Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

The COVID-19 “vaccine holocaust” accelerates in antivax messaging

The antivax lie that vaccines are killing lots of people long predates COVID-19, but now the idea of the “vaccine holocaust” has reached the ridiculously implausible proportions of 20 million dead and 2 billion injured. How did antivaxxers do this?

I’ve long written about the penchant among antivaxxers for claiming that there is a “vaccine holocaust” due to mass vaccination campaigns. Although not new to the COVID-19 pandemic, this narrative of mass death is a different, more radical form of common antivaccine narratives that before the pandemic would liken “vaccine-induced autism” to the Holocaust, a narrative peddled by antivaxxers like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and “Dr. Bob” Sears for many years, and in which antivaxxers would co-opt symbols of the Holocaust to liken themselves to Jews living in Hitler’s Third Reich. It’s a misappropriation of the Holocaust that I consider Holocaust denial. Since COVID-19 vaccines started rolling out in December 2020 (and, actually, even before that), the “vaccine holocaust” narrative—often also called the “depopulation agenda“—that blames mass death on COVID-19 vaccines has risen to greater prominence than ever before in popular culture and politics.

What once was a fringe narrative even among antivaxxers has become a key go-to talking point in which antivaxxers seemingly vie to justify eye-popping ever-increasing numbers of dead due to the vaccines, plausibility be damned. Of late (and I’m not sure why), this narrative has reached a fever pitch, hence my decision to revisit the COVID-19 “vaccine holocaust”/”depopulation” conspiracy theory and where the antivax narrative has gone with it. I’ll give you a few examples. First, here’s a video claiming that COVID-19 vaccines have killed 20 million people worldwide in under two years:

Here’s an excerpt:

These numbers are best estimates, at this point in time, using government data for the global consequences of the clot shot in terms of death and morbidity … Now, these numbers are beyond staggering. To contrast that with history, vaccines have typically been pulled from the market – the last one, the bird flu vaccine – was pulled with only 35 — three, five deaths.

I hope people can appreciate the scale of what is going on here. An unimaginable carnage WHICH ISN’T OVER because that number – first of all, is the current estimate. It does not include future deaths of a similar type, which will be cumulative on top of that.

It does not include stillbirths. It does not include those avoidable deaths due to having had a one-disease healthcare system for two and a half years, with people not being treated or investigated for cancer or treated for cancer, for example. Those numbers are not included. The numbers from the lockdowns, the suicides are not included. And also not included are the future deaths that we’re anticipating from a rapid increase in the rate of cancer presentations and fatal infections because of immune suppression induced by the clot shot. Those factors are IN ADDITION TO those jaw-dropping numbers that I just mentioned.

Let’s just do a little reality check on this number, as The Real Truther did sarcastically:

Where indeed?

Before I elaborate in my usual inimitable fashion on what’s meant by the question above, though, a little background is in order, particularly given that the claim that’s been going around with this claim of over 20 million dead in less than two years is that there have also been over 2 billion “vaccine injuries” from COVID-19 vaccines, as touted on an antivax Substack—but I repeat myself—by someone going by the ‘nym The Vigilant Fox, who proclaims 20 Million Dead from the Jab, 2.2 Billion Injuries – Analyst Estimates, noting that these “numbers are beyond staggering.” They would be if they were accurate. But where did this claim come from. The Vigilant Fox was just repeating a claim from a video, as was the Rumble video above. It turns out that this “analyst” is a financial analyst, not an epidemiologist, public health scientist/physician, or anyone with the relevant expertise to come to such an estimate and originated with an antivax Substack—but I repeat myself again—by someone named Peter Halligan entitled 20 million saved or 20 million killed.

What amused me about his post is that the estimate of 20 million dead appears to have been basically made up in order to match the claim of 20 million lives saved by COVID-19 vaccines that was estimated in a study published in June in Lancet Infectious Diseases that estimated that global vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 had prevented 19.8 million deaths in the first year after the vaccines had become available. This was a modeling study, which means that people who know epidemiological and modeling methodology might have some nits to pick with its design and methodology. Halligan is, of course, not an epidemiologist or a public health mathematical modeler, however, which means that his criticism of the study starts at the funding source:

A bright red flag is here:

“This work was supported by a Schmidt Science Fellowship in partnership with the Rhodes Trust (OJW), Centre funding from the UK Medical Research Council (all authors), grant funding from WHO (OJW, ABH, PW, and ACG), Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (JT and ACG), support from the Imperial College Research Fellowship (PW and ABH), and support from the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Modelling Methodology and Community Jameel (all authors). We thank Sondre Ulvund Solstad from The Economist for developing excess mortality statistics and their help in interpreting these estimates.”

Oh, no! The study was funded by a trifecta of evil in antivax eyes, the World Health Organization, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health! So automatically it’s nonsense to antivaxxers, because, you know, Bill Gates and the WHO. Then Halligan cites an article published by the libertarian-leaning astroturf “think tank,” the Brownstone Institute, written by a retired chemist named Roger Koops, who similarly doesn’t have relevant expertise, given that he lists his expertise as having worked in the “Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry for over 25 years” with “12 years as a Consultant focused on Quality Assurance/Control and issues related to Regulatory Compliance.” (I’m not sure why he capitalized all those words, probably just to make them look more important.) Unsurprisingly, Koops is also affiliated with the American Institute for Economic Research (AIER), the “free market think tank” where the founder of the Brownstone Institute, Jeffrey Tucker, had served in the leadership before leaving in 2021 to found his “spiritual child of the Great Barrington Declaration,” the “let ‘er rip” strategy that sought to reach “natural herd immunity” before there were even any vaccines available. Anything to change a COVID-19 holocaust into a “vaccine holocaust,” I guess.

Halligan’s criticisms of the study boil down to JAQing off, and I’m going to start with the most vile and brain dead of them, just to give you an idea:

By the time the vaccines were introduced in December 2020, the most susceptible people for serious disease and death had already succumbed to the disease. The elderly people who did become infected and survived during 2020 now had natural immunity working for them. As with any yearly infectious disease epidemic, you get years of high mortality followed by years of lesser severity simply because the most susceptible people succumb early while others go on. 

December 2020 was only one year after the virus had first been identified as a new disease in Wuhan, China. As we know from the subsequent course of the pandemic, by December 2020 far from “everyone” had been infected, much less that most or all of the “most susceptible people” had already succumbed to the virus. I can’t help but note how much Brownstone flacks squawk when I (and others) call the Great Barrington Declaration eugenicist (which it is), even as its flacks also publish articles like the one by Koops that demonstrate blatantly eugenicist thinking like the passage above.

His other reasons are little better. Actually, they’re no better, for instance:

By the time the vaccines were introduced in December 2020, the next variants were emerging (“Delta”). The natural evolutionary course of viruses is towards less lethality. Increased transmissibility is certainly possible since these tend to the viruses that survive.

Add that to the fact that the vaccines were only designed to deal (partially at that) with the original source virus of Covid, and you have the vaccine not even entering into the equation.

This is, of course, nonsense. There’s no good evidence that the Delta variant was significantly less lethal than the original Wuhan strain (and some evidence suggesting that it might even have been slightly more lethal), and the evidence is mixed whether Omicron variants were less lethal. Moreover, the natural evolutionary course for pathogenic viruses is not necessarily toward less lethality, particularly when the infection fatality rate of the original is already relatively low, as it was for SARS-CoV-2. Rather, in such a case the selection pressures on the virus are for higher transmissibility and the ability to evade immune responses from infections with previous strains, which is largely what drove the evolution of the Omicron variants, and immunity from vaccines.

The rest of Koops’ “reasoning”—such as it is—is no better. Apparently living in a fantasy world, Koops claims:

By the time the vaccines were introduced in December 2020, physicians the world over had learned how to deal with the most severe cases of Covid. The vast majority of people still experienced mild disease and were in little danger but the more serious cases could be handled by effective treatments and by avoiding the dangerous actions such as ventilation.

What planet is Koops living on? Also, note his invocation of the dangerous conspiracy theory that doctors were “killing patients” by putting them on ventilators too fast, which has no evidence to support it, no matter how eminent of a scientist parroted the claim early in the pandemic. As for what treatments were available in December 2020, given that Paxlovid hadn’t been approved yet, I can only assume he’s talking about convalescent plasma, monoclonal antibodies, and, of course, the favorite ineffective repurposed drugs of the antivaccine movement, hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. Koops also invokes “natural immunity” and claims that the authors didn’t take into account the higher lethality of SARS-CoV-2 in older people, but right in the methods we see:

Our vaccine impact estimates were dependent on the assumed level of immune escape shown by the delta variant and the assumed relationship between age and the IFR. In the scenario in which the epidemic wave caused by the delta variant was comparable to previous waves and neither reached herd immunity nor resulted in health-system capacity being breached, our estimates of vaccine impact were unchanged regardless of the assumed level of immune evasion associated with the delta variant (appendix p 21). However, in scenarios in which the introduction of the delta variant produced a significantly larger wave that resulted in herd immunity being reached in the counterfactual, increased immune escape associated with the delta variant resulted in an increased number of averted deaths due to the larger effective size of the susceptible population. In sensitivity analyses in which the relationship between age and IFR was changed, we estimated that vaccine impact would be greater in scenarios with higher IFRs, reflecting the higher number of deaths that could be averted by vaccination (appendix p 22).

That’s what modelers do. They vary their assumptions that go into their models and calculate the impact of changing different inputs, all to test the robustness of their models They also take into account the uncertainty and variability in the data used as their inputs, again, to test how much they alter the outputs calculated using their mathematical model.

There are some other howlers in Koops’ “critique” too, including the claim that it is “almost impossible to predict mortality (future or past), especially with common respiratory viruses.” (Influenza would like a word with Koops, given how many decades of data we have estimating just that from year to year.) As a cancer doctor, I also laughed out loud at this analogy:

Even with more established diseases such as cancer, predicting mortality can be a tricky thing. That is why estimates are given for survival based upon stage of diagnosis and treatments, but they are only estimates. Under no circumstance does any medical professional state that by using radiation treatment we save X number of lives each year from cancer.

Funny, but oncologists and cancer scientists have been estimating exactly that for literally decades for cancer treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy. (I could cite many more references.) Yes, they are “estimates,” but we can indeed estimate—and estimate fairly accurately, at that!—that by using, for example, more X much more radiation therapy we will save Y number more lives each year. Oncologists literally state this sort of thing all the time. Koops’ ignorance of basic epidemiology is staggering, leading to this hilarious passage:

I could also write a program that predicts mortality based upon what style of shoe a person wears or what kind of car they drive. For example, younger people may be more inclined to wear a particular style of sneaker and since younger people are least likely to die from Covid, I could calculate that wearing that type of sneaker saves lives.

Confounders. Has Koops never heard of correcting for confounders? Yes, he could do something like that, but, given that he fails even to mention confounders (e.g., socioeconomic status, which most definitely influences the cars people drive and the clothes they purchase), the results of such an exercise by him would do little more than provide an amusing exercise for Epidemiology 101 students to dissect to find the errors and identify the missed confounders.

Whatever the level of uncertainty in the estimates of how many deaths were prevented by COVID-19 vaccines, it’s a large number in the tens of millions range, and Koops’ foolishness doesn’t change that. But where did the antivax estimate of 20 million dead due to vaccines come from? This is apparently how, courtesy of Halligan, we get the latest “vaccine holocaust”:

The Lazarus Report showing less than one in 100 vaccination injuries are reported – see page 6 of 7 here that states “..fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events are reported. Low reporting rates preclude or slow the identification of “problem” drugs and vaccines that endanger public health.”

Electronic Support for Public Health–Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (ESP:VAERS) (

Using a one in 100 under-reporting factor (URF) would make the injections horribly deadly and injurious (1.4 million deaths and 85 million injuries for the 600 million doses administered).

A more recent attempt at estimating the URF is around 40, here:

Determining the VAERS Under-Reporting Multiplier (

So, EU+US deaths = 13,972 + 46,999 = 60,971 deaths

and EU+US injuries = 854,084 + 6,089,773 = 6,943,857 (multiple per person, half of which are “serious”).

Multiply by 40 for URF and then by 8 to “globalize”

Global deaths are around 19.5 million SO FAR and global injuries are around 2.2 billion.

You can see all the assumptions here, the first and most important of which is that that every death reported to VAERS was actually caused by the vaccine. As I’ve described in multiple posts, you have to consider the baseline rate of deaths that occur every day in the US to compare any VAERS estimate to. I explained this in detail over a year and a half ago, but, in brief, according to the  CDC the yearly number of deaths in the US in 2019 was 2,854,838, for a rate of 869.7 deaths per 100,000 population. In other words, less than 1% of the US population dies every year, but that’s still a big number. Immediately before the pandemic around 7,821 people died each and every day. If you start vaccinating millions of people in a short period of time, by random chance alone and the law of large numbers, there will be a fairly large number of people who die within, say, 30 days of being vaccinated even if the vaccine has absolutely nothing to do with their deaths. That’s why VAERS numbers, divorced from baseline rates, are utterly meaningless, and, as the VAERS website itself states, VAERS cannot reliably determine incidence and prevalence of an adverse event (AE) after vaccination. That’s not what it was designed to do. Rather, it was designed as an early warning system to generate safety signals that produce hypotheses of specific possible AEs after vaccination to be investigated further, and that’s how the CDC uses it.

But what about Halligan’s claim that “only 1%” of vaccine injuries are ever reported to VAERS? First of all, it’s not accurate. Rather, it’s a hoary old antivax trope dating back a very long time, as Dr. Vincent Iannelli noted years ago:

Have you heard the claim that only 1% of serious vaccine reactions are reported to VAERS?

That’s not true.

That claim is based on an old study about drug reactions and was not specific to vaccines.

We also know that underreporting is less common for more severe adverse reactions than for those that are more mild. For example, one study found that up to 68% of cases of vaccine-associated poliomyelitis (a table injury) were reported to VAERS, while less than 1% of episodes of rash following the MMR vaccine were reported.

That’s not to say that only severe or serious adverse reactions should be reported.

Moreover, the more serious the AE—and death is obviously the most serious and dramatic of all AEs—the less underreporting is a problem. Think about it this way. If you get a sore arm or a transient fever after a vaccination, you’re far less likely to go to the trouble of reporting it to VAERS than if, for instance, a relative dies after a vaccination. The more serious the AE, the more likely it is to be reported. Moreover, it’s certainly not true that only 1% of deaths after vaccination are reported to VAERS, and, because VAERS is designed to look at unusual patterns of reports, even if reporting is less than 100% VAERS still works pretty well to identify even uncommon AEs. Moreover, although antivaxxers love to misrepresent VAERS as the be-all and end-all of vaccine safety monitoring (mainly because VAERS is easy to game and misinterpret), there are other more reliable systems tracking AEs after vaccination, such as the Vaccine Safety Datalink project, the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Network, and the Vaccine Analytic Unit.

I also note that that “underreporting factor” of >40 was a number made up by none other than Steve Kirsch, the tech bro turned rabid antivaxxer who based his estimate on a lot of handwaving and BS. None of that has stopped Kirsch’s estimate of a 41-fold underreporting rate for serious vaccine injury to VAERS from becoming gospel in antivaxland. Finally, note how casually Halligan takes estimates (as massively flawed and misleading as they are) derived from supposed underreporting in VAERS and applies them to the European Union database (EUDRA) numbers as though an estimate from VAERS could even reasonably be extrapolated to a completely different reporting system. To say that this estimate is nonsense is an understatement. It’s basically a clueless incompetent twit handwaving and cherry picking estimates that allow him to come up with estimates for vaccine injuries and deaths that are as high as he can make them. Unsurprisingly, antivaxxers have now amplified this number. I’m only surprised that I don’t recall having seen it in August when Halligan first estimated it.

Another useful technique to evaluate numbers such as the ones Halligan “estimated” for vaccine injuries and deaths is even simpler. All it takes is some common sense and knowing which numbers to find to compare to the estimates. So let’s critically examine the claim that 20 million people died because of COVID-19 vaccines in a mere 20 months (as of August). The first question to ask is: How many people die every year worldwide? It’s not as though those statistics don’t exist, and, in fact, around 55 million people died worldwide in 2019. I’ll keep this next part simple and say that 20 million deaths over 20 months would equal around 12 million extra deaths per year. It defies credibility to claim that public health authorities would not have quickly noticed a more than 20% increase in the death rate—all of it associated with vaccination—particularly in wealthier countries, where the vaccines rolled out first that also not coincidentally have much more extensive public health infrastructure and record keeping capabilities. To “explain” such a number going unreported—unnoticed, even!—antivaxxers resort to inventing all sorts of conspiracy theories about governments and the WHO (and, of course, Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates) covering up all those deaths.

Then there’s the even more unbelievable claim that there are 2.2 billion “vaccine injured.” Think about that number. The population of the entire world is currently estimated to be just under 8 billion people. That means that 2.2 billion people represent around 27.5% of the entire world’s population! Again, it should strain credulity of even the most credulous antivaxxer to believe that public health authorities wouldn’t very quickly notice such a massive number of “vaccine injuries.” Again, the only way antivaxxers can explain it is by invoking conspiracy theories to cover up The Truth, while trying to blame every unexpected death of anyone who is not extremely elderly and frail on COVID-19 vaccinations. (Sometimes, they even blame the deaths of frail nonagenarians on COVID-19 vaccines; e.g., Betty White and Queen Elizabeth II.)

Unfortunately, invoking the Holocaust to portray vaccines as causing another “holocaust”—a “vaccine holocaust”—is an old antivax narrative. Back in the day, when I was but a newbie countering antivax misinformation, the claim that vaccines were killing huge numbers of people and that the CDC (along the WHO, Bill Gates, etc.) was covering up the carnage was considered fringe even among antivaxxers. Now it’s mainstream, even as antivax influencers seemingly vie with each other to crank up the numbers as high as possible, even beyond the realm of even retaining a hint of plausibility. I don’t doubt that soon an antivaxxer somewhere will come up with an estimate that vaccines kill more people every year than the number of people who actually die every year. It’s coming. I just know 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]

114 replies on “The COVID-19 “vaccine holocaust” accelerates in antivax messaging”

Peter Halligan’s blog is hilarious and sad at the same time. It’s up there with that other blogging thing that trolls this page. The comments are full of 5G, EMF, chemtrails, etc etc etc. The original story came from the Expose-News page, which isn’t well received by sites like Mediabias, which gave it one of the lowest ratings for factuality.

It does not include those avoidable deaths due to having had a one-disease healthcare system for two and a half years, with people not being treated or investigated for cancer or treated for cancer, for example. Those numbers are not included. The numbers from the lockdowns, the suicides are not included.

Wait, how should one avoid deaths due to having an one-disease healthcare system, if not for lockdowns and other things to prevent the spread of the virus? Or should one stop treating people who have Covid-19 and just let them die on their own? Because that would be the only option, if one wants to prevent hospitals for being drowned with Covid-19 patients, making treating patients with other diseases more difficult, because there is a lack of available beds and personel. Unless one does everything possible to prevent people from getting Covid-19.

Also, I call complete and total BS on “people weren’t treated for cancer”. I know this is a lie because I make a cancer treatment and while the number of patients we treated might have dropped during early COVID it was never zero, and bounced back quite promptly.

I also know other people who were diagnosed with and treated for cancer during COIVD.

It’s such an easily disproved lie, but it’s so frustrating.

Mike Adams predicts that billons will die from Covid vaccination but I’m not sure if that’s before, during or after the nuclear war.

If 27.5% were injured or died wouldn’t we notice? When countries conscript a much smaller number because of a war or emergency, does that not affect the economy enough to be apparent as it does when natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, earthquakes occur, slowing down business- albeit locally? The effects are visible.

As I noted elsewhere, because alties/ contrarians have increasingly worked against vaccination since 2020, what will happen when another novel virus comes on the scene? Will many refuse PH measures?

If 27.5% were injured or died wouldn’t we notice?

Doesn’t matter. The bigger and more horrific the conspiracy, the more clever and powerful they feel at rumbling it while us sheeple walk into blindly.

There is no question of them asking: Should we verify this? Or even sanity check it as: Does this sound ridiculous. They have no interest in proving themselves wrong, only confirming they are right.

I doubt they even consider the possibility that proving ourselves wrong is what we do as standard. Our confidence that we are provisionally correct comes from our failure to disprove ourselves after our best efforts to do so. We know that. They don’t. And wouldn’t care anyway. They see our uncertainty, our confidence intervals, our error bars, as signs of weakness.

Certainty is Power. And the certainty that they cannot fall for the tyranny that is openly murdering billions makes them very powerful indeed. Don’t be surprised either if they will do whatever is necessary to maintain their belief. These are not people given to introspection or ever asking “Could I hurt somebody else?” So it goes. And the psychopaths pulling their puppet strings absolutely know what they’re doing, and who for, too.

Mike Adams predicts that billons will die from Covid vaccination but I’m not sure if that’s before, during or after the nuclear war.

Why not all three?

A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon, we’re talking real depopulation.

I am a teacher in a school with 1300-ish kids. We get notified by the families even if the family dog died (usually because as a consequence the kid could not get ready for the tests, of course…), as well as every minor or major ailment that might befall on the student, their siblings, grandparents, parents etc. (for the same reason, obviously) and yet somehow we are missing something affecting both 1/3 of our students and 1/3 of their family members (that is roughly 430 students, fyi). Multiply that by 10 at least, as both my parents, some aunts, cousins and my best friend are all teachers, from kindergarden to uni.
Oh and we are not noticing colleagues disappear either! A mystery indeed (\sarc)

Perhaps those dead persons are just being replaced by robots, so no-one will notice they are dead?

Perhaps those dead persons are just being replaced by robots, so no-one will notice they are dead?

Seeing how They already replaced all the birds and you didn’t notice that, this is not as crazy as you think!

It used to be that the depopulation talk was about CONCERNS of people that these Covid shots MIGHT cause depopulation.

The reason for the recent explosion of depopulation talk — it will soon go mainstream — is tat the above mentioned concerns became facts of life.

1) Birth rates are down 10-15% in vaccinated countries.

2) Excess mortality is 10-20% of normal as well.

This makes depopulation — which is what we are living through — a fruitful topic for discussion!

1) Birth rates are down 10-15% in vaccinated countries.

Know what else vaccinated countries have? Birth control and economic recession. Yeah I wouldn’t want to bring kids into this toxic clusterf-k of a situation either.

2) Excess mortality is 10-20% of normal as well.

COVID’s still here, still killing people. Aided and abetted by antivax propaganda blasted wall-to-wall by fascist agitators happy to burn the world just to rule its ash.

This makes depopulation — which is what we are living through — a fruitful topic for discussion!

Evidence or GTFO. You want to see real depopulation, just wait till the fascists seize total power in all major nation states and begin the obligate purges. Not that those deaths and disappearances will be reported by the usual suspects, of course, being much to busy wanking themselves silly over their fantasy ones.

What other conspiracy theories do you believe in? Flerfer? Chemtrails? Birds aren’t real?

Excess mortality is 10-20% of normal as well.

Help me here. You’re saying that excess mortality is 10-20% of its normal level? What are you trying to say?

I think OP was saying current death rates are 110–120% of pre-2020 levels. Which is about right, though not well phrased.

Hello. What I am saying is that “excess mortality” is at 10-20% of “expected mortality”, in our case 10-20% above the normal level of mortality that would be likely to occur if the pandemic did not happen. (this is the definition of excess mortality)

Here are some useful resources on excess mortality. The UK has a “excess mortality presentation”, that analyzes excess mortality as a whole, by deprivation quintile, or by some diagnoses such as heart disease and cancer and COVID and so on. Shows 10-15% excess mortality.

Australia has a report on excess mortality, including Covid as a cause of some deaths (responsible for much less than half of excess deaths). Shows 17% excess mortality.

Human mortality database has an explorer app showing excess mortality in a number of countries such as New Zealand (shows roughly 20% excess mortality).

Igor: “It used to be that the depopulation talk was about CONCERNS of people that these Covid shots MIGHT cause depopulation.”

The crazed speculation has degenerated into outright fantasies of tens of millions (why not billions?) dead but somehow escaping notice. Has anyone really investigated what’s currently going into landfills and “beef jerky” manufacture??!?

Depopulation rants are what you’d expect from a Substacker who not only posts lurid nonsense about the pandemic and vaccines, but boasts of being one of Steve Kirsch’s paid subscribers.

That’s the purpose of the 5G nanochips in the vaccines. We’ve been programmed not to notice the bodies. They can leave them out in plain sight and go unnoticed. It’s only the brave souls who have avoided the vaccines that have unclouded sight. The programming is so strong that we aren’t capable of taking their warnings seriously.

You are 100% correct that there is a lot of crazy ideas, sensationalism and attention seeking in antivax circles. It is understandable. Many antivaxxers are not scientists or doctors and their ideas – and even calculations — can very easily be ridiculously wrong and people share all sorts of insane stuff. It is natural to see a lot of nonsense being spread. You are right to bring attention to such things!

However, when discussing birth rate declines of 2022, it is important to understand that we are talking about simple population level statistical data from reputable countries that shows strange trends that already happened (this year). This is not futuristic conspiracy talk or six foot blood clot pictures of unknown provenance. Instead, a real, large, very interesting, somewhat unsettling, and a very unusual phenomenon of “2022 birth rate decline” is underway and can be analyzed.

Birth rates have not merely declined by 1-2% as usual, but instead they dropped by 8-15% depending on country — and the declines were sudden. The decline started around Feb 2022 and deepened.

Where did it happen? Many places.

Not all countries report live births by month. Strange declines happened in many countries that do report live births by month. The easiest example to follow is Sweden because its live birth statistics for 2021 and 2022 is on one page and can be easily analyzed. Analyzing other countries is somewhat more cumbersome and thus I will just show you Sweden.

You can use “Google translate” to read the page below in English. Take a look at live births by month in 2022.—month-quarter-half-year/population-statistics-2019-2022-month-and-1998-2021-year/

You can perform a very simple calculation and compute declines in live births in 2022, compared to SAME MONTHS of 2021 (birth rates are strongly seasonal and can only be compared with birth rates 12 months prior). For example, you should compare July 2022 to July 2021, etc.

The declines, starting in January 2022, through August, are as follows:

-1.68% -4.94% -8.67% -10.32% -7.36% -6.77% -10.62% -7.12%

So you can see that a serious decline in live births started in February, deepened in April, and births stayed depressed through August.

What explains it? Many people can probably offer their guesses. But whatever your explanation is, we need to acknowledge how serious and unusual these declines are. The usual change is 1 or at most 2% — and we have 8-10% declines this year that started suddenly.

Other countries show similar patterns, but I do not want to overload my reply.

Sorry for grammatical mistakes, as English is my second language.

Also thank you for reading. We are human beings and we both can benefit from exchanging our ideas.

How many babies have you gestated in the last three years?

Maybe the fact that there’s a global pandemic going on, the economy is nuts and oh, I don’t know, that whole Russian war thing might make Swedish women less inclined to have a baby right this minute.

News flash: women are not walking wombs, they are people who get to make their own reproductive choices.

I am a man.

Your explanation is a naturally most convenient way to explain reductions in fertility. It is not crazy to ask if it is possible that it was just couples concerned about the future who decided to postpone conception.

However, this explanation does not explain the ABRUPT drop in birth rates that Germany and Sweden experienced in January-February of 2022.

Absolutely nothing remarkable was happening with birth rates prior to Jan-Feb 2022 in both countries, until the bottom dropped underneath the birth rates and they fell about 10%.

Remember that pregnancies last about 9 months — and nothing super scary was happening with politics, or economies of Germany or Sweden 9 months prior, that is in April-May 2021.

The war is a terrible thing, that I utterly condemn, but it started in 2022 and was not on the minds of Swedish women and men in April-May 2021 when they were trying to conceive babies to be born in early 2022.

However, something was afoot and conceptions were 10% less likely starting Apr-May 2021 — something which we learned about only recently.


You ask – What happened in April-May 2021? You think that the answer is ‘getting vaccinated’.
But vaccination rates in Sweden, in the <49 age group, were still low in May 2021, only <18% of 25-49 year olds had received one dose by June 2021, and rates didn’t reach 80% tel November (rates are even lower for the 18-24 age group).
Do you know when Sweden approved vaccinations to pregnant women? If we have to estimate using general vaccination rates, it wasn’t tel February 2022 when rates of 25-49 year olds who had completed the protocol reached 80% (it still hasn’t reached 80% for the 18-25 age group).

Any other ideas?

This MIGHT be the first time I’ve seen Igor expressing anything other than complete confidence in his ideas…

Hi! Regarding not having confidence in my own ideas: I am a skeptic — and this means I should not have complete confidence even in my own ideas. This is what skeptics should be like, in my opinion!

Take, for example, the reduction in birth rates. While birth rates were generally declining for most countries for decades, the typical decline would be well under 2% per year. Birth rates declined variously by 8, 10, 12, 15% depending on country (Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, UK etc).

Such declines are of magnitude that is way out of realm of “caused by random fluctuation or social factors”.

What I am genuinely NOT sure is whether these 2022 birth rate declines are temporary (so birth rates could return to normal trends next year) or permanent, or a mix thereof.

I once opined that they could hopefully be temporary. Two months later, based on new UK updates, I said that I possibly am mistaken and some could be permanent.

There is nothing wrong with being “not sure” and “changing mind” when facing incomplete, contradictory, or changing information.

“I am a skeptic — and this means I should not have complete confidence even in my own ideas.”

In Igor’s case, being a “skeptic” means accepting whatever hogwash fits into his predetermined mindset.

That’s the opposite of true skepticism. “Fanatic” is a far more accurate term.

Such declines are of magnitude that is way out of realm of “caused by random fluctuation or social factors”.

Let’s see: We’ve aready got a plague, a war, two famines fast approaching… and ol’ Igor informing us here in all seriousness that he’s the “skeptic” among us because he still can’t work out the rest of the math for himself.

Chud by name, chud by nature. I can only assume there’s a blocked toilet somewhere on the Stupidest Level of Hell, which is why these floaters keep a-popping.

“Such declines are of magnitude that is way out of realm of “caused by random fluctuation or social factors”

Says your opinion…..

I suppose you’ve double checked the fertility clinics to see if they’ve had an equivalent upsurge in demand? Because, if you haven’t, then you’ve failed in a thorough investigation already.

Don’t forget to check contraception demand as well.

I typed a long reply, but encountered a server error. Let me retype. (if this results in a duplicate message, feel free to delete my second answer)

I do understand that you hold opinions generally opposite to mine, however I totally agree with your idea to look deeper into the data! This is how critical thinkers operate!

I tried to find data on related pregnancy and fertility-related subjects like you suggested. The best I found comes from Germany.

Just as Sweden, Germany also experienced a completely sudden -10% drop in live births starting in January 2022 and continuing into April of 2022. Prior to January of 2022, live births, compared to months 12mo prior, were increasing, making January’s 10% drop even more surprising and out-of-pattern. (I did not report on Germany recently and I hope that their births improved since)

What is interesting about Germany is that the German state keeps track of ABORTIONS. Abortions, for the most part, happen due to UNPLANNED and unexpected pregnancies, for example from unprotected sex. As such, to some extent, they also correlate with short term changes in fertility. Abortions would be expected to INCREASE in couples who are facing sudden economic headwinds and choose to terminate pregnancies for economic reasons.

In recent years prior to 2021, the number of abortions in Germany was very stable and would barely change.

Oddly enough, in 2021, abortions (for the entire year) experienced a SUDDEN drop of -5.3%, way out of proportion to the prevoius years’ stability.

Something happened in 2021, therefore, that made births in 2022 decline by 10%, and abortions for the entire 2021 decline by 5.3%.

Again, for those not familiar with demographics, a typical change in birth rates would be 1-2% year-on-year. This underscores the magnitude of the fertility drops experienced by Germany.

What is it? It is a very important question!

“Abortions, for the most part, happen due to UNPLANNED and unexpected pregnancies, for example from unprotected sex. As such, to some extent, they also correlate with short term changes in fertility. Abortions would be expected to INCREASE in couples who are facing sudden economic headwinds and choose to terminate pregnancies for economic reasons.”

You still haven’t covered the basics though. First show that there IS a drop in fertility. First prove that the same proportion of couples were trying for a baby during these time periods. It’s not only economics. Worries about COVID and potential COVID vaccination advice would also play a part. Relationship stresses during lockdowns etc etc.

You’re assuming that abortions are used as a ‘cure’ for financial woes. I suggest you check the top reasons for a termination before making that assumption.

Also, if fertility dropped then terminations should drop.

Hi NumberWang, this is a reply to your abortions response. You correctly figured out the abortion/fertility angle and stated: “Also, if fertility dropped then terminations should drop.”

This is exactly what happened! Abortions DROPPED in Germany in 2021 by 5.3%!

Not only German births in 2022 dropped by 10%, but also abortions dropped in 2021 by 5.3% — completely suddenly and unexpectedly.

It all points to decreased fertility and reduction in conceptions in Germany.

Don’t misunderstand me – I’m all for ‘not being sure’, as we are dealing with a complex issue with less than full information. How confident can we be?
For example, when we look at birth rates in (or number of live births) in Sweden (thanks for the link), we can see that there was a drop in 5 out of the first 8 (and 9 out of 12) months of 2020, compared to 2019, conceived before the start of the pandemic. While in 2021 there was a rise in 5 of the 8 (and 10 out of 12) months, as compared to 2020, and in 4 of the first 8 months (and 7 out of 12), as compared to 2019, conceived at the start of the pandemic (the period with the most restrictions).
In 2022 there was a drop in all 8 months with data, as compared to 2019, 2020 or 2021. Some have raised a hypothesis that many women waited to complete vaccination before getting pregnant. Vaccination of people <49 in Sweden only really started in June 2021 (only 18% of 25-49 had received at least one dose by June 16th), so any change in April or May would probably not be influenced by vaccination. Women who got pregnant after completing vaccination would probably start giving birth in mid-2022.
You can also see that there is a ~10% drop over 3 years (2019 to 2022), more in line with the 2% per year. You can see that live birth have been dropping since 2016, with 2021 actually being the outlier. Is the question of what happened in 2022, or in 2021?

Did you look at the number of stillbirths and miscarriages (not abortions) in those countries? If those rates have remained stable, then I think we’d have to agree that people just aren’t having kids. For whatever reason.

Hi, I do not want to overload this article’s comment section with my presence too much. I am thankful to Dr. Gorski for allowing my comments here and do not want to abuse this situation.

As I mentioned elsewhere in my comments, abortions in Germany in 2021 were, very unusually, down 5.3%, which is a good sign that these birth rate problems of 2022 are fertility related.

I do not personally believe that stillbirths contributed much to the decline in live births. The number of stillbirths is about two orders of magnitude below the decline in live births.

The likelier explanation is decline in conception success, which is also supported by the abortion decline in 2021. Remember “rare” messed up menstruations?

Someone very intelligent, among vaccine supporter community, needs to look at the numbers in Germany, Hungary, Sweden, UK, Switzerland and elsewhere and see if they can debunk or explain this story away. I can supply them with data sources for those specific countries.

This story cannot be suppressed forever and has a potential to seriously upset politics of many countries once it comes out. The wannabe future parents and grandparents may become disappointed and demand that pointed questions are asked.

Somehow your recent response “You ask – What happened in April-May 2021?” is missing the reply button to let me respond to you here.

You are asking GREAT questions about Sweden and you are 100% right to be highly skeptical. You definitely should be!

You said: “vaccination rates in Sweden, in the <49 age group, were still low in May 2021, only <18% of 25-49 year olds had received one dose by June 2021, and rates didn’t reach 80% tel November (rates are even lower for the 18-24 age group).”

Take a look again at Swedish birth declines by month:

Jan:-1.68% Feb:-4.94% Mar:-8.67% Apr:-10.32%

So you can see that declines started in Feb (January’s reduction is completely ordinary and normal demographics) and reached their worst level in April. Subtract 9 months from April 2022, you get July 2021. So the declines pretty much match the rates of vaccination 9 months prior.

By the way, just to make it clear: it is unlikely to be related to recorded miscarriages (after 6-7wks or so). It is more likely to be related to a decline in conceptions.

Again, there is a hopeful possibility that these declines are temporary and not permanent. This is my best hope. However, the data is mixed on this question. Some data strongly suggests the possibility that these are temporary declines. So until recently I was strongly hoping for declines being temporary. However, recent UK data suggests otherwise. So I remain undecided on this, but still hoping for temporary.

Again, there is a hopeful possibility that these declines are temporary and not permanent.

Dunno why. A good prolonged native population decline, especially in the richest nations that consume way more than their equal share of the world’s resources, is certainly something the planet could use right now. And as equatorial regions turn to uninhabitable desert there’ll be more than enough forced migrations to make up the difference.

’Cos, rest assured, it won’t take Bill Gates and the Rothschilds devising cunning plans to lop a good double percentage off humanity in the next 100 years: we’ll do that all by our greedy, voracious, selfishly self-destructive selves. The only question will be whether it’s the richly deserving cases at the top, or the poor bastards at the bottom who never did anything to earn it.

Thank you for your comment! We are not as far apart as we used to be even two days ago, actually.

We both now see a good possibility that population declines (births down and deaths up) are occurring and are real and significant.

Whether these population declines are a good or a bad thing, is an extremely important question, and I have a firm answer: I am not sure.

I see the points that you make and your thoughts regarding benefits of population declines are not crazy.

But I want to caution you that evaluating population reductions is also a very complicated topic that needs to be looked at from the angles of history, military science, and even politics as population declines may favor some political groups versus others, some ethnic groups over others, and some military forces over others.

On a personal level, I do want to continue reproducing and to have grandchildren. I do not personally give a hoot if my hypothetical future grandchildren are “needed for the planet” or not and I am okay if they are born in less than ideal circumstances.

But as for general population level issues, yes there are indeed pluses to population reductions.

On a personal level, I do want to continue reproducing and to have grandchildren.

On a personal level, I am fine with you wedging your nuts in a vise and cranking the handle to ensure that you never do. Because no human being ever deserves to call you their “gamete donor”; same for the rest of your disgusing spoor.

“But as for general population level issues, yes there are indeed pluses to population reductions.”

Igor; “no russian”.

Nuculer war is great for that, is it not?

I hate that the united states has prohibited potassium iodine and even povadone because some might make methamphetamine with it. Well, It does not bother any meth makers I know that uses the nazi one pot method (shaking a bottle) with ammonium nitrate and sodium hydroxide with lithium as a catalyst.

You people make me sick.

Igor, you keep staring that you are a skeptic (and maybe you believe that you are one), but you seem to see only one possible answer to your question.

You compare 2022 to 2021, overlooking that fact that 2021 was the only year since 2016 with an increase of more than 0.5% in live births (it’s interesting to note that, besides 2010, live births held steady, or rose during 2000-2017, while fertility has been dropping since 2012, with 2021, once again, being the only outlier).

You really seem to want the data to point to the vaccine being the cause, by ignoring the many other possible causes (a drop of almost 20% in the number of new marriages in Sweden from 2019 to 2020-2021, economic fears etc.).
You are right – demographics is complicated. I guess that there could be a biological contribution (Covid-19 infection, vaccination, other medical complications), but there is also a large sociological/psychological/economic contribution (in Nov. 2020, over 50% of women in the USA said that they will delay having children) that you can’t ignore…

BTW, there was no drop in the French birth rate, in spite of similarly high vaccination rates…

Hi, yes demographics is complicated, especially when it comes to explaining small changes. Say, hypothetically, if birth rate in Country X rises unexpectedly by 2.3%, that could be extremely difficult to explain because of so many usual suspect factors interplaying. This is why most countries have demographics institutes.

Now when birth rate DROPS by 10% in a couple of months, this in itself is so huge and so unusual, that regular explanations and factors cannot account for it — so it is natural to look for “irregular” factors which suddenly make sense.

If you want to spend 1-3 days writing a long article explaining why birth rate drops in UK, Sweden, Hungary, and Germany are definitely NOT due to the vaccines, you would make a serious contribution to the pro-vax cause (I am not being sarcastic here).

The internet is really abuzz with posts attributing these drops to vaccines, and honestly I was one of the first people who started making noises about, say, Hungary specifically, and the UK lately, so I speak from experience.

A post that makes a reasonably decent explanation, accessible to laypeople, of why these birth rate declines are not vaccine related, would be very helpful to you and your cause. But it would have to show and address the actual data to be convincing.

I can supply you with birth data on the above countries and how to find it. It is honestly hard work to discuss it properly, but very important for the pro-Covid-vaccine cause. I wrote, like, a dozen of birth rate articles myself.

Another issue to note is ethnic composition of many European countries: the born-citizens of those countries have lower birth rate, to begin with, than immigrant residents. And the born-citizens vaccine uptake was higher.

No matter what you do, do NOT use the “macrotrends” website, it is total garbage.

Another issue to note is ethnic composition of many European countries: the born-citizens of those countries have lower birth rate, to begin with, than immigrant residents. And the born-citizens vaccine uptake was higher.

And there you have it — the tinge of the conspiracy that this is a plot to overturn the rightful majority population in a country.

Who, exactly, is the clown posting this crap?

Who, exactly, is the clown posting this crap?

“Fascism is narcissism writ large.”—Madeleine Albright

There has been some talk that the mRNA vaccines are shedding and thereby causing health problems in people who are unvaccinated if they are in close frequent contact with vaccinated individuals. I’m fairly sure that’s been proven but am not going to look it up for you. Perhaps that has had an impact here. Please keep,an open mind to the idea that the new and *unstudied, unknown vaccines were really the only plausible explanation unless you have something else in mind to explain it?

Search this blog for “COVID-19 vaccine” and shedding. Spoiler alert: The claim of shedding is bullshit that’s been thoroughly debunked.

I had hopes that going out in public while wearing a t-shirt proclaiming full vaccination status would ensure adequate distancing from potentially virus-laden antivaxers fearful that I was shedding deadly spike proteins.

Sadly, no one has appeared to notice or care. 🙁

There has been no such “talk” anywhere credible. Anything you are hearing that seems to give credence to such a concept is probably a blog, youtube, or facebook, which are not scientific sources.

Until you have a scientific source, you might want to ask yourself why you’re so eager to believe the claim.

What amused me about his post is that the estimate of 20 million dead appears to have been basically made up in order to match the claim of 20 million lives saved by COVID-19 vaccines

It might also be chosen to match the estimate of actual COVID deaths, which the economist recently placed at around 22 million, give or take. That would fit with their usual modus operandi of declaring the disease itself perfectly harmless and the vaccine completely lethal.

Then again, they may simply have made the number up, choosing that figure because it sounds good. I wouldn’t go reading anything into what they say. You can run yourself to exhaustion chasing patterns. The only answer that matters is why they do it.

It might also be chosen to match the estimate of actual COVID deaths

Nah. It is just a number.

Whenever I investigate where these numbers come from, it starts as a superficially rigorous calculation.* The next time, someone takes the previous version and multiplies it by a new factor, and so on. So the number continues to grow.

*Rigorous in the sense that instead of plucking a number out of the air, an actual calculation is made. The numbers in the calculation are nonsense, but that does not matter. It goes something like this:

Take the number of deaths reported in VAERS, multiply by 41 (because Steve Kirsch said so), multiply by a factor that represents the World population (because the rest of the World is just like the US), add new factors as desired.

The calculation is an important part of the ritual. It shows they are being scientific and therefore the number they come up with is beyond reproach.

Very good point on the importance of ritual. See also: homeopathy, cargo cult science.

As evidence of the efficacy of the vaccine continues to accumulate, they become more and more unhinged. I keep coming back to the backfire effect: more evidence that one is wrong makes a person cling that much more tightly to their views.

As a global impression, I notice the same:
as it seemed that as PH was beginning to make more progress, the claims got wilder. Probably I worst I’ve heard involves self-replicating nanostructures that somehow wind up becoming 6 foot long “clots” clogging arteries that resemble calamari.
And have “cognitive” abilities. ( NN, prn)

I suspect their speculations might be done for laughs and to ascertain just how gullible their followers are. The insider “info” about Fauci seems lifted from the Godfather saga.

Peter Halligan has an “article” on his substack about these 6 foot long clots. He also states these is being hidden by a dramatic increase in the number of cremations. That is all the proof required.

I am left wondering who has a 6 foot long blood vessel to host these clots?

The “clots” likely have better cognitive abilities than Mike Adams.

NN is flogging a story about “80 young Canadian doctor deaths” during the pandemic, supposedly attributable to Covid-19 vaccines.

Trouble is, a bunch of those deaths came before vaccines were available. And most deaths on their list were in middle-aged to elderly individuals. The nimrod promoting the claim, a Dr. Makis, explains that most docs work into their 60s and 70s, so it’s proper to call them “young” even at those ages.

You can’t make up shit this dumb. Or rather, you can, and NN readers will eat it up with sickly grins.

As evidence of the efficacy of the vaccine continues to accumulate, they become more and more unhinged

Efficacy?! Good gawd Matt, are you auditioning for a stand-up routine?! Drug dealers, hear me out: if around three years ago it was announced that we would have a Covid vaccine where people would need going on five hits with possibly more hits in as little as three months!…. And, not only that, with this fast becoming intravenous experiment, we were told we would still be nowhere close to curbing Covid as mutant strains continue to crop up everywhere that we are running out of Greek names and digit codes to name them!… Drug dealers, I implore you!; who back then hearing such things, with a straight face, would entertain thought of ‘evidence of the the efficacy of the vaccines continue to accumulate’?!

Disease pusher, perhaps you can be more specific. Cite an actual paper about vaccine efficacy.

It looks like the Hook, the Brownstoners, et alia, are on the path to “what’s old is new again,” to quote someone we all know, with a revival of the “It’s not vaccines that have saved lives; it is better treatment and improved sanitation and hygiene.” I guess wearing masks and avoiding potential exposure procedures won’t count toward any of that.

Herp-derp. Sanitation has been “improving” for the last hundred years, like a Shepard tone.

As to why the various diseases start improving at different times instead of all at once, that is left as an exercise to the uncritical.

This will, of course, bleed over into OG anti-vaxxers continued and re-invigorated efforts to destroy the childhood immunization program in the US.

Sure, but overall it’s about destroying US democracy; and wiping out child healthcare is just one more opportunistic checkpoint on the road to that greater end. Killer diseases are the least on the list of what your future generations have to look forward to now.

Don’t worry though. Gilead mofos will be banning contraception shortly to ensure a continuous stream of spares to make up for the lossage.

Someone we know writing elsewhere discusses the lure of contrarianism and garnering an audience:
much of what I find when surveying alties, woo-meisters and politically driven “science” writers- as well as their allies who show up at RI- appears to be courting agreement or approval. They want to be first with new “information” and
ahead of the crowd” much like the anti-vaxxers/ CT believers whom psychologists found to as being self-defined as “different”, “not common” and first adopters of new ideas perhaps ushering in eventual paradigm shift.

Naturally, because of competition, they need to constantly up the ante by saying more and more outrageous things: if it is discovered that a new vaccine or drug is somewhat less effective than anticipated, that 80% is downgraded to ‘not being effective at all’. Often, numerical results are discarded altogether to further obfuscate the situation. Some, to gain increased views, might even declare that the product harms recipients or causes the illness it was created to combat. Meds/ vaccines “cause” hiv/aids, ASDs, mental illness, cancer and death. Or 6 foot long clots that resemble seafood.

In four short years the Khmer Rouge genocided a quarter of their nation’s population for the capital crime of not kissing their ass sufficiently lovingly.

Just imagine what today’s #KmartRouge can do to yours.

I should note that that someone and his colleague at the other place are writing about physicians who go woo whilst I generalise to alties who predominantly haven’t any relevant credentials amongst them although both groups are similarly audience/ client hungry.

I’ve read a number of your posts, but I must have missed you explaining the complexity of this issue and how difficult it is to come to a conclusion and how certain you are in that conclusion…

But I think that we have a more important difference – I don’t see ‘my cause’ as being pro-vax, in the way that you seem to see your cause any showing the dangers of vaccines (being anti-vax), but in doing my best to understand the situation. Do you think that your post does its best to make a ‘reasonably decent explanation, accessible to laypeople’? Or that you have some part in creating this buzz, or feeding people’s fear that vaccines are leading to depopulation?

Do you fear that your readers would object if you didn’t place blame on the usual suspects (vaccines, FDA, NIH, etc.) for everything that gone wrong in the last 3 years? You have a platform and an audience, and judging from their comments, many of them seem to be anti-vax. I can understand if that keeps you from presenting a more nuanced picture.

You have stated that “Vaccine Skeptics are the True Critical Thinkers”, but a true critical thinker would be critical of their own opinions and conclusions, would try to be aware of their own confirmation bias. I must have missed that part of your posts. Do you think that if someone were to present an opposite opinion, that would somehow validate your posts by framing the issue as having two sides? Or that would somehow absolve you from having to present a more complete picture, or from showing the complexity of this issue?

David, you are asking good questions. I do not want to abuse this forum so I will make my reply as brief as possible.

I will mention something I do NOT mention on my substack for privacy reasons. (not that I have an expectation of privacy here). I have very personal reasons for having my substack. The reason is that my close associate seems to have his immune system wiped out by Pfizer and has been sick extremely often — and badly — since, and also had two Covids in addition to “everything else”, had four-month long covid etc etc. The rest of our otherwise Covid-unvaxed family could not even get infected with his illnesses when he had them, oddly.

Prior to this pandemic, I had zero interest in vaccines and thought of them as “scheduled shots”, with the exception of flu vaccine which I knew even then was a scam. So I gave my kids all scheduled shots except for flu shots. This shows that I am not a career antivaxxer, even though as of now I accept this term for myself since they insist on calling me such.

When the pandemic started, I immediately felt that something extremely malign was underway, the censorship, media collusion, the lab origin coverup, the vaccine “made in two days” based on technology with 100% track record of failure, against a coronavirus against which no vaccine was ever made etc. But I also followed pandemic news, case rates, articles etc and went all-stocks at an opportune moment in Mar 2020, which worked out well. For some reason, I love Covid and follow everything related to it.

Anyway, I feel that the pro-vaccine side is getting enough coverage. It is everywhere, on CNN, NY Times, radio etc. I also do not have much good news to share about Covid vaccines overall, and so I concentrate on reporting what I know to be true — using my best ability to analyze what I see.

I had several articles on substack where I did state the “death protection” was real, when it still existed. UKHSA data was the best source until they stopped publishing it in April 2022. My subscribers did not mind my honest opinion about still-existing death protection.

That’s my answer on a personal level.

I do feel very strongly that a Covid-vaccine-friendly researcher should try to to explain European drops in birth rates. In the process of doing so, an honest analytical person will realize that something deeply unwholesome happened last year.

@ Igor Chudov:

I didn’t read your reply when I wrote my comment.

Isn’t it possible that your associate’s serious illness right after the Covid vaccine might have influenced your ideas about that vaccine in general?
When something bad happens, we try to find reasons why it occurred to protect ourselves in the future. Do you really think that this vaccine is so dangerous and that it is being covered up? Wouldn’t that be hard to do?

As Orac has shown, the vaccine was tested and then was followed up because tests only involve thousands of people and rare problems may be uncovered only after millions of shots were administered. We know that vaccines which had serious side effects were
— taken off of the market
–released with warnings for specific groups
— re-formulated or
In early 2020, I had a Covid vaccine that was paused for a while because of possible problem but later re-instated although not used much.

There are many reasons why a person’s immune system can disfunction and it is indeed possible that a vaccine might have contributed although we didn’t see that happening frequently. It is possible and if so, probably rare. Should we give up on all Covid vaccines because of an extremely rare possible side effect?

Isn’t it possible that your associate’s serious illness right after the Covid vaccine might have influenced your ideas about that vaccine in general?

@Denice: Your mistake is in thinking he cares. But this is not some accidental false-positive, of the sort you might honestly make yourself. It is a calculated stratagem. The only thing you do by offering any benefit of the doubt is extend them a rope with which to hang you.

Therefore, assume malice, based on their whole rotten clique’s proven track record, and let them pique and whine all they like that you’re being terribly “unfair”.

If you really are wrong about that one individual, put the onus on them to work to prove it: if they care that much, they will do so; and you can always apologize later. But, honestly, dollars to donuts it’s just another abuser tactic, to wear you down and break you first. So don’t grant it an ounce more attention than it deserves.

Remember: Abusers don’t win by abusing you. They win by convincing you to apologize for it.

Denice, you’re intelligent, knowledgeable and insightful. You already know it’s a trap. Stop playing in it. Stop stepping into the role that they select for you. Stop giving them exactly what they want.

You’re a natural educator. Teach others how to recognize abuses and abusers without engaging it. This is why I tell folks to read up on Abuser-Victim-Enabler codependency and the Do’s and Don’ts of combating it effectively, and go cultivate alliances with experts and survivors of that, multiplying your respective skills together and weaving a united fighting force for effecting positive, progressive, real-world change. Because ultimately y’all are fighting the exact same damn thing: Abuse and the legions who willingly Enable it.

But these RI chuds are just pre-school-level training wheels; and if you can’t ever outgrow those then how will you survive on open roads.

As individuals y’all hold way more distributed power than you give yourselves credit for, but you desperately need to pull it together to create something far greater than the sum of its parts. Define cause, direction, and locii around which other like-minded can rally, and convert your last 20 years of painstakingly meticulous and voluminous prep-work into actions.

Progressives aren’t organized because they don’t see people worth organizing around. The enemy gravitate to “strong leaders” who tell them what to think and what to do, because the enemy is individually weak and frightened. We need leaders we can rally around in the confidence that we aren’t wasting our time, that our hopes and commitment won’t be pissed away on ineffective minutiae.

The fascists in Spain didn’t win because they were strong; they won because the forces ranged against them were collectively chaos. France didn’t fall because the Maginot Line (which was strong) crumbled; it fell because the Nazis simply drove right around it. How the everloving f-ck did those lockstepping monomanic chuds outthink and outmaneuver everybody else? Not because they were good. Because we weren’t.

Effective directed messaging, team coordination, heterogenous alliance building, setting clear concrete objectives, achieving them and quickly moving onto the next target without getting hung up; these are all things the enemy does—and really, really well!—and which we do not. I know these skills may not be natural to folks like us, but y’all need to suck up and learn them anyway, not keep on doing the same old that y’are comfortable at. Because the same old doesn’t work (if it ever did) and by continuing to do it you defeat yourself.

Disrupt yourselves. Or they will.

Use your enemy as your teachers too. Learn from them how to do all those things which you haven’t been doing, then go do them better. Bind those fresh skills together with all the things which you are naturally great at, you stand a fair chance. Because every one of these bastards is now fighting for real, for keepsies, and y’all are still caught on the hop.

Here endeth the sermon. I will scout for any straggling posts I’ve missed and then I’m taking a timeout, because I have my own agendas to effect too and can’t afford burning what little energy I have left on other things as well.

Be Good.

@ has:

I appreciate the compliments! I am all that and more. Heh.

I do believe that occasionally we might engage with scoffers to get more information about their position or to instruct readers/ lurkers. You’ll notice that I rarely get into longer exchanges** as some minions do. Orac himself sometimes responds, as he explains on Twitter, purely for sport.

But you are at least 90% right about that: it usually gets nowhere and makes them feel important. A guy on television ( addressing political debates) discussed how to deal with a Gish Gallop: he said they firehose you with 12 points and you have 30 seconds! He says to describe the situation: your opponent tossed out these 12 points that are all wrong and you haven’t enough time to respond. How about one at a time?

But more important issues:
( I wrote about this Friday but the post hasn’t updated)
Orac writes about how natural health/ anti-vax movements and the right wing have coalesced : the other day, a guy from that camp sought out the US Speaker of the House’s home in SF, looking for her, and attacked her husband with a hammer!
He fought back and secretly called the police but was seriously injured. He is 82 years old. Right wing news attributes the attack to “crime in a liberal city”. Read about Paul Pelosi.

The Speaker is one of the people the right attacks most: Adams calls her a demon. Right wing television targets her daily. She and two congresswomen, Ocasio-Cortes and Omar, receive the most threats of over 500 members: three small, thin women, one over 80, one Hispanic, one Moslem, who happen to be liberal.

The crap I hear/ read from alties fits right into this: drum up hatred and watch for results. More hatred, violence, another coup d’etat on the horizon?

** I interacted with two of the most virulent anti-vax mothers at RI on and off : they were vicious and insulting to a degree I have never witnessed before in my life and I’ve had to deal with some pretty awful people both personally and professionally- most of them had an excuse, being mentally ill or from a disadvantaged

When the pandemic started, I immediately felt that something extremely malign was underway, the censorship, media collusion, the lab origin coverup, the vaccine “made in two days” based on technology with 100% track record of failure,

So this person is simply another conspiracy monger. Got it.

You see yourself, and your fellow antivaxxers, as ‘critical thinkers’, but seem oblivious to your on confirmation bias.

Do you feel that you are doing your friend a favor with your unsupported posts? I understand that want to blame someone (NIH, pharma etc.) for many of societies ails, but seem unable to build your case. Do you have an aversion to actually doing research, or is there some other reason? It’s true that this is hard, but that’s no excuse. What do you think would happen if your posts provided your audience with more of the context/nuance/evidence? Or respond to some of the comments questioning your posts? Are you afraid that the cheering chorus will disappear? Is James Lyons-Weiler’s approval some kind of validation?

I personally don’t care what your beliefs are – only about the questionable things you post. You don’t even care enough to answer my questions. What do you care about?

Hi, I am sorry that did not reply to one of your messages, I got lost in followups. Confirmation bias is very real, I am not an ideal person, but I read Dr Gorski’s blog, in part, to overcome this bias. His posts are very interesting and I agreed with some of Dr Gorski’s points. However, I think very highly of Dr Weiler specifically.

Doing research — meaning reading stuff, science articles etc — is my favorite activity. I might be bad at it, but I try my best.

The state of “science” is actually appalling and as someone coming from a family of minor scientists, that was a shocker when I started digging into it.

For example, the so called Covid immunobridging, or antibody counting, is basically medical quackery. Covid antibodies are only good for counting. You can think of “covid antibodies” as electrolytes in Idiocracy. People full of these “antibodies” catch Covid, like Rochelle Walensky, get sick, and very few of them even die, sadly. (I wish Rochelle a full recovery from her current Covid bout, and note that she has not been seen for about 7 days or so)

The basic tenet of economics is that people follow incentives and it applies to scientists as well. And the incentives are not good. This is the reality that we are living in.

The upside is that there is a lot to write about.

Re: cheering chorus. You have a good point. I feel like I have a relationship with my subscribers, who come from all walks of life, and I do not want to piss them off. But most importantly I do not want to lie to them either, so I make sure that what I write is true to the best of my understanding. When “vaccine death protection” still existed, I stated that honestly and they did not mind.

Professors has a tenure. Firing them is very difficult, so they could speak openly.
RCTs are double blinded, so investigators do not know who get placebo and who get the vaccine. They could not shill big pharma, even if they want.
“Antibodies are medical quackery”. I wonder what kind of “science” you read. Do you know that there is a thing called immunological memory ? Vaccines work ecause of it.
Again, vaccines are not 100 effective. so Walensky could indeed get the COVID. This does not mean that they does not work at all. Read actual science and do Google Scholar search for COVID vaccine efficacy.

It’s true that there is much to write about, but that can’t be an excuse for publishing false/partial/misleading narratives. For example, how can you post about how the vaccine is causing miscarriages or silent births, without knowing what the historical rate is or the many factors that can influence the rate? How can a person who says that ‘Doing research — meaning reading stuff, science articles etc — is my favorite activity’ not do the necessary research, or stop half way? If this is the ‘best of your understanding’, then you may not know enough.

You say that you ‘do not want to lie to’ your audience, but lying by omission is still lying, whether intentional or unintentional (whether due to lack of knowledge, laziness etc.). It’s funny that your readers seem to actually like being lied to, as long as it confirms their biases. It’s well known that we all like someone else telling us that we’re right, or how smart we are. And we all know that the best way to keep your community from getting pissed off (at you) is to tell them who they can be pissed off at… How can you see yourself as one who speaks truth, if you’re afraid of your own public?

Being aware of your biases is important, but it’s only the first step. Fear, and the desire for approval, can be strong incentives to only publish certain kind of posts. It’s hard to see our own biases, especially when so many people agree with us.

To be the real ‘critical thinker’ that you imagine yourself to be, you have to be suspicious of any conclusion that fits with our own, preconceived, narrative. We have to continue to ask questions, about our on conclusions most of all. How can you call anti-vaxxers critical thinkers, if you think that they are unable to deal with something that conflicts with their point-of-view?

@ David:

I looked over several of Igor’s latest articles and found that he includes the same anti-vax talking points that many of the anti-vaxxers I follow do . In addition, he supports anti-vax candidates ( mostly US, one Canada) who feel similarly and happen to be quite conservative: in fact , he even includes a way for supporting them financially.

I’m sure that I missed something, too.

It’s difficult to accept Igor’s claim that prior to the pandemic, he had “no interest in vaccines” (especially as he admits believing that flu shots are “a scam”), seeing that once the pandemic started he “immediately felt that something extremely malign was underway”. This reveals a pre-existing antivaccine belief system, which may have been amplified under Covid-19 to the point that he felt it necessary to publicly regurgitate a slew of antivax tropes (he may also have seen a way to cash in on his beliefs via Substack).

“So I gave my kids all scheduled shots except for flu shots. This shows that I am not a career antivaxxer”

In that case, what vaccines currently on the pediatric (and adult) vaccine schedules do you endorse and recommend people get? There are plenty of virulent antivaxers who claim to have had their kids vaccinated once upon a time.
Again, this is not about what you may or may not have done in the past, but what your current attitudes are.

Hi, regarding childhood vaccines (not counting Covid vaccines which are also now childhood vaccines): I realized quickly that they are very complicated and involve very complex science and epidemiology etc. After some thinking, I decided NOT to get into childhood vaccines for now for the most part because I do not have the time and there is not much point. I am not against all of them but refrain from specific judgments.

However, I apologized to my children for not THINKING about their vaccinations, which are all in the past and grandchildren are not on the immediate horizon.

Regarding “malign” aspects of Covid-19: there are many more dark sides to SC2 than just the vaccine. Lab origin and the obvious concerted coverup of it was the most glaring of them. I would prefer not to get into those malign aspects deeper, as it could be hijacking Dr Gorski’s post.

By the way, in 2021, I even spent several months deciding whether to get the Covid vaccine.

I hope you didn’t pull any muscles contorting yourself into that evasive response.

So, you won’t recommend use of any vaccine whatsoever, but insist you’re “not a career antivaxxer”.

Very convincing, Igor.

I am saying that I do not care very much to look deeply into childhood vaccines. And to “recommend” something I would need to look deeply, e.g spend at least weeks to understand. I do not want to “recommend” something without understanding.

But let me make a statement: I am sure that SOME childhood vaccines are very likely to be useful. That’s at least one, or more, childhood vaccine that is useful. It is my opinion and it is worth $0.02.

Yes, you’d surely have to spend as many weeks as it took for you to become convinced that Covid-19 vaccines are full of toxic waste and demon sperm.

Yes, you’d surely have to spend as many weeks as it took for you to become convinced that Covid-19 vaccines are full of toxic waste and demon sperm.

Your sarcasm aside, yes, you are correct, it would take quite a bit of effort to come up with judgments about any specific children vaccine — judgments that I ultimately do not need to make.

So my own decision early on was is that I do not care to opine about childhood vaccines all that much, except I once opined about pertussis vaccine in passing. I care about Covid in general and Covid vaccine only, for now. I do not care about childhood vaccines.

This makes me an antivaxxer by definition of the word (opposition to SOME vaccines or SOME mandates). So be it.


“This makes me an antivaxxer by definition of the word (opposition to SOME vaccines or SOME mandates). So be it.”

Igor makes a very good point. Some individuals on here apply their own ‘tests’ and interpretations to determine what an anti vaxxer is. I was the subject of the same vitriol when I refused to endorse/support/advocate for every single vaccine on the vaccination schedule for everyone. Even when one does provide a positive endorsement for a vaccine, it’s perceived as an attempt to fool everyone and deep down you are still an anti vaxxer at heart. (It’s the old….you’re only saying that card!)

I have encountered some rabid antivaxxers but I have also come across people who would never be found writing and publishing vaccine misinformation, addressing crowds or campaigning against vaccines but who for one reason or another are not content to blithely plunge headlong in and endorse vaccination 100%.

Opting for certain vaccines, campaigning for justice for the vaccine injured, refusing to issue a blanket endorsement for every vaccine, recognising contraindications to vaccines, doing valid research, publishing facts and quietly maintaining one’s own opinions in preference to loudly proclaiming vaccines, does not make someone an anti vaxxer.

I have now witnessed both sides of the vaccine debate. I have witnessed highly motivated, driven, individuals striving to get their message across, at times relying on the most bizarre set of criteria to denote pro vaxxers from anti vaxxers and vice versa.

Just because someone’s arguments, speeches, life choices, diligence, concerns, hesitancy re vaccination doesn’t match the expectations of some posters on here or blindly and unequivocally endorse vaccination in its entirety, it does not follow that they are an anti vaxxer. On the other hand, not every negative aspect of vaccination portrayed has any validity and the spreading of vaccine misinformation is totally unacceptable.

I doubt that much of the accusatory ‘evidence’ of what constitutes an anti vaxxer conveyed by some posters on here would find any legitimacy in recognised definitions of anti vaccinationism the world over. So what is it all about?

Wendy S: “I was the subject of the same vitriol when I refused to endorse/support/advocate for every single vaccine on the vaccination schedule for everyone.”

No, you were criticized for repeating antivaccine memes and repeatedly stonewalling when asked if you were truly pro-immunization, what vaccines you’d recommend people get for themselves and their children.

“doing valid research”

What “research” might that be?

Defending Igor Chudov is really not a good look for you, Wendy. Are RFK Jr. and Del Bigtree also on your list of poor misunderstood public health advocates?

You hink it is coverup if somebody disagrees with you ? Try to check their arguments.

After some thinking, I decided NOT to get into childhood vaccines for now for the most part because I do not have the time and there is not much point. I am not against all of them but refrain from specific judgments.

This apparently does not extend to you pontificating on your substack about the dangers of childhood vaccines and apologising to your children for getting them vaccinated.

You are an anti-vaxxer because you are against vaccines for spurious reasons. Whether you got there through COVID-19 conspiracy theories or some other way does not matter much. Your current position is that you lie about vaccines and you lie about not being an anti-vaxxer.

Oh my. Bless his heart. †

† Ideally after COVID-19 rips the everloving shit out of it and leaves it in ribbons. #CHUD

I wonder if his wardrobe includes a shirt imprinted with “No education needed, I have a brain.”

Over the past couple of years it has become clear to me that an awful lot of people with loud opinions about it have absolutely zero knowledge of how the immune system works.

an awful lot of people with loud opinions about it have absolutely zero knowledge of how anything works.


If it is not yet clear that I am an antivaxxer (being opposed to Covid vaccine and Covid vaccine mandates makes me an antivaxxer by definition), I guess I should admit very clearly to being an antivaxxer!

By Webster Dictionary definition, “antivaxxer” is a person opposed to SOME vaccines or SOME vaccine mandates. I am, therefore, an antivaxxer.

I am not in the lest ashamed of being one.

Igor (by the way, is it Ee-gor, or I-gor?) tells us he doesn’t have the time/inclination to “research” childhood vaccines but claims that’s he’s sure some childhood vaccines are “very likely to be useful”.

Yet Igor recently posted a Substack article titled “Crooks Who Approved “Covid Vaxx” approved Other “Childhood Vaccines”* Also”, which includes the following:

“I was listening to the FDA VRBPAC hearing today, and I heard someone say that “Covid vaccine is as safe and effective as childhood vaccines”.

“I said, hm, if “Covid Vaccine”, which is dangerous and actually invites Covid, is as good (or as bad) as other childhood vaccines, why can’t I take a look at those vaccines also? I gave my kids all childhood vaccines except the flu shots, after all. Was I wrong to agree to give them those shots?”

“It did not take very long to find out. Turns out that these vaccines also “wane” and their effectiveness is highly questionable.”

Later in the article, Igor formally apologizes to his children for having gotten them immunized.

The inescapable conclusion is that Igor has been lying to us about not being an antivaxer.

Antivaxers almost always deny being antivaccine. You’d think that they would consider it a badge of honor. On the other hand, they know that their target audience tends to be suspicious of people who are “anti”-something. So they lie and deny for the sake of image and perceived influence.

*what’s with the scare quotes around “Childhood Vaccines”, Igor?

The inescapable conclusion is that Igor has been lying to us about not being an antivaxer.

Only by deliberate omission: initially pretending to be Just Asking Questions until he’s got us hooked, then dropping the mask and going all in. It’s a well worn routine: we all know it, suspected it, confirmed it. The only question to ask now is how we respond: Do we punish him for his deceptive behavior? Or do we indulge it?

I know what I’d advise, because it’s the same advice to anyone dealing with an abuser who is fortunately free and able to act: Cut him off. Dead. Don’t give him one more ounce of yourself. You deserve better than that. These parasites hold no power over any of you, except that which you willingly gift them.

Look, I can’t tell you what to do; you have to want to do it for yourself. I can only tell you, as a veteran of many maladapted destructive behaviors (self-inflicted), that tolerating, allowing, and enabling abusive shit from any source is not healthy for you. You will never make them any better: they can only make you worse.

Your frustration and anger is a useful tool! So employ it to do useful work. Find a positive productive channel for your better self—messaging, education and outreach, team- and alliance-building, political activism, whatever—and use your rage to power it.

Be well. #WIP

Do share with the benighted RI multitudes what far more productive activities you have undertaken to shine the light of Truth into dark corners.

Hi! I do not cite any of my articles here because it would be inappropriate for me due to the nature of this forum (not that I mind you doing so — this is fine — I do not do it myself).

I never lied about NOT being an antivaxer.

The article you mentioned perfectly sums up my thinking. By definition of an antivaxxer, I am one, because I oppose Covid vaccine and Covid vaccine mandates. Other vaccines, I do not care as much about.

It is hard to hide my thinking when I have a hundred of articles written.

That said, I personally listen to, and consider carefully, a lot of pro-vax thought. For example, I am subscribed to this website and read many articles by Dr Gorsky that he posts here. There is nothing wrong with reading stuff contrary to my opinions. I do not want to only read materials that agree with me.

@Dangerous bacon

“Defending Igor Chudov is really not a good look for you, Wendy. Are RFK Jr. and Del Bigtree also on your list of poor misunderstood public health advocates?”

Your technique is really very reminiscent of Joel Harrison’s!

Same avoidance of issue, (whether deliberate or not) and slight of hand to make my post into something it isn’t to influence everyone on here and create the impression that I am “defending” Igor.

On the contrary, I agreed with one point he made in that it reflected my own experience on here. Maybe that’s too unpalatable for you to consider and so you have to go off on a tangent re RFK Jr and Del Bigtree and concoct a diversion. What does either have to do with my post? Nothing like taking the topic off track!

Good look or not, I identify with the point Igor made and I covered it in my post. It’s interesting that you jump in with the accusation that I am “defending” him when in fact I’m only agreeing with him on one point.

@Chris Preston
Your scoffing suggests that you don’t recognise research to be valid unless it 100% supports vaccine safety, efficacy and efficiency. Are there any circumstances at all, where you would acknowledge that the outcomes of research/investigative work which don’t reflect that 100% endorsement, are valid.

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