Antivaccine nonsense Medicine

Former Director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute: Still Antivax?

Dr. Daniel Neides, former director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute fired for antivax writings, now inspires a new generation of antivaxxers.

Longtime readers might remember that way back in the beforetime—you know, before COVID-19 arrived—the quackery that had infested the Cleveland Clinic under the guise of “wellness,” “integrative medicine,” and “functional medicine” came up over and over and over again, dating back a number of years. Indeed, I once noted that the founder of Cleveland Clinic’s functional medicine program, Mark Hyman, wrote the foreword to a Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.-penned antivax book about mercury in vaccines and appeared together with him on The Dr. Oz Show; moreover, there’s no way The Cleveland Clinic couldn’t have known about this when Dr. Hyman was hired because it all happened around the same time. Regular readers might also remember a certain doctors at The Cleveland Clinic by the name of Dr. Daniel Neides for certain antivax writings he did, an incident that led me to use his example to demonstrate how quackery pseudoscience in one area of medicine almost inevitably leads to quackery and pseudoscience in other areas, including vaccines, and how quackery and antivax nearly always go hand-in-hand. As horrified as the respectable docs at The Cleveland Clinic were about Dr. Neides’ antivax rambling, they shouldn’t have been surprised. It was inevitable that a culture that encourages the embrace of magical thinking would inevitably attract the magical thinking of antivax doctors.

When last I checked in with Dr. Neides, it was 2018. He had been forced to leave The Cleveland Clinic because of his antivax rant, and, predictably, he had joined a quack practice offering “functional medicine” and was giving talks to Ohio Advocates for Medical Freedom in which he falsely invoked the “Nuremberg gambit.” He also teared up readily, recounting how on January 13, 2017, he was relieved of his position as director of the Cleveland Clinic’s wellness institute after having been a loyal “soldier” for 20 years, lamenting that, although he could still practice medicine there as faculty, his career at the Clinic was effectively over, his leadership and administrative positions gone. Why do I mention him tearing up? Simple. Just the other day, he was on Rumble giving a “tearful apology for pushing vaccines“:

So Dr. Neides went from swearing up and down that he’s “not antivax” after his antivax article, to becoming a quack, to apologizing for his former role “pushing vaccines.” The guy clearly knows that antivax is more a religious view than a science-based view and that there’s nothing that antivaxxers love more than a conversion narrative.

Now here’s the thing. I didn’t realize it right away, but this speech is from 2017. As I watched it, I thought it sounded more and more familiar, to the point that I recognized that it was the same speech from 2017 that I had discussed before. I couldn’t immediately check because the YouTube video that I had posted before was no longer there. Since there’s a new version of the speech here, I thought it worth discussing again briefly because, damn, antivax nonsense never changes.

Yes, Dr. Neides went full bore antivax. For example, he claimed that there is “no education” about vaccine ingredients or the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. (Translation: What Dr. Neides really objected to is that medical school and residency don’t teach antivaccine pseudoscience about “toxins” and “vaccine injuries” that aren’t.) He rattled off tropes about vaccine injury claims, claims of “conflicts of interest” among pro-vaccine advocates, complaints about patients being dismissed from practices because of refusing to vaccinate. He was particularly upset about employers “forcing” employees to receive the flu vaccine, and even peddled the common antivaccine claim that there is no “informed consent,” confessing that he was once “one of those doctors” who didn’t give adequate informed consent about vaccines.

What Dr. Neides was really referring to, from my perspective, is what I like to refer to “misinformed consent,” where risks of vaccines are massively overstated and benefits massively understated. He even brings up the “placebo gambit” regarding vaccine studies. And, yes, he bought into blaming the “autism epidemic” on vaccines and basically implies not-so-subtly that vaccines might be responsible for an “epidemic” of chronic disease.

Dr. Neides was also very much into fallacious slippery slope arguments, and not just any slippery slope arguments but some seriously stupid ones like:

  • “Are women going to be forced to undergo mammograms or Pap smears in order to keep their jobs?”
  • “Are men going to be dismissed from medical practices because the refuse a digital rectal exam or PSA for prostate cancer screening or colonoscopy at age 50 for colon cancer screening?”

Exercise for the reader: How are these interventions not like vaccines?

Also, even antivaxxers realize that Dr. Neides was ahead of his time in terms of being antivax, as they’ve been noting admiringly on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, just how much he sounded in 2017 the way antivaxxers do now:

In any event, this blast from the past led me to wonder: What’s happened to Dr. Neides since 2018. So I did a bit of Googling. Yes, Dr. Neides is still with Inspire Wellness, offering functional medicine quackery, infrared saunas, IV minerals and vitamins, and more.

Now here’s the interesting thing. Dr. Neides’ talk from 2017 is all over social media, having been resurrected by COVID-19 antivaxxers as being particularly prescient. As for Dr. Neides himself, he seems to be keeping a low profile. There’s very little information to be found from searches about him other than antivaxxers writing stuff like this about him:

***Watch this short video by Dr Dan Neides – IT ENCAPSULATES QUESTIONS THAT ARE SO IMPORTANT – and then consider ‘what’s changed?’ considering the covid-19 toxic jabs that have killed so many with ZERO liability of the big pharma companies. Dr Neides summarises, ‘We must uncover the truth about vaccines’ – never a truer word – many of us are trying but we have corrupt and complicit governments and powerful other organisations and people!

My guess is that the firestorm over his article and the way he made it into national news for his antivax views chastened Dr. Neides. My further guess is that this shitstorm taught him just to lay low and let the money roll in from his functional medicine concierge practice. While he’s doing that, he is also an example of how antivax videos never die. They keep popping up again and again and again under different guises, and antivax and quackery are still inseparable. I just wish The Cleveland Clinic would learn that lesson.

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]

4 replies on “Former Director of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute: Still Antivax?”

Per your two examples, both of those are early warning testing for cancer so that it can be treated more successfully. Except for HPV causing cervical cancer, none of them really have any connection to infectious disease. You can’t pass cancer on to a co-worker or a patient.

And I would think that a doctor concerned with wellness and preventive medicine (maybe Neides doesn’t practice the latter?) would want to encourage their patients to take a simple, safe step to prevent getting sick in the first place. But, IANAD.

Whatever embarrassment Cleveland Clinic execs suffered from Neides’ comments has evidently been washed away by a flood of revenue from its Center for Functional Medicine. CC has been busy expanding the business, which gives it the opportunity to rake in even more $$$ from the gullible.,the%20main%20Cleveland%20Clinic%20campus.

And as its website disclaimer notes, both Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Mark Hyman “may” get a cut of revenue from the sale of supplements by the Functional Medicine Center’s Healthy Living Shop (Hyman conveniently is President of the company supplying products to to the shop).

A few weeks ago, I made the observation that an online supplement store was a sure sign of quackery.

Vertical integration points to them being a grifter.

“Are women going to be forced to undergo mammograms or Pap smears in order to keep their jobs?”

Is he kidding? Free yearly mammograms and Pap smears would be a godsend to working women. Especially the ones working multiple jobs with little or no health benefits.

Want to respond to Orac? Here's your chance. Leave a reply! Just make sure that you've read the Comment Policy (link located in the main menu in the upper right hand corner of the page) first if you're new here!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading