Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

Steve Kirsch denies being a doxxing bully. Hilarity ensues.

Litigious bully Steve Kirsch responds to Orac’s post calling him a litigious bully. Orac obliges Kirsch with one most likely final response because Kirsch’s denials demonstrate important psychology.

I debated whether to write about Steve Kirsch yet again, as three posts in a row seemed excessive to me. However, after seeing the post on his Substack Tuesday night in which Kirsch characterized my last post about him in which I characterized him as a litigious bully as not just a “hit piece” but an “epic fail,” I had a hard time resisting one final response. Fear not, my faithful and sometimes long-suffering readers, however. I do not plan on engaging in an endless back-and-forth exchange with Kirsch, as I am well aware how easily such an exchange could consume this blog given Kirsch’s obsessiveness. The main reason that I couldn’t resist one last post (hopefully for a good long while) about Kirsch is because he claims that I got seven things very wrong about him last time. At best, one of his points might—I repeat, might—be barely arguable, albeit only if you bend over backwards until your shape starts turning into a pretzel to give him the benefit of the doubt. The rest of Kirsch’s “rebuttals,” particularly his denial of being a “thug,” were so hilarious that Orac couldn’t resist doing what Orac does best, at least when it comes to blogging.

My post the other day about Kirsch chastised and mocked him for having used his Substack account to rally his followers to dox a family practice physician going by the pseudonym of Dr. Canuck on Twitter, ostensibly so that he could serve him with a libel suit for having accused Kirsch of welshing on one of his “debate me” bets about vaccines. My post lovingly dissected Kirsch’s claims and BS, while pointing out the inconsistencies in his story and how Kirsch’s actions were legal thuggery engaged in by a bully.

So what were the seven things that Mr. Kirsch thinks that I got so wrong that they were “defamatory” (as he told me in an email)? Let’s start with his “executive summary”:

David Gorski is a very reliable source of misinformation. In pretty much every case I am aware of, the truth is exactly the opposite of what he claims.

In Gorski’s latest hit piece, he attacks me and he tries to make me look like a very bad guy.

Translation: I’m doing great work!

That first paragraph is pure projection. Also, I thought Kirsch liked misinformation. After all, he proudly bills himself as the number one disinformation spreader.

The wag in me can’t help but counter that I didn’t “try” to make Kirsch look like a very bad guy. Just describing Kirsch’s behavior and words makes him look like a very bad guy. In other words, Mr. Kirsch: Just look in the mirror. You do a perfectly fine job of making yourself look like a very bad guy, no embellishment in describing your actions and words required.

Nonetheless, in Kirsch’s funhouse world, up is down, left right, and hell heaven, and, of course, he’s “doing great work.” I’m reminded of President George W. Bush’s famous quote after Hurricane Katrina, “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” if GWB and FEMA director Michael Brown had been the same person.

Kirsch characterizes the main messages of my “hit piece” thusly:

His key points are:
  1. I threatened to dox and bring litigation unless DrCanuck stopped talking
  2. I run away from debate challenges
  3. I am a thug
  4. I move the goalposts on my offers
  5. I don’t pay when I lose
  6. Vaccination is protective against SIDS
  7. My surveys are garbage

Note that in my piece, #1 and #3 are basically so closely related as to be the same topic. Ditto #2, 4, and #5, as well as #6 and #7. I would also argue that #1 and #6, at least, are straw men. I never said that Kirsch threatened to dox and sue Dr. Canuck unless he stopped talking. I said that Kirsch used doxxing and a libel suit to silence Dr. Canuck, which is a different assertion than what Mr. Kirsch (mis)represented.

As for #6, what I said was that extensive epidemiological evidence shows show no correlation that might indicated that vaccines are a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome, but rather that they might be protective against SIDS. (Note the “might.”) I guess that, if you’re not 100% concrete with someone like Mr. Kirsch, he will (mis)interpret your words in the most unfavorable light that he can; so I’ll restate my longstanding characterization of the data about vaccines and SIDS right now: At the very worst, vaccines are not a risk factor for SIDS and do not cause SIDS. The evidence supporting that conclusion is extensive and robust. At the best, vaccines might even be protective against SIDS, but the data are not sufficiently clear and strong to conclude that definitively.

There, Mr. Kirsch? Make sense?

Let’s take Kirsch’s “rebuttals” one by one, appropriately lumped together.

Mr. Kirsch seems very, very upset—indeed, the most upset—that I expressed my opinion that he was engaging in legal thuggery against Dr. Canuck. Indeed, he appears to have taken this accusation very, very personally, as evidenced by his pained assertion that he is “not a thug.” Of course, I never explicitly called Kirch a thug (although I did call him a bully, because I believe that his behavior supports that characterization). Rather, I accused him of engaging in legal thuggery, a behavior so common among cranks that not only do I have a tag for it that includes posts going back over a decade but I’ve been at the receiving end many times, which is why I am not intimidated by him.

Here’s what Kirsch says:

I am not a thug. I do expose people who do bad things. I guess in his mind, I’m a thug.

In Kirsch’s mind, doxxing an pseudonymous blogger with 20-fold smaller following than his, who as a physician is almost certainly not anything resembling poor but is also certainly nowhere near as wealthy as he is, and setting his followers loose on that doctor might be “exposing people who do bad things,” but in reality Kirsch’s actions were indeed in my mind the actions of a thug and a bully who uses his large Substack and social media following as well as his wealth that enables him to afford lawyers to file frivolous lawsuits in order to intimidate his critics. Basically, Kirsch wasn’t picking on someone his own size. Far from it! And what do we call people who choose to pick on people who are not their own size, people who, like Kirsch, like to “punch down,” so to speak? I don’t know about you, but I call them bullies. When they use the legal system to “punch down,” as Kirsch said he would do, I’ve long called this tactic legal thuggery. That’s what it is “in my mind,” as Kirsch at least recognizes.

In this dichotomy between how I (and most others) view Kirsch’s actions towards Dr. Canuck and how he views them, there is, I think, a lesson in psychology. Crank or not, Kirsch believes that he is a good man. In his mind, as a good man he cannot possibly do bad things. So when he doxes and threatens a libel suit against a pseudonymous Twitter user, he convinces himself that it is for a righteous cause; e.g., “exposing bad people.” To Kirsch, his bad actions can’t possibly be because he is a thug and a bully, because a good man like him can’t be a thug or a bully.

His self-image aside, to me (and many people trying to counter his disinformation), he is both.

Quoth the bully, “I never doxxed!”

Kirsch is also cheesed that I and many others have been taking him to task for doxxing Dr. Canuck. So let’s see what his explanation is:

In order to serve DrCanuck, I have to know who he is (there is a way to file a john doe lawsuit, but that takes more time and effort). The only thing I did was ask people to message me privately with information regarding Canuck so that I can serve him legally. That is not doxxing. And there was no “threat” issued to @DrCanuckMD, e.g., “if you don’t do X, I will dox you”.

One. More. Time. I did not say that Kirsch had threatened Dr. Canuck with doxxing if he didn’t do what Kirsch wanted. I said that Kirsch had used doxxing and the threat of a lawsuit to silence Dr. Canuck, which from my perspective is inarguably true. After all, Kirsch never gave Dr. Canuck a chance to retract his statement or used a threat to bully him into retracting. Rather, Kirsch just set his minions to the task of doxxing Dr. Canuck and then justified it by saying that he needed the information to sue him. (Seriously, though. Kirsch is very wealthy. Can he not afford to hire a private investigator to find someone? Why did he instead just post to his Substack a plea to his followers to find Dr. Canuck’s personal information and DM it to him? I would argue that the public plea to his 225K Substack subscribers and 334K Twitter followers to find out who Dr. Canuck was served as a very effective intimidation tactic.) Dr. Canuck wisely first took his Twitter feed private and then inactivated it.

As pedantic cranks often do, Kirsch uses the narrowest possible definition of “doxxing” to claim that he couldn’t possibly have doxxed Dr. Canuck because he only wanted Dr. Canuck’s information so that he could serve him papers for a defamation suit. In this telling, he was only asking his followers to DM him the information:

Furthermore, even Twitter rules aren’t violated by revealing someone’s name, location, and where they work. It’s right there in the Twitter rules that this is not a violation. And I checked with multiple lawyers just to be sure as well. Nothing I did was illegal.

First of all, I never claimed that doxxing was illegal, just against the terms of service of some social media companies.

Kirsch’s self-justification, however, brings up a very obvious question: If it was truly the case and Kirsch only wanted Dr. Canuck’s identity so that he could serve him papers, then why did Kirsch immediately post Dr. Canuck’s real name, practice address, and NPI record (with a probably incorrect telephone number, but a telephone number nonetheless) just as soon as his minions had DM’ed him the information? He couldn’t wait to trumpet the information to his followers! Also, the very purpose of libel suits is to punish (financially, of course) the offender and thereby provide a legal remedy for the reputational and financial damage done and/or to silence speech that is defamatory. Certainly immediately trumpeting Dr. Canuck’s real identity to his 225K Substack readers and 334K Twitter followers belies Kirsch’s claim that he only wanted to know Dr. Canuck’s name and contact information so that he could serve him papers for a lawsuit is belied by the rapidity with which he announced the information to the world as soon as he’d learned it. Is Kirsch deluded or lying? I honestly don’t know. I leave it to my readers to use their own judgment to answer this question, after reading his further justification:

I published his information on my website so that others who have been harmed can decide whether they want to take legal action against him like I am doing. That is not illegal. That is allowing people to enforce the law.

As Dr. Evil would say:

Dr. Evil bully
Is it just me, or is Kirsch actually starting to resemble Dr. Evil more and more in his ridiculousness. The difference, between Mr. Kirsch and Dr. Evil, though, is that Dr. Evil had charisma and even some likable character traits.

No, the rapidity and glee with which Mr. Kirsch published information about Dr. Canuck indicate to me that intimidation and retribution were his game, not justice or law. And who likes to use intimidation to get people to do what they want (or, in this case, to stop doing what they don’t like)? A bully.

Even more consistent with Kirsch being a bully, Kirsch’s latest update to his post asking his followers for Dr. Canuck’s real identity undermines his entire claim that he doesn’t use threats:

I now believe I know who he is thanks to your help. I’ve reached out to him and left him a voicemail, pager message, and a text message.

He has voluntarily chosen to ignore my attempts to settle this matter by issuing a statement to retract his defamatory remarks.

I checked with multiple lawyers who confirmed that I can release the information below about him.

In addition, none of the information posted here violates Twitter rules of information that cannot be disclosed.

If disclosing his information puts him at great personal risk for some reason, I find it very odd he chooses not to respond to my voicemail or text message or pager request.

Orac’s translation: “Nice life and career ya got there, ‘Dr. Canuck.’ It’d be a shame if something happened to ’em. Oh? You’re worried that what I’ve already done endangers you or your family? Then why don’t you answer my messages? You can prevent worse by retracting your statement and groveling to me. What I’ve done so far is is just a taste. It’s nothing compared to what I can do.”

Who makes threats like this? A bully. A thug. Refusing to engage other than through a lawyer is the wise course of action in a situation like this.

Of course, Dr. Canuck has already been doxxed. His real name and practice information are already out there, something that won’t change even if he does retract and apologize. Kirsch has already inflicted the desired pain, as bullies are wont to do. All that Kirsch has left to motivate Dr. Canuck to retract and apologize is the threat to sue him for defamation, which Kirsch is now clearly using, along with harassment. (Seriously, even if they know his pager number, strangers should never page a doctor out of the blue over a non-medical issue like this.)

One notes that Stew Peters’ conspiracy pseudodocumentary Died Suddenly even includes a section featuring Mr. Kirsch in which cell phone video taken by him of a police officer telling him to leave the property of the chair CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). It never occurred to Kirsch that his footage made him look like a creepy stalker, but going to people’s houses unannounced to beef with them is also a move designed to intimidate, and who likes to use intimidation as a tactic? Again, a bully. I don’t know about you, but to me bullying sure seems like a pattern in Kirsch’s behavior towards those whom he views as “bad people.” It makes me wonder how he used to treat his employees and underlings over the years before the pandemic.

Also, Mr. Kirsch claims that he consulted lawyers before issuing his plea to dox Dr. Canuck. I note that Wednesday afternoon, outraged at my post, Kirsch emailed me accusing me of posting “false and defamatory statements” about him, starting with the headline of my post. He offered to send me a list of all the other things that he thought were false and “defamatory” in the article, but, characteristically, posted his Substack (as I knew he probably would) before I had decided whether or not to bother to respond. In that email, he cc’ed a number of fellow cranks, including James Lyons-Weiler and people working for his antivax “foundation.” Notably, he also cc’ed a lawyer named Warner Mendenhall of Mendenhall Law Group. I’m therefore assuming that Mr. Mendenhall is Kirsch’s lawyer. One wonders if Mr. Mendenhall gave his blessings or was even aware of everything that Kirsch had written about Dr. Canuck and how he had called down his flying monkeys to find Dr. Canuck’s real identity. Let’s just put it this way. Even if doxxing were not illegal, it is bully move. It is intimidation. It is “punching down” when the one doing the doxxing has such wealth and a large social media following.

But, again, Mr. Kirsch couldn’t possibly have doxxed or intimidated anybody because in his mind Mr. Kirsch is a good man exposing bad people.

Running from debates, moving the goalposts, and welshing on bets

I really have no desire to relitigate the issue of Mr. Kirsch’s tendency to run from acceptances of his “debate” challenges and bets by moving the goalposts. In my post on Wednesday (and also on Monday), I showed what I believed to be more than convincing examples of Mr. Kirsch running from debates and moving the goalposts when people tried to take him up on his debate challenges and bets. The examples are numerous, but this is how Kirsch dodges the subject:

I have a simple open challenge available to any qualified person. I meet the “qualifications” set in the challenge and I expect the other person to meet the bar as well. For example, I require at least 1,000 followers, but I have around 1,000X that number. As of today, not a single person in the world has accepted my challenge, which they can do by posting on my Substack. So how Gorski characterizes my “open to all challenges” offer as running from debates is ridiculous. There are people who want me to sign 13-page detailed contracts to debate me which are filled with gotchas and no, I don’t do that. My rules are simple: 1 topic, no insults, don’t talk for more than 2 minutes, one-on-one, no moderator. He just can’t accept that.


People accuse me of moving the goalposts, but they NEVER provide any evidence of where I’ve done this. If an offer has not been formally accepted, I have modified terms of my outstanding offers in the past with minor improvements or clarifications. But this is rare and immaterial with respect to a challenger. 

Again, as I wrote in my post, the reason that those trying to accept Kirsch’s bets or challenges to “debate” try to pin him down so carefully in writing is precisely because, far from its being a rare phenomenon, Kirsch is constantly moving the goalposts. His sudden decision to require an h-index above a certain number before he would accept anyone to debate him is, as I described in my previous post, just one example. Similarly, so is his attempt to change the debate format to more of a Q&A format. Also, I can’t resist mentioning that 1,000 x 1,000 = 1,000,000 followers. Kirsch doesn’t have anywhere near that number of followers, even if you add together his Substack followers and his Twitter followers. It just goes to show how sloppy his thinking is and how grandiose his view of himself is.

In fact, in another post, Kirsch describes his “negotiations” with Dr. Avi Bitterman over terms for one of his “debate” challenges. If you read his post, you’ll see that it is in fact another example of Kirsch moving the goalposts, leading Dr. Bitterman to become increasingly exasperated and frustrated with Kirsch over his insistence on changing the terms of the debate to the point that he becomes more and more blunt.I don’t blame him. Kirsch has that affect on reasonable people.

Also, according to Dr. Bitterman, Kirsch was less than honest in his quoting him:

So Steve Kirsch cherry picks quotes. Color me shocked.

But what about welshing on the bets that he made? As I said above, this is the only point that might be somewhat arguable, sort of, but only if you bend yourself over backwards into a pretzel to give Kirsch every possible benefit of the doubt—and then some—that he doesn’t deserve. Again, reread my original post if you doubt me and judge for yourself who is more convincing, both on the question of Kirsch’s moving goalposts and running from debate, as well as accusations that he welshed on bets.

One thing I will mention, though. It’s something that was notable in that Kirsch didn’t mention it, because you know that if I was in the least bit mistaken about it Kirsch would have added it to his list. I’m referring, of course, to my estimate that he probably makes between $1 and $3 million per year on just his Substack alone, which provides a financial conflict of interest that likely incentivizes him to make these “challenges” in order to drive traffic and attract subscribers to his Substack. I’ll presume that Kirsch has no objection to my estimate.

Vaccines and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

One of the criticisms I leveled at Kirsch in my post was how utterly impervious to correction about basic scientific methodology he is. Specifically, I referred to his latest Internet survey seeking to link vaccination to SIDS, which, like all his other Internet surveys, is not appropriate to answer the question of whether there is a correlation between vaccination and SIDS and also by the very manner by which Kirsch publicized it guaranteed a biased sample.

Kirsch doesn’t see it that way. First, he attacks the straw man that I claimed that vaccines were definitely protective against SIDS when in fact I said that the evidence was consistent with a possible protective effect.

I’ve seen the paper on vaccination being protective against SIDS. I think the paper is junk. If that paper were true, we’d be injecting kids every week and cutting the SIDS rate by 5X. And look how quickly the protection drops after vaccination!!! Amazing!

One notes that this is only one study from 1988. One also notes that Kirsch does not explain why he thinks the paper is “junk” from a scientific standpoint. That is almost certainly because he can’t. He’s just too clueless about epidemiology. That one study aside, there is a lot of evidence that vaccines are, at the very least, not associated with SIDS. Also, as was discussed in the comments of Wednesday’s post, Kirsch probably cited the wrong paper. The correct paper is a 2007 meta-analysis that did find a protective effect of vaccination, but with a huge qualifications, such as:

Immunisations may be indirectly associated with a reduction in SIDS. Vaccination may be avoided during illness and infections, the so-called healthy vaccinee effect [35]. Thus the reduction in SIDS with immunisations may be a marker of the well being of the infant, and not directly related to the immunisation.


The summary odds ratio (OR) in the univariate analysis suggested that immunisations were protective, but the presence of heterogeneity makes it difficult to combine these studies.

So, no. The meta-analysis didn’t conclude that vaccines were definitely protective against SIDS, just that there is a fairly high likelihood that they are, but with sufficient uncertainty about that conclusion that the authors weren’t willing to say definitively that vaccines protect against SIDS. What is undeniable, however, no matter how much Kirsch thinks otherwise, is that existing evidence is overwhelmingly consistent with the conclusion that vaccines at the very least do not increase the risk of SIDS. That’s all I (or any other vaccine advocate) generally claim, and we almost always qualify our suggestion that vaccines might be protective against SIDS with a disclaimer regarding the uncertainty surrounding that conclusion.

I must admit to laughing out loud at this part about Kirsch’s Internet surveys:

Gorski is entitled to his opinion on my surveys. Other people take them very seriously

Except that it’s not merely an “opinion.” Moreover, the only people who take Kirsch’s Internet surveys seriously are crackpot antivaxxers. Seriously, Kirsch thinks his surveys are a methodologically sound tool to identify risk factors for autism and SIDS? His surveys are so incompetent and biased as to make previous antivax surveys by previous surveys that I’ve encountered by the likes of Anthony Mawson, the “Control Group,” and a German homeopath look like epitomes of rigorous research design.

And yet:

They also happen to match the results of other studies published in the peer-reviewed literature. They have embedded controls in them to test for bias. And the survey design was done in consultation with very respected epidemiologists. But Gorski never even looks at the details. What Gorski never does is his own surveys to prove there is bias. That’s because he knows I’m right.

It amuses me that Kirsch thinks that, deep down, I “know he’s right.” Let me disabuse him of that notion right here: I “know” nothing of the sort. Quite the contrary. I “know” that he’s full of crap. In fact, I challenge Kirsch to name these “very respected epidemiologists” who helped him with his Internet survey. I’d be willing to bet that they are “very respected” only among the ranks of antivax cranks. Indeed, I can’t help but speculate that these “epidemiologists” likely include the likes of Brian Hooker, James Lyons-Weiler, and/or some or all of his stable of antivaxxers, COVID-19 minimizers, and grifters who make up his Vaccine Safety Research Foundation, such as Robert Malone, Peter McCullough, Stephanie Seneff, or Jessica Rose.

Seriously, Steve. Here’s your big chance! You can make me look like an utter fool if your “very respected epidemiologist” collaborators actually turn out to be very respected epidemiologists. How can you resist this opportunity to humiliate me? I predict that you will resist, though, because deep down you “know” that your “very respected epidemiologists” are antivax cranks like Brian Hooker, whom real very respected epidemiologists laugh at; that is, if they think of him at all—or if they even know who he is, which the vast majority of them likely do not.

In the end, I find Steve Kirsch downright exhausting. He is seemingly inexhaustible font of COVID-19 and antivaccine misinformation. Worse, he is completely ineducable because he is so utterly convinced that he is not just correct, but a righteous crusader revealing “suppressed truths” and identifying “bad people.” He dismisses any disconfirming information, studies, and data as hopelessly flawed—or the product of corrupt people who want to suppress the “truths” that he is trying to reveal to the world—while touting his risibly bad (from a scientific standpoint) Internet surveys that, by their incompetent design and Kirsch’s ignorance, cannot possibly produce any scientifically meaningful results. (Indeed, I laughed out loud when I read Kirsch’s claim that his surveys have “embedded controls in them to test for bias.”) Worse, he is rich, has a large social media presence, and, like many cranks whom I’ve encountered in the past, a penchant for using legal thuggery to bully and intimidate his critics into silence.

He also very much does not like being ridiculed. In fairness, nobody actually likes being ridiculed. Kirsch, however, appears to hate being ridiculed far more than the average person does. I suspect that this is because of his hubris that leads him to believe he is so much smarter than everyone around him, plus his obvious view that he is a good man—and therefore by definition nothing he does can be bad—who is righteously seeking out evil to fight. No wonder his behavior is that of a stalker, thug, and bully. To him, his enemies are not just wrong, but bad people who don’t deserve better.

I hope that I can take a break from writing about him for a while, even as I’m sure that, sooner or later, he’ll do or say something that leaves me little choice but to return to discussing him. Unfortunately, he has just become too successful at spreading misinformation, even though it’s of a variety that likely sometimes makes even his fellow antivaxxers cringe.

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]

227 replies on “Steve Kirsch denies being a doxxing bully. Hilarity ensues.”

Do I LOL now? Or do I wait and see if Steve Kirsch rolls up to make some more ridiculous assertions?

Multi-millionaire asks thousands of people for an id and address and publicize the info widely ‘for the purpose of serving court papers’. Because the multi-millionaire can’t afford a private detective?

IKR? I wondered about that myself. If Kirsch had truly been interested in Dr. Canuck’s real identity only because he wanted to serve him papers, he could very easily have just hired a PI to find him and then filed his lawsuit. He didn’t. He made a very public show of asking his followers to find Dr. Canuck for him and then immediately published his real name and practice address, thus facilitating antivax harassment by his followers.

Seriously, though. Kirsch is very wealthy. Can he not afford to hire a private investigator to find someone? Why did he instead just post to his Substack a plea to his followers to find Dr. Canuck’s personal information and DM it to him?

Deniability. Not hiring someone keeps his hands clean.

Only if you don’t immediately publish real life name and other information as soon as it’s handed to you, regardless of the source.

His hands are now impossible to clean again.

Yes, Kirsch could have hired a private dick, but instead chose to be a public dick and doesn’t like the consequences.

I think his behavior shows him a thug.

Even before litigation threats – and now there are two, Dr. Canuck and you – stalking people (going to homes, calling repeatedly) and targeting people would put him in that category.

I understand, like you, that criticism can be hard to deal with, but he’s going very low in his attempt to silence it. If he is – as it seems – enjoying the attention that being an antivaccine activist gets him, he should accept that criticism of his work to put others at risk (even if he sincerely believes that’s not what he’s doing) is part of it. Trying to bully critics, while usual in antivaccine circles, deserves criticism too.

You already showed it’s not new, but for observers, here is a reminder of this in a peer reviewed article from 2011 (that you also blogged on at the time):

Even before litigation threats – and now there are two, Dr. Canuck and you – stalking people (going to homes, calling repeatedly) and targeting people would put him in that category.

Indeed. His behavior before he turned fully antivax also indicated him to be a bully. For instance, when one of the clinical trials that his COVID-19 early treatment research fund had funded failed to show efficacy for hydroxychloroquine, he threw the investigators under the bus and blamed them for poor study design and statistical errors. This is his history. If the studies and data don’t agree with his preconceived notions, he doesn’t adjust his beliefs to the studies and data. Rather, he finds reasons to reject them and attack the scientists who produced them.

Another example: When a pilot trial of fluvoxamine suggested that might have efficacy treating COVID-19, his scientific advisory board members refused to publicly promote any drugs for off-label use and tried to explain to Kirsch that it’s incredibly common for exciting results from small trials to disappear in larger ones, but Kirsch would have none of it. He kept calling and harassing advisory board members until some of them started avoiding his calls. Finally, Kirsch went all-in for ivermectin to the point that members of his scientific advisory board started resigning until there were none left.

Indeed, Kirsch himself has characterized himself thusly:

When you characterize me, you need to say that Steve Kirsch doesn’t go with majority votes on interpreting data.

This is about as close as I’ve ever seen Kirsch come to self-awareness.

In fact, I’m reminded of a classic Doctor Who quote from the Fourth Doctor:

The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of altering their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views…which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.

Kirsch might have been brilliant once, but his descent down the rabbit hole of COVID-19 conspiracy theories leads me to consider him both stupid (with respect to COVID-19, anyway) but unfortunately also very powerful because of his wealth and social media status. He uses that power to “punch down” and try to alter the facts to fit his views.

He doesn’t go by majority votes. He goes by the outcome he desires. Classic narcissism. I know more than the experts….

Skillful respectful insolence, Orac. A plea from MJD, through the years some of my comments have been deleted when forsaken into RI auto-moderation. Personally, I’d like to apologize for any misunderstandings that we’ve had and sincerely request to be reintroduced.

Will be interesting to see in discovery whether “Canuck” was receiving any compensation for his anonymous vaccine promotional activities. I wonder if he ever put out any tweets with false claims about the COVID19 vaccines, such as that they would protect against transmission.

Enter the shill gambit. As ever, antivaxxers are so predictable.

Personally, if any lawsuit involving him ever progressed to discovery, I’d be willing to bet that Steve Kirsch very likely has far more to worry about when it comes to what might be discovered and made public in court filings than any of us does.

Look back at the Dominion Voting Systems lawsuits where all the Trump election deniers celebrated because now there would be discovery and the truth and evidence of the Dominion-Democrat election theft would be exposed.
Look what happened and who was exposed as frauds and liars after Dominion’s discovery…

Enter the “shills don’t exist gambit”–as ever, vaccine promoters are so predictable. As if big pharma would never take advantage of one of the cheapest and most effective forms of marketing in existence.

Hard to say if ‘Canuck’ is righteous, but he did delete all his tweets, as if he doesn’t stand behind them.

Nope. I never said shills don’t exist. My point is that antivax cranks love to throw around accusations of being a shill aimed at science communicators and advocates without presenting any evidence to back up those accusations, which is what you did. It’s an ad hominem attack but without any actual evidence that the person is actually a shill.

As for deleting all his Tweets, Dr. Canuck appears to have deactivated his account, which is different from deleting it.

Basically, within 30 days after deactivating his account he can reactivate it and everything will still be there. If he doesn’t do that, then—and only then—will his account be deleted.

Does Ginny earn money from her anti-vax musings? If so, does that make her a shill? Can you be a shill to an idea? Getting paid to say what you believe is true sounds like a dream job. She must be so happy.

You can check open payments yourself:
I did not find any compensation.

Probably, like most doctors, he wanted to counter misinformation. It’s frustrating when patients trust misinformation on social media, particularly when they come to harm as a result.

“The Open Payments Search Tool is used to search payments made by drug and medical device companies to physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses and teaching hospitals.”

That’s more for transparent promotion–when it comes to anonymous online trolls, more likely the payments were made by big pharma to private PR firms that handle shenanigans like that.

Pharma pays anonymous trolls ? There are more antivax trolls.
Besides your citation did not exclude any purpose for payments.
“In the U.S., any transfer of value to a doctor exceeding $10 must be disclosed by law. The information is publicly available on a searchable website, with details about travel, meals and other reasons for the payments. There are similar laws in France, Portugal, Denmark and other European countries.”

Who is paying anti-vax trolls? With pro-vax trolls, the financial backing is easy–billions of pharma $$. I hear it comes from selling books and t-shirts.

@Ginny Stoner There is still no evidence of pharma billions for “pro vax trolls”. Billion is big money, you know.. Read:
“Social ad spending analyst firm Pathmatics tracks millions of dollars spent by pharma companies on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. In 2020, for instance, the top five advertisers—Pfizer ($55 million), GlaxoSmithKline ($48 million), Allergan ($19 million), Merck ($16 million) and Novartis ($14 million)—would add $152 million alone to the industry’s tally.”
These are influencers. Total spending was 6.8 billion
Anti vax trolls may troll for free, but it is still trolling, trying to make people shut up

@Ginny Stoner

Will be interesting to see in discovery whether “Canuck” was receiving any compensation for his anonymous vaccine promotional activities.

It will be interesting to see whether you will be arrested for abusing your children.

Fortunately I have a 100% effective defense to that charge. But, point taken. Although “Canuck” has an obvious benefit from more vaccine consumption, as a doctor who administers them, that doesn’t mean he was compensated by anyone else for marketing vaccines anonymously online.

The key, as always, is whether he made any claims that lacked solid scientific support.

The key, as always, is whether he made any claims that lacked solid scientific support.

If you believe that, then why did you go straight for the shill gambit instead of just saying that? (We all know the answer.)

Like, if you don’t observe the antivax rituals (separated from the realm of genuine inquiry as they are) you can get your club membership card suspended?

@Ginny Stoner

Although “Canuck” has an obvious benefit from more vaccine consumption …

There you go again … I would almost suspect that you are pathologically obsessed with money, given how you keep suggesting that doctors and scientists could be easily corrupted and bribed into harming people – at least, as you see it.

The key, as always, is whether he made any claims that lacked solid scientific support.

Well, before looking at others, I suggest YOU start by making only claims that have solid scientific support. And by ‘solid scientific support’ I don’t mean the handful of cranks who have all but abandoned the scientific principles they once learned.

Pseudoscience is science reflected in a funhouse mirror. Science folk can’t imagine why woo-ers do something so harmful as to attack good medicine and promote harmful alternatives — so they routinely take all woo-ers to be grifters first and foremost. Ginny just flips the poles around the principle of “money is the root of all evil”.

“ how you keep suggesting that doctors and scientists could be easily corrupted and bribed into harming people”

As stated previously, this is one of the most offensive positions the idiots who come here take. They think everyone is as bent and corruptible as they are.

Some of us take our oath seriously.

Ginny, please provide proof you’re not being paid for YOUR comments.

And of course, c<COVID vaccines protect against transmission. Repeating a lie does no make it true.
Try instead to cite something.

Ginny. Why is it that you always assume pro vaxxers are shills, being paid by big pharma. You would have to believe that the vast majority of the global medical profession being morally corrupt, along with every government and health organisation. So we could be talking millions, from different ideologies, different forms of government. Do you really think that is possible. My experience and opinion of medical practitioners is one of admiration, some of my family are medical professionals. People who choose to be medics do it to help others, to treat them, to cure them…not to kill or maim. Someone who thinks the opposite, in my view, are not realistic. Please, don’t break a leg, the doctor treating you is not going to judge you, they will fix your leg.

Because I’ve looked for the evidence purporting to support the foundations of vaccination, and it isn’t there. Therefore, everyone promoting vaccination is either ignorant of the absence of evidence, or lying about it.

She doesn’t want to look for it. Baseless claims after baseless claim. She’s a fruitcake

@Ginny Stoner Eradication of polio and smallpox, This is two, i is not ?

@Giinny Stoner So where did smallpox go, everywhere in the world. Vaccines did it, ragardless your deep antivax believe.
And when we are into it, did you find Vactruth source ?

You did not answer a simple question; where did smallpox go ? Start with that, when you evaluate the evidence.

Judging by the content of Ginny’s website, she’s gaga, just can’t take her seriously at all. Spends too much time stuck to a screen trawling the web for something to sink her teeth into and become an instant expert overnight. So, we have – cherry picked medical science data, misinterpreted data, doctored (pun intended) data, history denial, Spanish flu denial, covid denial, swine flu denial, VAERS dumpster mining, misinterpretation and downright lies, measles denial, fake mass shootings (despicable fuckwit) anti Semitic, new world order, bilderberg and whoever, space travel denial, moon landings denial, Mars rover denial…….you bloody name it denial.

Totally off her rocker.




MedicalYeti reasoning: “I didn’t get smallpox; therefore, vaccines.” I understand why you comment anonymously.

Vicintheshed says I’m bat shit crazy, but can’t produce a single bat shit crazy quote to back up its grade school insult. Again, pro-vax reasoning at its unfortunate best.

Most of what you post in the comments of my blog is consistent with Vicintheshed’s characterization. I only tolerate it for educational purposes, but even that is getting tiresome.

We’ve been over this, you nutbar. It just BURNS YOUR ASS that you can’t get into every doctor review website with your merry band of shitbag trolls and trash me, doesn’t it? What a sad life you are living.

Orac, it’s not like this is a place for civil, rational debate–it’s a place for me (and anyone else with objections to vaccination) to be publicly degraded by you and your followers. It is tiresome, and TBH, it is so toxic, I don’t venture here often (see, it does work!), which is apparently still too often for you. Whatever.

Right, Orac–I’ve been one of the most frequent commenters over the last few days…when your blog has been in existence for how many days? At least 3,650 days (10 years). Like I said, this blog is so toxic I rarely come here.

Poor, poor Ginny, who only wants “civil, rational debate” but finds time to fling epithets like “liar” and “prick” at those who point out her errors and fallacies.

“Vicintheshed says I’m bat shit crazy, but can’t produce a single bat shit crazy quote to back up its grade school insult.”

Coming up with batshit crazy Ginny Stoner quotes is easy. This is a doozy, from her Facebook page:

““Eustace Mullins was a pioneer in exposing who really rules the world.”

The late, unlamented Eustace Mullins was a white supremacist and virulent anti-Semitic bigot best known for authoring foaming-at-the-mouth books on the Federal Reserve, vaccination and yes, who really Rules The World. In his final years he was convinced that the Rothschilds were sending “murder squads” against him and even worse, interfering with his ability to renew his Virginia driver’s license.

Oh, I forgot. Ginny gets mad when she’s taken to task for saying (as she puts it) “nice things” about Eustace Mullins. Sorry about that.

BTW, any news from the latest Stoner Family Reunion? Any tributes to Eustace Mullins or that icon, J.B. Stoner?

“Because I’ve looked for the evidence purporting to support the foundations of vaccination, and it isn’t there”

outright lie. full stop.

Vic to Ginny:

“You would have to believe that the vast majority of the global medical profession being morally corrupt, along with every government and health organisation. So we could be talking millions, from different ideologies, different forms of government. Do you really think that is possible.”

Have you seen her blog? When I finally went, I learned that she thinks space flight is a conspiratorial lie. Maybe she doesn’t think the rank and file are corrupt, but she’s certain all the leaders are and the rest of us, at best, are being fooled by very corrupt people (or superhumans with advanced tech and knowledge to simulate a Universe far better than trained astrophysicists with academic-grade computing clusters) and are too scared or naive to admit it.

So you believe Musk’s roadster in space was real? Musk even had the balls to say, “You know it’s real because it looks so fake, honestly.” Still, no one asked any questions, they just blindly believed.

Elon Musk is always taking the piss out of flat earthers, so his roadster in space was meant to piss them off, and you of course.

I don’t give a crap about electric luxury vehicles on experimental rockets. I just find it hard to take seriously anyone who implies that HST, JWST, WMAP, Planck, Chandra, Spitzer, WISE, Cassini, the Mars rovers, New Horizons, the International Space Station, the Space Shuttles, and those damn telecom satellites that muck up today’s ground-based astronomical observations never flew. I’m just sticking to stuff within my lifetime. Who the hell would have dreamed up a “heart” on Pluto, confirmation of a Euclidean accelerating Universe 96% of whose precise composition escapes us, or scientific data I’ve analyzed on distant galaxies no conspiracy theorist has ever heard of, just to hoax us? Couldn’t They ™ have spent all that cash and tech savvy on taking over the world? Or wait, I think your story is that They ™ have been ruling the world for centuries, like The Hand in The Defenders, and they send us these things to keep us nerds from exposing Them ™ like you do. Still, though, who the hell would think of doing all this just for that?

space_upstairs_cluttered so you always believe the official narrative about space travel, except that if the narrative is obviously fake, like the roadster in space, you’ll claim you “don’t give a crap” about THAT particular kind of space travel.

Not a single news channel questioned whether the car in space was fabricated. And here you are, promoting it as real, too.

so you always believe the official narrative about space travel, except that if the narrative is obviously fake, like the roadster in space

Do you need the orbital elements, Gindo? 🙄

If not even news channels that question covid shots, school shootings, and insider candidate election victories questioned Elon Musk’s roadster, why do you, Ginny? What, if it’s the official story you can’t believe it? Even if it says the sky is blue? (Although technically, that’s a very imprecise way of saying that blue light often bounces off certain air molecules while red light rarely does…the sky is black at night when there’s little of either.)

And hell, I didn’t even know about the Roadster until you brought it up. I really don’t give a crap about it. But websites I trust, and my colleage Narad, say it’s real.

Wait, does Ginny actually believe that, in the depths of the Cold War the USA and the USSR conspired together to fake the space race?


And that the Mars Polar lander never crashed into Mars because the groups building it used metric and imperial units? (My physics professors’ favorite example of why you label your units.)


And that the GPS satellites we all use to get directions and the weather satellites we all use to know if it’s maybe going to rain today, that those aren’t real and it’s all made up and Commander Hatfield never spent time on the ISS and the Chandra telescope that I (tangentially) worked on as a wee high school intern, Ginny thinks all these things aren’t real?

Oh my goodness I needed a laugh like that today, thanks!

@JustaTech: Yes, it’s so amusing that she apparently thinks all germs throughout history, gun massacres, violent antivax protests, and every space flight from the entire Cold War space race onwards are all hoaxes created by Darth Sidious, erm, The Hand, erm, the Rothschilds. It almost makes me want to invent a conspiracy theory that Ginny Stoner doesn’t exist and is a Poe’s Law (“you can’t tell a good satire from an honest absurdity”) prank by a Skeptic to show just how impossible and irrefutable (in the minds of believers) conspiracy theories can be.

Space_upstairs_cluttered. Oh I have seen it, quite some time ago. I have a strong suspicion that she is a flat earther, she wrote about it in her NWOreporter section. Batshit crazy.

I’ve only met one person in real life who was close to that far off the deep end. He did believe space flight was real, but thought the second law of thermodynamics was bunk (Tesla free energy bs that Palindrom once mentioned), as well as dark matter, dark energy, and quantum theory, and tried to convince me of all this. (Ok, dark matter and dark energy could still be “bunk,” but his alternative to them would almost surely be laughed out of the room by f(R) gravity theorists, who are bending over backwards not to break any well-proven laws of physics such as, say, quantum theory and the second law of thermodynamics.) Like Ginny, he thought Jewish bankers have been ruling the world for centuries like The Hand from The Defenders, and thought they’ve been confiscating world-changing tech to keep us down. He thought flu shots were bunk, like Igor, but I don’t think he thought smallpox and polio were eliminated by sanitation. (Or at least, he bever mentioned it.) Maybe only because he was much more interested in toppling physics than toppling biology or medicine.

@Ginn Stoner Roadster was a test payload, and Musk is not NASA.

Orac said, “…the only people who take Kirsch’s Internet surveys seriously are crackpot antivaxxers.”
I am reminded of Ron Paul’s 2008 presidential run where all the Paul drones would mob-ilize every internet and straw poll and then announce that the most holy RP was leading the other Repubs with “84% of the vote.”
In reality, in the election he got <0.1% of the vote.
Kooks love internet polls and surveys which can be gamed by their fanatical acolytes (“flying monkeys” as Orac calls them).

Orac also said, “I know he’s full of crap.”
Hear, hear! Well stated. Succinct and on point.
Kirsch is a mentally disturbed OCD crackpot.
Have fun.

What his critics fail to recognize is that Steve Kirsch is a Truth-Teller and Critical Thinker whose opinions trump those of bought-and-paid-for “scientists” with deficient h-indices who promote “vaccines”. NO ONE is willing to provide evidence* to Steve to debunk his remarkable revelations, or to accept his bona fide debate challenges**. Indeed, they are afraid that Steve will smite them with the Righteous Slide Deck of Truth (TM). It would be grossly unfair to think of Steve as a clueless rich demagogue with a swollen ego and compulsive need for attention.

*Whatever evidence trolls post is by definition wrong, biased, and/or corrupt and thus can be ignored.
**Terms and exclusions may apply. Not valid in some states and local jurisdictions. Rules may change without prior notice. Winners (there won’t be any) will be determined by the challenge issuer. You may as well give up now, I win!

Indeed, they are afraid that Steve will smite them with the Righteous Slide Deck of Truth (TM)

“The Righteous Slide Deck of Truth (TM).”

LOLOL. I might have to steal that one. Also, funny how his slide decks always seem to have at least 75 slides in them.

I don’t get this thing about slide decks. I have looked at Kirsch’s latest one and it is just a bunch of stuff flung at the wall. The number of slides means that I got bored with the nonsense before I got anywhere near the end. The meme’s every few slides were distracting and the screen shots of his twitter posts showing disembodied graphs, after he had already shown the graphs, struck me as narcissistic.

Good grief I commonly give presentations and I can get key messages across to an audience of farm agronomists with a single slide.

Like many cranks, Kirsch confuses quantity with quality. It’s why so many cranks try to impress with a large number of studies that supposedly support their arguments, ignoring that quality trumps quantity. A gee well-designed studies will beat dozens of crappy studies.

It would be grossly unfair to think of Steve as a clueless rich demagogue with a swollen ego and compulsive need for attention.

Oh dear! I shall have to do penance. I’ll forgo having a cookie with my tea. It may seem harsh, but the punishment must fit the crime.

When I first had an interaction with Steve Kirsch a couple of months ago (as opposed to reading his deck when I occasionally cam across it on the internet) that was exactly what filled my mind – except it was the Australian version: “What a wanker”.

@ Ginny Stoner

You write: “Will be interesting to see in discovery whether “Canuck” was receiving any compensation for his anonymous vaccine promotional activities.”

Who cares! 10s of thousands of medical experts, virologists, immunologists, epidemiologists promote vaccines. I am one of them and don’t receive any compensation; but would be happy to receive. You assume that if someone receives compensation means they will say anything. Well, maybe some; but not vast majority of people with expertise. However, you may be projecting your own level of dishonesty, that is, it is you who would say anything if compensated enough?

You write: “I wonder if he ever put out any tweets with false claims about the COVID19 vaccines, such as that they would protect against transmission.”

First, solid research has found that some vaccinated don’t transmit, while others transmit; however, much lower levels than if actively infected and without the vaccine high risk of infection and high transmission. But you ignore that if others around also vaccinated then protected. Being vaccinated significantly reduces severity, risk of hospitalization, and even death; but doesn’t 100% eliminate. Idiots like you who see world in black and white ignore this.

I will in September get next COVID booster, new Respiratory Syncytial Virus vaccine, and whatever flu vaccine available because I base my actions on science, understanding immunology and virology, areas you have continually demonstrated you are completely ignorant about.

It was an anecdote. Antivaxxers just love them, when it is about vaccine injury. You shoul accept all anedoctes.

@ Everyone

Sometimes I find it incredibly frustrating that someone with a clear expertise in a discipline not even remotely related to vaccines, infectious diseases, etc not only comments on them; but when shown to be wrong, instead of simply stopping commenting, doubles down. Is Kirsch so incredibly arrogant that he believes having expertise in one totally different discipline makes him expert in anything and everything?

In terms of tech bros like Kirsch, I think one common characteristic of their histories, coupled with their arrogance, helps explain their apparent belief in their own infinite self-educability in new disciplines. Many of them disrupted their industries after having been told by experts in the industry at the time that it couldn’t be done. I don’t know if that was the case with Kirsch or not, but such a history, merged with personal hubris, can easily lead someone to conclude that they know better than the experts—or have educated themselves to know better than the experts—even when those experts are in a field that they’ve had no significant training in. Kirsch probably thinks he’s “disrupting” vaccine and COVID-19 science the way he and other tech bros in the 1980s disrupted the computer industry and the Internet in the 1990s. Unfortunately, “move fast and break things” might work in tech (sometimes), but it almost never works in medicine and science.

There’s also his element of having survived his rare blood cancer much longer than the prognosis he was given at the time suggested that he could expect to live, particularly given that he chose an unconventional plan of therapy. Like cancer patients who chose alternative therapy and survived longer than expected, he appears to think he knows infectious disease, vaccinology, and developmental neurology better than doctors in the relevant specialties.

re Kirsch’s ” belief in his own infinite self-educability in new disciplines”

That’s what I see amongst alties/ contrarians/ anti-vaxxers: they think that they can just hop, skip and jump around the internet and cobble together world class expertise.
usually they don’t know where to begin and wind up focusing upon topics they like or which seem to verify their distorted sense of reality. They have pet topics and chosen researchers.

They don’t know how to survey an entire field themselves and don’t trust experts ( i.e. they won’t read basic texts or take a course**)
Some anti-vaxxers assemble elaborate collages of odd studies to prove their ideas BUT never mention pre-natal origins of autism- it’s due instead to dysbiosis or brain damage from mercury. They summarily dismiss studies of very early signs of autism and genetics.

** that’s why I ask them if their ideas are taught at accredited universities

@ Joel
No. On the surface level, Kirsch is not imagining his expertise is transferable, but that his super-powerful brain enables him to find truth by doing his own research via Google U. But IMHO why he refuses to listen and just doubles down on really outre claims, though, is something else, beneath the surface, along the lines of a personality disorder. It’s about demonstrating social positioning by virtue of the conflict, not really about the truth claims he so insists on to create, sustain and advance that identity-establishing conflict.

@ sadmar:

Elsewhere, I wanted to comment but you said it first – “attention whore”
but more seriously:
” along the lines of a personality disorder”

From surveying alties and anti-vaxxers, I agree that something is amiss in these people that can’t be attributed solely to lack of education or intelligence. Psychologists** who have studied anti-vax/ CT believers identify common trends such as thinking themselves “special”, out of the ordinary, ahead of the curve, not accepting of hierarchies of expertise.

They want to stand out, attract an audience and become leaders – I hear a certain know-it-all attitude that comes through clearly whether it is an anti-vax leader, alt med doctor or contrarian commenter at RI. They are out to prove experts wrong and pwn authorities publicly. Money is only one reason: glory is another. They brag about their numbers of likes, followers and views: why would they do that?

According to Douglas, their position serves psychological needs ( my words):
it explains phenomena, reducing uncertainty; it makes them feel safer and more in control; and it makes them feel better about themselves, gaining social power.

Of course, they usually can’t evaluate how extremely ill suited their abilities are for these tasks but that’s another issue. Also, I have stories.

** Karen Douglas, Matt Hornsey, others US, UK, AUS, Netherlands

I read a few of Kirsch’s articles on Substack:
according to him, vaccines cause autism and Orac’s “friend” provides mis-information.
Whenever a writer is that cavalier about important SB facts and someone’s documented life work, we just should automatically reject him.

He’s a rich tech bro with too much free time who operates far beyond his realm of expertise.
I could easily provide a confluence of evidence in several fields accumulated over decades about the causation of autism and refer him to a huge collection of peer reviewed studies and blog posts by Orac/ Orac’s “friend”.

What is it with these people? Him, Igor, Naomi Wolf, the loons I survey?
Everyone who studies a topic professionally is wrong, wrong, wrong and they, gifted amateurs that they are, correct all the errors of all SBM, all over the world?
Isn’t there a term that describes that attitude?

Well, there is some good news. Igor only posted one sentence which we can all believe.

Well, even though I am a simple layman with the same relevant qualifications as you (ie:none) took me a few seconds to find that websites such as CHD,gateway pundit took that study and misrepresented it. It doesn’t conclude what you think it concluded. Maybe someone here can explain it better than I can (and you of course).

Check the table for not previously infected up to date and not up to date. Previous infections are a confounder there,

Sorry made a mistake, forget previous post. Up todate means:
The CDC recently defined being “up-to-date” on COVID-19 vaccination as having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 bivalent vaccine. The purpose of this study was to compare the risk of COVID-19 among those “up-to-date” and “not up-to-date” on COVID-19 vaccination.
OOne dose is not enough

Will Igor come back and say ‘oh sorry. I misinterpreted it, I was wrong’?

Hardly likely, he hasn’t done so far, yet he was proven wrong. These are actions of self deniers, they will simply ignore it.

Do you want to comment on this issue, or would you prefer to change the subject to your own questionable analysis of a problematic paper? Is there any reason that you don’t want to post anything that’s actually related to Steve’s actions? Are you worried about posting a comment that’s at all critical of his actions?

Regarding your latest post and your appreciative audience – I couldn’t see any comments that weren’t in complete agreement with your conclusions.

Don’t forget evidence is required for any claim you make, be prepared to admit you are wrong too.

And what position are you going to take?
I have a good idea what your readers, as well as the rest of your tribe, would like to read.

@David, I did not have a good idea of what position I was going to take, until I thought that through and wrote the post finally 🙂

@David, also the reason for lack of vigorous discussion of dissenting opinions may be sorting of comments by top. I just changed settings of one post to sorting by new, I will see if it changes anything.

I do like the vigorous struggle on respectful insolence and I want to have more of it

Because they are sicker at baseline.
I don’t even need to read it to know this is almost certainly why. Ugh.

That’s what the multivariate analysis showed, but please realise that the authors’ take home message was not that vaccination is ineffective, but that the use of labels like “up to date” had little utility in determining the risks of infection for categorisation purposes.

They alert their readers to reasons why the findings were as shown, and point out the major confounders (eg that the “not up-to-date” group had higher incidence of prior Covid infection, which confers protective immunity).
There is another confounding variable not accounted for in the study which helps explain the paradoxical findings. this was an analysis of employees of the Cleveland Clinic. So….
1. Who are the employees most likely to be exposed to Covid, therefore most likely to be infected? Answer: Frontline healthcare workers.
2. Which employees will be keen to optimise their vaccine status and would be the group targeted for encouragement to get vaccinated with boosters? Answer: Frontline healthcare workers.

Kaboom! As we’ve seen in my hospital, and no doubt universally replicated elsewhere, attack rates for Covid are highest in our frontline staff (who also happen to be the staff likeliest to seek booster shots, because they appreciate their high risk for infection status).
We know boosted individuals have a much lower risk of serious illness and death, so they are just protecting themselves the best they can. They might catch “more” Covid, but they are safe in the knowledge they are less likely to die.

If Kirsch files a defamation suit against Orac for writing “Steve Kirsch uses doxxing and the threat of a libel suit to silence Dr. Canuck,” he’s likely to run afoul of one of those galling little legal technicalities: he threatened to sue Dr. Canuck for libel, doxed him, and Canuck’s Twitter account is now silent. (Damn that Zenger precedent!) I don’t know about this Mendenhall group, as it sounds like Steve is getting his legal advice from the firm of Epshteyn, Fitton, and Patel.

I mean, c’mon Orac. Lots of people are saying they take Kirsch’s surveys very seriously. In the whole history of surveys, no one’s ever seen anything like it. You’re just a Kirsch-hater, a stooge for Big Pharma er, the Deep State…. OK, even though Kirsch keeps changing the rules of his challenges akin to altering maps with a black sharpie, the Trump analogies only go so far.

What actually strikes me about his shtick as outlined by Orac over the last few days is how generic it is, not just for antivaxers (AVs) but for conspiracy theorists (CTs) of all stripes. Just staying with AVs for RI familiarity, change a few details and this could describe the MO of RFKj, or Ginny for that matter. There’s always the challenge to debate/discuss ‘data’ from some supposedly revelatory ‘alternative’ source be they Kirsch’s self-generated surveys or some sketchy published paper or some pseudo-sciencey Substack post. However sincere the CT may imagine this to be, it’s not actually a call to discuss, but a demand for submission, since offering any rebuttal to the warped data is like talking to a brick wall. The response is typically a sidestep to another serving of elaborated bad data: well, what about THIS, huh? The CT will happily play this game of arcane knowledge distortions as long as the critic responds in kind. Step back to a meta-level, question their motives, or especially their mental health, and they freak out. How dare anyone suggest that they are doing anything but good, ESSENTIAL work for all mankind?

I have a couple minor quibbles. #1 is with the quote from the Fourth Doctor, as the phenomenon of altering facts to fit views isn’t limited to the very powerful and very stupid. What we have seen generally over the last couple decades is how this has spread as a social phenomenon among “average folks”: (The gag amendment would be ‘altering facts to fit beliefs is common among the very powerful, the very stupid, and Facebook groups’.)

Quibble #2: I wouldn’t call what Kirsch is displaying hubris, as I think that gives him too much credit. I do know the modern usage of the word applies to any overconfidence/arrogance, and Wikipedia even lists “Dunning–Kruger effect”, “grandiose delusions” and “narcissism” as related concepts, and Orac’s usage is clearly in line with that. It’s just, for me anyway, hubris still carries a sense related to Aristotle’s theory of tragedy ( I did complete an undergrad major in theater, fyi). There it connotes a tragic flaw in otherwise admirable and sympathetic protagonists, specifically a failure to “know their limitations” (Callahan, 1973) in whatever they’re actually good at, what makes them admirable in the first place. Victor Frankenstein is a brilliant scientist who embarks on an unwise experiment, Lear had been a good, well-respected king, but makes a bad decision in old age, Othello is a commanding and confident general, plagued by insecurity in his marriage, Anakin Skywalker has all the Jedi midichlorians… hey, trust me, you would have been sympathetic to him if he’d been played by better actors, Lucas knew how to direct narrative, and Leigh Brackett had lived long enough to draft screenplays for the prequels. :- )

I don’t find Kirsch admirable or sympathetic at all. Of the three related terms from Wikipedia, I’d probably go with “grandiose delusions”, which is IMHO is too effed to qualify as a tragic flaw.

@ Ginny Stoner

You write: “Good luck with your vaccines. I hope all goes well for you.”

During my lifetime I have received many vaccines, even ones not given in US; e.g., cholera, typhoid/paratyphoid, etc. Worst reaction was in 1975 when taught undergraduate courses for US Navy in Pacific. Got 7 or 8 vaccines walking down corridor. That night had sore arms and low grade fever. Next day was fine. I also made sure my parents and grandparents and friends got vaccinated.

And, as I wrote previously, I don’t rely on luck; but SCIENCE.

And, as I already wrote, I will in September get next COVID booster, Respiratory Syncytial Virus Vaccine, and flu shot.

I’m not surprised to hear you have taken many vaccines. I am surprised you have refrained from shouting horrible names at me for a change, like “MORON” and the like. It’s refreshing. Maybe one of your many boosters cured that.

@ Ginny Stoner

Oops! Forgot to address you correctly, MORON. And it is an appropriate label, given you are totally incapable of admitting your position as antivaxxer is based on NO science, NO understanding of immunology, basically just a MORONIC antivax belief.

And, as I’ve written before, if you and others like you persuaded some to not vaccinate and any of them became seriously ill, hospitalized, or even died, as far as I’m concerned you and your ilk are murderers!

See? vaccines never work. Next time someone tells you they have a shot that will cure socially inappropriate behavior (is it some form of Tourette’s?), ask for proof. They’ll come up with a list of citations, I’m sure (it is the vaccine industry after all) but look closer.

So look closer. Read citations. find the problem, tell it to us. Simple, it is not?

I merely mentioned the fact that the topic would likely come up in discovery–I didn’t accuse or demand proof of innocence from anyone. In any case, I’m not hiding behind a pseudonym, promoting products I sell under my real name. And I haven’t taken down any of my writing–so please, tell me who you think might pay me for it!

True, it is extremely difficult to think of any reason someone might pay Ginny for her writings, or even read them.

@ Ginny Stoner

You write: “I merely mentioned the fact that the topic would likely come up in discovery–I didn’t accuse or demand proof of innocence from anyone. In any case, I’m not hiding behind a pseudonym, promoting products I sell under my real name. And I haven’t taken down any of my writing–so please, tell me who you think might pay me for it!

Yep, you just mentioned and no one would interpret it as a not so subtle accusation??? As for selling products under your own name, so what? As I’ve made absolutely clear, you are too stupid to understand that your antivax extreme bias is based on total lack of understanding of science and immunology, so if you think you are right, why hide behind a pseudonym. In fact, it may be your antivax stand that gains you some of your customers???

As I already wrote, whether someone is paid or not is the Logical Fallacy of an Ad Hominem attack. Orac, myself, and others have torn to shreds your antivax articles based on VAERS and Wonder. Members of racist groups are often not paid, doesn’t make them right. Supporters of QAnon are mainly not paid, doesn’t change fact they are as nuts as you.

And why would someone want to remain anonymous? Well, numerous accounts of violence by antivaxxers. But, as I mentioned above, why focus on one individual when scientists around the world support vaccines based on SCIENCE and your position based on ignorance of science, immunology, etc.

“…numerous accounts of violence by antivaxxers.” What incidents are you talking about? And, why do you believe those incidents involved legit “anti-vaxers” and not just “pro-vaxers” masquerading as such?

Oh I suspect at least a few of the more active ones are Russian Intel goons who couldn’t care less about vaccines one way or the other but they’re copying behavior of the true believers; or, worse-the true believers “like” being pushed toward full-crazy and gleefully go along.

@ Ginny Stoner

Just one clear example. Paul Offit, Professor of Pediatric Infectious diseases, a major proponent of vaccines. At public meetings he has been shouted down, shoved, and received threats, not just to him; but to his two small children as well. For a while had to hire body guards for them.

Here is another example: Vivian Ho (2021 Feb 3). Lawmaker who faced anti-vax attack: ‘The movement is growing more violent’.

By CHRISTINE SARTESCHI – ALAN D. BLOTCKY (2021 Sep 8). Anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers now present a real threat of violence: Across the country, more anti-vaccine extremists are turning violent. It’s time to take the threat seriously.

Check out documentary on PBS: The Vaccine Wars

Antivaxxers have shown up at city council meetings, shouted, even thrown objects, and shouted down anyone using their alloted two minutes as provaxxers. Shown up at CDC blocking employees from entering building. No evidence that pro-vaxxers have done the same.

I’m sure if you read newspapers, watch the news, etc. you are aware, so, just one more example of your immense dishonesty.

And there’s no possibility the pharmaceutical industrial complex is manipulating your beliefs? Sure. Why would they? LOL.

It’s a question of evidence–the evidence just isn’t there to support the idea that vaccines improve human health. Period. And there is so much deception–e.g., most people believe vaccines were responsible for dramatically reducing deaths from common diseases, when in fact deaths from common diseases declined by 95% or more before a vaccine existed. That kind of mass false belief doesn’t happen by accident.

@Ginny Stoner Eradication of smallpox did help humankind a lot Antivaxxer lawyer simplex never comment this, and you neither

I know that talking to you is likely to be as productive as yelling at a brick wall, but I say this for the onlookers.
You are now a conspiracy theorist. That you try to dismiss clear examples of stalking and attacks of vaccine advocates by antivaxxers as “false flag” operations confirms it.
A joke I’ve posted on RI before: Derek was the head of the local conspiracy theorists organisation. One day, while driving home, he had a traffic accident and was taken to the hospital in a coma. While in the coma, he found himself in front of the Pearly Gates.
Saint Peter said to him, “Now listen Derek. You have got it wrong. All the conspiracies you believe happened didn’t. We are sending you back to Earth to correct things.” And Derek awoke from his coma.
At the next meeting, Derek stood up before his fellow conspiracy theorists and said “Ladies and Gentlemen, I have some disturbing news.
The cover-up goes even higher than we believed.”

“And, why do you believe those incidents involved legit “anti-vaxers” and not just “pro-vaxers” masquerading as such?”

It’s always hard when your fellow travellers aren’t the sort of people you want to associate with. Keep your chin up though. Think of the health benefits from all the hand waving you have to do.

You should have moves like the last airbender by now.

Polio is all but eradicated in most developed countries. Would you rather see leg braces and iron lungs?

It’s not what you have, but what you WANT to have that drives you, Ginny.

you are the quintessential “temporarily embarrassed millionaire”

good luck with that.

I’d love to hear legal opinion on this matter from Ken White. Some around here will remember him as the lawyer, with lots of llitigation experience, who blogged as Popehat. He got involved with “our” community when pseudolawyer Marc Stevens (sp?) was trying to intimidate teenage blogger Rhys Morgan for his posts about Stanislaw Burzynski. Ken’s phrase, as instructions to Stevens, snort my taint! has a permanent place in history. I reckon Kirsch deserves much the same.

The thing about Steve is he’s old, successful in his business career and has been warped by the pandemic. Probably for the first time in his life he was unable to do things he wanted for periods of time, be they travel, attending concerts or sporting events etc.

In New Zealand we have a sort of social view that the reason people like Steve are able to be like they are is because no-one ever shocked them out of their antisocial nonsense by punching them on the none so they think they’re immune. The separation (of distance) of Twitter further emboldens people like Steve to be more and more antisocial while being less and less coherent. It only take a few people asking him to be on their podcast, or a fellow anti-intellectual contrarian agreeing with them for the fire of lunacy to be kept well stoked. Being confronted by a subject matter expert explaining how they’ve misunderstood or misrepresented something can’t override the gasoline poured on his ego by the attention he gets from like-minded others.

In short, as we also say in NZ, he is a cunt. (note: in NZ it means just the same as in the US. We just are used to calling people it when they objectively are).

Yes. This.

People hide behind thousands of miles of copper and fiber. I would give almost anything to meet one of the ghouls on here who says doctors do whatever the “man” (whoever that is) tells us and don’t care deeply about our patients and their welfare.

I often lament to friends how gone are the days where you have to look someone in the eye and value judgements are made about you based on your appearance, body language, etc. Everyone is an “expert” with a “valuable opinion” on every subject now.

To be fair, I think “twat” every time I see someone wearing those trousers with the skinny legs and baggy arse showing three inches or more of underwear. Which is a bit unfair of me. Probably.

@ Ginny Stoner

Ever heard of polio? When I was a kid, paralyzed around 20,000 mainly kids per year when our population was less than half. During polio season my mother didn’t allow me to go to municipal swimming pool or movies. In my elementary school was one kid with steel braces on one leg and another in a wheel chair. Around 1988 through a friend I met a man who had been in an iron lung since 1951, paralyzed from neck down. Then came the polio vaccine in 1955 and polio cases plummeted; but didn’t completely disappear. Then the oral vaccine which ended natural polio; but, unfortunately caused a half dozen or so, still from 20,000 to half dozen. Then an improved killed vaccine ended ALL polio in US. You probably won’t understand; but polio virus still exists in our water supplies, just as in 1950s; but no cases of polio. Exact same virus. Exact same exposure; but NO cases. If you don’t believe it was the vaccine, please explain how exact same virus in exact same places NOT causing cases of paralysis nowadays.

Polio is one of the microbes that only has humans as its reservoir, so could be totally eradicated; but, unfortunately, Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan have murdered vaccinators. I’m sure you applaud the Taliban???

Unfortunately we may never get there because of the limitations of our vaccines and the virus itself. Dr Vincent Racaniello, who really is an expert on the poliovirus, has discussed this on many episodes of TWiV such as episode 994.

The injected polio vaccine provides good protection against viremic disease and paralysis but does not produce immunity in the gut. And the oral vaccine which does produce gut immunity uses an attenuated version of the virus. And that version mutates into an infectious form in a day or two after taking the vaccine. An attempt to block that reversion was only modestly successful. So most of the cases now being detected are actually from a reverted vaccine-type virus.

After the recent infection in New York, the circulating virus seemed to dissipate after a few weeks. So it is possible that a succinct (say one year duration) worldwide IPV campaign might provide protection and allow the virus to dissipate. (or not) But that also requires a worldwide cold storage chain which is unlikely to be available in many countries for the forseeable future.

So eradication is possible in principle, but unlikely in practice. More likely candidates are measles and rubella which were in fact eradicated from the Americas.

Oh dear, vactruth eh. We can toss that away. Am always suspicious of web sites with the word ‘truth’ which usually means anything but the truth.

You are a dingbat, sandwich short of a picnic.

You should be suspicious of any website with the word “vaccine” most of all. The industry definitely produces a lot of both pro- and anti-vax propaganda.

Orac and I are in the final stages of launching “” watch out Ginny, it’ll BLOW UR MIND

And I’m familiar with the way the Grays have infiltrated the Kiwanas to create the illusionary decline in trading stamps.

The difference is, I know I’m making stuff up, whereas I have the sneaking suspicion that your really think your lies are true. Where are they hiding the iron lungs, Ginny? In Area 51, or in Donald Trump’s bathroom?

Do you know why the link you provided cites a website that doesn’t exist? We all know that you’re not that particular about evidence, as long as it supports your beliefs, but some people would rather see the actual publication.

Even if truth, 60% is not 100%. But of course it as not. Vac truh gives no citation. Even their graph show reduction of cases. There no many cases now, have you noticed ? Chck data after 1950s.
Of course, polio was eradicated outside us too, CdC was not involed

Since Ginny’s source talks about inflating the success of the vaccine by eliminating all the minor cases of polio from the count, I wonder where the millions of actual serious cases went since 1959. We know it’s not AFP because there’s only a tiny number of cases per year of that in the US…..

Then I remembered that blood farm from Blade Trinity? Vacuum packing instead of iron lungs? Could this be the secret?

This is in the running for the most batshit insane thing you believe. That’s saying something.

You need a 60% REAL reduction in whatever you are smoking.

@ squirrelelite

You write: “So most of the cases now being detected are actually from a reverted vaccine-type virus”

Which is what I wrote; however, the actual number of cases is minuscule. You ignore that. So, yep, half dozen or so cases from reverted vaccine; but, I also wrote we developed an inactivated polio vaccine which works quite effectively. However, in third world nations difficult to arrange to go out to remote areas three times for the inactivated shots, so using the oral, prevents masses of cases; but cause a few and now they are using the newer inactivated vaccine.

I have a dozen books on polio and over 1,000 articles, which over the years I’ve read. And, as I wrote, we have ended polio in most of world; but not in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And, as I wrote, one of the viruses that have human as only reservoir, so as with smallpox, potentially could end it. I think I know and understand way more than you.

And though I have seen a number of Racaniello’s video, do respect him, I don’t rely on one person.

The problem is how do we get from a minuscule number of cases to totally eradicated? And that means the circulating virus, not just the cases.

15-20 years ago I thought we really could do this. Now I know a bit more and am not so confident.

So I try to listen and learn and read and hope.

But on this subject, I respect the judgment of this author.

@ squirrelelite

Did you know that one of the three strains of polio has completely disappeared??? Does Racaniello mention that?

I did a quick and dirty search of PubMed, found dozen articles on eliminating polio completely. I won’t bother typing them out; but saved them on my computer.

Yep, a few cases in Afghanistan and Pakistan; but even Taliban appear to be rethinking polio. If they support vaccines, will be the end. We eliminated smallpox completely and, as i wrote, polio is one of the microbes that only has humans as its reservoir. So, feel free to rely on Racaniello. As I wrote, I don’t rely on one person, regardless of their credentials.

I think it was on Q&A with A&V that Vincent talked about having received the order to destroy their lab stocks of wild type 3 poliovirus.

Did you know that one of the three strains of polio has completely disappeared???

Both WP2 and WP3 have been eradicated, leaving only WP1 and VDPVs.

@ Ginny Stoner

You write: “It’s a question of evidence–the evidence just isn’t there to support the idea that vaccines improve human health.”

Actually, anyone who has actually studied the history of infectious diseases and vaccines understands there is literally overwhelming evidence that vaccines have played a major role in improving human health, including extending life-expectancies.

I am just tired of your absolute bull shit. There is only one term that describes you perfectly. YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE. YEP, THE ONLY TERM THAT PERFECTLY DESCRIBES YOU.

@ Ginny Stoner

You write; ‘And there’s no possibility the pharmaceutical industrial complex is manipulating your beliefs? Sure. Why would they? LOL.”

You friggin ASSHOLE. My “beliefs” are based on over 40 years learning immunology, microbiology, epidemiology, and also reading numerous books on history of infectious diseases. I guess you must believe that pharmaceutical industry responsible for all textbooks in above medical sciences.

There was NO pharmaceutical industry when smallpox vaccine introduced in England by Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in latter part of 18th century. And no pharmaceutical industry when vaccines first used by Chinese around 12th Century. And pharmaceutical industry makes much more profits on chronic conditions; e.g., diabetes, etc because require drugs every day. But, of course, they make a profit on vaccines. No industry is going to provide any product, regardless of how beneficial, if they lose money on it.


I meant Lady Montagu early part of 18th Century, around 1720.

Sort of…I guess you think Musk’s roadster in space was real. Musk was the only one with the balls to state the obvious: “You know it’s real because it looks so fake, honestly.” And you just swallowed that BS, probably with a doting look of awe.

Wonder what Steve Kirsch would do if Bill Gates offered $10 million to be donated to charity, on the condition that Steve stops posting antivax glurge.

@ squirrelelite

So, Racaniello does mention one strain out of three of polio totally disappeared.

And here are two papers worth checking out:

UN News (2021 Oct 18). Taliban backs WHO polio vaccination campaign across Afghanistan next month

World Health Organization (2021). Polio Eradication Strategy 2022–2026 – Executive summary.

We eradicated smallpox, so, given polio also has only humans as reservoir, why can’t you believe we can eradicate polio, especially given we have eradicated one of its three strains? If WHO succeeds in vaccinating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which Taliban now support, how will that differ from smallpox. And next would be measles, again, a disease with only human reservoirs.

Also, “These new vaccines are much more genetically stable than the previous OPV2 vaccines, which makes it much less likely that they will revert and gain neurovirulence.”

So, newer oral vaccine, easier to use, safe.

Also, Check out

Is Debate-Me-Bro contagious?

Joe Rogan is calling for Prof Peter Hotez** to debate RFK jr.

I imagine that PH’s ideas about vaccines are far beyond the wildest imaginings of either of these guys and their audience largely consists of mis-informed fan bois, so how does a debate have any value?
PH regularly “debates” other researchers in peer reviewed scientific literature by publishing his data and getting responses in kind.
What RFK jr can provide is merely theatrics.

** Gary Null pronounces his name hotes: he “explains the science” behind his vaccines and doesn’t know how to pronounce the guy’s name!

I’m starting to believe this whole run up with Kirsch and people not debating him was just the opening act for Joe Rogan verbally attacking Dr. Hotez regarding debating RFK jr. It’s very sad that Dr. Hotez does not have the support of any major medical groups regarding this. Especially sad the AAP does nothing as always.

Mehdi Hassan will have Prof Hotez as a guest this hour. MSNBC’s site usually puts important videos like this up.

Not sure if my earlier comment went through but..
Peter Hotez was on Mehdi Hasan’s show and both made perfect sense. MSNBC usually puts videos up at its website.

“I hope this [Covid] wakes people up to the value of vaccines too. There’s so many wackos out there that think that vaccines are a scam, or they’re dangerous. There are so many people out there that won’t vaccinate their children.”
– Joe Rogan, March 10, 2020, interview with Dr. Michael Osterholm, pro-vaccine before Spotify corporation gave him $100 million, now he is anti-vaccine

I’m not sure he is. He seems to be heavily influenced by whoever he is talking to in that moment, which is to say I don’t think he has many firm opinions of his own. Time will tell, though; he definitely has had more “contrarians” on than real experts.

@ squirrelelite

“Monitoring the use of nOPV2 has confirmed it is more genetically stable and less likely to result in VDPV than the Sabin strain, suggesting that the target of the global eradication of poliomyelitis might be a little more attainable than previously believed.” GLOBAL ERADICATION OF POLIOMYELITIS MIGHT BE A LITTLE MORE ATTAINABLE THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED

Ananda S Bandyopadhyay, Simona Zipursky (2022 Sep 23). A novel tool to eradicate an ancient scourge: the novel oral polio vaccine type 2 story. Lancet Infect Dis
23: e67–71

I guess you missed that just after 5 minute on TWiV 994: Clinical update with Dr. Daniel Griffin, the above article was referred to.

I haven’t been listening to TWiV regularly lately, but I’m pretty sure Vincent talked briefly about findings that the new vaccine, contrary to big hopes, still has reversion issues and has been something of a let-down.

@ doug

As I’ve written I don’t rely on one person, regardless of their credentials. However, based on CDC, WHO, Swedish government website (I’m fluent at Swedish), Canadian govt, Australian, New Zealand, South Korean, etc. those vaccinated significantly fewer hospitalized, dying, long COVID, etc. Significantly, in this case, means minuscule compared to unvaccinated.

So, as with other antivaxxer, you give NO indication you understand the basics of immunology, genetics, especially mRNA, etc, so your position is based on an ignorant unscientific antivax bias! ! !

So far I’ve gotten both Moderna COVID shots, then booster, then Moderna bivalent/Covid, then it’s booster and in September will get next booster. My judgment is based on over 40 years of studying immunology, microbiology, and currently following COVID since its outbreak January 2020, probably read over 1,000 papers

WTF are you on about?!
Did you mean that reply for someone else? I merely commented on the fact that the new oral polio vaccine has been something of a let-down because it was hoped it would be highly resistant to reversion but there is still reversion.

@ Doug

The reversion you claim is minimal at best. The vaccine does an excellent job of protecting people from polio. I even gave reference to an article that discussed it in a previous comment.

Given previous comments by you it is obvious you look for any problems with vaccines and exaggerate them.

I don’t claim reversion, the evidence says there is some reversion. There is also evidence of recombination with other enteroviruses. But it indeed is significantly less of a problem than with the Sabin vaccine strain. The hope when nOPV2 was being developed is that there would be none. Again, any way you look at it the harm done by reversion of the vaccine strain is vastly lower than the harm done by circulating wildtype poliovirus.

The solution to the reversion problem is to use inactivated virus vaccine, however they are much more of a cost and management problem when it comes to administration. The ability of the attenuated virus oral vaccines to elicit “gut resident immunity” may weigh in favor of their use where wildtype still causes outbreaks, in spite of the reversion issues.

Given previous comments by you it is obvious you look for any problems with vaccines and exaggerate them.

No,I goddamned fucking well do not!

You are clearly in one of you endless rant moods that I think many around here find tedious and unhelpful.

More Twitter hilarity: Elon Musk is playing Mr. Reasonable, suggesting that despite the case against vaccines it might be worthwhile to get recommended vaccines for foreign travel. He asks Steve Kirsch if he agrees, but Steve says no – the risks exceed benefits.

Apparently there are benefits to contracting yellow fever, cholera, typhoid and hepatitis that pro-vaxers just won’t acknowledge.

@ Dangerous Bacon

Yep, since Yellow Fever only kills about 50% and no effective treatment, why would I support its vaccine? Hepatitis B leads to about 20% cases of liver cancer. No big deal?

I guess the benefit, since I am against the death penalty, would be anti-democratic right-wing Republicans and their supporters; e.g., Proud Boys, Oath Keeper, KKK, etc, getting any or all of the above???

Ginny Stonersays:
June 17, 2023 at 7:36 pm
I’m familiar with polio–how changes made to the diagnostic criteria at the time the vaccine was introduced resulted in a 60% illusory reduction in polio cases.

Vactruth is a rabid antivax website, so I would take what they write with a grain of salt. In addition, the disappearance of polio wasn’t just in US; but all over the globe, from several 100 thousand to fewer than 100. Given during 1950s there were around 20,000 cases of paralytic polio per year in US, please tell us how many cases, in over double the population, of paralytic any type of infection today. And it wasn’t a 60% reduction in polio cases; but near 100%.

You are a really SICK individual, jump on anything that supports your unscientific antivax bias.

More of your usual con-job. Conveniently, you don’t mention AFP–Accute Flaccid Paralysis–which has symptoms identical to polio, and its incidence rate has exploded in the Third World.

Your defamatory opinions about the source of the factual evidence are irrelevant–notice how you failed to refute the facts alleged–a tacit admission on your part that the diagnostic criteria for polio did, in fact, change at the time the vaccine was introduced, so as to create an illusory appearance of vaccine efficacy.

@ Ginny Stoner

Nope, diagnosis didn’t change. As for acute flaccid paralysis, research has found it associated with a totally different enterovirus, not polio. Of course, you, in your continuous stupid ignorance of virology, etc. don’t understand that there exist numerous viruses in the world, some that eventually will infect people. YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT ASSHOLE

You still do not give a citaio about polio diagnosis change 1950s. Cite both new and old criteria. Should be easy if this actually happen.
Polio did disappear other counries, too. CDC again ?
Paralytic polio diagnosis criteria:
Confirmed: Acute onset of a flaccid paralysis of one or more limbs with decreased or absent tendon reflexes in the affected limbs, without other apparent cause, and without sensory or cognitive loss; AND in which the patient has a neurologic deficit 60 days after onset of initial symptoms, or has died, or has unknown follow-up status
Non paralytic
Confirmed: Any person without symptoms of paralytic poliomyelitis in whom a poliovirus isolate was identified in an appropriate clinical specimen, with confirmatory typing and sequencing performed by the CDC poliovirus laboratory, as needed.
Acute flaccid myelitis:
Clinically compatible case with confirmatory laboratory/imaging evidence, AND
Absence of a clear alternative diagnosis attributable to a nationally notifiable condition
Not same diseases.

You still haven’t answered the question of where the iron lungs are. Are the space aliens hiding them with their invisibility rays? Are they special iron lungs that only you can see? ARE THEy ALL IN THE ROOM WITH YOU NOW? Or is there some other answer too stupid for me to guess, oh Ginny, Queen of the Liars? I actually had a cousin with polio so I take a certain offense when you mock the disease that killed her. But antivaxxerrs are known to get off on other people’s suffering.

@ Ginny Stoner

You write: “Your defamatory opinions about the source of the factual evidence are irrelevant–notice how you failed to refute the facts alleged”

You really are SICK. It wasn’t “factual evidence”, it was totally dishonest; but, since you choose to believe it, you don’t care. And I did refute it!


“Refute” means to present refuting evidence. Saying, “You’re wrong, MORON!” is not a refutation. To the best of my knowledge, the CDC has never denied this change in polio diagnostic criteria occurred, so show us what your claim is based on.

Vactruh just makes a claim without evidence. Try to dig out the reference

” Saying, “You’re wrong, MORON!” is not a refutation. ”

frankly, in your particular case, it very much is. it is literally all your responses are worth responding WITH. you are a clueless, lying, git. I don’t even KNOW you, and have concluded such easily just from the few posts you have made here already.

It absolutely HAS NOT exploded. It went from a couple per 100,000 to about six per 100,000 and is associated with enterovirus D68.

Okay, you mention rabid and a recent incident in my neighborhood (as both I and my boyfriend likely saw the fox in question in question) has me thinking, can we have someone who is opposed to vaccines speak out against the rabies vaccine?

Because I really want to hear the logic behind that…

It might be difficult to tell the pre-rabid Steve Kirsch from the rabid one.

I’m something of a fanboi when it comes to rabies vaccine, notably the oral vaccine.

There have been many instances where “bait” with oral rabies vaccine has been put out for wild and/or feral animals among which rabies incidence has been on the rise. The results have been consistently good, with the incidence significantly reduced.

Antivaxxers can’t make claims like “oh, the foxes just started washing their hands more diligently.” There really isn’t anything to which the reduced incidence of disease can be attributed other than the vaccine.

I do have the impression that immunity to rabies contracts moderately quickly, at least in comparison with immunity to many other viral diseases, but I’m not entirely sure that is true. There seems to be a trend to reduce the frequency of boosters given to domestic pets, which suggests that maybe adequate adaptive immunity holds up better than was thought. Either that or, as is happening in much of human medicine, better evidence is being gathered and used to to alter previously accepted practices that weren’t really very well supported by evidence.

Claims like this, without the data to back it up, are meaningless. The vaccine industry is built on claims of “safe and effective” that are not backed up by solid science.

So if you got bit by one of the rabid foxes in my neighborhood you’d rather take your chances with the virus rather than the vaccine?

Because rabies is honestly terrifying and I really do want to hear you say that rabies is safer than a vaccine.

The vaccine industry is built on manufactured terror. The key is whether the claims are backed by data, and they aren’t–an endemic problem in the vaccine industry.

There are many possibilities for the symptoms associated with rabies. The logical equation isn’t, “scary disease; therefore, vaccine safe and effective and saves lives.” There’s another side of this story that you obviously haven’t read, so you don’t know as much as you think Silex.

You asked when you’ve ever said anything crazy. Well, what you just said about rabies is bonkers.🙄🤦🏻‍♂️

@Ginny Stoner So rabies is another mild disease ? It is 100% lethal if untreated. This was known lon before vaccine industry.
Many other diseases predate vaccine industry

Alright Ginny, since you know so much more than me and everyone here, could you enlighten me as to what rabies really is? Because the way you are speaking makes it clear that you must know something here that everyone else is ignorant about.

Saying that there are a bunch of things that might look like rabies therefore rabies must not exist without giving examples that cover every possible explanation is a strange thing to do when you demand that others here do that for you, and before you tell me to do my own research on the topic – what if I do and it turns up different truths than those you’ve found? Does that mean you will admit that you’re wrong?

Or have you set things up in your mind that what you know is correct beyond even the most remote possibility of being wrong?

“There are many possibilities for the symptoms associated with rabies.”

Oo, do tell us about these “many possibilities”. Is rabies just another name for polio? Is it caused by DDT, or a result of poor nutrition and lack of sanitation? Do rabid animals just need a kind word and friendly pat?

You should donate your brain to science, Ginny. The findings surely would break new ground in neuropathology.

Yeah I’m not wading far into this one since it is just full-blown crazy-talk. I treat rabies about three or four times a year; it’s pretty common in my parts. All of these have been post-exposure PPx after an event involving a bat or skunk; I can’t remember that last time I saw a seroconversion but I think that case involved someone in the Dakotas.

Some of the medics I supervise in the federal parks/forest system get cases from visitors trying to feed woodchucks or beavers, etc. What ensues if treatment is not undertaken is predictable, unfortunate, and dire. So predictable, in fact, that we have protocols for it that haven’t changed much since the 70s.

But, NO! Surely it must be a “vapor” or some “magnetic disturbance” not a virus.

@Ginny Stoner Viruses can be grown in a cell culture. Poisons, or even less, malnutrition, cannot. This is the reason for Koch postulates..

@ Ginny Stoner

“Founded in 2009, is an anti-vaxx website that
promotes the debunked dangers of vaccines. Like most noncredible
sources, they do not list ownership, nor disclose a
mission on their about page. They do list authors, some with
biographies, but none with expertise relating to medicine and
vaccinations. . .”

Media Bias/Fact Check (2023 Jun 17).

see also: Abby Haglage (2021 Jan 19). The Navy Fraud Fronting the Anti-Vaxxer Movement. Daily Beast

Robert Herriman (2014 Dec 19). Anti-vaccine website pushes the limits of absurdity suggesting vaccine-homosexuality link – Outbreak News Today.

I can find numerous webpages promoting QAnon and numerous other crazy ideas. Just typical of a rabid scientifically ignorant antivax MORON like you.

It’s hilarious that you think you sound more credible than Vaxtruth. Just because you have a built-in cheering section here, don’t let it go to your head.

I see VacTruth has a home page that scrolls on and on and on and on and on and on and on, seemingly forever.

Such a website design is heavily correlated with nutso profundo.

A pretty good summary of nOPV2

In short with regard to reversion, better than Sabin but still some instances of reversion (Pretty much anything would be better than Sabin because there was reversion in virtually every person, something Sabin steadfastly refused to acknowledge. In spite of that it has played a crucial role in polio eradication in most of the world. Harm done by circulating vaccine-derived polio is vastly below the harm that would result from not vaccinating.)

Reversion in nOPV2 shows that, despite incredible efforts, virologists just cannot predict with precision what a virus will do “in the real world.” This is counter to the claims of the cranks who are convinced that SARS-CoV-2 was “engineered” to do this, that or the other thing after being “released.”

@ Ginny Stoner

I realize you are too stupid and dishonest; but for anyone else following this exchange:

Acute Flaccid Paralysis Associated with Novel Enterovirus C105 – Volume 21, Number 10—October 2015 – Emerging Infectious Diseases journal

Enterovirus D68 Subclade B3 in Children with Acute Flaccid Paralysis in West Africa, 2016 – Volume 26, Number 9—September 2020 – Emerging Infectious Diseases journal

Acute Flaccid Paralysis and West Nile Virus Infection – Volume 9, Number 7—July 2003 – Emerging Infectious Diseases journal

Investigation of Acute Flaccid Paralysis Reported with La Crosse Virus Infection, Ohio, USA, 2008–2014 – Volume 23, Number 12—December 2017 – Emerging Infectious…

And there are many more. Bottom line, many different viruses can cause Acute Flaccid Paralysis; but you, in you immense stupidity and dishonesty will ignore this.

Good morning, Joel. Sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday, but I had a few things going on. So, let’s give this a review, take a look at what you’ve come with, and see what we can glean. And thanks to Doug, Narad and DB for their contributions.

But first a quick summary.
You had commented

Polio is one of the microbes that only has humans as its reservoir, so could be totally eradicated; but, unfortunately, Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan have murdered vaccinators.

I didn’t see a mention of VDPV in that comment so I gave a quick summary of the two vaccines (with nOPV2 we now have three),

So eradication is possible in principle, but unlikely in practice. More likely candidates are measles and rubella which were in fact eradicated from the Americas.

You responded

however, the actual number of cases is minuscule. You ignore that. So, yep, half dozen or so cases from reverted vaccine; but, I also wrote we developed an inactivated polio vaccine which works quite effectively.

You added a bit of background and then said

And, as I wrote, one of the viruses that have human as only reservoir, so as with smallpox, potentially could end it. I think I know and understand way more than you.

Which got us to what I think is the substance of our disagreement when I said

The problem is how do we get from a minuscule number of cases to totally eradicated? And that means the circulating virus, not just the cases.

We exchanged a couple other comments and then I got busy.
….Aside to Doug. I’ve watched a couple of the Q&A videos with Amy (who has taken over the lab and co-authored one paper with Vince) but haven’t kept up with them like I have with the main podcast. I’ve been falling behind on the other podcasts I got into in 2020 as well.
So now let’s check out the references.

UN News. A couple years ago but good news. It’s nice to see that they are giving some vitamin A and adding Measles (MMR?) and Covid-19 to the program. They might get a higher rate of childhood vaccination than the U.S. if that goes well.
I pulled up the pdf here.
Goal One is to permanently interrupt all poliovirus transmission in endemic countries (specifically Pakistan and Afghanistan). There’s a lot of top-level speak but it sounds good.
Goal Two is to stop cVDPV transmission and prevent outbreaks in non-endemic countries (there’s the rub!)

The introduction and scale-up of a new vaccine for type 2 virus – novel oral polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) – for outbreak response is a primary focus of this new strategy. Because of the anticipated reduced risk of nOPV2 seeding new outbreaks, it will be possible to increase the scope of vaccine use in OPV2-naïve populations and allow countries to stop transmission and prevent spread outside response zones.

I didn’t see any more interesting specifics.

Our World in Data. This is a very good overview and background article. I found

In rare cases, the altered live poliovirus that is used in the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) can mutate and regain its ability to attack the central nervous system (“neurovirulence”). This means that a small share of people who receive the OPV vaccine develop paralysis, which has the same symptoms as paralysis from the wild poliovirus.
• Vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV). If the mutations to regain neurovirulence occur over a longer period, it is known as vaccine derived poliovirus (VDPV). This can be identified by its genetic similarity to the genome of the virus used in the vaccine.

Since 2020, countries have a new vaccine to use against serotype 2: the novel oral poliovirus vaccine (nOPV2). These new vaccines are much more genetically stable than the previous OPV2 vaccines, which makes it much less likely that they will revert and gain neurovirulence.40 Like the previous OPV vaccines, the new vaccines are easy to administer as they are given orally, and they are being rolled out to countries with cases of VDPV2 to contain those outbreaks.

You had spotted that as well.
I looked at the Lancet article. It has a good discussion of the nOPV2 program.

In 2016, there were only a handful of circulating VDPV cases reported to WHO, but they are now the main cause of poliomyelitis outbreaks around the world, occurring in many countries—
The second incident is the unfortunate confirmation of a case of paralytic polio due to VDPV2 in an unvaccinated young adult from an under-vaccinated religious community, in Rockland County, New York, reported on July 21, 2022.
three cases of suspected VAPP following initial vaccination of 44 million children, a reporting rate of 0·007 cases per 100 000 nOPV2 vaccine recipients, which is substantially below the expected range of 0·025–0·4 cases per 100 000 for Sabin OPV recipients
Of the thousands of samples processed from sewage and stool samples collected through surveillance initiatives over nearly 18 months of field use, only one sewage sample collected in April, 2022, from Uganda had evidence of losing the genetic modifications of nOPV2 due to recombination events.

And it ended on a hopeful note.
I have listened to practically all episodes of TWiV since January 2020, but didn’t go back to re-listen to that one before posting my comment.
You had a back-and-forth with Doug. I don’t think either of us try to exaggerate problems with vaccines. But we do try to read the evidence and assess how significant those problems are.

I found the same article as Doug from March 2023, a few months after the Lancet article. It also interviews Ananda Bandyopadhyay as well as Simona Zipursky from WHO.
AB notes

More than two thirds of all countries that have used nOPV2 for outbreak response did not report continued transmission following two vaccination campaigns. In some areas with persistent transmission, we’ve seen interruption [of transmission] after a third round. There are, however, a few geographic settings where the virus persists despite multiple campaigns, and these are the areas where we need to focus more on reaching missed children with the vaccine, to stamp out the remaining reservoirs of transmission. Overall field effectiveness of nOPV2 in stopping paralytic outbreaks seems to be comparable with Sabin mOPV2, which is in line with clinical study findings. Most importantly, with lower risk of seeding new outbreaks compared to the Sabin mOPV2 experience as noted by field data so far, nOPV2 continues to demonstrate that it is an excellent tool to more sustainably stop outbreaks.
I must clarify that significantly higher genetic stability and lower risk of reversion to neurovirulence compared to Sabin mOPV2 does not mean nOPV2 has no risk of reversion. Thanks to a sensitive surveillance system, a handful of such instances of reversion to neurovirulent variants have been picked up in settings of persistently poor immunization coverage.
We’ve seen, very recently, evidence of reversion of public health significance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where two separate emergences of circulating variant poliovirus type 2 of nOPV2 origin have been detected, likely derived from double recombination events with human species C enteroviruses. Such recombination events and reversions resulted in seven paralytic cases in the DRC and neighboring Burundi.
to date, circulation of these viruses in CAR and Uganda has not been established.
the program will continue to closely monitor the field-use data and interpret it with adequate nuance and contextualization.

I also found this article which was accepted for publication in May.

Polio is an eradicable disease. The virus causes acute and short-term infections; in most cases infected cases can only transmit the virus for less than 2 weeks. The wild poliovirus cannot survive for long periods outside the human body; if every single child is vaccinated, virus will eventually die out. Humans are the only reservoir and there is no vector involved in the transmission, moreover no poliovirus transmission has been documented among animals. There are safe and effective polio vaccines available. The virus in the oral type of the vaccine is also excreted in faeces. Mass campaigns using oral polio vaccine interrupts WPV circulation by boosting population immunity so that transmission of poliovirus cannot be sustained
Fast-paced, high-quality vaccination campaigns using mOPV2 and nOPV-2 can be utilized to stop cVDPV-2 outbreaks. However, the use of mOPV-2 was associated with the emergence of cVDPV as described in the Philippines
It is also important to have continued surveillance for the emergence of any polio outbreaks secondary to cVDPVs, and polio immunization should be updated regularly. This is especially important as there has been an increased number of cVDPVs cases which is 7 times more than that caused by the WPV in 2020

There weren’t any further data to supplement what had been discussed in the March interview article.

So, where do we stand?
The nOPV2 gives much less reversion than the old form and versions for Types 1 and 3 are on the way.
Infected people can excrete the virus for two weeks but immune suppressed people can do so much longer.

The virus dissipates in the absence of new human cases.

The key question is will the reversion/excretion/new infection process happen less often / slowly enough that the natural decay of the virus in the environment will totally eradicate the VDPV forms as well as remaining wild types?

Or if we completely transition to the newer vaccine for all three types, will there be enough reversion and excretion to keep an ongoing threat?

If we don’t detect any VDPV cases for a year, is it safe or ethical to completely stop administration for a year to see if the virus has been eradicated?

And what about immune suppressed individuals who may still be harboring the virus?

We may need to continue vaccinating indefinitely even if all wild types are eliminated, to protect from occasional VDPV cases.

Time will tell.


Final note:
I apologize for the length. Doing a full review like this helps me ensure I haven’t overlooked something, put things in context, and garner new information.

And I like to quote what I think is significant to save the casual but dedicated reader from having to dig to figure out what I’m talking about.

@ squirrelelite

There is a major difference between polio vs smallpox and measles. Smallpox and measles are both airborne diseases, so ring vaccination worked, not needing to vaccinate outside where outbreaks occurring. Polio is gastrointestinal, so passed in food, water, etc and vaccine must work in intestines. Means basically to end need to vaccinate much much higher percentage of population. If enough vaccinated, then virus won’t be shed into water, etc. Because of this difference it is pure speculation if polio with current vaccines and vaccination programs can be eliminated. A possibility; but given current global situation, less likely. Smallpox was airborne and it was a universal cooperation that worked.

However, from 100s of thousands of paralyzed cases in world to several hundred is still a major achievement; but to maintain must continue to vaccinate as many, especially each generation of children, as possible. In addition, not certain how long immunity lasts, so may have to give boosters, perhaps after 10 or 20 years. However, hopefully in future will develop even better vaccine and ways of removing/destroying virus in water systems. Chlorine doesn’t kill in doses that we can tolerate.

@ Ginny Stoner

You write: “It’s hilarious that you think you sound more credible than Vaxtruth. Just because you have a built-in cheering section here, don’t let it go to your head.”

Besides my linking to others who question Vaxtruth credibility, I have the education and credentials to question them; whereas, you lack any basics of immunology, etc. but believe them ONLY because they confirm your STUPID UNSCIENTIFIC RIGID IGNORANT ANTIVAX BIAS.

Many years ago J Edgar Hoover believed Albert Einstein was a communist; but with no proof. The FBI was contacted by a German woman, a schizophrenic, in a state mental hospital. So, Hoover sent an agent to interview her. She claimed she was present at a communist meeting in Berlin, gave date and address. Turned out Einstein was NOT in Berlin at the time and address was wrong. So what did Hoover do? He placed her testimony in his file on Einstein. [Fred Jerome. The Einstein File: J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret war Against the World’s Most Famous Scientist]. Yep, don’t own TV, so read, mainly on infectious diseases; but an array of other topics.

Perfect example of your SICK MIND. Whether Orac, myself, or others totally tear apart your claims, including VacTruth, like J Edgar Hoover, you keep them.

Did you read my comment above where I gave links to several articles that Acute Flaccid Paralysis is linked to a number of different viruses?

The iron lung was replaced by the ventilator decades ago. I can’t believe you’re still using this old canard, since obviously ventilators are still widely used, and there are reasons for paralysis besides “polio.”

@ Ginny Stoner

First, I am aware that iron lungs have been replaced; but, as I wrote, I saw people in them in late 1980s and read articles of people in them beginning of this century. And ventilators don’t change fact that many are totally paralyzed, which some of viruses that caused could have been prevented with a vaccine

You write: “there are reasons for paralysis besides “polio.”

Not what you implied earlier, basically that polio was responsible for acute flaccid paralysis. You just are a DISHONEST LYING SACK OF SHIT.

And I remind you once more that you don’t understand even the basics of immunology, so your antivax position is based on STUPID IGNORANCE.


Note how Ginny put polio in scare quotes, plus her comments on rabies above. She’s a full-on germ theory denialist. That implies that she thinks both polio and AFP are the same thing but neither are enteroviruses because to her, everything is a hoax from germs to gun massacres to space flight, and so apparently we live in the Matrix or something where everything artificial is sterilizing or killing us by design of overlords that have been ruling the world for centuries. You just cannot reach people like this. And they can’t reach us because their global science denialism is just preposterous.

seriously, don’t let ginny get your heartrate up. she is very clearly not worth the effort. she knows nothing, is nothing. Literally in her own words.

@ Ginny Stoner

Actually, just double checked, ventilators are used mainly for temporary respiratory failure. People in Iron Lungs were completely paralyzed from neck down, completely paralyzed. So, how would a ventilator change that?

Have you ever even once met someone in an iron lung? I have.

” For many of us today, the idea that people had to use an iron lung to stay alive seems like such a long time ago. But, there are still people alive continuing to survive with the use of the iron lungs. One of these people is Paul Alexander, who’s spent most of his life under the lungs.”
Read More:

So, you STUPID ASSHOLE, there are still, as of 2022, some in iron lungs.

Ginny Stonersays:
June 19, 2023 at 10:05 am
No Aarno, it is not. Vaccines did not eradicate smallpox or polio, in spite of how deeply you believe it was so.


@ Ginny Stoner

Read Wikipedia. History of smallpox.

Or try a great historical novel, which includes a huge reference list: Jennifer Lee Carrell. The Speckled Monster: A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox.

I realize you are too stupid to understand; but a good historical novel gives the historical evidence; but adds dialogue based on diaries, letters, etc. so that the actual people involved come to life. Read it ASSHOLE.

I have a dozen well-documented books on smallpox and 100s of journal articles, etc, including reprints of colonial Boston newspaper articles, etc.

@Ginny Stoner
Stefan Lanka did not believe measles virus either:
He eventually dodged the payment on the grounds that Barden submitted many studies.

“Orac, it’s not like this is a place for civil, rational debate–it’s a place for me (and anyone else with objections to vaccination) to be publicly degraded by you and your followers.”

OMG! Is Orac holding you at gunpoint, forcing you to say stupid things and get laughed at for it? If so, I hope you get yourself free. If not – HAHAHAHAHA. If you want to have a safe space, create a website of your own ( and forbid comments, like AgeOfAutism used to do.

You picked the place you posted to, and you decided to post nonsense there – you reap when you sow. It’s not our fault you keep coming back for more. If you don’t enjoy it, you can leave – or you can learn. But don’t expect us t0 treat you nice, just because facts hurt your feelings.

P.S. If you want to hold a debate, I suggest you do it in a pre-vaccine graveyard; you’ll like seeing the graves of little children dead from the diseases you miss so much.

Snack food manufacturers would be thrilled if their products were as irresistible to the average person as conspiracy theories are to the likes of Ginny. She can’t consume just one. She has to wolf down the entire buffet. I’m guessing that conspiracy theories are as devoid of calories as they are of supporting evidence, otherwise there would be a lot of exceedingly obese people around because most seem to be like Ginny – it’s all or nothing and to them the “nothing” option is unthinkable.

[…] It didn’t take long before Kirsch went completely off the deep end and became a hard core conspiracy theorist about COVID-19 vaccines. By 2021 Kirsch was promoting ivermectin as a miracle cure (with fluvoxamine) for COVID-19. By May 2021 he was claiming that COVID-19 vaccines impair female fertility (they don’t), and by. September 2021 he was falsely claiming that the mRNA vaccines kill more people than they save—150,000 killed by the vaccines—!using some truly risible arguments to claim that grew by May 2022 to a claim that mRNA vaccines have killed over a half a million people while only saving ~25,000. By 2022, Kirsch had developed a penchant for challenging critics of COVID-19 quackery and antivax misinformation to live public debates, a penchant that leads him to annoy the crap out of legitimate scientists with fatuous “challenges” conveyed by email and publicly on his Substack. (I’ve been at the receiving end of a few.) Equally predictably, Kirsch’s anti-COVID-19 vaccine variety of antivaccinationism soon expanded to encompass “old school” antivax conspiracy theories, such as the CDC whistleblower conspiracy theory featured in the 2016 antivaccine propaganda “documentary” VAXXED (even more recently resurrected by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.) and, of course, the long debunked claim that childhood vaccines cause autism, all while using legal bullying and doxxing to silence critics. […]

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