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If 2022 was the “year of the gaslighter,” expect a lot more gaslighting in 2023

“Gaslighting” is a term that refers to the manipulation of someone in order to lead them to question their own reality and even sanity. Last month, a COVID-19 minimizer and antivaxxer declared 2022 the “year of the gaslighter,” revealing yet again that it’s always projection with science-denying propagandists. Unfortunately, 2023 looks to hold a lot more of the same in store.

Last year at this time, I wrote a post entitled 2021: The year the weaponization of VAERS went mainstream, to be followed by a more general post, Who could ever have seen this coming? The depressing thing that I just realized is that I could very easily have simply repurposed both old posts, changing the years and updating some of the examples used, and they would have been perfectly appropriate for this new year too. In fact, as depressing as it sounds, I could just revise and update the latter of these posts every year if I wanted to, and it would remain just as relevant, likely for however long I have left on this earth and many years beyond, assuming that someone takes up the banner after my passing and keeps it updated. This New Year, however, I thought I’d deal with a different narrative, one that COVID-19 minimizers, quacks, and antivaxxers have been claiming a lot recently, namely gaslighting. Like so many antivax narratives, the charge that against CDC, medical profession, government, and “Them” of “gaslighting” us about the pandemic is pure projection, but unfortunately it’s effective projection.

“Gaslighting”: A new old narrative from antivaxxers

With that background, what “inspired” me (if you can call it that) to write this post was something I saw on Joe Mercola’s website on New Years’ Eve as I was contemplating potential topics for today’s post. It was an article entitled The Year of the Gaslighter, a reprint of a post by someone named C. J. Hopkins published a couple of weeks earlier on his own website, Consent Factory, Inc., under the same title. I’ll link to that version here, because Mercola’s links die after 48 hours, the better to facilitate his monetizing them on his Substack and also because it turns out that Hopkins published another related article in October, The Gaslighting of the Masses.

Gaslighting? After a book cover like this?
After seeing this book cover, I think I know where Mr. Hopkins is going with this “gaslighting” narrative.

If you’re unfamiliar with what “gaslighting” is, it’s a term that was coined based on the title of the 1944 American film Gaslight, which was based on the 1938 British theatre play Gas Light by Patrick Hamilton, although the term didn’t become widely used to describe the phenomenon to which Hopkins refers in his article until the last decade or so. Indeed, “gaslighting” was named the 2022 Word of the Year by Merriam-Webster based on its skyrocketing usage. Unfortunately, a significant fraction of that usage appears to have come from those opposed to public health, if my reading of conspiracy websites and social media content is any indication.

In the film, the husband, played by Charles Boyer, uses lies and trickery to emotionally manipulates his wife (played by Ingrid Bergman) to make her doubt her own grasp of reality—and even her very sanity—so that he could steal from her. He accomplishes this “gaslighting” by isolating his wife and using various deceptions and emotionally abusive techniques to make her question reality. The title of the film refers to one example of the husband’s tricks, in which he has someone adjust the gaslights in the house so that seems to dim and flicker whenever the husband leaves his wife alone at home. When she asks him, “Why do the lights keep flickering?” he responds that he doesn’t know what she’s talking about and insists that the lights are not flickering, that it’s just her imagination.

Although the term “gaslighting” was little used before the 21st century, since its wider adoption in more recent years its meaning has broadened beyond emotional abuse designed to make a person question her memory and reality. It now also refers to the use of misinformation propaganda to produce a false picture of the past in order to manipulate a population. Just look at how Merriam-Webster described it:

But in recent years, we have seen the meaning of gaslighting refer also to something simpler and broader: “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for a personal advantage.” In this use, the word is at home with other terms relating to modern forms of deception and manipulation, such as fake news, deepfake, and artificial intelligence. The idea of a deliberate conspiracy to mislead has made gaslighting useful in describing lies that are part of a larger plan. Unlike lying, which tends to be between individuals, and fraud, which tends to involve organizations, gaslighting applies in both personal and political contexts. It’s at home in formal and technical writing as well as in colloquial use…

It is clearly the broader meaning to which Hopkins refers, citing these definitions in his October post on the subject:

One of the most basic and effective techniques that cults, totalitarian systems, and individuals with fascistic personalities use to disorient and control people’s minds is “gaslighting.” You’re probably familiar with the term. If not, here are a few definitions:

“the manipulation of another person into doubting their perceptions, experiences, or understanding of events.” American Psychological Association

“an insidious form of manipulation and psychological control. Victims of gaslighting are deliberately and systematically fed false information that leads them to question what they know to be true, often about themselves. They may end up doubting their memory, their perception, and even their sanity.” Psychology Today

“a form of psychological manipulation in which the abuser attempts to sow self-doubt and confusion in their victim’s mind. Typically, gaslighters are seeking to gain power and control over the other person, by distorting reality and forcing them to question their own judgment and intuition.” Newport Institute

While Hopkins was (mostly) correct about the definition of gaslighting, his use of the term demonstrates how, with conspiracy theorists, it’s all about projection, accusing your critics of what you (and/or your allies) are in fact doing, whether you accept or admit that that’s what you’re doing or not.

“Gaslighting” has, of course, become a favorite go-to word among antivaxxers and COVID-19 minimizers, as well. Just a search of the website of that premier astroturf COVID-19 minimizing “think tank,” the Brownstone Institute, for the term “gaslighting” brings up over 20 articles, like this one from October, claiming that we are being “gaslighted” by governments about “lockdowns,” which are described as far more draconian than they in fact were. A search of my favorite antivax and quackery conspiracy site, Natural News, produced a number of post-2019 uses of the word (and a fair number from before), from everything from COVID-19, vaccines, lockdowns, and even the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was “stolen.” There are even a couple of articles that very much resemble Hopkins’ articles, such as Gaslighting: How leftist psychopaths demonize and demoralize their opposition and The gaslighting of the American mind, both another excellent example of projection. Unsurprisingly, Mercola features a number of articles using the word as well. Indeed, just last week COVID-19 minimizer and antivaxxer Dr. Peter McCullough, known for having declared COVID-19 vaccines a “holocaust” and tool of “depopulation” a year and a half ago,” happily noticed that Merriam-Webster had named “gaslighting” its 2022 Word of the Year.

Knowing that the claim that “they” are trying to “gaslight” you was a major staple of 2022 messaging from COVID-19 minimizers, antimaskers, “lockdown” opponents, and antivaxxers, let’s look at the use of “gaslighting” by COVID-19 misinformation spreaders. Again, it’s all about projection.

Projection, thy name is…antivaxxers

After posting some definitions of “gaslighting,” Hopkins went all-in down the conspiracy narrative about COVID-19 in his October post:

Since the Spring of 2020, we have been subjected to official gaslighting on an unprecedented scale. In a sense, the “Apocalyptic Pandemic” PSYOP has been one big extended gaslighting campaign (comprising countless individual instances of gaslighting) inflicted on the masses throughout the world. The events of this past week were just another example. Basically, what happened was, a Pfizer executive confirmed to the European Parliament last Monday that Pfizer did not know whether its Covid “vaccine” prevented transmission of the virus before it was promoted as doing exactly that and forced on the masses in December of 2020. People saw the video of the executive admitting this, or heard about it, and got upset. They tweeted and Facebooked and posted videos of Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, Bill Gates, the Director of the CDC, official propagandists like Rachel Maddow, and various other “experts” and “authorities” blatantly lying to the public, promising people that getting “vaccinated” would “prevent transmission,” “protect other people from infection,” “stop the virus in its tracks,” and so on, which totally baseless assertions (i.e., lies) were the justification for the systematic segregation and persecution of “the Unvaccinated,” and the fomenting of mass fanatical hatred of anyone challenging the official “vaccine” narrative, and the official New Normal ideology, which hatred persists to this very day. The New Normal propaganda apparatus (i.e., the corporate media, health “experts,” et al.) responded to the story predictably. They ignored it, hoping it would just go away. When it didn’t, they rolled out the “fact-checkers” (i.e., gaslighters).

Ironically (and unsurprisingly) this accusation of gaslighting is, in itself, gaslighting, and the accusation that fact checkers are gaslighters is the sort of projection that I’m talking about. If you don’t believe me, remember that antivaxxers have been trotting out the claim that the Pfizer randomized clinical trial (RCT) of its vaccine carried out in 2020 didn’t show that the vaccine prevented transmission, even though it was clearly stated that such was not the purpose of the trial. Rather, the goal of the trial was to demonstrate that the vaccine decreased severe disease and death. It’s not a coincidence that Hopkins’ first post was published in October, as it was in October that the undead claim that the Pfizer RCT didn’t show that the vaccine prevented transmission was exhumed from its grave to argue that the vaccine doesn’t prevent transmission at all. I wrote about it around the same time Hopkins published his article.

I also summarized a series of studies that demonstrate that the mRNA vaccines do indeed prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, but that they were less effective at preventing transmission of the Delta and Omicron variants. I also pointed out that good evidence exists that mRNA-based vaccines against COVID-19 can prevent transmission among children and even in high-risk situations, such as among the residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Additional evidence suggests that the vaccine effectiveness fell for the Delta variants. For Omicron variants, particularly the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, there is less evidence published given that the variant took off a year ago and it takes many months to do these kind of epidemiological studies, but there is still a growing body of evidence (for example, this) that Omicron variants can evade prior immune responses from vaccines and from infection with previous SARS-CoV-2 variants, but that does not mean that the vaccines “don’t prevent transmission,” but rather that they still do prevent transmission, just not nearly as effectively as they did for the original strain against which they were designed to protect.

That’s just one example. In fact, that disinformation gaslighting began almost immediately in 2020 and continues to this day. For example, Dr. Jonathan Howard, who was at the epicenter of one of the first and largest early US COVID-19 outbreaks in New York City wrote it, asking: Was New York’s Spring 2020 COVID Wave an Illusion? His article was in response to an article published by Brownstone Institute flack Dr. Jessica Hockett, an educational psychologist, falsely claiming that “New York City’s hospital emergency departments were not at a breaking point in spring 2020. In fact, they were relatively empty and saw a 50% drop in visits.” She used “five observations” to mislead her audience to believe her claim, all ably refuted by Dr. Howard in his article and by Dr. Eric Burnett, an internist at Columbia University, in an epic Twitter thread.

I’ll just cite two of Dr. Burnett’s refutations in order to give you a taste of Dr. Hockett’s gaslighting:

You might remember that this is very similar to the gaslighting that occurred almost as soon as the virus hit and hospitals canceled non-emergency procedures and went on emergency pandemic footing. COVID-19 minimizers claimed that hospitals were “empty” because they had discharged every patient who could be discharged and were dealing primarily with COVID-19 patients. You might even remember some influencers wandering through hospitals and emergency rooms taking smartphone videos to falsely give a picture of “empty” emergency rooms and hospitals.

Here’s another example in the same vein:

Seriously, this reminds me of the whole “died with COVID not of COVID” lie.

You get the idea. Dr. Hockett’s article was pure gaslighting, even as she accused “them” (e.g., the government and public health officials of “gaslighting”). There are more examples than I can list.

“The year of the gaslighter”

None of the clear projection that I document above stops Hopkins from starting his most recent article off thusly (excuse the profanity, as I’m directly quoting):

Well, it has been quite a year, 2022. I’m officially dubbing it “The Year of the Gaslighter.” I was going to dub it “The Year of the Mother of All Mindfucking Global-Capitalist Gaslighters,” but that seemed like a mouthful, so I’m opting for brevity. Seriously, if there were an Olympics of Gaslighting, GloboCap (i.e., the global corporatocracy) would take the gold in every event. At this point, the majority of the global masses have been successfully gaslighted into a semi-conscious, quasi-cyclothymic state in which they oscillate, on a moment-by-moment basis, between robotic obedience and impotent rage,” you know, the people “walking around in their masks and prophylactic face shields and injecting themselves with experimental “vaccines” for reasons they no longer even pretend to be able to articulate without gibbering like imbeciles are genuflecting at the feet of an oligarch huckster who they believe has come to deliver them from Wokeness.” Those who are not still walking around in their masks and prophylactic face shields and injecting themselves with experimental “vaccines” for reasons they no longer even pretend to be able to articulate without gibbering like imbeciles are genuflecting at the feet of an oligarch huckster who they believe has come to deliver them from Wokeness. If you were GloboCap, and in the process of imposing your new official ideology on the entire planet in a kind of global Gleichschaltung op, and otherwise establishing your “New Normal Reich,” and you needed the masses confused and compliant, you couldn’t ask for much more from your Gaslighting Division!

That bit about being “delivered from ‘Wokeness'” is clearly referring to Elon Musk, whom Hopkins dubs the Emperor Elonicus (a moniker that I actually did find amusing) and who is apparently is insufficiently skeptical to Hopkins, even though he’s basically dismantled Twitter’s efforts to combat COVID-19 misinformation and let the worst antivaxxers and COVID-19 disinformation peddlers back on the platform.)

Does any of this sound familiar? It’s exactly the sort of language that Mike Adams likes to use to describe those who accept science-based narratives and treatments in medicine. It’s a profoundly flattering idea to conspiracy theorists, as it portrays them as far more aware, intelligent, and clever than all the “masses” in a “a semi-conscious, quasi-cyclothymic state in which they oscillate, on a moment-by-moment basis, between robotic obedience and impotent rage.” They are not sheeple. They are the ones who have the hidden knowlege. You can have that hidden knowledge and become like them if you just listen to their conspiracy narratives about Gleichschaltung, a favorite term invoked by a number of Godwin-loving conspiracy theorists in which they compare to what the Nazis did under their policy of Gleichschaltung, which means “coordination” or “synchronization.” Under Gleichschaltung, German political, social, and cultural life were rearranged to serve Nazi goals. Put simply, it’s the German term that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis used to refer to the Nazification of German society following Hitler’s becoming Chancellor in January 1933. (Conspiracy theorists do love their Godwins, like this and, of course, “Nuremberg 2.0.”)

Which brings us to the projection:

The gaslighting got underway in January, when the corporate media, health authorities, and other major organs of the New Normal Reich started suddenly “discovering” that the official Covid narrative was “inaccurate,” or, you know, a bunch of lies. A series of limited hangouts ensued. Suddenly, it appeared that the “Covid case” and “Covid death” statistics were inaccurate, or inflated, or had been fabricated. The “vaccines” didn’t work. They were killing people. Lockdowns had been a “serious mistake.” And so on. Duplicitous politicians, pusillanimous public-health authorities, perfidious pundits, and assorted other professional sycophants and lying weasels were shocked to discover they had inadvertently been part of the most insidious PSYOP that had ever been perpetrated on the masses in the history of insidious mass-PSYOPs. The Last Days of the Covidian Cult were upon us! The Corporatocracy had overplayed their hand, and underestimated their opposition, and they knew it.

It’s worth noting the sort of “evidence” that the gaslighter C. J. Hopkins uses to accuse “Them” of gaslighting. The claim that COVID statistics had been accurate, inflated, or fabricated links to a video of a January 2022 interview at CNN between Jake Tapper and CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in which it was stated that 40% of patients in hospitals diagnosed with COVID-19 had been admitted for something else and didn’t have serious illness from COVID-19. I have to be honest here. both came across as pretty clueless, not understanding how diagnoses are not always straightforward, as was pointed out by a number of people on Twitter:


Again, using ambiguity in diagnoses to claim that COVID-19 case counts are overcounted is a gaslighting tactic. So is a New York Times article from December 2021 that about studies suggesting that most vaccines in existence the time would not do a good job preventing infection with Omicron variants but still offer significant protection against severe illness and that mRNA vaccines did offer some protection against infection but noting that “what you lose first is protection against asymptomatic mild infection, what you retain much better is protection against severe disease and death” and:

People with breakthrough cases may experience only asymptomatic infection or mild illness, but they can pass the virus to unvaccinated people, who could fall more severely ill, and become a source of new variants.

That’s actually what we saw in 2022, not that the “vaccines didn’t work.” Hopkins is gaslighting by omitting important context, which he continued to do. For example, the link to the claim that vaccines are killing people was a single anecdotal report of a British presenter who died of a blood clot after the AstraZeneca vaccine, a rare association primarily observed in women that was detected for this vaccine very early and led to its temporary withdrawal from use, as we discussed in April 2021, while also noting that the benefits of vaccination still outweighed the risks. Similarly, his link to the claim that “lockdowns were a mistake” is to an article describing an interview with David Frost, who did indeed express the opinion that lockdowns had been a “serious mistake.” I can only respond to this with a bit of sarcasm about how I always prefer to get my public health takes from a politician than from actual public health scientists, while noting that I’m old enough to have briefly done a double take, remembering another David Frost (now deceased) who wasn’t a political hack but rather a storied British television host and journalist.

Then, of course, Hopkins engages in that favorite of favorite crank gaslighting tactic, portraying science as religion, preferably a cult, even using a favorite COVID-19 minimizer/denier term, the “Covidian cult,” a term used by Brownstone Institute “scientific advisor” Martin Kulldorff himself and by Jay Bhattacharya and him when they likened Anthony Fauci and public health officials to a “covidian high priesthood.”

I could go on and on citing example after example of COVID-19 misinformation and disinformation peddlers like Hopkins and various Brownstone flacks accusing governments, the medical establishment, and public health organizations of “gaslighting” about the pandemic, but will spare you. It’s pure projection.

Was 2022 the “year of the gaslighter,” as Hopkins dubbed it? The answer is both yes and no because the answer to the question is both yes and no. Yes, 2022 was indeed the “year of the gaslighter” with respect to COVID-19 (although, unfortunately, so were 2021 and 2020). However, the answer is simultaneously “no” in that these years weren’t the “years of the gaslighter” in the way that propagandists claiming to be satirists (like C.J. Hopkins) claim that 2022 was. Rather, 2020-2022 were the “years of the gaslighter” with respect to the pandemic because disinformation peddlers like Hopkins made them so—resoundingly and increasingly so as the years rolled on.

Sadly, 2023 doesn’t look as though it will be any different. The gaslighting is now worse than ever and looks as though it will only grow in intensity and quantity.

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]

107 replies on “If 2022 was the “year of the gaslighter,” expect a lot more gaslighting in 2023”

@ Orac,

Really liked this post, keep up the great work in 2023.

“Respectful Insolence” is a phrase that refers to the science-based education of someone (i.e., a statement of fact can not be insolent) in order to lead them to question their own reality and even sanity.

I think the anti-vaxxers really give their game away when they refer to fact-checking as ‘gaslighting’. The best counter to lying and disinformation (other than the harsh glare of an electric arc light) is to show that actual facts and evidence disprove them. So when these people decline to discuss the actual facts and evidence and instead cast aspersions on those who try to do so, they are trying to unroot their followers from any connection to reality. In other words they really are gaslighting.

It goes along with the general effort to strip words of actual meaning, reducing them to convenient tools that can be tossed around against their opponents in mere name-calling that doesn’t even rise to the level of an ad hominem fallacy. An illustration that I like is when Trump called Joe Biden a fascist and then turned around and called Kamala Harris a communist. If that were literally true, it would have been the most incompatible political ticket in U.S. History.

I think the anti-vaxxers really give their game away when they refer to fact-checking as ‘gaslighting’.

I may have missed something but I think the first time I saw repeated dismissal of fact-checking it came from the “global warming is a scam” crowd. Whether there or from the anti-vaccination crowd it seems the driving force is the same: massive distrust of science and scientists — authorities in general, in fact. Reagan’s message of “don’t trust the media or government” has been expanded and cleverly exploited by these people.

I think that possibly the first time I encountered “don’t trust the media” was during the hiv/aids crisis when denialists rejected whatever SBM had discovered to date. Believe it or not, those outliers/ outliars still exist.

Sadly, I can remember a friend’s dad who first introduced us to the “Lying, liberal media” during the Waco affair.

To hear him tell it, Koresh was a luminary crushed under the heel of Clinton tyranny rather than a serial child molester.

I say “Sadly” because he was a good man and father when his wacky politics didn’t get in the way.

I say “Sadly” because he was a good man and father when his wacky politics didn’t get in the way.

Unfortunately, you can’t separate the two. It’s all same person. To use an extreme example (and at the risk of a Godwin), several high ranking Nazis were reportedly fine family men, good fathers, and nice people when not otherwise, you know, sending Jews to death camps and planning the conquest of Europe.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with Orac: accepting this style of thinking probably represents a total shift away from a reality-based foundation and valuing data over emotionalism.

A real life example: my SO’s relative, whom I met 20 years ago, seemed middle-of-the-road and perhaps even slightly, just a shade, feminist. HOWEVER over the years she – living in the reddest part of Maricopa County- became more and more entrenched in conservativism. I stopped interacting with her ( which was by phone only) years ago because I became tired of the passive aggressive, thinly veiled insults. My SO only corresponds with her by e-mail now and reports her comments about California and NY that sound just like Fox News. Which is funny because we live near or visit those places. ” Everyone is deserting NYC/ CA”, she claims. But why do homes/ apartments cost a fortune ? Why are multiple apartment complexes being built nearby? Why do international visitors/ students come?

When a person accepts these sources and interacts primarily with their advocates, they reject other information despite its source. We could give proof of facts- low crime, job opportunities, a thriving culture, rising home prices- they will all be rejected as propaganda. Refusing to accept mainstream news/ official data/ moderate or liberal sources is the first step towards radicalisation. Someone once compared disaffected youth/ school shooters to ISIS converts – both out of step with the general culture, disappointed and left behind so to speak. I wonder if OLDER, cul de sac dwellers might be in a similar situation ( hopefully with less guns) as they confront a more diverse, open culture.

I expect you’re right. What’s certain is that they think the same of us. They’re absolutely sure we were indoctrinated into a radical leftist ideology in school. I always find this hilarious since I voted for some Republicans throughout my undergraduate, masters, and doctorate training.

I had run into this prior to the climate change denialists with anti-vaxxers, anti-fluoridation and as Denice states below HIV/AIDS denialists. When the climate change denialists started to use it the tactic was seen by a much larger audience.

The tactics denialists use are rarely different. Even the climate change denialists indulged in the shill argument, they just substituted government research grants for corporations.

Why is someone who doubts the mainstream narrative of climate change a ‘denialist’? That seems like climate change is a religious rather than science-based.

Why is someone who doubts the mainstream narrative of climate change a ‘denialist’?

Because they are going against the vast amount of data, the accuracy of the models, and other research that support the conclusions.

You never base your decisions on science, only on your feelings, and this comment from below

I’m a climate catastrophe skeptic.

shows just how deeply you’ve buried your head to avoid reality.

There lots of evdence. Because you like anedoces, there is one for you: Oaks now grows from acorns where I live. I did not happen when I was a kid.

I echo the question of John LaBarge below… Why is someone a “denialist” because of simple doubts. Additionally, why is someone “anti-vax” for having doubts about the safety and efficacy of a new relatively untested “vaccine” ?

It seems the labels are more for shutting down any opposition than for accurately describing a mindset, honestly.

I could just as easily label Orac a left wing woke communist shill, but how would that further any rational, respectful discussion?

But back to Dr. Spencer, a man who doesn’t deny the possibility of man made global warming, but at the same time presents data and analysis that leads ones to question the mainstream severity that man made global warming is chained to represent.

How do you reconcile the term climate change denialist with someone like him?

In answer to your rhetorical questions:

Why is someone a “denialist” because of simple doubts

Because the questions they are raising have been asked and answered, and their ‘doubts’ refuted, but still they insist there must be something to those ‘doubts’.

Additionally, why is someone “anti-vax” for having doubts about the safety and efficacy of a new relatively untested “vaccine” ?

Again, there were large scale trials and post release monitoring done on these vaccines. The questions about safety and efficacy HAVE been answered, but again these people, instead of accepting the answers, insist that something is up.

Answer: you don’t get to be a denier just because of “simple doubts”.

You earn the label through stubborn adherence to a deeply flawed minority position that ignores massive amounts of countervailing evidence.

I had not heard of Roy Spencer before your post but he’s been cited as doing just that.

It doesn’t help that he has called opponents “Nazis” and that he’s a stout creationist.

“Evolution denier”, anyone?

*Spencer showed early enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine as an anti-Covid-19 drug, to derail Pharma plans for new pharmaceuticals and for vaccines.

In addition to what Julian has said I would note that what matters in the end is not the label we choose to place on someone but the quality of their evidence and strength of the argument they can make from it. And if someone consistently argues against the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and minimizes the harm of the disease(s) they protect against then they deserve that label.

There are plenty of legitimate questions about the Covid-19 vaccines such as which age or risk groups really benefit from getting a booster shot or whether the protection from the bivalent boosters will be better over time against current and future variants. But we don’t label people who just focus on questions like those as antivaxxers.

I won’t spend more time turning this into a discussion on global warming, but Dr Spencer needs to work harder to convince the broader community of climate scientists. Judging from what I have read, his arguments in that regard are not much better than those made by our familiar antivaxxers.

I wonder if he also disagrees with the climate scientists at Exxon?

Why would you call someone “anti-vax”, if they place quotations around “vaccine”, indicating that this is not actually a vaccine? Isn’t this an indication that they don’ believe that this is a vaccine? So, if you question whether a vaccine, is actually a vaccine, it seems to me that “anti-vax” is an accurate label.

I did appreciate how you asked about your labeling someone “left wing woke communist shill”, as if to indicate that you were not actually labeling them a “left wing woke communist shill”, and therefore this would not be considered as such.

A question – how can you be both a communist and a pharma shill? Wouldn’t that indicate opposing ideologies?

Well, he may be writing nonsense but he does it well. That sentence with the “semi-conscious, quasi-cyclothymic state” phrase has 85 words in it and is comprehensible. An old-time Latin student probably.


Until his recent COVID denialism anyway, Hopkins was known primarily as a satirical playwright. I imagine some of the extremism in his gaslighting screed might come from adopting the sort of exaggerated position of a character in a satire, a relish in creation of button-pushing cleverness. None of which is an excuse…

It’s possible. He Tweeted in response to the version I posted on SBM as though his satire had “got me,” but unless his satire is 12 dimensional chess so sophisticated that no one gets it—it’s not—his articles and book look like standard issue COVID conspiracy mongering, and not even particularly clever conspiracy mongering at that.

I am so glad that the Brownstone Institute is publishing articles on epidemiology by an educational psychologist (Jessica Hockett). I just can’t wait until her series comes out on quantum physics. Not.

I see that C.J. Hopkins’ recently released book, “The Rise of the New Normal Reich”, features a glowing tribute on its cover from none other than R.F.K. Jr., calling Hopkins a “prophet” and “new Jeremiah”.

What was that again about science being a form of religion?

Those results fit right in with general literature about anti-vaxxers’ psychology ( well known researchers/ writers- Matt Hornsey and Karen Douglas).
So, if personality disorders involving paranoia and narcissism are likely, we really shouldn’t expect good results through education.

HOWEVER I am hopeful that not all anti-vaxxers/ denialists experience these conditions but might develop from mis-information given by people who are presented as trustworthy experts. You’ll notice that alties/ denialists spend a great deal of effort applauding their own/ their allies’ qualifications ( Malone, McCollough, Malhotra et al) as well as cosplaying Galileo. Sceptics can focus on how shaky these foundations are and how far these provocateurs vary from experts and consensus opinion. Not to mention, data.

Consensus opinion isn’t always right: earth is round, doctors should wash hands,scurvy caused by lack of vitamin C were all non-consensus at first. It is arrogant and dogmatic to call folks who disagree with your science ‘denialists’.

There was very little flat earth belief amongst scholars in the last few thousand years. It’s a bit of a myth. Nobody cared what the peasants thought because if it wasn’t farming, or general serf-ing, then they didn’t have the knowledge to make a meaningful contribution.

The point is that radical ideas have to have better science and more concrete evidence than current consensus. It’s basically trial by combat. Back in the days of not washing hands and not knowing what caused scurvy, there wasn’t much known at all. Now, with the advent of social media and the internet, everyone fancies themself a renaissance person.

Do you know that Ptolemy thought that earth is a sphere ? No scientist believed flat earth, though churchmen disagreed.
Szent Györgyi got his Nobel for ascorbic acid, and rreason of scurvy very fast. Before there were no explanation,and no consensus either.

Do you know that Ptolemy thought that earth is a sphere ?

And that Eratosthenes measured its circumference some 300 years earlier?

scurvy caused by lack of vitamin C [was] non-consensus at first

That diet could be a preventative of scurvy was recognised a long time before vitamin C was discovered. It did take some time for it to be widely recognised that correct diet could prevent (and cure) scurvy, though it apparently took less time for it to be recognised among naval surgeons.

In 1747, James Lind demonstrated that citrus fruit in the diet could cure scurvy. Vitamin C was discovered in 1912, not isolated until 1928, and not shown to be a cure of scurvy on its own until clinical trials during WWII.

It’s true that “Consensus opinion” has been wrong (such as the cause of ulcers). But the one thing that those people who changed the scientific consensus did was to conduct research.
They didn’t sit around complaining about people disagreeing with them…

I’ll ad that making fun of folks who dare to question the consensus is pretty indicative that something is off.

I don’t ignore ANY legitimate research on the covid vaccines. Quite the contrary. There’s now concern about stroke in a small subset of a very specific demographic. I’m watching that and altering my recommendations accordingly.

What you don’t get us that, because there may be a tiny increased risk of myocarditis in one group or stoke in another DOES NOT MEAN it occurs elsewhere. IT DIES NOT.

It does not mean everyone else is experiencing some fantasy “pre-stroke” all the time. It does not mean other folks are experiencing your fantasy, undefined “Heart damage.”

And why am I sure? Because you’re relying on the SAME DAMN data that found these and narrowed the group at risk in the first place!

Lots of research showing these jabs have problems. Ignored by most people here.

Yah. The most obvious problem with this utterance is that you don’t provide citations (see “IGg4”). Given that you also demonstrably can’t think, preferring oblique assertions that “it” is out there somewhere (as well as running away), you have no basis for whining about your fortune-cookie replies’ not amounting to much anything.

No one is making fun of you for asking questions. Nor are people ‘ignoring’ the vaccines’ side effects, simply because they don’t overreact they way you seem to be doing. Asking questions is an integral part of research and learning. People are making fun of you for ignoring the answers. Not to mention your use of projection as a defense mechanism. I have seen many people claiming that criticism of their ‘hypothesizes’ is percussion, framing that as validation their beliefs.

Morever, seeing yourself as ‘daring’ is indictive of how you see yourself.

Orac started a great discussion!

Without tiring out people with moral judgments, there is one specific issue that disappoints me and is pertinent to “gaslighting” that Orac mentioned.

We (meaning the US, Germany, Australia, NZ, the UK and many more countries) are experiencing very significant excess mortality. In the UK, which arguably has the best reporting, the last two weeks had 20% excess mortality. (it is actually understated due to including 2021 into the “baseline average” and is therefore around 23%)

The excess mortality is NOT explained by officially counted COVID-19 deaths, which are only a fraction of excess deaths.

If anything, we should be experiencing negative excess mortality due to “pull-forward effect”, that is older and infirm people who died of Covid in 2020 who would have otherwise died last year. So the true excess mortality is even greater.

Now, in any decent society led by honest and caring leaders, this unusual excess mortality would be publicly investigated, with multiple studies initiated, and the situation eagerly reported to the public by honest and objective press.

We are seeing the opposite.

The press ignores excess mortality. The silence is deafening.

The health experts ignore excess mortality, other than to say “we have no clue why people are dying, BUT WE ARE SURE IT IS NOT BECAUSE OF COVID VACCINES”.

No public wide scale investigations of excess mortality are initiated, either.

Meanwhile if we are to stop this excess mortality, we at least need to know WHY it is happening. We do not know. Nobody is looking.

If this is not gaslighting, what is it?

Hi, even though I am an anti-Covid-vaxxer, I believe that indeed Covid plays a greater role in this excess mortality than we are led to believe.

It could be that a hypothetical sudden heart arrythmia 30 days after a Covid infection, that leads to death, is caused by Covid. (this is what happened to 17 year old Gwen Casten in my opinion)

The vaccine likely also plays a role, by making people more susceptible to reinfections, making Covid “milder” at the expense of not stopping viral replication fast enough and so on.

This is just a hunch but someone, somewhere needs to figure this out instead of guessing.

People are dying and the next one could be me, you, or our loved ones.

Instead we get silence and “we do not want to know what it is, but we are sure it is not the vaccine”.

I think there is something to that too. My heart rate increased a lot when I think I may have had Covid in early 2020 (no one was testing unless you were in the hospital then) I had been running a lot and was observing my resting heartrate and when I was I’ll my heartrate spiked a lot. Some of that is normal, but it was several weeks until I could run or cycle and feel normal with a stable heartrate.

This is a pretty common complaint in the immediate aftermath of a COVID infection. I’m sure you probably experienced it.

My untested theory is that it has to do with HR making up for decreased oxygenation from damaged lung mass. When the inflammation subsides, it usually returns to normal.

For a few unlucky folks it seems to persist. I have one or two 20-something patient’s experience reactivation of childhood asthma with a vengeance after a case. Weird stuff happens with this bug. Especially after Delta.

Okay, but why are the vaccines making people commit suicide, overdose on drugs and get into traffic accidents? That’s where you need to go into detail, because without that no one’s going to follow the stories you’re trying to tell.

Do they do something to the brain – like lower inhibitions, make people more impulsive or more likely to give into violent or self destructive urges? And if so, why?

If there’s a massive conspiracy to kill off most of the population why are the most obedient and likely to follow their leaders being targeted for death? Why leave the strong willed, individualistic alive to rebel against the new world order?

Like, I can see a rough idea of the plot you’re trying to come up with, but there are so many holes in it and it involves basically the whole setting to revolve around the villains and work the exact way they need it to, not to mention you’re requiring Joe Rando on the internet to be so deeply invested in the evil scheme that he’s willing to just go along with it with nothing to gain. just for the sake of discrediting the protagonists. That kind of thing is lame and why I stopped reading a bunch of fics that I otherwise should have loved. I don’t want to see you fall into the same trap and I feel if you put just a little more effort into the logic of your world building it’d be better.

It would be far better to devellop a virus and a vaccine around the same time and first vaccinate the people who are willing to take them and then spread the virus, to kill of everyone who didn’t take the vaccine, to get rid of the strong willed trouble makers.

We all only have a rough idea, myself included. We need demographics institutes and medical science involved in figuring out excess mortality. It is dificult to analyze conclusively and you need professionals, not substack and wordpress authors.

Since about summer of 2022, on a country-by-country comparison, excess mortality is positively correlated with vaccination rate. (it was negative in 2021) Regressions come up with very low P values, high R squared (0.48 was my latest) and high slopes.

This is just numbers and a correlation is not a proof of causation.

We do not know what exactly causes this excess mortality and analyzing conclusively it is very complicated. BUT WE NEED TO DO IT!

My guess is that a lot more people die due to Covid than is reported. This includes vaccinated people who have Covid more often due to messed up immunity due to shots. But the deaths are not counted as Covid deaths so we are in the dark.

This is only a guess and I have not yet found anything that contradicts it, however it could easily be a wrong guess.

We have a huge problem and it seems like no one cares. The media is silent.

This includes vaccinated people who have Covid more often due to messed up immunity due to shots.

Ignor Chudov know no biology, no immunology. Ignor Chudov asserts things not supported by evidence. Ignor Chudov knows nothing so he can’t evaluate evidence.

There is an IGg4 [sic ] study saying exactly this.

You mean this?

“This includes vaccinated people who have Covid more often due to messed up immunity due to shots.”

Irrgang et al. says nothing of the sort.

Hello, Narad. Would you like to play a game? Bill Gibson’s Neuromancer might be a good starting point.

How is August??

“This includes vaccinated people who have Covid more often due to messed up immunity due to shots.”

PROVE this statement.

Regressions come up with very low P values, high R squared (0.48 was my latest) and high slopes.

I examined your previous regressions: applied to data that wasn’t appropriate for it and unsupportable conclusions were the results. I’m guessing you aren’t linking to these because the work is just as shitty.

I never link to my posts because it would amount to spamming and would be inappropriate for this forum.

I am sorry for being so focused on excess mortality. Being a covid writer, and reading a lot, I have a bad feeling that mortality will soon turn to much worse than it is now.

20% excess mortality is bad but is hard to notice in every day life. What if it increases greatly? I hope not obviously.

Also most people, provaxers and antivaxers, are not taking it seriously. It is not an abstract question and may involve any one of us or our loved ones.

I never link to my posts…

If that set of linear regressions you linked to wasn’t yours they were from someone just as uninformed about statistics as you are. There is still no reason to believe your work is meaningful

Do you intentionally ignore any data that doesn’t fit with your beliefs, or this confirmation bias subconscious?

We do not know the intentions of those who developed Sars-Cov-2 clandestinely, then “designed vaccines in just two days”, made plenty of money, but left us with a raging pandemic and worsening excess mortality.

Your guess as to their intent is almost as good as mine.

It could possibly be a big screw-up, or possibly it could be something more sinister.

And yes, there is a real possibility that we may lose our most educated people (who “believe science” blindly due to misplaced trust), our military, our elderly etc and be left with a much smaller population.

It is a dreadful thought because it is hard to imagine a society without scientists, doctors, the military, etc etc. We will survive that of course due to human resilience, but the loss of human capital will be irreplaceable.

Let’s hope that the worst does not happen and if you are religious, pray for it too.

We do not know the intentions of those who developed Sars-Cov-2 clandestinely, then “designed vaccines in just two days”,

The fact that you’re still pushing the “man made virus” crap when evidence points against continues to cement your reputation as a liar. The fact that you continue to push your lack of understanding of the history of the vaccine shows you are incapable of learning anything.

Both are required tools for someone who simply pushes conspiracies without providing data or analysis, which is what you do.

You’re still (conveniently) ignoring all the backlog of health problems that didn’t make their way through the system BECAUSE of the pandemic. The diseases that weren’t diagnosed because people didn’t get them checked out or couldn’t get them checked out. Many of those problems are exposed now and the NHS is suffering because of it.

I have no idea what those figures equate to but they are part of the excess deaths too. The fact you don’t incorporate them into your theory, despite being big on all sorts of other numbers, means you aren’t honestly evaluating the evidence. I wonder if you can see that? Maybe not, once you put those blinkers on its easy to forget that they are there.

I do t think he is. He is identifying. Strong correlation that should be investigated and admitting that it is not proof of causation.

First he has to identify the percentage of excess deaths that are explainable by covid and pandemic fall-out and whatever other confounding factors there might be (season, economy, inflation etc). He hasn’t done that because every figure he quotes is TOTAL excess.

Until there is evidence of excess deaths NOT explainable by logical factors, such as above, then he hasn’t found any correlation at all.

If you aren’t seen to be doing due diligence in scientific work. Then you aren’t doing your work correctly.

Big picture wise a deadly pandemic followed by an effective vaccine series should yield reduced overall mortality. If not, then something is wrong.

Now you’re just being obtuse.

It is an absolute fact that during the pandemic the normal process of health care was interrupted. There are people whose diagnosis of cancer or diabetes or a myriad of other conditions has been delayed. Meaning they are more advanced, harder to treat and theres a lot of them. All at once. Remember how you objected to various health measures? How they harmed people economically and mentally?

These people will be part of those excess deaths. Take them out of the ‘vaccines cause harm’ equation.

“Big picture wise a deadly pandemic followed by an effective vaccine series should yield reduced overall mortality”

With a perfect vaccine and no secondary consequences of the pandemic……Oh wait……..

By the way, there’s a war war in Ukraine. Contributing to skyrocketing fuel costs. Which leads to people choosing heating OR eating. Do you think that this has no bearing on excess deaths?

@ NumberWang
You are completely right. It alwasy strikes me as weird that the same people who were against health measures, seem to want to blame these health measures for the excess deaths by later diagnosis of certain health problems.
But without those measures health care would have far more problems, because being flooded with covid-patients, would mean even less room for other patients, meaning more delayed treatments and more heath damage. And if there would not be enough room and personel to take care of all those covid-patients, probably also more people dieing from covid.

Why is it weird? If they don’t blame the wave of excess deaths on vaccines and lockdowns, then they might have to confront the likelihood that it was COVID-19 that caused this wave.

Well, for antivaxxers, nothing is weird, but to me it sounds weird that the people who want nothing to be done to prevent the spread of covid, are complaining about excess deaths, probably from deleayed treatments, while their tactics would result in even more excess deaths, because even less people can be treated for other diseases, if the hospital is overcrowded with covid-patients, besides there might even not be enough room and personel to treat all covid-patients.

The thing here is that that’s all because of the same ‘science’ that renders the health authorities untrustworthy.

@ Igor Chudov

First, though deaths from covid are down, deaths from omicron variant are among younger people. Second, there has been an increase in suicides, homicides, and traffic fatalities. Of course, it’s the vaccine that caused people to commit suicide. It’s the vaccine that make people killers. And it’s the vaccine that made people reckless drivers, made many people drink more before driving. In fact, before the first vaccines the average life expectancy of people was 90.

You are one sick SOB. Both American data and international data show clearly that those unvaccinated experienced much higher severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths.

You need help. You are clearly mentally disturbed.

You don’t understand science and even more, you don’t want to understand science because then you would have to face what a stupid, intellectually dishonest SOB you are.

People like you are no different from those who believe in QAnon, those who are racists, those who are Holocaust deniers, etc.

@ Igor Chudov

I left out that drug overdoses are responsible for 100,000 deaths in 2022, mainly opioids. Oops! I forgot, people only started using drugs if they were vaccinated or it actually wasn’t a drug overdose that killed them, it was a vaccine, otherwise drug use is a completely harmless pastime.

People die, tragic; but they die for many reasons and you want to blame vaccines, ignoring the fact that you don’t even understand how the immune system works, so you don’t understand vaccines.

I appreciate you going through this in this context, but I do think we saw claims of “gaslighting” before the pandemic. Especially in the context of people claiming vaccine harms and deaths. I know I was accused of gaslighting multiple times for saying a death or harm was not vaccine related – the argument there being that this was “gas lighting” family members or people claiming harm.

Going back to your recurring point that very little of what we see during the pandemic is really new.

Here’s a good one:

CNN: FDA vaccine advisers ‘disappointed’ and ‘angry’ that early data about new Covid-19 booster shot wasn’t presented for review last year

Apparently, Moderna had data that bivalent boosted people were 68% MORE likely (3.2% compared to 1.9%) more likely to get sick with Covid.

FDA advisers are “disappointed and angry” that this information was withheld from them so all they had was information about TEN MICE (moderna).

Reminder, all ten Moderna mice got Covid when challenged with the virus.

They said, in addition, that they would never approve anything if they had no time to consider the data. They are forgetting, though, that they approved infants covid vaccines after just TWO DAYS available to look at them.

This is a ridiculous CYA attempt as the FDA advisers are feeling the heat of public opinion.

Antivaxxers are laughing

“Reminder” COVID is a coronavirus. It’s a common cold. It’s just a new one. There are perfectly understandable reasons why we can’t ever seem to get vaccines to wrk against common cold virus strains.

Your lot don’t understand this because you don’t understand Central Dogma (Taught to 6th graders in the US) let alone something as complex as viral epidemiology and forget about viral pathology.

No. You’re happy to sit back and laugh as it all burns around you shouting “I told you so!” Trouble is, eventually the fire finds you. Read more history. You’ll see I’m right.

I haven’t been back to the site in a long time it is amazing how many people are now suspicious of not only the Covid vaccine, but other pediatric vaccines it’s glorious!! It finally took the Clot shot and all the side effects, deaths etc. to wake people up. The mandates were the last straw now people have heart damage. Holy shit y’all blew it.

Dear “fully vaxxed and boostered” friends:

By now you all know that you’ve been lied to about everything: efficacy, safety, prevention, and transmission.

You should be angry with the “experts” who lied to you, not us who warned you and ended up being correct on everything.

To clarify fwiw (based on a very small sample of his opinion) I take Hopkins COVID posts to be satire in the sense that they’re exaggerated flights from ideas he actually entertains, rather than satire in the sense of ridiculing ideas he actually opposes. I had written a longer comment on his politics, based on my reading of an interview he did with Matt Taibbi on Taibbi’s Substack, but a “nonce verification error” ate it. Short version: he’s a contrarian lefty, uber-focused on global corporate capital and the neoliberal political order that supports it, which he views as maintaining an all but seamless hegemony. Thus he views popular support for authoritarian movements as positive signs of chinks in GloboCap’s armor. But only chinks — gnat-like annoyances that pose little threat to The System. Thus, the targets of his ridicule and scorn are the “catastrophizing” rhetoric the dominant order issues in reaction to the gnats, and the “repressive” measures of social control they impose in an attempt to shore up their authority. Example from the Taibbi interview (slightly edited for brevity):

Go back to 2016. There global capitalism was, happily destabilizing, restructuring, privatizing, and debt-enslaving the entire planet, and cleaning up little pockets of resistance, as it had been doing since the fall of the USSR, which is when global capitalism became the first unopposed globally-hegemonic ideological system in history. The War on Terror was still the primary official narrative. Then Brexit, Trump, and the whole populist backlash against globalization and wokeness that erupted in 2016. So GloboCap needed to adjust the official narrative to delegitimize Trump, who was (a) an unauthorized president and (b) a symbol of that populist backlash, basically, a big “fuck you” to the global capitalist establishment from the American people.

OK, GloboCap spends the next four years demonizing Trump as both a Russian intelligence asset and literally the Resurrection of Adolf Hitler. But Russiagate/Hitlergate was never about Trump, who was never a threat to GloboCap, and was always just a narcissistic ass clown. It was about reminding us who’s running things, and what happens if we start rebelling against the hegemony of global capitalism and electing unauthorized ass-clown presidents instead of the corporate puppets GloboCap has carefully vetted and presented to us to obediently vote for. What happens is, they make an example of the ass-clown president and demonize everyone who voted for him as “traitors” and “racists.”

Essentially, what the last 4-5 years have been about is crushing resistance to GloboCap’s hegemony and ideology throughout the West, as it crushed resistance to its hegemony and ideology in the Middle East during the War on Terror. What better way to crush a populist rebellion and remind us who is really in charge than to foment mass hysteria over a clearly non-apocalyptic virus, impose a bunch of unnecessary, totalitarian “emergency measures,” cancel our constitutional rights, censor and/or demonize dissent, and otherwise transform societies into pathologized-totalitarian police states?

IMHO this is an appallingly naive take on the present political dynamic, which is not at all a hegemony of neoliberal GlobalCap but rather a war between that and what we might call CowboyCap or RobberBaronCap: the realm of multi-billionaires like Koch, Musk Theil and Mercer who are besotted in the authoritian ‘philosophy’ of Curtis Yarvin, and fund explicitly anti-democratic forces all over the globe. We may deride their ideas-and-utterances as those of clowns, but their power and effect are nothing to laugh at. They embody the Springsteen lyric “rich man wants to be king, and a king ain’t satisfied until he rules eveything.”

Their pragmatic program is neo-fascism, but I’ll suggest the end game is best imagined as Neo-feudallism, with an oligarchic plutocracy replaced the landed aristocracy. I might suggest that Hopkins reflect that Marx considered the transition from feudalism to capitalism to be a form of progress, and movements in the opposite direction are nothing to welcome. Like, dude, do you really want to write off hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths from COVID denialism? But his whole shtick reeks of privilege that comes from the protection offered him as a white-male Berlin-based playwright by the neoliberal state. Tell Ruby Freeman Trump is just an ass-clown, or immigrants, or LGBTQ+, or (um, Berlin?) Jews…

Oh yeah, check ‘the resistance to GloboCaps hegemony and ideology’ in Brazil: the force enabling the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, which may or may not be putting us on the path to “apocalypse”, but certainly promises to make the worst of the recent pandemic ‘the good old days’ soon enough…

Yeah. In some ways I have to wonder if I’m fortunate that I’m only likely to live another quarter century, give or take, and therefore won’t be alive to see how bad climate change climate change gets by the end of the century.

I guess it all goes to show that left wing loonies can at times echo the same sorts of BS as fascists. I mean, the conspiracy theory that “they” took advantage of (or even engineered and intentionally released” a “nonapocalyptic virus” in order to take total power is the very same conspiracy theory that the right has been peddling for years and years about the supposed “global elite” (e.g., leftists).

Still not disproven and still substantial evidence. US helped fund development of dangerous viruses in Wuhan China. Two countries dealing with anti-establishment pushback in 2019 and 2020. Many others in the west facing similar unrest with the elite preference (lets call it).

Speaking about many antivaxxers, Upton Sinclair have it better: A man would not admit his mistake if his income depends on it.

@ Igor Chudov

You write: “Apparently, Moderna had data that bivalent boosted people were 68% MORE likely (3.2% compared to 1.9%) more likely to get sick with Covid.”

According to the original CNN article:

“This infection data was far from complete. The number of study subjects who became infected was very small, and both the patients and the researchers were aware of who was getting the original shot . . . The six FDA and CDC advisers interviewed by CNN said that this infection data wouldn’t have changed how they voted, because the data had such limitations, but it still should have been presented to them.”

Elizabeth Cohen and Naomi Thomas (2023 Jan 11). FDA vaccine advisers ‘disappointed’ and ‘angry’ that early data about new Covid-19 booster shot wasn’t presented for review last year. CNN

As usual, you latch onto something, ignoring its limitations. Quite simply, if one tests anything on a small group of individuals random variation will effect very small numbers. As I’ve written over and over again, you don’t understand mRNA nor immunology and you ignore that 30,000 to 40,000 subjects were involved in phase 3 clinical trials with follow-up continuing and you ignore the overwhelming US and international data that the vaccines work. And you ignore that, though the FDA advisors were upset that data was withheld, it would NOT have changed their decision which was based on all the data they were provided with. Plus, your biased use of math. If one, for instance, compared two groups of 100 each and one group got 2, the other got 1, would be twice as many; but also just one more per 100.

You write: “Reminder, all ten Moderna mice got Covid when challenged with the virus.”

Give complete reference/URL.

This is what I found: “Boosting with clinically representative versions of bivalent mRNA vaccines enhances neutralizing antibody responses against Omicron variants and confers protection against BA.5 infection in mice . . . Moreover, serum generated from the bivalent mRNA-1273.222 and mRNA-1273.214 273 vaccines potently neutralized infection of both Omicron (BA.1. and BA.4/5) pseudoviruses, as well as those displaying the historical Wuhan-1 D614G spike, demonstrating the best neutralization breadth.”

Suzanne M. Scheaffer et al. (posted September 13, 2022 bioRxiv preprint). Bivalent SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines increase breadth of neutralization and protect against the BA.5 Omicron variant.

Of course, they also found COVID in the mice; but finding virus particles is NOT even close to finding sickened by them. As I’ve written several times, we are ALL infected with millions of microbes, including viruses, at all times, on our skin, in our lungs, etc.; but our immune systems stop them from causing damage. I realize, since you don’t understand even the basics of immunology, you don’t understand this. How about a simple analogy. A heavy rain storm; yet as long as roof of house intact, windows not broken, etc. house stays dry; but, of course, rain does hit house.

So, Igor Chudov,


@ johnlabarge

You copy what Igor Chudov wrote: ““Reminder, all ten Moderna mice got Covid when challenged with the virus.” 🤡”

Read my comment above if you dare. As with Chudov


So is what is your position? Is it that the so-called vaccines are wildly successful at stopping infection, transmission hospitalization or death?

Of these how has it been successful?

They’re good at preventing severe clinical outcomes, especially death. That’s what I see every day in the clinical setting and there are dozens of studies that prove it.

The current variant is good at immune escape in vaccinated people. They still get sick but they don’t end up in the hospital, the ICU, or the morgue. They still spread the thing around, yes, even if vaccinated. Boosters help but they are not perfect.


The current variant is less virulent and is correlated with the vaccine and boosters. But how do we know it’s not merely correlation because this variant is less virulent. Anecdotally, my experience with Omicron was the same as friends who are vaccinated and boosted; except our vaccinated friends have been sick with covid on more occasions than we have.

What do you mean by “correlated?” Do you mean “caused?”

If you are about to answer in the affirmative, think first before you do…

@Igor Chudov

“My guess is that a lot more people die due to Covid than is reported.”

I can endorse your guess. Like I outlined a year ago, take into account that the number of covid deaths will be 3, 4 or 5 times higher than the official number.

“They will do anything to push their agenda which is frightening enough people to oppose vaccines so that governments and businesses will stop issuing mandates.”

A government using a mandate to force me into a medical treatment? Are you out of your damn mind?


They’re not a “Treatment.” Treatments come after disease. I know this is a bit nuanced, but vaccines are one of the few medical interventions that absolutely prevent or attenuate disease. Before it happens. There is unspeakable value in that to most people (e.g. – If I had a single-dose vaccine that would prevent obesity and diabetes, I’d have a line around the block of people waiting to get it every morning.)

Should the government be able to fore you to take a vaccine? I would argue no. Should they be able to ban you from places because you don’t have the vaccine in question? Again, I would argue no (Others here would disagree I have no doubt.) To do so is tantamount to forcing you.


Should private companies and organizations be allowed to ban you from their property without a vaccine? HELL YES. If you disagree, your arguments are incongruent. Ponder it for a minute.

Should you launch the next great measles (or other vaccine-preventable) epidemic (note this would not include COVID with current vaccines) off in a locale that leads to the death of an as-of-yet unvaccinated infant or other vulnerable person because you chose to not get vaccinated and wander around in public…should those persons affected be allowed to sue you? HELL YES. This precedent is already established.

Freedom comes with responsibility.


“Should private companies and organizations be allowed to ban you from their property without a vaccine? HELL YES. If you disagree, your arguments are incongruent. Ponder it for a minute.”

Apart from the possibility of constant testing, I can’t disagree when you talk about the unvaccinated without immunity.
But we live in a different world meanwhile. Many of the unvaccinated have immunity, so on what ground would you still be able to ban them. And since there is clear proof that the vaccinated are spreaders as well, should these organizations still be able to ban you? Since there is no more real reason for it, I would disagree.
The unvaccinated without immunity may be spreaders for a somewhat longer period, fine, but the vaccinated will be the asymptomatic spreaders. So what’s your argument as long as you don’t know the net effect on transmission.

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