Antivaccine nonsense Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

The antimask antivax Brownstone Institute is still ranting about COVID-19 “censorship”

The Brownstone Institute is at it again, claiming that the mainstream media are all about “censorship” of “divergent” ideas about COVID-19.

One of the most consistent narratives from science deniers, be they quacks, antivaxxers, COVID-19 minimizers, or even 9/11 Truthers or moon landing hoaxers is that of “censorship,” in which “They”—generally the government, press, scientific/medical establishment, and corporations (e.g., big pharma)—are somehow “suppressing” The Truth that the deniers are spreading to the masses. In these days of social media, when some of the most notorious science deniers have Twitter—excuse, me, X—accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers and Substacks with many thousands of subscribers making up to over a million dollars a year from paid subscriptions, I’ve always found the cries of “censorship!” to be far more performative than reflecting reality. The bottom line is that all too many of these cranks have no difficulty whatsoever spreading their misinformation and disinformation.

Which brings us back to one of my “favorite” science denialist organizations with respect to COVID-19, the Brownstone Institute. It’s been a while since I’ve written about Brownstone, a “think tank” founded by neoconfederate propagandist Jeffrey Tucker, who in his prior job at the right wing “free market” think tank American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) was instrumental in bringing together three “contrarian” scientists in October 2020 to issue a proclamation known as the Great Barrington Declaration (GBD). Given the lament about “censorship” that I just saw there the other day, entitled Editor at “Pro-Vaccine Publication” Experienced Serious Adverse Event After Second Pfizer Shot, I thought I’d revisit the Brownstone Institute with a bit of well-deserved but too long deferred Insolence. After all, “censorship!” is the cry that all disinformation artists invoke when their spreading of misinformation and disinformation is called out. It’s by someone I don’t recall ever having encountered before, Rav Arora, who describes himself as an “independent journalist based in Vancouver, Canada.” Unsurprisingly, this warrior against “censorship” also has a Substack entitled The Illusion of Consensus, which always makes me think that what’s really being peddled is the illusion of a scientific controversy, because that’s what COVID-19 cranks, like all cranks, do. Also unsurprisingly, the Brownstone Institute post is just a republication of something Mr. Arora had written on his Substack in June.

Recall, first, though that GBD, which was a political document than a scientific document, advocated in essence a eugenicist “let ‘er rip” approach to the pandemic, in which SARS-CoV-2 would be allowed to rip through the “healthy” population in order to produce “natural herd immunity.” Seemingly as almost an afterthought, the GBD also advocated “focused protection” for those at the highest risk of death and severe complications from COVID-19, such as the elderly and those with serious chronic diseases, until the fabled “natural herd immunity” could be achieved. Unfortunately, what “focused protection” would involve on an operational level was never really described other than quite vaguely, leading me to view the document as saying, in essence, “Just let the elderly and ill die of COVID-19, so that the young and healthy are no longer inconvenienced and corporations affected by pandemic restrictions can go back to making money.” Unsurprisingly, the prediction of “natural herd immunity” within six months of implementing GBD-like policies never came to pass, and it was very clear to anyone with practical public health knowledge that the GBD never would have worked anyway, because it was impossible to adequately protect the truly vulnerable while allowing the coronavirus to spread unchecked through the rest of the population. Even less surprisingly, when that happened, a GBD flack made excuses, just as cancer quacks do whenever one of their patients dies after having used their quackery, while decrying “censorship.”

Since then, the Brownstone Institute, despite its dodgy origin and seeming lack of an actual physical headquarters, has been one of the foremost purveyors of COVID-19 misinformation and antivax propaganda. Unfortunately, the GBD was very influential, and Brownstone remains ensconced within the right wing ecosystem of pandemic minimizers, deniers, and antivax propagandists. Mr. Arora’s message is entirely consistent with the anti-“censorship” misinformation spreading nature of Brownstone, but first he has to brag about being a 22 year old freelance journalist “making a name for himself” by—in response to the police murder of George Floyd and “defund the police”—doing stories about suffering due to crime in Minneapolis. In one of them he concluded that “in the age of racial identity politics, it seems, black lives matter only if they’re being taken by a cop,” while in the other he wrote a very pro-cop article glorifying a man who “fought back” against “defund the police.” So, of course, his take on COVID-19 is entirely predictable, beginning with an anecdote about “censorship”:

Following up on my first story exposing the absurdly pro-pharmaceutical bias in corporate media, I am now sharing a (nearly) tragic incident that illustrates just how dangerous and irresponsible journalistic support of mRNA vaccines during the pandemic was.

As it turns out, I recently came into casual contact with an editor at one of these top American newspapers (who I will give the pseudonym “Ben” for privacy) who continually suppressed all my vaccine-myocarditis reporting because of their pro-vaccine position. For context, when I pitched one of their other editors, he responded with the following:

Rav, sorry but we’re not going to run any anti-vaccine pieces.

I think the risk is totally overblown and amplified by right-wing pundits who have no concern for public health. These are the safest vaccines we’ve ever had and virtually everyone seeks to benefit.
Off-record, I started chatting with Ben about how he diverged with his colleagues’ authoritarian pro-mandate positions:
My views differed a lot from the other editors there. They were all pro-vaccine passports. I remember being stunned when my colleagues said that these were the “safest and most effective vaccines we’ve ever seen.”

The plot thickens. So there’s one editor out of all the others who are brainwashed pro-vaccine sheeple who has taken the red pill and developed correct opinions “diverged with his colleagues’ authoritarian pro-mandated positions,” one brave Truth Teller who has to stay silent in the face of the overwhelming dictatorial power of The Fauci, lest he face “censorship”—or, even worse, be “canceled”!

There is a reason why “Ben” hasn’t drunk the Kool-Aid, because of course there is. In these narratives, there always is:

After some extended communication, he revealed to me how he had a terrifying experience after the second Pfizer vaccine shot:

About 7 hours after my 2nd shot I was in bed and started shaking. My heart began to pound. Then the shaking for worse and my heart was pounding so hard it felt like it was going to explode.

Every beat hurt. I continued shaking and heart pounding like that for hours. Hot and cold sweats.

None of this will come as a surprise to anyone who has tracked and reported on the vaccine-induced myocarditis issue. Ben predictably happens to be a young man — 32 years of age — in great shape who exercises regularly. Anyone who sees photos of him can tell he rarely skips gym day.

Having had the chills and shakes after COVID-19 vaccines myself, I thought that this account sounded more like, well, the chills and shakes after vaccination rather than myocarditis. Could it have been myocarditis? It’s possible, although “Ben” is a bit older than the age range most at risk. We’ll never know, of course, because Ben never went to his doctor and never had his symptoms investigated. But he and Mr. Arora are just certain that it must have myocarditis due to the second dose of an mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine. It just had to be:

This led him to the following rational conclusion:
I decided that would be my last COVID shot.
Thankfully, Ben’s acute cardiac symptoms subsided after a few days and he was back to normal in a few weeks. He unwisely had not gone to a cardiologist to get it checked, but realized after my recommendation to him that he should, even though it’s been two years since he got double-vaccinated.

“Double-vaccinated”? Oooh, scary! Never mind that the primary course of COVID-19 vaccination has always required two doses. Of course, I will note that, even though I suffered similar symptoms after doses of COVID-19 vaccine, I was totally better within 24-48 hours each time, and the last dose I got hardly affected me at all. I am, however, nonetheless planning my next booster to be given on a Friday, so that if I do feel crappy after it I won’t risk missing work.

Mr. Arora then consulted Dr. Anish Koka, yet another cardiologist turned COVID-19 antivaxxer. I perused Dr. Koka’s Substack, which is full of fear mongering about myocarditis and other apparently horrific complications from COVID-19 vaccines, including a post in which he publishes a vaccine mandate exemption letter that he had written. (He also hates affirmative action in medicine, because of course he does.)

Let’s see what Dr. Koka has to say:

I spoke to Dr. Koka (his Substack: Anish Koka MD (Cardiology)) about Ben’s mRNA vaccine experience and he had little doubt the cause was tied to the vaccine:

Given what we know about the mRNA vaccines and how they interact with the heart, his presentation fits with a vaccine-related adverse reaction.

It could have been simple like a tachycardia related to the vaccine or an arrhythmia.

I would advise patients who have that symptom complex be medically evaluated regardless of whether they have had a vaccine or not

This will also help patients figure out what their risk from future vaccinations is, and while severe cardiac morbidity from vaccines seems to be rare, it’s best to be evaluated by a cardiologist to make sure you’re not one of those rare few who do get very sick, very fast.

As with most myocarditis cases, physical activity is typically limited for 2-3 months. Ben got better quickly and resumed normal activities, though it may have been advised if he had seen a cardiologist.

Of course, Mr. Arora has another anecdote:

A 38-year-old law enforcement member I interviewed on my Substack last year nearly died after his second mRNA vaccine dose:

“I thought I’m never going to see my girlfriend and family again,” he said. “Scariest time of my life.”

A few hours after arriving at the hospital, his doctor said, “You’re really lucky. If you had waited any longer, you would’ve died.”

Fortunately, the hospital he was at had a specialized cardiology unit that was able to swiftly diagnose and treat his life-threatening condition. The doctor definitively diagnosed him with vaccine-induced myocarditis causing high-risk arrhythmia, ventricular tachycardia, and cardiac myopathy.

As a journalist, I cannot say much more than the best available facts suggest, but as has been clear for far too long, the mRNA vaccines were not beneficial and safe on a population-level for young, healthy men — yet the CDC and FDA didn’t care.

Of course, Mr. Arora’s previous Substack is entitled Noble Truths with Rev Arora. (Seriously, these people really do think entirely too much of themselves.) I went to the original article cited and found that timing is a bit odd, too:

Against his will, he got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine (which has significantly lower rates of myocarditis) on Oct. 29. That night he experienced intense heart palpitations, but they entirely subsided by the next day. He didn’t think of linking it to the vaccine.

Thirty days later Desh got his second dose with no immediate side effects.

Then on the night of Dec. 11 he came within an hour or so of dying from heart failure.

So let’s see. The first dose was October 29, and the second one 30 days later, which would be November 28. December 11 would be two weeks after his second dose. That’s a bit long for myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination. The CDC notes:

Cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have occurred most frequently in adolescent and young adult males within 7 days after receiving the second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine; however, cases have also been observed after dose 1 and booster doses.

Studies have found that the median time between vaccination and severe symptoms is around 3 days, although the range was 1-90 days. Moreover, this patient had a severe tachyarrythmia (fast arrythmia):

When the paramedic measured his heart rate and it said 210 beats per minute, the paramedic couldn’t believe that he was still alive. They had to then shock his heart with a defibrillator into a normal rhythm. Compounded by all the anxiety from the situation and the worsening pain in his chest, he was convinced he was about to die.

Let’s just say that this man had vaccine-induced myocarditis. His case is a bit more convincing than that of “Ben,” but let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that both of them had vaccine-induced myocarditis. What does that say about the risk-benefit equation for the vaccine? Not much. It’s only two cases. The incidence of vaccine-induced myocarditis, particularly severe cases, is very low. To explain that population-based observation, Mr. Arora has to invoke a conspiracy theory from the 38-year-old cop who suffered cardiac symptoms:

“One of my friends who is a doctor at another hospital says clear vaccine-induced myocarditis cases are rarely attributed to the vaccine,” he said. “Often these patients have to fight with doctors to get a proper diagnosis. I’m not sure what’s exactly going on, but there are some incentives in place to prevent the vaccine from looking dangerous in any way.”

Mr. Arora then invokes a telling example to make himself sound reasonable by first considering the idea that isolated cases don’t necessarily mean that there is a widespread problem with the vaccines, only to bat it down:

When learning about such agonizing tragedies it is important to remain sober-minded and grounded in rationality. Otherwise, the abhorrent actions of one police officer result in “abolish the police” or isolated school shootings result in “take away all the guns.”

A careful-cost benefit analysis must be conducted to make the best decision. This is why — despite umpteen horrifying car accidents every year — our society depends on individual car transportation. It’s a net positive.

However, in the case of Desh — and tens of millions of young healthy men (and women) around the world — the benefits of vaccination are slim, especially given the prevalence of natural immunity.

The overall narrative is that “They” are “hiding” cases of vaccine-induced myocarditis and use “censorship” to prevent brave maverick freelance journalists like Mr. Arora from telling people The Truth. He even brings in one of the authors of the GBD, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, to bolster his story before ranting:

Millions of young men have gotten double-vaccinated without the requisite medical information and acknowledgement of risks. Given the 1 in 2,000 myocarditis risk ratio in young males, 1 million administrations of the vaccine alone have likely resulted in around 500 cases of myocarditis. Indeed a small fraction, but when compared with the near-zero serious risk of Covid in this age group, it is a medical disaster.

“Near-zero serious risk of COVID” does a lot of heavy lifting here. Again, the myocarditis reported after COVID-19 vaccination is almost always mild and fully recovered from. But what is the infection fatality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 in young men? One 2022 article estimates that for a 38 year old man, the IFR is 0.1455%, which is roughly a one-in-687 chance of dying. So a one-in-2000 risk of a complication of vaccination that is almost always mild and causes no permanent disability is a horrific, unacceptable risk, while a one-in-700 chance of dying of a disease (and a much higher risk of long COVID-19 and other permanent sequelae of infection) is a “near-zero” risk. (And people like Mr. Arora are being “censored” for equating the two.)

Speaking of “censored,” another of his Substack articles tells us what Mr. Arora means:

Another editor made it painfully clear after a handful of unsuccessful pitches that the publication as a whole was not keen on publishing anything that deviated from the CDC and FDA’s universal vaccine advisory (vigorously critiqued by the likes of Vinay Prasad and Tracy Beth Høeg M.D., Ph.D.):

I’m going to pass.

As I’ve said many times before, we are a pro-vaccination newspaper, and personally I just wish everyone would get vaccinated already. While I respect your decision not to do so (and I agree jail time for those who don’t is overkill), I’m not keen on op-eds that even appear like they’re arguing against vaccination for Covid or anything else.

Trying to figure out a way to capitalize on a hot news story — as every freelancer learns how to do — I started sending pitches on viral stories of athletes being barred from competition due to their personal choice not to get vaccinated. In response to my proposal on tennis star Novak Djokovic’s debacle, one editor expressed his utter contempt for Djokovic:

In no way do I want a piece supporting people who refuse to get vaccinated. In my opinion, people such as Djokovic, who refuse to get vaxxed, make their own beds and should lie in it.

They are not heroes.

On my pitch about NBA star Kyrie Irving, who had to sit out several games for the Brooklyn Nets because of some undefined risk he posed to society as an unvaccinated player, an editor I was very close with made her profound disagreement undoubtedly clear:

Sorry Rav, but I vehemently disagree with you on this issue. Feel free to pitch elsewhere.

Kyrie Irving refused to help the public get out of the pandemic and now he’s suffering the consequences. It’s on him.

On a couple of occasions, I attempted to cover the perpetually escalating Joe Rogan Covid controversy. In my several pitches, I took various angles such as how many credentialed scientific experts — such as Bhattacharya, Makary, Prasad, and others — were more in line with Rogan’s anti-mandate views than the government and public health agencies were.

Note the “experts” that Mr. Arora was citing in pitches: COVID-19 minimizers, antimaskers, and/or antivaxxers all. Notice his “angles,” all of which were designed to cast doubt on the safety and efficacy of vaccines. I’m guessing that the editors easily saw through Mr. Arora’s efforts to pitch his blatant antivaccine propaganda as legitimate news and thus politely declined his pitches. It’s also quite reasonable for legitimate news outlets not to want to publish pieces that “even appear like they’re arguing against vaccination for Covid or anything else,” because such positions are not-science-based and are against public health.

Of course, to Mr. Arora, it’s all “censorship.” Indeed, on his Substack I saw this:

“Censorship”? From Jay Bhattacharya and Joseph Fraiman? The only appropriate reaction is…facepalm.

The “alarming mRNA vaccine safety study” by “censored” Dr. Joseph Fraiman is a study that I lambasted for p-hacking and altered definitions.

The narrative of “censorship” of “The Truth” by powerful (and malign) forces is, of course, essential to any good conspiracy theory, and Rav Arora looks to be about as good at conspiracy mongering as any other antivax COVID-19 denier. Going along with the narrative of “censorship,” is, of course, the self-image of the crank as a brave fighter for “The Truth” facing powerful and evil forces determined to keep “The Truth” from being discovered by the people for their own nefarious ends. After all, it’s easier on the ego to view oneself as a brave maverick journalist fighting to expose “The Truth,” rather than a sad and pathetic antivax crank whose “censorship” consists of editors who recognize antivax bullshit and conspiracy mongering when they see them, particularly when it comes from someone as young and obviously inexperienced as Mr. Arora is.

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]

35 replies on “The antimask antivax Brownstone Institute is still ranting about COVID-19 “censorship””

Most amusing of all, they bang on about censorship on a very public platform. The fact that editors of reputable newspapers and sites refuse to publish their bunkum is not automatically censorship.

Based on Igor’s usual posting, it’s feels safe to assume that his answer would be all of them and all of the time.

…and crap, I’ve gotten the tow of them confused. I meant to type labarge, but between getting the two of them confused and something about that letter combination feeling like a random keyboard smash I messed up.

Do I even bother to apologize for the mistake?

Wow! Aren’t I the lucky one?

Pre-existing cadiomyopathy (I note the berk can’t even get that one right) and its consequences and yet somehow I have survived 4 Covid vaccinations with an improvement in my cardiac function.

My anecdote proves that multiple Covid vaccinations improve the outcomes for 60-somethings in high risk groups.

In California, censorship was legislated in a specific law (AB2098), which prohibited physicians from sharing “misinformation”.

That’s proof that censorship existed.

Fortunately, the law was written by a pediatrician with no law-writing talents (Dr. Richard Pan) and was written as a grammatically nonsensical and incoherent text.

I explained that a year ago in a post I made.

AB2098 was challenged in a court and the court suspended it, based in part on arguments that I put forth last Fall in my post. Any lawyer would see the same thing as I did, so not claiming any credit for a simple realization of incoherence. No “trusted experts” were needed to realize incoherence of the law – all one needed is eyes and brains.

Nevertheless, AB2098 was on the books for a year.

Now it is being repealed in bill SB-815.

Now, California Governor Gavin Newsom, who is angling to run for president, admits that “mistakes were made”, without being specific about mistakes he made.

The problem is that those were not mistakes – they were acts of much more sinister nature.

They want us to forget about these sinister acts – but we will not.

Igor is dead on. As is the fifth circuit that also found unlawful censorship. Orac:
“ The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final most essential command.”

This is the key: quality control. Having standards. Meritocracy for ideas. We do it all the time, in every area of life. Food quality, building construction, job hires, school admissions, cat safety. These people are hypocrites as well as frauds.

You must be so terribly terribly brave. I mean, in a vicious dictatorship, you dare emit a dissenting view. How have you evaded the death squads? How have you hidden your true beliefs in public, so that the slavering mob doesn’t chase you down and tear you limb from limb for your heresy?

Or, on the other hand, you could be a guy posting crap from the safety of your own home, on someone else’s blog, and getting off on pretending to be a brave truth-telling. Who is to say?

Ah those sinister acts. Everyone of course comes from connecitng the dots, that is from a conspiracy theory. I guess Gates is The Man.
Quacks could be lethal, and prevening them useful.

It isn’t clear to me that “sinister” would be the correct term even if there was an underhanded intent with this law, but I’m not surprised that igor has a poor grasp of the meaning of words.

Bur Dr Chris,
“..cell phone signals can be used to release biological or chemical payloads from graphene oxide that’s been introduced into the body ..”
“.. cell phone towers signals cause microcurrents..” etc ( NN, today)
so he would have quite a problem. Besides those he already has.

“In California, censorship was legislated in a specific law (AB2098), which prohibited physicians from sharing “misinformation”.

That’s proof that censorship existed”

So any misinformation is acceptable?


A supermarket says ‘this meat is rotten but scientific studies show rotten meat is very good against the side effects of vaccination’?

A large construction firm says ‘don’t worry about the crumbling concrete on this bridge, it’s just evidence of it bedding in’?

Your local doctor tells you to gather herbs at midnight and stick them up your chuff as a form of contraceptive?

All hunky dory apparently.

A supermarket says ‘this meat is rotten but scientific studies show rotten meat is very good against the side effects of vaccination’?

I look forward to igor’s latest bit of fiction about how a close friend was on his deathbed with covid and was returned to sterling health when igor showed up with month-old raw chicken for him to eat.

No, no, give it more buzzwords, please. Let the chicken undergo the process of wet fermentation to allow essential microbes to produce enzymes that will facilitate the body’s natural healing by assisting it in breaking down spike proteins shed by vaccinated individuals. Once the spike proteins are broken down and safely out of the person’s cells they will violently expel the toxic slurry of nanoparticles and Morgellons.

I have to wonder about some of these docs (including cardiologists) who are quick to make diagnoses of vaccine-induced cardiac conditions, sometimes from afar.

I saw an online comment from a woman who reported developing a racing heartbeat while driving home, 40 minutes after receiving a Covid shot, and claimed she was diagnosed with vaccine-induced POTS (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome). Did it really develop that fast and manifest without a sudden postural change? Had to be, her cardiologist said so.

Rav’s encounter with Ben, the undercover woke vax sceptic editor…
“I’ll take things that never happened for $1000, Alex.”
I most certainly will take my medical advice from a 22 year old anti-science, anti-vaccine unthinking kook with no known expertise in medicine or healthcare.
I’m even thinking of writing “Rav” for his advice on my financial and estate planning. I’m betting he’ll recommend gold… and survivalist gear.
As an old usenet denizen you are forgetting the proper style conventions for some common terms when dealing with crackpots and kooks:
– The nefarious and ubiquitous “They” is commonly written as “They™” – quotes included.
– The overused keyword of teh kooks is written as “TRVTH” emulating Roman Empire inscriptions to portray the gravitas the kooks believe their delusional screeds bring to the table.
Just a reminder…
Have fun.
(Which sadly shows that rationalists have been battling reality denying kooks, cranks, and crackpots online for nearly 30 years and their M.O. hasn’t changed very much, if at all.)

They aren’t satisfied that nobody is making them mask. They aren’t even satisfied that hospital staff are no longer masking. They won’t be happy as long as anyone masks. They’re trying to stop me from even asking anyone to mask. I don’t know how they can say with a straight face that saying “please wear a mask” is censorship but “no, and you don’t need one either” is free speech.

But they don’t want me to mask, they don’t want me to get vaccinated, they don’t want me to say or do anything that might stop them from pretending that covid not only isn’t over, but that it never existed in the first place. We’re supposed to believe that covid is “just a flu” and that the flu in turn is a minor inconvenience, not an endemic disease that still kills tens of thousands of Americans a year.

I have an appointment for both the new monovalent covid booster, and a seasonal flu vaccine, this weekend.

They aren’t satisfied that nobody is making them mask. They aren’t even satisfied that hospital staff are no longer masking. They won’t be happy as long as anyone masks.

Bingo. It’s funny how all of these “freedom warriors” who claim that they just wanted the “freedom” not to mask and not to get vaccinated, now that they actually have that “freedom” (which they actually almost always had), reveal their true authoritarian proclivities. It’s not that they just want the “freedom” not to mask/vaccinate. It’s actually that they want to impose their belief system on everyone else and force them not to mask/vaccinate. They are offended by seeing others masking, even though another person masking harms them not in the least and is just that other person exercising their freedom by choosing to mask.

It rather reminds me of the fundamentalist Christians and their fear mongering about trans children and drag queens, including the propensity of these authoritarian zealots to impose their “freedom” on others by banning books they don’t like, thereby impinging on the actual freedom of other children of their freedom to read what they and their parents deem acceptable.

I have an appointment for both the new monovalent covid booster, and a seasonal flu vaccine, this weekend.

I had the previous booster Aug 9, so as soon as enough time has passed (2 months?) I’ll be doing the same. We’ve already had several students down and out with covid and the semester just started Sept. 5. The only bad post-shot thing I’ve had happened this last time: I had to walk home in the rain.

Maybe we are all wrong about antivaxxers. It isn’t vaccines they are actually against. Simply during my lifetime the US population has gone from 120 million to over 335 million, thus, using up our water, mass increase in CO2, mass increase in trash, and other pollutants, using up space. So, maybe, antivaxxers are simply hoping that without vaccines that various vaccine-preventable diseases will both slow our population growth and actually lower our population. LOL

I can’t even recall which claimed that, lo, the whole universe of academia was in thrall to Big pHARMa. Perhaps there’s some overlap with Gindo, but I really don’t care at this point — LaBilge, to be certain, doesn’t even merit a response to his sorry grunts, and Chudov is made out of posturing.

@ Narad:

How are you? How is the cat?

-btw- Igor got “censored” on Facebook! ** He shows his politics clearly by donating to anti-vax icons. Substack

Sceptics might enjoy:
Chris Hayes speaks with Naomi Klein who discusses the “mirror world”, anti-vax, CTs and her Doppelganger– the other Naomi. MSNBC
She discusses topics I survey including mistrust and rejection of expertise as well as the economic system revolving around fantasists and chaos agents.

** I suggest an online/ in person course in journalism 101 before he writes anything more..

I also recall that I’m going to have to insert my own en dashes here. Oh, and apostrophes, of course. Thanks, “smart quotes.”

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