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RFK Jr. is hosting a veritable antivax Quackapalooza

RFK Jr. will hold a “healthcare policy roundtable” next week. One look at its list of “experts” shows that it will be a Quackapalooza of antivax misinformation. Unfortunately, RFK Jr.’s candidacy is normalizing old long debunked antivax tropes.

I hadn’t planned on doing “theme weeks,” but somehow the last two weeks have turned into that. Last week ended up being all about the most ridiculous of the “Debate me, bro!” antivaxxers issuing bogus challenges to “debate” vaccines, who then doxxed and bullied a vaccine advocate in order to silence him, all while denying being a doxxing legal thug issuing bogus threats of libel suits. I’m referring, of course, to tech bro turned risibly silly antivaxxer who pivoted from “new school” anti-COVID-19 vaccine misinformation to the hoariest of “old school” antivax conspiracy theories, Steve Kirsch. Speaking of “old school” antivaxxers, this week has been all about longtime antivax conspiracy theorist turned Presidential candidate for the 2024 Democratic nomination, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. When last we left RFK Jr. earlier this week, his antivax misinformation-and conspiracy theory-filled performance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, followed by his bogus “challenge” to debate vaccine scientist Dr. Peter Hotez, had been dominating social media earlier in the week. So why return to him again, so soon? Why go back to the well a third time in one week?

The answer is simple and related to what I wrote on Tuesday, when I discussed out how RFK Jr.’s presidential campaign had done more to normalize antivax disinformation than anything he had done before, to the point where COVID-19 contrarian Dr. Vinay Prasad, in an effort to get on Joe Rogan’s podcast and its millions of listeners, basically started agreeing with many of RFK Jr.’s talking points, only weakly disagreeing with others, and echoing RFK Jr.’s common antivax talking point calling for randomized controlled clinical trials (RCTs) of the childhood vaccination. Then, I saw Dr. Prasad’s fellow COVID-19 contrarian Dr. Tracy Beth Høeg being way too kind to RFK Jr.’s antivax talking points on Twitter. While he says that we “sometimes disagree,” she still “likes RFK Jr.” Basically, she bent over backward to treat RFK Jr. not as the antivax crank that he is, but just someone with whom she “disagrees.” Unfortunately, we now see this a lot, and not just among COVID-19 contrarians who were predisposed to “like” RFK Jr. and agree with many of his antivax messages in the first place. It’s just one indication of how RFK Jr. is normalizing the most bizarre antivax conspiracy theories, because people out there for some reason want to “like” him.

Which brings me to RFK Jr.’s antivax Quackapalooza—excuse me, a health policy roundtable about “Deep Reform”—on June 27:

RFK Jr.'s Quackapalooza
RFK Jr.’s Quackapalooza announcement.

Regular readers and those interested in science-based medicine and health policy will likely recognize many of these speakers. For example, that guy in the upper right hand corner is none other than Joe Mercola, someone whom I like to refer to as a quack tycoon because he’s worth north of $100 million, thanks to his quarter century of selling quackery, supplements, and antivax nonsense online as one of the early “pioneers” of online quackery. It was, of course, completely unsurprising when Mercola, sensing an opportunity to profit, quickly pivoted to COVID-19 misinformation and quackery and then to anti-COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and quackery. So that’s one of RFK Jr’s “health leaders” and “experts”:

Mr. Kennedy will meet with leading critics of prevailing health policy including Dr. Joe Mercola, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, Dr. Pierre Kory, Dr. Patrick Gentempo, Maureen McDonnell, Del Bigtree, Mikki Willis, Sayer Ji and others. Anticipate a lively give-and-take involving topics rarely addressed in mainstream policy conversations.

Mr. Kennedy is known for his controversial and courageous stand for truth and freedom from government overreach in health policy.

We invite you to join Mr. Kennedy and these health leaders to witness part of the process of formation of a new health system to reduce chronic disease, cut costs, and allow the people of this country to thrive. 

“Lively give and take”? These quacks all pretty much agree with the misinformation and lies proclaiming that COVID-19 is a harmless “plandemic”; COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous and ineffective; masks don’t work; “lockdowns” did far more harm than good; and that repurposed drugs proven ineffective against COVID-19 like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, are inexpensive suppressed “cures” that “they” don’t want you to know about. Speaking of a harmless “plandemic” designed to provide justification for authoritarianism, repression, vaccine mandates, and other forms of “control,” that guy in the lower right hand corner is Mikki Willis, the filmmaker behind the conspiracy documentaries Plandemic and Plandemic 2:Indoctornation, who has a third installation coming out now, Plandemic 3:The Great Awakening, which appears to have added HIV/AIDS denial to the general themes of COVID-19 denial, antivax conspiracies, and other assorted pseudoscience and bullshit. Unsurprisingly, Willis has also been promoting ivermectin as a suppressed “cure” for COVID-19.

Speaking of nonphysicians and nonscientists with zero relevant expertise in anything other than filmmaking and conspiracy theories, although he’s not pictured, Del Bigtree is one of RFK Jr.’s other “leaders.” You might recall him making a name for himself in the antivax world in 2016 by producing the antivax conspiracyfest of a “documentary” VAXXED with Andrew Wakefield making his directorial debut. The film was primarily about how Wakefield had been right all along about the MMR vaccine causing autism and secondarily about the CDC whistleblower conspiracy theory (recently resurrected by antivaxxers like Steve Kirsch) supporting the contention that Wakefield had been right all along. If you want to get an idea of how batshit loony Bigtree is, I can provide two examples. In the first, he called on gun owners to resist vaccine mandates and likened himself and others resisting school vaccine mandates to the Founding Fathers, ready to “die for freedom.” More recently, buying into the fascist “pureblood” rhetoric about the unvaccinated, he almost died from bleeding hemorrhoids because he refused a blood transfusion until he could get blood guaranteed to have been “unvaccinated” from a quack clinic in Mexico. (There’s a lesson in there somewhere.)

Another of RFK Jr.’s “experts” and “leaders” is Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, a longtime antivax quack who in 2019, during the measles epidemic in Samoa that had killed over 70 children, tried to argue that measles doesn’t kill. (This was the same outbreak during which RFK Jr. sent a letter to the Samoan Prime Minister blaming a “defective” MMR vaccine for all the measles deaths, rather than…you know…the measles outbreak.) More recently, in 2021 Tenpenny made the news for her nonsensical claim that COVID-19 vaccines “interface” with cell towers and make people who receive them magnetic:

While doing so, Tenpenny uncorked a firehose of untrue and misleading claims about vaccination. She baselessly linked vaccines to diseases like ALS and cancer, and made her now-infamous remarks about vaccines (which unequivocally do not magnetize their recipients).

“I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized,” Tenpenny said. “They can put a key on their forehead and it sticks … There have been people who have long suspected there’s an interface, yet to be defined, an interface between what’s being injected in these shots and all of the 5G towers.”

The bill failed, but Tenpenny’s testimony drew mocking national media attention to the Ohio Statehouse.

Great “leaders” RFK Jr. has there!

Naturally, Dr. Pierre Kory will be participating too. I haven’t written much about Kory, although he did “distinguish himself” when he leapt onto the Damar Hamlin case to blame it on vaccines and to claim that athletes were “dying suddenly” because they had been forced by vaccine mandates to get the COVID-19 mRNA-based vaccines. He’s also one of the founders of the Front-Line Critical Care COVID-19 Alliance (FLCCC), a group of conspiracy-minded ivermectin-promoting doctors and their allies. He has become antivax to the core and Tweeted this last December:

“I stand by this statement and will do so to my grave. If I had young children today, not one would get even a single childhood vaccine.” This is basically the definition of “antivaccine,” and Kory said it loud and proud—on Christmas Eve!

A more direct and succinct proclamation that one is not just antivax but loud and proud about it, I cannot recall having seen in a long time. Basically, Dr. Kory has been letting his antivax freak flag fly high since.

As for the rest, I’ve written about Sayer Ji a number of times before, most recently about his trying to explain how his friend and quack Dr. Rashid Buttar could have “died suddenly” even though he had been unvaccinated. He’s antivax to the core.

I’m less familiar with Not-A-Doctor Patrick Gentempo. He’s a chiropractor and, like many (if not most) chiropractors, is antivax. He’s also rather full of himself, noting that he is called a “Philosopher-Entrepreneur.” I consider him more a conspiracy theorist-grifter. He was referring to vaccines as “genetic manipulation” long before COVID-19, citing a paper in 1976 warning against that:

Although it may be difficult to test DeLong’s hypothesis, and we must not make the error of equating correlation with cause and effect, the potential consequences of inducing both human and viral genetic change are too devastating to be ignored.

The side effects of vaccines are frightening, yet they pale in comparison to haphazard alteration of the gene pool. Mahatma Gandhi stated, “Every action that is dictated by fear or by coercion of any kind ceases to be moral.” This imperative has been completely ignored by public health officials who seek to make vaccinations mandatory.

Doctors of Chiropractic are distinctive primary health care providers. As such, chiropractors must be capable of counseling patients concerning contemporary health care issues. We must be vigilant in protecting minority rights in health matters. As one jurist noted, “It’s not the rights of the majority which must be protected, for these are not at risk. It is the rights of the minority which require constant vigilance.” We must not permit the allopathic model to dominate our public health system.

You get the idea.

I’m not familiar with Maureen McDonald, at least as far as vaccines go, but from what I can find she appears to be an antivax RN, which is just as bad as being an antivax MD, who has been promoting antivax misinformation since before the pandemic and since the pandemic founded MAMM (Millions Against Medical Mandates). I couldn’t find anything about her that showed her to be promoting anything more than unimaginative standard antivax talking points.

So basically. what we have here is truly an antivax Quackapalooza. None of the participants featured by RFK Jr. are true “leaders” in health care, although I will concede that, like RFK Jr., many of them are leaders in quackery and the antivaccine movement, particularly Del Bigtree and Joe Mercola, or in COVID-19 conspiracy theories, particularly Mikki Willis and Del Bigtree. If you told me a few years ago—or even a couple of years ago—that we’d soon see someone being taken halfway seriously as a presidential candidate put on a “roundtable discussion” in which his handpicked health “leaders” and experts were such a misbegotten collection of cranks, quacks, and conspiracy theorists, I’d never have believed you, but thanks to the magic of the Kennedy name, RFK Jr. has pulled it off. In doing so, he is normalizing the worst hoary antivax tropes by promoting them to more people than he had ever been able to promote them to before.

It makes me want to ask Dr. Prasad if he thinks that the participants in RFK Jr.’s “roundtable” have “reasonable ideas” too. Who knows? Maybe he’ll surprise me, forget his lust to be on Joe Rogan’s podcast, remember his former dedication to science, and actually call a bunch of cranks, quacks, and antivaxxers what they are: A bunch of cranks, quacks, and antivaxxers. It’s the same thing that the mainstream press should also be saying, but unfortunately I know that many political outlets will pull their punches by using words like “unconventional,” “alternative,” or “skeptics.” No, RFK Jr.’s roundtable is a gathering of cranks, quacks, antivaxxers, and conspiracy theorists—just like him.

I also can’t help but wonder who the “others” will be.

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]

108 replies on “RFK Jr. is hosting a veritable antivax Quackapalooza”

antivax Quackapalooza

The very definition of “if it walks like a duck …”

I listened to an interview he gave to Paul Thomas a few months ago. Kory was a C average math major in his own words. He was incredibly full of himself. Basically saying he was so smart that he was bored. In reality he’s so stupid. He didn’t realize it’s not intelligence that he has. By his own telling when he started pushing quack COVID cures, everyone in his critical care department turned against him. Well, at least the rest of the doctors where he worked had half a brain.

He is an F- physician now.

I don’t think Kory is stupid per se. However, he is a good example of how one doesn’t have to be much more intelligent than average to be a physician. Basically, you just have to be “smart enough,” plus able and willing to put in the necessary work. There are a lot of doctors like Kory, who before turning to quackery were unimaginative but competent but who then for some reason became disappointed and/or disillusioned at the routine practice of medicine, but more importantly unhappy that they weren’t viewed by their colleagues as being as brilliant as they thought they deserved. The reason, of course, is because they aren’t, even if they do manage to eke out a respectable if not outstanding publication record, like Kory’s record before the pandemic.

Kory is an example of capture, whether audience or whatever. He started with contrarian takes on the pandemic, found a crowd that, in his mind, appreciated him for the genius that he thought he was, and as a result went further and further down the rabbit hole of COVID-19 quackery and conspiracy theories, ultimately ending up even more rabidly antivax than RFK Jr., who at least still performatively claims not to be antivax, even as he shows that he obviously is.

I don’t believe for a second he saw that many actual serious covid cases. The bs he put out didn’t jibe with clinical realities at all.

Kory doesn’t even pretend not to be antivaccine anymore—and not just anti-COVID vaccine, but anti-all vaccines.

Wow. Holy cow manure. I think I get why you keep a few of your resident trolls around, as examples of “this is what an antivaxer looks like.” The only difference between the resident trolls and these big names in the disinfo business is how many clicks and views they get. Vaccination deadly since smallpox? (If only you could go back in time and ask families how many children they buried before 1800. Visiting an old graveyard might do. That’s level 99 denialism on par with geocentric Flat Earth.) 5G and covid shots causing magnetic arms? (Where are my induced mutant superpowers?) The big names are just trolls on steroids.

But shoot, it kind of works for its base purpose of getting attention. Here I am commenting again instead of doing more useful stuff. :/

Yeah, pretty much. I keep a few around for that purpose, even though I know that doing so probably hurts my Google ranking. (Comments count, and I’ve learned that antivax comments can decrease a blog’s Google juice.) I only ban when one starts to get on my nerves—or worse, the nerves of my respected longtime readers—too much. Admittedly, “too much” is somewhat subjective.

Off topic (Cancer) ,

MJD’s cancer research company “Alleamit” would like to share a press release to the many friends here at RI:

Minnesota, United States of America, Date, 2023–Alleamit, Inc. (Alleamit), is focused on novel skin cream immunotherapeutics; received a Notice of Allowance for the patent application titled Topical Hyper-allergenic Composition And Method Of Treating Using The Same (U.S. Patent Application # 16/513,334). The Notice of Allowance concludes a thorough examination of the skin cream application to become a U.S. patent.

Ever wonder why allergies exist? The immune system is trying to protect you from harm. At Alleamit, research, and development leverage allergies to disrupt and attack the spread of cancer. Our skin cream stimulates the body’s immune response to fight tumors through cross-reactivity, immune metabolic interference, and targeted degranulation. If confirmed in clinical trials, the ability to harness the body’s natural immune system could bring significant cost benefits to patients. Michael J. Dochniak (Alleamit, co-founder) writes that our skin creams encompass pharmaceutical-grade components and FDA-approved allergenics. The technology has the potential to address an unmet medical need in oncology, improve the lives of patients, and bring significant value to shareholders.

https://www.alleamit.com/

It’s appropriate that Doucheniak would chime in right after Orac uses the words “get on my nerves.”

There’s a typo in

MJD’s cancer research company “Alleamit” …

It should be

MJD’s “cancer research” company Alleamit

It was rumored that the Dipshits for Diphtheria were opening for the Dengue of Fools at the Zoster Theater.

Do you think that such a round table should or should not include someone who you would not consider anti-vax? Because from other posts, it seems you don’t advocate the vaccine supporters should share a stage or panel discussion with someone who is AV.

It would be an utter waste of time for a pro-science person to be on such a panel as the “token provax” voice. The antivaxxers on the panel would just gang up. Even if they wouldn’t, why would a scientist or physician be seen with such utter cranks?

If that’s the case, why are you condemning for not having any PV voices? What do you think they should do instead?

Stop lying about their true goals, for one. They’re not interested in health reform or people actually being healthier.

It’s so wonderful when Beth is in full-on Just Asking Questions mode.

“What do you think they should do instead?”

Instead of eagerly participating in publicity stunts, RFK Jr.’s crank brigade could 1) take a break from the social media echo chamber, self-aggrandizing profit schemes and attacks on public health figures, in order to 2) go back to school (or attend it in the first place) to learn basic principles of diagnosing, treating and preventing infectious disease, epidemiology and learn about vaccine development, testing and monitoring, and 3) attend courses provided by accredited universities and medical institutions to familiarize themselves with state-of-the-art developments in these areas.

Or they could just STFU and slink off in disgrace. No need to have Nuremberg-style trials for their societally destructive behavior.

HAH!
“… go back to school…. take courses…”
More likely they’ll start their own schools and l’universites as they always promise/ threaten.
“Classroom on the air”, “NN university”, encyclopaedias from Green Med Info, Tenpenny’s courses and JLW’s IPAK.

They can’t ” take a break” or ” STFU” because their identities depend upon their proselytisation, “saving children”.

“More likely they’ll start their own schools and l’universites as they always promise/ threaten”

Trump University ringing bells…

I understood this post to be mocking the statement that this group of quacks are going to be engaged in a meaningful discussion.

Not to be suggesting that anyone with credibility join them.

I did not read it as trying to suggest to people who made their career on promoting anti-vaccine misinformation to suddenly behave in ways that actually support and encouraging accurate information. It would be nice if they did, but unlikely.

Maybe they should bring the folks that alleged the covid vaccines were 90+% effective. Or those pushing cloth masks. Or those pushing ‘social distancing’. Or those calling ivermectin horse medicine. Or those saying pre 2021 that new covid vaccines wouldn’t be safe and post-2021 that they should be mandated (hint Hotez). Or the folks that thought it should take 75 years to provide what they relied on to conclude the Pfizer vaccines were safe; while at the same time concluding that people should be fired for not taking them or similar vaccines. Calling the aforementioned folks quacks would be charitable indeed.

@John Labarge COVID vaccines were 95% before omicron, viurs was allowed to mutate.
Social distancing and masks do help when when we have a respitatory disease. Sneezing spreads them, doy ou know that
Ivermction does not work, as Dr Yeti has told you multiple times . There are lots of RCTs too, of course.
Hotez did not say anything like that, of course
Speaking about 75 years did this FOIA reveal anyhtin ?

Or those calling ivermectin horse medicine.

I’m pretty sure it works for jackasses as well, if that makes you feel any better.

It is horse medicine. Does horses a helluva lot more good than anyone with or worried about covid.

Look. John. You are full of shit. Get used to it or clean up your act. As Joel and others including myself have said OVER AND OVER ivermectin DOESNT FUCKING WORK FOR COVID. I do this everyday and did so throughout the pandemic if it worked I would have buckets of it sitting around to give out.

No one is suppressing it. Koury is s goddamn shameless liar. So are you. End of story.

Grow up.

Beth’s propagandizing here, trying to set up the sort of ‘elitists just dismiss dissent’ case as Ross Douthat in the NYT via the way she shapes her question in an over-broad generalization. To answer your question: why a scientist or physician would be seen with other cranks is the same reason you write about them here.

What a scientist or physician should not do is be seen with cranks in a forum designed and run by cranks with crank rules of engagement. Not to sound like a broken record, but any kind of debate, including ‘dueling web columns’ is all about contexts and rules. It’s possible to design terms of live discussion that don’t knee-cap logic and evidence. I was reminded of this by Beth using the term “panel discussion”. I’ve been in more than a few of those in academia, including a couple where I could have been considered token opposition. Of course, these are more like in-person dueling web columns than like the Dead Parrot or Argument Clinic sketches. Everybody gets the same number of minutes to do their spiel w/o interruption, there’s a little Q and A at the end… it’s not perfect but it’s reasonably fair.

As I think you (Orac) are well aware, the debate-me-bro challenges are disingenuous baiting. Kirsch e.g. obviously doesn’t want to debate, as he actually runs away by changing his terms when anyone steps up to challenge him. Rogan WANTS Dr. Hotez to decline, so Elon can drop smack like “He’s afraid of a public debate, because he knows he’s wrong.”

To extend this, the cranks specifically want the science spokesfolk to explain declining the invitation as “I will not legitimate the crank by sharing the stage,” because that achieves their ends of firing up their base against the perceived insult, and making the science side look bad to persuadable fence-sitter or new-to-the-issue folks who’ve been raised within an ideological environment that hasn’t completely disposed of Enlightenment ideals.

ERGO: Even if you think it’s just wrong to ever ‘share a stage’ with a crank, don’t EVER use that as a reason for declining, as it’s conceding points to the opposition. Sadly, even fleshing out the objections as you do in your posts here doesn’t help much if the case can be collapsed under that broad rubric with a couple cherry-picked quotes. The main theme of the rejection should bounce the accusation back at them, to the effect of ‘no way I’m subjecting myself to your set-up, but if you’ve got the guts to engage in a fair, refereed contest of knowledge rooted in verified facts and evidence — then let’s talk.’ With a little pic of Neo waving ‘come at me’ to Agent Smith.

COROLLARY: Part of having a debate, in any form, serve a fair exchange is selecting representatives of each side roughly equal in skill within that form. E.g. you (Orac) are unlikely to back away from a Twitter fight or a blog-post response from anyone, but can be absolutely justified in rejecting ANY form involving public speaking, if you don’t feel comfortable with that. So it’s kosher for any individual when challenged to make a legit “go pick on someone your own size” in the skill at hand.

[Fwiw: Dr. Hotez has been on TV a lot, and acquitted himself very well, so I’d rate him a fair match for RFKj in presentation skill… so it’s not like Rogan is challenging the wrong guy, just doing so on very wrong terms of what would indeed degrade into a debacle. In all the propagandizing going on, it’s largely been ignored that Hotez has been on Rogan’s show before, and stated he’s willing to talk to Rogan again, which is way more forward and brave than Kirsch et. al are with their BS schoolyard taunts.]

SADMAR: I don’t mean it to be propaganda (nobody pays me to make comments), but I will admit that my questions are designed to elicit an answer to refute Mr. Douthat’s contention although I wrote them before I read his piece.

How exactly is Mr. Douthat wrong about that contention if no one with the knowledge to explain what is wrong with RFK Jr. evidence and reasoning ever responds by interacting directly with him?

To suggest, as others in this forum have, that those who publicly question the safety of vaccines should simply “Stop lying” is essentially saying “sit down and shut up”. Which is not a convincing argument against what they are saying. IMO RFK Jr. believes what he is saying. He may be mistaken, but he is not lying.

As Mr. Douthat points out, this attitude of not interacting with well-known AV individuals other than to disparage doing so publicly, “seems to be to enforce an intellectual quarantine”.- i.e. shut up and sit down if you disagree.

If experts should never engage with RFK Jr or others of his notoriety, what observers like me see is scientists dismissing dissent rather than addressing it. Vaccine harms are so well as established as a global earth versus a flat earth. There is room for discussion and dissent without ridicule or dismissal. Btw, I don’t consider ORAC or other writers to have ‘debunked’ Mr. Kennedy’s contentions. Mostly, they seem to think that characterizing him as a loon and debunking strawmen versions of what he has said to be sufficient to dismiss his arguments.

I will admit that my questions are designed to elicit an answer to refute Mr. Douthat’s contention although I wrote them before I read his piece.

🙄

Robert Kennedy Jr still claims that there are noplacebo controlled trials of childhood vaccines. Only way to refute this is to show papers.
Generally what to do if your opponent flatly lies during a debate ? Antiaxxers will do that.

So. What do we do about it? What do we go if they are winning those fence-sitters over? Be sanctimonious? Call them “stupid?” History has proven time and again this is the surest way to lose.

Beth would probably say we are not “interacting directly” with her, which is false.

Beth: “To suggest, as others in this forum have, that those who publicly question the safety of vaccines should simply “Stop lying” is essentially saying “sit down and shut up”.”

More nonsense.

There’s an enormous difference between questioning vaccine safety and continually pushing falsehoods that have been conclusively debunked so many times that there is no excuse for not knowing they are false. RFK Jr. and other virulent antivaxers are simply lying out of misguided zeal, because they’ve convinced themselves that knowledgeable experts are lying to them so turnabout is fair play, or because lying is baked into their personalities. Or all three.

Beth has a long history of antivaccine proselytizing here, thinly disguised as Just Asking Questions. She isn’t told to shut up. But it would be nice if she ceased her lame attempts to deceive and was honest about where she’s coming from.

One possible response would be tell Junior, “You want a debate. Steve Kirsch wants a debate. Avi Bitterman and Dan Wilson want to debate them. Why don’t you join Kirsch’s team and talk him into agreeing to the rules that Bitterman has proposed or something close to them and help make that debate happen?

There are panel discussions and conferences all the time at which aspects of vaccine efficacy and safety are discussed. Those are useful forums for professionals who recognize the value of immunization (representing the vast majority in their fields).

Why would any sane researcher or medical practitioner think it wise to participate in a propaganda exercise dominated by virulent antivaxers? It possibly would be even worse than getting up on a debate stage with an antivax crank. You’d be firehosed with misinformation and shouted down by a panel full of cranks, who’d then gleefully post video excerpts designed to show that they “won”.

Even soft-core antivaxers can be embarrassed by participating in a panel such as this. Orac had an article awhile back on Geert Vanden Bossche, whose mild attempt at pushback backfired.

https://www.respectfulinsolence.com/2022/06/03/when-old-school-antivaxxers-meet-the-new-school-antivaxxers/

@Beth:

[Y]ou don’t advocate [that] vaccine supporters should share a stage or panel discussion with someone who is AV.

It would be pointless to. It would be like having a roundtable with flat-earthers and geographers, or NASA scientists and moon landing deniers.
All it would do is give credence to people who believe demonstrably wrong things.

@ Julian

You can’t beg the question by demanding your own terms for relevance.

It would indeed be pointless for a scientist to debate a crank for the sake of scientific knowledge. But that’s not what we’re talking about. RFKj is a candidate for public office: what we’re talking about is politics and policy, and there’s a very real, very powerful anti-science political movement here in the US poised to do great harm if it gains administrative power. Which, sadly is actually a possibility. Not that RFKj is going to be elected to anything, but he’s a ‘useful lunatic’ propped up by the far right as a kind of pace-setter for Ron DeSantis, the real anti-science menace.

If a moon-hoaxer or flat-earther was at 20% in a Presidential preference poll, they mind indeed be worth debating (on fair terms, not on e.g. their podcasts). But their delusions haven’t led to six figure numbers of avoidable deaths, as COVID denial and anti-vax have in the US alone.

Others have had issues with RFK Jr, and not on vaccines (gifted article, enjoy): https://www.nytimes.com/2023/06/23/opinion/rfk-jr-joe-rogan.html?unlocked_article_code=DB4QwKJYzQuv9ZafVCSK6TZfaYfvxxxXJggNoTJGJI0c-dwOy76PUIdS32I1NvfZnXE5Gl-1F04KHA9_gY9hBFrINd144qjKuppHw9hBlAb-5l3ZfVmQxnZzkVyIehpq2L1hKXpI5H8yUV1RtMbHCFBlyhgxLGCI6Ab9kuXLPDbMA-FA3ubBa7h_vd0ncWsyPKjHKewrFJGAuZBvmpN1pDS45Mr16fATC7sdAlLOBkGRTRhlPzlxC0Wimw8opSBIAk1BBTDZANAUJfQn1ggvcODTzuZx2bqKYp6PnVmchJEd1jFGPg2VUxmV1EN1HcqstSA47z8TcSCLVA&smid=url-share

RFK, Jr the election denier?

I hadn’t realised he had been involved in this, but he can’t help be attracted to conspiracies.

Apparently, he challenged the legitimacy of the 2004 election of Pres. Bush. I don’t think he has made any such claims about the 2020 election of Pres. Biden, which is what most people think of in regard to election denial.

“My mistake was attempting to debate and debunk Kennedy in the first place.”

It apparently is never enough to keep repeating that debate with these charlatans is not just a waste of time, but actively NEGATIVE in value.

Everybody must learn for themselves personally, I guess.

I’ll make sure I’m busy on the 27th.

Unfortunately, because I often watch ( skip around) Del’s Thursday BS hour(s), I was able to view (skip around) Willis’s The Great Awakening weeks ago and basically, it reveals a Commie Plot to destroy Freedom and bodily purity.

Del will be a speaker at Freedom Fest Memphis in July: speakers include a laundry list of right wingers/ libertarians/ contrarian loons. Strange, but he usually lauds his “hippie-ish”/ liberal roots in Boulder.
Del is primarily an entertainer who failed as a singer/ actor and migrated to production. I have been unable to find any mention of his secondary school or university education. His mother pulled him out of school around age 8 and homeschooled him herself; he attended a BC career school for television production as an adult.
Del’s investigative reporter, Jefferey Jaxen, is listed as an actor/ stuntman at IMDb. Aaron Siri, who will appear with Del at FF, is an actual attorney.

about RFK jr’s candidacy:
maybe I’m being too optimistic but he’s aiming at Democrats, who throughout the pandemic, have seemed quite immune to anti-vax, which is reflected in better results in Blue areas, as we’ve discussed many times. His message – and that of Del and his cohorts at FF**- seem more attuned to the other side’s habitual quackery and CT mongering.

** take a look at the speaker’s list for Freedom Fest Memphis 23
Yiiiiiii!!!!!

Unfortunately, because I often watch ( skip around) Del’s Thursday BS hour(s), I was able to view (skip around) Willis’s The Great Awakening weeks ago and basically, it reveals a Commie Plot to destroy Freedom and bodily purity.

There’s only one video clip from one classic movie that such a conspiracy film demands that I post:

I do always love how Gen. Ripper rants about the “contamination of our precious bodily fluids” by that Commie fluoridation while smoking a big, nasty old stogie.

I watched a 2019 interview that Maureen nurse person did with Paul Thomas and James Lyons Weiler. She apparently ran a lot of the defeat autism now (DAN) meetings in the early 2000s. She is not surprisingly very anti-vaccine. She has a website sokhopDOTcom which seems to have gone dormant since 2019. This must be some sort of a comeback tour for her I guess.

I’m waiting for his ‘Let’s Talk About the Future of Space’ summit with stars from the NBA.

I think Del is there in case anybody tries to disagree too strongly with their golden boy. Remember how Del jumped all over that veterinarian vandenbosch guy when he tried to disagree about vaccines at that COVID conference about a year or so ago? Del shut him down real fast. Don’t mess with mr. Bleeding hemorrhoids lol.

@ Dr Chris:

OMFG!
I just uncovered the connection despite seeing your logo for years:
it’s a lizard!!!!
which signifies…. You know what !!!

RFK Jr. on Twitter a short time ago:

“The two main lies that Corporate Media cites to make me look crazy are that I am antivaccine and that I compare the Covid mandates to the Holocaust. Thank you
@nypost@LJMoynihan for letting me clarify that I’m not an anti-vaxxer.”

RFK Jr.’s first claim about the “Corporate Media” misrepresenting him as an antivaxer is of course farcical. As for not comparing Covid mandates to the Holocaust, he must be hoping that his followers are too dumb to check the record, or more likely don’t care that he’s lying through his teeth.

http://haaretz.com/us-news/2023-06-19/ty-article/.premium/rfk-jr-gains-traction-amid-revelations-he-compared-covid-mask-rules-to-nazi-experiments/00000188-d4fc-d6e0-a79c-dffc9ebb0000

Kennedy knows his followers aren’t very bright.
Back when Children’s Health Defense was still on Facebook they had a post about that’s for the money which allowed this great legal victory please send more cash and even had a handy link to the pdf of of decision which among others had Kennedy’s signature.
The decision was dismissed with prejudice.

Speaking of quackapaloozas, I’m sure you all felt great disappointment at the cancellation of the 2023 Advanced Medicine Conference in St Louis, caused by the untimely death of Rashid Buttar. There was great stuff on the agenda, including a talk I really wanted to hear, “Healing is Voltage: The One Pathway to ALL Chronic Disease” by Jerry Tennant, MD.

There was a dentist scheduled to speak on “Unleashing The Power Of Nasal Breathing” (a necessity when you’ve got a mouth full of dental hardware), and a presentation titled “Nicotine: Deadly Toxin Or Miracle Healer?, to be given by a chiropractor”.

Also we could’ve gotten autographs from Judy Mikovits.

Hopefully the conference will return next year, perhaps with RFK Jr. as keynote speaker.

“Healing is Voltage”

It’s true that you do feel much better once the voltage has stops.

“Nicotine: Deadly Toxin Or Miracle Healer?”
Uhh.
I would think the former, but I’m sure the lecture would be about the latter., And I suppose they don’t care for ‘The dose makes the poison’.

The unfortunate reality is that something will probably have to be done. We have idiot state legislators trying to ban the vaccine tech that has the only real chance saving us from the next truly-deadly pandemic. We don’t fix this by just yelling “Trust us, we’re the experts” at people.

I’ve thought about this and I bet Koury, for example, would never agree to debate the “merits” of his bs lies with me and my pulm-crit colleague.

He KNOWS he’s a liar. He KNOWS we were the ones who were really in the trenches and saw people die from his lies clutching their stupid little ivermectin blister packs.

He would say “There are mountains of evidence for ivermectin…”

I say “Where? I have actual, real-world experience that it does nothing and, worse, convinces sick and high risk patients not to get vaccinated so they die”

He’d say “It’s suppressed.”

I’d say “a mountain can be seen, you can’t suppress it. Clearly YOU have seen this mountain show us.”

I’d ask “Tell me how you diagnose and risk stratify a covid admission”

Crickets. Why? Because he CAN’T.

What I can’t understand and what keeps me coming back here is how someone can lie so blatantly. A physician. How could he get there? Like that other idiot in upstate NY. I still can’t comprehend it. I’m a fellow doc. Laypeople must really be lost.

You’re dreaming if you think you’d defeat Kory in debate the way you describe.

There wouldn’t be embarrassed silences when you make your supposedly devastating points. He’d firehose a bunch of semi- and unrelated garbage back at you, you wouldn’t be able to handle the deluge, and his claque of supporters would giggle and congratulate each other on Kory’s “beating” you.

It would make more sense to testify to your experiences to lawmakers. There are slick politicians who are fast on their feet in state legislatures, but also plenty of doofuses you could probably show up nicely.

I don’t agree but I understand why you and others think so. We don’t win by being polite, redirecting decorum, sitting back with a pompous smile.

We need to bring our own junkyard dog into this and let it off the leash.

This is a fair point, but how to counter the diarrhetic scattershot of lies and dodging without doing the exact same thing in response and rendering the whole thing into a useless shitshow where everyone watching only ends up stupider?

I think you answer inline.

“Ivermectin works, blah blah.”

THATS A LIE

Sit and stare at them while they decide what to do next

“Buh buh it does something something but fartma..”

YOURE LYING. Why are you lying?

And on and on

The problem is, these people aren’t following logic and science, they’re following a story. You can’t fight them with facts. he’s not lying because he’s the hero of the story and the hero is always correct in all he stands for. By disagreeing with him you prove that you are an antagonist, a villain he must defeat.

Koury wouldn’t claim that the evidence is suppressed, he’d cite a dozen studies that support ivermectin as a miracle cure, and even though you might know that dozen of those studies were complete trash, he’d hone in on the ones that you don’t address. Then he’d ask, “And who says that these studies are wrong?”

After that he looks knowingly at his supporters in the audience, fully aware that they agree with him, the same massive medical conspiracy that says ivermectin doesn’t work are rejecting all of the evidence that it doesn’t work.

Full of confidence from that he’ll turn to you and ignore the question you just asked, or the statement you just made, and say, “Isn’t it interesting that places where ivermectin is used routinely, countries with less access to the kinds of medical procedures that you say are necessary to survive covid, have so many fewer cases of covid and far fewer deaths from it? Shouldn’t they have fared far worse? Yet they don’t. This means that either the treatments you claim are safe and effective are actually killing people or that ivermectin is what’s saving them.”

And from there, if you pause, even if it’s to breathe, swallow the bile rising in your throat, or gather your thoughts as he continues to spew nonsense at you, he’ll capitalize on that hesitation, saying it’s proof that you don’t have an answer, even if what he said prior wasn’t a question.

If you talk about lack of data he’ll counter with bad data, possibly numbers made up off of the top of his head.

And because he is the hero he will triumph over evil (you and everyone who dares disagree with him) in the end, and his supporters will feel vicarious pride at how he stood up to you and believe even more strongly in him, and hate you and people spreading evil notions like yours even more.

Science and logic are stories, too.

The story you’re telling is: Koury wouldn’t turn down a debate about ivermectin, but insist on doing so on his turf and terms, knowing that whatever Yeti and his colleague might say will not weaken him or his supporters, but only make them stronger. because they will interpret whatever happens through a certain story frame. Fair enough.

But what if Yeti was willing to go through with a debate if Koury accepted? What if Yeti has already given up on Koury and his fans, who really can’t be more incorrigible than they already are, but wants to tell a different story to a different group of people who might hear the exchange? The question then, is whether however this debate would happen would include an audience beyond Koury-ites, and be conducted under something like fair moderation?

Your story is dodging Yeti’s point: Given the political mood in which right-wingers are gathering support to ban “the vaccine tech that has the only real chance saving us from the next truly-deadly pandemic” we have to do something in the arena of the ‘public sphere’ to counter that wave, and just yelling “Trust us, we’re the experts” won’t cut it, because, at the very least, we need to persuade people who may have been apathetic about public health issues why the Kourys are wrong and why that matters

The question is how to reach the persuadable public. There isn’t an easy answer. A lot depends on specifics. Arguing for a broad generic dismissal is just endorsing a silo-ing that favors the actual villains in this tale.

Other options for Doc Yeti:

Arrange media interviews involving himself and other “front line” doctors to tell the real story.

As mentioned previously, testify before legislators with appropriate media coverage before and afterwards.

Engage with patients and the community via social media.

Etc.

Having a mindset that the only way to convince the public is to publicly debate charlatans on a stage is a setup for damaging one’s cause. Devious demagogues are almost always going to :”win” debates. Instead of falling into their trap, play to your strengths.

Debating the crazies is never the answer though, they’ve already thrown logic out the window and are far more practiced at using emotion and overwhelming force (meaning the ability to spout rapid fire soundbites that make them come across as amazingly knowledgeable and clever). They are charismatic and persuasive, and science, especially real science, can be passionate, but struggles to convey that to people who don’t already have some knowledge of the subject.

There’s an entry barrier and it’s a weird one.

The real answer to counter the crazies and extremists is to take notes on what works about their methods and use that without having any interaction with them.

Find a doctor, scientist, researcher, someone with a title that can catch a person’s eye, who is good at speaking to people who aren’t in their field, who aren’t educated in the sciences and talk about what matters.

Make a series of podcasts, youtube shorts, even ticktocks if that’s what they’re comfortable with, where they discuss things that people should know in a way that’s comfortable and engaging. Introduce people to topics in a way that makes them feel intelligent and leaves them wanting to know more.

Focus on individuals and their stories. Find nurses and doctors who can talk about how freaking amazing modern medicine is. Appeal to emotion that way, humanize the subject matter while you state the facts.

But never go toe to toe with a crank. That will always work against you. Every virtue you possess will be twisted into a flaw and they know how to mask their own faults as admirable traits. You will not win over the undecideds, at least not as many of them as the person you’re debating will.

Then again, I’m not a real expert on anything, and I’ll be the first to admit that. I wandered over to this place because I fell down a weird rabbit hole of weird Google searches and recognized the name of one of the resident trolls as having been cited as an expert by members of another site I used to go to, got a weird bug up my butt and decided to respond to one of the troll’s comments. I still feel like an idiot and an internet troll commenting here, but I figure real trolls post here and if Orac wants he’ll kick the lot of ’em, myself included.

So, uh, I guess Orac has something going on with getting random people interested in the topics discussed here? And maybe if you all can put more of what’s going on here out into the world you’ll accomplish what you’re looking to.

@ Silex:

I agree with most of what you say.
Early in the pandemic, television news focused on SB information and featured HCW relating their experiences. Dr Fauci was respected and admired as he spoke, as were local governors.

As the situation developed, contrarians started their campaign of doubt, misinformation and accusation. I heard this early on because I survey alt med and anti-vax
‘thought’ leaders. I noticed that invective sometimes resembled what psychologists found when they studied how conservatives reacted to women’s success in business/ science long ago: they are unattractive, they cheated, they were corrupt, not ‘real’ women.

So Dr Fauci is short, old, Italian ** ( cue Theme from the Godfather), from Brooklyn and corrupt. Similarly, Mr Biden chose a woman to head the CDC, Dr Walensky and her eventual replacement, Dr Cohen. Both are attractive, reasonably tall women who have Jewish names. They are reviled by anti-vaxxers who claim to be feminist.

You’ll notice that anti-vaxxers’ icons strut their stuff ( see my comment below about RFKjr): he lifts weights and exercises on video.
Much anti-vax/ alt med propaganda incorporates appearance and athleticism of their advocates. I hear this repeated often by followers. One of those I survey is ( genetically?) quite odd looking but parades his success as an athlete etc. I notice that several of them claim to be 6’2″ tall- quite a coincidence, no?
Donald Trump lies about his height according to John Heilemann who is taller.
Alties’ ferocity/ vehemence is mistaken for accuracy as they try to “enlighten” and “save” their followers.

Medical communicators found that having parent advocates*** to encourage other parents to vaccinate their children sometimes works. Narratives engage listeners and pseudoscientists rely almost exclusively upon them telling how many lives are ruined by vaccines, how vaccines kill or cripple, how meds cause the diseases they supposedly treat.

So we should just clone Dr Yeti, hire models and Orac and avoid Jewish and Italian names?
Or we can delineate just how alties set up their followers to believe them above all others and spend money.
Hire me ( I’m joking )

** I’m surprised that no one has yet translated his name into Italian or Sicilian ( “jaws” or a “sickle”)
*** Prof Dorit is one

Dr Bacon

That’s been done. I appeared on one on a local network. They get us nowhere, sadly.

Actually I would love to see what happens to Douthat if he tried to have a reasonable discussion with Kennedy. He is not the sharpest knife in the NY Times opinion drawer. It would be fun to see him drowning from Kennedy’s fire hose of nonsense.

Not surprising that Times’ peerless right-wing gadfly would come out with such drivel.

Ross Douthat is still stung from experience debating Christopher Hitchins, who by Douthat’s account wiped the floor with him using sleazy debate tactics – but Douthat thinks the lesson to be drawn from that is, go ahead and debate Hitchens again (though he never did), bringing…what? Equally sleazy strategy to generate gotchas of his own? Wow, that’s sure to educate the public on whose ideas are superior.

Douthat essentially is saying that if he were to debate RFK Jr., he’d agree with RFK Jr. but in a more restrained way, like “sure, I distrust experts too, but I’m not as far out about it as you.”

He also creates a massive strawman, suggesting that the only alternative to debating devious cranks on a stage is to have a government Ministry of Truth dictating to the masses. Never mind that all sorts of people, including public health experts, reporters, pundits like him and others from various walks of life have exposed RFK Jr.’s conspiratorial crap in print and on electronic media without ever needing to get up on a stage with him.

If debate is everything, why does Douthat have a job writing columns for the Times? Shouldn’t he get his points across the only way that matters – on a debate stage?

Beth could tell us what she thinks is the best way to counter dangerous nonsense spread by devious cranks, and why – but she’s too busy Just Asking Questions.

My nickname for Douthat is “Don’t”. I can never read his stuff without a little voice in my head jeering “Chunky Reese Witherspoon, Ross. Chunky Reese Witherspoon”. (Look it up, it’s hilarious.)

Humor, yes, but I’ve never seen anything from him that I thought was valid and insightfrul.

RFK jr is not a reliable narrator.
Jake Tapper ( CNN) reports that the anti-vaxxer totally mis-characterised their interaction years ago.
Joan Walsh ( The Nation) apologises for her contributions to RFK jr’s rise.

Of courses, RFK jr’s supporters will denigrate these journalists as the entrenched and compromised MSM.

I don’t understand the medical board not doing anything about Tenpenny.
It’s been a long time back though I once worked at an addiction treatment center which was involved (in addition to standard care) with impaired professional assessments. Mostly MDs, nurses, lawyers and a smattering of others with various professional licensures.

Most who were not functioning well were drugs addicts, had a severe mental health disorder or were dual diagnosis. A very few were just such raging assholes they came across as impaired. I recall one were the issue was dementia.

Anyway I did a lot of intake assessments so got to see these folks before their heads cleared up from either sobriety or other stabilization.

Neatly all of the impaired professionals made more sense walking in the door than Tenpenny does on her best days.

I’ve often wondered about this. I had to come in and relieve a drunk colleague when, if you can believe it, joint commission was in house. That’s what it took for nursing to finally report him to someone.

The mainstream media deserves a big chunk of blame for the popular conception that a staged debate is the way to settle an issue.

For years the networks have profited from heavily promoted debates between political candidates. They mostly consist of recitations of canned talking points, people interrupting and shouting each other down and attempts to produce “gotcha” moments that can be gleefully exploited by candidates and their supporters. No real effort has been made to keep debates on point and penalize participants for bad behavior.

So there’s a distinct stench of hypocrisy in MSM types supporting Dr. Hotez’s decision not to debate RFK Jr.

They and their employers helped create this mess and bear responsibility for it.

It’s all a spectator sport where people get to cheer for their favorite team. Nothing like an actual debate.

No matter how poorly the Bills play or how good a game the Patriots have you’re unlikely to persuade a Bills fan to change their team.

“RFK, Jr. just keeps on moving the goalposts.” Dr. Peter Hotez on “debating” anti-vaxxers.

MSNBC

30,885 views Jun 24, 2023 #rfk #antivax #debate
Podcasting juggernaut Joe Rogan set off a Twitter storm after he challenged world-renowned vaccine scientist Dr. Peter Hotez to debate infamous anti-vaxxer and now presidential candidate RFK, Jr. Mehdi talks to Dr. Hotez about “debate me bro” culture and the absurdity of demanding medical professionals debate conspiracy theorists.

I’m a fan of “Wonkette”, a website that deals with mostly somewhat lefty politics and is followed by a lot of alternative types. They have about a half-dozen regular writers who post maybe a half-dozen short articles daily commenting on the news — often with great sarcastic wit.

You might think that they’d be antivax given their unconventional bent, but they despise RFK Jr, and are about as appalled by antivax loonies as it’s possible to be. Because, although they have a distinctive point of view, they also are rooted in that thing out there called “reality”, and would like “evidence” for claims.

Wonkette is notorious for producing well researched, well thought out articles over the last 10 years or so. Several of my favorite bookmarks are from that source. They do have some excellent writers.

@ Beth Clarkson

WHY DEBATES CAN’T COVER SCIENTIFIC ISSUES

The New York Times and other news media, of course, encourage debates, not because they even remotely clarify scientific issues; but something to report on, something with emotional appeal.

Any intelligent person knows that debates are often won, not by the facts; but who has more charisma. Ever watch Nobel Prizes? Even some of world’s most brilliant scientists have poor charisma. And debates usually limit time; e.g., 5 minute presentation, 2 minute rebutting, etc. Not how one explains complicated scientific issues

At scientific conferences presentations can be half hour or more, followed often with question.

I actually read RFK’s book “The Real Anthony Fauci.” In a major portion he claims he has not formulated any hypothesis whether HIV causes AIDS or not. Bull Shit. For example, no where does he even mention that electron microscopy, two decades before book, displayed images of HIV, HIV entering specific CD4 T-cells. No where does he mention that the HIV genome was sequenced and which sections controlled which aspects deciphered. And he claims AZT doesn’t work, based mainly on case studies, case series. Well, AZT is a nucleotide analogue. As HIV replicating, the analogue fits in place; but doesn’t allow finishing product. However, research found the rapid mutation of HIV led to AZT eventually NOT working. I guess, using same approach, cancer chemotherapies that prolong life; but don’t cure, should be rejected? And he doesn’t mention that AZT, when combined with protease inhibitors significantly prolonged life.

He also cites early studies on ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Only problem is overwhelming majority of COVID patients survive regardless. If only, say 2% die; but early researchers don’t know this, they might believe the aforementioned work; but RFK doesn’t include any placebo-controlled randomized clinical trials, which found they DON’T work.

He also cites someone who doesn’t even believe in the germ theory and another known as a radical conspiracy theorists.

So, besides what I said above about debates NOT means of conveying science; but why should a well-respected Professor of Medicine with a PhD in cell physiology, over 60 peer-reviewed medical journal articles and millions of dollars in research grants want to occupy a stage with someone who doesn’t understand science and wrote such an extremely one-sided dishonest book?

By the way, besides having an MD, Anthony Fauci is a Board Certified Immunologist. I have followed his career and have immense respect for him.

By the way, what are your credentials???

@MJD

Does this miracle ointment adhere like a duck? Have you made sure that the site’s web designer has properly licensed its photographs to avoid intellectual property rights violations?

“Thanks for your support!”

Is that what you think laughing at you means?

well, by all means, you have my “support” as well!
ROFLMAO

World Socialist Website is a fairly far left publication, sometimes does decent journalism despite their ideology.

I agree with some of their views and oppose a lot of others. Glad they accurately portray Junior’s embrace of fascism. They goof a bit on some of the details, but the broader conclusion is correct.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/06/26/twwk-j26.html
The far-right politics of Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

RFKjr is not a reliable narrator II…

@gorskon showed a video of RFKjr lifting weights shirtless so I asked my SO if it were truly an accomplishment: he said no, estimating 90lbs.@gorskon also said not much weight.
So I looked at RFKjr’s twitter ( @robertkennedyjr) is see if there were more amazing feats of strength and courage, Well, he did a few pushups, with the image being curiously shot. Take a look.
In addition, he courts various prospective voters pictorially:
Black young people, bikers, Marijuana legal supporters, an anti-vax comedian.

The marijuana thing is straight from Bill Maher. He thinks it’s the key to the next politician’s “Mass appeal.”

It went legal in a couple of the states I practice in years back. Predictably, it’s not as “harmless” and “so much safer than alcohol” as we were promised.

I came up with a tongue-in-cheek way to describe something we see all the time now, especially in teen boys in the ER: “Hyperemesis Ganjadarium.”

Thus stuff sing your granddaddy’s tire stick. It’s potent and it ruins lives.

I looked at rates of vaccination and refusal- different sources, over time- and venture that perhaps only about 10% are truly refuseniks.
Work with me here, people: many countries seemed able to get to 70-80% Covid vaccination even with loons like RFK jr spewing nonsense publicly which might be enough to control many VPDs. One study showed that the hardcore in so-called Western nations were only higher than that in Russia and the US: the others varied in single digits.
So maybe we should just nuke those two?**

** joking. I think.

As you might have expected, Bill Maher is sympathetic to RFK Jr.’s rantings. Maher says he is “pissed off” over supposedly unfair coverage of the MAGA Democrat’s presidential campaign.

http://foxnews.com/media/bill-maher-rails-nyt-media-hostile-rfk-jr-coverage

In the Maher interview, RFK Jr. denies saying that pharmaceutical drugs are responsible for mass shootings, claiming he only suggested it be “looked into”. Actual RFK Jr. quotes from the interview (from The Independent):

“It really started happening co-terminus with the introduction of these drugs, with Prozac and the other drugs…There’s a study out there that shows that 23% of mass shooters were on SSRIs”.

As usual, RFK Jr. is lying through his teeth and hoping no one notices or cares.

re RFKjr and Bill Maher:
He appeared on Maher’s podcast ( I didn’t watch) I read The Daily Beast ( short form) which explained BM’s criticism that Covid vaccines sort of DO work! BUT by-and-large, he overtly praised the anti-vaxxer. They are not happy about the NYT’s response to Kennedy.

Other BS on the net:
Naomi Wolf ( Substack) needed an appendectomy and has been in hospital for at least a week on IV antibiotics. Although she praised the surgeon and nurses, she was highly critical of other aspects of SB care and believes that it could use more 19th Century medicine such as sunrooms, walking in gardens, uninterrupted sleep and social interaction amongst patients. Jellied meat products, aspics and tisanes would also support the immune system.

Maybe a parasol and loosening the stays on her corset would help as well.

Celia Farber thinks RFKjr is fabulous.

Jellied meat products?

That’s an aspic of health care even the functional medicine docs ignore.

Don’t laugh but Eastern Europeans like to serve jellied pigs’ feet.
Koreans aspic things too.
I wouldn’t eat any of these … things.

If one makes, say, a good chicken stock, it will indeed gel in the fridge.
Sort of like spam.

RFKjr has a new speech at CHD.org/ 18.50 minutes long
he tells us that Hermann Goering revealed that he used FEAR to control people. That’s exactly what the-powers-that-be do now. Gates, Zuckerberg and Fauci censor him and others to invoke fear instead.
He will rally Humanity to oppose this new regime of fear and slavery.

Kennedy opposes fear.

I don’t write this stuff, I only report.

Didn’t he just have a video out in which he denied comparing things to the Holocaust and accused people of taking his words out of context?

I didn’t see that but read about it.

What I did find was Anna Merlan’s synopses of the Quackfest ( on Twitter and at Vice.com)

“……and social interaction amongst patients…..”

I was once in hospital with a bloke who seemed like a bit of a cheeky geezer. On my next visit to the same hospital, the guy in the next bed turned out to be a copper. He recognised my description as belonging to a gangland kingpin, in hospital recovering from a shooting……..with a machine gun.

Naomi Wolf has promoted the idea that Covid-19 vaccines, excuse me, “mRNA gene therapy injections” cause “jellied muscles”.

So maybe she supports hogs and cows getting Covid vaccines to produce her health-restoring jellied meat products.

The hospital near me has large sunny areas with floor-to-ceiling windows and comfy furniture. They just don’t call them sunrooms — they’re “family visiting areas” or some such.

The room at the end of the corridor on the 12th floor in neurology has the best view.

So right-wing RFKj fans are going gaga over videos of the candidate, shirtless, bench pressing 115 lbs and doing a bunch of pushups. The line is that “jacked” muscled bod shows how he knows health, compared to the soft un-healthy bod of Dr. Hotez. (I’m not making this up…) Trae Crowder’s “Weekly Skews” partner “Smart” Mark Agee asserts no one at age 69 (e.g. RFKj) could maintain that physique w/o using steroids and or HGH. He added that he thinks that fine, for people who are into muscles, as long as they get colonoscopies frequently to monitor the increased cancer risk from those chemicals… like, for RFKj at least on e a month.

If so, there is a kind of medical oddity in how much crapola he can spew out one end, while getting the reservoir emptied monthly by enema out the other.

[Shout out to ENEMAMAN!]

+1 for weekly skews, their stuff hits – and I think smart mark is right about the chemicals

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