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Antivaxxers write about “lessons learned” but know nothing

Antivaxxers just published another antivax review about “lessons learned” claiming that COVID-19 vaccines cause more harm than good. Yawn.

This week has been a bit busy, to the point where I wasn’t sure if I was going to write anything before Saturday. Then I saw an antivaxxer with whom regular readers here are familiar, Steve Kirsch, promoting an article about “lessons learned” during the pandemic:

Wait until you see the list of authors of this “masterpiece.”

And:

And here we go. It’s yet another call for a “moratorium” on COVID-19 vaccines, from a bunch of antivaxxers. Once more into the fray…

Here’s the article, COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines: Lessons Learned from the Registrational Trials and Global Vaccination Campaign. Now get a load of the list of authors: M. Nathaniel Mead, Stephanie Seneff, Russ Wolfinger, Jessica Rose, Kris Denhaerynck, Steve Kirsch, Peter A. McCullough. Regular readers will be familiar with four of them (linked to posts about them), Stephanie Seneff, Jessica Rose, Steve Kirsch, and Peter McCullough.

Right off the bat, I knew that this article had to be a steaming, stinking mass of fetid dingo’s kidneys given that over half of its authors are among the most bonkers antivaxxers whom I’ve been discussing since the pandemic hit four years ago. However, before I dig in to the actual content, I must admit that I was curious about who the other three authors were, because I had never heard of them before and wanted to know whether they, too, were antivaxxers.

Who is pontificating on “lessons learned”?

First up, Mark Nathaniel Mead lists himself as a “medical-scientific editor and writer“:

Primary skills and experience: editing & writing for the medical/scientific communities (systematic reviews, narrative reviews, research papers, blogs, books, ghostwriting); writing, editing, and revising of technical documents; research synthesis and interpretation; informative articles for the general public; public speaking for the general public and medical/scientific communities.

To me, this sounds as though he’s the ghostwriter for the group, someone to pound the text into scientific style. At least, that’s what I thought at first, until I saw that he also lists himself as a “nutritional oncology consultant” with an “integrative nutrition and health coaching” business, as well as an editorial board member for Integrative Cancer Therapies. (Remember, “integrative” means integrating quackery with oncology in this case.) But what about vaccines? LinkedIn, being LinkedIn, led me to comments that he made on other LinkedIn posts, such as this one:

Total global spending on Covid shots is projected to reach $157 billion by 2025, driven by mass booster programs expected. According to a 2021 NPR report, both Moderna and Pfizer have patents that prohibit other manufacturers from producing these vaccines, even though both companies’ R&D and production costs were paid for by US taxpayers — R&D for Moderna’s vaccine alone received $2.5 billion in taxpayer money.  From Scamdemic to Greedemic.

And:

Most so-called “Long Covid” is due to an interaction between CoV2 and the synthetic mRNA injections that were reclassified as vaccines. This is due to the common denominator between CoV2 infection and the mRNA injections, which is the spike protein. Diexer and colleagues observed that 70% of these “Long Covid” — which is technically post-acute C19 syndrome, or PACS– cases occurred in individuals who had received full C19 vaccination, indicating that the injections may exacerbate PACS in most cases. The group with the lowest PACS risk was the unvaxx’d individuals who contracted Omicron as their first infection. Thus, overall, vaxx’d individuals may experience more severe long-term outcomes of C19 compared to the unvaxx’d.

So he’s antivax too. Alrighty then.

Next up, Russ Wolfinger. He’s a bit more difficult. He’s the Director of Scientific Discovery and Genomics at SAS who “leads a team in research and development of JMP and SAS-based software solutions in the areas of genomics and clinical trials.” For those unfamiliar with it, SAS is a data analytics company, and some of the tools it produces are designed to analyze genomic data. One wonders whether the leadership of SAS would appreciate someone with a title like Director of Scientific Discovery and Genomics from its company promoting antivaccine misinformation and hanging out with cranks. I couldn’t find any compelling evidence that he had promoted antivax proclivities before. His publications listed on ResearchGate and PubMed consist mainly of genomics, with his only prior publications on COVID-19 being about a COVID-19 forecast hub and the other being about the evaluation of individual and ensemble probabilistic forecasts of COVID-19 mortality in the United States.

Finally, there’s Kris Denhaerynck, RN, PhD is an odd one. He’s a nurse and this paper is the only paper having anything to do with COVID-19 that a PubMed search brings up. The rest of his papers all have something to do with transplantation, in particular cardiac transplantation. So it’s very odd that he’s included as an author.

Then, of course, I hardly need to point out how bonkers the other authors are, as I’ve written about them all before. Dr. McCullough, for instance, got his start three years ago fear mongering about COVID-19 vaccines as “depopulation” and now fronts a supplement company that sells dubious supplements as treatments for COVID-19 “vaccine injury” and COVID-19. Stephanie Seneff is known for having claimed that, thanks to GMOs and vaccines, half of all children born in 2025 would be autistic, a claim she made…in 2014. She’s since collaborated with Dr. McCullough before spreading disinformation about COVID-19. Then there’s Jessica Rose, who has a PhD in computational biology and has since pivoted to mining and misusing the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database to falsely portray COVID-19 vaccines as incredibly dangerous. (Oh, she misrepresents zebrafish experiments too.)

Then there’s Steve Kirsch, arguably the most bonkers antivaxxer of all these days. In fact, he’s become so pathetic that even his fellow antivaxxers have tried to distance themselves from him as he’s claimed that COVID-19 vaccines have killed many times more people than COVID-19 (as high as 13 million) and received a stolen database from New Zealand containing personally identifiable health information that he incompetently “analyzed” to claim that the vaccines had caused massive death and destruction in that country. (Let’s just put it this way. When Alex “Pandemic’s Wrongest Man” Berenson thinks you’re full of it, that’s bad, but it can lead to a fun crank fight.) His favorite tactic, of course, is the “debate me, bro!” challenge to actual scientists and experts to “debate” him.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Kirsch is very proud of the article, because of course he is:

It’s now in the peer-reviewed literature that the shots should be stopped.

Too many unanswered questions.

Plus, the people who should be answering these questions simply don’t want to talk about it. That’s the biggest red flag in my mind.

From the paper:

Given the well-documented SAEs and unacceptable harm-to-reward ratio, we urge governments to endorse and enforce a global moratorium on these modified mRNA products until all relevant questions pertaining to causality, residual DNA, and aberrant protein production are answered.

I am proud to be one of the authors of this paper along with my friends. Your paid subscription helps support research papers such as this one. Please consider subscribing to help us continue this work.

That’s not a promising start thus far. However, as I often say, just because the people making the claim are antivax conspiracy theorists without expertise relevant to the science behind the claims being made is not, in and of itself, a reason to reject their claims out of hand (although it is a reason to view their claims with extreme skepticism and deem them probably false). So let’s look at the manuscript itself.

Lessons learned? More like conspiracies spun

So let’s take a look at the paper itself. It’s a veritable Gish gallop of so many antivax talking points—a veritable “greatest hits,” if you will—that I can really only hit the “high points,” if you can call them that. No doubt Mr. Kirsch, if and when he see this post, will note some point or other that I didn’t address and say, “Well, what about that? Obviously you couldn’t address this point because we made arguments that were so strong.” If and when this happens, my answer will be: Be careful what you ask for, Mr. Kirsch. There’s nothing that says I can’t write part two, three, or even four to cover topics missed in this initial survey.

I didn’t have to know who the authors were, however, to be able to tell right from the start that the whole article was going to be a rehash of antivax conspiracy theories, starting with the abstract:

Our understanding of COVID-19 vaccinations and their impact on health and mortality has evolved substantially since the first vaccine rollouts. Published reports from the original randomized phase 3 trials concluded that the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines could greatly reduce COVID-19 symptoms. In the interim, problems with the methods, execution, and reporting of these pivotal trials have emerged. Re-analysis of the Pfizer trial data identified statistically significant increases in serious adverse events (SAEs) in the vaccine group.

I immediately recognized that “reanalysis” of the data from the original Pfizer phase III clinical trial for its vaccine and the claim that “they” had “covered up” a number of “serious adverse events” (SAEs). However, I had to be sure; so I finished reading the paper to see just what this brain trust had to say about SAEs:

Although randomized controlled trials are viewed as the gold standard for testing the safety and efficacy of medical products (due to minimizing bias), trials of limited scope can readily obscure the true safety and efficacy issues with respect to different segments of the population. In this case, the trials excluded key sub-groups, notably children, pregnant women, frail elderly persons, and immunocompromised individuals, as well as those with cancer, autoimmune disease, and other chronic inflammatory conditions [45]. Whereas the founding trials did not recruit individuals with comorbidities, vaccine recipients in the rollouts showed the actual presence of these underlying conditions. Rather than assess these well-known safety and comorbid risk concerns, the focus was narrowly placed on the potential for inflammatory lung injury as had been seen in COVID-19 patients and, many years earlier, in immunized animal models infected with SARS-CoV [46]. We are now beginning to recognize the folly of this narrow safety focus, as millions of severe and life-threatening events associated with the COVID-19 vaccines continue to be documented in the medical literature [47-51].

I can’t help but note that some of the references cited are from antivax sources and antivax cranks. For example, #49 is from antivaxxer J. Bart Classen, who has long claimed that vaccines cause diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, and #50 is a paper by Fraiman et al that I’ve discussed more than once because of how bad it is because of its misleading focus full of p-hacking on what it called serious adverse events of special interest (SAESIs) Second, note the antivax fetishization of randomized clinical trials (RCTs). First of all, RCTs are indeed the gold standard for testing the efficacy and safety of medical products, but they are not the be-all and end-all of such testing for a number of reasons that I’ll relate in a moment. Ironically, the authors mention some of these reasons, for example, how it is impossible to include all the subgroups of people in RCTs with every conceivable comorbidity that might impact the safety of the vaccine being tested. In addition, of course the initial RCTs used risk of symptomatic COVID-19 as their primary endpoint. They were vaccine RCTs; vaccines are intended to prevent disease. This is all just handwaving, basically “just asking questions” (JAQing off) about all manner of conceivable issues that the vaccine RCTs weren’t intended to test.

For example, here’s more JAQing off about “all cause mortality”:

What did the pivotal trials reveal about overall (all-cause) mortality? After carefully analyzing the ACM for the Pfizer and Moderna trials, Benn and colleagues found 61 deaths total (31 in vaccine, 30 in placebo) and a mortality RR of 1.03 (0.63-1.71), comparing the vaccinated to placebo [52]. These findings can be interpreted as “no significant difference” or no gold-standard evidence showing these mRNA vaccines reduce mortality. The lack of significant differences in deaths between the study arms is noteworthy. The true mortality impact remains unknown in this context, and this fact alone is relevant, as it would be preferable to take a vaccine with good trial evidence of reduced mortality than to take a vaccine where trial evidence does not show convincing evidence of improved survival [53]. Similarly, a subsequent analysis of the Pfizer trial data concluded that mortality rates were comparable between vaccinated and placebo groups during the initial 20-week period of the randomized trial [54]. The fact that the mRNA vaccinations did not lead to a reduction in overall mortality implies that, if the injections were indeed averting deaths specifically attributable to COVID-19, any such reduction might be offset by an increase in mortality stemming from other causes, such as SAEs.

I’ve discussed this before. The trials were not designed to test all-cause mortality because testing for all-cause mortality would have required a trial with several times the number subjects in it followed for much longer, and the original Pfizer and RCTs already had between them over 70,000 subjects. Almost no initial RCT of any vaccine used to gain regulatory approval to market it examines all-cause mortality because, again, the numbers of subjects required would make the RCT highly impractical, prohibitively expensive, and too long. That’s why citing all-cause mortality is another longstanding antivax tactic. They demand RCTs that demonstrate a decline in all-cause mortality, as Dr. Jonathan Howard pointed out about HPV vaccines, where antivaxxers made the same dubious argument:

I’m confident a large RCT lasting 20 years could have shown the HPV vaccine prevents cancer, but there would have been a real cost of waiting. Countless millions of people are protected against HPV-related cancers because doctors used the vaccine based on very solid, but less-than-perfect data.

None of this was controversial amongst doctors previously. Only cranks, who wrote articles like “The Truth is Out: Gardasil Vaccine Coverup Exposed” and “Can Pharma Improve on Nature? HPV Vaccine vs Natural Infection“, opposed the HPV vaccine. And any doctor who said we should not use the HPV vaccine until there was an RCT showing it reduced all-cause mortality would be immediately recognized as a crank.

Things are very different with COVID.

They’re not, actually, the only difference being that at least we wouldn’t have to wait 20 years for all-cause mortality outcomes with respect to COVID-19. We would have had to wait years, however, a time frame that in 2020 made zero sense in the middle of a pandemic of a disease for which there was no vaccine and for which a safe and effective vaccine was desperately needed. Not that that stops the antivaxxers from opining:

Even the six-month Pfizer trial failed to show any reduction in all-cause mortality [35]. Indeed, a reanalysis of the postmarketing data provided to the FDA suggests the opposite effect. The extended portion of the trial included four months of an unblinded period, in which most placebo participants crossed over to the vaccination group.

They then go on and on about how there was no different in all-cause mortality seen and then harp upon small statistically insignificant differences that didn’t favor the vaccines, apparently ignoring the fact that statistically insignificant means that they were not distinguishable from zero difference. Here’s the thing that these ideologues neglect to mention. There is more than just science influencing medical research. There’s medical ethics, too. After letting the trial go on long enough to produce results that show that the vaccine was safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, it then became unethical to deny the vaccine to the placebo control group; indeed, medical ethics demanded that the group be unblinded and the placebo control group be offered the vaccine. Moreover, it would have been utterly impractical to require that they continue unvaccinated anyway, because the vaccine was rolling out to the general public under an emergency use authorization (EUA), and there was nothing to stop people in the control group from getting vaccinated if they wanted to. (Hint: Many of them wanted to be vaccinated.) Did unblinding make it more difficult to evaluate later evidence? Yes, but less than optimal science is sometimes the price that we pay for ethical human subjects research.

I also note that these fools operate under a double standard, being some of the same people who ahistorically rant about a “Nuremberg 2.0” for public health officials, doctors, and scientists based on mass vaccinations somehow being a “medical experiment” and “crime against humanity” are the same ones who rant about how unblinding the original RCTs of the original vaccines somehow compromised the science when medical ethics demanded that they be unblinded.

Then, of course, the authors harp on “contamination” with plasmid DNA and how the vaccines could “permanently alter your DNA”—excuse, me, “integrate with your genome”—even though there is no biological mechanism for that, other than at the extremes in highly artificial conditions in cell culture:

The issue of batch variability is further complicated by recent findings of DNA contamination in the mRNA vaccines [151]. In an analysis of multiple vials of the bivalent Pfizer and Moderna mRNA products, McKernan et al. found “high levels of DNA contamination in both the monovalent and bivalent vaccines” that were “orders of magnitude higher than the EMA’s limit” of 330 nanograms of DNA per milligram of RNA [152]. The DNA process-related impurities also exceeded the safety limits of the FDA (10ng/dose).

In a follow-up attempt to disprove this claim, Buckhaults and his genomics research team examined two batches of Pfizer mRNA vials and confirmed contamination with the plasmid DNA vector that had been used as the template for mRNA vaccine production [8,153]. At a South Carolina Senate hearing, Buckhaults reported having consistently sequenced substantial quantities of plasmid DNA, 200 billion DNA fragments per vial [153].

I already discussed these studies, why “200 billion” is not very much on a molecular scale—although it sure does sound scary to the non-biochemist—and why Phillip Buckhaults and Kevin McKernan are, well, full of shit when ranting about “adulteration” of the vaccines. I guess I’ll just repeat it briefly and whip out Avogadro’s number (6.023 x 1023/mole) again to tell you just how much “200 billion” fragments is with a little—gasp!—simple math: (2 x 1011)/(6.023 x 1023/mole) = 3.3 x 10-13 mole, or 0.33 picomole, a very small quantity of DNA fragments. Certainly, expressing the quantity of DNA fragments claimed to have been found as sub-picomole amounts would not have sounded nearly as scary as “200 billion” fragments. That’s why antivaxxers like these authors keep repeating the number.

Of course, no antivax Gish gallop would be complete without fear mongering about SV40 “contamination”:

The SV40 promoter has found potential use as an enhancer in gene therapy treatments based on DNA plasmids. In a 2001 study on somatic gene delivery to skeletal muscle cells, it was shown that incorporation of the SV40 enhancer into DNA plasmids could increase the level of exogenous gene expression by a factor of 20 [159]. According to an insightful editorial on the implications of process-related impurities, the packaging of DNA fragments into lipid particles enhances the possibility that the DNA fragments will integrate into the human genome [160].

While absent in the vials utilized during the registrational trials, the SV40 promoter has been identified in all tested BioNTech vials drawn from batches that have been distributed to the public. On December 6, 2023, Florida’s surgeon general Joseph Ladapo contacted the FDA and CDC with questions about safety assessments and the discovery of billions of DNA fragments per dose of the mRNA vaccine products [161,162]. A week later, the FDA responded in writing by citing genotoxicity studies (which are inadequate for evaluating the risk of DNA integration) and by blurring the distinction between the SV40 promoter/enhancer and SV40 proteins, erroneously treating these elements as interchangeable [162]. Because the agency has thus far failed to provide any evidence of conducting DNA integration assessments to address the risks highlighted by the agency itself back in 2007, Ladapo called for a complete halt on the use of all COVID-19 mRNA vaccines [161,162]. In a Brownstone Institute article, mRNA vaccine developer Robert Malone strongly criticized the FDA’s unwillingness to evaluate the potential risks of the contaminant DNA [163].

Citing the Brownstone Institute approvingly for anything about COVID-19 or vaccines is as good an indication that you are antivax as I can think of.

I’ll only mention a couple of points here, because I’ve been writing about how deceptive and not based in science antivax fear mongering about “contamination” and “genotoxicity” have been going back months and months, and my response to Dr. Ladapo’s latest invocation of these tropes summarizes most of it in pretty decent detail; so I’ll just refer you there and repeat that molecular biologists (like me—remember, I’m not just a surgeon but have a PhD in cellular physiology and my research has long involved molecular biology, sometimes even hardcore old school promoter bashing and gene regulation by microRNAs) immediately recognize that theoretically genomic integration could happen, but also that, no, the likelihood of its happening with small fragments of DNA from a plasmid that might or might not contain parts of the SV40 promoter is infinitesimally small.

I’ll also mention that only the Pfizer vaccine used a plasmid with an SV40 promoter sequence in it. Moderna did not. (I checked the plasmid maps.) Based on that observation, you might think that those fear mongering about “turbo cancers” due to SV40 would thus be OK with the Moderna vaccine—or would at least fear monger less about it. You’d be wrong, of course, because it’s not about SV40 promoter sequences or anything else in the vaccines, at least not specifically. It’s about just vaccines and fear of them. If it isn’t SV40, it’s vaccines “hypothetical capacity of COVID-19 vaccines to activate biological mechanisms that may collectively create a microenvironment conducive to cancer progression, either accelerating existing macroscopic disease or awakening dormant micrometastases.” I hadn’t seen that particular reference before, but might well have to write about it. Again, it’s about the vaccines, rather than any ingredient, the “toxins gambit” (deployed liberally throughout this paper), or anything else.

The authors even cite “frame shifting” producing “junk proteins” that supposedly produce autoimmunity:

In a remarkable discovery, Mulroney et al. observed that the mRNA vaccines induced antibodies in mice to proteins that could be synthesized from the mRNA code if it were frameshifted by one nucleotide. This was not seen in cells challenged with just the S-protein or in mice vaccinated with the Astra-Zeneca vaccine (AstraZeneca plc, Cambridge, United Kingdom), which is a DNA-based vaccine [170]. They suggested that it was the N1-methylpseduouridylation that caused the frameshift. Such unintended, off-target proteins have, in Mulroney et al.’s terms, “huge potential to be harmful,” in part due to potential homology with human proteins that could, in turn, induce autoimmune disease [170-172]

No. Just no. Again, I wrote about why not only is frame shifting a normal process but also why it is not a major safety concern in mRNA vaccines. As I put it: Antivaxxers think they understand frame shifting. They do not.

I could go on, but maybe I’ll save more for a part two if someone like Mr. Kirsch gets spunky about my not having addressed in this post his fear mongering in the article about myocarditis, all-cause mortality, apoptosis, “sudden death,” and more. Again, the authors should be careful what they ask for. Also, the sheer volume of antivax misinformation in this post is another vindication of my take that Brandolini’s Law, which states that the “amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than that needed to produce it” is far too optimistic, because it takes at least two orders of magnitude more energy to refute bullshit than it does to produce it. Bullshit asymmetry principle, indeed.

Antivaxxers publish bullshit—excuse me, “lessons learned”—in a bottom feeding journal

Finally, I never addressed the journal in which this “study” or “review” was published, Cureus. Let’s just say that I’ve discussed studies published in Cureus before, and none of them have been good. Let’s also just say that the reputation of this journal is…not good. For instance, a study conducted by librarians at Emory University found that Cureus in the top two among institutional publications deemed predatory or untrustworthy. (The other was OncoTarget.) A big part of the reason is that the entire philosophy of the journal seems to be to publish as fast as possible, its peer review being so fast that I question whether it even truly qualifies as a “peer-reviewed” journal.

Basically, Cureus is a highly mixed bag. Sure, it’s published some decent science, such as when breast cancer surgeon Dr. Laura Esserman wanted to publish an article about the I-SPY 2 trial in Cureus over a decade ago and has served on the journal’s editorial board. However, it’s also a magnet for dubious studies, most recently particularly about COVID-19. Dr. Esserman is a prominent, admired surgeon-scientist. I wonder what she thinks of Cureus now. She doesn’t seem to be on the Editorial Board anymore, although she is on its Academic Council, which aspires to “ensure that Cureus aspires to the highest academic standards” by assisting “Cureus in changing the medical publishing industry by leveraging its members’ broad-ranging experience and formidable understanding of the medical and scientific research communities.” It’d be nice if someone like Dr. Esserman would actually do that, wouldn’t it? Or Sam Hellman, whom I knew—although admittedly not well—back in the 1990s when I was doing my fellowship at the University of Chicago. Basically, Cureus has some pretty prestigious people on its Editorial Board and Academic Council, but you wouldn’t know it from this particular bit of antivax propaganda published there.

When you boil it all down, what this article is turns out to be nothing more than a veritable Gish gallop through all the major COVID-19 antivaccine conspiracy theories published in a journal whose peer review process is so fast as to be unreliable, to put it kindly. It is an impressive Gish gallop, given its length and the sheer quantity of misinformation contained it in—Brandolini’s Law strikes again—but a Gish gallop nonetheless. I’m sure that antivaxxers like Dr. McCullough and Mr. Kirsch (the two most famous of its authors) will be flogging it for months, just as COVID-19 quack Dr. Pierre Kory flogged this poor-quality observational study of ivermectin and COVID-19 published in Cureus a couple of years ago—and continues to do so.

Antivaxxers know less than Jon Snow.
Antivaxxers know less than Jon Snow.

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]

84 replies on “Antivaxxers write about “lessons learned” but know nothing”

Doesn’t Cureus have word limits, like most peer reviewed journals?

BTW, I would not normally accept a very fast request to review an article, exactly because with everything else, I’d be fairly sure I cannot do a thorough job. That may be true of others. There may be a self-selecting element to the reviewers, unless the more prestigious members of the board are using their clout to get agreement.

At best they have fleeting efficaciousness that isn’t worth the risk of heart problems and autoimmune complications.

It is if it saves your life. You are such a sucker, falling for every anti-vax trick.

I wonder if you drink alcohol? I imagine not, the certain destruction of your liver, brain and pancreas after one drink far outweighs any fleeting pleasure.

Whoever “censored” it did a shit job since you and about a hundred thousand other bozos on social media know about it and blast it around.

Thanks for another great article. You probably have no idea how useful us lesser mortals find the information and explanations contained in your articles in our own efforts at combat BS in our own little domains.

“In addition, of course the initial RCTs used risk of symptomatic COVID-19 as their primary endpoint. ”
I think that should just read “In addition, of course the initial RCTs used symptomatic COVID-19 as their primary endpoint”.

“Finally, I never addressed the journal in which this “study” or “review” was published, Cureus.”
But your regular readers knew this was coming 🙂

As an aside comment, somehow I had never heard of Brandolini’s Law. It did spark a memory of something similar though, and a little digging in some old notes led me to find this.

We must confess that our adversaries have a marked advantage over us in the discussion. In very few words they can announce a half-truth; and in order to demonstrate that it is incomplete, we are obliged to have recourse to long and dry dissertations.

That’s from some writing by Frédéric Bastiat in the mid 1800s.

Although he was discussing another mis-informer**, Gavin Newsom ( MSNBC video, yesterday) tells us how to counter liars:
( close paraphrase) You have to flood the zone. Over and over and over and over. Don’t let them get away with it.

** Oh, Guess!

In the Wikipedia entry on Brandolini’s law, that statement by Bastiat is listed as a precursor or inspiration for Brandolini’s law. I still also say that Brandolini was an optimist. It takes at least two, often three or more, orders of magnitude more energy to refute bullshit as it does to produce it.

Cureus is a member of COPE:

Cureus upholds the highest ethical standards as a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Irony meters exploding everywhere.

I’m half-tempted to email Dr. Esserman, as a member of the Academic Council for Cureus, to suggest to her that perhaps this article doesn’t meet the supposed academic standards claimed by the journal

I got curious about the Diexer study that Mead mentioned and looked it up to see what it had to say.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2023.08.019
Apparently, Germany set up a “population-based prospective cohort study for digital health research in Germany (DigiHero, DRKS Registration-ID: DRKS00025600).” Six studies have been published so far that use it, including one more with Diexer as a co-author

There is likely some medical information available but it seems mainly to serve as a pool to select participants for subgroup studies.

After online registration, we asked participants questions regarding socio-demographic characteristics and some introductory questions on health-related topics. In the baseline questionnaire, we asked participants whether they had had a positive test/an infection with SARS-CoV-2. Those who reported an infection or infections were invited to complete a detailed questionnaire on symptoms after their infection(s) and about their vaccination history.
…..
Overall, 48,826 individuals completed the baseline questionnaire until June 15, 2022. We classified 286 (0.6%) participants as false positive, leaving 17,008 (34.8%) participants who had had at least one SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Table 2 lists about 5700 respondents who reported an infection in various categories based on virus type, prior infection and vaccination status. They calculated a percentage with Post Covid-19 Condition (PCC) and then compared those results.
I kept wondering, “what is the control group? What is the denominator?” But I couldn’t’ find that information. It seems the calculations were mainly a comparison of those percentages. But still they conclude

While infection with Omicron is less likely to result in PCC compared with previous variants, lack of protection by vaccination suggests a substantial challenge for the healthcare system during the early endemic period. In the midterm, the protective effects of previous infections can reduce the burden of PCC.

In contrast, Ceban et al published COVID-19 vaccination for the prevention and treatment of long COVID: A systematic review and meta-analysis
at about the same time (July 2023).
This included 17 articles, with 6 in the meta-analysis. Some of these were small. But Antonelli et al did a case-control study of 16,800 individuals. Kuodi had 3388 individuals. And Simon had over 240,000!
Their results include

Taken together, 7 out of 9 studies investigating the frequency of long COVID in breakthrough COVID-19 infections reported that SARS-CoV-2 vaccination prior to infection was associated with a lower incidence of long COVID when compared to unvaccinated individuals
…..
Results were inconclusive as to whether one dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine was sufficient to reduce the risk of developing long COVID.
…..
Where studies reported on individual long COVID symptoms, protective effects of vaccination tended to vary by long COVID symptom category. Al-Aly et al. reported that the risk of post-acute sequelae in the cardiovascular, coagulation, metabolic, and pulmonary organ systems, as well as risk of fatigue, was significantly lower in those with breakthrough COVID-19 compared with those with COVID-19 but without prior SARS-CoV-2 vaccination.
…..
This systematic review and meta-analysis identified that at least one dose of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine may be protective against the development of long COVID in breakthrough infection.
…..
The evidence presented herein recommends SARS-CoV-2 vaccination for the prevention of long COVID in breakthrough cases. Furthermore, evidence does not support that SARS-CoV-2 vaccination exacerbates long COVID symptoms. Thus, most patients with long COVID should be vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2.

So, when Diexer et al start out by saying

little is known about how the occurrence of long-term symptoms after Omicron infection compared with other variants is modulated by previous infections and/or vaccinations

I find that somewhat dubious. Certainly, we could use more and better research. But a lot has already been done. And that seems to show a benefit of vaccination, even if it does not completely block the infection.

There is an article in the NY Times by Dr. Danielle Ofri. “My Patients Used to Be Gung-Ho About the Covid Vaccine. What Changed?”

Dr. Ofri is complaining that nowadays, her patients do not want those COVID vaccines. When she pushes them, they answer evasively.

Dr. Ofri still talks to them and prods them to get vaccinated.

But she is confused as to why they are evasive. So let me explain why. They know that they will be barraged by “nudging” from Dr. Ofri and do not want to start a conversation. That’s why.

My primary family doctor is pretty cool about Covid vaccines and does not even ask me about them (and flu vaccines), just writing “patient refused” in the chart. A very cool guy overall.

Another doctor, two years ago was very pushy about Covid vaccines and asked me why I refused them, even asking me to name “top three reasons for declining”. My three reasons shut him up but I no longer want to see him

Your three top reasons shut up someone ? Where they similar you post here ? They would not shut up anyone who understand anything. You may have noticed that by yiurself.

If Igor’s story is true [remember, he lies about so many things where data and articles are available to refute those lies that the safe route is to assume his “personal” stories are also B.S.] the most plausible explanation, IMO, for severing ties with his doctor, is that he was such an insufferable ass that that the doctor decided he’d be better off without Igor as a patient.

The top three reasons I gave (around Sep 2021) were:

1) I already had Covid
2) A young man I know died from Covid vaccine
3) Covid vaccine does not even prevent Covid

“I already had Covid” — possibly true

“A young man I know died from Covid vaccine” — almost certainly false. The most likely thing is that someone you know died and you chose to blame the vaccine to gain cred among your anti-vaccine followers

“Covid vaccine does not even prevent Covid” — as you have repeatedly misled things, if a vaccine doesn’t prevent every case of the thing it’s designed for it’s a failure. That’s a lie, but that’s what you mean by “prevent Covid”, so this is a lie about reality.

So if you doctor story is true you fed a medical professional, someone who has the training you lack, two lies, and wonder why he didn’t have a response? Possibly because no other patient was as bold with dishonesty as you are? Again, if this really happened the person who came out ahead is the doctor who doesn’t have to deal with a pathological liar and anti-vaccine attention whore any longer.

That story reminds me of the quip about 45, “how do you know when he is lying? When he uses the word ‘sir’ “

1) The vaccine prevents less than half of covid cases (far less). 2) I know someone seriously injured from the vax as well (almost died) I don’t doubt that Igor knows someone who died from it.

Also doctors were paid to push the jabs as recently came out. I don’t know how the medical community does ethics, but that doesn’t seem ethical to me.

“I don’t know how the medical community does ethics, but that doesn’t seem ethical to me.”

I guess your position is that it is unethical to be paid to advertise something you believe in eh?

Coughgunscough

1) Having Covid does not prevent contracting it again, and hybrid immunity from being infected AND getting vaccinated has been shown to be superior to “natural” immunity alone.
2) Whether or not this anecdote is true (doubtful), deaths from Covid VASTLY outweigh serious vaccine side effects.
3) Of course the vaccines prevent Covid, while doing a better job of preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death.

What Igor presents as his brilliance dumbfounding this physician actually was a pause of no more than a couple of seconds, while the doc considered how he might get through to this arrogant ninny.

Devil is in the details. The classification of ‘unvaccinated’ is artificially widened. In other words, when the data doesn’t show what the pushers want, they play with the classifications until it does. Norman Fenton goes over this.

NO ONE has died FROM the goddamn vaccine, Igor. NO ONE. It NEVER happened. GBS and clots from the J&J? Yes-very rare, but yes. NO DEATHS. NOT ONE.

@ Medical Yeti – How do you know no one has died from the mRNA jab? Citation please.

I love how you demand a citation when it suits you but could never provide one that PROVES a death. Why? IT DOESN’T EXIST. Why am I so sure? Because it would be front page news. You people would be screaming it from the mountaintops, the sensationalist media would be all over it, the Kremlin and Beijing would be all over it saying it’s proof of how messed up the West is, etc, etc. How does it feel to be on their side? Maybe you are a Russian?

Quit calling it a “Jab.” You guys are not cute or clever. It makes you sound like a petulant child.

@Naftali,
He may have overstated it, but there have only been a handful of deaths that have plausibly confirmed to be caused by a Covid-19 vaccine. And that is out of hundreds of millions of doses in the U.S. alone.
Whereas Igor provides no evidence for this claim or any other.

And the vaccines have saved thousands of lives and kept many times that out of the hospital. In a recent TWiV, Dr Griffin noted that over 95% of the CHILDREN in the ICU were unvaccinated, including the one that died.

NO ONE has died FROM the goddamn vaccine, Igor. NO ONE. It NEVER happened.
Really? This would be the very first medical intervention that is 100% safe. Wow! Just a cursory look at available data shows that Adverse reactions to this intervention are many times higher than traditional vaccines. In British Columbia emails in Dr. Bonnie Henry’s in box expressed concerns about AEFI’s that doctors were unaccustomed to. Search AEFI on BC’s FOI page. I’m not going to say these mRNA vaccines are killing anybody but not to consider it as a possibility is crazy. It would be very easy to clear the air on this issue if the relevant vaccination data was released.

I guess you missed or, as usual, too stupidly dishonest to include the rest of the article:

“Improving this situation isn’t easy, and it will require health
care providers wading into awkward conversations that are
less about facts and more about emotions. But if we don’t, we
will be tolerating a level of preventable death that we’d find
unacceptable in any other realm of health care.”

Notice: “preventable deaths”

Keep posting. I think it great that Orac allows such posts so the rest of us can see one of the reasons this nation has problems; namely, people like you who form opinions based on stupid ignorance.

Joel, you may be shocked to hear this, but one of the reasons why I post here is that I like several people on this forum. (I will not name names) You included. I do not think of you as a bad person, more like a well-intentioned, thinking individual who is making important cognitive mistakes thinking about the Covid vaccine.

You are the one who admitted you have NEVER studied science, don’t understand science, don’t understand the immune system, etc. I understand vaccines, given I have studied immunology, including vaccines for decades. I understand exactly the research behind Covid vaccines, going back decades. As for your posting, I think it great that Orac allows those who understand and appreciate science to see up close those who don’t by posting really STUPID, unscientific comments.

Just look at legitimate stats; e.g., areas with lower vaccination rates have higher hospitalizations, etc. And look at the huge amount of studies of Covid around the world. But, of course, one can always find a few that disagree, that is how science works.

Three reasons not to want covid vaccines?
1) You are stupid
2) You are completely ignorant on vaccines
3) You are completlye ignorant on infectous diseases
And I’m sure people are able to provide more reasons, which may all be connected with reason 1).

It’s a rather pointless comment from Igor anyway. A billion people with no knowledge of a subject are not as useful as one person who does have that knowledge.

Every so often when the fancy takes me, I peruse Igor’s blog. Holy hell. It’s a monument to Dunning-Kruger, with Igor confidently pontificating on subjects of he clearly has, at best, very superficial understanding and, at worst, no understanding at all. For instance, he totally buys into the rat study claiming to show that COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is associated with “autism-like” behavior in the male pups of the vaccinated mothers; misinterprets another study on vaccination during pregnancy and neurodevelopmental outcomes of the offspring (seriously, Igor, learn what statistical significance means); makes claims about the vaccine DNA “integrating into the genome” that only someone ignorant of basic molecular biology could make; and generally shows that he doesn’t even have 101-level knowledge of basic biology and molecular biology.

Seriously, I cringe so much when I make the mistake of wandering over to his Substack. Igor is, without a doubt, an antivaxxer and most definitely not anything resembling the “critical thinker” that he claims to be.

Regarding DNA integration: Dr. Buckhaults is going to test various samples for DNA integration. So we will know soon if DNA integration is a thing, or is not.

I’m sure he will. I’m also sure, given how crappy his last study was, that he will find “integration” because his crappy methodology will leave no other finding possible. Either that, or he will misinterpret a rare, clinically insignificant finding that couldn’t possibly cause cancer and misrepresent it as the “smoking gun.”

This is the Phillip Buckhaults who spoke to the South Carolina Senate dressed in a lab coat?

The role of lab coats is to protect the wearer from all the nasty things they play with in the lab. Wearing them outside the lab risks contaminating other locations with the nasty things that are in the lab.

But all is not lost. University promotional photos show Buckhaults working on COVID-19 testing in the laboratory without a lab coat. Presumably the one he wore for his performance theatre before the South Carolina Senate was donned for this occasion, or belonged to someone else.

I have low confidence in anything Buckhaults writes about COVID-19 being correct.

I did a LOL at Buckhaults’ ResearchGate photo.

You might ask yourself why a health insurer would provide financial incentives to physicians to promote Covid-19 vaccination.

More people vaccinated = fewer symptomatic cases, less need for drug treatment, fewer cases of serious disease, lack of I.C.U. stays = lower health care costs = money saved by the insurer.

There’s your “conflict of interest”.

I don’t bother anymore because of bs like the above. I’m sick of getting verbal diarrhea of conspiracies and angst whenever I ask. The only patients I really try to encourage anymore are the same ones I would encourage to get the pneumococcal vaccine since the risk factors are about the same for a bad COVID course.

I’ve heard every idiotic thing one can imagine about the vaccine in clinic or in the hospital and I’m just worn out. I’m sure that gives Igor a little tingle in his sack and is exactly what jerks like him have been hoping for. The flu has been a bigger problem for us this year, anyway.

Stepanie Seneff? Unless you were interested in completing losing credibility, why would you publish with Stepanie Seneff? Even the anti-GMO nutbaggers have published a paper complaining that Stephanie Seneff is an even bigger nutbagger and is giving them a bad name by publishing completely idiotic nonsense.*

rather than the garden variety nonsense, I assume.

Not just Stephanie Seneff but Jessica Rose!

The latter’s SubStack comment compares the peer review process to “an underground railroad” which might be true if underground railroads were run by self-serving grifters who placed little value on others’ life and health**.

** instead they risked their own lives to save/ liberate other people.

Not just Stephanie Seneff but Jessica Rose!

Jessica Rose still has some work to do to reach Stephanie Seneff’s rarified status. She needs the anti-vaxxer researchers to write they she is so extreme that she is making the rest of them look bad to reach the same level.

I am not sure this stage will be reached, because nobody is too extreme for anti-vaxxer researchers.

So very, very true. Whenever an antivax “researcher” becomes “too extreme” for all the other antivax researchers, eventually all the other antivax researchers become more extreme until the level of extremeness that was too extreme before becomes mainstream.

Denice: “Gavin Newsom ( MSNBC video, yesterday) tells us how to counter liars:
( close paraphrase) You have to flood the zone. Over and over and over and over. Don’t let them get away with it.”

I’m reminded of this excerpt from an op-ed earlier this month in JAMA about current threats to vaccination:

“We believe that the best way to counter the current large volume of vaccine misinformation is to dilute it with large amounts of truthful, accessible scientific evidence.”

Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with people who lack critical thinking capacity, the dilution of hardcore antivax nonsense with evidence just seems to make it homeopathically stronger, as shown by the credulous admirers who lap up 30C Steve Kirsch.

@ Dr Bacon:

I don’t think that Newsom- or a sceptic discussing anti-vax- means the already entranced thralls because they’re lost causes: their identity revolves around their idees fixes . Instead, the on-the-fence, not thoroughly convinced, the anti-vax ( or right wing) curious, flirting with Kirsch. Adams, RFKjr or Trump ( which in itself sounds repellent) attracted perhaps by their bold rebel stance and defiant attitude.

They are actually doing this. The zone is flooded with brand-new Twitter accounts with names like IKnowTheTruth1234567 who are magically following each other and several high-profile mutton accounts from the get-go. The cost of this is probably much less than the vaccine revenues but must be quite significant.

The “mutton crew”, like the “77th Brigade” occupies an enormous amount of rent-free space in the heads of antivaxers.

The irony is that none of these fantasy Deep State Enemies are paid for posting on social media, while Igor and his cronies desperately try to monetize their nutty beliefs via Substack, supplement sales and/or other commercial ventures.

I would not be so quick to say that “none” of those accounts are paid. Consider this CNBC article from 2022, describing Bill Gates’s project to set up a 3,000-person social media unit “to help propagate accurate vaccine information in the future.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/05/bill-gates-says-elon-musk-could-make-twitter-worse.html

So, some of those brand-new accounts may not be exactly authentic! Maybe they are part of that 3,000-person social media unit?

No evidence such a “social media unit” exists, or that participants would be paid.

Meantime there are plenty of antivax accounts grifting off supplement sales, speakers’ circuit revenues, books, YouTube videos, Substacks etc., having obvious conflicts of interest and busy lying through their teeth while competing for gullible followers and $$$.*

The Wall St. Journal has a piece today bemoaning the cancellation of poor Jordan Peterson, whose fulminations continually embarrass his profession, while he also promotes antivax nonsense. Poor censored Jordan reportedly has been making $35,000 per speech and $80K monthly through a Patreon account in addition to other sources of revenue. Who needs to see patients when you’ve got all that going for you?

*Igor is only a bit player in the scheme of things, but has hopes of raising enough $ to pay a couple of bills and take one of those nubile Costco ladies out for a latte.

I am becoming quite concerned on behalf of the Cosco shoppers. I can’t see anything to like about having a fantasist stalk you because they have misinterpreted your look of horror.

On a personal note, I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to hear a single additional word from Jordan Peterson for ever. It would be better if this “cancellation” was real, rather than pretend. Perhaps Peterson could try some introspection and perhaps grow up a bit.

I’m constantly surprised that American anti-vaxxers expect pro-vaxxers to work for free. Isn’t that some kind of ‘Gdamn commie bullcrap’?

Jordan Peterson?
Actually, I’m somewhat relieved he’s not currently counselling people or teaching university students because he has awful ideas and worse politics: promoting carnivore diets for mental health and chastising people who had abortions or support them like VP Harris however he uses his degree and past university career to convince followers of his righteousness and correctness.

I won’t go into great detail because yesterday I fell and hit my head but even NOW I know that JP is a wanker/ waste/ reactionary/ opponent of women and most people/ smug, know-it-all poseur.
What’s telling is that upstarts like him parade their credentials in order to gain acceptance by the general public whilst they simultaneously trumpet what most reasonable professionals in their field have dismissed for years.

Unfortunately, Newsom doesn’t understand misinformation. In order to combat misinformation, it’s nowhere near enough to “flood the zone” with good information, for the simple reasons that (1) you can never match the misinformation and disinformation merchants in the sheer quantity of their firehosing and (2) it’s not (just) about the actual science and data, but ideology and identity.

Exactly right.
Being an anti-vaxxer/ Covid denialist/ bold rebel allows the believer to blithely critique the current state of science, politics or the world in general despite having little or no credentials or appropriate experience, and simultaneously, to attack actual experts as compromised or corrupt, thus elevating themself.

I know sceptics have speculated about what state of mind might provoke this position: do they feel unimportant and that they are being unfairly disregarded by society? I wonder if they experienced rejection by academia or were insulted by professionals that inspired this hatred. We might describe their writing/ speaking as a form of cosplay wherein they mimic the professionals they despise in language and form whilst rejecting the findings of experts nearly entirely. They attract followers with similar aims and needs who feed their egos and identify with them.

Both forms, scientific and political, involve the rejection of expertise and any agreement about what actually is real and whether it can be described fairly at all, i.e. chaos.

They attract followers with similar aims and needs who feed their egos and identify with them.

In my view, this is what inspires many of them.

It also results in audience capture where people who might start out with scientific background end up completely down the rabbit hole**, because the relish the unconditional adulation they receive from their base.

On the other hand, you have ignoramuses like Igor, who twist and turn every which way in an effort to capture some of that adulation.

The whole lot of them are without principle, saying whatever lies it takes to receive the adulation they crave.

**I have a suspicion that if you look carefully into the background of some of these people, they have always been this way. They probably were not above fudging results here and their to make their work seem more important and garner more positive comments. It is when they dip their toes in the anti-reality world, they become hooked.

Or Christopher Shaw.

Or Christopher Exley.

Or Jessica Rose.

Or any number of antivax physicians with a research background, like Peter McCullough.

Yeah so let’s outlaw free speech and mandate questionable medicine. Maybe next we should pick a demographic we hate and gas them? Or..freedom is hard but worth it.

jlb, you’ve never posted anything based on fact, all of your shit has been pure bs and lies to borderline lunatic, but your 1/29/2024 at 7:39 post went way past lunatic. What the hell is wrong with you?

As usual, JLB confuses freedom of speech with freedom from consequences for exercising freedom of speech. Cranks like JLB think that they should be able to say anything they want any time they want, no matter how offensive or wrong, without any societal consequences whatsoever. (Also, you must listen to them and take them seriously, as they assume they have the right to an audience for their speech as well.) Naturally, he views the social ostracism that he faces (which has nothing to do with the government) as “persecution.” Because of course he does.

Here’s the thing. I don’t have to listen to you. I certainly I don’t have to take your know-nothing conspiracy mongering and pseudoscience seriously—and I don’t! That’s why I mock you with extreme prejudice. It’s an entirely appropriate response to your exercising your “free speech.” If you don’t like it, I don’t care.

It was hyperbole, of course. But it’s where your’e ‘punish folks who say things I don’t like’ policies end up. Next you’ll be creating pseudo government agencies to remove posts you don’t like. Oh wait.

John still has a hard time telling the difference between ‘I disagree with your opinion’ and ‘you’re scientifically wrong, have no data to back up your assertions and are directly harming people by introducing confusion’.

When a writer attacks/ disregards SBM/ MSM- which are based on reliable sources/ fact checking/ data- they become truly ungrounded in reality: there are no anchors. They may be inspired by other fantasists’ tales but they also compete with others to get attention and likes.

Certain stories make the rounds and grow further from reality at each turn. A popular trend is maligning cities as dangerous, crime infested, filthy, disease hubs. I live in a small city next to a very, very large one- we’re part of a megapolis. We have an extremely low crime rate- less than half the average despite the fact that the average town measured has 3000 people per square mile and we have at least 15k. The City itself has observed record declines in crime over the past 50 years yet both alt med AND rightwing advocates describe gang wars, rapes, subway murders, mass robberies, homeless addicts and other atrocities as they advise followers to GET OUT!

The writers Orac discusses- some with scientific background, others without- discard facts and data for stream of consciousness clickbait. This may be based on personality factors some psychologists have observed.

Last December, two guys who worked for me accidentally ended up near a big gang shootout. About five minutes of shooting. No big deal obviously, they just went inside the building to wait out.

The city is very nice overall, half of it has available parking spaces, and another half of it is not filthy and relatively safer.

A popular trend is maligning cities as dangerous, crime infested, filthy, disease hubs. I live in a small city next to a very, very large one- we’re part of a megapolis. We have an extremely low crime rate- less than half the average despite the fact that the average town measured has 3000 people per square mile and we have at least 15k. The City itself has observed record declines in crime over the past 50 years yet both alt med AND rightwing advocates describe gang wars, rapes, subway murders, mass robberies, homeless addicts and other atrocities as they advise followers to GET OUT!

The modern right and the alt-med groups have one thing in common: they need to keep their followers in check and the easiest way to do that, since facts are not on their side, is to constantly dredge up things for followers to fear.

For the anti-med folks: fear of vaccines causing no end of illnesses or sudden death, phantasms of spike proteins and “shedding” [ick — shedding like dandruff? Gross!!!!111!!!] and so on.
For the right: fear of “them”: minorities, immigrants, outspoken strong women, librarians, the educated, the [never well defined] “woke”, all of whom will ruin “America” if nothing is done to take away their rights and oppress them.

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