his ability, honesty and integrity to perform related duties?” Answer: “No. In my opinion the people of Florida would be better served by a surgeon general who grounds his policy decisions and recommendations in the best scientific evidence rather than opinions.”

Then, there was a vague prompt called “personal relations (rapport with co-workers, supervisor).” The complete response: “I cannot answer… because Dr. Ladapo’s opinions, published in a number of popular media outlets, were contrary to the best scientific evidence available about the Covid-19 pandemic and caused concern among a large number of his research and clinical colleagues and subordinates who felt that his opinions violated the Hippocratic Oath that physicians do no harm. This situation created stress and acrimony among his co-workers and supervisors during the last year and a half of his employment. It is important to note that during this time at UCLA, he met all of the contractual obligations for the position that he was hired to perform, which is the underpinning of my otherwise satisfactory evaluation.”

Note that last part: “…during this time at UCLA, he met all of the contractual obligations for the position that he was hired to perform, which is the underpinning of my otherwise satisfactory evaluation.” Even though many of his colleagues and subordinates felt that his COVID-19 contrarianism, promotion of quack “cures,” and antivax disinformation violated his Hippocratic Oath, Dr. Ladapo was still faculty in good standing because he just did everything else in his job adequately, and hid behind the “free speech” and “scientific debate” tropes that quacks always hide behind:

In his own defense, Ladapo told Politico that he was disappointed with the criticism because good science requires respect for all perspectives. “It’s OK to disagree, and I’ve had no problem with disagreement,” he said, “but what has been really disappointing is how disagreement has become a ticket or a passport to activate personal attacks.” No one would disagree that personal attacks are out of bounds, but his depiction of science is off the mark. Unequal perspectives do not deserve equal time, and challenging scientific consensus requires evidence that has been subjected to peer review and published with all the data disclosed so that the scientific community can replicate the findings. 

Despite all this, somehow Dr. Ladapo earned a faculty position at University of Florida College of Medicine. One can’t help but wonder whether there was pressure on the university coming from the Governor’s office, but it would not surprise me if there was not—or at least if there was only minimum pressure. After all, Dr. Ladapo’s CV was pretty good. He was a tenured associate professor at UCLA, was principal investigator on a number of grants, including NIH grants, and had a decent publication and teaching record, which brings me to a question: Is that all that matters in medical academia?

Another example comes to mind: Columbia University and, yes, Dr. Oz. Earlier this year, it appeared that Columbia had finally cut ties with Dr. Oz, but that appeared to me to have been more because of his political campaign than anything else, and it wasn’t even clear what had happened. Be that as it may, one notes that there have been attempts over the years to shame Columbia into doing something about Dr. Oz’s use of his position as a professor of surgery (and associate chair of the department), as well as his position as founder and director of its integrative medicine program, to help him promote pseudoscience and quackery.

One example stands out in my memory when in the wake of Senator McCaskill’s slow roasting of Dr. Oz in front of her committee a number of physicians and scientists penned an open letter to Columbia University asking why it tolerated Dr. Oz. At the time, I warned that this was a stunt that was likely to backfire spectacularly, and it did. The reason was that the authors of the letter were associated with the conservative think-tank Hoover Institution or the industry astroturf group American Council on Science and Health (ACSH)—or both, allowing Dr. Oz to portray them as—you guessed it—industry hacks threatened by his publicizing “natural health” on The Dr. Oz Show. However, even before America’s Quack did that, the response of Columbia University’s leadership reminded me very much of the response of UCLA and the University of Florida to criticism of Dr. Lapado’s promotion of dangerous COVID-19 misinformation, but was even briefer, with Columbia’s Chief Communications Officer Douglas Levy stating:

As I am sure you understand and appreciate, Columbia is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion.

Don’t get me wrong. Academic freedom is indeed very important, and far be it from me to say that it isn’t or that academics should be sanctioned or fired for engaging in scientific debate, even with America’s Quack or Dr. Ladapo. I will even admit that there can be cases when it is not obvious whether a “maverick” opinion is dangerous quackery or scientifically supportable. Neither Dr. Oz nor Dr. Ladapo represent one of these cases. Dr. Oz has been promoting outright quackery for years and years now, and Dr. Ladapo first made a splash in 2020 appearing with America’s Frontline Doctors, a bunch of right-wing quack grifters who started out promoting hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for COVID-19 and then running a prescription mill for ivermectin, another repurposed drug that doesn’t work but became popular as yet another “miracle cure” for COVID-19.

Thorp concludes:

This raises the question of what responsibility the scientific community has to condemn its members when they enable the spread of misinformation. The situation at the University of Florida creates an opportunity to wrestle with this issue. Ladapo has confirmed his doubters’ fears and has betrayed the responsibilities afforded by academic freedom and tenure. So far, the university doesn’t seem to want to wrestle with the situation. When I asked for a comment, the university health system did not specifically address the Ladapo affair but said in a statement that they continued to support recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on vaccination and that “peer-reviewed publications and data analyses are the gold standard in ensuring accurate conclusions are drawn from the research questions scientists are asking.” That’s far from an adequate response.

It’s easy to blame the politicians, right-wing cable TV hosts, and podcast hucksters for spreading misinformation. But is it defensible to blame these folks without also acknowledging that unchallenged members of the scientific community are making it possible for them to sow this doubt? Until the scientific community deals with misinformation from within, it cannot expect to deal with it from without.

I’d like to think that Dr. Ladapo, Dr. Oz, and the tsunami of once seemingly respectable academics who now spread COVID-19 misinformation will indeed provoke a meaningful discussion about the role of universities and medical academia in reining in dangerous misinformation and disinformation. I am not, however, anywhere near as optimistic as Thorp is because I think that academic freedom has morphed into academic freedom without any responsibility, or an open-mindedness that leaves academia as a body so open-minded that its brains fall out.

Academic freedom is, of course, a core value of academia, be it medical academia or any other academic discipline, as well it should be. Academics require the freedom to pursue research that does against the current dogma of their disciplines and that might even be very unpopular. Moreover, I’ll reiterate that there can be a fine line between unpopular or heterodox ideas and outright pseudoscience, misinformation, or quackery. I’ll even add that we can argue just where the line should be drawn between legitimate academic debate, no matter how wild, and dangerous disinformation. The problem with medical academia is that it won’t even accept the possibility that there is a line between scientific debate and tolerating (or even promoting) dangerous medical misinformation. While it is true that there have been sporadic complaints in academic sources about Dr. Oz and disinformation peddlers like him, overall medical academia—and academia in general—has tolerated misinformation and disinformation in the name of “academic freedom.”

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]

88 replies on “America’s Quack Dr. Oz, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, and the failure of medical academia”

A mixture of naturally occurring glycoalkaloids found in the plants of the nightshade family, including eggplant, have been shown to be highly effective in treating human skin cancers. The power is in the pigment – its natural chemicals bind to skin cancer cells and is highly toxic to them, yet they cause no harm to healthy cells.

That reminds me on what is said about black salve, of which is also claimed it just targets cancer cells and leave normal cells unharmed.

“That reminds me on what is said about black salve, of which is also claimed it just targets cancer cells and leave normal cells unharmed.”

You do NOT want to Google photos of people who believed that.

Meanwhile, Amazon is still happily allowing the sale of bloodroot salve, paste and concentrated tinctures to the foolish and unwary.

I’ve seen those. I hope the cream Dr. Oz recommends doesn’t give the same results.
And the people recommending this stuff are all about cut poison and burn if it is about science-baced threatments of cancder.

You do NOT want to Google photos of people who believed that.

I disagree. Strongly.

And when you have seen enough people who have burned holes in themselves, google “fungating tumor” too.

AltMed gets away with its crimes precisely because its targets not only don’t look at this stuff, they don’t even realize it exists! It’s the privilege of wealth: our politely coward society meticulously ensures that the sight of human beings rotting from inside out remains demurely hidden from the rest of us.

So, look.

That there is the true horror of disease, the real Truth these self-serving manipulators—both malignant and messianic—don’t want any of us wealthy pampered children knowing about. One good hard unflinching look for ourselves—seeing what’s really at stake: what happens when treatment doesn’t work—collapses the crafted fantasy, nukes all the pleasing lies into dust, and all of their Control dies with it.

It never ceases to amaze me that people will argue against more targeted medications in favour of general poisons.

Black salve is one of the worst things I have seen people do to themselves in order to stick it to Big Pharma.

It’s not just on the Right Wing that you see failures of Academic Medicine, the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression recently covered a case where students in Minnesota were made to recite an oath to “…honor all Indigenous ways of healing that have been historically marginalized by Western medicine.” That sounds like a great excuse to integrate all kinds of ‘Alternative healing modalities’ into the health system. For those who are interested the article is linked below:

I like the Mother Jones article’s quote about Joe Mercola’s website being “a trackless fever swamp of craziness.”

But where does that leave Mike Adams’ website, Natural News? Is it a Gobi Desert of desolate, parched lunacy? Or a demented, howling wilderness where atrophied brains are locked in an Antarctic deep freeze?

“the tsunami of once seemingly respectable academics who now spread COVID-19 misinformation”

So there is a tsunami of formerly respectable academics who are defying the consensus cult? Shouldn’t that make you wonder if maybe your consensus cult might need some defying?

I have no opinion on Dr. Oz, and I agree Mercola is an extremist. But Vinay Prasad is a down to earth scientist who advocates for RCTs and is in NO WAY a right winger or a conspiracy theorist. He is outspoken and unafraid in denouncing the consensus cultism and politicization that now masquerades as science.

Vinay Prasad is an attention-seeking narcissist who tells you what you want to hear so y’all fawn over him in return. You feed him and he feeds you. Gross. Get a room.

It’s a shame when ‘advocates for RCTs’ is listed as a positive, as opposed to being taken for granted…

The evidence is that you don’t agree with IR and somebody else does. And he’s a Doctor too. If that’s good enough for IR, it should be good enough for you. It’s not her problem to fix your error. QED.

Because I have taken it onto myself to review several of Prasad’s other videos, i decided to watch this one despite it’s being 37 minutes long. I made it through the first 20 minutes to where he descends in repeated whataboutism and ‘how dare you” arguments.

So let me summarize what I saw.
First, he discusses a revised policy at Yale University after some students protested a representative of Alliance Defending Freedom at a speech in March 2022.

If you read the above discussion instead of the editorials in the Washington Post and WSJ and various judges’ calls to boycott Yale law students applying for clerk positions, the event itself is a tempest in a teapot. Yale Law School Federalist Society put on a forum and invited a representative of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) which has argued cases before the Supreme Court but has also been designated a hate group by the SPLC. A group of students staged a loud protest at the start of the speech. They were reminded of Yale’s free speech policy. About half of them took their protest outside and the others sat down to listen.

But Prasad uses it as a preface to bring up academic free speech as an intro to the real subject which is his complaint about this article in Science magazine.

He says “they should avoid taking nakedly partisan stances”
He argues against journals like Science and NEJM weighing in on presidential candidates because “it’s not going to change many votes”.

Apparently Trump’s views on scientific issues like global warming and health care were not a “sufficiently good reason to do so”.
“I’m not Science. I’m not Nature. I’m just one person.”

He gripes about doctors at Mount Sinai “pouring anti-coagulants into people” without doing a study to determine if it helped, but doesn’t mention the risk of clotting in Covid-19 patients which was recognized as early as June 2020.

He asks who is Joe Ladapo and goes on to review in general terms his scientific background and some things Prasad disagreed with Ladapo on. After agreeing with Ladapo’s prior claims about masks and lockdowns, he finally mentions that Ladapo went on to work as Surgeon General in Florida. But he does NOT mention Ladapo’s participation in America’s Frontline Doctors or signing the GBD. He does acknowledge disagreeing with Ladapo about treatments like hydroxychloroquine.

He says Republicans are an endangered species at most universities because of “the bias of academic medicine (?!?!)” It couldn’t have anything to do with their hostility to accepting the results of scientific research, could it?

He says after quoting Thorp that you’re going to have to prove that what Ladapo has been saying is misinformation. He says the term is overused and merely means “information you disagree with or you’re not ready to hear and then people call that misinformation”. He defends Ladapo’s hiring as a professor at the University of Florida and is dubious that there might have been political pressure on the University to hire him.

“You have to have standards. You should be able to cite a reference.” He gripes about calling DeSantis anti-vax and saying Ladapo has anti-science views. He agrees with Thorp that “you should advance the argument in the peer-reviewed literature first”, which is precisely what Ladapo did NOT do with his internally generated non-authored study that he published as justification for recommending against Covid-19 vaccinations for young men.

Complains about a request for the data behind Ladapo’s study.
He seems to misread this section of the Science article.

Ladapo has tried to initiate a scientific “debate” on Twitter about the study, saying “I love the discussion that we’ve stimulated.” This move is from page 1 of the anti-science playbook. A credentialed scientist from outside the field questions scientific consensus in a public manner that undermines trust in science. Many have played this role during the pandemic, but the pattern reaches back decades to scientists who have, for political purposes, challenged consensus on tobacco, ozone, strategic defense, and climate change.

But Prasad seems to think it is Thorp who is praising the Twitter discussion and then denigrating it.

He thinks it is OK for Ladapo as a health policy professional to have an opinion on health policy but thinks it is inappropriate for people like Thorp to expect that position to be based on published scientific research.

At least in the first 20 minutes he never addresses the limitations of the Florida study but finds plenty of reasons to criticize other people for criticizing Ladapo.

Instead he calls for others to prove Ladapo’s claims are misinformation.

And several times he reminds people that he, Prasad, is a Democrat!

He also tosses in a teaser about several Covid-19 papers that he has in the pipeline.

And, as usual, he offers no links to any material mentioned in his video.

So no addressing the real issues like vaccinating young men to protect them from hospitalization, death and long Covid. But lots of whining about other people criticizing someone he likes. And no real informing his audience about the science.

He demands RCTs where doing so would be unethical. He abuses his authority, consistently and advocates for lots of conspiracy theories. He believes that other authorities don’t know as much as him and therefore must be operating as part of a conspiracy to push certain modalities that VP doesn’t believe in (masking mandates, for instance).

He’s a narcissistic clown that will probably go to work for ICAN.

Yes. That’s the essence of his methodolatry. He repeatedly downplays the value of other evidence like observational or case-control studies and epidemiological studies. And he keeps insisting on getting a strongly powered RCT for each incremental change in the use of these vaccines even though that would take too much time to organize and get results in time for them to be useful.


Ok — so 2 of 3 people mentioned draw skepticism from you (“Taking no opinion” drifts to skepticism for me since it’s pretty obvious you know who is talking and what they say). Other’s on parade here are not mentioned, but clearly promote this similar resistance to vaccination as good medical advice without decent supporting evidence.

The brutal problem with antivaxx proponents is, they have not more than contrived arguments and studies that do nothing more than say – vaccination bad — Hear me roar! And then real science says, what the F are you trying to say, which makes the AV proponent go all fizzy in incoherent rage.

My not yet scientific measure is, Pro-Vax science research is 10000 to 1 proven for vaccination as a way to protect global citizens by evidence. Why anyone would support continuously unsupported rambles as more than a sad expose, is really what I’m looking at. My sense now is that, 0.00001 people in USA promote anti-vaxx belief or promotion. Basically, it is hard to do under the obviously circumstances. Your words really make it easy for deconstruction.

Science believes vaccination works — some folks just ignore evidence/science. Kind of easy to see.

Science believes vaccination works

Crucially, science brings the receipts to prove that its belief is built on testable, and tested, physical foundation: a robust body of evidence and best current provisional explanation for why that evidence is the way that it is, what it tells us, and what it predicts for the future.

There is more than one kind of “belief” in this world and AltMed nuggets’ is easily the lowest: irrational belief systems, grand castles built in, and of, clouds. That’s just self-important ego and wishful/manipulative thinking, with the occasional tragic side of sheer panicked desperation and a rich scummy top layer preying on the lot.

A different word than belief I should have used, but there are foundations of science, belief in sharing the continuously repeatable inspection of our glorious universe, I like.

I should have said — science shows or presents evidence that vaccination works with best intention and agreed common understanding of what our nature is. Too grand, but I’m making a salad for dinner and then up for Kata.

Good read — thanks!

There is also the fact that many countries have stopped offering covid mRNA vaccines for people who are healthy and not elderly. Heart problems have been demonstrated in young males as a result of these vaccines, for one thing. And no, myocarditis is not nothing to worry about.

Maybe the US is more under the control of the drug industry than other countries. In any case, pro-vaxxers should at least wonder why so many governments no longer recommend these vaccines for people at low risk for covid (and that would be most people).

IR, There is also the fact that many countries have stopped offering covid mRNA vaccines for people who are healthy and not elderly.

Could you post specific links to support that claim. You keep forgetting to provide evidence, you only seem to be able to point to YouTube vids.

Could you post specific links to support that claim.

Tsk. Show some respect crawling obsequence. If Indie’s word is good enough for her then it’s good enough for you.

you only seem to be able to point to YouTube vids.

Pretty sure you’ll find those at the top of the hierarchy of evidence, looking down upon you.

From that same link you provided:

“What side effects do the vaccines have?”
“All vaccines cause side effects, including the covid-19 vaccines. In general, the side effects are mild and transient, and we consider the vaccines to be very safe and highly documented.”

Glad you agree.

I agree with some things in the article, and I disagree with other things. Maybe you are the kind of person that either accepts or rejects an entire article, but fortunately I am not.

I agree with some things in the article, and I disagree with other things.

“I agree with the things I agree with, and I disagree with the things I disagree with.”

At least the rest of the peanut gallery here puts up a occasional pretense of giving a shit about evidence, even if they aren’t fooling anyone for a second. You can’t even grace us with that, you lazy waste of vacuum. /plonk

Cherry-picking one item from a public health agency website that suits your views, while conveniently ignoring everything else that doesn’t, is laughably hypocritical.

It’s like antivaxers who demonize the CDC and claim ad nauseaum that it lies or covers up. Yet they eagerly cite and link to a piece of CDC data when they think it supports their loony beliefs (it doesn’t).

Denmark is not “many”. The Danes are very tall, but that doesn’t make them many countries.
If you’re going to say that many countries aren’t offering mRNA vaccines (that previously did) then you’re going to need more than one.

Maybe the US is more under the control of the drug industry than other countries.

Or maybe countries are at different stages of vaccination. Or maybe you’re just an idiot. (My money’s on the last one.)

Indie, you are correct that serious countries have stopped offering vaccines to several sections of society. So what? The science is exactly the same, only the policy is different. Your own policy would have been to allow covid to run rampant and kill who it kills. The Chinese, on then other hand, are still holding to a zero covid policy. Same science, different policy. In the UK they have started recommending covid vaccines to children over 5 years only if they are immune compromised or live with a vulnerable person. Same science, different policy. Different people, different risk analysis, different vaccine coverage, different politics. Same science.

You do recognize that what you did here is not science, right? It’s a bandwagon appeal (logical fallacy).

“Indie, you are correct that serious countries have stopped offering vaccines to several sections of society. So what? The science is exactly the same, only the policy is different. Your own policy would have been to allow covid to run rampant and kill who it kills. The Chinese, on then other hand, are still holding to a zero covid policy. Same science, different policy. In the UK they have started recommending covid vaccines to children over 5 years only if they are immune compromised or live with a vulnerable person. Same science, different policy. Different people, different risk analysis, different vaccine coverage, different politics. Same science.”

Anyone who felt they were high risk was free to get all the vaccines and boosters, to wear triple masks even alone in their cars, to stay home from work, to have everything delivered, etc. Mandating vaccines for healthy college students made no sense. It did nothing to protect the vulnerable.

Fortunately they have not been crazy enough to mandate covid vaccines for babies and young children, and fortunately the great majority of parents understand that vaccinating their kids would be pointless and possibly harmful.

Vaccine mandates were a mistake, and the lockdowns were a mistake. There is no scientific research showing any benefit from the lockdowns. The Chinese government does not care about its people. Yet our medical authorities mindlessly followed China’s example.

Yet our medical authorities mindlessly followed China’s example.

If you really think we (in the US) followed China’s “zero covid” policy you are a bigger a-hole than I imagined — and I already thought you were a tremendous a-hole.

It is known that the lockdowns did tremendous damage to psychological, physical, and financial health. It is known that suicides and addiction increased, that millions of small businesses were destroyed, lives were destroyed, children’s education was disrupted.

Maybe they slowed the spread of the virus, but who is to say that was worth the terrible cost? And almost everyone has had covid now anyway, and eventually everyone will have had it.


Maybe they slowed the spread of the virus.

No “maybe” about it. And you’re acting as if the alternative (letting the virus rip through the World) is risk free. It’s not. Those lockdowns bought us time to stockpile medical suplies and to create vaccines.

Lockdown also prevented health services collapsing in the initial rush by spreading out those cases over a longer period. It also bought breathing space as the world figured out how bad this new disease really was and how (and how not to) effectively treat it. Tough and nasty measures… but not as tough and nasty as millions dying in the streets because all the hospitals have shut down.

Antivaxxers would’ve happily let 50 million die in the first wave and declare it wasn’t their fault as they didn’t do anything. And technically they’d be half-right; the only half they care about.

What a bunch of whiny entitled passive-aggressive crybabies. I am beyond disgusted at the number of spoiled first-world [wo]man-children hogging all the room like they deserve to own it. Assuming we don’t nuke the planet in a grand fascist apocalypse within the next 4 years, our grandkids have—what?—a minimum 3°C warming to look forward to, on top of all the other ecological and social damage we’re sending them.

Still think COVID an imposition? Wait until global food supplies collapse as the bread belt burns. It’ll make Stalingrad Xmas 1942 look like an all-you-can-eat buffet diner. May they eat the rich first, and all the antivaxxers right after.

“But the damage from lockdowns and school closings is known.”

I’m sorry, your lack of evidence continues to be obvious.

You seem to recognize risk/benefit analysis for some things, but not others. Biased much? Or just uneducated and ridiculous?

Try: Paranoid Narcissism.

Over the many years I’ve been following the whole AltMed debacle, I’ve found this a pretty good fit for explaining a lot of the rank-and-file yahoos. They really are not complicated animals. We tend to over-think the challenge, casually projecting too much of ourselves into our mental models of them, then twisting needlessly to resolve the mismatch between predicted vs observed behavior, instead of recognizing it was our starting point which was wide of the mark. We should’ve started from a blank slate.

We anticipate fellow human beings will share our mechanisms of learning and problem-solving, our ethics and social mores, because most do. But there is more than one explanation for the outliers that do not, and it is naively conceited of ourselves to assume “maliciousness” is automatically the answer. Personality disorders, along with psychosis, dementia, trauma responses, and other neurological disorders, posit other hypotheses which may effectively model IR’s internal reality as well as her external behavior. So let’s run with that:

IR literally knows she is correct; thus all evidence which agrees with her is proof of her correctness, while all evidence that contradicts her is proof the world is conspiring against her.

Such world view is not only compelling, it is fully internally consistent! All of the parts check out: she checked all her logic herself and her own mind has confirmed to her that it’s solid.

You might as well try reasoning with psychosis or brain damage. (Protip: you can’t. Been there, done that.) These maladaptations are literally Her, hardwired in at the most basic level of Self before she’s physically out of toddlerhood. (Emotionally she probably never left.) Thus, IR is no more capable of changing what she is than a leopard could wish away its spots. More importantly: why should she want to? She’s normal. (Which she is. For her.) It is everyone else that is “off”.

IR and her compatriots lie like pigs in shit. That is the nature of the particular beast. Yet, paradoxically, they could be the most honest people you will ever encounter: everything that they are, they show you it in full. So believe them the first time. Proffering opportunities for a different response on the 101st question—as if the last 100 weren’t enough to convince you—is the textbook definition of futility… and then who’s truly fooling who?

@Indie Rebel Do you know that US has a tight labor market ? So tight that wage price cycle inflation has started. Not much collapse, it seems.

You should at least distinguish between initial vaccinations and booster doses. The biggest benefit is from the initial two dose series which continue to provide long term protection against serious disease even though symptomatic disease protection declines. There is additional benefit from the first booster dose in protecting against a wider array of antigens. After that, the benefit is much less outside of vulnerable populations like the very elderly, immunosuppressed and those with high exposure like medical personnel.

You could learn a lot from listening to one of Dr Griffin’s clinical updates and not just about Covid-19.

You didn’t name any countries, but Denmark for instance did not end its vaccination program. It scaled back on promotions until the fall which is fast approaching.
This fact-check gives conclusions similar to what I had previously described.

“no addressing the real issues like vaccinating young men to protect them from hospitalization, death and long Covid”

Oh really, you actually believe young men are at risk from covid?

“Though they are less likely to be hospitalized because of COVID-19 or to die from it, people in their 20s, 30s and 40s can catch the virus, and some develop severe and lasting symptoms, particularly if they are living with obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure (hypertension).”

“Data from one study shows that of more than 3,000 adults ages 18 to 34 who contracted COVID-19 and became sick enough to require hospital care, 21% ended up in intensive care, 10% were placed on a breathing machine and 2.7% died.”

Note: I knew a healthy man in his 20s who died of Covid-19. His family was devastated.

Sadly, black/white thinkers like our Indescribable Runt do not support nuance. Or fractions.

Either all young men died, or none did. And since there are still young men visible to Indie, it is self-evidently the latter.

(As for any young men to whom Indie is visible, just one word: Run.)

@Julian Frost
“given that even children have died of COVID, yes, even healthy young people are at risk.”

Obviously, risks have to be balanced and weighed. The risk of severe covid for a healthy normal child is near zero, maybe one in a million. The risk of longterm side effects from the vaccines is not known. It is known that healthy young males have a significant risk of heart damage from the vaccines. So everyone should decide which risk they want to go with.

But the damage from lockdowns and school closings is known. Did the extremely tiny risk healthy children have from covid warrant disrupting their education and social lives? Was it worth causing mental illness?

Was it justifiable to destroy millions of small businesses with lockdowns? (And by the way, huge chain retailers were allowed to stay open.)

Maybe you think one child dying is too many. Well then, following that logic no one should be allowed to take their child in a car, no one should be allowed to have a backyard pool. Children should be kept isolated in germ-proof cages, I guess, if you want to guarantee that none ever die.

The covid risk for healthy normal children (I am NOT talking about obese diabetic children!) is insignificant. And most parents realize that, and most children are NOT being vaccinated. Because it gets really crazy after a while. You want boosters for kids every 4 months? With a genetic vaccine that has unknown longterm risks?

“It is known that healthy young males have a significant risk of heart damage from the vaccines.”

For a given interpretation of significant. In your terms, a 0.001 chance from a vaccine is more significant than a 0.1 chance from the disease. As far as heart damage goes, I suggest you read up on what covid does on its own.

As far as heart damage goes, I suggest you read up on what covid does on its own.

Indeed. Perhaps IR can riddle us this:

“If the vaccine has a 1% risk of causing heart damage, but the disease has a 10% risk of causing heart damage, how many antivaxxers have a heart?”

If her answer is greater than 0, protip: she’s lying.

Is it reasonable to let millions die, health services collapse, millions to suffer long term after effects when you could do something about it just to please pissants like IR.


As a ‘layman’ here, I follow the advice of the experts rather than the armchair delusionists such as IR who can NEVER be really honest who would rather nothing be done as long as it doesn’t affect them. IR is the kind of person who will RUN to the doctors as soon as they have a sniffle and DEMAND the correct (whatever their correct is) treatment.

After making the embarrassingly wrong suggestion that young men have nothing to fear from Covid-19, IR hopes to deflect attention by claiming that young children (especially the healthy ones who don’t have diabetes or other presumably self-inflicted conditions) need not fear Covid-19.

From the CDC:

“Surveillance Network (COVID-NET)§ data were analyzed to describe characteristics of COVID-19–associated hospitalizations among 1,475 U.S. children aged 5–11 years throughout the pandemic, focusing on the period of early Omicron predominance (December 19, 2021–February 28, 2022). Among 397 children hospitalized during the Omicron-predominant period, 87% were unvaccinated, 30% had no underlying medical conditions, and 19% were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU).”*

IR, thy calling cards are stupidity, deception and callousness.

*”but the suffering and death of children from Covid is _insignificant_! More die in car crashes and swimming pools!!”

You, of course, exclude life unfit of life. A typical antivaxxer you are.
You forget teachers, they are not children. There is no classes if teacher get COVID.

“But children who had virtually no risk from covid did not have to be isolated or vaccinated.”

Because you think you’re some kind of health expert? Reductions in transmission through non-medical means was absolutely necessary, no matter your worthless personal opinions on the matter.

Why can’t you recognize that you’re not a public health expert?

Why can’t you recognize that you’re not a public health expert?

I’m not saying it’s the n-word. But you know it’s the n-word.

Ugh, it’s already a weary cliché. But that doesn’t actually make it wrong. As a general checklist they tick all the boxes. Detecting multiple hits clustered together here is an immediate yellow flag; however at 6% of the general population, they are not uncommon to begin with; furthermore they are a highly self-selecting cohort, clustering where food is richest: vulnerable, manipulable people.

As a working hypothesis it predicts and explains their behaviors pretty darn well; better than any other I’ve tried or encountered. And it makes it absolutely clear: there is nothing you can do to change them. Even if they wanted to change, they can’t. Their pathology is hardwired in. Their need is that of the insatiable addict. And they do not care who they harm to serve it; indeed, it requires human sacrifice. They are obligate abusers. And they enjoy it.

Accepting that some people are neurologically incapable of being, saying, or doing anything except pathological makes it so much easier not TGAF and ignore them completely. The only power they hold over you is that which you willingly give them. So, don’t. Cut them clean off. Your own mental health with thank you, even as they pique and scream for ever more attention. Then, sit back and enjoy the comedy spectacle of loser extinction bursts.

“IR is the kind of person who will RUN to the doctors as soon as they have a sniffle and DEMAND the correct (whatever their correct is) treatment.”

No, I am not that kind of person. I almost never go to medical doctors. I survived the covid cold, no doctors needed.

One person makes very poor statisics. And you said almost never. Young people need doctor almost never, this does no mean that you are a superman.


Except those that didn’t, which was preventable with public health measures. More would have died without the public health measures that experts were allowed to put into place, which were less than what was really needed.

You anti-vaxxers say the same thing about the 1% of children that die from measles. It’s absolutely disgusting.

But flying is completely natural! Birds have been doing it for millions of years! Planes don’t just drop out of the sky. All those supposed air crashes are fake!!!! The bodies on the ground are nothing more than crisis actors!!!!!!! Scientists were wrong about bumblebees being unable to fly so they’re completely unreliable! Planes don’t crash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And when they do they are shot down by doctors with their vaccine guns!!! The government is covering up the truth!!!

@Jay Kanta: “Survival bias really makes it clear who lacks empathy, right?”

ALMOST EVERYONE who got covid survived! And anyone who feels vulnerable can get all the vaccines they want.

So, how many people have to die before you get concerned?

Just the One. Though, sadly, IR won’t be around to enjoy it.

The Economist estimates 22 million deaths globally, give or take. (The official count is at 6.6M but there are large chunks of the planet where official counting leaves much to be desired.)

Not that IR cares one whit. Makes no difference if it’s a hundred or a billion. There is only One life that matters, and that is her own.

Yep, which is why I rolled my eyes when I see clips of COVID-19 minimizers pointing to a supposedly low death toll in Africa compared to the US and Europe, as though case ascertainment impoverished countries where public health infrastructure is severely lacking is the same as case ascertainment in Europe and the US.

@Jay Kanta

I SAID that anyone who felt vulnerable was free to get all the vaccines. And they could isolate all they wanted. But children who had virtually no risk from covid did not have to be isolated or vaccinated.

No, actually, they can’t.

Vaccines aren’t approved for children under 6 months old. How are they supposed to protect themselves? And before you answer “just stay home” let me remind you that the number of people in the US who get 6 months of paid parental leave is vanishingly small.

Then you have the people who are immunocompromised to the point that the vaccines won’t take. What are they supposed to do? Everyone’s got to make a money to pay rent/food.

What happens when a kid (who you say shouldn’t be vaccinated) gets COVID at school and brings it home to his immunocompromised mom and she dies of it. Still no big deal?

You say virtually no risk. So youn agree that there is a risk ? Besides of that, they could infect others

“What happens when a kid (who you say shouldn’t be vaccinated) gets COVID at school and brings it home to his immunocompromised mom and she dies of it. Still no big deal?”

You should have heard by now that the vaccines do NOT function as advertised — they do NOT prevent you from getting covid or from spreading it to others.

“they do NOT prevent you from getting covid or from spreading it to others.”

Ohh, I know. But they do prevent people from dying. As a devious cearial killer, I got mine and like to go to MalWart all infected and such without my respirator and take orgasm that some of them will die — mostly fat, greasy republicans.


Why do you keep saying that the Covid-19 vaccines don’t prevent infection or transmission, after repeatedly being presented with evidence to the contrary?

If you want to say they’re less than 100% effective at preventing infection or transmission, have at it. But repeatedly lying and saying they’re completely ineffective just makes you look even more deceptive, clueless and incompetent than you’ve shown us previously, insofar as that’s possible.

I feel the distinction is not being made between a SARS-COV2 infection and ‘covid’ == ‘coronavirus disease’.

The former is mild in lots of people, they still spread, the latter is the nasty outcome nobody knows who it will strike (aka fat people and lots of other people to). The unvaxxed spread it more and may succumb themselves!

I hope my commas aren’t misplaced. I saw on reddit “My brothers, ass tastes great!”.

They said that thing earned hazzard pay and that apostophy just nope’d out.

Englishing is hard.

Black-White thinking, bruv: if it isn’t 100% perfect, it’s 100% useless. There is no gray in IR’s idiot universe. Goes hand-in-hand with her inability to count past One. The perfect binary system: 1-bit intelligence.

You keep looking for humanity where there is none and growing ever more frustrated. You should take the hint. Accept this dismal waste is ahuman, and there’s nothing you can say or do to change it.

As for IR, she lies by misdirection. Just don’t take it personally. Even if the vaccine was 100% effective at preventing infection and transmission too, she would still lie about it. Because IR is shit.

“When nothing is ever good enough, nothing it is.”—u/flora_pompeii

The perfect binary system: 1-bit intelligence.

Slick burn. But, these day and age, “116 qbit intelligence” would be the more un-nondescript proper burning.

{I know where you did not spend any bitcoin, baby}

Have a nice day.

You should yourself have learned math. Not being 100% effective is not same thing as 0% effective. Give us some numbers,

So this research is fraudulent?

Braeye, T., Cornelissen, L., Catteau, L., Haarhuis, F., Proesmans, K., De Ridder, K., … & Van Cauteren, D. (2021). Vaccine effectiveness against infection and onwards transmission of COVID-19: Analysis of Belgian contact tracing data, January-June 2021. Vaccine, 39(39), 5456-5460.

I can find a few more articles that conclude the same thing using different data sets. Are they all lying or are you?

Prove it.
Prove that the rate of COVID cases was completely unaltered by the introduction of any of the vaccines.
Prove that the transmission rate is exactly the same as before the introduction of any of the vaccines.

Oh wait, you can’t. Because that isn’t what happened. And there’s plenty of evidence.

And don’t think I didn’t notice that you ignored the part about children under 6 months of age.

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